Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Good Morning Shrek!

Shrek is so adorable :) I even got myself a toy from McDonald's and he burps!

Anyway, watch this Good Morning video made by HP:



Watch all the other HP videos here. Or head on over to my work blog and learn why it's important to have a new media campaign for your products/services.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Musings on Miss U

I've been trying to sleep for the past hour, I think I must've worked-up my brain too much and it just doesn't want to switch off! Arrghhh!

Earlier today (technically yesterday) I was suddenly awakened from a very nice dream by Mabel (a friend who's been staying over coz she's fixing her wedding) who was shuffling about the room so early in the morning. She was rushing out to watch the live telecast of Miss Universe. I tried to go back to sleep, but the really nice dream I was having was long gone. So I got up and shimmied over to my study room to start work. I wasn't keen on watching Miss U. Why?

Back in college we had a very long discussion in International Studies class under Dr. Wilfrido Villacorta about how the Miss Universe pageant is actually a political and economic tool. It was a very long discussion that even included the Cold War and I don't really want to get into that here in my blog. I think the last Miss Universe show I really watched was the one held here in Manila (with Charlene Gonzales). After that class discussion I totally lost interest watching pageants.

Anyway, this morning I had a friend who was updating me live through IM. After Miss USA's fall he asked me, who do you think will win? I mentioned that I saw Miss Japan in the news and thought she was kinda pretty and said I hope Miss Philippines would win (imagine all the goodwill and investments for our country if she wins - well she won Miss Photogenic, fair enough). I said that the winner would probably be Asian, not because there's any political upheaval to downplay, but because our region is an emerging market... and guess who's the most influential in the region right now?

The things you think about at 3 in the morning. LOL.

Monday, May 28, 2007

A Nap vs. a Post and Being Cheesy

For some insane reason, I can't write, ergo, I can't blog! Urg!!!

Jozzua cited some reasons why he couldn't blog and I left a comment in his blog that for me it's sometimes a call between what's more satisfying: a nap vs. a post OR sometimes I'm just too happy to write (I'm a creative writer, so everything depends on my muse and I think she might've gone off to a beach or something coz I just couldn't really write right now).

And here's my disclaimer: I'm not happy because I'm in love or something. I'm just really too happy over some progress I've had for work and that's just about it. Nerdy huh? LOL.

So, instead of spending time in front of my boyfriend, my PC. I decided to watch a DVD I borrowed from my neighbor, Jaja - Music & Lyrics, the romantic, feel-good movie starring Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore. I was quite surprised how Hugh Grant seems to have aged in just a couple of years since Notting Hill (another fave movie). I absolutely adore the theme song, "Way Back into Love". And I quote -

[Cora] I've been living with a shadow overhead I've been sleeping with a cloud above my bed I've been lonely for so long Trapped in the past, I just can't seem to move on

[Alex]
I've been hiding all my hopes and dreams away Just in case I ever need them again someday I've been setting aside time To clear a little space in the corners of my mind

[Cora & Alex]
All I wanna do is find a way back into love I can't make it through without a way back into love Oh oh oh
I'm pretty sure my neighbor (not Jaja) is so annoyed already over hearing the song again and again. Haha.

Don't you just sometimes wish there's someone you can duet with? But, then again, I've got so much work to do :p

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Customer Care, I Just Don't Care!

I was telling a colleague that perhaps it's Asian culture that we aren't "ranters". We aren't straightforward and we never really say what we mean. We are such "yes" people and we usually end up just mumbling and keeping complaints to ourselves. It's quite rare that you would find somebody making a scene at a restaurant or a shop. Hmmm... that's probably why blogs have the power to make or break a product/service.

I've experienced quite a number of bad customer service. And I've just had more than enough of it. So allow me to blog about it a bit. I won't be naming the companies because I am not out to "break" them, I hope they or similar companies would just take a hint.
  • This company is a well-known courier worldwide whose local HQ is somewhere along Pasong Tamo. I had quite a lot to say when I complained about their service. And I got a very arrogant reply, "We're the best here, maghanap kayo ng ibang mas magaling sa amin." (find someone who's better than us).
  • This resto is named after a day in a week. I think they cannot keep up with the demand when they are full. My friend had to wait about 20 minutes just to get his extra rice. We also had to wait more than 15 minutes just to get our beverages served.
I've been seriously canvassing the past few days for a laptop and this is what I could say about the bad service I've been getting:
  • This PC shop is known for express service. They'll tell you they can build up your PC in 2 hours, 2 hours to the second power and they'll show you how annoyed they are when you follow-up with them. Yeah, express indeed, I had to have my PC revived 4 times in less than a year. I met the owner of this chain of stores and realized that the saying, "The root becomes the fruit" is very true indeed. After buying 1 PC from them and spending again just to keep it up and running, I won't consider buying from them ever again.
  • I was very much disappointed in the leading competitor of the PC shop mentioned above. I couldn't understand why the salesperson seemed hesitant to bring out the laptop from the shelf. Maybe he thought I couldn't afford to buy one because I was just wearing a white Bohol t-shirt, jeans and sneakers. What made it worse, one of their staff kept bumping into me without even saying sorry. I know your shop is just like an eskinita in Park Square, but hey you can always say excuse me if you need to pass. Disappointed, I headed over to Octagon (right in front of you) and got much better service and attention. Electroworld, which is beside you, gives much better service as well. Sayang, mabait pa naman your owners.
  • Another PC shop which I think needs to improve their customer service is a shop named after the seat of technology in California. It may not be an actual city, but it's where Mountain View is located and where a lot of new technologies were born. I wanted to check out a Compaq laptop in that shop and the salesman told me, "Naka-lock po eh." Isn't that why you have keys to open it? I'm not going to ran out of you shop with it. Hay nako.
Yes, it's really annoying. In the US you get automatically greeted by shop attendants when you enter a store, any kind of store. Sometimes it could get quite disconcerting, but eventually you get the hang of it and you just happily greet them back. Everybody there asks, "How are you today?" - even in the cafeteria pila.

