Sunday, January 31, 2010

Yogirl for yoguy....



I finally decided to get a yoga mat. Haha!

Since I've been attending yoga classes regularly at the gym for the past six months now (I think), I convinced myself that getting my own yoga mat wouldn't be a waste of money. Hehe!

So, yesterday afternoon, I passed by a Nike store just to check out the yoga mats available. Kamusta naman? I ended up getting one already. It seems like a good buy. The material claimed that it provided good traction, which is what I really need. Having the most active sweat glands in the world makes some asanas difficult to do when I just use the generic mat available at the gym. Haha! Plus, I liked the color combination of the mat I got - it's like buttercup and dark grey. One side says, "I'm tough," and the other side says, "But I'm really a softie." Hahaha!

And then the character doing the triangle pose just really caught my attention. Whoever was responsible for coming up with that character, congratulations because it's cute enough to call . Of course, I then find out that the character's name is Yogirl, which probably means that Nike's line for yoga are really meant for girls. Wahaha! I wish there was a guy version too and they'd call him Yoguy, or Yoboy, or something similar. Hehe! I've seen of the yoga apparel with Yogirl designs, and if the cut of the shirts were meant for ladies, I would've gotten one. Haha!

I have to thank my friend Bernice for getting me into yoga. We didn't really attend yoga classes together, but she was sort of my inspiration. Before she left for the Netherlands to do grad school, Bernice would always be coming from her yoga classes before we meet up. Because she's doing yoga, she's also an influence to healthy eating. As a semi-vegetarian, our get-togethers are always, always sure to be dining of the healthy kind.

When I started going to the gym, it took awhile before I attended the yoga class. Initially, I thought I wouldn't be able to do the stretches and that I would just be embarrassing myself. However, after attending one session and seeing that I could sweat a lot, really a lot, during an hour of ohms and hums, I told myself that it's worth doing.

Since I've started, I think my flexibility has improved. I could reach my toes comfortably, something I couldn't even when I was really thin more than a decade ago. Haha!

One thing I also like about yoga is the challenge to do the poses. Gawd, I know I still have a long way to go but right now, I'm loving it that I can do a decent natarajasana (dancer's pose) and warrior's pose (all three version… yuck, yabang! As if they're difficult poses Haha!), and so on. I'd like to be able to do the bakasana (crow pose) and a proper shoulder stand though someday. Haha! We'll see.

I hope that by the time that happens, my yoga mat would still be alive. Hehe! For now, the yoga mat will just have to help me with my tree pose, half-bow pose, king pigeon pose, and missionary pose. Ooops, the last one is not really included. Hahaha!


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday morning with Debs, Paul and H&F...




One of the store sales I always wait for is the Debenhams Blue Cross Sale.

It's an insane sale because prices are slashed by as much as 70%(!!!). And I'm lucky because most of the styles of their clothes are "me." Hehe!

So, this morning I opened the Debs store at Shang. I went to the store in Glorietta last night, but I think other men already beat me to the pieces. There were only a few good sale items left. I like the Shang store because it's way, way bigger and therefore, have more items on stock.

The items this season aren't that tropical weather friendly though. In the past seasons, there were a lot of long-sleeved shirts and casual jackets that were very apt for Philippine weather conditions. The items I saw this morning were not so much. There were a lot of sweaters and jackets but with thick linings. The prices were insane, but seriously, how do you intend to wear fleece in this country. Hahaha! (There were cotton sweaters though that could be used for work - from P2K++ to P700!!!)

Still, I was able to get some good loot. Shirts that were originally priced at P3,000 were bought for a third of its original price. Not bad, huh! And I like this store very much because I could fit into a size Small. Hehehe! The second shirt really has a nice print, but my phone is unable to take macro shots though. So, it doesn't really look drab in real life. Hahaha!

