Friday, May 30, 2008

I heart SATC the movie...

So I did watch Sex and the City last Wednesday night with some friends.

Though the movie ran for two hours and thirty minutes, it wasn't dragging. The entire movie was punctuated by drama, comedy, romance all at the right time. The most intense scene I have to say was Carrie's Town Car and Big's Benz meetup scene. Kristin Davis did such a fantastic acting job in that particular scene. Really great! Jennifer Hudson was also a nice surprise. I did read that she got the role as Carrie's assistant and I say good for her. She had more lines than Anthony Marantino and Standford Blatch combined. Hehe! Kim Cattrall's character Samantha, as expected, had several hilarious lines.

Miranda : Ooooh...the sun feel nice...
Samantha : Jesus! Honey you wax much?
Miranda : What? I didn't know I was going to wear a bathing suit!
Charlotte : What are you talking about?
Miranda : I forget to wax. I've had other things on my mind...
Samantha : I could be on death row when i've that situation!
Miranda : Well, Samantha...when you are married, you have a different set of priorities.
Samantha : Honey don't blame marriage! This one is married (pointing to Charlotte) and she's not growing a national forest! How do you even cross your legs?! Let me make you a spa appointment. Any thicker, you wouldn't be able to find it!

Uhm, there were a couple of scenes that were cut out. It was quite obvious. One moment, one of the girls would say something and the next scene is already totally irrelevant. It's annoying. I will definitely get the uncut version once the DVD is out.

Lastly, the fashion was just crazy. Awwww! It was all over the movie. And the shoes, the bags, the accessories were also like the main stars of the movie. I wouldn't be surprised if at the end credits, you'd have a list like this scrolling up the screen:

Chanel 2.55 - Carrie's bag for date with Big
Vivienne Westwood wedding dress - Carrie's choice wedding gown
Manolo Blahnik Ankle-Wrap Sequined Sandal - Charlotte's shoe for shopping with the girls
Christian Louboutin Mosaic Mirrored-Leather Sandal - Samantha's shoe for dinner date with Smith

But seriously, the fashion was awesome. The entire audience gushed when Carrie gave her "gift" to personal assistant Louise. The Vogue photo shoot scene was also done like an actual Vogue shoot. Andre Leon Talley was there. Serge Normant did the hair Gucci Westman did the makeup. Plum Sykes was sittings editor. Patrick Demarchelier took the shots. Check out the June 2008 issue of US Vogue - SJP on the cover. The fashion editorial rocks.

Just like the movie did. I think I'll have a round two of this movie. Hehehe!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

SATC... tonight... woohooo...

This scenario is playing in my head. Hehe!

Angelo: Dude, Sex and the City hits the big screen tonight. Let's watch, pare.
Guy friends 1 and 2: Yeah, tara, let's go.
Guy friend 1: Carrie is so hot, right, tol?
Guy friend 2: Yeah, pare. But I think Charlotte is still the girlfriend material.

A few moments after...

Guy friend 2: Yeah, but I can't wait to see Carrie's wedding dress, man.
Angelo: Yeah, did she pick the Versace, pre?
Guy friend 1: Yeah, dude.Olats if you ask me, man. She should have gone with Dior.
Guy friend 2: I agree, man. Mas astig iyong cut and draping ni Galliano compared to Donatella.

Would it be amusing if the boys from the other team would have a conversation like this?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm sorry, did you say P25K for a sem in UP...

Last night, I had dinner with a very good college friend Charmy and her sister Julienne. Haven't seen Charmy for the longest time because she was in the US for the past couple of months. Anyway, she's been back for several weeks now but with all the travel that I've been having, last night was the only time we got to meet and catch up on things since she got back.

I learned that her sister Julienne is an incoming Biology student at UP Manila, the very same UP campus Charmy and I went to not too long ago. I was excited for Julienne because I remember how fun my UP days were, but I almost fell off my seat when I found out that the cost of one semester is now P25,000. Yes, you read that right. And yes, that's in UP. I couldn't believe it.

When I left the University in 2000, I was only paying a quarter for a semester. P25K was already good for two years back then. I am really shocked at how expensive the tuition fee is now. Isn't UP supposed to be subsidized? What happened?

Anyway, here's an interesting article I found on fellow Peyups student and friend Richmond.

The cost of college education: Do the math; weep and wonder
Linda Bolido
Philippine Daily Inquirer

May 26, 2008

MANILA, Philippines—With an income of P148,000 a year (according to
2003 data of the National Statistics Office), an average Filipino
family will not have enough money for food and will be unable to pay
rent (if it does not own its place of residence) even if just one
child enrolls in any of the country's top three universities this
school year.

