Uplift your Night Episode #3

Here is the transcript of Uplift your Night Episode #3 on July 23rd, 2020 with Uplifters’ team leader Janelyn Dupingay to help provide advice and inspiration to our community.

Hi everyone. Thank you for joining me tonight. I am Jenely, Community Building Officer for Uplifters. Thank you so much for joining me tonight.

Uplifters is a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering underprivileged communities with online education and peer support. We offer a free online money management and personal growth course for domestic workers. You just need to click “ Send Message” on our Facebook page to enrol. This is the second episode of our Uplift Your Night series, and we are delighted to be here with you tonight.

Our first objective with this Uplift Your Night Facebook Live is to be there with you. Uplifters is first and foremost a community. Secondly, we want to keep learning together and support each other.

We are pleased to have Janelyn Dupingay as our special guest tonight. Jane is one of Uplifters’ Diamond Team Leaders. She has facilitated more than ten sessions of our 3-week online course Dare to Dream on money management and personal growth. She is also one of our Social Media Correspondents in our Uplift your Life Facebook group.

Hi Jane, welcome to our live broadcast. Thank you so much for joining us tonight.

Hi everyone, my name is Janelyn and I came from the Philippines. I’m from the province of Nueva Vizcaya and I grew up with a very loving family. And I am an Ifugao by blood, but then I grew up in Nueva Vizcaya, so that’s why I speak Ilocano. But both my parents are from Ifugao but I can understand my parents dialect. And I came to Singapore way back 2015. April 27, to be exact. Yeah,I arrived at my EA on that day. And then my employer took me from my agency on the date of May 2. Then I joined this family, and I am with this family for more than five years now. It wasn’t difficult for me to adjust in the new environment because I have a supportive employer and they really are very understanding when it comes to my shortcomings because it is understood that when you when you arrive in a new place, there are so many things that you really need to learn, you really need to catch up, you need to learn their daily routines, the work flow. I cannot avoid that I made some mistakes during my first years here. But the good thing there is that they are very, very patient when it comes to me so that is really what I appreciate most about my employer. About my journey with Uplifters, I came to know about Uplifters from a friend. She was a Team Leader before. And her name is Isa. And I got curious, I asked her what Uplifters was about. And then she said, she just mentioned to me that it’s all about an online course. That time I was moderating in one of the biggest Facebook group here in Singapore, which is the Domestic Helpers’ forum and Marie posted about Uplifters in that forum and then I really scan really, really wanted to know what their objectives are and then I found myself clicking the Send Message. I was lucky to have a spot in October and I finished their degree in October 2018 under the team leaders Bayti and Amy. They are really very very helpful throughout the course. They are amazing. Who I am now is how they molded me as a Team Leader,  it’s a reflection of how they trained me as a student. And hopefully they are proud of me. After the Dare to Dream course, Helene asked me if I wanted to join the Become a leader course. And yeah, of course I’m very much willing to join. So I joined it and I got my certificate in December 2018. Then while doing the course I was still enrolled on Make it Happen in which I got my certificate so I became a leader. My first exposure was in January 2019 and I was paired with Melanie Villar. She was like a team leader trainee and that time there weren’t a lot of students enrolling yet compared to now that we are having 20 students before we are just having like a maximum of 10. It was really a very great journey and I am very happy to see that I am a part of how Uplifters grew and so on. I grew up with this community and I love it. Older. Yeah, as I get older in this community, I become more empowered. And even my employers say that Uplifters saved me. Although I was thinking how did Uplifters save me? But yes, because I was like I have those negative attitudes also before I joined Uplifters. I’m not very good at controlling my emotions and my temper. I was not really good at managing emotions and then eventually when I became a leader I came to understand more about how the emotions become your strength in dealing with your life so I’m very very grateful to Uplifters and that’s my journey. Then I joined the social media team. I became a social media correspondent last December 2019. Actually that time I messaged our founder Marie and asked her maybe I can give some suggestions on what Uplifters can do. I was Team Leader already and then I told her about one thing about the interview of alumni students so I said why don’t we bring those students into an interview. We do an interview to show the community that those students are having progress in their lives and that Uplifters has somehow changed them. It helped the Uplifters community and had a great impact on them. Then Marie asked me why don’t you just join social media as an associate to get more involved, and then to share whatever things that I know that can be beneficial or helpful to the community. From December 2019, I became a social media correspondent. And now I am here with you.