After Debs, I also checked out the sales at Paul Smith and Homme et Femme. Not much good stuff at Paul Smith. A lot of good stuff at Homme et Femme. Shirts, jeans and shoes were marked down by 50% off, some even more. So if you're one who likes Jil Sander or Dries Van Noten or MMM in your closet or if you just really have money to burn (you lucky bastard! Haha!), then go to Homme et Femme. Hehehe! The store has a good Y-3 collection, too, as well as Comme des Garcons Play shirts. I'm just thankful that I'm past that phase of getting pricey shirts and that I'm now very kuripot.

For bags, I wouldn't mind spending because I'm really a bag person and I know bags "live" a long life with me. (Actually, I'm looking for a backpack and a tote so I can say goodbye to the Gap backpack and the Jack Spade tote. Wehehe!) But for shirts, I'd really rather go for the marked down items anytime. Yeah, I'm such a sale whore. And damn proud of it. Hehehe!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

iPad. iWant. iVeJony. iWantMore.

"The last time there was this much excitement about a tablet, it had some commandments written on it." wrote The Wall Street Journal about the iPad.

Yeah, it seems like every Apple fan is excited about this new member of the Apple family. And I'm sure that there will be a number of Apple converts. Woohoo!!!

The specs are amazing, and the features are just wow!!!

0.5 inches thin, 9.7 inch display, weighs just 1.5 pounds, up to 10 hours of battery life, with WiFi and Bluetooth, speaker, microphone... whoa!

And above all, it has a very good price point! Starting at US$499, not bad I have to say.

Hay, I hate you Steve Jobs because I bought my iPod Touch for almost, almost the same price. Haha!

So yeah, I guess (almost) everyone wants the iPad. iPad will be available worldwide in 2 months, and the 3G model in about 3 months.

But more than the iPad, iWant the SVP of Design Jonathan Ive. I've never heard of the guy until now. Apparently, he's the man behind all the magical design of Apple's products.

And jeez, he's only in his early 40s. And I love it that he doesn't look like the typical senior exec in a power suit and all. The nearly shaved head, the dark t-shirt, jeans, the British accent. Whoa! He kinda reminds me of Google SEA's Derek Callow.

Can you say hawt-e? Just kidding. Haha!

iPad. iWant. iVeJony. iWantMore. Hehehe!

Click here to see the iPad and Jony Ive.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Puma-Project Runway at the office...


Our big boss recently called me to a meeting attended by the senior managers in the department.

When I walked into the meeting room, the first thing he said, "There! That's the one we're looking for, or at least something like that."

He was talking about the top I was wearing. What he says next really caught my by surprise. I was asked to come up with a design for a top that the guys in the department can wear. Yaiks. I know I love checking out (well, not as much as I love, but I'm certainly no Christian Siriano. Hehe!

The boss tells me what he expected of the top that I was going to "design." Sheesh, just writing that makes me cringe because I know I'm no designer. Hehehe! At the back of my head, though, I knew this was one project I would really enjoy doing. I mean, come on. How often do you get to do something like this? And if the project does push through, who wouldn't be proud seeing someone wearing something you've "created."

You see, we don't really have a uniform at work. Well, we do but I don't wear it. (And the other five guys at the office don't wear it either.) Eeeep!

The reason for this is that we sometimes go on field or attend certain events where the uniform isn't really the best thing to wear. Particularly in my case, you can't really expect me to be in long sleeved shirt tucked in a pair of black slacks while documenting an emergency response activity or attending a meeting in some far flung area.

But I guess the boss still wanted us to wear something that would identify us as members of our team when we attend external events. Hence, the need to come up with something.

So the first thing I do after leaving the meeting was calling my friend Norman. I knew he always had his shirts made to measure. And I remember him wearing these really nice shirts. When I asked him where he bought his shirts, he told me he had it custom made. He was definitely the person to approach.

I give him a call and tell him the project. I tell him the ideas I have inside my head and he gives me a number of tips and things worth considering. He promised to give me the name of a good tailor. I told him I'll just get back to him as things firm up.

