My Bookshelf

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

Saturday, June 21, 2014

My Financial Goal

I plan to work at GSIS until 2022, at the earliest, to earn my pension. In the mean time, I have already opened a COL account and bought stocks from BPI & San Mig. My target is to build up my portfolio and have 500 shares from each corporation until June 2016.

Next month, I'll open a BPI balanced fund account. I will build it up as much as I can, as fast as I can. I'll use the earnings from this account to finance my travels and a few other luxuries.

Hopefully by age 55, I can retire, sell my stocks, live off its proceeds, maybe travel 3 times a year. Starting age 60, my pension should be enough for me.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Time to Count My Blessings

By end-2012, I aimed to lose weight by jogging and posted this online. I decided this is something I should do for myself as I never liked being told I was fat by concerned family and friends. I never asked to have companions in this purpose-driven activity as I am used to doing a number of things alone. I found it a pleasant surprise to learn that two good friends aim for the same thing also. At one point, another friend joined me in this worthwhile activity. She also asked for the e-books of the novels I have. She affirmed that I am leading a good life.

This brings me to another privilege I enjoy regularly, a relaxed Saturday night spent watching movies with good friends. Exchanging life stories and ideas over a delicious dinner caps the night perfectly.

Exchanging details of the different facets of my life is something I do with different friends. At my age, with all the technologies available, a good old-fashioned number of hours spent talking with good friends over the landline is still time well-spent. Good friends who have known me since grade school and throughout most of my adult life keep me grounded and introduce me to the dimensions of my personality.

One of these dimensions is that I am the kind of person who enjoy blessings as they come. I never really desire for much. I would have been happy to spend my birthday with family and friends at home. The occasional traveling I do with friends show me how small I am in this world. That said, it is noteworthy that this is my third time to visit this part of the world in 5 years' time and my first time to spend my birthday abroad with my mother as company.

Let it not be said that I had my down time as well. It has been 10 months since I last sang with my group. A big part I miss is the exchange of banters with dear friends bound by the love for music.

So now, my after-office energy is literally spent jogging. I didn't even feel I was exerting effort toward achieving my goal as I truly enjoy this. I was actually surprised to see the results through my clothes that now fit better though I now eat better too. The few "idle" hours I have fly by watching teleseryes, reading e-books and playing e-games.

Thank you dear Lord for these 3 wonderful weeks spent with my mother. I am the blest and privileged one. Thank you Lord for my wonderful family and friends who continue to care for me in spite and because of my imperfections. Thank you for my current employment. The people I work for and work with constantly mold me. The challenges and opportunities the work present keep me on my toes. Thank you for my past jobs which continue to open doors for me. Thank you, Lord, for addressing my immediate needs even before I become aware of them. Thank you for not granting all of my heart's desires at once. They give me something to aim for and make life challenging and fulfilling.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Holy Week 2012

April 5 (Maundy Thursday)
3:00am : alarm
4:10am : got out of bed
5:20am : left Maceda
6:10am : arrived at Buendia
6:30am : left for Batangas
8:15am : arrived at Batangas
10:00am : was able to buy ticket to the 7:00pm fast craft
11:00am : entered waiting area; saw high school biology teacher with 2 offspring bigger than her
11:20am : bought ticket back to Manila by fast craft leaving on April 8 (Sunday), 8:15am for
Mama and I
5:30pm : boarded the earlier trip as chance passenger

April 6 (Good Friday)
Stayed at home the whole day

April 7 (Black Saturday)
I woke up at 5:30am but was almost late for the 7:00am parade had it started on time. Seeing grade school and high school classmates in one occasion is really fun! We bashed each other, relived those good old days 20 years ago.
Grace Caringal put much appreciated effort as an organizer. Our flat was really nice! The small fund she had was stretched for registration fee, lunch at Max's, lifetime batch registration alumni fee and even a little more fund for night out.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kaleidoscope (a 1966 film)

I was channel surfing last night when I saw that the 1966 film Kaleidoscope starring Warren Beatty has been showing for around 10 minutes. I’m not really fond of watching old movies unless it stars Audrey Hepburn but I was slightly curious about it because a few scenes showed the English countryside. As it was shot in 1966, you can imagine the color scheme but the rolling hills and the grand structures reminded me of the Cotswolds.

The movie ended with the main characters riding a boat on the Thames River which reminded me of my boat ride at Hyde Park.

I miss traveling in Europe. Sigh!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Moms!

Jan 30 (Mon): One time last week, I told my mother to buy me ingredients for a sauted egg. I told her I'd wake up early enough to prepare breakfast. The following day, I did just just.
This morning, she left for Calapan City. She told me she'll be back in Manila on Friday. When I got home tonight, I saw the she left sinangag for me. I looked inside the ref and saw ingredients for sauted egg good for 3 days. Moms!

Christmas 2011

I got up from bed at 6:30am to prepare for the 9:00asm mass. Making a long story short, we took a cab and was almost late for the 10:00am mass. Then, we went to Ikea. I thought it was simply a furniture shop. How wrong was I! I ate delicious curried vegetables & muffins. Kat's sis met with us there and went back to the hotel with us. We were supposed to go on a dhow cruise but the stupid driver of our service provider did not see us. We just had dinner at a mall. The evening ended sadly. Mama & Bebs fought. Bebs took our room key and left the hotel.
NOTE: Bebs told us not to look into Arab's eyes. I asked why but she never said the reason. Sorry to say but in these modern times, in this progressive city, they still look down on women, I was mistaken for an easy girl. I would've understood this if I wore revealing clothes but I was wearing loose-fitting jacket over knee-length dress when 2 men in a car shouted to me "pick-up".

