Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Today's dose of Randomness:

Funny Phone incidents:
Clearing out messages from my cellphone today and saw the 09-Oct-2007 text from Ted's girlfriend Judy. She was thanking me for texting her that Ted forgot to bring his cellphone that day (he brought something else which he thought was his cellphone). Made me chuckle. See, when Ted asked me that favor that morning, his first question was if I know his girlfriend's cellphone number. Ofcourse I immediately joked: how come he's asking me what his girlfriend's number is? He he he.

What's funnier is the attached memory. On that same night, I was in the MART/ACI/TOAP/IHAP General Assembly and saw Henry from another bank. He asked me if I have his wife's cellphone number. Ofcourse, I had to remark that he was the second man that day who asked me for his girlfriend/wife's phone number. Turns out his phone ran out of battery and so I called Cris up and told her Henry's looking for her.

Sem break?:
Got to the office yesterday half an hour earlier. Could only mean lighter traffic. So, I guess most people are on extended vacation (because of the holidays, there are only 2 working days this week) and students are on sem break. Was hoping to eat breakfast at the office canteen ... but didn't like any of the food there. Went to the co-op to see if the Mr. Donut stand has bagels or muffins. Since only a few people (that includes me) buy bagels and muffins from them, they were not available yesteray. I could probably get a muffin from Figaro but I didn't feel like spending twice the amount so I settled for a donut. Probably due to not finding anything I like to eat, I was in a destructive mood as I walked through the canteen ... I wanted to rip out those stupid dangling decorations they have on the ceiling. I didn't do it though. He he he.

Speaking of Decorations
Went to the mall lunch break to pay a credit card bill. Every salesperson in the department store was wearing a halloween costume. Some areas even have "themes"... like the place where the chocolates are have salesmen wearing grim reaper robes. Freaky. Annoying too. There was a time when people viewed Halloween costumes and treat or treating as American tradition confined mostly to what is seen in tv or movies. Then some villages decided to observe treat or treating and the commercialism caught on. It's now an adopted tradition without meaning. When I was younger, people were more pre-occupied with preparing to go to the cemeteries to pay respect to their dead. And yes, I still remember the time when it was unusual to camp out in a cemetery. The camping fad startted in the 90s ... and I actually think it's disrespectful (I remember being a bit horrified to hear a classmate say she plans to bring her electronic keyboard to their family mausoleum and play music all night).

The Survey:
New 7-year high for the Peso vs. USD yesterday. We didn't think it will crack the 43.90 level but it did. Someone from Dow Jones called saying she's surveying the banks... then asked my estimate on how much dollars the central bank bought to protect the dollar. One amusing thing about the question was that there was no "Do you think the central bank is intervening?" asked beforehand ... it was already a given. Told her I don't think I even want to answer her question. I jokingly asked her if she has access to view the PDEX deals. She said yes. Then I said she could just count the number of times a certain bank appeared. When she asked what bank, I decided not to answer. She asked if the estimates of the other traders were probable and gave me a figure. Told her yes. No chance of being quoted there even anonymously. Ha ha ha! Traders in our desk don't like to be quoted. Boss Dan would only speak to them if he remains anonymous in the report. Actually, I usually pass those reporters to Boss Dan, but since he is on vacation, I had no choice but speak to her.

Finding Stuff:
  1. Rey was ruffling through the directory yesterday and had no idea how to contact the Registry of Deeds office with jurisdiction over his property. It didn't occur to him to use the internet. I helped him out. We realized today that the Department of Justice is handling Land Registration Authority (LRA), which in turn oversees the Registers. Unfortunately, the list of Registers on the site does not include his place. I suggested he go back to the government directory and call a LRA number. After being passed around several departments, he found himself talking to someone from LRA's public information desk... who also couldn't find the number and address Rey was looking for. What was funny was that he was referred to LRA's personnel department as a last resort. Later, he was back to the phone directory and asking me if a certain company falls under insurance or health care. I begged off from helping him a second time.
  2. After seeing a new entry on Lucas Grabeel's website's filmography list but never hearing about the movie beforehand, I ended up digging info about Lucas Grabeel's new film called Oreskaband in a roundabout way.
I'm still chuckling at realizing how my love of the process of digging up info has surfaced again.


