So, the event at SMX just started, I was the first speaker for their seminar. I was gone from my booth for just about 30 minutes and when I got back my laptop bag was gone. It was just beside my handbag and Miguel was there in the booth too. I immediately realized it was gone because my calling cards were in it.
Thieves, they're just really fast.
The contents of my laptop bag were 2 brand new Smart Bro USB modems, my laptop charger, a couple of USBs (free ones I got from some events), my Starbucks diary where I list daily expenses, a notebook and papers I'm about to throw away. My laptop bag though was a collectible item since it's a Google laptop bag which was given to me during the Google Geo User Summit last month.
I'm very lucky though because my laptop and phone wasn't in the bag. I remembered to get my phone in it just before I left the booth for my talk. Good thing I also forgot to bring my camera. The thief is probably kicking himself by now because he essentially did not get anything of value to him or anyone. What sickens me though is the thought that someone so evil got so close to my son. Everything in it can be replaced, and thank God I've got everything on the cloud. Harumph.
One thing that irks me though is how slow SMX was at responding to my report and was only when I called up one of the bosses before security actually got moving. I guess they're so used to this thing happening they just end up counting it as another incident. I decided to immediately leave the vicinity because I felt I wasn't safe anymore. I didn't want to give the thief another chance to get the prize. But, after all these years, it's quite unbelievable that this modus operandi has still not been solved by convention center security.
Well, if you see a Google laptop bag in any of the online buy and sell sites, please let me know. I want my expense diary back!
And to the thief, manood ka ng 100 Days to Heaven!
Update: As I was leaving SMX I received some good news about a project I've been working at for a couple of months now. And when I got home I received a bag of Hershey's Chocolate Nuggets from 7-Eleven and some goodies from Chef Laudico and GMCI! Weeee!
A year ago today my Dad was still around and we celebrated his 77th birthday by having lunch at North Park. He ordered his favorite noodles and we were happy then that he finished his order. We didn't expect that it would be his last birthday here on earth.
The past few months have been hard. I know my Dad's happy where he is, but it has been really hard not having him around. I've always been "Daddy's little girl" even though we disagreed sometimes. It was my Dad who got me in my line of work now even though he never learned how to turn on a PC. It was my Dad who kept motivating me to write (although my Mom was the one who made me start writing). And my Dad read everything I wrote (even my diary when he got his hands on it!). My Dad also managed to teach me a couple of his signature dishes when I finally managed to follow his fast-cooking moves. My Dad also taught me how to properly shoot a basketball.
And I have been mopping the past week because I've been missing him terribly. Buying myself some Angry Birds toys helped for about 5 minutes.I guess I'll just go on and focus on work because my Dad would really hate seeing me idle.
I miss you Dad. I really wish you didn't have to leave us so soon.
I haven't been this excited over toys since I started collecting pigs. Here are some new stuff available at Clipper. They also have bags and pillows (PhP799).
Stuffed toys. (The yellow one though is from SM.)
Window toy. (I'm parking this inside Minnie!).
I asked the sales crew if they've played Angry Birds already and they said no since they don't have their own PC or a smartphone. They all got excited when I mentioned they can play using Google Chrome.
Watching Filipino movies is one of my guilty pleasures, so I dragged my boys to watch "In the Name of Love" with me. I felt it was a must-see movie based on the trailer.
I'm glad my boys accompanied me to watch the movie since my Pinoy-movie buddy (my aunt) lives in Bicol. "In the Name of Love" is a love story full of twists, turns and many surprises. I like how the narration switched from present to past. It allowed the story to unfold like a multi-wrapped present. Unlike other movies, the trailer truly showed just the tip of the iceberg - enough to make a prospective movie-goer interested to watch.
I liked how Aga Muhlach and Angel Locsin portrayed the characters of Emman and Cedes and I now understand why Aga mentioned in his TV interview that it was the hardest role he had to portray. Emman and Cedes are just like any Filipino who dreamt big. Went abroad, found love and soon-after met trouble. Both characters went through trials, a sacrifice for love and Aga and Angel successfully conveyed the pain that the characters went through.