Next thing I did was visit a fabric store. I can't remember the last time I visited a fabric store. No, wait. It was in Saigon. But that was because I was accompanying Wes in his search for fabrics that can be made into pillow cases and so on. I didn't really check out the available textiles because obviously, I'm a fan of clothes that come in beautiful and mouthwatering carrier bags. Haha!

Until I paid a visit to that fabric store.

There were just so many beautiful textile prints! I didn't think it was going to be that exciting. The sales person who first approached me was masungit, but I didn't care. Thankfully, she left me alone and I approached a nicer sales person. It took me awhile going through the possible fabrics to get for the project. After deciding on the dominant color - blue, naturally, since it was our company color - I asked the kind man to cut some samples for me.

What I need to do now is to come up with some sketches. That shouldn't be too hard. That's the "beauty" of menswear. In a way, I like it that it's sort of restricted. That makes it a bit easy for non-designers to come up with something on paper. I think I can tap into the artist in me and do some sketches. Hello, I would be a disgrace to my father whose watercolor paintings (and a few oil works) hung on the walls of our home. Hehehe! And I did get a flat 1.0 (or was it 1.25) in my Visual Arts class under the late Sid Hildawa back in UP. Surely, I can draw something. Hehe!

I still don't have fabric samples for the "corporate Monday" look (Hehe!), but I'm sure it wouldn't be difficult to find the fabric for that. I just need to visit a Filipiniana store.

So there, I'm kinda excited for this. I hope to show the ideas to my boss this week, and I'm crossing my fingers that he will give the green light to do the project.

It shouldn't be too hard. The next thing to do would be to look for a tailor who's good but wouldn't charge like I were in a Zegna or a Boss store. Hehehe! Norman said he'll give me some leads, but I would also love to know who the other good tailors out there are. There are only six guys in the department so this shouldn't be too toxic for the tailor.

On a side note, the whole visit to the fabric store made me consider taking up sewing classes. Seriously. Seriously. I mean it's probably something I can still learn, right? Even if I'm already a 30-year old guy!!! Hehehe! Had I known that there are all these nice, nice fabrics available locally, I would've dived into bespoke/made-to-measure long ago. Maybe I would've saved a lot. Hehe! Instead of shelling out thousands of pesos for the long-sleeved shirts all these years.

Exciting, yeah?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

One really good pasalubong...



A cousin recently went on a trip to Europe, and above is her pasalubong for me. A rosary from the Vatican.

It's beautiful and definitely a favorite pasalubong. The last time I had a rosary this pretty was back in college, junior year. When I was still attending formation activities at the center, I was able to get a very beautiful rosary. The beads were the color of copper, the cross was a beautiful silver, and in the middle was an image of the Holy Mother.

Here's a somewhat secret. I always, always carry a rosary in my pocket. The other rosary photo above dates back from my childhood days. We're talking about primary school years here. Yup, it's that old and therefore, has some sentimental value. I think it was my Mom who gave it to me.

It was also my Mom who planted the seeds of rosary devotion in me. As a kid, I was very sickly. I would always go to the hospital because I would have trouble breathing. When I was in Grade 2, I had to be confined at the Heart Center because the doctors wanted to rule out rheumatic heart. And during these times, I can vividly recall my Mom teaching me how to pray the rosary late in the evening. She would even write a prayer on small pieces of paper and offer it to the altar where the image of the Holy Mother was.

Since then, I have been dedicated to the rosary. In elementary school, I learned all 15 mysteries because we had a Christian Living class. During September 8, we would also have a Living Rosary. And even when I attended a non-Catholic high school, I was able to keep the devotion because I was a very active altar boy in our parish. In college, I even got to memorize the Litany of the Holy Mother because we prayed the rosary at the center every day. Seriously. … Mirror of Justice, Tower of Ivory, Tower of David…" Those years really cultivated the devotion to the rosary.