Definitely, sending a second child to the same school is out of the

Enrollment in several other major institutions, though not as
expensive, will still mean drastic cutbacks on budgets for food,
shelter and other essentials.

Data gathered by Inquirer Research from school accounting, admissions
and registrars' offices, showed that average Filipino families would
have to set aside from a third to half of their annual incomes if they
want to send a child to one of Metro Manila's better known schools,
with the exception of the state-owned Polytechnic University of the
Philippines (PUP).

Freshmen entering the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) will
be charged P2,400 per unit and pay a total of P124,800 for two
semesters with a full load of 26 units per term.

De la Salle University (DLSU), which has a trimester calendar, has an
average unit cost of P2,045.33. A freshman enrolled for the whole year
and taking the full 18-unit load each term will have to pay about

The Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) has a higher per unit cost than
UA&P and DLSU at P2,517.03. But because one school year is only two
semesters and a full load is only 18 units, the annual fee for a
freshman only comes up to P90,613.

Higher UP rate

The state-funded University of the Philippines (UP) system, which
recently raised its fees to P1,000 per unit amid protests from both
students and faculty, will cost a freshman P36,000 in one two-semester
year with a full load of 18 units per term.

Though that is almost one-fourth of an average family's annual income,
the amount is only about 28 percent of the UA&P annual fee.

This means a UP student can almost pay four years' tuition in the
state university with just one year of UA&P tuition.

The DLSU one-year tuition will pay for about three years at UP while
Ateneo's fee is equivalent to about two years and a half at the state

The UP is now more expensive than San Sebastian College, which charges
P786 per unit or P33,012 per two-semester year of 21 units each and
College of the Holy Spirit (Manila) at P903.91 per unit or P32,540 per
two-semester year of 18 units each.

PUP, like the UP often in the forefront of student activism, charges
an almost unbelievable P12 per unit, for a total two-semester annual
fee, at 21 units per term, of only P504. Talk of a true school for the

It was not immediately known how the school is able to keep its
student population manageable but it has probably adopted stringent
entrance requirements.

Of the 21 schools surveyed by Inquirer Research, three have per unit
costs exceeding P2,000 and eight have rates over P1,000. Annual fees,
with the exception of UA&P and DLSU, total less than P100,000 though
they range from PUP's very low P504 to ADMU's P90,613.20.

Among the schools with large populations, the University of the East,
reputedly the institution with the most number of students, charges
P1,040 per unit for a total two-semester annual fee of P47,840, at 23
units per term.

Far Eastern University charges P1,100 per unit or a total of P55,000 a
year for two semesters at 25 units per term. The University of Santo
Tomas, at P1,072.90 per unit, charges P45,061.80 for a two-semester
year at 21 units per term.

Four percent share

According to NSO data as of 1997, education accounted for a little
less than four percent of an average family's annual expenditure. This
means, if the average annual income is P148,000, it would set aside,
strictly speaking, less than P6,000 a year for education.

Needless to say, food eats up (no pun intended) half of an average
family's income although it appears some belt-tightening had also to
be effected in 1997. NSO data showed that in 1988, food accounted for
50.7 percent of household expenditures. By 1997 this was down to 44.2
percent, a drop of more than six percent.

This was probably because housing costs increased over the same
period—from 12.8 percent of a family's budget in 1988 to 15.3 percent
in 1997. What little remained went into fuel, electricity, water,
clothing, transportation, medical care and other essentials. Saving is
definitely an alien concept to a family with this kind of budget.

How the average Filipino family is able to send not just one but two
or more children to school, pay for food and shelter, is probably not
just the result of prudent budgeting but also the assistance of both
formal and informal institutions like banks, money lenders and
generous relatives. With Kate Pedroso, Inquirer Research

Monday, May 26, 2008

Artworks on the wall and 1-1 friends...

Sunday was mostly spent at home. Uhm, in the morning, I cleaned my room since it was clamoring for some organizing. Because of all the trips these past few weeks, everything is just all over. Hehe.

And then, something very rare happened. Hehe! My Dad offered to help me hang the artworks I bought. The 13 pieces have all been on the floor since I had them framed ages ago. I wanted to have the art wall painted first but since that wouldn't be happening any time soon, I took up my Dad's offer to help hang the artworks. Hehe! Uhm, actually, it was him and my youngest brother Andre who ended up doing all the work while I just dusted the frames and made sure that they were handled well. Hehe!

By lunch time, Claude Tayag, Mariano Ching, Jonathan Olazo, Geraldine Javier, and Buddy Cabrera, were all happily hanging on the wall. Thom Filicia would faint at the way the wall was done, but hey, that'll do for now. Hehe!