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

December 2011

Dec 31 (Sat): Arlane and kids visited Mama. It's just so sad that she told a lie though Mama talked to her really nicely without pretensions. Sigh!

Dec 30 (Fri): Totoy & his family dropped by the house to get their Christmas presents. All I was able to give each of the kids was ampao with P300. I'm still saving up for the trip to Korea in February. Jing gave me a really nice shoulder bag. Kyle created an email and FB account for Mama. It was nice seeing Kyle teach Mama how to navigate FB. This is still on top of learning how to type.
Lui & I went to the parlor to have a haircut, rebond, cellophane and eye brow trim. We had snacks at Wendy's then dinner at Jollibee. We separated at 11:30pm. I got home shy of 12:00 mn. I think being mugged earlier this year put some sense into me to go home at a reasonable time.

Dec 23 (Dubai): Airplane food was ok though amenities in the seats we were given were defective. 1 monitor's controls weren't working, the other one's pull out table was not even. As a result, my hot choco poured over my lap. I was given 5 Godiva chocolates as compensation. In the airport, men who work there are pleasing to the eyes.
It is interesting to note that the government here has its own way of collecting money. Sleeping while commuting inside the metro is fined AED200.
Attended simbang gabi at St. Mary's grounds. Most attendees were Filipinos. I was surprised to find other races too like Pakistanis/Indians (I still can't tell the difference) and a few Europeans. It's still 45 minutes till the start of the mass but the ground are already filled with people. Some groups serenaded the crowds. They told me the priest requested that mass attendees wear green or red to the masses. From the looks of it, they are happily complying.

Dec 8 (Th): Yesterday, I bought wheat grass pills for slimming down from our wall calendar supplier. (Only in the Philippines). I was advised to take 2 capsules 1 hour before breakfast. I did just just today. I know it is effective as I felt that its effect would just be to not make me feel hunger fast but I couldn't and can't go on a diet just yet. Surprisingly, I felt up to my usual energy level with reduced food intake. But, I am getting ahead of myself.
I ate 2 slices of BreadTalk, 1 medium banana, and coffee. I had a half cup of rice, lengua, and soda for lunch. Dinner was at the 87th birthday part of Lola. She enjoyed her special day. WE played Pinoy Henyo indoor. We had such fun.
Tomorrow, I need to eat the rest of the loaf and banana. I also took home my favorite macaroni salad. It was prepared specially for me before I even got there. As soon as the downpour was just light drizzle, I went home with Berjo. We left Mama with her sisters & Lola. This was 1 fun, fine day:)

Dec 4 (Sunday): Quotable Quotes seen on TV
... We should put our backbone where our wishbone is... - Roger Cohen, NY Times, Bloomberg, Intelligence Squares Debate on the US should step back on its special relationship with Israel

TEA party means Taxed Enough Already - Koch brothers, Bloomberg, Game Changers

Today's breakfast menu: Japanese coffee, Portuguese egg tarts, Chinese beef jerky. YUMMY!

Dec 2 (Pasay City Day):
STORY 1: I woke up before 8:00 am and called up Tita Espery. I told her to prepare dinner for the balikbayans from Macau.
I went to Tita Rhod's home after lunch. The trip took 2 hours.
The balikbayans arrived at 7:30 pm. Tita Rhod gave their pasalubong for me, Macau's most delicious egg tarts and beef jerky.
Still part of my secretarial role was uploading pictures taken in Makati, Baguio & Macau.
I hope in time, I'll have better finances so I'll be able to share my blessings just like Tita Rhod.
STORY 2: Tomorrow is Yana's birthday. I was supposed to go home tonight as I will join Cons & his kids in malling. Mama asked that we move it to next week. She'll join us. Yana just had pancit, ice cream and cake at home. Later, Cons texted that Jing will come home for Christmas. Mama said they could spend it here in Maceda so all of them can eat to their hearts' contents.
This will be a merry Christmas for all of us after all.

Dec 1 (Thurs): Empathy is the ability to share another person's emotions/feelings as if they were your own.
Cons dropped by the office to pick up Mama's birthday gift for Yana. What is a family without drama, right?
He told me Berjo has been away from home so long because he has another girlfriend. He also told me he doesn't want to spend Christmas in the house where they live now as he doesn't want the noisy, boisterous Christmas with his in-laws. He also wants me to join him in Christmas shopping for the kids. I was so insensitive to point out that maybe, Jing doesn't want to go home this Christmas just yet because she wants to save up as this is the last time she would be a sea woman. My heart ached for their family. I really want to help them. I cry for them because I feel so helpless.

November 2011

Nov (Wed): Today is the Boni Day holiday. It was a good slow day. I did everything at a short cut leisurely pace.
I woke up at 7:15am, had a breakfast of delicious coffee, and a portion of banana muffin, still from Tita Pam's pasalubong from the US.
After breakfast, I fixed by cabinet of clothes and stuff which I have been wanting to do for over a month now. I cooked steamed rice and reheated my mom's monggo for lunch.
After lunch, I took a bath then bought stuff for our themed office kris kringle for 8 days. I waited 15 minutes to ride an FX to Trinoma in vain. In the end, I rode a jeepney. Traffic was ok.
Inside Trinoma, there were many people but I was still able to walk around fast. To my surprise, prices of goods were affordable. Here's the shortcut. I just followed the price cap but not the theme.
I bought a book for myself, my favorite loaf of bread, and 2 bottles of beer.