Right now, I have to admit that I haven't been as prayerful. I have it in my pocket and I do take out every so often to pray - during long land trips, when I can't sleep in the evening, when I just need the smallest amount of assurance. I know I haven't been reciting the rosary as often as I wanted to, but I do believe in it.

The gift couldn't have come at a better time. My Tita, the mom of my cousin, is in the hospital right now and is battling something. I'm not sure yet what it is. My Mom would give me updates, but she said the doctors still need to confirm whether it really is what they think it is.

At a time like this, what can you really do but pray, right? And who else better to be your sidekick than the Blessed Mother when you approach the Big Boss?

So, thank you, cousin for the nice, nice gift. It's definitely one that is priceless.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I was more excited about this... Don't tell Stefan...





Just how bag crazy can I get sometimes?

Hmm, how about this? I was more excited, as in big smile on the face like a little boy who just received a big present, when I found this handsome fellow than the day I finally brought Stefan home. Eeep! He must not know that. Hehe!

A couple of weeks ago, a good friend told me that she was looking for a present for her husband. She wanted to give him a bag since he told her that he needed a new one. So, my good friend approached me knowing that I'm a bit crazy for bags. Hehehe! I was really flattered. *blush blush* Hehe!

I asked her the style, budget, brands she had in mind and after getting her answers, I recommended some brands where she could probably find that bag for the Mister.

And then on one REALLY good Friday, we found the one while we were checking out the shops at Greenbelt 5. We started with Massimo Dutti. There was one bag, but it was kinda small for the Mister and a bit too much for a bag. We moved to Kenneth Cole, where I was quite sure I would find good selections. There were some nice pieces but they weren't the right ones for the Mister. Marc Jacobs was just way too expensive!

A little more walking, and we found it. Waving at us from the Banana Republic store was this super nice messenger bag. The photos above just don't give the real thing any justice. Plus, we probably shouldn't have taken out the stuffing inside so that it would still have looked hot when the Mister opened the box.

But anyway, when we saw the bag, I got really excited. I held it in my hands and it was perfect. The structure was really masculine. And it had all these useful pockets inside the bag. It came with a detachable shoulder strap. But as you can see even without the strap, it still looked great. The design was a classic. Three, four years from now, if it's well taken cared of, I'm sure that bag would still look great. And one of the best things about it, it was on sale. Huge, huge discount. Woohoo!

We immediately called my friend who was shopping elsewhere with the Mister, and one of the first things I told her was, "If I were an evil person, I wouldn't have told you about this bag. Hehehe!"

Thank heavens for video call. We were able to show her what the bag looked like and why it was the one. She agreed. (Either that or she trusts me a lot. Hehe!)

The next thing to do was devising a way to get the bag without the Mister noticing it. That operation needed about three or four other friends, hiding in the women's section and getting the SAs of Banana Rep to be in cahoots with our scheme. Hehehe!

In the end, it was a success. Our friend told us that the Mister loved the bag. And the Mister himself told me the same thing. Remember that SATC episode from Season 4 where Samantha gets all these lavish gifts from Richard and then she finds out that it was Richard's personal assistant who was buying her all the gifts. I feel like I'm that guy. Wahaha! And I sort of like it. Hehehe!

Anyone in need of personal shopping services? Hahaha!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Saturday with some "heroes..."








The entire Saturday was spent in Cavite with Kuya Ef, KB, Emman and other "heroes."

Along with some friends, we headed to the town of CNN Hero of the Year Efren Peñaflorida to observe and participate in his kariton movement.

We left Manila around 10AM and arrived in Cavite City before 1PM. I didn't notice the traffic because I slept all throughout. Hehe!

While looking for the office of Club 8586, we saw a camera crew following a guy pushing kariton. A number of other teenagers were with the guy. It wasn't difficult to know that where that kariton was going was where we were supposed to be headed.