In the afternoon, I met up with Bernice at Gateway and we spent a good couple of hours just talking and catching up. We talked about work, her Netherlands scholarship, and a bunch of other things.

I've noticed that I have a one-on-one get-together set of friends, and then there are the group get-together set of friends. For the latter, lately, it has been people from work. And while I enjoy group get-togethers, sometimes I tend to be more of a spectator rather than an active participant. (But it depends on the mood. Hehe!) For the former, that would include Thea, Carlo, Bernice, Noreen, Grace (though I haven't seen her for the longest), and most recently added, Whaxter.

These are the friends who I can talk to continuously, but of course, there'd be some silent moments which are totally fine. Last week, by great coincidence, I met Whaxter at the SNS conference. We had coffee at the end of the conference and it turned out to be a good coffee get-together.

Save for Carlo, it's been awhile since I last had a conversation with a fellow guy, if you know what I mean. So it was really enjoyable to hear the thoughts of another guy on the usual things. Hehe.

Alright, so that's it, really. Not much else.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Summer storytelling activity concludes...

Last Saturday, though still tired from the Cebu trip, I woke up at 6AM to be at the office by 7. It was the culminating program of the summer storytelling program, and I sort of promised to help out.

In the morning, it was the culminating activity of the school in San Andres, while in the afternoon, we moved to the other school in Pasay City. All the kids looked like they had a great time. They all had big smiles on their faces as they got their certificates and small gifts. They became even happier when Jollibee came out and danced for them. I had no idea he was that popular among the kids.

Anyway, we ended a little before five in the afternoon. There was an early dinner/get-together for the volunteers but I decided not to go there anymore. Instead, colleague/fellow volunteer Rhyz and I went to the New Bombay Indian Restaurant at Columns and that's where I had my really late lunch. (Uhm, while there was food for everyone at the program, there was "no food" for me. You'll get what I mean later on.)

It was a good Saturday. Though it was a really warm and tiring day, I was happy to be able to spend a day with the kids again. Maybe I'll volunteer again next year. And maybe I'll get to actually teach the kids. We'll see

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thoughts on the Social Networking Conference...

As previously blogged, I was fortunate enough to attend the Social Networking and eBusiness Conference. Uhm, a quick comment on the event. I'd say that I had high expectations from the program, but sadly, the expectations weren't really met. (But, really, when are expectations met 100%?) From all the talks that were given, only a few were able to really share something that would stick to the mind at the end of the event. I talk about this in more detail in the paragraphs below. But still, I was happy I got to attend the event because the few learnings that I got were very valuable, or I'm hoping that they would be.

What was enjoyed from the event:

Friendster's David Jones graced the event and gave the keynote address and another talk. Uhm, I liked the talk because it showed me that Friendster is more than just photos, blogs and everything personal. To see that it could also be used as a platform for an upcoming project got me excited.

Yehey's Donald Lim and Avatrian's Rodion Herrera were my most favorite speakers. Donald Lim's speech was very insightful and I really picked up a lot of ideas from his talk. I loved his proposition that advertising on SNS does not work, because I'm now seeing that there's truth to it and simply because, it was out of the box. On the other hand, I liked Rodion's talk because it was about virtual life and worlds, which I found really interesting. I was highly impressed with the accompanying visual of his talk. He read his talk, but the visual - a peek into the virtual world - kept me engaged. I would have shaken the hands of these guys.

And that's really the most important word I picked up from the two days - engage, engage, engage.

What could have been improved:

Cases, cases, cases... I thought it would have been better to hear about several case studies - local and foreign - relevant to the various topics, but instead most of the time what I got was a plug about the company the speaker works for (or owns) and the services they offer. Uhm, I started to get annoyed when one speaker after the other started using their talk time to talk about what they can do for us. I do understand that a conference is a good venue to promote one's company and its services, but please don't spend forty-five minutes talking about your company alone. Two or maybe even three cases could have been cited in that short time so that the audience would have had more opportunities to pick up something and compare and contrast. Just because the speaker's company experiences something doesn't mean that's what the entire Internet world experiences. I know that's not their intention but that's what happened. But really, I would have expected more effort from the speakers to gather more data, to research.

I wonder now... If it would have been better to have gotten speakers from the academe or maybe someone who's exposed to the whole SNS network but not directly connected to any. Maybe that speaker would've really spent time to go online and do some real research aside from relying on what's already there. Also, when I saw that one of the speakers was this person, I was already unhappy. The first time I listened to that speaker at a recent similar event, I was really disappointed. And now, uhm, I don't mean to be rude, but I still feel disappointed.

And then my own personal pet peeves...

