Friday, January 30, 2009

In Time for Kung Hei Fat Choi

Bacolod is a festive City... people have all the reasons (or think up of any reason) to be happy and celebrate...the trademark "City of Smiles" suits it very well. Just in time for the Chinese New Year celebration, Bacolaodiat was held in Shopping to welcome the year of the ox. Shopping, I often refer as the Chinatown of Bacolod since most of the shops/stores are Chinese owned. And there is a Chinese school in Shopping, St. John's Institute, where 90% of the students have a one syllable family name. Some Chinese families could be found in Shopping too.

A street in Shopping was closed for the festivities and Chopsticks Alley stood in place... it is a food strip where Chinese goodies are sold... There was concert too and big lanterns of the animals. What was so sad was that there was a strong drizzle (is there such a thing??). And what was bad was we didn't bring any umbrella nor jacket. But we braved the night just to take pictures with the lanterns... all 12 animals and the big dragons and all.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Be Your Own Miracle

JUST STAND UP
by: Mariah Carey, Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, Rihanna, Fergie, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge, Natasha Beddingfield, Miley Cyrus, Leona Lewis, Carrie Underwood, Keyshia Cole, Leann Rimes, Ashanti & Ciara


Beyonce: The heart is stronger than you think
Like it can go through anything
And even when you think it can't it finds a way to still push on, though

Carrie: Sometimes you want to run away
Ain't got the patience for the pain
And if you don't believe it look intoYour heart the beat goes on

Rihanna: I'm tellin' you Things get better
Through whateverIf you fall, dust it off, don't let up

Sheryl: Don't you know you can go be your own miracle

Beyonce: You need to know

CHORUS
Sheryl: If the mind keeps thinking you've had enough
But the heart keeps telling you don't give up

Sheryl/Beyonce: Who are we to be
Questioning, wondering what is what
Don't give up THROUGH IT ALL, JUST STAND UP!

Fergie: It's like we all have better days
Problems getting all up in your face

Leona: Just because you go through it

Fergie: Don't mean it got to take control, no

Leona: You ain't gotta find no hiding place

Keyshia: Because the heart can beat the hate

Leona: Don't wanna let your mind keep playin' you

Keyshia: And sayin' you can't go on

Rihanna: I'm tellin' you

Miley: Things get better
Through whatever

Rihanna: If you fall

Miley: Dust if off, don't let up

LeAnn: Don't you know you

Natasha: Can go

LeAnn: Be your own

Natasha: Miracle

Carrie: You need to know


CHORUS
Mary: You don't gotta be a prisoner in your mind

Ciara: If you fall, dust it off

Mary: You can live your life

Rihanna/Carrie: Yeah

Mary: Let your heart be your guide

Rihanna/Carrie: Yeah yeah yeah

Mariah: And you will know that you're good if you trust in the good

Ashanti: Everything will be alright, yeah
Light up the dark, if you follow your heart

Mary: And it will get better

Mariah: Through whatever

CHORUS (2x)

Fergie: You got it in you, find it within
You got it in now, find it within now
You got it in you, find it within
You got it in now, find it within now
You got it in you, find it within
You got it in now, find it within now
Find it within you, find it within

Everyone: THROUGH IT ALL, JUST STAND UP!

-o-
Tonight's such a depressing night! Thoughts of how hard work is now and the urge of quitting is creeping in... but of course that idea I could not entertain right now with the recession and bond..

I wish this is over soon...

Thanks Len for the inspiring advice... =)

In time for a Kung Hei Fat Choi

And so I went home last week... it was a sort of a planned surprise.

So much for the details of the reason...I'll go sidetracked and talk on something lighter...

Good thing Bacolod is a festive City... people have all the reasons (or think up of any reason) to be happy and celebrate...the trademark "City of Smiles" suits it very well. Just in time for the Chinese New Year celebration, Bacolaodiat was held in Shopping to welcome the year of the ox. Shopping, I often refer as the Chinatown of Bacolod since most of the shops/stores are Chinese owned. And there is a Chinese school in Shopping, St. John's Institute, where 90% of the students have a one syllable family name. Some Chinese families could be found in Shopping too.

A street in Shopping was closed for the festivities and Chopsticks Alley stood in place... it is a food strip where Chinese goodies are sold... There was concert too and big lanterns of the animals. What was so sad was that there was a strong drizzle (is there such a thing??). And what was bad was we didn't bring any umbrella nor jacket. But we braved the night just to take pictures with the lanterns... all 12 animals and the big dragons and all.