Nov 29 (Tues): Before all else, I buckled again in the first reading. Just once but then again, it was a flawed reading.
Now for the rest of the day. I feel bad for being such as whiner the whole day. I complained about our wall calendar printer. She was so kind to be professional about it. I kept my cool talking to the desk planner printer who made mistakes in the holidays.
I'm just thankful for the free food all day: Jollibee chicken joy & Tropical Hut hamburger. So yummy!

Nov 26 (Sat): Woke up with a slight headache, hangover of yesterday's. I didn't want to burden everyone with my headache so I gave in and took a medicine for it.
I arrived at Tita Rhod's home in time for lunch, or so we thought. As the available food was still part of the snack menu, I just ate spaghetti. It was a good thing I did so because we feasted on sinigang na hipon, grilled pusit, liempo, and tilapia for lunch at 2:00pm. By this time, our expected lunch guests haven't arrived yet. They got in at 3:00 pm. We had halo-halo at 4:00pm laughing, reminiscing, the olden days. I took another medicine for my headache because it was threatening to come back. We slept around 11:00 pm.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How great was 2011!

To say that I was just plain lazy last year in documenting my blessings is truly an understatement
Before that, I should mention that my bag was snatched on my way home from watching the Pyrolympics. Uncle Erning was also shot to death. Moving on...
Here are the major blessings I received. (I know I'll update this from time to time):
- turnover of condo! yey! Mama "lent" me the balance. yey!!! condo was blessed also!!!
- weekend in Osaka with side trip to Kyoto and Nara
- spent Christmas in Muslim Dubai
- Cata's birthday at Sonya's Garden
- swimming at Ferarren Hills with Kyle, Yana, Bianca, Cheska & Loraine
- attended talk of Bo Sanchez at Layforce
- attended DevComNet twice
- dinners with wine / beer with Lani
- Wensha Spa with Sharon & Lui
- Andrew Lloyd Weber with Leslie!!!
- HP7.2 at iMax with Ricci & friends
-

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Blessings in 2010

I can't believe that my last post was in May 2010! So much has happened since then. One time towards the end of last year (like it was a long time ago), I felt down as I had so many worries. It was then that I decided to count my blessings. To name a few:

January - August: breakfast in our office's executive lounge overlooking Manila Bay at a leisurely pace

October - onwards: breakfast of coffee, bread, yoghurt, and cereal with milk at home at a leisurely pace

January
- watched the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO)
- videoke night with Electromaniacs and PWU College of Music Dean Harold Galang, among others, overlooking Makati City
- watched the play Duets at Onstage, Greenbelt

February
- performed as part of the GSIS Chorale at the launching of the Art Competition
- Digital Video Production training at the Philippine Center for Creative Imaging (PCCI)
- attended the Singles for Christ's (SFC) International Conference
- performed as part of the GSIS Chorale at the Korea-Philippine Art Festival
- watched the play Romeo & Bernadette at Onstage, Greenbelt

March
- bought 3 complete book series: Harry Potter, Twilight, Percy Jackson
- watched a segment of the Pyrolympics
- watched the Paramore concert
- attended Effective Presentation Skills for Decision-makers training at Team Asia
- watched the Concert for Culture and Peace

April
- Holy Week at Marinduque
- defied gravity at Pampanga
- watched another PPO concert
- performed as part of the GSIS Chorale at the Kundiman, Broadway, Pop

May
- attended Pahiyas Festival
- weekend at Subic
- weekend at Caramoan

June
- watched movies in all weekends

July
- watched Yamato Drums of Japan
- watched Equus at Onstage, Greenbelt
- weekend at Poracay

August
- ate to our hearts' content at Flying Pig, Tsoko Nut and Portuguese
- instant credit card

September
- 3 weeks in Europe:
* Geneva
* Paris
* Barcelona
* Milan
* Rome
* Venice
* Verona
* Salzburg
* French Riviera
> Nice
> Cannes
> Monaco-Monte Carlo
> Cote d'Azur
> Eze
> Antibes
> St. Paul de Vence

October
- watched the play Beauty & the Beast at Onstage
- attended the executive planning at Summit Ridge, Tagaytay
- Mama had a mild stroke and was discharged on my birthday

December
- performed as part of the GSIS Chorale at the:
* Famas Awards
* Government Corporation Athletic Association Festival
* NBN-4's The Morning Show

Please take note, however, that these are just the major blessings that I can list online. There are still plenty that I receive regularly which I acknowledge each time I say my silent prayers throughout the day. Still, as I'm confident that God has many blessings in store for me which He excitedly wants to give to me, my guide in 2011 is:

Name it and claim it
Believe it and receive it!


Thank you, Lord, for all the blessings!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pahiyas 2010

My friends from another department in the office invited me to join them in attending the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban, Quezon. This is the feastday of San Isidro Labrador celebrated on May 15 in thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest all year round and to simultaneously ask for continuous blessings in the current year. They likewise informed me that I could bring a friend and I invited a grade school classmate at once. I told my mother about it and she said she wished she could join as well. Luckily enough, she could still be accommodated in the transportation.

(A little side story on my mom joining the trip. When I told her that she could join us, she suddenly remembered that she had a prior commitment on that weekend. She was able to get out of it easily. Then she saw the tv ad of a teleserye she religiously followed which was ending on that same weekend. Again, she had second thoughts on joining! In the end, she spent the weekend with me and my friends.)

Going back to the story, we left the office at around 8:00 pm and arrived in Tayabas, Quezon at 11:45. We checked into Nawawalang Paraiso which is surprisingly good for its price.
At breakfast the following morning, our host arrived to take us to Lucban, the center of activities. I was awed by the nice designs made out of fruits, vegetables, and kiping. Kiping is fried crispy ground rice. For me, it is a local cracker.