Realized I published this early morning of October 31. Meant to publish it October 30. Since copies have been automatically published in facebook and multiply, I've edited the words "today" to "yesterday" instead of changing the publish date. If you blog a lot, you'd know what I mean. :-)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Ang Munting Maya Video Clips

Almost finished with editing the clips I took from Sam's play last October 13. I think I only have one to go ... which I would call the Curtain Call clip. The rest are already on YouTube as can be seen in the playlist below:

The first 3 clips cover rehearsals and props-making. The next 7 clips are the songs from the play. Sam ofcourse has the full coverage. I have yet to see what's inside the DVD.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Today's Randomness

My Data Files:
I've just finished with recovering HALF of the data in my external Data disk. I also did some salvaging on my half of the internal hard drive yesterday. I did not see data that could be from my brother's half of the drive. I think I'll try looking for his data by starting the search from the middle sectors of the drive. Hopefully my bro has saved many of his importatnt data on CDs before this happened. I told him to lighten the load on his half of the hard drive 2 weeks ago.

Realized that data from certain folders are missing, which is why at this moment I'm waiting for PC Inspector to finish looking for lost files in the external hard disk. It's been hours since it started and so far it's found 3,037 files. That's a lot of data to swim through to find which one I haven't salvaged yet in the initial recovery attempt. I'm gonna end up using the rest of the free space in the main drive and my other external hard disk. I think I'm gonna hit the mall today to buy those extra hard disks I've been planning on getting even before this disaster struck.

Sam passed the LET
Saw her Multiply blog today. She just announced passing the licensure exams for teachers. That's another load off. That means she only has the thesis defense to go.

Ed joined yet another social network and maybe because I'm in his address book, it invited me to join Hoverspot. I figured, why the hell not?

My sis surprised me by Tagging me. Who would have thought that she'd be into it? It took her years to set up her internet access from home even if our bro gave her a laptop for free. Her reason? When she was here, she was used to other people in the office doing stuff for her that she didn't take time to figure out how to do them herself. I think I'm gonna ask her what her exact address is. I've relied so much on e-mail that I haven't been using snail mail lately. I honestly don't know if my family and friends still live in the same addresses that's recorded in my book.

Given that my photos and videos are in the hard drives that are now unallocated, it would take time before I could post new clips on YouTube. Was planning to put up the bowling pics this weekend BEFORE I knew I had to do this recovery operation.

Some people have commented on Sam's videos again. She's not that happy with some of those lately, being criticisms. Admittedly, a few were harsh. Some criticisms were constructive though. Somehow she's not in the mood to talk to her voice teacher because of this. I think she was forced to hold that recital by Mrs. Nep. When we last met, I told her not to let the comments get her down, NOR should she take it out on her teacher. As one comment left by a nice person put it, some of those people leaving criticisms probably couldn't even carry a tune.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

My Bro's "Trade Mission"

My older brother, whose business is Real Estate in Texas and nearby states (I assume he's been branching outside of Texas with his son now onboard, and I see their names attached as agents to properties being sold outside of Texas), forwarded an e-mail to me last Saturday (Oct. 20) which basically just attached his Trade Mission 2007 itinerary.

The only place you'll hear about that mission is in the Philippine government's PIA website:

Read his itinerary and realized he was billeted in Vivere, that lonely looking hotel in Alabang. If he actually had time, he'll have no problem giving us a visit because the place is relatively near... much nearer to home than Makati. I say the hotel's lonely looking because there aren't that much buildings around it - yet. I doubt he'll visit... the schedule given them is PACKED.

Lines I found funny in that itinerary:
  1. Suggested attire for different events: All business sessions on Monday, Wed thru Friday -- business suit or barong, tie recommended but optional; Women -- Same, with or withour jacket.
    Does that mean they suggest barong or business suit with tie for women?
  2. Tuesday provincial trips: Informal casual, but no rubber shoes or slippers. Some will wear western-style shirts, not the glitzy Nashville country shirts, just simple colored long-sleeved polo shirts, denim pants if you have a pair recommended but not required. You can wear western shirts but no cowboy boots or hats. What is important is you are relaxed and dressed comfortably. Do not be conscious about what you wear in the field trips.
    That sure brings home the fact that they're handling a batch of Texans. He he he - no glitzy Nashville country shirts, cowboy boots or hats please.
  3. There is a swimming pool right next to the restaurant on the top floor. It is not advisable to swim after several rounds of cocktail, as you could end up 31 floors below.
    That's subtly underlining the dangers of drinking then swimming.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Calling in Sick

I had a very deep sleep last night. Slept early and woke up late - at 8am. I didn't even hear the alarm clock! I was coughing hard this morning... and had a runny nose. To top that, my voice still hasn't returned. As for the slight fever, I felt it yesterday but didn't mind it.