I'm sorry. Not... College professors taught me never to make any apologies when you're the speaker because you lose credibility to the audience. They were correct. It was weird hearing some speakers say, "I'm sorry my presentation was this. I'm sorry my presentation was that." If you're the chosen speaker and something was going wrong, keep on going. Don't apologize. You're supposed to be in command of the class. And very few would probably know you're making a mistake.

Powerless Powerpoint... I've also been taught that Powerpoint presentations are tricky. I don't understand why there were presentations that had really tiny graphs or tables and still the speaker continued to use it. I don't understand why certain text heavy slides were presented.

Incomplete info on the CD... sorry. One more annoying thing is to get a conference CD that does not contain a copy of all the speaker's presentations. It's annoying, that I have to just nod and smile when the secretariat tells me, "Sir, that CD's not incomplete. The other speakers didn't turn in their presentations in time."

It's a good thing though that the organizers upload the presentations to a website so the participants may download them.

As I've said, the biggest lesson learned is advertising in social networking sites does not and will not work. I agree with Donald when he said that there is now a generation of users who can recognize an ad from content, and one who does not like an interrupted experience. I am one of those users who ignore banner ads. I've learned other ways of how to market something without making it appear like an ad, and I hope those would be still be applicable when this new project of mine launches this June.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Just so I can post...

Uhm, arrived in Cebu this morning. Took the 440AM flight of Cebu Pacific. First time to go to the Domestic Airport. (After being so accustomed to the Centennial Airport, this one turned out to be a morning surprise. Hehe!) First time to take that airline. (But the nice check-in guy gave me a better surprise because I got a 1F seat.) First time to get a first row seat. (So feeling business class. Haha!) 

Anyway, I've been meaning to post my thoughts on the Social Networking Conference. Since I was using a different computer that has no MS Office, I typed it on Notepad and then saved it on my Y! Mail. (Multiply was under Surf Control.) Now, I can't access Yahoo! Mail. It's weird.

So what I'll just post is one of the songs I've been listening to over and over again these past few days - I Believe from the Altar Boyz Musical. Loving the piano accompaniment. Loving the lyrics even more. 

Just got a text that David Cook won. Yay! Actually, I thought they were both really good, so like Simon, I didn't really care who emerged as AI 2008. Love both Davids. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pretty uneventful Monday except for dinner...

So I'm back at the office. It's good to be back. I missed my cubicle. I missed my PC. I missed the cluter on my desk that need organizing. I missed Johnny and Bruce, who are still fighting. Haha!

But I'm back only for a day. Today and tomorrow, I'll be attending a conference outside of the office. It's an interesting conference, because it's about Social Networking and eBusiness. One thing I like about the company where I am right now is that they really invest in developing the people. In less than a year, I've had about five or six trainings already. That's good I think.

Anyway, yesterday was pretty uneventful. I just did my usual work, the pile of backlog, and populating the website project that I have. It's been in the works for quite some time now. I'm ashamed because it should have been launched months ago, but it has been put on the back burner because of the other activities I didn't expect would take place this summer. Anyway, I'm determined to have that website up by June.

The highlight of the day was Thea and I having dinner with our Japanese friend Makoto. He works for our Japanese telco partner. We met during the launch of their product here in Manila, and since then, we've been corresponding. Last week, Makoto emailed to say he'll be in Manila for a day.

We had dinner at Masas in Greenbelt 2, where we had him taste the Beef Sinigang, Steamed Plapla with Garlic, and Tinapa Fried Rice. I think he enjoyed it. Oishii desu ne! From Masas, we had a round of drinks at Ice Vodka Bar. And the whole time we were just catching up, taling about work, how things are, family, a trip to japan, the upcoming trip to Vietnam, and so on. It was good seeing the guy.

Since it was a Monday, we couldn't really stay up late. After drinks, we bid each other goodbye, wished Makoto a good flight today, and promised to keep on corresponding.

That's it for a Monday.

Monday, May 19, 2008

On a simu-date...

I just now realized that I went on a simu-date a couple of days ago. It was unplanned. And it wasn't even really a date. And I would probably get clobbered if my "date" read about this, for the main reason that he's straight. Hehe!

What made me say that it was a simu-date?

Uhm, because that was the first time the guy and I met. We were together for an activity with another friend, but because that friend had to go do something, I was left with Simu-date Boy.

With nothing to do, Simu-date Boy and I found ourselves checking out the local market, and then going for a walk in the park, and then settling for a cup of coffee at a local cafe. It was about a good one or two hours. While we were having our walk, we talked about all sorts of stuff. There was something to talk about because like I said, it was the first time that Simu-date Boy and I met. Hehe! So we talked our jobs, college life, things we enjoyed doing, and so on.