At around 10:30 am, we went to Kamay ni Hesus, a gigantic statue of Jesus Christ located at the top of a hill 292 steps above street level. It was a good thing that my mom and I wore pants which reached our knees as our friends weren't allowed to climb up since they were wearing shorts. They implement a dress code for the people who want to go up as the place was sacred ground.

When we got down, we went to our host's house to feast on delicious caldereta, laing, and yema cake, among others. Their family lot has the main house, a guest house, technically 2 bahay kubos and scattered with trees such as mangoes, duhat and lukban. The heat was literally draining our energy that time so each of us found our places for siesta.

We woke up to see another tradition, the procession. What was different from this procession though was all who joined are men and we soon found out why. When the men were in front of the houses, the owners threw the displayed suman, mangoes and pineapples. When all of these have been thrown out, the house owners likewise threw bills and coins.

You could just imagine the scene this created! All the men in the parade were eagerly looking up to catch the next thing. Although, what was really striking about it was that a few pickpocketed from the others, all in good humor!

That night, we were invited to another house which also prepared yummy food! We got back to the resort really tired but so glad for the bonding. We went home the day after. Next stop, Subic!

Monday, May 03, 2010

On the road to the 2010 elections

A few days from now, legal-aged Filipinos will line up once again to vote in the national and local elections. I have received e-mails and text messages of who NOT to choose.

I remember the first time I registered to vote. My mother excitedly and proudly escorted me to the school where she teaches. She introduced me to everyone. Yes, I was excited as well but I depended on my mother's list for my choice of candidates.

Six years after that, when I worked in a private institution, I'm embarrassed to say that I skipped voting in one national election. It just wasn't my priority then. This didn't deter me from expressing my opinions. It was all words, no action.

Now that I have been working in a government office, my views on election has drastically changed. I often question the motivation and the manner for compliance to office policies. I adhere to most of them, true, but I now think beyond myself to include fellow government workers and Filipinos, for that matter.

I could be overly dramatic at times but I literally feel for the clients I deal with, and at times, my officemates. I know I am simple-minded in some cases but I feel the need for change is long overdue.

As I go through the credentials of the candidates, their achievements in office, I wonder about the things not mentioned in the pamphlets. Choosing wisely is not hard as I simply pick the man who has the best track record among the lot. However, I dare say that choosing from the heart is harder as we only see glimpses of the man during debates and televised campus tours.

A few days from now, legal-aged Filipinos will line up once again to vote in the national and local elections. May the one vote we entrust to our chosen leaders guide their hearts in serving our beloved Philippines.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Holy Week at Marinduque

I first went to >Marinduque in summer of 1997. This is the place my mom considered home at one point in her life. I came back this Holy Week with 5 of my friends. Here are the highlights of my stay at Marinduque.

Marinduque, the island

The back-to-back brochure of the holy week program shows how small Marinduque is. As proof of its size, all the week's major activities in all the towns are listed per day in the same brochure. It likewise shows the places to stay and sites to see. This place is quite quaint that you could see the entire island in 9 hours even by riding a tricycle, or so we were told. Modern amenities such as wifi and cable tv are accessible but this has not altered the generally laid back and serene place that is Marinduque.

Moriones Festival

I stayed in the island from the afternoon of Maundy Thursday to Black Saturday evening. One of the highlights is the Moriones parade on Good Friday. They depicted the carrying of the cross across Boac town.

On the same night, they had the passion play in the town plaza. The program showed that it should start at 7:00 p.m. We were there promptly but felt that we were in the wrong location as there were no people yet. We decided to eat dinner then. After an hour, we went back to the plaza and saw some people fixing the stage and seated in the amphitheater. The show started at 8:20 p.m.

Putting aside biases, we enjoyed the play. The script was well-written. The actors were believable and spoke clearly. As it started late, it wasn't done yet by 10:00 p.m. We were tired and left without seeing the end.

My lola

The following morning, I called up my mom's aunt to tell her I was in Marinduque. I also told her that I would visit her with my friends later in the afternoon after attending church services. When we arrived at her house, I was surprised to find delicious foods: home-cooked pancit, bibingka, biko, and alimasag. Everything tasted so well I even took our leftover food to our resort.

My aunt learned that I was there and invited me to visit her cottage. I was awed by how beautiful and cozy her place was. I even saw one of her cousins. We went to the beach and took pictures by the bonfire.

Tres Reyes

Going to this island is an experience. This is a group of 3 islands that has white rough pebbles so you better have footwear that you can wet. The boat ride from the town Gasan to the first island took 20 minutes.

We planned to leave the island by 12:00 nn and went there with just finger foods so we would be forced to leave the island by lunch time. However, we were in for a surprise.

One resident of the island went around selling ulang-ulang. It's basically a species of crab cooked in gata. Each of us tried one and it was so delicious.

After a few minutes, we saw a roasted pig without limbs being hauled in. We thought it was food of one of the visitors of the island. I was surprised to see a weighing scale near it. That was when I knew it was for sale. We bought 700 grams and was given another 100 grams for free. It was so tasty!

After that, we were open to surprises. When ice cream on stick was sold, we tried it as well.

The experience

That was one of my best vacations ever. We didn't need to get up very early or rush from place to place as, I repeat, Marinduque is quite quaint, serene and laid-back. I would love to go there every once in a while to unwind.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

More bonding moments with friends

Last Thursday, my friends and I watched the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra led by guest conductor Aries Caces with guest violinist Joseph Esmilla. The night started with dinner and ended in bonding over beer at an Irish pub in Makati. Twas a great night!

