To the friend who left

Dear friend,

I was quite surprised with your slow, unnoticed retreat. Was it too sudden, or were you gone already? Perhaps I was too preoccupied with my own projects and woes, that I wasn’t able to perceive your need for company. Maybe I was the one who slipped away, not you. It’s also possible that both of us simply drifted apart at the same time.

Nevertheless, I didn’t write to keep tabs. Nor did I send this message to make you feel bad. I actually wanted to thank you: for sharing your time with me, for helping me when I needed it, for trusting me with your secrets, and for letting me give you advice when you felt lost. I learned a lot from you, I laughed a lot with you and I wouldn’t be the person I am now if not because of you.

I’m sorry if I did anything that made you change your mind about our friendship. I wish I could say I want to know if there’s anything I could do so we could be friends again. But the truth is, if I hadn’t even noticed you gone, then I guess this is the natural course of our relationship.

I wish you all the best in life.

Summer sadness

Tell me how

– Karessa Ramos

Tell me how to forgive,

to overcome and forget.

Tell me how to keep calm,

tell me how to unsee,


Tell me how to unfeel.


Tell me,

what paradise will accept you?

Where will you go?

After hurting the innocent,

and the most innocent of all?


Tell me how to heal.

Tell me how to stop

the rage,

the thirst for revenge.

Tell me how to reconcile

love for mankind

with your desire

to see people die?


Tell me how to forgive,

tell me how to unsee

tell me how to heal

tell me how to stop

the spread of hate.

I don’t know how.

Tell me how.

Summer mood 5: joy


– Karessa Ramos

We lie on the sand,

on the grass, on the ground

while watching clouds

as they glide,

as they drift all around.

Everything turns

suddenly astounding.


We walk fast

we walk slow

we walk barefoot

feeling the wind blow.

I catch your smile

and your dimpled chin.

Nothing is ever as sublime.


Who cares

about forever?

Summer moods 3 and 4: nostalgic and very nostalgic


I know this place

I’ve been here before.

So beautiful

like milk froth

and comfortable

like soft rain.

And easy

like child’s play.


I was here before.

This place, familiar.

But this is somewhere

I can’t belong.

I don’t belong.

And so I won’t be here long.

In this easy place

with the beautiful rain.


Very nostalgic

Is it the light?

Am I the moth

Dazed with the fire?

Is it the sound?

Are you the siren’s song?

Am I spellbound?


Perhaps it’s not as easy.

Is it ever simple?

What part of this is reality?

Which one is but a memory?

Smokes and mirrors

haze my view.

How to tell the rest from the you?

If it’s just the lights,

if it’s only the sound,

I’ll get over this in Vegas.

– Karessa Ramos

Summer moods 1 and 2: gratefulness and empathy


It’s not hard to be

grateful when you clearly see

others’ misery.



The truth about you

here and now, is that we are

similar, we two.


We have feelings, we

build walls and defend. Not much

different, are we?


Sympathetic when

the other cries. But glad it’s

not us, torn inside.


When the other wins

we celebrate, we cheer, yet

we wish it was  us.

– Karessa Ramos


Personal Interview

It was a fine Monday morning when a dear colleague from Human Resources approached me quite excitedly. I honestly thought she was going to ask or share some tips about child rearing, as we are both first-time moms. Never did I imagine that she would ask me if I wanted to be interviewed for the official, internal blog of the Foundation where I work.

Clearly at this stage of my life, I have already had various interview sessions both as the interviewer and the interviewee. However, this is the first time I got interviewed with the aim of sharing the content (ergo, my thoughts) to the public! I had to pause with disbelief. I’m a very opinionated person but then I thought, “Who would want to bear with me and my craziness on purpose?” I mean, would you dare, dear reader? If you would, then without further ado, let me share with you the translated version of the said article. (For those of you who wants to read the original version in Spanish, just click the following link: Entrevistamos a Karessa Ramos, Comunicación y Relaciones Externas _ Nos-otros)


We interview Karessa Ramos, from the Communications and External Relations Department

hirap sa pandinig

Briefly tell us: how would you describe yourself?

According to me, I’m flexible. According to Filipinos, “Marunong makisama” which roughly means someone who knows how to get along well with others. Lastly, according to my family and friends, tenacious.

Imagine that you could only have one hobby. What would it be? and why would you choose it?

Cooking and baking. I love the whole process, from going to the market to buy the ingredients, to tasting the finished product (of course). I don’t know exactly why I like it. Perhaps it’s because sharing food is vital within the social life of us Filipinos.

How did you come to work at the BBVAMF (BBVA Microfinance Foundation)?

I started out as an intern, hired to work for a few months in Bancamía (the Foundation’s entity in Colombia), with the Finance Department in 2010. Luís Germán Linares was still VP for Finance at that time. (Did you know that I got an offer to work for them?) When my “apprenticeship” ended and I had to return to Spain, I consulted  whether there was any vacant posts I could vie for in the Foundation. It turned out that a vacancy just opened up at the Finance Department and that was where I started: collaborating in the elaboration of the Annual Consolidated Financial Report, with my first mentor, Ana Nogueras.

Come on… Tell us a funny moment you’ve had in the BBVAMF.