Anyway, the deep sleep and the bad cough tells me my body is rebelling. Decided to call in sick today. Told the guys to use text and not voice call. I don't want to strain my voice.

I could have made progress with data recovery today if I didn't feel so sleepy half the time. Besides, I still have to buy HDDs to transfer most of the files to. My drive D only has 9GB of memory left, and I have to recover around 60GB of data if I have to include Jon's. That means money.

PC inspector's a good program. Not great though. It's a bit unstable - I have to close it via task manager every now and then if the file being recovered is too big.

Turned on the Reuters messaging and Ted was surprised I figured out how to install it at home ... he he he. Had a fun chat with Ted, Rey and Cristy. Separately, ofcourse. Ted managed to convince me to eat lunch with him at Jay-jay's tomorrow. He misses the chicken inasal and the batchoy. He also misses the Creamline ice cream sold near Jay-jay's and said we should go there too. Told him I can't eat the ice cream yet.

The PDS desk had an intersting day today ... had orders to the close position then later orders to re-establish it. That drove Rey a bit crazy for sure. Shayne sat at the desk to help him out. He told me she was confused at times and definitely needed more training. Told him we should ask her to sit at the desk whenever we "move" so she gets used to the pace. With the number of deals Rey had today, I jokingly asked him what the probibility is of one or both brokers sending food tomorrow as a "thank you for the deals" gesture. He told me not to count on it... the brokers haven't been too generous lately. Ha ha ha.

Restoring files

There were a number of power interruptions at home yesterday. Jon was using the PC during one of those. When he turned the computer back on, he couldn't find Drives G and H anymore.

He texted the problem to me:
Jing, nagkaron ng brief power interruption kanina, nag-restart yung computer, pero parang drive C, D, E at F lang ang lumilitaw.

Naturally, I didn't see the text till I got home and he asked me if I saw his message. Apparently, he also called up PCX and was told the worst scenario is having to reformat the drives.

I turned on the computer last night and saw it for myself. Worse, one of my external hard drives is still connected via USB and the computer can't read it either.

Went to BIOS and Device Manager. Both recognize the hard drives to be connected.

Tried another route. Looked up the properties of the HDD and saw that the missing drives were unallocated. Also saw the description of the HDD settings... any power interruption may cause loss of data. Uh oh.

To test if my theory is right, I unhooked the "unallocated" external hard drive and plugged in my other hard drive. The computer could read that one.

Turned on the internet and did some searching. Decided that what happened is: the power interruption wiped out the allocation and partition data, rendering the disks unreadable. It does not mean that all data is lost however. If data is saved in a subdirectory rather than at the root (no subfolder), there's a higher probability it is still intact. Whew!

Downloaded the PC Inspector File Recovery program that's offered for free by Convar at this site: http://www.pcinspector.de/Sites/file_recovery/download.htm?language=1#

It allows you to read lost drives and look for deleted or missing files. I love the Convar guys for making this program free.

I was relieved to see that my data files are still intact. I just have to buy another HDD so I can transfer them before reformatting the affected drives.

  1. Save your data files in subfolders/subdirectories instead of just saving them at the root directory(i.e. c:)
  2. Make back-up copies so you don't have to resort to data recovery.
  3. Putting data on CDs or DVDs keeps them safer than if left in a hard drive. Just make sure the CD/DVD is of high quality and stored properly.
  4. If you do have a back-up drive, don't leave it plugged in the computer so the data don't get wiped out as well! Man, it was stupid of me to leave that drive plugged in before leaving for the office yesterday.
  5. Having many but smaller sized external hard drives is ideal. Don't risk putting all your data in just one big drive. Besides, it is hell to recover data from a big drive.

