Rappler.com // When the young decide to join the government // Arriane Serafico

On Rappler.com: Lessons from my 2 years of working in the government

Almost two years.

(I was forced to take the picture on the left specifically for my Rappler interview, where I’m featured with Brian Ong of the Dept. of Tourism. I asked the Senator if I could take a photo with him – and then he looks at me like I was punking him, starts laughing, and goes, “You’re weird!!!” Why thank you.)

Reconciling the need and the want

It was during my good governance, youth and social media talk in DLSU that I realized that I had undergone a very significant shift in perspective of how I view my job in the government.

I used to think it was an act of martyrdom, the ultimate self-sacrifice — and now I just cringe in embarrassment and laugh (quite awkwardly) at my overblown sense of heroism two years ago! Because you know what I learned? A government job is just like any other job where you’re expected to deliver your best performance, and provide value every day. It’s a job where you can and should be able to grow and progress personally and professionally. Aren’t those the very same things that, say, a corporate job entails?

So if you view government employment as an act of charity, then it might be good to reexamine your reasons.

I’m just thankful that, for me, somewhere along the road, I was able to fully reconcile the feeling of ‘I’m here because this is where I’m needed’ with the one of ‘I’m here because this is really, really what I want to do.’ It has come full circle, and I’m honestly having the time of my life.

Excerpts from my Rappler interview

The full article, ‘When the young decide to join government,’ written by Candice Quimpo, can be found here. My biggest learnings from my almost-two-years of experience in the government can be found in the last two paragraphs of the story:

How you can push government out of mediocrity

Remember: we deserve the kind of service we demand. So, set high standards and demand more from your officials – even your local ones! If everyone just lets things slide and adopts the “Eh ano pa nga bang maaasahan mo sa gobyerno?” mindset all the time, then what do you expect? This only gives the government license to stay the way it is: mediocre.”

game-changing: find balance. do it your own way.

Changing the world doesn’t have to mean you can’t be true to yourself, or sacrifice your personal growth and development for a higher purpose. If you think you can find that balance through working in or with the government, then welcome to the family, I would love to meet you.

If not–that’s okay. You can always change the game your own way.”


Thank you so much to everyone who shared and retweeted the article! My heart was totally doing the moves like Jagger all day because of all the feedback that I got from this. I even got a response from one of the women I really look up to – Maria Ressa, herself! :)

So incredibly honored to be featured on Rappler.com, a news site that has undeniably changed the game of Philippine journalism in such a short amount of time. I really hope to be able to achieve the same in my own industry someday!



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  • Asma Hamid

    I wish to be someone like you one day, a person that is trying to change the world the right way.

  • http://theemptycorner.wordpress.com Kira

    Your posts about working in the Philippine government have increased my interest in it, and encourages me not to give up hope. :)