Oh well, the quest for the best laptop continues. Have you ever experienced such atrocities? Forgive me for ranting :p

Friday, May 25, 2007

Getting Over Stage Fright

May 24, 2007, Hotel Sofitel, Manila
Wrote this during the 38th National Marketing Conference
Seated at the speakers couch

I think I just managed to get over stage fright. I did the unthinkable today. Something I never, ever imagined I’d put myself into. Never in my wildest dreams.

Funny, I have photos in this pose in all of my speaking engagements. LOL.

A lot of people wouldn’t believe this, and a friend of mine was simply shocked when I told him. I have stage fright. I quit taking piano lessons when I was a kid because I hated doing recitals. I always volunteered to do papers in school reports just so I wouldn’t have to present in class. I always got bulol and froze up during presentations. I got through grad school where you have to make many, many presentations, but I never got over it. The last statement I got from my defense panel chair in grad school said, “Iha, you are ready for the world, but you have to get over your shyness.”

The audience, about a thousand marketers.

Me shy? A lot of my friends would laugh off this statement. They’d tell you I’m definitely NOT shy. I am, especially when it comes to doing presentations and crowds. Notice how quiet I get when I’m speaking to more than 2 people. Unbelievable, but true.

Today I spoke to an audience of a thousand marketers. I was driving the stage manager crazy backstage because I was already hyperventilating. Can I just cry a bit now? LOL.

As I said, never in my wildest dreams.

So what did the trick? I prayed. It’s my job, but I’d like to say that to me it’s not just another job. My work is one of my many passions and nothing, not even stage fright should be an obstacle to meeting my goals. And, I prayed again.

Warm fuzzy feeling.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Feels GREAT to be Pinoy

I've always been vocal about being "proudly Pinoy". I shared here in my blog a few months ago Why I Wanna Stay Home and I still do because I know I have a mission to accomplish here.

Anyway, Marc tagged me for the meme, "What are the 3 signs you see happening now that make you say, “it feels great to be Pinoy” then tag ten (10) of your blogger friends." Here are my 3 reasons:

1. Pinky David, Licensing Director of Discovery Channel in her keynote address for the 38th Marketing Conference this morning quoted Tony Meloto's speech for a Gawad Kalinga event, "Filipinos, you were created for excellence...". That gave me the shivers and I remember my Kuya sharing to me that GK will indeed manage to build 700K+ homes within 7 years and it will drastically lessen the poverty rate in the Philippines. And, guess what, GK is already reaching out to other countries and working with the UN to eradicate poverty as well in other countries. The secret to the success of the program? Pinoys.

2. Filipinos give care and help in healing people. Did you know that 40% of nurses in New York hospitals are supposedly Pinoys? (I got that statistic from a friend.) Who'd give the TLC that patients and children need if there weren't Pinoys?

3. Filipinos are very talented and creative people. Guess who sings at bars all over Asia? Guess what Pizza Hut ad actually contributed to the boom of the 1-800 numbers (now sing it - nine-one-one-one-one-one-one!? Guess who are the best animators in the world (remember that bahay kubo in Nemo's aquarium? And who does the best non-American "American accent" in the whole wide BPO industry? PINOYS!

God loves us. He created us to be excellent, talented, big-hearted, humorous-even-at-adversity people and there are actually foreigners applying for Filipino citizenship! Imagine that.

And I am just simply so PROUD to be FILIPINO!

And now I'm tagging my friends:
Tappy, Anne, Lady Cess, Sasha, Rico, Jonas, Honey, Janette, Blogie and Andrew.

(And that covers Singapore, Makati, QC, Paranaque, Cagayan de Oro and Davao)

Monday, May 21, 2007

A Puppy, Coming Soon!

I just finally managed to dig deeper into Tappy's blog and read her post, "To all the dogs I've loved before". Awwww!

I feel sad. My pet fighting fish, Beans, jumped out of his bowl yesterday, just like Pork. I arrived late afternoon from the IFEX show and thought the little strip on the floor was a piece of electric tape. Ignored it and only realized it was Beans when I looked at his bowl.

Noooooooo!!!

Sigh.

I was telling Gail a while back that the last time I had a pet was years ago. You see, I get too attached to them and I oftentimes end up mourning for quite a while. The last time I had a dog was about 7 years ago. Hop-hop was Charlie's (Tappy's dog) daughter. We had to "assign" Hophop to our factory in Cavite because she was quite a bundle to take care of and Miguel was still little back then. I haven't seen her for quite a while, but I hear she's got lots of puppies already.

Before Hophop I had Cotton, a japanese spitz. My sister left her to me when she left Manila to take her masters degree in the US. I had Cotton for quite a while, but when she passed away it took a long while for my Mom to convince me to eat again. Get the picture?