"In the Name of Love" is worth-seeing and I don't share that much about the movie because it might spoil your experience. I heard it took a year to make this movie and I wish all Filipino movie producers would take as much care in making films so the viewing public can enjoy great stories such as "In the Name of Love".
I got the chance to try chocolate with siling labuyo today at the IFEX Philippines show (International Food Exhibition Philippines). I was hesitant to try it out first since I don't really like spicy food, but thought that a tiny piece wouldn't hurt. I took a small piece from the bowl, ate it and thought "Oh it just tastes like any other dark chocolate, but with a surprise." As you are about to swallow it the spicy siling labuyo tickles you a bit. A minute later though I felt the full effect of the siling labuyo, I started sweating! Haha. I gulped down some water and thought, "That chocolate with siling labuyo had a lot of kick!" Eating a whole bar is not for the faint hearted and probably only for a true-blooded Bicolano.
So that was the highlight of my visit today to the IFEX Philippines show. There are lots of other interesting food and beverages as well, like the Gourmetbarako coffee.
The Yakon root crop which tasted like singkamas and sugar cane.
I'm probably biased, but I kinda hung-out at the Mindanao area more hehe.
If I have time I think I'll go back and sample the Honey Wine.
This is the third time I got stranded, second time with Cebu Pacific, for the same reason - the airplane needed to be serviced and they had to wait for a spare part from Manila. Other flights got delayed soon after because of bad weather. Past experiences taught me that it was useless to get mad because there's nothing you can do. Best way to handle the situation is either to sit it out and wait or reimburse your ticket and look for another flight.
There's a huge difference though between how Philippine Airlines handles situations like this. With PAL we got immediate updates and we were not made to wait for several hours in the airport. I was already in the plane in Singapore when we were told that we had to deplane due to engine trouble. Soon after we were brought to a hotel for a free overnight stay. They also kept their word and made announcements when they said they would.
I am not sure about CebuPac's on-time stats right now, but with the many times I've seen (and experienced) it happen, they should by now know how to keep their customers happy. And here's a couple of suggestions for them:
1. When boarding time passes and passengers aren't asked to board yet we start thinking there's something wrong. You should immediately announce why there's a delay.
2. Keep your word. When you say you are going to give an update at a certain time, make one. Traveling is already stressful, making passengers go to your info desk just to get an update increases that stress.
3. Flight delays is most stressful for passengers who have connecting flights. You should have a ready plan on how to deal with them even before you announce the delay. I noticed that PAL took care of passengers with connecting flights as soon as they announced the delay.
4. I'm not sure how this works, but passengers shouldn't be made to wait in airports (say more than 3 hours) for a delayed flight for long periods of time. I would think that hanging out in a place with so many people increases your chances of getting sick (I am not feeling well right now already).
5. Well, if you are so much of a cheapskate and want to keep your passengers waiting, at the very least keep us hydrated. One bottle of water for an 8-hour wait is inhuman.
My other stranded stories at:
As I was entering our village the other day I noticed the colorful blooms as I drove home. I was a curious about a tree that had yellow blooms and was happy to find out that it was on our street! So I took a photo -
I immediately posted it on Facebook when I got home and was surprised to get comments from friends and neighbors. My neighbor/friend, Ate Neysa, suggested I go to our park and check out the fire trees. Since my internet was still wonky that day I dragged Miguel to go out with me. And here's what greeted us at the park:
I've been wanting to write this post since Holy Week when I was forced to go offline for a few days because my lines just went dead. It took awhile to get fixed because the telco re-connected it to my old address and eversince my internet connection has been on and off. And it's been detrimental to my blogging muse.
Anyway, goes to show how much my time is spent online. I've been really grouchy all week because my daily flow has been badly disrupted, so both work and other personal online activities have been going haywire. It wasn't so bad during Holy Week since I didn't have to work for a few days and I just focused on stuff that needed to be fixed at home.
And here are some things that made me really happy to be offline during Holy Week:
I've been trying my hand at gardening for about a year now. I didn't like it at first, but I just feel so accomplished when a seed I planted sprouts. You should see my collection of mustasa in my garden. Now I can prepare my favorite mustasa beef dish whenever I like, served with fresh mustasa! It's so far the only thing I've been successful at. I'm awful with flowers. The white rose plant my Mom got for me hasn't been giving any blooms since February and the other flowering plants I have... well they're gone, save for the angel plants Mom gave last year.