I thought to myself while we were walking, "Had this guy played for my team, this would have been a date." Hehe! But I wasn't sure if Simu-date Boy even had an idea about me.

Anyway, the good thing about the whole thing was that it made me realize that I am ready to meet new people again. (It's about time!) And that I could actually strike a conversation with a new acquaintance and keep it going. That felt nice.

That's sort of what I want to do now - meet new people and just create new friendships. It would be great to just get together with a new face and just have a good conversation. If things get good and both parties would like to continue seeing each other, maybe a date, that would be great. If nothing romantic comes out of it, at least, a new friend is made. Sometimes, I get this feeling that us Pinoys equate dating to a sure ticket to a relationship, when it's not. Perhaps this was the reason I was rejected the last time I asked someone out. The person probably thought I was already going to propose marriage, when all I wanted was coffee and to hear random thoughts.. Hehe. In my head, I'm like, "Dude, relax. I just want to meet new people. If something comes out of this, great. If it's just friends, cool."

Anyway, the bigger question now is where to begin in this mission to meet new people.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Saturday morning with the kiddies...

Saturday morning was spent with the kids of a public elementary school in Pasay, where our company was having it summer reading tutorial program for selected students.

I volunteered to join the group but today was my only first time to attend the session. And it's already the second to the last session. Eeep! I don't feel that guilty though because I have been busy with relatively similar volunteer work - Gawad Kalinga, Gawad Kalinga, Gawad Kalinga. Hehe!

The whole reading tutorials for public school kids isn't really that new to me. When I was still with Pahinungod, I handled the tutorials program where university students volunteer to give classes to students from different public elementary schools.

One school I really remember is the Silahis ng Katarungan Elementary School in Paco. It's a small school and the teacher I coordinated with, Mrs. Lilia Cruz, is a very nice lady and a rare specie of a teacher. She always has a smile on her face, and whenever we'd have our culminating activity for the kids, she'd decorate the venue beautifully with paper cutouts.

Anyway, the activity this morning reminded me of those days. It was great seeing several fellow employees giving up their Saturday mornings for the kids.

Hopefully, next year, I get to attend more sessions.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Vietnam is waiting...

Yesterday afternoon, I was on the road to Pampanga when colleague Reena called me and told me about the crazy Cebu Pacific sale. I've been wanting to take a vacation abroad - Cambodia and Vietnam please - and looks like that might just happen now.

No, wait. It is going to happen now. (At least, the Vietnam trip.) 

By the time I reached Pampanga, I was already booked for a flight to Ho Chih Minh this August. Whoopppeee! Thanks Reena. I am still hesitant though because I'm afraid something about work might pop up on our vacation dates but we'll see, we'll see. I'm also a bit worried about the expenses because this isn't really in my budget yet. But hey, if I can afford to splurge Pxxxx for Paul Smith, maybe I can do the same for Cebu Pacific. Hehehe!

Besides, this is a vacation we're talking about. I'm excited and I'm nervous about this. And I hope everything will proceed as planned.

I still want to go to Cambodia. More than Vietnam, that's where I really want to go. But a travel buddy is yet to be found. It would be great to go with someone who'd be really interested to see as many sites as possible. Perhaps a little souvenir shopping, but the rest of the time, it'll be digesting the culture of the former Khmer empire. Or I can probably do it on my own a la Monastery of Transfiguration trip. Hehe! We'll see.

Also, looks like I'll have to delay the Singapore visit to Jean, which I'm planning to do this August for my mandatory work leave. Maybe I can do that for my birthday. I swear 2008 is just my banner year for travel. January started with the series of Iloilo trip, then there was Cebu in February. It was my first time to visit both provinces. And then there's Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon and other nearby provinces. And then there's the Hong Kong trip that I missed because of my expired passport. Haha!

Anyway, if you've been to Vietnam, please feel free to leave tips on how a Vietnam vacation could be memorable. What are the must see places? Where are the good but cheap dining places? What must not be missed? Is there a bus or a ferry or a train to take to visit a neighboring country? 

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

About the Baguio trip....

Took the 10PM Victory Liner trip and arrived in Manila around 4 in the morning. Got home by 5 and I just slept for about an hour, before packing my stuff again and saying bye to my family again.

Headed to the office to attend a meeting for another project, check emails, do some other officework, and say hello to people. It's good to be back at the office and see familiar faces and tinker with my PC again. Hehe!

Will leave for Pampanga in an hour for a similar training, but this time the participants will be teachers from North/Central Luzon.