I could have started data recovery last night but after 2 more power interruptions, I decided to just sleep early. Besides, I was feeling very sleepy and tired.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Missing my voice.

Woke up and realized I got no voice. Darn!

The first time this happened was around 5 years ago. Since then, whenever I get a cough, I end up losing my voice for a day or so. On the average, I lose my voice for one or two days every other year. I don't know if I should be alarmed.

Texted Rey to say that I'd have a problem if he's still on leave today... I couldn't speak on the black box!

The bus conductor had to grin when he realized I had trouble telling him where I'm getting off.

Lunch break...Boss Mon had to ask a few questions regarding our group's FX profit and I had no choice but talk in a very broken voice.

Started sneezing after lunch. Oh boy.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bowling Tourney part 2

Back at the SM Mall of Asia yesterday for day 2 of the bowling tournament. Did badly compared to last week. Gutter balls on my first throw. Used the 9lb ball instead of the 8lb one because Boss Mon thought I wasn't using the right weight. Argh!

His team was playing against ours during the first round and I just realized he likes to comment. That's distracting.

I think I still averaged above 70. Pity.

Left the bowling alley the moment I was finished with the required number of frames. Didn't want to stick around for the "dinner" cause I don't want to get home too late. Passed by Bo's Coffee for a mocha frappe and Auntie Annie's for a pretzel. That cost me. I missed the last trip home. Had to go to the Buendia bus station instead.

Got a raspy voice today... I suspect the frappe I was drinking last night. I was doing a lot of cheering during the bowling tourney. I already had a bit of a cough before that. Some combination.

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Glorietta 2 blast

It was lunch break when we got news that there was an explosion at the Glorietta Mall, Makati. What we only had at first were text messages and breaking news at the Bloomberg and Reuters terminals ... no details. I even tried asking the brokers if they have news/details since they are located in Makati. No help there. It would be minutes before the news stations air their coverage.

Initially, everyone thought it was caused by an LPG tank accidentally exploding. There were speculations that it was a terrorist act, though. We at the desk wished the police would make an announcement before 2:30PM, so that there wouldn't be too much speculation when the afternoon session of USD/PHP trading starts.

Watching the police answer the reporters, it became apparent that they don't know damage control. They were saying words that would allow people to speculate the worst scenario. Media would eat those words up and report them in such a way that would cause more panic ... simply because "panic" sells.

Before trading started, a text message was being sent around by traders ... it was a bomb. It's a no-brainer that banks started buying dollars the moment trading started. Irony of the day? Before lunch, there were signs that BSP was protecting the dollar from breaching the 44.00 level. After lunch, BSP found itself protecting the peso. Good for them though, they bought dollars at the low and sold at the high.

All this talk about a bomb has created a bomb scare in PNB as well. By 5:30PM, the guards were asking all employees to leave. Hard to ignore that threat, considering that the Office of the Vice President and the USDA are housed in our building. Both are good targets for terrorists.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Treasury Sector Bowling Tourney Part 1

Some people in the dealing room decided we should have a bowling tournament. Everyone was charged PHP400. Those who won't show up will pay a fine that's at least PHP1000. Way to force everyone to join. Only Dottie who has a bad back is excused.

Rented around 6 lanes at the SM Mall of Asia.

I had no practice prior to the tourney. And I knew I was gonna suck since I always had gutter balls the last time I played. Surprise of the day was I did better than expected. 75 is a bad average I know, but at least it's better than 50. Had few gutter balls. This year, I decided to forget all those tips Vikki, Becky and Che had been giving me the last time I was forced to participate in a similar tournament (2 yrs ago?). I just tried to find the rhythm this time. Not always successful, but at least I did better...maybe I just need to practice (as if I'd actually do that).

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ang Munting Maya

Sam's play was presented today. It was held at the Little Theater of St. Scholastica's College (SSC). It's supposed to start 3PM, with cast and crew going there around 1:00PM. Thought I'd arrive earlier than 3:00 so I could catch a bit of the rehearsals.

Left the house around lunch time. Told Sam I expected to be in Manila around 2PM. Traffic was VERY light. I was there 1:30PM. Didn't head straight to the Little Theater though because I was hungry. Headed to Pizza Hut for lunch. I had no pizza though he he he ... instead, I had soup, salad then pasta.

