Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Start of a New Journey



March 29, 2010. I decided to go to the University of San Carlos Faculty of Law office to register for the entrance exam. This was familiar since I took the UP LAE last December. I admit that didn't go as well as I expected. Hey, I registered Saturday and took the test the next day. I did my best. Cut me some slack.

Anyway, I was glad that happen. This means I got an excuse not to leave Cebu.

May 8 is the day and I roughly have a month to prepare. I gotta read more about current events and politics. No more booze for me. Study, study, study...or  read at least. :-)

My Presidential Bet



Noynoy is the best bet for Presidency. Don't vote Villar! He's clearly corrupt. His ads alone can feed a lot of hungry Filipinos. If he really wants to help, he could have just gave the money to them. 

Gibo is a good choice but his candidacy is a plot to make Villar win. If Villar wins, Arroyo wins. 

Noynoy is our only hope.

  

Thursday, March 25, 2010

New Naruto Shippuuden Episodes: 152 and 153

Yehey! I can now watch the latest episodes of Naruto Shippuuden. I don't care if I just got out of work. I'll watch this bitch! :-)

http://www.animeseason.com/

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Lazy Sunday with Wonder Woman

March 21, 2010. I just finished watching the Wonder Woman animated film. I must say that Warner Bros. did a very good job! It showed a very innocent and naive Diana trying to bridge the world of men and women while on a mission to stop Aries from destroying the world. Steve Parker was hilarious with his "crap" lines. There's also a cameo by a certain dumb-ass, trigger happy U.S. President. That scene reminded me of the Iraq war. Stupid G.W.B!

Now, I'm downloading the Superman Doomsday film. So excited. This is gonna be a long night!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Work After Makati


February 15, 2010. It’s my first day of work since getting back from Makati and I must say I was pretty darn excited. I missed the office and my workmates! I started my day (actually night) with dinner with the training team. We went to Mooon Cafe to bid our farewell to Bo, our Training Manager.
The rest of the shift was very productive. We tested the systems in the training room, had calibration sessions with the communications trainers, attended meetings and sent e-mails.
It’s now 9:20 am of the 16th. I’m now ending my day with this post and a couple of Pretzels sent by my dear friend Gladys.  :-)

My Luck in the Year of the Big Cat



2010 Forecast for the Rat: The Rat may be feeling quite tired and deflated after 2009, which saw him keeping his head down, working and staying out of trouble. The Year of the Tiger is going to be fast-paced for the Rat, which in itself does tend to make them slightly uncomfortable. But it is essential that they go with the flow and seize opportunities and take adventures – this year is going to be important for them. A lot of Rats may have dreamt of travel in 2009 but were unable to take trips either due to financial or work commitments. This year will be so different! Travel will feature strongly for many and if there is dream destination in mind, it may become a reality during 2010. February and March can bring interesting work offers, while June to August and December will bring happy social occasions. Romantically, September and October bring tempting offers for single Rats, while those who are attached will find the summer most special. It is essential for all persons born under this sign to be extra thoughtful and caring throughout the year – an inadvertent remark or gesture could lead to discord with loved ones.

Tagaytay and a Bunch of Crazy People


Taal volcano at a distance.
February 6, 2010. After Jessica recovered from chicken pox and since it’s her birthday on the 7th, Gladys (our trainer) decided to go to Tagaytay after our shift. We went to Sonya’s Secret Garden for some melt in your mouth chocolate cupcakes (sinful!) and had lunch in the Golf Club in Tagaytay Highlands.
At Sonya's Garden. Now all I need is somebody to sit beside me.
Sonya’s Garden is a haven for couples and urbanites who want a quiet time away from the bustle of modern life. There are plants and flowers all over the place. We had so much fun enjoying the scenery and of course posing for pictures. Jessica was far from camera shy. She posed, posed and posed some more. Jade (our client services manager) was so entertained by her.
Tagaytay Highlands
After buying cupcakes and yema from their Panaderia (bakeshop), we headed to the Golf Club. Of course we took some more pictures. We also had lunch. We ate a lot of salads, fish, fresh lumpia and beef salpicao. We were definitely more than satisfied.
Officemates having fun!
Officemates having fun!
By 2pm, we were ready to go home.  We had to stop by Rowena’s and Mr. Moo’s for some pasalubong.  We took the Sta. Rosa – Manila route and passed by some familiar places like Laguna BelAir where I used to go to high school and Laguna Techno Park where I used to hear mass at Don Bosco Parish. Seeing those places reminded me of the wonderful time I had as a kid growing up.  The thought of transferring to Nuvali to work crossed my mind.
The Cebu Trainers at Convergys in Nuvali
That day was really special. I had fun and got to visit old and familiar places. Thanks Gladys, Jade, Arlene and Lyn!