It was during one afternoon in the office and I was checking some PPT templates. I had my headphones on and was listening to ’80s songs and when Kylie Minogue’s song played, I started singing without realizing it, and my officemates started to stare. I suddenly saw some of them turn their heads down smiling, or maybe they were laughing. Later on, I understood that it was because I sounded like a cat… Well, for me it was funny, but maybe for the rest it was annoying, hehehe! (Let’s ask Victor H.)

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

The lessons I learned are my greatest achievements. And among them, I really treasure having learned to be more assertive and empathetic (although a lot of work has yet to be done). If I may add another thing: I am also very proud of the relationships I’ve established through the years. I’m surrounded by good, kind, intelligent and trustworthy people. They help me think, they laugh with me (and at me, I suppose), they cry with me, eat with me… they offer excellent company and I learn a lot from them.

What has been your happiest moment?

When I survived my son’s birth in France. There was a moment when I was actually thinking of leaving final instructions to my husband because I already accepted I wouldn’t last for very long. So when the doctors announced that they could solve my issues, I felt really happy. Most of all, that wave of happiness came when I started realizing I was going to live for at least another day!

Where would your ideal vacation be?

In my hometown, in the Philippines.

If you could learn something new, what would it be?

I’d learn how to ride a horse.

If  you could transform into another person, who would it be and why?

I would like to be transformed into my grandmother, and experience how it is being my own mom’s mother, HAHAHAHA! Seriously now, my maternal grandmother was the first enterprising woman I’ve ever met. She was strong like no other: she separated with my grandfather, taking charge of her four children with a teacher’s salary, she learned how to cook many kinds of plants so her family wouldn’t go hungry… when she retired, she improved her cooking skills and started a catering business so she wouldn’t depend on her children for her expenses. Furthermore, as a teacher, she would stay until late in the school, tutoring the students for free and she wouldn’t go home until they caught up with the lesson. I would like to be a woman like her: committed, intelligent, creative, generous and with the desire to transform her environment. The reason is because I’m seeing the legacy she left behind, the values and principles my cousins and I possess. And I also see how we are trying to pass them onto our own children.

A dream?

I wish for women’s situation to be normalized. That is to say, for us to stop feeling pressured to prove ourselves as valid as men; for us to fearlessly express our femininity whichever way we want to; that our happiness, value and aspirations not be measured with masculine metrics; that we stop judging ourselves and the competition that supposedly exists among us be converted into solidarity and cooperation.

While we’re dreaming… What would be your super power?

I would like to have the power to teleport. Is that how you say it? I like traveling a lot and that would cheapen the fare, hahaha!

Anything else you want to share about yourself?

I love eating. And you know it!

The former interviewee would like to ask you: if you could travel to the past, where and insist period would you have liked to live?

I would like to travel to the Philippines during the precolonial era.


To the employers that have turned me down

Dear sir/madam employer,


Thank you so much for not hiring me, for not counting on my services in your company’s projects. Thank you for not believing in my talent, thank you for your biases and thank you for your fears and insecurities about hiring a young mother. I really can’t say “thank you” enough!

True, the moment you declined my recruitment, I felt discouraged and even started to doubt myself. It is true too, that I felt crushed when I asked for an explanation and you did not give me any feedback that I could use for future job applications.

Undeniably, I spent many a day wondering what turned hiring teams away from me. I remember asking people for their assessment and among the dozens I received, I would like to highlight a couple:

On one hand, the most helpful of all clearly said, “It’s very tough for a young woman your age, and a mother at that, to find a strong foothold, professionally speaking. They just wouldn’t hire fertile females at the height of a possible reproduction stage!”

On the other, the most bizarre of them all was from one of the interviewers (perhaps it was you!), saying, “The roster of candidates presented really high profiles”. I must’ve sounded pathetic when I asked for further explanation. Was it that I was competing with people bearing PhDs? Or perhaps they had done super-cool internships or have worked in uber-fantastic companies beforehand? Because as you know from the CV I sent you, my background is not bad at all. In short, the person I was talking to simply rephrased the same sentence. And it was months after I realized that “profile” not only refers to one’s recent professional history- it also relates to one’s educational and why not, social background.

I only mention them for the purpose of expressing my amazement. But I suppose none of this surprises you…

Please allow me to get back to the original thought and main content of this letter: gratitude. I would like to show my long-overdue appreciation for not hiring me because had you trusted in my capabilities, had you given me a chance to collaborate with you, I would not be where I am now. May I also add that I am utterly blooming right where I am now? I deliberately used the term “blooming” because of the future promise it paints in the reader’s mind. This is the very reason I am being very grateful for the turn of my life’s events.

For the first time as an employee, I truly feel the opportunity to learn, grow, contribute and be an active part of a team. For the first time, I am under a leadership which sets an exquisite example of excellence and humanity. Likewise, I belong to a group of strong, intelligent and kind people where my voice is heard and my flaws, courteously mended. This healthy balance, and the chance to grow in this newfound career are worth all the wait. I wake up each day, inspired and eager to go to work, knowing that I am productive. I look at myself in the mirror and feel good, knowing that I’m doing my part to elicit positive changes in people’s lives.

Had you given me the chance to work with you, I would not be living this dream. So sir/madam, thank you very much for turning me down. I wish you the best of luck in your endeavors and I also wish for you the same professional happiness and fulfillment that I feel at present.


Sincerely yours,