We have a question from the comments. How do you spend your time after work and how do you make yourself productive even when you’re tired from work?

Janelyn: How do I spend my time after work? I wake up in the morning at six o’clock and six o’clock starts my work and sometimes the earliest time that I can finish my work it depends on how fast they are in, in finishing their dinner so sometimes I can finish at around eight, so after eight so I need to freshen up also and then check messengers. Of course I check first about my family if there are some important things to tackle and then I come in

if there is a Dare to Dream class. I’m also checking but not so much during the day because I also have some limitations when it comes to using the phone during daytime so I cannot be at one corner and just look at my phone. No, no, no, I don’t do that. But when I am outside, I have a different routine each week. So for example this week I am the one who is going to bring the little girl on her outside classes so I have some more time to check on my Facebook to write. But when I dont bring the child outside I need to stay at home and manage the work because we are living here in the house. We are two helpers here. So this is a big house. So during the day, I really cannot compromise myself. I usually have during the night, but, um, from eight until like 11 that is my time to check on the community, to check on my students. I allot 20 minutes of my time during the night to read some books, especially those that I always borrow from my ma’am. And then some of my time is spent on monitoring students  if I  commit myself to become a leader during the Dare to Dream. So, because I was really loaded like there are so many commitments, sometimes I asked Helene, can I take a break for this, but it seldom happens, only when there are so many things also from work that I need to take a break to manage my time. So, I asked for a break, but I only did that I think twice. So, now I am focused on communicating with our students. And then another one is we have a group also which is the Daily life in Covid 19. I also need to monitor how the group is running because I am the admin. If I need to share my point of views also about some matters that need my opinion so yeah, I really allot 20 minutes of my time to give time for myself, to really reflect all the things that happened during the day. What am I doing? Is there any progress about myself? I know most of us are busy during the day because of work. It’s very helpful also to give a little time to check on yourself. What are you doing today? Are you sad? Are you okay? What do you need to do? I know most of us are physically tired after a long day, but then this is a different feeling. My commitments are my, like my energy booster. Yeah, connecting with the community and seeing those people, seeing those fellow women, monitoring them connecting with them. And it’s like having an attachment with them eases the tiredness from the daytime work and it’s like I admit that I’m also tired physically but then I’m just thankful that during the night I can have enough rest. Yeah, I still can manage my time to make myself productive and after my work. Do not compromise your health to do other things. You need your rest, our health is our foundation.

Your passion to help energize you and thank you for those great tips Jane, we learn a lot from you. You’re also a very talented writer. Your poems have been featured in other organizations and on our page as well. How did you start writing? Can you give us your advice to budding writers?

Janelyn: When it comes to writing because there are so many areas when you talk about poetry when you talk about writing. There are many phases of writing. For now, I am using my own strategy. If people can observe especially those who are reading my written words and those are just my own way of expressing myself so I don’t really follow the guidelines when it comes to writing because I have a limited knowledge about the different forms of poems because no matter how much I wanted to read more I am involved in other commitments. Those written poems are all my own emotions. Those are my own expressions on what I wanted to say to the community because before I write, I need to think. What is the message that I wanted to send to the people? What do I want them to know, what do I want them to feel? Do I want them to feel that they are loved? Do I want them to feel that they are beautiful? They are amazing. Before I start writing, I need to think about it. I need to think about the message that I wanted to send to the people. When did I start writing? I started writing when I became a team leader. From writing motivational pieces exclusively for my students, and sometimes I think I share that in our Uplifters community and on my Facebook also and sometimes I post some motivational pieces And it began there. But when it comes to writing poems, I started only last year. Yeah, and I think I opened during one of our lives here in Uplifters that I started writing. I wrote my first ever poem, and it’s all about my Dad and I can remember that was February 2019. My first ever poem and it talks about my feelings about the loss of my dad, about him passing away and then from that time onwards I followed a group on Facebook, which is the Migrant Writers of Singapore.

