What Dreams are Worth

I write this post with a little (or a lot) of disappointment, and sadness. I am planning to apply for an Erasmus Mundus scholarship for Masters in International Cooperation in Urban Development, and I am still unsure if I have the correct set of qualifications or even the guts to push through.

The road is hazy, but I know where I want to go.

A couple of weeks ago, when I decided to apply, I told myself that I will put 200% of myself into this application, because I am not going because I just want to go to Europe, or go back to school, or just exploring opportunities. This is the dream: go to TU Darmstadt, explore Europe, get experience in International relations on Sustainability and landscape design, work for the UN, or national Geographic or something like that (after which, getting a lifelong job of travelling and experiencing new landscapes). BIG DREAMS, I know, but I got to a point that I know I can push myself, I can dream big and that God has given me the academic background (thanks to my parents), work experience, the heart and the capacity to do this. And that I feel that this is what I am meant to do with my life.

My jaw dropped at the very grand program, especially that: “Erasmus for All is based on the premise that investing in education and training is the key to unlocking people’s potential, regardless of their age or background. It helps them to increase their personal development, gain new skills and boost their job prospects.”

I have always approached life with the perspective that every experience is a learning experience, and I found out how that improves me as a person and as an employee. Whether it be soft or technical skills, I have continued to push myself to grow more and more. I would like to dedicate my life to exploring new cultures, indulging in new landscapes, design for both nature and man, to help other people improve themselves and their employability of the environment that surrounds them.

One’s own happiness of course is affected by family, friends and work. I believe that when one finds a career that meets all 3: What You Love, What You are Good at and What Pays Well, we find contentment and meaning in our lives. Getting there is the journey, and having that mindset of learning and grabbing every opportunity to learn is the secret, I believe. And sometimes, not achieving your dreams easily makes you realize how badly you want them, and test your persistence in achieving it.

I cannot count the times I feel like I have taken a wrong turn or made a wrong decision. Or dreamed of something I was not able to achieve. I don’t really know if grad school is meant for me, and what’s next for me at this point, but this I know:

I know where I want to go. And that I have never backed down from doing everything necessary to get there. Case in point: despite my absolute reluctance, I am manually researching for possible topics that I could present and relate in my motivation letter.

I know that my passion and my persistence in believing in myself and my dreams will one day help me achieve what I feel I am meant to do with my life.

So this is not a surrender, and if ever I fail, not getting the scholarship is simply a sign for me to find another path to get to my dream. I’m letting go, and letting God show me the way.

The story does not end here.


  1. go byron! follow your dreams! and whatever decisions you make, it is always the right one when you look back years afterwards.

  2. Thanks Christian, I'll keep that in mind. Sabi nga nila, madami pang taon ang hinaharap ko.

  3. Let me tell you this, the best thing about failing to achieve a dream is the realization that what you are without it is actually not bad at all. You'll be fine Byron. I can't really figure-out why you should feel sad or disappointed. As I see it, you are on the right track and you've got the goods. Well maybe as you said the other day, you're just being "anshus" haha!

    I once was like you. I wanted to save the world in any way I can and my dream was to work for the UN or ADB. I sadly didn't make it to either but I found a job in development/social work and ignored my original battle plan of working in Finance. It wasn't stable but it brought me joy. It was noble. Until I realized that a noble job will not automatically make what you do noble. Hard to explain but the experience kicked me in the balls and turned me into a realist. In the end though I had no regrets. I found my answers and I moved-on.

    Your grand plans sound great. I used to have the same spectacular, detailed dreams that kept me up at night anxious (and I still do I think). Unwantedly, subscribing to such wild imaginations taught me how to deal with disappointments. It ain't the best lesson to learn but it comes in handy I realized.

    I guess all I wanted to say is, just give the goddam dream a shot. If you realized it ain't for you then at least you found your answers. Then afterwards you can become a porn star. At least with that career there is absolutely no questions whether you are going to be good at it. You'll be phenomenal haha! Jowk!

    Goodluck. See you in Europe :D

  4. Anghaba! hahaha yes i perfectly understand you, drew. And not to worry, I'm actually getting there. =) See you in europe!

  5. Bring home the bacon, Byron! Keeping you in mind and I'm always praying for you!


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