Happy Feet


Espadrilles
They’re cool, casual and comfy! They’re handmade in Spain. They’re espadrilles! A pair is perfect for leisurely Sundays and beach escapades. Each shoe is special. Since they’re handmade, you really have to try them on to find a perfect fit. Even if you get 2 pairs of the same size, it’s not a guarantee that both will fit. You really need to find the pair that molds to your feet.

I am so in love with them that I got 2 pairs from Sueno de Espadrilles at the Podium. I only got two since I really can’t find that 3rd pair that will fit.  That’s a good thing though or else I would have blown my salary on them!

IMAX Monday


iMax and Me
January 25, 2010. After weeks of its release I watched Avatar with my cousin Lex in IMAX at SM North Edsa and I must say the 400PHP ticket is so worth it! You can really see the pictures and the images come to life! There were a couple of instances that I thought I’ll get hit by the flying arrows and bullets. Watching movies for me will never be the same again!

Reminiscing Ortigas


January 23, 2010. It’s the weekend again! This time I decided to go to my cousins’ place in Pasig City. Last time I’ve been here was September of 2009. This was when I had my temporary residence in Holiday Inn in Ortigas.
From Makati, I rode the MRT and took the FX at Robinson’s Galleria. Seeing the Holiday Inn and the Robinson’s Equitable Tower reminded me of the 3 months I spent there. The breakfast buffet at the 2nd floor of the hotel. The Seven Eleven right across the street. The weird shape of our office building. These brought back memories of my then usual Sunday doughnut at Krispy Kremes, dinners at Mongkok, midnight indulgences at Pancheto, Bob (the guy who cleans my room)and the rest of the hotel staff, and daily complimentary mineral water at the mini bar.  It made me grateful of times gone by. I suddenly felt lucky that I was able to experience that and I am reliving it but this time in a different city. Being with Convergys really has its perks!
Holiday Inn Manila
Robinsons Equitable Tower

When the Manila and Cebu Training Team Collide


Manila and Cebu Training Team
Fun fun fun!!!
January 16, 2010. It’s the weekend after pay day. Everybody is happy. Pockets are full. It also doen’t hurt that Kimy and Debbie (my co-trainer) dropped by on their way to Cebu from Macau.
The day started out with us ordering breakfast. Since Jessica and I are fresh out from work, we slept and left them on their own. I woke up by lunchtime and joined Kimy and Debbie. We met up with Cha from our Ortigas site and had lunch. She invited us to a drinking session with the rest of the Ortigas team that night.
That night I never thought that the Ortigas team is as hard-core as the Cebu  training team when it comes to drinking. We had so much fun. Banter here and banter there. And the best part – KARAOKE!
We ended up going home at 4am. So much fun!

Of Starbucks and MiniStop


January 12, 2010. We have an ancient proverb that goes, “In every corner lies a Starbucks store.” Okay. Fine. This is not a chunk of wisdom from the old days but it is as true as the bible. In this age of busy and hectic lifestyles, it isn’t a wonder that those cups of glorified caffeinated drinks have become the norm. You can always find that two-tailed mermaid in every block of the city. It has become part of everyday life as rice or bread but there’s also one establishment that rivals the prominence of this foreign brand.
Close to the Filipino urban dweller’s heart is Mini Stop! Like Starbucks, you can find one in every block. It has definitely replaced the sari-sari store. You can get everything from school supplies to full meals. It has become the best friend of everybody who needs something quick, fast and cheap.
Personally, I love this store. I never fail to visit one every time I’m in Manila. I don’t of course plan to go there like I do with Starbucks but just the same, it has become a habit. If you need load, it’s there. A quick bite? They also have that! What about some magazines for reading? Definitely.
I think as somebody who works at night, Mini Stop is a God sent. I don’t think life is going to be possible in Metro Manila without convenience stores. Ask any call center professional if they have visited Mini Stop and I’m sure you’ll get a yes from everybody.