At the headquarters of Club 8586, we met more “heroes.” Students, civilians, young and not-so-young who were all there to support the movement. While waiting for Kuya Ef to finish his interview, we were served a super wonderful lunch. Pan fried chicken breast fillet, corn and carrots, mangga't bagoong and my absolute favorite adobo.

Meanwhile, some of the youth volunteers prepared the kariton for the afternoon sessions. There are four karitons - play center, literacy, values education which doubles as a canteen, and the clinic.

It's impressive how the group utilizes the kariton. Who knew one kariton can easily be converted into a mobile classroom/clinic/canteen? Galing!

After our hearty lunch, we decided to see the kariton youth in action. We joined Kuya Ef and youth volunteers as they headed to the third site for the day - the cemetery.

We walked from the headquarters of Club 8586 to the cemetery. Upon arrival, there was already a small gathering of children. I dunno where the children came from. Residents of the cemetery perhaps?

For the next hour and a half, the kids attended sessions conducted by the volunteers. Some of the mausoleums served as the gathering place of the kids. It wasn't eerie at all since it was broad daylight.

After the sessions, we went back to Club 8586 for a get-together. We talked about possible volunteer opportunities. The recent rumors were mentioned but there’s really nothing to tell.

We left for Manila by 5. It was a good Saturday. I really hope I can spend more Saturdays doing volunteer work. And I really hope to see more Kuya Efs, Emmans and KBs.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Here's my new "guy" Stefan...




So I did get myself a new "guy" as a late Christmas present.

He's white. He's smooth. He's fresh. He's smart. Definitely a headturner. And the best thing about him, Hhe's a 13-incher! Hahaha!

Meet Stefan, my new "guy." Hahaha!

Yup, I finally took the plunge and decided to finally say goodbye to Angelomilco (the iBook G4).

Last Christmas, there was an Apple sale for employees and initially, I wanted to get the Pro. But I wasn't sure of how merry Christmas was going to be so even if I wanted to take advantage of the ZIP and reduced price promo, I had to let the sale come and go.

During the holiday season, I went around shops to canvas which shop had the best deal. The answer was just outside our office. Literally. I went to the A. Shop which had super friendly staff, and inquired. Tey told me that the Macbook white is probably a better option because of the bigger HD space (250GB vs. Pro 13's 160GB). The A. Shop guys also told me that the Macbook white was their best seller. In fact, there was a wait time.

So I put my name on the reserve, and that gave me just enough time to think and make the decision to go ahead and get it.

Last week, I got an email from the A. Shop guys telling me that "he" has arrived. So the second Friday of the year turned out to be a happy, really happy, day. Haha!

It's sort of a big deal for me, because it's my first big purchase when it comes to gadgets. And I had to think about it. If it were the LV Damier Graphite Keepall 55 though, it would be a whole different situation I tell you. Hehehe! By the way, that Keepall is way more expensive than the Macbook. Hehe!

When I finally got my hands on "him," the next concern was what to call him. Colleague Reena has "Lychee." And I have "Stefan." Hehe!

At first, I wanted to call him Kav or Joe from one of my fave books The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. If I'm (Samuel) Clayman, then this new guy will be Joseph Kavalier.

But during my first weekend with him, the first DVD I watched on it was The Vampire Diaries, which colleague Rhyz lent to me. And I just fell in love with the series and the characters. Hahaha! Stefan seemed like the choice. Damon didn't do it for me. I thought Alaric was also good but I know how lazy people are with three-syllable names.

And that was it.

Welcome to my world, Stefan.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bromance even before bromance was coined...


There is a way to be good again.

That's one of the lines I remember from The Kite Runner, one of the best books I've read.

Somehow, that line came to mind lately because of the recent things that have happened.

As I've written in a previous post, one of the nice things that happened during the holidays was reconnecting with people from my high school days.

That included my best friend back then. The last time we saw each other, I was still just starting my career while he was just about to get out of college. That was about seven, eight years ago. Thanks to social networking sites, we sort of found each other again. He is doing well with his career. He got to travel. He is now married for a year.

