Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Happy New Year!

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Thursday, 16 December 2010

Mga Bagong Pera ng Pinoy

Opo, totoong totoo po yung mga bagong pera natin. Natatandaan ko pa nung bata pa 'ko, eto pa ang itsura ng mga pera,parang kelan lang......
Batang 80's po ako. Ito payung pinambibili ko ng sorbetes dati kay Mang Eddie, yung 2 pesos isang cup, piso naman sa apa. Parang nung panahon pa yata ni Marcos 'to naprint. Tapos nung panahon naman ni Cory binago nya uli ang itsura ng pera, siyempre galit galitan sya kay Pareng Makoy kaya ayun, pinalitan lahat! Eto na ngayon, ito pa rin yung ginagamit natin sa kasalukuyan.
Yung nga palang 2 hundred e pinagawa ni Ate Glo nyo.
Pero dahil nga sa dami ng mga pekeng pera na lumalabas sa circulation ngayon, nagpasya si Pnoy na palitan uli ang pera. Aba, parang mas maporma ang new look ng datung natin ngayun. Actually ngayung araw pa lang ilalabas ng Bangko Sentral yan ha, kumbaga e fresh na fresh at mainit init nyo yan mhahawakan galing sa bangko bago magPasko. Yan e kung may pera kayo sa bangko wahahaha! Eto po yon:
At sa lahat ng ng yan, ito pa rin ang ang masasabi ko mabuti pa talaga ang pera may tao (join pa si tita Cory) ang tao walang pera.

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Sunday, 12 December 2010

A Flabbergasting Sunday

Yesterday was my mother's birthday so we started our day with greetings early in the morning. My sister's fiancee slept in our house because they attended their company Christmas party in Paranaque. After we ate breakfast, we watched horror movie in the living room, the movie title is “The Shutter” in ABS CBN. My parents were both working in the kitchen while me, my girl, my sister, and her boyfriend were watching movie. That morning, the mood was very quiet. The cold air passed through our door, the skies were cloudy, making the weather so gloomy. While the movie was reaching its end, and the scene was at its peak, we suddenly heard as very loud crashing sounds echoed outside, near the front of our house. Curious about the sound, my family, including my relatives who live in our compound hurriedly walked to where the sound came from, in the road. At first, we taught that my uncle's van parked in front of their house was bumped, but luckily it was not. There, we saw two buses and one truck bumped each other. What happened was, a middle-aged woman came from my aunt's house stopped the bus to take a ride. The following bus did not allowed several meter distance to the other bus so the back of the former was hit by the latter. Then, here was a delivery truck running very fast bumped the back of the second bus. My aunt's friend was hurt. Fortunately some of the passengers just got scratches and bruises. The impact of the bumps were not strong so it only caused slight damage to the three vehicles.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Hectic days are here again

Balik na naman ang mga araw na sobrang busy dahil sa aking pag aaral asa University of the Philippines Open University. Napakaraming dapat isulat, iresearch at pag isipan, 'ika nga nila, mga gawaing nakadurugo ng utak he he he.
Natatandaan ko pa noong bago pa lamang akong nag aaral sa UPOU, nagtatrabaho ko noon sa ePLDT as technical support specialist. Halos hindi na ko matulog dahil sa sobrang daming ginagawa. Biro mo ba naman, 4 by 10 ang sched ko sa ePLDT, meaning, 10 hours a day(actually mas higit pa dahil sa mga katakot takot na meetings at QA feedbacks) and 4 days a week ang banat ko. Take note, 11 pm to 9 am ang time ko dun ha (nakakauwi ng 11am na). Aba, dahil sa dami ng mga projects ko at sa hirap ng sched ko natutulog lang ako ng almost 2 to 4 hours (drain na drain). Siyempre, hila hila si girlfriend sa pagtataype ng projects ko (since wala aking laptop, poor) wehehe, ayun nagtatype kami sa computer center hangang 10:30pm. Sa awa ng Diyos, ayun natapos ko din yung first two subjects ko na maluwalhati.

