A Savoury Home for My Soul in Bistek

Tonight’s post is going to be about an amalgam of things – cozying up indoors, listening to my favourite folk albums, preparing pan-seared skirt steak with a soy and citrus glaze (aka Bistek Tagalog, adapted from Jun-Blog), and ruminating more on what my plans for the immediate future are. This time of unemployment is making me realize quite a number of things.

Firstly, that in order to be a great storyteller, I would have to tell my own story.

Homey, delicious goodness in a pan of bistek – onions required! Check that mad colour, savoury soy meets citrus seeping into every element of that dish…

Photo via chotda on Flickr.

The internet has made us all realize that anything is possible – and that sheer excitement with where our technology can go greatly excites me. Five years ago I could not have imagined working in such close proximity to something so incredibly complex and wonderful at the same time – something that allows learning to be within everyone’s grasp, allowing you to connect with people anywhere in the world, such as yourself, reading this now. 

Gaining the experiences to develop true empathy for others happens through interactions with a wide variety of people, and through the experiences I’ve had with folks who have been truly valuable mentors, I’ve learned how to listen, and sincerely care. I’ve also learned how to sharpen my senses for imagining myself in someone else’s shoes – lessons learned through dealing with irate, tired travellers checking into a hotel; speaking with colleagues and clients deserving of no less than your best efforts; and through reading, voraciously, about everything and anything aligned with my interests online. 

Turns out, there is a job title for this type of work that deals with building the kinds of experiences you tell your friends about: a user experience designer, who takes charge of crafting the user’s or customer’s experiences of a product or service. From learning about the functionality of programming languages to creating actual designs yourself and putting together a tangible output, and affecting people in a personal way – that is what excites me about design, that interconnected elements amount to a big, great whole – bringing delight, in small ways and large; satisfaction, on innumerable levels; and a sense of ownership, like how you feel when you check your bank account through your bank’s mobile app and you’re greeted with a bright screen that says your credit card balance is $0. It’s a nice feeling. 

TLDR; You’ll hear a lot more about me, and I look forward to learning as much as I can about the principles of good design and what creates memorably positive experiences – and how these learnings can be applied to improving social good. And you’ll see me write about my own journey discovering Filipino kitchens – because for all my love of it, I still have much to learn, and a great deal left to discover about the foods that tie so many people together.

Also, I need to get to Palawan. No further proof needed than what you’ll see below, with the expedition masters at Tao Philippines whom I have been admiring from afar.

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