Wow! Married? It only seems like yesterday when we were still talking about our schedules for Mass, stupid crushes, family stuff, and so on. Back then, we spent so much time together. When I went to a different high school, we would still see each other almost everyday at church (because we were altar boys). We'd have these nice walks going home. Email was just about to be born, so we had letters to each other. Handwritten letters, which I think I still have somewhere.

Simply put, he and I had a bromance even before that word was coined.

Seeing him again a couple of weeks ago just brought back a lot of good memories he and I shared. It was both happy and not so much. Happy because he still is the same person (or so I think). Not so much because after parting ways, I felt something that I don't believe in feeling - regret. For not trying hard enough to stay connected when I went to college, for allowing myself to get lost in the new world that is UP and new friends back then, for not slowing down so the friends I left behind in HS could catch up. And for missing the big life events - college graduation, getting engaged, getting married.

I don't know why, but somewhere at the back of my mind, I felt like I needed to apologize to him. I didn't get to do that during the get-together with the rest of my barkada altar boys. That was the only time everyone saw each other again so what happened was more of a group discussion. We did get to have a little time together though during the drive to the coffee place and when we parted ways, we did we'll hang out. But really Who knows when that will be?

So when I saw him online the other day, I chatted with him. He was on a business trip in some country I wanted to visit. Strike that. Some country I will visit this year. Hehe!

Anyway, I took that opportunity to tell him one of the two things I wanted to tell him. It wasn't the best conversation setup - online! blah! - but I had to take advantage of the situation.

[08:58] UP Boy: hey, can i tell you something?
[08:58] DLSU Boy: what
[09:04] UP Boy: the get-together with the guys was good. and that's when i realized that i didn't try hard enough to stay connected to you as a friend to you right after high school. and i don't usually have any regrets, pero that's one thing i regret. i mean back then you and i were best friends and i sort of regret losing that. the last time i saw you college ka pa and now you're married na and maybe soon will be a dad na. i missed out on so many things like your graduation, you getting married, stuff like that.
[09:05] UP Boy: so what i'm really trying to say is i'm sorry. for not trying better to be your best buddy.
[09:05] DLSU Boy: that's ok. i also missed keeping in touch siguro medyo busy lang and location was also a factor since i moved which is far na rin.
[09:06] UP Boy: sorry, i know this is really lousy that i'm saying all of these online. i wanted to say it face to face, pero i know you're much busy now. and we really didn't have the time to talk the last time we saw each other.
[09:06] DLSU Boy: sus.. that's ok. what matters is that we are now again reconnected.

Yeah, yeah, I know it's too emo. But hello, sinimulan mo na lang din naman mag-emo, eh di itodo mo na ng bonggang bongga, di buzz? LOL!

We chatted a bit more after that, but since it was a toxic work day for both of us, the chat had to be cut short. There is just that agreement to see each other some time soon.

I felt better after that brief chat. The other thing I wanted to tell him is, well, something reserved for our get-together. Sheesh, when we saw each other, he was asking me about girlfriends. Eeeep! So I'm kind of resolved to tell him the next time. I know I don't have to, but I just feel like I have to. I mean, this is a person who became a big part of my teen years and if we do plan to carry on with that friendship we had, then I think he just has to know.

Bring out several bottles of beer please. Wait, maybe we'll need something stronger. Hehe!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Paul meets Jean Paul...



Paul is no longer alone.

I was on my way to the gym last night and I passed by Rustan's Supermarket to get my 100 Plus.

Since I was there, I decided to look for the aisle where they had the water giants - Perrier, Evian, Volvic, and so on.

Wala lang. I decided to follow franayr's tip (Thanks for the tip!) to check with Rustan's. Who knows? They might have it. After all, they're the leading local distributor of everything designer. Hehehe!

I was already prepared to not see the Gaultier and Lacroix bottles because they came out couple of years back.