My tree plants -- 3 orchid trees and 2 fire trees -- are so far growing steadily. The herbs I got from Tagaytay, half of them died already hehehe, but I'm working on keeping the others alive. I planted a couple of veggies during Black Saturday and I'm now seeing some sprout to life! Hooray!
I've been trying to blog about my gardening hobby at Gardening for Noobs. Hopefully someone can tutor me, haha.
2. Summer House Cleaning
I think a lot of my neighbors did this during the Holy Week break because the garbage truck was overflowing with trash when it passed by after the weekend. We doubled our trash too over the weekend after cleaning out some rooms. It was a great thing to do since it allows you to do an inventory of what you have and have in excess. One thing I'd like to learn is how to be like my Dad. He only bought things that he needed. I dread moving houses again because of all the things we have already. Uh-oh!
I'm happy to report that I have surpassed my "learn one dish a month quota". I've lost count of the recipes that I've used in the past 17 months. I'm far from inventing any dish, but I can say that I'm very much comfortable now cooking for my boys. This is one adventure I'm glad I didn't get to do before I married because I managed to learn how to cook on my own.
My friend, Denz, the other night said, "Diba di ka naman marunong magluto bago ka kinasal? So natuto ka for survival?" Haha! He knows me well and he just recently got married too -- in the same boat that Sweetie and I were 17 months ago. I told him I learned just by watching Youtube videos (an important tip I actually learned from Dominic Ochoa, yes the artista!).
I was planning to make a couple of home-made frames during Holy Week. What I ended up doing though was the lay-out of three photo books -- our wedding album, my Mom and Dad's wedding album and our first year album. I was supposed to do just one, but ended up doing three! It's addicting! Anyway, hopefully I'll find some time to make frames in June.
So, as part of my sacrifice when our lines got fixed, I decided to do and finish a long-awaited project for my community - our Parish website. I was called to do it last year, but my Dad got sick and I put all other projects on hold to be able to spend time with him. I finished the site minutes just before Easter Sunday. I was really happy that I managed to finish (well continuously being edited) the project on the deadline I set with Him.
Quite surprising how productive I was over the Holy Week break. I think it means I should spend more time offline so I can do more :)
Here's a happy note though about having your life online:
The Philippines Google Technology Users Group together with other volunteer mappers are hosting MapUps this summer to help the Philippine Red Cross. You may want to join one in your area (or maybe host one! see below). Here's the schedules for mapUps this summer:
April 27, 2011, 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
April 30, 2011, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
General Santos City Mayor's Office
Event Site: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=124046884336491
Baguio City MapUp
May 7, 2011, 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.
University of Baguio
Sign-up Form: http://goo.gl/1QWpT
Event Site: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=199999790039007
May 21, 2011, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Netopia, SM City Iloilo
Sign up Form: http://goo.gl/2y8CT
GTUG Philippines Metro ManilaMapUp
May 21, 2011, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
RedFox Training Center,
Sign-up Form: http://goo.gl/Bh7On
Event Site: http://www.gtugphilippines.org/2011/04/may-21-mapping-party.html
I was in college when World Youth Day was hosted by the Philippines. I went together with my friends in my parish and it was an experience I would never forget and here's a handwritten line from my scrapbook,
"Pope John Paul II became my crush. He's so cute! I saw him!!! My friend carried me so I can see him better. It was exhilarating and indescribable. It made me cry. He really does have an aura which he projects widely."
World Youth Day 1995 was the most attended WYD. There were a lot of people and a number of my co-parishioners fainted and we slept on Roxas Boulevard (near the island in front of Quirino Grandstand). It was all worth it though because seeing the Pope John Paul II pass by in his Pope mobile is an experience that can never be replicated. I remember crying when I saw him. He glowed! I don't know how it is possible, but his aura was white. I felt love and peace.
And here's some of my memorablia from World Youth Day 1995 (they survived Typhoon Ondoy!).