Actually, sa tingin ko e mas mahirap ang online mode ng studies kaysa classroom mode. E kasi naman, you really need to be independent. Self-discipline talaga ang kaylangan para ka magwagi. Sa UP pa naman, wag ka mag expect ng madali dahil lahat dun e paghihirapan mo talaga. Eto ko ngayon, after ng tinetake ko na isang subject ngayon, isang thesis na lang at gagradweyt na. Wohoooo!

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Tuesday, 23 November 2010

A Visit to St. Lukes Hospital part 2

Me and my girlfriend strolled in the Gateway Mall while waiting for my sister and her fiancee. We spent our time eating in the food court. We ate Bibingka with brewed coffee, hamburger, java rice with adobong atay, soup, and potato crisp. We also went to the national bookstore, and headed to farmer's market to buy some fruits for my aunt. Minutes later, we got tired of waiting so we walked to jeepney stop to go to St. Lukes. In the hospital, I saw William Martinez' family. My aunt said that William Martinez has a stroke and confined in the ICU where my older aunt was also confined. When I got home, My mother texted me that media hasn't released any information about him because the Martinez family doesn't want to give any statement.

A Visit to St. Lukes Hospital part 1

Last night we visited our aunt in St. Lukes Medical Center in Quezon City. She suffered a stroke and confined in ICU for three days. The doctors also discovered other minor diseases which her family was not aware of. After almost a month in a critical situation, she is in stable condition now. I was glad when I heard that she can now sit down on her wheel chair. At the age of 69, I can see that she would be able to recover from the illnesses that seemed to challenge their hopes.

Anyway, talking about the visit, Myself, my girlfriend, my sister, and my cousin already pre-planned to visit my aunt in the hospital few days earlier. My sister and cousin decided to go on undertime on their job to avoid the traffic jam of Metro Manila rush hour. I expected my cousin to arrive late because she will be coming from Laguna. However, my sister's boyfriend was not able make it because of the fear that their officemates might smell something fishy...yada to summarize, they arrived to MRT Magallanes station at 5:30PM waited for six full trains blasts. Meanwhile, me and my girlfriend stayed in Gateway Mall in Cubao for a three and half productive hours, so to speak.

To be continued....

Sunday, 14 November 2010

The Pacquiao-Margarito fight yesterday

Pacquiao-Margarito face to face during weigh-in

Last Sunday, I watched the delayed telecast of Pacquiao-Margarito fight on GMA 7. We have no cable at home, but my uncle is subscribed to Naic Cable. At 1:00 pm, I fell asleep in my bedroom, suddenly I heard my father saying that Pacquiao lost for he watched the boxing fight in my uncle's house next to our house. He was just kidding though, because Manny won against Margarito. Despite of the big height difference, Manny still managed his moves in able to target Margarito's face. After the 12th round, the referee announced the winner, it was actually Manny's 8th world title.  Oozing with blood, Margarito was hurried to the hospital to undergo a constructive facial surgery. Hence, Margarito adopted the name "maga rito"

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Fun moments with my wifey while waiting

Me and my wifey

My sister is an Admin officer in their company in Paranaque. She recommended our jobless cousin to one of the agencies that is connected to them, the office is in Diliman. Since my cousin is promdi hehe, I accompanied him to the Diliman office. After few seconds of our arrival to the office, my wifey arrived. The two of us sat down at the nearby store and took some pictures using my cellphone. We actually waited for almost six hours for my cousin was completing his papers and medical certificate. Me and my wifey also took a walk in the vicinity for we were just new in that place. Despite of the long hours of waiting, we had a fun time with just the two of us. Hehehe!