I have Patch now, a retarded askal. Funny how my colleagues thought that an askal was a new breed and they all just had to groan when I said an askal is an asong kalye, a streetdog. You see, Pornthip has a poodle, Francisco owns a labrador and I'm not sure if Hanson has a dog too. Anyway, they had a bowl of laughs when I finally revealed that I have a retarded streetdog and not a dog with an exotic breed. So, I don't really play with Patch anymore coz sometimes he forgets who I am and ends up growling at me. Almost bit my hand off a few weeks ago.

Anyway, Gail's supposed to give me a new puppy in a couple of weeks. I'm sure my Mom will hit the roof when she sees him. Gail said that the puppy looks a lot like Sasha's rascal dog, Oscar. I hope the puppy won't be as spunky as Oscar! :p

I am quite nervous about it, but excited to have somebody else (other than Miguel) annoy me. I'm also hoping that Marc's other pregnant hamster doesn't get murdered so I can have one of them too.

Well, the most exciting thing to think about right now is... what should I name my new puppy?

Any ideas?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

On Eskinitas, 80s Music and Love

Listening to music from the 80s while blogging offline here at the International Food Expo, World Trade Center.


Must keep awake. Must keep awake.


Last night at Markku’s invitation I attended the RockEd Radio-Pisay Keep Your Promises event was held Bigsky in E. Rodriguez, Quezon City. I thought it was really cool and productive for these individuals to hold such events. A few weeks ago they had a coastal clean-up at the Hundred Islands, Pangasinan. They are definitely having fun and helping other people as well.


After the event we were off to Eskinita. Eskinata is an alley full of bars and restos across the ABS-CBN compound. We went to a videoke bar owned by Joey Boy’s kumpare. What was interesting about the place was the “college” feel and uh the wannabes all dressed up waiting to be discovered. Sasha said that they should just go to Greenbelt or The Fort if they wanted to dress-up. LOL. Well, overall, it was still quite a fun place, most especially since the Pisay people were really down-to-earth.


Crazy for You
. Now playing my dear friend. LOL. (Pun intended, sorry just being pilya).


Which brings me to some questions that have been brought to my attention from conversations I’ve had the past week with some friends:

  1. In a relationship, who should you please more? Your partner or yourself? They all say that it should be a give-and-take relationship. Methinks it’s all about managing expectations and not being bratty. I don’t believe in “noisy” relationships. I don’t need that kind of stress.
  2. If your partner has a very colorful past (or plainly, a past), how should you go about accepting that? Methinks that if you love someone you should accept his past, present and future. No judgments.
  3. If you suffered a badly, beaten, broken heart, how should you go about mending it? Should you seek revenge by breaking each and every heart who comes across you? Should you stay single, not pursue a person even though it’s quite obvious you like her? I believe in taking the risk for the right person. If he’s worth it, why not? If you don’t then it’s either you’re a sissy or just plain selfish.


Well, what’s the hullabaloo about love anyway? Gawd, it’s been really a long time! LOL.


Thanks to Mum and Dad for being always being there.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Saturdays and Color me Black

Saturdays are for sleeping in and snuggling in bed.

I wish I was still in bed. Am at work. Hohumm.

Last night I had fab time with Anne scouting for the following:

Black turtleneck
Black bootleg pants
Black boots
Black trench coat
Black shades

You must be wondering where I’m going to wear it and what for. Anyway, you gotta see me live at the National Marketing Conference next week. I have yet to decide whether I’m going to post a photo. Gawd, the things I get myself into.

I was actually quite freaked out over the “costume” I have to wear. Why? I’m really a t-shirt girl. I don’t really like dressing up, much less fixing my hair and wearing make-up to look really spiffy! Ask Sasha, she had quite a hard time fixing me up during the Philippine Blog Awards.

Black turtleneck – my hidden tummy!
Black bootleg pants – my pata!










Black boots – I’ve never worn boots in my entire life!











Black trench coat – uh, I live in a tropical country! Good thing my Tita just arrived from the US and has one. (I'm still looking for it in her balikbayan boxes).

Black shades – I can live with this one, I love going to the beach anyway.

Sasha told me that I have to put my hair up and put goo, I mean gel, all over it. Grrrrr!

Considering the fact that I have to deliver a “talk”, I hope I don’t mess up either.

So help me God.



Translations

Pata – thighs
Tita - Aunt

How to Survive a Trade Show

I’ve been doing trade shows for 8 years now. I can’t really imagine how my Mom and I survived participating in the Manila FAME International. We had to do everything from scratch – the booth set-up (design, carpentry, the works), hauling the furniture, marketing collaterals, developing our own website down to being booth attendants and selling and manufacturing! Whew! That was a lot, but that’s how I learned.

In the corporate world though attending trade shows could be a drag, especially if you’re marketing a product that you are not passionate about (and basically you’ll really hate it if you’re not passionate about your job). I used to be a product manager and I had to trickle down my enthusiasm to my staff in order to meet my goals (and break-even!). Believe me, my boss was soooo strict and I had to make sure that the money that we spent would come back. I didn’t want to get beaten to death, so I made sure that I had fun and my staff had a fabulous time.

I’m kinda stuck in another trade show right now. It’s just me and my lovely laptop. Forgot to bring a book, so I have to entertain myself by blogging offline (no wifi here!) and reminiscing what I used to do with my staff. And these are what I remember:

(1) Eat. A lot. Make your staff happy by feeding them right. Hungry soldiers won’t win you a war.