It was a fun night... =)

Photobucket

And then we proceeded to Business Inn for cansi and tears fell once more. =P

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

No Late Comers for Cebu Pacific

I went home last weekend. Our (me and my brother) flight was scheduled at 4:55 AM. So we took off in the wee hours in the morning, and pursued the airport via commute (which we used to do)! We arrived at the check-in counter around 4:16AM and was told that the check-in counter closed at 4:05 AM. Yikes!!! We missed it by 11 minutes!!!!

So amidst our pleading, we were directed to the ticketing section to have our tickets rebooked. And lo and behold!!! We are to add Php 5580.00 if we want to ride in the next flight. After so much debate with my mom, we decided to take a refund of my brother's air plane tickets and just give the additional payment. If not for the urgency of going home for the weekend, I wouldn't push through with the trip.

All through out this situation, I was so angry. I was so bewildered with the amount difference blaming all of it to Cebu Pacific. My brother who was so calm about all of this, was telling me that it was not Ceb Pac's fault but ours (but specifically me) since we came in late... But I guess, I was just so frustrated with all the money spending... =(

Friday, January 23, 2009

(Chinese) New Year's Resolution

Monday's Chinese New Year. And since I haven't drawn a list of my resolution for 2009 in time for January 1 (which is way over), I am making this list to make that sort-of tradition when a new year has come.... but not for tradition's sake, I hope to fulfill what I'll list here. Hmmm... lets see...

1) I need to drink plenty of water... which I took for granted or sometimes forget... I declared myself dehydrated last 2008!!!

2) One more year at Manila Water, I guess, I should deal with work professionally this year.... there will still be complaints, grunts and whines, but that should be lessened. I have to see the positive of each demand of work...

3) I have to say my prayers more... especially when I am close to be tempted. Praying makes me think... makes me reflect... makes me sort out things...

4) Eat the good and right stuff. I'm going healthy this year.... vegetable over meat, sea foods over other meat, chicken over red meat. And I'm cutting off my softdrink intake.... Hmmm... exercise... I always lose to laziness. I guess it is a bonus if I have some exercise... but if I can't do it, then I guess it will only be a disappointment if I include it here.

5) Explore. Explore. Explore. Go lang ng go!!! As long as I have enough money, I'll travel to unknown (to me) places, dine in new restos and Manila's good finds, see plays and concert... experience new things... discover unknowns... =) Tira tira!!!

6) Number 5 spells expenses... So before doing it, I have to save... kaya nga merong "As long as I have enough money..." which means, whatever is left of my pay after I have deposited to either my WASSLAI or a new savings account which will be untouched for the whole year...hope to have savings reaching 6 figures in total by end of 2009... I'm crossing fingers here.... (gusto ko na kasi magloan for a house and lot through Pag-ibig in 2010)

7) Have an open communication with my family... It seems last year was a busy year... I seldom got to talk to my family... hope this year, it would be part of the new things to happen for 2009

-o-o-
Ending it at 7 since it is God's favorite number. =) Hope with God's grace, I would be proud of myself a year from now... Ang pinakamahirap dito yung #2!!!! =P

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Confirmed Hell Week!

Oh yeah! Now I could confirm this week is hell...

I was so late going to the office today. I was up until 2AM watching the coverage for US Presdident Barack Obama's oath taking. So I rushed my bath and forgo breakfast... I reached the office 45 min 8AM!!!!

And there were incoming call centers of no water in the area. So I told Sir Lawrence to come with me to find out why my area is experiencing no water. Good thing before leaving the office, I approached our SWAT team, Kuya Mana to come with us to do some valving...Which I found out, that he lessened the opening of the valves at Lawton by 15 turns (yikes!) to build up the pressure at the portion before the valve (for the McKinley account) as ordered by Sir Mar. So the area getting water at the Lawton line suffered which is AFPOVAI and Pasong Tamo Ext.

So we called up Boss Mar and told him the status of the area... we then proceeded to monitor the pressure and went to the throttled valve to increase its opening to give water to the affected area...After the incident we went back to the BA for monitoring... I had the SWAT team move in the area for further monitoring of the pressure and eventually Sir Ed returned the settings of the valve to its initial status to return the water and high pressure in the area.

When Boss Mar came,he looked for Kuya Rene's reading of the Bonifacio Naval Station(BNS) account, which I didn't take from Kuya Rene because I was not thinking that it is so urgent and important, more than what is happening in my area. So Sir Mar got so angry because we didn't take the readings and he needs it to compute the consumption of the camp. Bad thing was, Kuya Rene's phone was empty and Tita Tess who was with him can't be contacted too...all the more that Boss Mar got angry...he also got angry at Sir Lawrence and Jovert because they went to do collection leaving our targets pending...