My Lola's Birthday Celebration

Last November 7 was my lola's 81st birthday. We actually gave her a surprise. At first, she didn't know that we were preparing foods for her birthday. We set the table, propped with foods on the top, of course the birthday cake with the candle says 81 was in the middle of the table. We called her to show the surprise. Well, same thing, she did not show any emotion of happiness and excitement. However, we knew that deep in his heart, she knew that we really appreciated her as our caring and loving lola. : >

Monday, 1 November 2010

Remembering Our Departed Loved Ones

Today is All Soul's Day. Until now, I cannot understand why Filipinos visit their departed loved ones on November 1 though it is All Saints Day. Anyone can enlighten me? Hehe.

Death is the end of life, inevitable, so to speak. Everyone will die whether we like it or not. All of us have our own expiration, and God only knows that exact time. The saddest and most painful thing that we can ever encounter as we live on Earth is the death of our loved ones. Although it is a fact that we are all passers here, as the plane of life stop over this Earth, we can still feel the bereavement of our loved ones' departure when the PILOT decided to fly that plane.

In our family we lost five beloved grandparents, My lolo Pepe, nanay Inang, tatay Inchong, lola Fe, and Lolo Deliong. Lolo Pepe passed away last 1993 due to lung disease. He was actually the father of my father. I was only 11 during the time when he was sent back and forth to the hospital due to difficulty in breathing. He finally heaved his last breath on January 7, 2003, two days after the feast of the Three Kings, the last day of Christmas season. We all remember him as a strict, smart, and stiff person, straightforward and sound to his decisions. My nanay Inang was the mother of my mother, she passed away in the New Year's eve, January 31, 2001. She had a brain stroke on December 27, and was in coma for several days, the doctor said that there was no chance that my grandmother will recover. So, my mother and her siblings decided to bring her back home, on her bed, with life support, where she also died. We, her apos remember her as the kindest, most loving, cheerful, nice, understanding and caring lola. My problems seemed to vanish when I felt her hand gently rubbing my back, while uttering “This apo of mine is so nice, I really love my apos”.

-to be continued-

Monday, 25 October 2010

Creepy Stories

Next week, we will celebrate the All Saint's Day. The night before that is the Halloween. We Filipinos are accustomed to horror stories especially before the Halloween. TV news, talk shows, movies, documentaries, all feature different ghost stories from the known witnesses, usually about white, black and red ladies, kapre, manananggal, tiyanak, tikbalang, and many others from the Philippine folklore. Way back in elementary and high school days, me and my younger cousins used to wait for Noli de Castro's Magandang Gabi Bayan (now defunct) features about ghosts stories and experiences. It had been a tradition of that documentary show to feature horrible and scary ghosts stories from the people who experience them (coincide with the scarier re-enactments)during Halloween. Later on, we won't be able to sleep with the light turned off, or even go out of the house at night without companion. Hehehe!

I myself love to listen to creepy stories, eventhough I sometimes imagine them when I am alone. Actually I thought that you are not a Filipino if you don't know a single ghost story that your friend, relatives, etc. had experienced. Well, we also have some stories to tell about ghost experiences, mostly happened during our stay in my cousin's house.

We used to live in my cousin's house for nine months, we moved there in October 2004. My cousin was a former councilor of Naic, and after his political career ended, he decided to move to the United States with his wife and two kids. Their house was empty for three years. We actually had a hard time cleaning the floor and walls because they were too dirty. In the first month of our stay, it was quiet, no strange feelings, no ghostly apparitions, no nothing.

After the Halloween, I just came from work one night. My shift in the office started at 2 PM and ended at 10 PM, I usually arrived home at 11 PM. My sister and cousin liked to sleep in the living room for they were more comfortable there. That time, they were still awoke and watching TV. Passing a small corridor directly to the kitchen, I went there to eat. The bathroom is located right beside the kitchen. In that house, silence was defeaning, especially at night. Our neighbor was like 40 feet away from us, the other neighbor has a very high concrete fence dividing their lot and my cousin's. Suddenly, I heard a sound of a crying lady, not sure if it was coming from the bathroom or underground because the sound was fainted. I hurriedly went to my sister and looked if it was coming from the TV, but they were watching a comedy show, and the sound was just minimal. I went back to the kitchen, still hearing the strange sound. I went to my parents' room and woke them up. That was the time when the sound died down. They were all scared.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