On Friday night, I thought I'd drop by the chorale practice, join the vocalization, then leave. I was so excited in thinking of things I could do on the one Friday night that I am free from practice. How wrong was I when I was decided to join them for dinner afterwards. Glad I did so as it was another night of good music and loud laughter.

Today, my mom and I visited my sick lola at my aunt's place. Then I met my best friend. We ate to our hearts' content pasta, yoghurt, and coffee. Bonding moments like these never grow old.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Busy, busy, busy

It's just the first quarter of this year but I feel I've done so much already, the foremost being joining the official chorale of the museum. Being a member, I practice with them every Wednesdays and Fridays. We have already performed thrice. I have received a painting and a pencil sketch of me as tokens.


For a while, I was into jogging with friends from the office to the CCP complex and circling the ramp until we go back to the office to change clothes and go home. At one point, we were 9 in all. This was my regular activity every Tuesdays and Thursdays for about a month.

Flashback: I didn't have time to write about joining the chorale competition where we were the champion.

Going back, the members of the chorale had a get-together in January in a really nice Makati condo unit. I had the chance to sing live with the Electromaniacs band as my backup music and Dean Harold Galang of the PWU School of Performing Arts. We sang mostly Beatles and broadway songs. I know it was a once in a lifetime experience.

Last month I attended the SFC international conference in Davao. I can't describe the overwhelming feeling I had then. It was truly great!

I also enjoyed pop and classical culture. I watched Repertory plays at Greenbelt, Duets in January and Romeo & Bernadette last month, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra concerts for 3 consecutive months, a piano concert and the Paramore concert at MOA. My favorite tita treated me with free tickets to watch the Philippine pyromusical competition. It was a great night bonding with family.

In between these activities, I went condo hunting and decided to buy a unit. I believe this is the most adult move I've done so far. Regular payments will start next year. I hope I can afford it.
The few times I stayed home, I watched DVDs of TV series and movies. I still have a few unwatched DVDs and unread novels.
As the summer season is about to start, friends are planning to go out of town. I hope I have the finances and the time to do all of these.
This is my story for now, just busy, busy, busy.

All in my day's work

I usually answer office phone inquiries. When I don’t know the answer, I refer them to the concerned unit by giving the direct line number. When I give the number, the caller usually repeats it after me. One time, after I mentioned the first 3 digits, I heard “beep, beep, beep”. I heard it again after I mentioned the last 4 digits. I tactfully told the caller, “Please dial that number after we put down our phones.”

- 0 -

Before our office releases claims, the INternal reconciliation department double checks premium and loan payments. As this is a tedious task which sometimes takes months due to the volume of requests, clients follow up either in person or over the phone. One time I answered a phone inquiry, the caller asked to be connected to the Eternal reconciliation department.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Ending 2009... Starting 2010

The last week of 2009

I reported for work on Dec 28-29 (Mon-Tues). The plan after office was, I was supposed to meet Sonia on Monday, Sheila and Cata on Tuesday and spend the whole day at Trinoma with Lani on Wednesday.

Sonia had to finish a deadline that Monday so asked to be re-sked on Wednesday. As Lani is a college friend who rarely goes out of the house, I couldn't reschedule. She wanted to go to Trinoma for the first time in her life with me. Sonia and I agreed to see each other at a later date.

The next day, Sheila cancelled at 3:00 pm because she also had a deadline to finish. She also wanted to reschedule the next day, Wednesday. Lani was my first commitment on that day and I wanted to stick to that. Sheila insisted we open a mall at 10:00 am so we don't need to find a later date. That night, I asked my mom to go with me in buying jewelries. She also wanted to buy the following day, Wednesday. I told her I planned to go on a later date as I didn't have that amount of money yet then, and I had several plans that day. My final schedule Dec. 30 was 10:00 am with Sheila and Cata, 2:00 pm with Lani.

New year's eve

I spent the whole day on dvd marathon. That night, I was really tired by 10:30 and promptly slept through all the new year's eve celebrations.

Jan. 3 (Sun)

I spent a ladies' afternoon out with Luisa, my good grade school friend. We went to a salon, had hair spa and pedicure, then went to a mall for facial.

Jan. 5 (Tues)

Our executives initiated a victory-healing party for our group. Let me backtrack for awhile. We joined the Christmas party presentations. There were 4 categories. Our teams were champions in dancing, and the chorale competition (which I joined). We were third place overall because of our score in the broadway musical and the caroling competitions. I'll miss the finance sector people.

Jan. 8 (Fri)

I watched Chipmunks, the Squeakuel with Mac after office.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

2009 in Retrospect

Reviewing the year at this point is such a cliché but this is a valuable tool in keeping track of the good and bad points I went through personally. I should mention, however, that I have such a bad memory so the highlights of 2009 I write about here stood out in my mind.

First, the bad parts... I experienced heart break over a guy I was not committed to. The upside here was I felt human with emotions.

On to the good parts... I had my first visa, to enter the United Kingdom, no less! My flight was on April 2 and my visa was released on March 30. All people who knew I would be traveling were so glad as it was my only my third time to go out of the country. I spent 16 glorious days in that part of the world. The rejuvenation I experienced in that vacation lasted for many months. I wasn’t as burned out months after with no break in the office.