Frustrated with his subordinates, He went to BNS to get the readings himself... :P

Returning to the BA, the Getz he was riding was at stop speed. According to some of my officemates, they were almost hit by our raging Boss...I've seen how the getz was driven inside, amidst the turn, he got it in in 5 sec.

He went directly inside the conference room. By that time, I have Kuya Rene's reading and the my weekly monitoring at hand. I told Kuya Rene to just go with the pressure monitoring team I sent to AFPOVAI and wait til Sir Mar's temper to cool down. Sir Lawrence and I were debating who will go to him and start the discussion of BNS. Since it was my area, it was best that I go to him and be at his mercy.

I approached him and gave him the readings, and hurriedly did some calculations. Afterwhich, he told me, in a neutral (not ok but not angry) voice that I'll include the calculations in my presentations for the challenging later which I did right after.

Lunchtime came and the whole Fort Boni (Sir Mar, Boss Lawrence, Caster, Sir Taggie, Jovert, me and Kuya Rene (!)) plus Ma'am Odette, loaded two service vehicles and went to Chowking at C5. I don't know how Sir Mar was ok with Kuya Rene all of a sudden. But I think it was because before going to lunch, it was C5's turn for challenging. And he gave C5 Business Zone a hard time with their targets to the point that "he made a fool out of them", as he says, which he really enjoys doing. =(

Lunch was like bonding for the team... which we seldom do... times like those, I remember my cadetship... time which has passed and will be in memory...

We came back to the BA to present our targets... which after some debate and justifications, were approved. Sir Mark, the BZM of C5 got back at us and pushed us to increase our targets...It was already 6PM or maybe 6:30PM until the debate, of which Business Zone has to increase their targets, is done. I think my energy was all drained justifying such small growth in the area...just to not have my targets increased.

I got out of the BA planning of watching a play... just to vent out such stress. But thinking of my unwashed undies piled up, I thought of going home instead. =P

It was surely a hell week.. I don't know what will happen tomorrow..

-o0o-
Just before going home, McKinley once again experienced no water in their area. Sir Mar ordered to throttle, once again, the valve at Lawton, decreasing its opening with 10 turns... which of course had me panicking... I don't want to have numerous low pressure and no water complaints!!! So I texted Sir Mar that we'll only decrease it with 5 turns. I hurriedly went to Sir Elmer who is at the pumping station... after discussions regarding McKinley, he ordered me to do some pressure monitoring in the morning, 6AM, which is at peak demand. I bidded to have it done at maybe 8 AM (which is the start of work). And he told me which really took me off guard, "Yan kasi ang problema sa inyo, hindi kayo nagbibigay ng kaunting sakripisyo... Pwede mo naman i-off-set un... pumasok ka ng 6AM para mag-monitoring at umuwi ka ng 2PM kung gusto niyo... Bigyan niyo naman ng oras ang area niyo." I just kept quiet and kept my cool (as usual).... but deep inside, i felt like bursting...

Is it not sacrifice that we extend our working hours everyday to 10 hours to meet the demands of work? Can't you call coming in on Saturdays or even on Sundays without collecting OT pay because it is "responsibility", sacrifice? Or beter yet, losing sleep and still at the BA because of a breakage or doing presentations for the management and still get nothing because they say it is part of work.... hays!!! Maybe they just don't know the meaning of sacrifice.... =((

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Start of the Hellish Week

I think I beginning a hellish week... Is it just because it is the start of the year and that everyone is up to their toes to meet the demands of the pending work left from the very long December holidays and Billed Volume Challenging is here once again.... it is a month of setting targets and coming up with the best justification for the targets set...

Yesterday, I was just at the office... doing the targets for the team... I was rushing all of it because Sir Lawrence took a half day off because his kiddo Kevin is having a hellish cough because of the cold weather...so I took over doing all of it... we have to get it back to our immediate boss so I have to rush it leaving lunch unattainable... hays... good thing, I ate heavy breakfast before going to work... so I haven't really felt hungry until 4PM.

The targets I passed were then asked to be revised.. it was too high as my boss says... so I did a few bargaining with my teammates which took most of my time in the afternoon... so I haven't done any of the piled work...

Today, everything went fine.. I attended the quarterback and when I was out, I continued on the revision of the targets. Lunch came I went to the Makati BA with Sir Nestor and Ma'am Pat... afterwhich I waited for Sir Lawrence to be back at the BA so that I could endorse a customer to him... they went out for lunch with the other guys...

And after doing the above, Kuya Rene and I went on field... it was maybe only about 30 minutes when Sir Mar called me to go back to the BA since there was a customer I need to talk to...