My Best Times of the Day

I like 5:00 to 6:30 in the morning. That's the time when my father's rooster crows, the birds are awake and start singing. Go to the open door or peep on the open window and feel the cool mist in the still air especially during December. Feel the moisture and coldness of the air, refresh your mind as you squint to see the first light of the day over the horizon. Pour a cup of steaming brewed coffee and sit on the back deck in your comfortable pajamas. Being as still as possible, the cold making your feet tingle.
Sometimes we walk with my family to the farm and rice fields, we buy hot pandesal, bibingka, and lugaw at the roadside. Wow! I love it!

Another best time of the day in Naic where I live is at dusk. The light turns to the soft orange, burnishing everything a beautiful gold. The mountains to the west turn into black. Then, just a short time, the vibrancy leaves and the sky turns the softest, velvetiest deep blue you can imagine, and the stars start to shine. Everything looks beautiful in the dusky light. Even the dust rising around their feet glows. You can see some barrio folks cooking foods for their dinner on a three-stoned stove and firewoods. When I was a child, I used to hear some lady vendors carrying bilao on their head shouting "tinapa, dinaing!". Most of all, it's my favorite time of day to ride on my bicycle going to the farm.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

I'm coming home again......

My hometown is a rural area in Cavite, there is where I grew up. Naic is located near the Manila Bay, situated 46 kilometers away from Manila. The majority of land area is agricultural, it consists of rice, and vegetable fields. Once you enter vicinity of Naic, you will first see the scenic century old ploughed rice fields, planted with hays gently swaying by the breeze, plus the nice view of the legendary Mount Buntis in the horizon. The roads are lined with trees, occasional houses and ornamental plants. One can still see the humble bahay-kubos , a sign of simplicity in living. The center of the town is the Poblacion, patterned from the Spanish model town centers where the town plaza, former market site, former municipal hall and a two hundred year old town church are located. The narrow streets there are lined with ancestral and modern houses with Spanish, Filipino, and American architectures.
Our house is located near the river, where the townsfolk used to wash their clothes decades ago, but it is still clean now. On the other side of the river are farms and rice fields plus a soothing view of the mountain.

What is my favorite thing about living in a rural area?

There is lack of crime, quietness, the sun setting off in the distance over the land (not buildings), I like hearing the crickets at night, seeing all the stars shining brightly in the sky. Your neighbors are more friendly than in the city,
neighboring farmers and their families were the most helpful people I've known in my life. I like animals roaming free. I love listening to the sounds of nature, seeing the scenes of nature. I love hearing the roosters crow. No pollution.

We used to live a simple life there.

I have been living and working in Metro Manila since 2007 to earn good bucks. Everything is accessible here, companies, universities, shopping malls, business establishments, embassies, gyms, convenience stores, stadiums, etc. I have no choice but to live in this noisy, congested, polluted, and expensive city. Morever, people don't care about others.

Sometimes, I think of going back and live a simple life in our hometown. I believe that time will come, when myself, and my future family will enjoy the simple living in my hometown. To me, nothing is better than living in a rural community, where everyone knows your name, your family and your values.

I was watching American Idol when I heard Camille Velasco, a Filipino-American finalist singing the song “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” originally sang by Elton John. The lyrics are about giving up a life of opulence for one of simplicity in a rural setting. I found a connection to this song, this is written by Bernie Taupin.