(2) Be happy. No matter how boring things get, happy thoughts would keep you awake.

(3) Know your goals. I know there are times that you’d be quite lazy to mingle with clients or co-exhibitors. It’s a fact. But knowing your goals for joining will push you to meet it. There’s no replacement for the warm, fuzzy feeling of success.

(4) Be alert. Don’t a judge a book by its cover. The little mousy nerdy person asking you stuff may be your next big client.

(5) Be friendly. There would be annoying nuisances, stalkers and what-have-you, but being masungit won’t get you anywhere.

Hohumm. I miss my colleagues especially Dave, Jap, Ruth, Eugene and Haydee. We used to have a helluva lot of fun before. I hope they’re doing great.

Make sure you’re trade show participation breaks even. Head on over to Stitching as I reveal the secrets to profiting from your trade show participation.

Singleton Ranting

I spent the whole evening ranting to my best friend (and she did too).

Will my Fridays forever be relegated to a singles rant night?

I know it's been a long time since I've been in a relationship. I must admit I've been really cautious - in short, chicken! My ex-fiance came home recently after 4 years and I just basically ran off to the other side of the earth. Scared!

They say when you are single, you always long to be with someone.

And when you are married, you wish you were single.

The other side of the coin...

Friend #1 : SMS early this morning, "It's depressing to be a wife."

I thought, "You're husband's a great guy. He accepted us, your friends, without any qualms. His family might not be that great, but we're here for you. So why are you complaining?"

Friend #2: SMS a few weeks ago before she gave birth, "I'm leaving him!"

I thought, "What the??? You've been married for a year! You're lucky your kid has a Dad who will take on the responsibility! Keep your cool! It's just your hormones coz you're pregnant."

Friend #3: SMS also a few weeks ago, "I'm in a failing relationship."

I thought, "Dude, your relationship won't be failing if you were content and if you were loyal to your GF!"

Gawd, is the key to being happy being content with what you have? How come we always want something we don't have? And never ever content when we have what we actually wanted? Will we be really happy when we get what we want? Like Jackie and Ely?

When will I not be single? LOL.

Maybe when the right guy comes along. Asa pa. Hohumm. No comment.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

5 Things from My Dad


The other I wrote about my Mom (to commemorate Mother's Day, of course) and I explained how she's been my pillar of strength. The "parenting" conversation I had with my friend touched on the values that my Dad taught me. I wasn't able to answer immediately then coz I kinda ended up emo-ing. Anyways, it's been more than a week and to celebrate my Dad's 74th birthday (on Saturday), here are just some of the things that I learned from him.

1. Integrity - I was in sixth grade when I learned the true meaning of this. I had a classmate who's Dad was the mayor of a major CBD (and still actually is) and her allowance then was PhP200 per day! Of course, I immediately complained to my parents why my baon was only PhP10 per day (at that time enough to buy a platito of spaghetti and a glass of juice). My Dad explained to me how my classmate's Dad earned that much money to give her PhP200 per day. Who'd want to have a Dad who does such a despicable thing?

2. Honesty - My Dad used to be a regional trial court judge. He was offered bribes left and right and got death threats in return for refusing it. I thank God he didn't stay long in the judiciary even though it's something that he was really passionate about.

3. Humor - I know my Dad could be soooo serious at times (he's very traditional), but he is also very funny and makulit and I got that from him. (Well I think I got more of the funny and makulit part and my Ate got most of the serious stuff.)

4. Love - amongst all of us, I could say that I am the most pasaway in the family, but despite everything and all our tampuhans my Dad still loves me. And the living proof to that as well is my Mom. And we're already planning for their golden wedding anniversary (2010)!

5. Prayerfulness - it was actually my Dad who taught me how to memorize the mysteries of the Rosary. I was only 10 years old then, but I still remember (to this day) how that went about and that left me an impression that praying is a very important part of life. I'd also see my Dad pray earnestly each and every time he had to make court decisions.

No wonder it's so difficult for me to find a jowa. LOL.

I love you Dad. Happy, happy birthday! Remember, you still have to wait for me to walk down the aisle. Hmph. No more scary episodes okay? Mwah.

BobCast Episode 8: Sleepless in La Union


Episode 8 of the Bobcast was recorded in a lonely little resort in La Union last week. Abe didn't want to host it in his blog coz it's too pink! And it took him quite awhile to edit it, hmph.

Band of Bloggers Episode 8: On Relationships (Travel Edition)
Hosted by: Sasha
Guests: Aileen, Sasha, Abe and Lauren
Time: 28 minutes, 43 secs.

Show Notes:

  • BoB in La Union- Sleepless in San Fernando, La Union
  • Friendster Status
  • Lauren is single but not really looking
  • Girl’s Preference of Ligaw (Courting) style - Traditional or not?
  • Guy’s Ligaw Style
  • Hypothetical Question from Abe: “What would you do suddenly if you felt something for your friend’s girlfriend?”
  • Disclaimer from Abe to all his friends with a girlfriend
It was a very interesting discussion we had and we even went on discussing things "off air", ending up sleeping in the wee hours of the morning, but it was quite fun.