The Baguio trip was okay. Yesterday afternoon, it got so foggy. I think this was the first time I saw Baguio get that foggy. What followed was heavy downpour of rain again. Hehe! Ooohh, the weather was perfect for a warm cup of hot chocolate, or staying in bed and cuddling. Hehehe!

Did the usual rounds of pasalubong shopping. Bought stuff at the Good Shepherd convent and Baguio Country Club raisin bread and banana bread. Yum! I brought some of the BCC stuff to work today because I'm sure all that would be left of the baked goodies when I get back from Pampanga on Friday are memories. Hehehe!

Uhm, also enjoyed the evening night outs with Chris and Lloyd. The night out in Baguio isn't as fun as Iloilo but only because bars/stores close early. Still, we enjoyed ourselves at the bar/cafe/restau with free Wifi Zola, and at Volante where pizza and pasta were good but really cheap, and then the dinner at Solibao. Before I boarded the bus for Manila, we all had one round of SML just to celebrate the success of the first leg of the training. Hehe!

There's one more thing I'd like to write about, but I guess it'll just have to be my next blog entry. Hehe!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sick boy in Baguio... but still happy...

From the sweltering heat of Manila (and Pampanga last Saturday), I'm now here in the cool city of Baguio. Weather's way cooler and enjoyable. But as I've said, because of all these temperature change, I'm now a sick kid. Hehehe! I have a running nose, sore throat and dry cough. Augh!!!

Anyway, the training for teachers today went well. I gave the orientation about the project. And I'd like to think it went well. Hehe! The booming voice plus a microphone were enough to keep the participants awake and listening (I hope.) I also liked my closing video clip on "Innovation Man" because it went particularly well with my closing spiel. Hehe! I think I will also enjoy the world of training, or teaching. I should go back to the university and teach. Hehe! 

Uhm, today's topics incllude community-based research, website stuff and photography. I think the teachers appreciated the topics. And I hope they were excited by the project. When the project does take off, it'll be a lot of content for the world, so to speak. Hehehe!

After the training, I was stranded at Session Rd. because heavy rain fell. It's a good thing I have a mobile phone because while the rain poured and the thunder and lightning scared the people, I was standing on a plant box unmindful of the world because my phone was glued to my ear talking to Tey and Carl.

When the rain finally stopped, I headed to this restau/bar/cafe Zola where I met with our trainers Lloyd and Chris. Lloyd and I just chatted, while Chris was busy surfing the Net. And I thought I was a Net junkie. Hehe. Lloyd installed iWork 08 in my aging iBook and I can't wait to use my new Keynote. Hehe!

From Zola, we walked to Volante for dinner. We had pesto pasta, lentil soup. I had lemon grass tea, too, and that did a lot for my throat. 

Then back to the hotel to call it a day. 

Tomorrow evening, I take the bus back to Manila so that I can be at work in the morning and hopefully have that important meeting. Then in the afternoon, I leave for Pampanga for a similar training. 

Ang saya, di ba? Hehe!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Friday...

Making a blog entry just before I leave for Pampanga. It's almost 8AM on a Saturday morning.

I've only got two hours of sleep, and in an hour, I'll be hitting the road. Later this afternoon, will be preparing for the Baguio work trip tomorrow.

Anyway, I only had two hours of sleep because the despedida for an officemate turned out to be one looooong but fun despedida. Colleague and friend Pat will be joining another company by next week and yesterday night, some office people had a get-together for her.

We hung out at OT, a bar which was just a stone's throw away from the office. Though it was a Friday night, everyone got to leave the office at past 8PM already. There's just really a lot on everyone's plate right now and I think that's (somehow) good because I'd really rather be busy. (It means more things to write about for Multiply. Hehe!)

Uhm, as with previous gimik at OT, it was pretty much drinking, conversations, loud music, and other people from work and neighboring offices all having a good time. I wasn't sure if it was also a regular thing, but last night was karaoke night. For 10 pesos, you get to hold the mic and be the bar's star for three or four minutes. Hehehe! Tey sang a couple of songs. So did AJ, Erica and Pat. I did my usual, which was The Calling's Wherever You Will Go. (Still practicing "Always Be My Baby." Haha!)

By 10P, we left OT and moved to somewhere more shaking. We ended up at Jill's at the Fort. The place was packed but there was still room for us to go dancing like crazy. Hehehe! What's nice about Jill's is that most of the crowd are fellow yuppies. So no shrieking high school kids and no college kids who think that they've already experienced the world. Hehehe! (Like I didn't go through those phases, except the shrieking.)

The gang just tore down the dance floor until 3AM. Haha! To cap the night, we headed to North Park Kalayaan. As I expected, it was also packed with people who were on a night-out and call center employees. We called it a night afterwards.

