Brand Yourself Experiment


To understand my strengths and weaknesses with the hopes of capitalizing on them in the future.


For this project, to start off, I sent a series of questions to my family and friends. I tried to make the set of people diverse so I could also see whether there are differences in the past five years. I also asked for elaborations, especially for strengths and weaknesses that do not align with most responses or ones that I never thought of having aligned with myself.



Reading the results was very eye opening. Though for some qualities I know I exhibit, I never knew I exhibited them very strongly till the point of being very noticeable. For instance, one quality that came showing repeatedly is that I am a peacemaker. This quality resonates with me very well because I feel that conflict is usually the lesser of the two option that I have. Thus, finding a middle ground of compromise for everyone is something I do often when working in groups, whether it be for leisure or academic. Naturally, I feel that harmony within a group can be maintained, which in the long run boosts productivity and betters the group dynamic.

Another strength that I elicit is dominance through leading. When doing group projects or going on road trips, although I might not be the “official” leader, I would on many instances end up leading. This tendency is partly due to the fact that I like being organized. Planning is something I find pleasure in because I would rather have things arranged. Therefore, when things seem to fall apart or need a little push, I would rise myself to the challenge to contain or fix the crisis. So, on many occasions, it does seem like I can be relatively dominant.

A final quality that I show is logic. Growing up with three other sisters has always made me in check of viability. There was always so much things to calculate and weigh on; from time to portions of servings. Hence, I exhibit that quality very strongly to this day. I will always look on viability before creating suggestions. When things start to falter, I will make sure to have a second plan that is safer and can be constructed within a shorter time.


Weaknesses has always been something that I beat myself about. It must be noted that it’s not due to the lack of it, but rather, its persistence to remain as a weakness despite my efforts to improve has always vexed me. Reading the survey response has definitely put things into context. The most consistent weakness that I exhibit is stubbornness. I must admit that there have been many cases where I feel that I have passed the best judgement and would not change my decision. This is definitely a big fault because working in groups mean listening. This might actually be contradicting to my strength of maintaining harmony. However, if I feel strongly about something, I will do everything in my power to sway people to be on board with my ideas. This is not just dangerous for the group dynamic, but it could also be at the stake of a great idea.

I also have the biggest difficulty in letting go whether it be a responsibility or a wrongdoing. For the former part of the sentence, this has become very unhealthy habit as I would not delegate tasks effectively. This not only results to delay in organizing plans but also jeopardized the quality of work. In the long term, I end up creating a hostile environment for those who I work with. As for the latter part of the statement, I actually build on first impressions. If someone starts doing wrong in ways I find unacceptable, there is usually little room to gain full redemption. There will always be a big room of skepticism lingering about that particular individual. I admit this is a big flaw as people can change overtime and slip ups are mainly a path to learning.

Finally, a weakness that I portray is not being able to be spontaneous. Somehow or rather, starting college has contributed to me being more shy to contribute. This is largely due to having been to used to preparation. I like having my facts checked before contributing. Thus, extemporaneous speeches have started to become a challenge for me. I remember in a class setting during a discussion, I wanted to contribute to a topic which I strongly felt about. However, the fear of getting my facts wrong and unchecked made me back out and sit quietly in my chair.


The strength and weaknesses results from the survey mostly made sense to me. In the beginning, I felt that there was lacking in congruence as I could not put myself in the perspective of others to envision my characteristics as how they describe. For instance, I would never have enlisted dominance in leadership as a quality that identify with. However, after reading the surveys in more depth, I could finally understand why. Some of the these qualities, as I have stated earlier, I tend to exhibit them stronger than what I believe to have. As for weaknesses, it somehow became a sort of a relief to finally acknowledge my lack of task delegation or task hoarding. I know that it is a healthy step and that I should plow through to fixing it. As for surprises, there were weaknesses that I enlisted that became a strength on other people’s list. One thing that I noticed while self-analyzing, I had such a long negative list while coming out with a rather short strength list. This shows how I have a bad habit of always nitpicking all my bad qualities and quickly labelling them as weaknesses.