Was at the Little Theater at 2PM. The kids were still practicing. Sam and Joy were in the director's booth upstairs so I deposited my bag there. When I handed over the programmes, Sam called a student and gave her the job of handing them out.

After the final rehearsal, the kids were told to go on their last comfort room break before the show and then head over backstage for costumes and make-up. Joy asked to accompany her on a cigarette break. We had to walk out of the smoke-free campus for that. Mind you, that's a long walk since the Little Theater in on the third floor.

Funny thing ... going to the Little Theater, I went through the short-cuts I used to pass through as a student in SSC. When Joy and I were heading out, we found those doors already locked. Hmmmm, either those doors are regularly locked at that time or someone realized there was a "security breach" when I passed through them earlier that day. Reminds me of grade school when teachers announced certain passageways are off limits after the nuns discover me passing through them.

Anyway, outside the school, Joy lit up a cigarette and ordered a bottle of Coke. I was surprised when she threw down the cigarette after only 2 or 3 drags on it. The cause became apparent when two kids approached her. Ha ha ha! They were LPMS students who were not sure how to get to the Little Theater.

Since Sam had just texted Joy asking her where she is when it's nearly 3PM, we decided to head back to the Little Theater with the 2 LPMS kids following us.

The play started at 3:15PM because Sam waited for Sis. Placid to arrive. I didn't think she would come, but she did. I know that just her showing up meant a lot to Sam. Sis. Placid has been treating Sam lukewarmly these days ... I guess it started after the rumored row (or something like that) between Sis. Placid and Mrs. Nepomuceno, who happens to be Sam's voice teacher. Whether it was true or not, we do know that Mrs. Nep is now not a member of the College faculty.

Since Sam has taken out Act II (not enough time for the kids to master it), the play was over in 30 minutes... maybe even less.

After taking down the props and packing them in the vans, we left SSC around 4:30PM and arrived in LPMS an hour later. 3 of the students rode the van I was in. The boys were either in 5th or 6th grade.

Those boys were amusing at one point or another. The one seated in our row played music from his cellphone loudly ... even if there was already music coming out of the van's radio. The music from his cellphone was mostly rock, to which the three boys sang to.

The one seated near the window and in front of us was suggesting to his pals that they hit the mall. To which the other 2 said no thanks since they still had make-up on. What made us all chuckle was his comment that it doesn't matter if they still have lipstick ... after all, male actors (specifically the actor playing Spiderman) wear lipstick, don't they?

The third kid asked to be driven home when his folks couldn't pick him up at school. What was funny about that ride was that when he said turn here or there, we are almost past the said street ... that meant sharp turns! Then he announced that we are in front of his house nonchalantly that it took a few seconds before the driver registered his words and stopped the van.

With the play finally over, Sam wanted to unwind and go to Cablecar Alabang Town Center. She texted the others to meet us at 7-11 near Casimiro. After around 30 minutes of waiting, I decided to leave for home. Sam let me go since she caught me yawning. Took a jeep for SouthMall, where I intended to ride an FX home. Ended up shopping from 6:30 to 9PM. Ha ha ha!

I still think I got home earlier than I would have had I gone drinking with them at Cablecar.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Helping Sam with her play

While I was hanging out in the diner with Sam and the other LPMS teachers last week, I sort of volunteered to make the cd containing the sound effects, arranged in the order they will be used in the play. I told Sam to e-mail me the script, which should include where the sound clips will be needed. She sent the e-mail the following day and sent a text to inform me.
Pacquiao wins. Sent ko na sa email

Looking through it, I didn't see any notations on where the sounds should be. Besides, she hasn't e-mailed the sound clips yet. Texted her to follow up and got this reply:
Gud pm. Nagawa ko na un sounds. Favor na lng un programme ko na lng photocopy 100pcs. Email ko na lng un FINAL PROGRAMME sau ha. Txt kta pag sent ko na. Ty

I wasn't sure what she meant so I asked if that meant I won't be doing anything. This is what I got:
Ok na un sounds. Ty. Nid u na lng photocopy ng program ko. Email ko un final na later. Mga 80pcs lng tnx

I had to chuckle. That was subtly requesting me to spend for the reproduction of her programmes. She's been candid about being on a tight budget ever since she decided to go back to school.