And when I came back, a very very irate customer faced me...

And she was angry because I didn't go to her place to check on her meter and her network... she was billed even if they were out of the country for 3 months and she suspects that the readings of our Meter Reader is ficticious...

She told me, "We are your customers, without us, you won't have salary... Kami ang nagbibigay ng sweldo niyo...If you could not do your job, you better quit." right in front of my boss and some of my colleagues..

I didn't try to defend myself... I'm not really used to join in with someone else's anger...and I'm not used to be tongue lashed.... So I just kept quiet and kept my cool... after the conversation we proceeded to her place for the inspection that she needs... after a few minutes I was done... although i keep on telling myself that i am ok, deep in me, I have never felt bad and degraded by someone who I didn't know and who didn't have the right to do so... but I told myself, that this is all just part of the job... yeah right!?!

After a few minutes, I was disturbed by the non-stop text messages I kept on receiving. So I proceeded to the area reported to be having no water... and found out that one of our pipes were hit by a backhoe of the contractors doing the drainage in the AFPOVAI. Argh!!! Breakage at 3PM... so I guess I'm doing overtime with no pay later as I could not leave the place with the mainline unrepaired...

So the usual operation, I called on a contractor and I told my boss regarding the status of the area... after 2 hours or so or pacifying the customers of why they have a poor pressure to the point that they don't have water, Richard, the head of the contractor came... I was about to get angry since they have to respond to the site ASAP but he brought no one along...it was almost 6 when his people came but we waited a little more for the materials from the stockyard in San Juan. Waiting time was about 3 hours but the job was only done in about 20 minutes...

Good thing, the contractor was used to doing such work... What was so frustrating was the mobiliation and of course the traffic... they can't be at the site in the shortes time possible... =)

I was out of the site by 7pm!!!

So today, it seems that I started the week in hell... but there was a man sworn to office today, starting his presidency in hell...as the US and the whole world awaits for change and hope, I hope he comes out in victory... believing that a representive from the minority can help and make miracles... Yes we can!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Now









Now
by MYMP

Now is all I know
Now is all I got
And I don't know
If there will be tomorrow for us.

Now is all I care about
Now that you are here
Now that you're the contents of my heart.

Now you're all I know
Now is all I promise
And I don't know
If there will be a future for us.

Now is all I live for
Now that you are near
And it was best that from the start it was clear.

Refrain:
Loving is not owning
We can let it go
We can let it go.

Loving is not owning
You can let me go
You can let me go.

Chorus:
There's a reason
Why we love each other now
And we don't know if this is forever.

There's a reason
Why we are together now
And we don't care if it's not forever now.

Now is all I think about
Now that I am happy
And I'm not sure
If there will be a future for us.

Now is all I offer
It's everything I got
And I still wish
That there will be a tomorrow for us.

(Repeat Refrain)
(Repeat Chorus)
Ad Lib
(Repeat Refrain)
(Repeat Chorus except last word)
(Repeat Chorus)

Coda:
We love each other now...

-o-
I love the song... and its message...

I love the line saying, "Loving is not owning, you should let me go..."
I guess that is one of the best definition of loving.. letting someone flap his/her own wings... to fly for individuality...

But I think this song does not believe in forever... it simply says to love your best at the moment... Contradicting, I think love should be seeing oneself together with someone (you are with now)not just now but later in the future as well.. That's why romantics paint their dreams with their partner... =)

But I guess, amidst with the unforseen, Now tells us to take the risk of loving... even for the moment.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Freezin' in a Tropical Country

It is F*CK-ing freezing cold!!!! It has been almost been 15 days since the cold month of December yet here we are experiencing the coldest night so far. Two days ago, news had it that temperature has dropped to 11 C. So I guess now we're down to a 9 C??? Yikes...

We're in our cold-deflector clothes... geared up in pajamas, jackets, scarf/shawl, and socks...Mel has almost the same outfit as mine plus the "bonnet" he made out of an old shirt. He even prepared warm water and we soaked our cold feet for temporary warmth.

I don't know how much more I could take of this before my system breaks down and catch a flu. A lot of people are sneezing and coughing in the MRT... and soon enough each one will be a virus holder... =) Which give me an idea... I'll pretend to be sick because of the very cold environment and not go to work... hehehehe!!!! I wish i could do it really, but it will still be me who will suffer as work will be piling up due to not attending to them... = (

In the Demand at 33

I left my work phone at the house today. And when I got home, I found it full of new messages... 33 new messages in exact number. To date, I think this is the most number of messages I received in a day without initiating conversation with anyone... let alone replying to any of the texts. And unfortunately, all these texts message indicates the demands of work since I have separated work from my personal line... At the other side of the coin though, this spells my worth in my work... =) I'm worth 33 messages.. wahahah!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Rigodon for the nth time

This is purely work stuff...