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

When are you gonna come down
When are you going to land
I should have stayed on the farm
I should have listened to my old man
You know you can't hold me forever
I didn't sign up with you
I'm not a present for your friends to open
This boy's too young to be singing the blues

So goodbye yellow brick road
Where the dogs of society howl
You can't plant me in your penthouse
I'm going back to my plough

Back to the howling old owl in the woods
Hunting the horny back toad
Oh I've finally decided my future lies
Beyond the yellow brick road
What do you think you'll do then
I bet that'll shoot down your plane
It'll take you a couple of vodka and tonics
To set you on your feet again
Maybe you'll get a replacement
There's plenty like me to be found
Mongrels who ain't got a penny
Sniffing for tidbits like you on the ground
[repeat chorus]


Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Life in a Call Center

I worked in an export processing zone in Cavite for almost four years. In those entire years, I barely bought the things (ex.gadgets) that I wanted. I used to take home 6,000 peso amount of salary that time, I think there are really much reasons why multinational companies should go to provinces like Cavite and Bulacan. That amount of salary partly supported our family debts, my sister's university studies, my everyday allowance, our foods, and other petty expenses. Well, I was kinda happy because I still have a job, however, I've never been satisfied because that kind of living was quite far from what I aspired after graduating from the university. Sa madaling salita, isang kahig isang tuka pa rin ang buhay namin sa Cavite. Sino nga ba naman ang matutuwa kapag wala ka man lamang nabili na Greenwich pizza o Crispy crème donuts sa sweldo mo?.
During that time, the call center industry was booming, many call center companies sprouted like mushrooms all over Metro Manila and in some provinces (of course, mas mataas and sweldo sa Metro Manila). Thinking that my English was just barok, I studied in a call center school. Then, I applied to different call centers in Mandaluyong and Makati, and luckily, I was hired. So, I felt proud to myself, to think that only small percentage of applicants can pass the call center screening. After several weeks, I started my job as a technical support representative. I passed the English, product, and tech trainings. So, after three months of intensive and brain damaging trainings, I started to take calls.
In my first months of employment, I was happy because I was able to get quite reasonable amount of salary every month that I never got when working in Cavite. 'Yun nga lang madalas puyat dahil sa graveyard shift. I also had a lot of friends especially in our team. Take note, our team was always number 1, always the best performing team in the entire tech department.
Sa call center ko rin nakita ang iba't ibang ugali ng mga tao, superiors and subordinates. There are nice and friendly, smart and not so smart, introverts and extroverts, smokers and non smokers, hypocrites and orocans, at marami pang iba. Meron na mabait kapag nagpeperform ka sa job, pero ipahihiya ka na kapag nagkakamali ka sa kalaunan. In my one year and nine month (to be exact) stay in the call center, I witnessed, and somehow experienced how these supervisors and managers handled people. Some managers and supervisors are understanding. On the other hand, some did not care about their employees, kaylangan itaas ang stats at mag OT lagi kahit wala ka nang tulog. After 8 hours of work, you have to stay in the company for uptrainings, endless pep talks, QA feedbacks (bugbog ka sa criticisms)and a lot more. Yung mga performing agents lang ang kilala nila, kapag sumasablay ka, bahala ka sa buhay mo. Some supervisors don't mind kung ipahiya ka nila sa harapan ng mga co-workers mo, mahilig silang sumigaw, which for me, is an act of unprofessionalism. Sa isang call center, ang mababang stats ay pwedeng itaas, subalit ang kahihiyan ng isang tao ay hindi.