Pampanga Weekend


January 10, 2010. Since I’m here in Luzon, I decided to spend my weekend in Pampanga.
I was able to relax at my Uncle Vic’s rest house in Porac. It was a day of lounging and a night of drinking. I didn’t even mind that I was on the night shift the day before.
Sunday was spent in Angeles City at my Uncle Melo’s place. It was nice to see Carlo and Gener again. I used to baby sit them and now they’re all grown up. Gener showed me around town and I ended up imparting my wisdom over coffee.

My First Take of Makati


January 4, 2009. I’m finally here in Makati for my T3! For those who don’t know, T3 is call center lingo for Train-The-Trainer. Our company is opening a new line of business for a client. I was chosen as well as a colleague to be trained here so we can train agents when we get back to Cebu!
I had to wake up early for my 6am flight. Jessica (the other trainer) and I decided to share a cab to the airport. We got there safely and were able to check –in our bags with no delays. I didn’t even mind that we don’t have our letter of authorization yet for the hotel. I know everything is in order. All is doing well till we got to the hotel! We are staying in Prince Plaza II and to tell you honestly I’m not that keen with it.
When we got to the reception, we were greeted as cordially as possible. We were all smiles until they informed us that we are both sharing a room. What?! I was trying not to make a big fuzz about it or blow it out of proportion but Jessica was already making that face. I guess they also noticed since both receptionists were already panicking. Luckily, we were given our own rooms after a few calls.
Waiting for the hotel car service to pick us up!
Jessica got the bigger and nicer room. I got the smaller one. It isn’t ugly but the color of the couch is bright green! Please! The walls were also decorated with Geisha inspired paintings. Probably the person who designed it was on crack. Seriously! This no Holiday Inn!
I’ve settled in now. I was able to put my things in order. I even ironed all my business clothes for the entire week. Now, I’m trying to sleep but obviously I can’t since I’m writing this blog. I just hope our red hat trainer is as cool as the folks in Ortigas.

My Last Guilty Pleasure


November 8, 2009 – I had to force myself to wake up. It has been a week since I had to get my laundry from the laundrymat. So I dragged myself out of bed and opened up facebook and check what my friends are up to this time. I was surprised to see that pictures of me taken last night has already been posted and tagged (talk about excited!). I noticed how different I look from my pictures before. OMG! I’m getting fat! My built is bigger but my arms are so flabby looking. Right there and then I decided, “I need to workout more and DIET!”. Good thing I don’t have a class till next year. I’ll do capoiera every other day and jump rope at home. I need to do some lifting too. I also need to talk to Debbie, Kimmy and Jessica. These girls are making me fat! They keep on bugging me to eat and they give me their leftovers! GRRRR… How can I resist!!! But I must!
So that’s it! I’m decided! I hurried to the laundry shop, got my stuff and ate lunch! No rice for me please! I ordered noodles topped with mushrooms. I had the urge to order rice but I stopped myself. Since the supermarket was right next to where I ate, I thought I’d go there. That was a mistake! I ended up Pringles, Van Houten (bleh!) and my fave soy milk! The only thing healthy there is the milk…
This is my last guilty pleasure… I won’t eat junk anymore… If I do, I need to jumprope at least 30 mins. Promise! hehe… Let’s see what happens!