Early today, I arrived at the BA with no BALT (BA Leadership Team) around. There were less of the service vehicle as well. My hunch that they are at the main office was confirmed by the guard. I proceeded to work at the conference room and was later disturbed by the news that Boss Bob is transferring and would not be our ABM anymore. And there was the call Joan received from whoever that was at the other line, confirming the news.

The news spread so fast and has reached each and every employee of Taguig office way before the the BALT have arrive and give the news themselves since they got the news firsthand. So when they arrived, we just kept quiet regarding the news pretending we don't know and waited for the official confirmation which they didn't fail to give us.

Sir Bob is transferring to Laguna and will take charge of the local water district there. For the time being, Ma'am Ron,which is our Revenue Manager, will continue to be an OIC for the Taguig BA. Frankly I'm relieved since Boss Bob was really such a strict Boss and has a very hard standards with regards to meeting our targets. But the man is really really good, both technically and related to the business. But the man has to go if the man has to go. Some celebrated because of relief... some I guess are clamoring of what's the future of Taguig. As for me, I'm neutral for whatever is directive of the top Management.

On a different note, but i guess still related to the cross-posting... I am quite facinated that amidst the recession we are experiencing globally, Manila water is expanding its business. When Manila Water took over together with Maynilad, Manila Water covered the east part of the MWSS serviced area (Makati, Taguig, Pateros, Mandaluyong, Marikina, Pasig, some parts of QC, etc.). Now, the province of Rizal is serviced by the company. The local water district in a city in India is currently managed by a team of experts from Manila Water. Last year, we have sent engineers in Vietnam to manage the pipe system of Ho Chi Min City. The waste water problem of Boracay is currently handled by a team of engineers dispatched in the islands. Teams are being formed to house the office in Bulacan as we are taking over the management of the water district of the province. And now, Sir Bob is leading a team in Laguna to give potable water in the area, with quality service, 24/7.

No wonder, each year Manila Water is hiring 25-30 professionals to join the company. And now, HR is hiring 2 batches of cadets to fill the business need. =)

-o0o-
I just hope someday, I am enroute to Ilo-ilo or maybe in Bacolod as Manila Water will take over the local water district in the province. At least I will no longer be away from my family and I won't spend a large amount for air fare just to go home... I'm crossing my fingers. And maybe that's where I would find reasons to stay... =)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Laundry Aid

I am so glad to wash clothes now. As I seek the help of technology, I am now typing this blog while my clothes are being washed. Nope, I didn't have it done by the laundry shop like we used to during our lazy times, nor I have household help ordered to do it. But it is there, washed, tumbled until the dirt does not adhere to it. But I still do the rinsing to have my laundry time short and my brother does the hanging of clothes. You see, my laundry aid isn't much of an all around. But so far, I am so glad it is here and is helping me wash my clothes clean. Laundry hasn't been much of a favorite chore as I would end up with sore arms and wet butt in the late night. But now, laundry is moved to notch higher in terms of an enjoyable chore (uhm, is there such a thing??) ... thanks to my laundry aid..

By the way, I just bought a new washing machine.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Great Buys

I hovered around Ali Mall after we got off from our hitched ride with one of our colleagues. Maybe just to kill time (I'm home alone in the house so I'm not eager to go home to an empty house) and hoping for the rains to stop, I searched through some stores at the mall. I used to wander around Cubao during my first year in college everytime we are in the Metro (I used to be staying in elbi then) for the weekend, but after 8 years, it seems like Ali Mall is very new to me. The facade is still the same but it isn't the usual crowded place and there are a lot of new stores around I can't help but to look into them.

A humongous store at AliMall is the Shoe Center. I guess this is where the Shoe Expo transferred since there are no longer as abundant near the Bus Terminal. And lucky me, everything's on sale!!! I was thinking of getting myself a gladiator sandals when I saw the pair of slip-ons I have been eyeing at Rusty Lopez's stores for quite some time. Add to that was a cute close pointed formal shoes which I thought I need for the upcoming SILAB anniversary (kaya Sisses, please!!!! Give us a formal or at least a semi formal party, our excuse for dressing up and wear those killer shoes!). And I got both pair of shoes with more than 50% off the price!!!! Weeeehhhh!!!! I love!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Veggie Venture

For tonight's first home alone for the week, I'm starting off my vegetable evening diet. I'm back to my fast-paced life and I no longer have somebody around to do things for me like fixing my food let alone mix me a salad. So I dropped by the grocery and grabbed lettuce, carrots, tomatoes, cucumber and a variety of dressing to mix a very fast vegetable salad for dinner.