My feature benefit is that I am a hustler. The strengths and weaknesses has very much demonstrated how my feature benefit is in alignment with my analysis. I fight to get things done and ensure the best outcome. I have come to hold leadership positions because I always strive for what I feel is best and prioritize accordingly. On the other end of the spectrum, I have also on multiple occasions taken the back seat if that would be the best plan of action to achieve success. Thus, I feel, in the long run, this would definitely help me in my future endeavors, whether it be settling in corporate or working with policies.


The Hardships of Paving History

Journalism defers from regular reporting in a way that it takes an active participation. Journalism has been the propeller and platform for many of the events occurring in history; from slavery, to corruption and to social movements. This all starts with an agenda, as stated in the “Mightier than the Sward” book. Sometimes, this would lead to journalists standing alone and even be exposed to harm’s way. This can be seen in the case of the Liberator, which advocated for slavery to end while other newspaper editors stood against that claim. Thomas Nast on the other hand had to relocate his family due to the death threats he was getting for publishing cartoons against “Boss” Tweed. It must be understood that it takes courage to write for history as it is shaped through time by brave people standing for what they believe in. Henceforth, there is parallelism between events in history and journalists getting prosecuted or persecuted. Journalism has a bigger purpose than just informing because just like the proverb goes, the pen is mightier than the sward.

Losing the Fourth Ammedment

Citizenfour is a documentary film reporting on the monitoring programs by the United States government. The monitoring program itself had been announced since the 9/11 attacks as a preventative measure, but the degree of it is just appalling. The unveiling process of the program was recorded by Laura Poitras, a filmmaker known for projects exposing the NSA. In the film citizen four, she reports that after the release of “My Country, My Country”, she is under the surveillance of the Department of Homeland Security. The message of the film throughout was not just as a platform to expose the NSA, but also the repercussions of doing so. The film shows how Edward Snowden was basically persecuted for exposing the truth. Though there is a whistleblower protection act, a lot of effort is being made to extradite and prosecute Edward Snowden. The documentary puts together raw footages of interviews which makes the film more real rather than it be like a fictional film. The film was well done, engaging and most importantly, informative of the plight of journalism.

Piecing Together Journalism

Journalism is a form of informing and reporting. A big part of it is ensuring that opinions do not mix with facts because that is the basis of journalism. I feel that this principle guards many stories from steering away from the truth, but sometimes, it becomes hard to write. For instance, when writing on the last assignment, it was difficult to write on a neutral front. I have been personally engaged with the issue at such a young age. Thus, when reporting, it felt like I was doing some of injustice for both sides.  On one hand, there is an obligation to tell a story so people can form up their own judgement, but on the other, I feel like I have to shed light on the issue through different angles which might be on the greyer side of neutrality. It is hard to know when I have crossed the line and when it is acceptable. This has definitely put some perspective on Kathleen Kingsbury’s experience with the Boston Globe. Though her writing was comprehensible, it was not as relatable, for I had never written something so close to my beliefs. All in all, journalism is a tough field to crack and it would take a lot of practice and intuition before I can actually write without second guessing every sentence I write.

Brilliant for Current Times

All the President’s Men was released over 4 decades ago. Thus, the story paste and the telling is far from the usual current Hollywood narratives which have become simpler for the sake of a global audience. The nuances in the story are translated very well on screen. The movie was relatively longer than usual movies today, but it was necessary to make the audience understand the arduous task of revealing the truth. Revealing the Watergate scandal was a long process covered under layers of cover up. If looked at multiple efforts under a single lens, it can be awfully boring and uneventful. But Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward showed perseverance and patience as they were dedicated to serving the truth. It is also hard to imagine how their editors were on board by supporting and pushing them so no room of doubt will be left behind. The movie was enlightening and definitely showed cracks of how the world of real journalism is. Let’s face it, any event turned into a movie, dramatization will occur so I might just not put my money on accurate interpretation. However, I do believe that this is as real as it gets.