Fireflies


Fireflies are one of the most beautiful creatures God has created. Ever seen one? They’re like tiny specks of fragile light amidst the consuming darkness. It reminds me of how one person can shine despite hardships and how we can come together to contribute to illuminate radience far beyong one could imagine. I remember the first time i saw a firefly. It came into my bedroom window. I had my lights off so i could see the glowing light move. I was mesmerized how it can produce such light. Amazing! One of the wonders of the Universe! Now, I share to you this song and i want you to reflect on the lyrics. Imagine ten million fireflies light up the world. Feel the warmth as you get a thousand hugs from ten thousand lighting bugs! Visualize! Smile and bask in the splendor! Learn how a humble tiny bug could produce such majesty! Hope this inspires you today just like a firefly.    
You would not believe your eyes If ten million fireflies Lit up the world as I fell asleep ‘Cause they fill the open air, And leave teardrops everywhere You’d think me rude, but I would just stand and… stare I’d like to make myself believe That planet Earth turns slowly It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep ‘Cause everything is never as it seems ‘Cause I get a thousand hugs From ten thousand lightning bugs As they try to teach me how to dance A foxtrot above my head, A sock hop beneath my bed, A disco ball is just hanging by a thread (thread, thread) I’d like to make myself believe That planet Earth turns slowly It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep ‘Cause everything is never as it seems (when I fall asleep) Leave my door open just a crack (Please take me away from here) ‘Cause I feel like such an insomniac (Please take me away from here) Why do I tire of counting sheep? (Please take me away from here) When I’m far too tired to fall asleep To ten million fireflies I’m weird ‘cause I hate good-byes I got misty eyes as they said farewell (they said farewell) But I’ll know where several are If my dreams get real bizarre ‘Cause I saved a few and I keep them in a jar (jar, jar, jar) I’d like to make myself believe That planet Earth turns slowly It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep ‘Cause everything is never as it seems (when I fall asleep)I’d like to make myself believe That planet Earth turns slowly It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep ‘Cause everything is never as it seems (when I fall asleep) I’d like to make myself believe That planet Earth turns slowly It’s hard to say that I’d rather stay awake when I’m asleep Because my dreams are bursting at the seams

New Year's Resolution


January 1, 2010. We welcomed the New Year not with the usual bang but with each other’s company. The family got together. Mom and Dad cooked. My sister slept. I helped (assembling the pizza). We even have the dogs inside the house.
Of course celebrating the New Year isn’t complete without coming up with New Year’s resolution. I have mine and it’s not different from what other people may have but I am so hiked up to make them realities. Here they are!
My New Year Resolutions
1.       Pay myself first every payday.  I swear I’ll set aside a chunk of my salary  come that 15th and 30th.
2.       Start using an expense tracker to monitor and control my expenses.
3.       Open a savings account.
4.       Avoid gluttony at all cost.
5.       Procrastinate no more.
6.       Eat healthy.  Limit myself to just one instance of fast food per week.
7.       Be active. I’ll be more consistent with my capoeira.
8.       Buy a pair of sneakers. I think it’s time to join Dan and Kimy in their marathons.
9.       Do more at work. Improve on my coaching skills.
10.   Just continue to be happy. Smile always.
Now that I have my list, it’s time to put them into action. Now is the time. Let’s see how far I get!

Postponing Barili






December 30, 2009. Nothing fancy today. I got home from work at 9am. Slept and then woke up at 10:30am. I planned to go to Barili today but I decided to postpone till tomorrow. I figured since I had so many errands to run that I might as well do them all first before settling to my holiday retreat. The problem is my mom needed the groceries my sister bought for her. I was supposed to bring that with me. I needed a solution fast! Good thing my sister and I were able to have the bus driver drop it off the “terminal” in our town. Indeed after 2 hours, my mom was able to get it.
After that ordeal, I went to Ayala to pick out gifts for my godchildren. I was so clueless! I really don’t know how to pick things for kids. Good thing my sister was there to help. I left the shopping to her. I just helped myself and bought a super duper fast Smart Bro and a new pair of Sanuk slippers.
I so love the slippers! So buttery soft! Better than Havaianas! Seriously! I’m wearing it right now. I’m a total convert.
Now, I’m just chilling in Hebrews. Hebrews by the way is this new coffee shop near where I work. The ambiance is nice. White walls and white leather chairs. It would have been perfect except that their free WIFI was not working. I had to spend my Smart Bro load so I can surf!
Despite that, I had a good day! All I need to do now is pack my things.

Coffee, a Brownie and Some Hotdogs

November 26, 2009 – Just got back home! I had a very nice day. I’m halfway through my one week long leave. For the past couple of days I’ve been eating and sleeping. Gluttony and sloth all the way, baby!