And yeah, and then I came to like, why not I go and  see what are those activities that they are doing. The first ever activity that I witnessed is a Carnival of Poetry which was headed also by Team Leader Nhelz, from that time onwards I got involved in some of their activities. I also took their photography. You walk in one of the islands here in Singapore. From that time on, I kept writing poems and then some of it also featured them, so that was the beginning of my writing journey with Migrant writers of Singapore. And now I am really totally hands on working together with them to be more engaged in activities also in our migrants in Singapore community and we have this Daily life in Covid-19 group where we also share about our literary pieces.

What I can say for those who are aspiring to be a writer. I think we are a discovery. I heard from one of my stories that there is no wrong in writing when it is written from here from the heart. I always think of this when I feel insecure or when I feel like my writing is not good. So what I wrote is not good, but no, when it comes from the heart, they will never be wrong. And one of my motto, so it’s like, I write to express. I don’t write to Impress. That is the least thing I want for my writing journey. I don’t really get flattered when people comment that you are good. So, for those of you who want to start their writing journey, you don’t need to emulate me. I want to publish my own because as you go deeper to writing then you can think about this for now, for those of you who didn’t start writing yet just get a pen and a paper, 

you write down feelings.I am angry  Because you tried to leave it like this, so I am angry. You will come to express your own self. Like not thinking about other people around or thinking that someone will like that you are not good or what, just keep on writing it keep on writing, take the pen. And if you want to further your writing skills, there are many workshops that you can join and learn more about the techniques in writing. In the Migrant Writers of Singapore also we are conducting some workshops for those who want to learn more about storytelling or writing poems. you  can try to browse on the internet, make use of your phone to search in Google. Very helpful if you really want to further your knowledge when it comes to writing in those are some ways that they can say that can be helpful for you to join the workshop to read other literary pieces if you have time. But if you find yourself to be cleared from your emotions, you can start scribbling and you can start writing. You can start journaling. Write what happened to you during the day, you will see the progress on every notebook that you write. So keep on writing. And write from the heart. 

These have been very trying times for all of us. What is your advice to those who are struggling? 

Jane – If any of you who are watching right now who are suffering, you don’t need to suffer in silence. That’s all I can say, you don’t need to suffer in silence, you don’t need to keep to yourself because you have a community with you, you have people around you. All you have to do is to reach out to the people who can help you with your situation, with your struggle. No one will know that you are suffering unless you let it out. Before I saw it when I was a moderator in the forum, so many who suffer from different working conditions, we always advise them to speak up no matter if it’s not easy.  Because you will not gonna be able to get any help from other people if you don’t communicate, if you don’t try to find a way to express yourself, that you are not feeling good, you don’t need to suffer in silence and torture your mind. Especially now we’re all in a very difficult situation, when you have a way and you just only need to speak up. It really helps to connect with other people. Sometimes when you are having a problem and you’re talking to someone you can trust, sometimes talking to a stranger, it gives you more peace of mind. Because there are some women in the community who come to my messenger asking for some advice, especially for very difficult situations. For example, one of our sisters, she has been working with her employer and she has so many things in her mind, like not liking the rules, she thinks it’s too much. But just by telling me her condition, I told her she needs to tell this to the person to say her honest situation. You don’t need to deny or lie about it. It will lead you to heavier situations if you lie. You just need to be honest with people because they can advise you. They can give you the proper advice when you are honest. 

Going back to that woman, I told her that I can contact my family. Did you try to talk to your employer about it? It doesn’t make you less when you calm yourself in talking to other people. Just speaking calmly does make a lot of difference. So that’s why I advise you to be honest. You need to try to communicate first rather than poisoning your mind of probable scenarios. And with your situation there are a lot of people who can help you. You can private message me, the admins, the community. Because our Uplifters community has a lot of contacts to experts who can help a lot. 

How can we develop resilience and optimism?

Janelyn:  Before I was a low self esteemed person. When I experienced challenges, I just ran, cried. But now instead of crying, I think what have i done? Instead of crying, I think of ways to develop resilience. You can start by thinking about challenges. If you are taking all those challenges especially when you fail to achieve expectations and goals. Don’t take it against yourself. It’s like a learning stage for you. That sometimes we fail but then if you are also constantly thinking that you are not good, that you are a failure. You’re making yourself more down. It will be more difficult for you to lift yourself, because you are making it harder on yourself. Accept it. No matter how hard. What can you do to get up from it? It’s making it hard for us because we’re making it hard for ourselves. Just because we weren’t able to achieve what we were aiming for. What I learned is that you yourself can uplift yourself. Remember you are special in your own way. You need to think positively about yourself. Irregardless of the mistakes you’ve committed. Nobody’s perfect. 