Come on... head on over to Noemi's blog and find out what freaks me out :p

*Photo by Abe Olandres.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Blogs I Read

Janette asked me the other day if I could participate in a project of her that intends to recognize the top 10 emerging influential blogs for 2007. I read a lot of blogs and I use Google Reader to keep my reading at a sane level. It was quite difficult for me to come up with a list since the blog's start date should be August 1, 2006 at the earliest. So, here's my top 10 and what I read it for:

Wit and humor, and a little on dating
Bakla Ako, May Reklamo?
Stephanie Caragos
Jobarclix, the life & times of Joeyboy
Strangeweed

Writing style and the Single Life
Sunday Duty

Parenting
Stay at Home Mom
Solo Mother
The D Spot

Work/Tech
Hanson at Large

Ranting & Other Stuff
Ideas de Locura, sueƱos y pensamientos

I don't know though if I could say it's influential at all coz I read mainly to entertain myself. Most of the work-related blogs I read are quite old blogs and they've been around for years already.

The Online Life and a Dream

I've been online for more than ten years now. I guess I was lucky that DLSU took a progressive stance in adapting the use of the internet. I remember using ICQ and pinging my school friends through their ID numbers. It was really cool.

Things have gone a long way since Wordstar 4.0, dot matrix printers and huge floppies! I owe a lot to my brother who exposed me to the wonderful computer world - enrolling me for logo programming at the age of 10 (I definitely don't remember anything anymore) and giving me my first PC. Now the applications that bumped off the typewriter from the horizon are even more progressive, Google Docs & Spreadsheets allows you to edit a document in real-time with colleagues who are in another continent.

I barely read the paper. I get my news fix online through Inquirer.net and Philstar.com and sometimes through Manila Bulletin (who I hope would archive their articles properly). I read a lot of blogs, pay my bills online, write online through my blogs. Well, basically I can't imagine my life without the internet anymore (and that's why I'm so scared to go home to Bicol).

One of the things that I've been thinking about though is putting up an online business. I just haven't figured out what I'm going to sell. My friend Ottie has been bugging me about it for more than a year already. I told her though that it would be really interesting to put up an e-commerce business. I've been checking out websites that sell stuff online and studying how they've so far been successful. Most of them started really small with a defined niche and look at them now - big in their own niche, successful and their markets don't have borders!

Aside from determining the product, the market, I guess I have to study profusely on the Philippine Internet Payment Gateway Accepting Credit Cards Guide to learn how to go about doing business online.

Well, I hope I get this plan out of the oven before Miguel goes off to college. Now where's that personal mission list of mine...

The Mark of a Good Citizen

I just came back from the precinct to vote. I haven't missed a vote since I registered xx years ago (you think I'd give that out? LOL). And looking back I think I must've gone through 2 presidential elections already - the ones I voted for unfortunately lost, but that doesn't mean I'll change and go for the popular votes. I'll still vote for whoever is qualified for office, one who deserves it and whose programs I think make sense.

Growing up with a Dad who's a lawyer, I was exposed at an early age to these things and he stressed the fact that we should vote. My parents used to wake me up really early in the morning to be at the precinct at 7 in the morning. They didn't do that today, I guess because they know that they don't need to prod me anymore to get myself to the precinct.

And it's your responsibility to help bring good officials to office. You can rant all you want about not getting good service, corruption or whatever, but it is your responsibility to exercise your right and vote. And that's why I brought Miguel with me to the precinct because I want him to grow up to be a good citizen.

Oh, I'm keeping my choices a secret, mind you I was a nerd at it and did some research before finalizing my list :)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

My Mom, My Strength

Me with my Mom, circa 19-secret!!!

The other I was discussing profusely parenthood with a friend. Well, he started it and it felt quite weird coz I never really had that kind of discussion on parenthood ever in my life.

These were the things he asked me:
Do parents shape the full personality of a child?
If the child grows up to be a delinquent member of society should we blame the parents fully for it?
Would you bring up your children the same way your parents did?
The upbringing of a person depends a lot on one’s parents. Francis Kong in his book, “What Don’t You Grow Up Dad?” shared that "Our children simply reflect the kind of learning they pick up from their parents". An apple tree wouldn’t bear oranges would it?

But should we blame parents fully for the delinquencies of their children? Yes and no. I think parents factor in a lot on one’s personality, but they do not control your choices. God gave each one of us a mind and a soul and the freedom of choice. Our parents will not always be there when we do judgment calls. And we shouldn’t blame them for all the crimes/indiscretions in the world.

I am sure each and everyone of us rant about our parents. Remember the time when you were a teenager and you felt that your parents don’t understand you at all? Me against the world? Yeah, I went through that as well. My friend who I was talking with said he’d definitely not bring up his children the same way his parents raised him.

I said the same thing before. When I had Miguel I said I’d bring him up differently. But, ya know, there is no such thing as a parent manual and when you are a first time parent you can’t help but refer to how your parents raised you. But, of course, I’m “editing” along the way and I try to avoid doing the stuff I thought annoyed me a lot. It’s not easy being a parent, much less being Mom and Dad at the same time, but I think with lots of love and prayers I’ll manage to bring up Miguel with the right values and spirituality and strength.

My Mom, she never panics. You won’t even see her flinch over a wound, cry over a problem. Put her in a crisis situation and she’ll tell you how to solve it matter of factly. That strength is what I am thankful for because it’s an important survival tool and I will forever be grateful for that. I hope that I’ll be able to teach Miguel the same thing.