Got home at 5AM. Set the alarm for 7AM. And now here I am ready to go again. I'm just happy I have no hangover. Hehe!

Friday, May 9, 2008

On the road again...

Time to pack my bags again. For the next three weeks, will be in and out of town for work. Hehe. Tomorrow, it's Pampanga. From Sunday to Tuesday, it'll be Baguio. Back in Manila on Wednesday for change of clothes. And then, it's Pampanga again on Thursday and Friday. Hehe! Then the week after, it'll be Cebu and the last one would be Cagayan de Oro.

We have this exciting online project, and some colleagues and project partners will be going to different provinces to conduct training to our target participants.

It's going to be exciting. It's going to be (relatively) new. It's going to be collaborative. And if everything goes well and if the participants see the relevance of the project to their everyday lives, it's something I (and the other members of the group) will definitely be happy about. Hehehe!

When I applied for this job, there was a box in the application form that asked "Willing to travel?" and the choices (after ticking the yes) were "Light, Moderate, Heavy), I naturally ticked "Heavy" because I enjoy road trips. Hehehe!

And now, I'm getting myself into what I wanted. I've always been happy with road trips. In my first job (with an NGO), I got to the remotest of places. Some places were really remote that there is only one scheduled trip a day to get to that barrio and to get back to the city. If you miss that trip, it'll be another overnight. I was okay with that. Actually, I didn't mind spending one more night in the community to be with the local residents. Going to places, near or far, is always just a learning experience. I swear, had it not been for that NGO/volunteer work experience, I wouldn't have known or experienced whatthe life of fellow Filipinos in the countryside is. (This is another entry.)

Anyway, I guess while I'm really excited about all the trips, I wish I were more physically prepared for it. I wish I'm able to keep my energy level up and just keep on going, because there's just so much to do. There's so much that can be done. Hehehe!

I remember an Eraserheads song "Superproxy." That's what I need right now. Hehe! I wonder if it would be nice if we can clone ourselves when there's much work to do, and then de-clone ourselves. Hehe!

All the physical fatigue only means one thing. Aging. Haha! Bumibigay din ang katawang lupa.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Already zero balance...just ask-for-load...

Hehehe... some would call this shameless plugging, I'd like to think I'm doing a service to others. Hehehe! I was wondering if we had this service, and I was happy to find out that we did.

So for prepaid subs, the next time you get that "zero balance" message and you need to text, just "ask-for-load."


Dial *808 plus 11-digit cell number of your friend then press call. Your request will automatically be sent.

* All ASK-FOR-LOAD requests are fixed at P5 airtime load.
* Request for ASK-FOR-LOAD is FREE of charge.
* Maximum of 3 requests per day. Succeeding requests will be disallowed and charged P1.00 if applicable.

ASK-FOR-LOAD sender:

Just reply with YES or NO.

* P1 transaction fee applies.
* Default denomination: P5.00
* The donor should have a minimum balance of P6 to be able to transfer load to a donee (recipient).
* Donor is given until 12 midnight to reply to the Ask for Load Request.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

She's coming back very soon...

I was in for an extra treat when I watched Altar Boyz with Carlo.

After the musical, we headed to the nearby Starbucks to have our usual enjoyable chat. We talked about the mundane and the serious - from the rice shortage to the canister incident in Cebu to random rants.

Anyway, the highlight of the get-together was when Carlo showed me the first page of the new Zsazsa he's working on. Woohooo! I'm excited for Carlo. I'm excited for Zsazsa. And of course, I'm excited for her fans.

Common courtesy is not common...

Not sure if age has something to do with it (or maybe just pure laziness), but I've noticed that I'm starting to get annoyed with text conversations (save for some selected people, And of course, it'll be different if it were for the partner, who is yet to be found. Haha!).

Anyway, when I do get engaged in a text conversation, what I find really annoying is when I'm left hanging in the air. Have you ever experienced that? You're texting with this person and all of a sudden, the other person doesn't reply anymore. It's annoying. Undecided Boy did that to me a lot. We'd be texting, and then he vanishes. I really don't know how I put up with it. Haha! But it really drove me nuts.

Sure, the other person probably got busy and all but how long would it take to text, "Hey, sorry. Gotta cut this short. Text later." Or if that's too long, a simple, "Ey, gtg." would be more than enough.

Two weeks ago, it happened again. A friend told me she'd set me up with someone. It's not even a date, if ever. It'll just be meeting a new friend. So I get the number, and I text the guy. Let's call him Where's Waldo. I text Where's Waldo to say hi and that I got his number from our common friend. Where's Waldo replies back to say hi. And then I send a short reply back.