Find a reason to get out of the bed, to face reality. That reason will be the thing that drives you, no matter what. For example, if you are lazy, overweight, you convince yourself to lift yourself up no matter how hard it is for you, that dream, that goal will keep you motivated. Just like the story of Mona in Uplifters, It somehow resonates with that same spectrum. You have to set your goal. You should picture yourself living what you want to live in the future. Those things in your mind will keep you going. Don’t stress yourself about something that is uncontrollable. Just like now, with everything that’s happening, it’s out of our control but we can control our mind, you accept things. There’s no need for you to exert any effort or waste your energy in something uncontrollable. Focus your energy on something you can control. Managing your emotions, your money, something like that. Those are just some basic tips on how you can develop resilience. Being positive is a choice. It is your choice. 

Let’s talk about your favorite book. Could you tell us the book that made a positive impact on you?

Janelyn:  It’s actually the first Psychology book I’ve ever read. I borrowed it. The title is “Emotional Clearing” by John Ruskan. Because I’m the type of person that believes that emotion is one of the strong foundations to reach greater heights, to be more successful. To have stable emotions, not being impulsive in making your decisions. I want to share a part of it and it’s all about acceptance and I always share this to everyone I encounter with. It’s somehow related to our Dare to dream story. The “Maria Story” who keeps on resisting everything that’s happening. Keeps on running away and nothing happens. Nothing will happen to you in your life, you won’t be able to move on with your life if you keep on hiding from those emotions. It is really hard. Easier said than done. But if you start accepting it, you will learn that it is a part of your journey and how to live your life. I suddenly remember a poem as it also talks about acceptance. Be a good guest to those emotions who want to visit you. You need to deal with it, acknowledge them, because if you don’t it will always come back. You might think that it’s nothing but no, you need to accept and heal from those emotions. For you to know the solutions by finding what are the causes of those emotions. Finding the things that get you upset, angry etc. You will be able to deal with it properly if you know the source. There is always a reason what’s causing those emotions. 

What’s your favorite challenge in our Dare to Dream course?

Jane – It’s all about the dreamboard. Really enjoyed making it and found it challenging as well. From the moment I started making it, I was able to really visualize the things that I want to achieve in my life. From living my life since I started working here in Singapore, there has not been much improvement. But when I started creating my dreamboard, it impacted me a lot. I began to dream, I started to have a clearer vision of everything that I want to achieve for myself and my family. When I began it back in 2018, the first thing I had there was all about having my dream house, savings, insurance and all those things. The challenge there is how to apply it in reality. It took me a year to achieve all of it. Insurance for me and my family, now just waiting for some confirmations from my brother so we can start on building our house. Achieved savings. Last January I started with my new dream board and sharing it with my students and put there completing my caregiving course. The second thing is still about my house and one is about being a motivational speaker. All the classes right now are suspended due to the pandemic. We need to be flexible and adapt, so I enrolled in baking and sewing classes to keep me busy and productive. And now I am kinda achieving to be a motivational speaker by speaking here, and at least try to motivate and share my experiences and lessons I learned in my life. It also brings out more self confidence. 

What is your advice to our community?

Janelyn: I will start with the first advice that I also give to everyone else, no matter how difficult the situation is you have to find a good thing out of that difficult situation, as it will keep you going. There is always something positive in any difficult situation we’re in. 

The next thing is believe in yourself, before other people will believe in you, you must believe in yourself first. You are extraordinary. You need to give yourself that affirmation that you are beautiful, special, you have the power to change yourself. Don’t put any limit to what you can achieve. Keep on trying even when you fail, you need to find ways to achieve your goals. Believe in yourself. Never stop trying. Experience life and make every moment count. You need to make your everyday worthwhile. Set and reach your goals. Visualize it for it to guide you. Lastly, be happy! Because no one deserves to be less happy. We all deserve happiness. Stay happy, stay positive and enjoy life. 

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