And to my friend, I'm no expert at parenting, I just try to be hip about it with a lot of TLC. I asked Miguel this afternoon when was the last time I scolded him and he couldn't even remember. I guess I'm just so lucky I have a really great, sweet kid. Check out what he gave me for Mother's Day below.

Miguel knows best.

And to my Mom... I love you Mom. Happy Mother’s Day.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

You had Me at Hello

Jerry Maguire: I love you. You... you complete me. And I just... Dorothy: Shut up, just shut up. You had me at "hello".
from the movie "Jerry Maguire" (1996)

Well I'm not referring to the movie for this post, but ya know, if somebody told me "You complete me", I'll definitely... hyperventilate. LOL.

Anyway, that's not the point of this post. Last Thursday evening, I had the chance to join Jay in the album launch of Luke Mejares, entitled "Pangako". I was late and kinda dazed from the long walk from Greenbelt to Hardrock (and it was raining!) when I arrived and Luke was already performing.
























Anyway, I'm an OPM junkie and I do enjoy attending events like these. I also get to be a PA for Jay and get the chance to meet the performing artist (with matching photos and autograph!). I'll probably be getting Luke's (uyyy feeling close) new album. I especially liked his rendition of "I Will Always Stay this Way in Love with You", though I hope next time he sings it he wouldn't be too hip-hoppy in his movements.

Ahhh and I also met bossa-nova sensation Sophia who was so aliw to talk with. Gotta get her album too.

Translations
Pangako - promise
OPM - original pilipino music
aliw - interesting

Thought for the Day: On Winning

Early this year I made a list of things I should accomplish this year and part of that is reading a couple of books. I'm currently reading "Winning", written by Jack Welch with Suzy Welch. I heard about the book from a previous boss and he said I should read it. I got the book from my favorite bookstore, Kinokuniya (so very hard to pronounce!) in Singapore, a few months ago and only managed to start reading it over the weekend. Going through it I realized that the points taken up by Mr. Welch are the principles behind the progressive stance my previous boss is taking with his business.

I'm going through something really "showbiz" now and it really pains me. I've been pondering for the past few days what to do about it, but found this line from Jack Welch very useful in dealing with this problem:

"You don't need to be preachy or particularly somber about your errors. In fact the more humorous and lighthearted you can be about them, the more people will get the message that mistakes aren't fatal."

I hope my friends will understand the decision I've made towards the transgressor. And for those who are being manipulated to forward his cause to realize the real truth in the matter.

It's just another day in my life, and as William Thacker (Hugh Grant) said to Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) in the movie "Notting Hill" -

ANNA
You're right: of course, you're right. It's just that I've dealt with this garbage for ten years now -- you've had it for ten minutes. Our perspectives are different.

WILLIAM
I mean -- today's newspapers will be lining tomorrow's waste paper bins.

ANNA
Excuse me?

WILLIAM
Well, you know -- it's just one day. Today's papers will all have been thrown away tomorrow.

ANNA
You really don't get it. This story gets filed. Every time anyone writes anything about me -- they'll dig up these photos. Newspapers last forever. I'll regret this forever.


Of course, Anna didn't take William's advise well, but I think he's right. At the end of the day, it's all about seeing things in proper perspective.

Toodledee!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

6 Weird Things About Me

Aaaargghh, Markku tagged me for this:

Each player of this games starts with 6 weird things about you. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state the rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says you are tagged in their comments and tell them to read your blog.
1. I love data - ask me to analyze an encyclopedia-thick data book and I'll be happy to do it.

2. I'm a data sponge - sit me in a place, like a really techie-meeting or in a table with guys talking about basketball or whatever, I'll remain quiet if I don't know anything about what you guys are talking about, but always remember, I'll remember what you said and I'll manage to bring up that "data-stream" sometime in the future.

3. I love ketshup on almost anything - yes, Gail revealed this in her post about Bohol. I couldn't help but smile whenever Abe and Rico tries to avoid looking at my plate, but the red goo is simply not ignorable. Sorry guys!

4. I like taking a photo of my feet at the beach - that's so I'd remember the beaches I've been to!

5. I want my hair to be curly! I've been rejected by three parlors though that's why it remains straight.

6. Don't leave your keys with me. I can keep anything else safe, except keys. I always forget them! And usually in locked rooms and cars. Pfffft!

Done! Now I'm tagging Janette, Lady Cess, Pierre, Gibbs, Ely and Jay.

The Unimportant Me: On Personal Missions

A few weeks ago I said I was going offline to do some thinking. Not that I was emo-ing, but I felt I needed to do some planning about where I am headed. And this was brought about by Bo Sanchez' line in a mailing list I signed up for:

"God insists on choosing the most unimportant people to do His work."

One of the things that I learned through the years and from my parents is humility, especially at work. They said God gives you talent to be used for a mission. It shouldn't be used to further your own personal motives, but for the greater good.

And when a huge responsibility was dropped on my lap, I hyperventilated. Not only for one day, but for three months. And as my Kuya told me before I got in, "If it is meant for you, it will be yours."

In the last few weeks I've thought about why I am at this point in my life. I' about to make a major decision and my Kuya said, "How does this fit in with your objectives and goals in the next 5 years?" Uh, I wasn't able to answer him because I realized I've been taking things one week at a time since I met all my goals last year.