Frankly, I'm doing this to lose a little weight I gained over the holidays. I look really fat and my office uniform is proof to that since I hardly fit into it. So just to go back to my old physique, I'm eating grass at the time when metabolism is slow yet I still eat normally during the day... =) Hope this works!!!

I'm contemplating on doing exercise too... but for now, this veggie venture is my sacrifice.

Photobucket
Dinner: Veggies with French Dressing

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Post New Year Gathering

Weekends during highschool, we used to hang-out at Boy's place. Even get-together during school breaks, we gather at Boy's house. We usually meet up at Lopue's East for grocery of our lunch or merienda and load a tryk to their house. We bond through cooking, eating what we have come up, mix of drinks (sometimes wine courtesy of Tita Evelyn, Boy's mom), and watching TV.

We miss that.

So just before going back to our busy lives, we once again gathered at the Gajardo Residence the way we used to... =)

Len and I met up at Lopue's East. I was a bit running late so Len did the grocery ahead. Our menu is lasagna or baked penne, but we settled with baked macaroni for there are no longer any pasta in the grocery except spaghetti and macaroni. We also added a half gallon of ice cream just because they are giving out another one half gallon for free!!! Hehehe!!! Mahiligon gid kami sa buy-one-take-one!!!

Before going to Boy's we first dropped by Pink Elephant to check on their stocks of Havainas since I don't have a size at Robinson's. I guess, I have to get my pair of havs from Manila as I don't have a size anymore at any store carrying the merchandise.

Upon arriving at Boy's place, we executed to work on our pasta. With three "chefs" in the kitchen we arrived at a very sumptuous merienda of baked macaroni and garlic bread. That's, I guess, an improvement from what we used to cook of spaghetti or home-made pizza. Johnnar brought us drinks as well as Tita Evelyn who just arrived from a party at their church.
PhotobucketPhotobucket

Just before we were on the desserts (yum! ice cream!), Len got a call from her mom saying that she needs to go to Riverside as her lola who is critical is doing roll call of her grandchildren saying she is seeing "people" fetching her. So we went with Len outside the garden area to wait for her cab and while doing so, we feasted on taking photos as proof of this gathering.

Photobucket

After Len left, we waited for 5PM to attend mass at the church near Boy's place. This is part of the initial plan, just like a few years back. We just hang out at Boy's TV area watching movies at HBO and then reruns of American Idol. Though threesome (Boy, Johnnar, me), it never felt three's a crowd... especially with the couple, they make sure you won't be the third wheel.

After the mass, I headed home. And as I do so, I contemplate as how much I have miss my girls... hehehe!!! I was only with them for the fun Sipalay trip last November 30... but with a short span of time, I missed them. With the fact that Diane and Kat are now in the States, and Boy who will go there too this January, and Frae who I seldom got to see because we just could not make our scheds work for us to meet here in Manila, and Len who I only got to see everytime I go home, I am sad that as much as we love to meet up, but we can't. We have so much to do together but we have so little time. But that is the secret of the friendship we have kept and shared for more than a decade.... it is the longingness to be with one another. =)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Thumbs Up for 2008

2008 has come and passed... but it left me great lessons and great experiences. Add to that new friends and a renewed spirit. Here are some of the highlights of 2008 with no particular order...


Work
Start of the year of the rat, was also the pivoting point of my management career in Manila Water. As I was assigned to manage my own area in Makati, I was able to decide on my own with matters of work. TP26 was quite a challenge especially with the big receivables of the area... but I guess I did well cutting the AR days low and meeting my collection target, or surpassing it, month after month. TP 26 was also a challenge with regards to NRW and old live lines in the area... but with that I was able to practice project design.... =)

I am actually reading my fears now in my blogs last year and I was proud that I overpowered my demons. But reading through that I saw time and time again how I was ever since, I have low self-confidence. I seem not to know my capabilities... it would always be others who will see them. =(

With the good performance in TP 26, I was transferred to manage a bigger area with a huge responsibility, TP 6. Until now, I have to put up with a continuous struggle to keep the area in a not so chaotic state. TP 6 and TP 26 is 360 different. But TP6 is not new to me, as this is my training ground during cadetship. TP 6 equals major accounts, unbreak People's Organiation, and a mix of the elite and the low-income families. Add to that the issues on disputed lands where the local and national government puts a finger into since election time is almost near...