Official travels followed. I went to GenSan, Iloilo, and even stayed at the Taal Vista Lodge. I became a videographer and photographer, two job descriptions I never dreamed of doing. We left the office on Thursdays, stayed in the provinces until Saturdays, rushed desk jobs on Mondays, and prepared to leave the office again on Wednesdays. The highlights here are the hospitality of the receiving branch, the issues of the members and how we responded to them, and the food. I even met a lady who is now a good friend. The funny thing is, she is also from the head office. (Towards the end of the year, I went to Davao on vacation with old friends).

The Monday that followed that, our unit was assigned to lead the office flag ceremony. I led the singing of the national anthem and the office hymn.

Then, I was assigned to join the task force in assisting loan applicants. As I was primarily assigned to direct the people traffic which reached more than 5,000 applicants at one time, I acted as the host. I got to work with people from other departments.

After 2 weeks, I joined the chorale competition practice for the Christmas party. It was another activity with other departments. I gained another good friend.

Christmas time surprised me! I was surprised with the people who gave me gifts. I didn't know I mad that much impression on them. I felt so overwhelmed by their special gifts.

Snippets this year, I was assigned to read in the office masses regularly, reconnected with a friend I last saw in grade school, regularly went on ladies’ days out with an old friend, and connected with people from different parts of the world through social networking games.

2009 was a great year for me. I’m excited about what 2010 will bring!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

What I have been busy with lately

Sept 18-21: vacation in Davao

October 1 - November 4 (weekdays): hosting the office Ondoy emergency loan program, assisting applicants

This deserves a really long entry but for now, here are the highlights:

October 1: more than 7,000 applications
October 2: more than 5,000 applications

In the third week of October, averaging more than 2,000 applications every day.

In the fourth week, averaging more than 1,000 applications every day.

November: passed the audition for the Christmas chorale group presentation; rehearsals

Monday, August 31, 2009

My addiction with Facebook games

Let me start by saying that our office Internet subscription has been cut off for around a year now. During the time we had access to the Internet, there were lots of Web sites blocked by our administrator. This includes all chat sites, blogs, networking sites such as Friendster and Facebook. That was until they cut off our Internet completely.

That being the case, I checked my emails when I got home. As I sometimes go home late, the most I could do when I go online was simply check my email. In my emails, I receive a number of invites, and later on, gifts for Facebook games. At the start, I simply ignored them until the office started talking about developing games for the office. As the most popular games nowadays are Facebook games, they wanted to develop a game exactly like that.

I wanted to know what they were talking about in the office so I decided to pay attention to my Facebook games invites. I had the most gifts for Farm Town. I receive trees such as lemons, apples, oranges, pears, bananas, plums, peaches, cherries, mangoes, coconuts, and palms, from friends, for free. A number of them gave me flower plants too, i.e., forget-me-nots, zinnias, and daffodils. And what is a farm without animals! I have chickens, cows, dogs, horses, peacocks, and rabbits. I only spend money on seeds such as grapes, tomatoes, rice, corn, and potatoes, when I replant after I harvest the crops.

The same is true for my Farmville. I only spend on replanting the lots with seeds. The trees and animals I accept as gifts are more than enough for my small land. It is worth mentioning that upon logging on to these 2 games, I am given the chance to give trees and animals as gifts to my friends. This explains why I have an endless supply of trees and animals from friends. In the game, I can likewise help my friends in their farms by raking the leaves.

As I waited for my crops and trees to grow, and my pets to get bigger, I explored other games. This led me to play Barn Buddy. This is in no way similar to the 2 previously mentioned games. In this game, my friends cannot give me plants and I can steal from my friends’ lots and vice versa! The viciousness does not end there as I can destroy their plants with bugs and weeds! (I haven’t done this yet! I even water their plants when the land dries up and kill the bugs and weeds that pester their plants).

Waiting for my plants in these 3 games to grow can be quite challenging. Needless to say, I explored more games. I found Sorority Life. The title is apt for the game. I build my sorority by having sisters. The more sisters I have, the more events I can organize. Some events are cute and fun. There are events where I need to find things in a very messy drawing within a time limit. At other events, there are games with the tic-tac-toe principle. This is likewise time-pressured. In other events, the rewards are given just by clicking the links.

To organize events, I need energy. There is an energy meter which shows what events I can organize. In addition to energy, I also have confidence, stamina and money. “Fight” is a major link in this game. “Fighting” means going on a showdown with ladies outside of my sorority matching corresponding points for accessories, outfits, and rides. In order to fight, I need confidence. When my confidence meter is almost empty, I need to go to the spa which charges money from my bank account. When my confidence level drops to zero, I become “terminally depressed”. The stamina meter shows how many ladies I can “fight”. The loser in these fights loses influence and money. I earn money by having a job. I pay for “training” to get accepted to jobs. I also need a job to buy accessories, outfits, and rides.

I can honestly say that I am hooked to this game! As I need more sisters in my sorority, I found a Web site looking for sisters! They give me gifts necessary in the game, just like in Farm Town and FarmVille. I do not know more than half of my Facebook friends from all over the world, I dare say, as I just added them to make my sorority bigger in number, hence stronger!

This very feminine game has its masculine counterpart, Mafia Wars. I have jobs such as collecting protection money, roughing up dealers, taking out rogue cops, performing hits, bank heists, among others. I have a hideout, rent a house, own an Italian restaurant and an apartment complex. I even pay protection money for these properties.

At the onset of my being hooked to these games, I didn’t mind the time I spent in front of the computer. As I realized that I haven’t reopened the novel I started reading a month ago, I disciplined myself to set an hour each night to read. I likewise disciplined myself to set my sleeping time to no avail! I couldn’t sleep earlier than midnight because I needed to protect my earnings in the games that I play.