Well, the sun isn't shining that much today, but my sunshine is because I know what I'll be doing in the next few years and what God's mission is for me (well, more or less).

My best friend warned me about some potholes and perils I might meet along the way. And I've met them and continue to meet them. But, at the end of the day, the measure of your success shouldn't be based on other people, but your own mission. And you should always remember that to get there you should hold on God's hand to bring you there and work not for personal gain, but for service.

Have you ever thought about why you are doing what you are doing? What is your personal mission?

*Photo by Abe Olandres

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

What I Would've Been if I Wasn't a Marketer

Believe it or not I have degrees in AB-Political Science and BS-Legal Management. I never practiced it. I almost did, but the corporate world lured me away and since I had responsibilities I had to go for the bigger pay.

Now looking back, if I had stuck on and practiced being a political scientist I would’ve been a professor at DLSU and a staff at the Senate. It’s been ten years and I never really thought about it since. (feeling guilty tsktsktsk)

At a young age I was exposed to “political stuff”. My Dad’s a lawyer and a former judge, the first barangay captain in our place (I was still a baby then) and we usually had discussions on national issues at the dining table and we were encouraged to join the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) during elections. I know that sounds so nerdy, but it was part of our training and my Dad was hoping that I’d follow his footsteps. Unfortunately, I’m too kikay and I felt my calling was really for marketing albeit my Polsci and LM training helps a lot in my work now.

But then one reason why I shifted also was the fact that I always felt angry. I was just not cut out for it. I don’t watch that much TV because whenever I see features and documentaries about our country, I’d end up crying. Geez.

Anyway, last weekend I tagged along with my friends to watch a campaign sortie and I remembered the days when I was actively helping out my mom when she was part of the secretariat of then Senate President Jovito R. Salonga’s bid for the presidency. It wasn’t an easy task. Logistics and effective marketing & PR was the name of the game.

Volunteers were running about, making sure everything was okay. The press people were taking catnaps during the trip, ready to run when needed. Supporters were always alert. Hmmm… looking at the weekend, things were quite fun and I salute the tireless staff and volunteers of these campaigns.

I would’ve been one of them, trailblaizing across the nation to put in office a deserving, honest and talented official. I wonder though if I could put up with all the craziness of a campaign trail.

Protect your rights, don’t forget to vote on May 14.

Translations
Kikay – girly

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Things I Learned at a Xbox Party

Okay, so I know nothing about gaming. Promise! I'm only adept at playing Pacman, Space Invaders and, uh, up to level 3 of Super Mario Brothers. Geeez. I knew I was going to end up doing nothing during Abe's Xbox party. I did the dishes though since I like doing that. Tsk tsk tsk.

Here are things I learned at the Xbox party:

1. If you want a guy to bug off or you need to keep him pre-occupied, plant him in front of a 32" Samsung TV with an Xbox. Get his buddies to come around, believe me, you'll go unnoticed.

2. Don't play the FIFA game when you're drunk. You'll end up stealing the ball from your teammate and scoring at the wrong goal. (Now, guess who did that...).

3. Don't bother talking to the boys while they're playing. I tried standing in front of the TV (just to annoy them) and all I got was "uy! uy! uy!". Some things never change. LOL.

4. Drinks do get unnoticed during playtime. That goes for girls as well.

5. Guys will always be exasperated over how girls play. Maybe the BOB girls should practice and beat `em guys. Harumph.

Men!

Boys!

They will always be boys. Oh well!

In attendance were Sasha, Rico, Markku, Joey, The Macalua, The Sharmskee, Noemi, Lauren and Chris. Thanks to Abe for the fabulous yummy spicy Ilonggo dishes cooked by his brother Ryan and for the Abe's Hunky Wengweng. Oooops!

Good night world!

Friday, May 4, 2007

Lakwatsera Ako

Yes, eversince I was a kid my family would tease me that I have "itchy feet" (not the fungal kind!). Well, it's the fault of my parents since I was just a few months old when they started bringing me to Bicol and other local vacation spots and the US when I was 4-years old. I could've lived in the US, but I chose to stay home because I just simply love it here.

In the last iBlog3 our panel was asked, "What do you want bloggers to ponder on?" and I said that as bloggers we should promote what's good in our country. Tourism helps a lot in the economy, so I think it's very important to be an evangelizer for one's country (naks). Anyway, Noemi suggested to me during the Digitalfilipino Web Awards last Friday that I should have a travel blog since I get to travel a lot. I pondered on this and seeing that my stats show that a lot of people read through my travels I thought it'd be great to share my experiences. (I can just imagine Erik chuckling about all the content I'm putting online, LOL).

And here it is:



Translations

Lakwatsera - a person who cannot stay put at home; one who loves to travel and go out
Tara! Sama na sa paglakwatsa ko!
- Let's go! Come with me as I travel!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Travel: Bohol and Cebu

I think I'm still too tulala to blog about my vacation. It was actually my first time to travel to the Visayas region on a vacation. I've been to Cebu at least ten times already, but I've never seen any of the historical sites and Bohol was just a far-fetched idea I've been toying around with my high school friends.

Ever the organizer, Marc rounded up the Band of Bloggers for this Bohol-Cebu trip. I was quite hesitant at first because of work. I dread coming back to pages and pages worth of email and missed deadlines (OC ito!). Anyway, I don't regret tagging along.