Getting Away with Murder

The presidential election in 2016 crowned the then controversial candidate, Rodrigo Duterte as the 16th president of the Philippines. Now, rounding to one year of his presidency, news of massive brutality is coming to light. In an article by Kate Lamb published in the Guardian, she writes about the many alleged murders ordered by the president himself. President Duterte’s “gangster-like” ways are known to the public because it comes with basis, although without concrete evidence. With most of the alleged murders conducted by the police, there has yet to exist substantial evidence to incriminate him. He has even admitted in an interview in May 2015 that he is the death squad (referring to the Davao Death Squad (DDS)) and in last December that he has personally done the deed. His actions and policies are a response to his promise to curtail the drug problems in the country. Conditions in the Philippines are troubling as more people are admitting having worked for the president. Most recently, Arturo Lacansas, a 56-year old retired officer who initially denied any existence of the DDS, recanted his testimony to the Philippine senate while under oath. Claiming to have found a spiritual awakening under the guidance of the nuns of Davao, he admits to killing over 200 people while acting under the president’s command. In some of those years, he became the head of the DDS believing at the time he was servicing his country. Many of the victims come from the lower-income background as small dealers and their families are killed silently. News on the president’s violent nature is not new, but his approval rate despite it all should be a concern.

Spotlight: A Film to Look

Spotlight tells the story of a broken system where Roman priests were found to sexually abuse orphaned children. Like most films about journalism in Hollywood, Spotlight tells the story of a team of investigative journalists. After getting a whiff of a lead for a story, one discovery leads to another, strengthening a story beyond any of the reporter’s imagination. The publication of the story led to many more discoveries of such instances which eventually led to a movement to stop those incidents from happening. The story sheds light on how investigative journalism occurs. From finding the right sources to treading along the grey areas of journalism. The film goes by really fast as you would try to absorb as many facts as possible. The dialogues were written in a way to be informative and give context to film watchers while doing it naturally. The impressive cast delivers a convincing performance with good dynamic and chemistry. It makes it believable that this cast of people were real team mates working on something huge. The whole process seem to be very realistic. All in all this was a splendid movie that sheds a realistic light to the world of journalism. Sometimes, it just takes creating a little more rattle to create a stir for change.

Breaking the Falsehood

The first time I watched Shattered Glass was perhaps 7 years ago. Watching it again perhaps has brought a lot perspective on how Stephen Glass should have been caught from the beginning. The story was slow moving but eventually picked up as Glass’ lies begin to deteriorate one by one. The movie depicted how the adored Stephen Glass wrote for The New Republic (TNC) and how 27 of the articles were fabricated. The film is fascinating as it shows how it is easier to receive a good story rather than doubt it. Journalism might have been different then than it is now, but it is hard to grasp idea that such events could happen repeatedly. The performance of Hayden Christensen who played Glass was very believable; from his mannerism to his last scene of downfall. The film was a first that I watched on journalism and it felt so surreal the, and even more now.

Examining Bill O’Reilly’s Exit

The case on Bill O’Reilly is coming to a conclusive end. At least in the case of the direction of his career. Just yesterday, it was reported that O’Reilly will be removed from the Fox News Cable amidst sexual harassment allegations. The New York Times published an article today on how much payout will Bill O’Reilly be eligible to get. Throughout the article, the author maintains that O’Reilly allegedly carried out the act of sexual harassment. This might be due to the fact that the evidence that are available are testimonies from alleged victims and settlements which have not implicated the television host.  If said otherwise, the article would have libel elements and put O’Reilly under false light. The sources in this article who talk about his payout are also left anonymous. This might be due to the nature of information which might be confidential, but is still relatively important in shaping the story. It is in my opinion that the story reported is in accordance with the media law. Although the story might incriminate Bill O’Reilly in some ways, the news reported have been true so far; thus becoming a defense against libel.

The Man Pressing the Nuclear Button

The recent bombing in Afghanistan begs the question whether the president has too much power over war instigation matters. The opinion column by Michael Krepon in the New York Times titled “How to Make the Nuclear Button Safer” addresses the unsettling problem, that in the event of war, the president has unrestrained power of launching a nuclear attack.

I definitely share the same concern as the author. For a man to have such power in times of crisis, is just extremely alarming. One can only imagine the psychology of a man having to make the decision of detonating a bomb that could be responsible for mass killings. The author suggests that the president should be obliged to consult before making such a choice.

Experts should be consulted and an extra man to approve the decision would give a better and more rational insight on the matter. Unsparing weapons as such should not even exist in the first place. However, since the play of power takes precedence above all other issues including safety, innocent lives are sure to bear the biggest brunt. In hindsight, if policy remains unchanged, a repeat of World War 2 might not be so inconceivable. After all, the cracks are already showing.