And then I waited. I waited. I waited. I waited. I waited.

It's annoying and amusing, really. Annoying because once again, I've been left hanging. Amusing because I don't even know what happened that I ended up getting ignored. Where's Waldo probably saw the Friendster profile and decided he's not interested to even be friends, and that it would be okay to just not reply so I'd figure out he's not interested.

It's not okay. It's impolite. It's annoying.

I would expect people my age to have the common courtesy to at least say, "Hey, dude. Sorry, but our friend was wrong." I would have gladly accepted that and I wouldn't have spent the next ten minutes wondering what happened.

I'm sorry. I just really had to write this.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Another video experiment...

Been experimenting with videomaking these past few days, and I've sort of been enjoying it. Here's a vid of our team outing to Buri Resort in Puerto Galera. Used Apple iMovie for this one. And as with the other videos, it's just very basic cut and paste of photos/clips plus very elementary transitions. Hehehe! Anyway...

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Godparenting and Iron Man...

I don't know about most people but I take godparenting duties seriously. And for this reason, I don't understand why some people just think that asking someone to be a godparent is like asking someone to go get something from the grocery.

Anyway, when I got home from a recent four-day trip, I was surprised to find an invitation in my bedroom. And on it was written "Ninong Angelo." I've been asked to be a niece's godparent at a baptism.

I wasn't too okay with it. But I didn't want to offend my cousin, so I didn't say no but I didn't go to the baptism either. I decided to go to work that day and had my brother replace me at the baptism. Is that bad? I don't just get it. Why was I chosen to be a godfather when I don't even know the kid. I was asked to be the godfather of a kid I've seen only once since she came into this world. Something's just not right there.

When I have my own kid, I'd want the godparents to really understand that they've been chosen because I trust that they'd be there for my kid, and not because they're an acquaintance or a family friend or an elder relative. Oh well.

This morning, I had another godparenting duty. My nephew Alex was getting the sacrament of Confirmation along with my brother and since Alex needed a godparent, I was volunteered to be a Ninong. For this particular case, I didn't have much hesitation accepting it because I know the kid. I took care of him when he was still a baby. I see him almost every day when I don't come home too late from work. He sleeps over at our house. I know the kid.

From the church, I went to the office to do some work. I made a to-do list and it just kept on going and going. Hay! It's good training I guess. Also, there have been some changes at work, too. We did some reassignments and I've been given more of the company's social projects. I'm no longer just Mr. Gawad Kalinga. I'm also now Mr. Environment and Mr. Disaster. Hehehe. MFIs was taken away from me. This should be exciting.

Afterwards, I went to Gateway and met with Bernice. We watched Iron Man, of course. I wanted to see The Forbidden Kingdom and uhm, ehm, Manay Po 2 (hehe!) but Iron Man was the natural choice. Enjoyed the movie very much. But because my day started quite early, I fell asleep during the part where Tony Stark was held captive. I had to ask Bernice how the battery problem was fixed. Hehe.

Still, it was a good movie.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Smiling again...

Someone's smiling again.

Yesterday morning, I made an appointment with my dentist, Riza. I got to her clinic by 11AM. I thought the repair would require a jacket, but after Riza checked the tooth, she gave the good news that the tooth could be constructed without a jacket.

So for the next two hours, I was sitting on the dentist's chair with my mouth wide open. It was tiring. At one point, Riza had to get the assistance of a fellow dentist because apparently, the front tooth is a tricky repair. Hehe! By 2PM, after checking the shade of the tooth, after checking my bite, the procedure was done.

When Riza handed me the mirror, I was more than happy to see that my smile was whole again. Hehehe!

Before going to the dentist, I thought of going to the mall to hang out and maybe watch Iron Man. But then, I was tired from the whole dental visit that I just decided to grab a very late brunch, head home and rest.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

No, please, no...

A colleague from work is asking (begging) me to go watch When Love Begins with her. I had to break her heart and say no. I have to break her heart and say no. Yes, I do watch mushy Pinoy films every now and then, and I'm sure the directing and the story of this movie is great but...

I just don't think I would have the patience to see Aga Muhlach in another bachelor role. Actually, I do know that I don't have the patience to see Aga Muhlach in another bachelor role.

The guy is already fathering three children and he still does these roles. It's about time to move on. My gulay, naunahan ko pa siyang mag-move on, ah. Hehehe!

But of course, if you're one big Aga or Anne Curtis fan, go ahead and watch it. I'm sure it's enjoyable. Not for me though. If Anne were paired up with John Lloyd or Jake Cuenca or even, Sam Milby, I would definitely watch it but Anne and Aga...

No, please, no.