These games are not bad in themselves. Sorority Life and Mafia Wars are strategy games. Designing FarmVille and Farm Town stirs creativity. The time I spend in front of the computer is what bothers me. I used to enjoy other things. I am slowly getting back on track and cutting down on time online. It wouldn’t be a bad thing if the most I do is read my emails and check online news. Friendster and Facebook are great networking sites. It even gave me the chance to expand my network beyond my friends and connect with people of all races with a common interest, playing network games on Facebook.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The week that passed and beyond

My boss has been gearing up for a big presentation to THE boss and we, the lowly people, made sure we prepared all the necessities well, making it seem we just finished goind our job. This has been our process for more than a week now.

Our office is composed of 3 departments that each have reports. Our assignment was to present our department's report, and collate those of the 2 others. Sounds easy, right? Be the judge.

One department submitted right at the last minute of the first deadline. It would have been ok as they literally beat the deadline. The only thing is, their report was still incomplete. We would have gladly filled in the blanks but it was just too technical for us. The other department finished a day ahead yet they couldn't give their report to us because their head hasn't checked their output at that time.

I looked forward to thursday night and the 3-day weekend (Aug. 21 is Ninoy Aquino Day). Me and my boss finished out part and as I was about to leave the office a little after 6:00 pm, one officemate told me that they cannot give their report to me before I leave the office, another one told me that major changes were made to their report.

I still left the office as scheduled and went to have my warts removed! I haven't taken a bath since Thursday night as I'm waiting for the marks to heal. It's a good thing, the healing cream I bought is really effective. Needless to say, I haven't left the house since then.

Can't wait for next Friday when I will watch a concert with a good friend.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Infectious Joy

This Wednesday, I attended the Novena mass at the office. I saw Nelia, and asked that she accompany me while I ate lunch. She told me that she and other ladies in her department were planning to watch AND I LOVE YOU SO after office. I was shy at first but I really wanted to see the movie so said yes anyway.

Eight of us excitedly left the office and decided to eat dinner at the Aristocrat. We made a bet that whoever cried first would foot our dinner bill. We were joking that we'll keep the bill at P1,600 with a P200 per head budget laughing our hearts out. We ordered just 4 softdrinks in can, 2 persons sharing a can. We said we'd cancel orders should we go over the budget. We told the waiter to compute our bill right after he took our orders just to make sure.

Another waiter approached us and asked if we knew the guy who was sitting at the table next to us. The waiter said that guy paid for our P1,800 bill! In all, he paid for his P300-meal, P1,00-take out food, and P300-tip, plus our tab.

No one knows who he is. The ladies at the end of the table next to his were saying that he was smiling at our conversation. We know we looked professionals wearing our uniforms. I was the only one who didn't have the blazer on.

We were at the parking when Nelia couldn't see the parking receipt. While looking for it, we saw the contents of her blazer pockets, lots of tissue ready for the crying moment she never had. We saw the receipt after 5 minutes.

It was a pleasant surprise for all of us.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Truly an exciting office life!

June 25-27 (Th-Sa): I was in Gen. Santos City for the first leg of dialogues with GSIS member agency representatives. It was fun! We literally devoured over sumptuous delicious food prepared by the branch office staff.

July 2-4 (Th-Sa): Iloilo dialogue. I was assigned video coverage. In our second night, around 10 of us bonded the Filipino way over videoke, a couple of bottles of beer, and pizza. More sumptuous delicious food and great company!

July 9-11 (Th-Sa): Batangas dialogue spent in Tagaytay at Taal Vista Lodge! As i documented the event on video, I was given the nickname Video Girl! Cool climate and sumptuous delicious food!

July 13 (Mon): I was tasked to lead the recitation of Ako'y Kawani ng GSIS but ended up leading the national anthem and GSIS hymn as well.

Last I heard, our unit is tasked to be usher/ettes in the launch of our new product!

Monday, June 15, 2009

A surprisingly busy weekend

I got home before 7:00 pm last Thursday as my boss gave me a ride home. As it was Independence Day, we had a 3-day weekend.

June 12 passed by as any ordinary weekend when I laze around the house all day...

Almost! I got bored surfing through TV channels when I decided to invite my friend to watch a movie for P15.00 only at SM Manila. This was the second time we did it. Just last week, we watched Ink Heart. This Friday, we saw The Golden Compass. We went home right after seeing the movie.

As soon as I opened my eyes Saturday morning, I checked the time on my cell phone. I received text messages from 2 friends, 1 was from my best friend updating me on what she did all week and how she would spend the weekend. The other one was from a friend I haven't seen in a while inviting me to join other friends just to hang out that night. As I thought of just another boring day waiting for the day to end, I confirmed at once that I would join them.

After sending my replies, I washed my clothes and did some other household chores. It was nearly time to prepare to go out. The thing is, I haven't received confirmation yet if plans would push through or not. We met an hour after our originally scheduled meeting time.

Was I glad I joined them. It was truly a night filled with fun and laughter! We ate at a Japanese restaurant, then took a short ride to a videoke bar where we sang to our hearts' content for 2 hours, then walked in a street free of transportation and people with few lights to the nearest night hang out where we had 1 bottle of beer each while watching a band. We separated at 1:30 am.

I set my alarm for 4:00 am to pick up my mom from the airport. Her plane was due to arrive at 6:00 am. She got out at 6:30 am. She distributed our pasalubongs to those of us at home. I took a short nap, then she decided to go duty-free shopping. Actually, I shopped, she just watched me do it. Then we went home for a short while just to drop off the things that I bought. We proceeded to visit my nieces where Mama gave her pasalubong. I was truly tired when I got home tonight, I went to bed at once.