Highlight of work in 2008 was my successful events management... I was able to pull off A Day with the Key Accounts... I guess I have to thank SILAB for this as each year during my residency, we have a lot of events to hold to publicize SILAB then.

Ayala Olympics took also the spotlight for 2008. Why not??? If the company bagged almost 3/4 of the golds in all events and winning the Championship for the Ayala Olympics and even the 2 MVP titles. We even got tired of cheering the same cheer, the cheer for winning a gold since its always that... wahahah!!!And the event only takes place once in every four years. So I might be out of Manila Water before it will happen again.

2008 spells transitions in work... a lot of colleagues have left Taguig and has transfered to other departments. There was Ma'am Linda, Sir Sundy, Jhap, Boss Pete, Bles, Jalil, Jep, Sir Lanier, Badet, Ate More, and Jacki. Ryan left the company last year. But out with the old, in with the new. Batch 17 came which are Jovert, Chel, Bing, Lati, Aaron, and Neil. Sadly Aaron and Neil did not finish the cadetship training. Then Boss Bob also took the position of ABM... and there was of course Rocky who came in at the end of November.


Great Travels and Visits
Last year, I had a bang with seeing the world... uhm, just the Philippines, as starter. I headed the beach for quite a number of times. First was the Zambales trip where we set foot to an island with no amenities and a dead spot for our celphones. Anawangin and Capones was an escape-ala-survivor trip as we pitched our tents, make (just make, we don't have to search) our own food on the island, and fetching water from a deepwell. And reaching the lighthouse made me remember a teacher way back in highschool when he got angry at the creme de la creme of the batch... he said "Be like lighthouses. They don't need to speak up to be noticed. They just light up." --- wahahaha!!! Di connect. Hehehe!!! but seriously, it almost made me quit on pursuing the lighthouse but going through it made the top more worthwhile. On that trip, I gained 3 more friends: Donna, Bembem, and Yuuji.

And there was the company outing, also in Zambales. I should have included this in the highlights of work but I guess I enjoyed it too much it wasn't work at all. I got to bond with my batchmates and my colleagues... and got rid of the killer looks of the oldies as we had them understand the beach fashion of our generation as the cadets strutted the beach with our bikinis.

Included in this list is the Laoag-Vigan-Pagudpod trip. It was fun to discover North Luzon and its rich political culture and history. And the experience on reaching the Bangui windmills is the highlight of that trip... and the picture perfect sites... I so love the north! Lesson on that trip: magtanong lang...di ka maliligaw!

Last year gave me an opportunity to go home for quite a number of times... if I remember it right, I went home 5 times last year. Thanks to Cebu Pacific low fares... and the free one, I was able to go back to Mambucal, do a real Visita Iglesia with my brothers and cousins, set foot to Sipalay, countless get-togethers with my barkada and the family, catch the last events of Masskara, was able to see the Ruins and Balay Negrense and visit Balay Alibangbang as well. I was able to go back to Pala-pala and Balaring and had a sea-food overload diet. I was able to hit cafes like Bob's, Bascon Cafe and Kuppa and had my caffeine tolerance challenged. Super yummy!!!! Going home also spells cheap spa experience and getting de-stress sessions when we get our nails done.

2008 is not only about us going home... we also had visitors from the province and elsewhere. Manong came over for vacation here.. a highlight of that visit is the trip to Manila Ocean Park... and our fun finding it...we had a chance to visit Luneta Park because we got lost going there. Mama also came here to attend the Food Convention at the World Trade Center. It was really of a bonding trip for me and Ma and Ma and Mel. I brought Mom to the La Mesa Dam to her delight! Cyhna also came to Manila for an interview...together with Mel, we bond around the city's great malls and of course feasted on food! Diane also came with Ads to Manila. Diane had her eyes lasered to decrease the grade of her eyes. Paolo had his visit here in Manila alone and so is Ji... they also had a visit together... wahahah!!!

Other highlights of 2008 in terms of going around is the trip to Manila zoo with Mel which was so fun... the Kinder zoo was a new experience. Going around the metro with SILAK and SILAB for the Ilonggo Tour was for the nth time fun even though it was tiring...and to cap the events in Manila is the EK trip I had with my co-cadets in Tpat!


2008 Spells Drama
As for my other addiction aside from travel, theater, I was able to expand my theater experience... It has notched up a little bit as aside from Dulaang UP or Repertory Philippines, now I look forward to PETA... and Stages... I still have to save up on plays shown in CCP though... their's smells expensive...