But just like on so many occasions, Rustan's delivered. Haha! While checking out designer water shelves, there it was. About a dozen bottles of Gaultier-designed Evian bottles. Woohoo!

At first, I was tempted to get two. Just so both PS bottles would have a partner. But then I remembered that I'm about to go hungry this week so I changed my mind and just decided to get one. Hehe! Bahala na te other bottle.

So this morning, Paul met Jean Paul and the boys are now hanging out on my desk. Yahooo!

Now, all I need to look for is Christian and then the barkada will be complete. Help, help please. :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Where to find Lacroix and JPG Evian bottles...


Photobucket Photobucket



After getting the Paul Smith for Evian bottles, I am now on the prowl for the other bottles that designer water Evian did with fashion icons Christian Lacroix and Jean Paul Gaultier.

The PS bottles are now standing tall and proud on my desk but the question now is...

Where do I find the Christian Lacroix and Jean Paul Gaultier editions in Manila?! If you have leads, please let me know.

I think I saw the JPGs here in Manila before, but I'm not sure. The Lacroix I've never seen.

The items are available online but I don't want to hassle friends with this weirdness. Hehehe!

I wonder why I didn't know about these when these came out. Haha!

Is it weird that I'm writing about bottle designs? Haha! I dunno. I'm just really a huge fan of items that may be collected. Believe it or not, I still have the stuff toys from the Hello Kitty and Winnie the Pooh series of Mcdo. And then there's Bruce and Johnny, my ridiculously priced bookends from Dimensione. I got the boys only because I thought they were such good and interesting pieces. And then there's also Pax Thien, the PAL Pilot stuff toy which I got on the flight back to Manila from Saigon... among others. Hahaha!

We all have our "weird" fascinations I suppose.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sombrero holiday party...









This is a long overdue post.

We had a simple but really meaningful and super fun Christmas party to end the year and to celebrate the holidays as well.

The party organizers decided to do a hat party. Everyone in the team received a plain buri hat, which we were supposed to decorate. Best hat gets a prize. Because we were so busy trying to finish everything before offices and people go on holiday mode, I wasn't sure whether people would have the time to really work on their hats. Some colleagues and I got to work on our hats only during the night before the party.

Man, was I wrong? (And definitely happy about it! Haha!) Once our party started, each one brought out their decorated hats. Definitely impressive and pleasantly surprising! This is one of the nice things about being in the team where I am. Each one has been blessed with a great amount of creativity and skill in the art/aesthetic department. Hehehe! And even during last minute situations, we still manage to find a way to make whatever it is we're working much more creative/better.

It was difficult to judge which hat was the best. In the end, colleague Deivid's was declared winner. He did a Filipiniana theme. Sequins and glitters to form the Philippine flag on the hat. Galing!!!

The other highlights of the party were the rewards & recognition portion and the exchange gift. For the R&R, I'm happy to have received a number of Starbucks GCs and other goodies. The exchange gift, on the other hand, was a bit different than the usual. Let's just say that friendships were put to a test because of a Powerbooks GC. Hahaha!

The year has really been something and the people I work with definitely played a major role in making sure that we all get through the year in one piece. Haha! I'm really glad to be part of the team, and I'm definitely looking forward to having a bright 2010 with these guys.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Plot your VLs na...

Alright, too lazy to write something nice so I'm "borrowing" info from the post of my colleague Maver.

Here's a list of the holidays for the year. Start plotting your VLs na.