Monday, 11 October 2010

The 2010 Barangay Elections

This coming October 25 will be the Barangay elections. Of course, many people will again go to the streets and exercise their rights as independent Filipino citizens. As I heard from the radio, this election will not be automated unlike the national elections last May. Well, I think it will be more comfortable for the voters to wait even for several hours to vote since the October weather is somewhat more convenient than the humid and sticky May weather (with the phenomenal El Nino phenomenon).
Barangay is the smallest unit of government. Usually small sized, it is headed by the Barangay Captain together with his allies, the ever-loyal councilors and the tanods. So,the barangay captain “works” in cahoots with them. My question is, “Do we really need them? (aside from approving barangay clearance)”. I can never see the traces, nor hear the echoes of even a single project accomplished by this small-sized government. Nasaan na ang mga pondo na ibinibigay sa kanila ng lokal na pamahalaan? Isa pa ang mga opisyal ng sangguniang kabataan, mayroon ba silang ginagawa? Maraming mga opisyal ng barangay na may mabubuting hangarin para sa bayan. Naluklok sila na may hangaring makatulong sa mga mamamayan ng kani kanilang mga barangay na hindi naghihintay ng anumang malaking kapalit o kabayaran. Subalit sa kabilang banda, mas maraming mga opisyal ang naghihintay lamang ng pagsahod mula sa gobyerno, na ang tanging nasa isip ay magkapera at kumabig ng kumabig mula sa kaban ng bayan. Anong klaseng mga tao sila?
Do we really need too much officials in our barangays o nagsasayang lamang tayo ng pera ng taumbayan? May isang senador na nagsabi na buwagin na ang barangay government, magtalaga na lamang ang mga alkalde ng isang kinatawan para sa isang barangay upang makatipid ang mga Pilipino. I am strongly agree with his statement.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Remembering Our “Undas” in Naic

“Undas” is a regular Philippine holiday which is celebrated every November 1st. On the eve of Undas, we celebrate Halloween. My parents told me that when they were young, some townsfolk participate in “pangangaluluwa”, a Philippine version of “trick or treat”. In many provinces, 'kakanin' or rice cakes are popular munchers among old and young. In “pangangaluluwa”, the participants knock to every door and ask for some rice cakes. I'm sad that that Filipino tradition is not being practiced anymore.
When my grandmother was still strong, she used to make 'suman' for us every 'Undas' (she is still strong in her age of 81 anyway) in their old house. Propped on a plate with muscovado and shredded young coconut, it was the most delicious rice cake that we ever tasted.
Usually on October 30 and 31, me and my cousins march to the cemetery, it is just walking distance from our house. Armed with broom, dustpan, paint, pail, and 'tabo',we clean the tomb of our dead relatives. It is also the time when our relatives from Paranaque and Olongapo arrive. On November 1, we all go to the cemetery carrying candles in different color, sizes, and designs, flowers, and Philippine flag for my veteran “lolo's” tomb.

Monday, 4 January 2010

My Family

My family consists of my mother, father and younger sister. My parents are both from Naic, Cavite, they lived and grew up there. I am five year older than my younger sister. My sister and all my younger cousins use to call their older brothers 'uya', a toddler term for kuya. My mother has four alive siblings while my father has nine. We usually call our uncles and aunties as 'ate' and 'kuya' maybe because that's what our parents taught us. My family use to live with my father's relatives. We are living in one compound in which the lot where our houses are erected is inherited from my great grandparents. Eventhough we are only two, (me and my sister), we are still like a one big family because of the presence of my cousins, my father's siblings usually have two or three children.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

My Christmas in Cavite

How can one recall the days of his/her childhood during December? Indeed, December is the merriest of all months, in Naic, Cavite, we have 3 celebrations; The feast of the Immaculate Conception, Christmas day, and New Year's day (though celebrated every January 1, we consider it December 31).
Of course, for us, Christmas is the most important occasion of the year. It is also the time when I wait for presents from Santa Claus. On the Christmas eve, we go to the church and eat the most awaited Noche Buena. Ham, bread, thick chicken noodles, cheese, desserts, rice and Filipino dishes usually fill our round table, of course with best utensils and plates. After we eat, my mother used to tell me to hang my biggest sock near the window so that Santa Claus can easily see it. If it is so, he can put many gifts (especially candies and chocolates) inside my socks. The next morning, the sock is filled with candies and chocolates and is it the very first thing that my eyes catch. Not knowing that it is only my parents who put those presents in my socks.
Parents are Christmas. The existence of our parents is the reason why we have the meaning Christmas celebration. Regardless of the month and date of Christmas celebration, we have to be grateful to God and to the set of parents who took part of starting Christmas.