As luck would have it, I haven't slept a wink all night. That was when I decided to write this entry.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Loving and Hurting

I attended the mass yesterday. The homily tackled loving and hurting. The priest explained it well. These are the highlights.

The priest said that a priest defined loving, in Tagalog, pagmaMAHAL as the opposite of pagMURA. He said that when you love, you elevate that person. Its opposite pagMURA is having lower regard for that person. Just like loving God, you elevate Him even higher. However, we cannot elevate God anymore because He is above all things. In His greatness, He meets us midway so we can know Him and love Him more.

Translating this to love among and between humans, when we love a person, we elevate that person, we put him in high regard, minaMAHAL. When we start devaluing that person, one of the expressions could be pagmuMURA, literally cursing. As a result, the devalued person is hurt.

The priest also said that yesterday's Gospel is a contradiction, quoting, "Now, I give you a new commandment: love one another just as I have loved you, you also must love one another." (John 13:34) It is a contradiction because Jesus commanded that we perform something that comes out naturally. For example, adults command a child to eat heartily so that the child will be healthy. In the same way that adults command an obese child to eat less for the same reason, to be healthy. When we were still in school, our parents commanded that we study well. We all know how hard following that commandment could be. So why should we be commanded to love when we do it automatically?

Jesus commands that we love one another because though it is a MUST, it is hard to do, just like proper eating and studying well. When we exert that much effort in loving, we are hurt when we people do not respond well to our actions, hence the extra effort to follow His commandment.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

traveling in England

I spent 16 happy days in England on vacation!

I'm still uploading my pictures in http://preciousanne.multiply.com/photos/album/4/Tour_of_England

Hopefully, I'll create an entry on the highlights of my vacation sometime soon.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

2008 Christmas break

I truly love the Christmas season because almost everyone is good to everybody else. Everyone loves to share their blessings simply because it's Christmas. Here's my holiday season journal.

Dec. 20, Saturday
Sis Jenny invited 3 of us to watch the Paskuhan Festival in Pampanga. She went home ahead so. In the end, Sis Eva was too tired to join, so it was just me and Sis Jennie Anna who went there. This is when the fun started. We took the wrong bus! We passed by the town we had to go to by about 2 towns. When we got to the place where we were supposed to be, we were very hungry, so we had a bonding over dinner at the mall. We were thinking of skipping the show altogether, the major reason we went there, because the place was very crowded. As we were able to find space, we finished the program until the fireworks display. The lanterns were just awesome!
We went to Sis Jenny's place shared cake with her family then slept at 2:00 a.m.

Dec. 21, Sunday
We woke up late, ate a very delicious tall glass of halo-halo then went back to Manila.
As soon as I arrived, I dropped off my things then went to the mall with my mom. I was able to do my Christmas shopping only this day! I was able to buy toys for my brothers, nephew and nieces.
I looked for my mom's favorite perfume and reserved it because, as it was expensive, I was short on cash.
We went home so I could drop off my things, left my mom at home, and headed off to another mall to buy more presents.

Dec. 22, Monday
I reported for work and a good friend told me to drop by his office as he will give me a gift! As I needed to go back to the mall to buy my mom's perfume I reserved, and as I didn't want to simply get my gift and leave him empty-handed, I wasn't able to claim my gift.

Dec. 23, Tuesday
My friend was supposed to wait for me in his office after 5:00 p.m. so we could exchange gifts but was driven out by the security guards at 4:00 p.m. as office hours ended at 12:00 noon.
He called me up that night and we agreed to see each other during the Christmas break.
I received a text message from my VP checking if I would report for work the next day. She needed me to work on her powerpoint presentation.

Dec. 24, Wednesday
In the office, I lacked the materials for inclusion in the presentation so I went home at 3:00 p.m. When I got there, the whole family was present.
In the last 2 years, we checked into hotels New Year's eve so the kids could swim and enjoy the fireworks display sans the noise and smoke. This year, we decided to skip it for economic reasons. My heart went to my nephew when he said he was looking forward to checking into a hotel on new year's eve. I joked that if he would give me the money everyone gave him for Christmas, we could do it. He gave me all the cash he had, P370.00.

Christmas Day
It was a very traditional day for us. We went to my tita's house as our dear Lola was there. We had lunch then gift-giving. The whole time, family members took turns singing along the videoke while others danced to ballroom music. To say that everyone was happy is an understatement.

Dec. 27, Saturday
I met with a friend, ate dinner then watched Ang Tanging Ina Ninyong Lahat. We had a good laugh.

Dec. 28, Sunday
I couldn't forget how my nephew looked when he told me he wanted to check into a hotel on new year's eve so we decided to do it again. After calling up a few hotels, my sister-in-law booked a room for us at the Renaissance Hotel.

Dec. 29, Monday
We paid the reservation fee and shopped for things to bring to the hotel. My mom had the flu but she tried her best to pace herself so she join in all our activities.

Dec. 30, Tuesday
We checked into the hotel, roamed around Makati, took out KFC for dinner, watched TV while the kids enjoyed the bathtub then went to sleep.

Dec. 31, Wednesday
The kids went swimming, we had lunch treated by my youngest brother, the kids swam again in the afternoon, we dined out at dinner then watched the fireworks display.

New Year's Day
The kids swam for about an hour, we had brunch then checked out.

January 3, Saturday
My mom still has the colds but she's feeling a little bit better now.

Though the break was 12 days, I was never bored because I rarely stayed at home. Bonding moments and days with the family were well-spent. I didn't even have the time to read books. It was a well-enjoyed break.