Well, at 1 am I got a text from Therese to meet her at Tara’s CafĂ© so I did! And the first thing she offered me is food – couple of Clubhouse sandwiches. Leftovers but I didn’t mind. I don’t say no to things that are edible. After I’m done with them, we left for home. She was ready to go to sleep but I wasn’t done. I had to eat that (leftover again) adobo on the table. Hmmm… No more rice so I had to cook some for myself. Nothing can stop a guy with a bottomless pit for a tummy. Success! The adobo was mine and I didn’t even care that the rice was virtually burned.  Hehe…

After that I had to sleep. Baboy Syndrome as I would call it. My sleep was pretty decent. It was 7 hours. It was more than enough. 6 would have been perfect. As usual, I had to check out facebook. It has become part of my routine. I’m beginning to think I’m addicted but I refuse to believe that. I can still function so I’m still good.

I suddenly realized I have this urge to eat some brownie ala mode! Hmmm… I have been wanting to put something warm and chocolatey in my mouth. I had one answer in mind – La Marea!
  (La Marea, The Walk, IT Park)
It has been awhile since I had their Brownie Cup ala mode and that Latte Macchiato was super! Hehe… I was enjoying myself and people watching. I was smiling as I watched the barista show dance moves to his manager. Very funny!
  (Darwin and Ray)
(Bestfriend David after the Haircut)
An hour later, I decide to catch up with Ray and David. So I hopped on the next jeepney ride to SM and met them at Bench Fix.  Sigh! These guys are so vain! Hehe…
  (Bench Fix, SM Northwing)
I kinda missed our haircuts together but what can I do… I don’t have hair. I’m still growing it for a Mohawk! After that we met Darwin and decided to eat. They took me to Big City! It’s a new place. They serve hotdogs and burgers. I was excited since they were ranting about how good the onion rings are plus the fact that they serve Nathan’s and Johnsonville. I miss these brands especially when they were buy one take one in Duty Free! Hehe… It reminded me of my childhood. And yes, the onion rings were to die for. I didn’t even care if my breath stunk after that.
  (Big City, SM Cebu)
We had a nice walk in the Northwing with the grand piano playing in the background. I enjoyed talking to David and I appreciate how he puts up with my nonsense. I talked about Glee most of the time. Darwin and Ray did some windows shopping. Darwin just had to go inside Diego. A year ago I could have appreciated their clothes but I guess I outgrew that. Fox, Cielo, Springfield and A&F are my kind of stuff right now! Let’s just say I’m a fan of anything from Suyen and Brands Specialists.
 (Diego, SM Northwing)
I guess that’s about it. That was my day! An entry from the life of a call center professional!

Christmas Bash 2009


December 27, 2009. It has been a week since our Christmas party. Pictures of the night past are now posted in Facebook. Nice. Cute.  Clean happy pictures. The very thing you would expect from a bunch of managers and trainers.  But hold on… I wish I could say the same for the After-Party pictures! Hehe… Just to give you an idea of what happened, please read through…

We had the party at Waterfront Hotel. For the third year now, it was held in the Pacific Grand Ballroom and this year’s theme – Glam Rock! Everybody was rocking their outfits. The one thing I noticed was that almost everyone was in black. Not to mention the skirts were like super short! It was like there was a shortage of cloth in Cebu that day but all was good. Nobody complained. For one thing, the guys were grateful.

The party was awesome. I really enjoyed the fashion show and Rico Blanco’s performance.  But what was even more AWESOME was the after –party.  Bo informally organized this little shindig at VUDU. Everybody who went had a good time. Booze was flowing. Everybody was giggling. People were grinding with people who they weren’t supposed to be doing it with. It was so wrong but I so love it. It made it out of the norm. And too make it more interesting, Ed brought a DLSR camera and Dan kept shooting people with it. Oh the shame! All caught in film or should I say digital memory but nobody seemed to mind.  Just when I was so ready to hit the sack, the group decided to eat at Abuhan Uno. We ordered POCHERO, SIZZLING POCHERO and CRISPY PATA.  Jessica decided to eat Chorizo instead, I don’t know what’s up with that girl but she paired it with a Banana. Hmmm…

After that very early unhealthy breakfast, I went home with a very satisfied spirit. It was the best Christmas party or should I say After-Christmas party ever!