I don't want to mince any words, so I'm just going to share my experience through photos. You can also see the photos I took in my Picasa web album. And don't forget to listen to the BOBCast Episode 7.

Day 1:

Abe booked us for the last flight to Cebu. I was quite surprised that the Cebu Pacific flight was delayed! I remember that their claim to fame is on-time flights. Wonder what happened.

Rico, Sasha, Chris, me and Gail. Photo taken by Abe Olandres.

Travel tips for the day:
1. Always, and I mean ALWAYS come at least an hour and a half before your flight. Listen to the BOBCast to find out why.
2. If you're booking online, make sure you print-out your ticket and that you use your real name (no nicknames!) and bring government-recognized IDs such as your license, passport or company ID.
3. Pack all your toiletries in your check-in baggage. That way you don't have to stuff everything in at the airport.
4. Better wear slippers/sandals when travelling. Your shoes and slippers go through the inspection machine as well. (Ugh! And to think you can't put alcohol in your bag! Sniff sniff).
5. Pack lightly. (I should do this!).

And, of course, doing an all-nighter is really next to impossible. We had to find a place to sleep at around 3 a.m., either that or wait it out at the Supercat terminal. Special thanks to my college friend, Max, for accommodating our stuff in his pad.

Day 2

Spent the morning at the Supercat terminal (or should I say seaport?) and ferrying to Tagbilaran. Finished our malling and had lunch at a quaint little place called Payag Restaurant. It's grilled, grilled, grilled food anywhere you go in the Visayas or Mindanao region! After lunch we waited for Marc and Sharm to arrive and then we hopped on to the following:

Hinagdanan Caves


Shell Museum


Dinner at Payag Restaurant


Travel Tips for the Day:
1. Know where you want to go even though you have a tour guide/driver who'll be showing you around. Make sure you ask him questions. It's not common knowledge that one of the past Philippine presidents graduated from Bohol University.
2. When you want to buy a shirt, buy it! The branch of Island Souvenirs in Bohol is the best I've seen in the different branches I've been to nationwide.
3. Bring a small bag where you can stuff important basic things such as your wallet, mobile phone, shades, camera and tissue (and an Ipod Nano if you have one).
4. If you want to blog about the food you eat, make sure you take a photo of the serving before you eat it. (Notice, I don't have photos of the food! I forgot! Waaahhh!).
5. Walkie talkies are really helpful when you're in a huge group. That way you can easily order your food when your companions are at Chowking and you're still shopping. Make sure though that you guys know who will do the ordering.

Oh, and make sure you're still pretty when the wake-up call comes. You have to expect that someone would either take your photo or video while you're sleeping or being nudged awake (I'll get you for that Marc!!!).

Day 3

Much more exciting day since we had a good night's sleep. We went to the following:

Blood Compact


Baclayon Church

Python


Tarsiers Sanctuary


Floating River Restaurant

Man-Made Forest


Chocolate Hills


Dumaluan Beach, Teaching Chris Sandberg how to eat balot.


We had dinner at one of the beach resorts. I couldn't understand why in all the restaurants we ate in the service was slow.

Travel Tips for the Day
1. Don't sleep when everybody's awake. Check out the photo of the most documented snore. If you really have to, do a starfish and hide under the covers or pillows.
2. Make sure you bring a hat, sunblock, bottled water and a fan to protect you from the harmful rays of the sun. It could get quite hot.
3. Make sure your camera's batteries are fully charged! Mine died on me at the Chocolate Hills. Good thing I managed to take some photos.

Day 4

Woke up at 4:20 a.m. to prepare for the whale/dolphin watching expedition.

Huwhaaaat?!? No dolphins? No whale? All I saw was a snout!

So we just spent the day at the beach and then slept early (it's a vacation silly!).


Travel Tips of the Day
1. Know when to quit. We woke up really early to see dolphins and a whale. I just saw a snout. We got hungry and just went back to the resort to eat.
2. Don't be too scared of what you step on in the beach. Stepping on starfish was quite frightful, but at least I didn't step on any sea urchins!
3. When staying at the beach, don't forget your water and shades and sunblock!

Day 5

Woke up early again to have breakfast (service still sloooooow) at the Dumaluan Beach Resort restaurant and then took the Supercat back to Cebu.

At Cebu we had lunch at Sunburst (the equivalent of Max's Fried Chicken in Cebu) and then bought guitars (prices ranged from Php1,500 to PhP5,000).

Top: Fort San Pedro. Bottom: Magellan's Cross and Basilica de Sto. Nino, Cebu.

Travel Tips for the Day
1. Know what the region offers especially when it comes to food, local delicacies and products their famous for. Since Miguel wanted a new guitar, I made sure I got one for him in Cebu.
2. Don't be complacent about traffic. Waiting it out at the airport is not so bad.
3. Limit your things to just 3 bags and make sure you have space in your bag for pasalubong.

How much did the vacation cost each of us?


Tour (inclusive of 3-day overnight accommodation, breakfast and transfers) - PhP5,500
Plane fare - PhP4,300 + PhP400 terminal fee (Manila and Cebu)
Food (lunch and dinner) - approx. PhP500/day
Pasalubong - PhP700+ (got shirts at Island Souvenirs for PhP280 each and local delicacies
Total Spending: approximately PhP12,500

Translations

tulala - dazed
OC ito! - I am obsessive-compulsive.
pasalubong - take home goodies for your family and friends