Regular Holidays:

January 1 - New Year’s Day
April 1 - Maundy Thursday
April 2 - Good Friday
April 9 (Friday) - Araw ng Kagitingan
May 1 - Labor Day
June 14 (Monday nearest June 12) - Independence Day
August 30 (Last Monday of August) - National Heroes’ Day
November 29 (Monday nearest November 30) - Bonifacio Day
December 25 (Saturday) - Christmas Day
December 27 (Monday nearest December 30) - Rizal Day

Special (Non-Working) Days:

August 23 (Monday nearest August 21) - Ninoy Aquino Day
November 1 (Monday) - All Saints’ Day
December 24 (Friday) - Additional Special (Non-Working) Day
December 31 (Friday) - Last Day of the Year

Special Holiday (for all schools):

February 22 (Monday nearest February 25) - EDSA Revolution Anniversary

National holidays for the observance of Eid’l Fitr and Eid’l Adha will be declared after their dates are determined by the Office of Muslim Affairs.

Long weekends in 2010, based on Proclamation 1841:

April 1 to 4 (Easter holidays)
April 9 to 11 (Araw ng Kagitingan)
June 12 to 14 (Independence Day)
August 21 to 23 (Ninoy Aquino Day)
August 28 to 30 (National Heroes’ Day)
October 30 to November 1 (All Saints’ Day)
November 27 to 29 (Bonifacio Day)
December 24 to 27 (Christmas and Rizal Day)
December 31 to January 2, 2011 (New Year’s Day)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Roadtrip with the altar boys...










I'm wondering if 2010 will be the year of reconnecting with people from the past.

Last Saturday, I went on a roadtrip with my sacristan buddies. We went to Tagaytay for lunch, followed by another long drive to Lipa, Batangas.

That's the second time I've hung out with them in a span of two weeks. That's definitely a record! Haha! Usually, I would only see them during Holy Week because that's when we would have our Easter Vigil tradition.

Nevertheless, I was more than happy to see everybody again. What made this get-together extra special was that two more sacristan friends from days long ago joined us. Fortunately, they were in Tagaytay that day so they were able to join us. So present that day were either three or four generations of knights of the altar of the Lourdes Church in QC.

The two guys who joined us were Pao and Darryl. The last time I saw Pao was more than a decade ago, and it was a bit strange when I saw that the little boy I used to coach on how to serve Mass is now a young man. Before, he was just this eager little kid who was always ready to serve the Mass, no matter how early or late it was. Now, that kid is a Nursing graduate working for one of the hospitals in Albay. Man, I'm old.

On the other hand, Darryl was my best buddy during my high school days. We were quite inseparable and we had a lot of good times together. His Dad is the reason why I passed my Electronics class. Haha! Darryl's dad repaired my "running lights" project, which I was so ready to give up on already. Haha! Since I was a year older, I entered college earlier and that brought me into a whole new world. Because of that, he and I lost touch. The last time I saw him was when I was already working while he was just about to finish college. Thanks to Multiply and now Facebook, we've sort of reconnected. I knew that he got married last year, but that was it. So when I saw him, I couldn't help it but give my old buddy a huge hug. Memories of LSQC days just came rushing back in. We didn't get to talk that much though, but I really hope that we can see each other soon and catch up on what happened in the past seven or eight years.

Alright, going back to the roadtrip, we first went to Tagaytay for lunch at Leslie's. As I had expected, the place was packed with weekend out-of-towners. Ugh! I usually wouldn't have the patience for that big a crowd because I of the waiting time, but I was having too much of a good time to care.

From Leslie's, we moved to Bag of Beans which was also packed but not like Leslie's. I bumped into my former colleague/friend Shy while we were there so that definitely was a pleasant surprise.

After Tagaytay, we went to Lipa to visit the Capuchin seminary where we used to have the national gathering of Capuchin altar boys. Darryl and Pao didn't join us for that anymore though. Huhu! We also dropped by the house of Peter's girlfriend in Lipa, where his future (?!) MIL served a delightful merienda buffet. Gawd, we did nothing that day but stuff ourselves - with good food and good stories. Hehehe!

We left Lipa before 8PM. It turned out to be a good decision because the drive was much faster. I was home by 10, which gave me enough time to rest a bit before I headed out again to hit Malate with Engel and Winston.

Definitely a good Saturday. And definitely a good holiday season.