LDPS Christmas Party 2009






Kainan sa Balanghay



Yummy
My cousin Gene and I wanted to hang out together so we planned to meet at SM Mall of Asia. My aunt got word so she decided to bring herself and the family along. We ate in Kainan sa Balanghay at the San Miguel Strip by the Bay. We had a feast for a budget!
What is it all about? Kainan sa Balanghay is a place where you can just bring raw meat or seafood and have them cook it for you.
The Food
What we ordered? We brought 8 kilos of pork, fish and shrimps. We had them cook Sinigang Pork, Grilled Liempo, Garlic Shrimp, Spicy Shrimp, Calamares, Adobong Pusit, Grilled Fish and Sweet & Sour Fish.
Taste: Everything was scrumptious. It was like eating at your neighbor during Fiesta time in the barrio. I just wished the Sinigang was a bit more sour and the Calamares more crispy.
Presentation: Food is served in a straight-forward manner. No frills. Out from the pan and onto the plates just like when you’re at home.
Price: We had them cook 8 kilos of ingredients. That was easily more than 10 dishes. We also ordered 3 platters of cooked rice and 3 liters of soft drinks. We only paid 2000PHP! Talk about cheap (in a good way).
The Place
The Ambience: The place is mainly for eating. Don’t expect to have a romantic date here. This is more of a barkada and family place. They have a live band playing pop and modern music.
Cleanliness: The place is okay although I saw some empty bottles of soft drinks inside their eating area. Somebody could have kept these in a storage space or something.
The Service
Efficiency
: OMG! We waited forever for us to eat. I suggest go there when there aren’t too many people. They’re jam packed every weekend so eaters beware!
Customer Service: The waiters are very friendly. They were all willing to help. There was even one who volunteered to take our pictures (wow. pro-active).
The Verdict 
3 STARS out of 5!
Eating decent, yummy and cheap food is within reach at the Mall of Asia. I would suggest trying this place out with your family during times when you want to pig out for no apparent reason. Just make sure you’re willing to go to the market beforehand.
Kainan sa Balanghay is located at the San Miguel Strip at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City.

Heaven and Eggs


This weekend me and the rest of the Cebu training team decided to meet up with Charisse for lunch in Glorietta. Cha recommended this place interestingly called Heaven and Eggs.

Heaven and Eggs
The Food

Salt and Pepper Pork




Rock You Like A Hurricane

US Angus Beef Tapa


Manila Spareribs
What we ordered?
Taste: I ordered the Salt and Pepper Pork Ribs. The description on the menu says it’s encrusted in a shell of salt and pepper but the shell isn’t that crusty. It’s a bit ordinary but the meat is soft and it melts in your mouth so at least there is one thing that’s good about it.
I also got a taste of the Rock You Like A Hurricane and I might say this is tasty. The beef is done medium rare. The meat is juicy and the two mini eggs on top is a cute touch.
Presentation: Food is presented intelligently. The colors of the food against the whiteness of the plates make it pop. The names of the dishes are so clever! Names like Rockstar Iced Tea, Bono’s Breakfast Banger, The Morning After and Girl’s Gone Wild.
Price: Rock You Like A Hurricane: 349PHP; Salt and Pepper Pork: 255PHP; U.S. Angus Tapa: 295PHP; Manila Spareribs: 265PHP
The Place

Black and Red Chairs

Black Couch
The Ambience:
The rock and roll feel of the place makes this a very fun place. It looks like Tommy Lee Jones’ pad. I particularly like their black, white and red theme. The black couches are so cute.
Cleanliness: The counter is a bit shabby but I guess it’s clean since it’s in Glorietta.  
The Service
Efficiency:
 The food arrived timely. Give or take it was 20 minutes.
Customer Service: The waiters were able to help us out choosing what we should order. They were pretty much knowledgeable on what’s on the menu. It’s a shame though that they lack attentiveness. Every time we need something, we had to call their attention twice or thrice. 
The Verdict 
3 STARS out of 5!
The food is a bit pricey for this Cebuano. For this price range, I had better.
 Heaven and Eggs is located at the ground floor of Glorietta 4 in Ayala Center, Makati City.