Assets
2008 equals great buys for me. I have acquired a new digicam at the beginning of the year. I love the cam as it is very handy and user friendly not to mention the price and the discount I got. I got it from ebay with only 13k while the price market at that time is 33k. =) That was the 1st online transaction I had... and so far so good.

I don't know if this is an asset but Mel and I got ourselves Aurora, our chowchow for a pet. We got her when she was only 3 mo...and now 7 months after, we are still hoping she is a good investment and soon to be helping us with our finances as we'll be breeding dogs this year, to get another breed of dog everytime she gives us a litter of pups... hope through Rori, we will have a pug, a shih tzu or a chihuahua...or perhaps a yorkie or a pomeranian...yeah! The list goes on... hehehe!!! I almost cried (I think I got teary eyed while withdrawing) when we acquired her since it really cut my salary to almost nada!

And in the the end of 3rd quarter, i bought myself a refrigerator...now we are enoying icecreams, and ice box cakes. We could throw in stuff to make a salad... and we could now store cold cuts... and our left overs too... One thing I can't forget too on acquiring a ref is the first hand lesson I had on credit limit and intallments... hehehe... (read previous blogs).


Money Matters
2008 was quite a spending year. But I forced myself to save. I enrolled in our WASSLAI, a savings and loan in the company... And every pay day, I had my salary cut off a few thousands for savings....and it earned a few dividends for the year... =) And I can't afford to have my atm run dry... I always see to it that it doesn't get so low to the point where I could not have for emergency like sickness or worst being hospitalized... We don't have family here and it would always be hard to acquire money when you really really need ASAP.


Health
I'm proud to say, I gained about 8 pounds the whole year. I'm back to my original college weight. I lost so much weight during plant design and reviewing for the boards... and then amidst bumming before getting into Manila Water, I still haven't achieve what used to be my weight. Then I entered the company where I slaved myself... wahaha!

It is only in 2008 that I began to appreciate my earnings and treated myself to little things like bread talk, icecreams, dinners with friends, Krispy Kreme... i have this thinking at the back of my head that I deserve to treat myself with good food... =)

I'm still tired with getting exercise. Tina and I started jogging at Boni Highstreet before but eventually quit doing it.. Then Kat and I have our sessions of jogging too at UP.. but due to change in her scheds we have to quit on it. And of course blame it on the non-existence of persistence in my system..hehehe!!!


Fam
This year was a big challenge for the family. Papa got sick in the middle of the year. He had problems with his gall bladder. And with the complications of his heart, we could not get the gall bladder out which is the supposedly the solution to the problem. Papa's condition had me fly to Iloilo in a rush...hehehe!

The family business is growing in an awesome note. I was actually thinking of quitting work and help the fam on the business but I have to have other means or work in another company in Bacolod...and I'm thinking of teaching while doing all these... plus we need to find a place for the dog breeding...

Had problems with relationships within the family at the end of the year. I don't actually know how this started. I don't know... ='( I'm praying for this...


Friends
A lot of friends has come this year in 2008... and a lot has left or moved out of the country. Batch 17 came in this year... and new batches in SILAK and SILAB joined the number. Reunion in the organization gave us the chance to meet a lot of other alumni...Meet-ups with the cadets in Tpat is a venue to know those that left the portals of Taguig and the company... The barkada is now growing as the boyfies are now introduced and is included in our gimicks... got to meet Johnnar, Boy's boyfie and Rafael, Ate's boyfie at the end of the year... hope I could introduce mine soon...wahahaha!!!

On the otherhand a few people moved out... Ron and Mike went back to the province, Yvette went to Singapore for work and Ryan left the company and is now at Japan (I think)..Diane left for the States at the end of the year.. =(


SFC
The most important in 2008 is I guess joining SFC. I haven't blogged about the weekly sessions (Tuesday) we have at Delaney Hall last year, afraid that I might end up not finishing them. I haven't miss any session amidst my laziness...I gained more friends... got closer with the girls in my household. And most importantly is that I have renewed my relationship with the Lord. Although I still have to work on my bad habits and I admit I am still so so far from being a saint, but I guess, this is my start... my transition... to just let go and let God.

-o0o-
2008 was a great year. It gave us opportunities.. at work I gained my confidence in myself... yet at the same time, I learned to be humble. Travels gave me opportunities to appreciate the time that i have and the location I am in... include to that are the people I am with. Family and friends are my constant support...they have boost my morale after a great battle. SILAK and SILAB have always been there.. my second family in Manila... we're not related by blood but we're related by promise. SFC, hands down... I just don't know the feeling each time... can't put it to writing... =)

2008 is over... and it left me with a smile in my lips. (",)

Happy New Year everyone!!! Hope to have a bang with all of you this year!
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