I'm actually one of those who pushed her to follow her dream. Making music suits her more than going into business. I believe in her and so yeah, I've kinda been a "benefactor" on certain occasions. I took care of her invitations during her birthday recital, I was in the mood to treat her workmates last Saturday to a McDo snack after they finished with the props, and so now I'm willing to pay for photocopying the programmes.

I think she's also lucky to have Joy as co-teacher. Met Joy last Saturday and she's really into the play, and I guess she was more in charge than Sam was. He he he. If I paid for snacks, Joy paid for lunch last Saturday. She also was the one who got the music clips Sam needed. That's being a cool friend.

Sam hasn't been enthusiastic lately because the Dean of Music didn't think much of her play. Told her to do it for her students and co-teachers, who seem to be more excited about it than she is. I myself am more excited than she is. In my opinion, she shouldn't give up just because Sis. Placid doesn't think much of it. There are others who do believe in her, so she should somehow deliver.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The ACI/MART/TOAP/IHAP General Assembly

If you've noticed, that's a lot of initials up there on the title. When I first joined MART, it was just MART. Then it linked with the Trust people so there was MART/TOAP. Then it linked with foreign exchange group ACI so it became MART/TOAP/ACI. I don't know when the Investment Houses decided to come in but IHAP's initials have now been added.

The four groups usually mind their own businesses for most of the year, and they even have separate conventions. They just come together during the annual general assembly... the latest one was held last night.

When the memo was sent last week (or earlier?) and they were asking for 2 ACI members to attend, Tina and I were volunteered by the others in the group. Not everyone's excited to attend these dinners. Firstly, it's a sit-down dinner where you are supposed to listen to someone talk about the economy while eating. Second, it's held in the middle of the week, and since the earliest you could sneak out is probably 9PM, you have less hours of sleep because you still have to report to work the next morning.

The first surprise was Vikki not attending. I'm used to her attending every General Assembly since I got in the dealing room. The second surprise was getting out of the car last night and realizing it's held at the Dusit Hotel Makati. It's been held at the Intercon for the last 5 years or so. He he ... I actually said yes to attending the event without really taking note of the date and venue. I just remembered about it Monday and hitched a ride to the event thinking I was gonna end up at the Intercon. Wrong!

The nametags were colorful last night, understandably so since each organization used a different color. What made me chuckle was seeing that even the food stubs were color-coded. Which prompted me to ask if I get a different meal if I have a different colored stub. The answer was no.

To make things interesting, someone thought to make a game. Each table gets a questionnaire and the table with the highest score gets a box of wine (or, each person on that table brings home a bottle of wine). Nice tactic. That had us talking with the BDO and Bloomberg people who shared our table. Not that Bloomberg wasn't talking to us ... they were nagging our boss to make a statement and allow them to quote him as the source. They don't have to name names in my opinion. Dow Jones and Manila Standard (or a similarly named paper?) would call the desk for views and are okay with keeping the source anonymous.

Back to the game. We didn't know the answers to half the questions. We started texting the absent members to see if they knew the answers. The Bloomberg guys even used their phone to surf the net. Come to think of it ... all that just to take home a bottle of wine? Ha. ha. It was fun though.

One of the speakers quoted the "May you live in iteresting times" line. He used those words to describe the developments being put into place in the financial world, and made the phrase sound like a good thing. Does he know it's actually a curse? "Interesting" means "dangerous" or even "war". Had he gone on to talk about the crisis triggered by defaulting sub-prime mortgages, he would have been on the right track.

Main course was cordon bleu, which made me wonder what was in the minds of the parents who named their kid Corbin Bleu. If you're lost ... I was referring to the teenager who co-stars in the Disney Channel TV-Movie High School Musical. Food was mostly bland, including dessert.

Snuck out of the hall 10 minutes before 9PM. Left with Malu who is commuting home and does not know how to get to the MRT station. Walked her to the station before going to the bus terminal.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Postponing the Singapore trip

One of the first things Ted asked upon coming back from vacation (Monday) was about my Singapore trip. I told him Budget didn't approve it and it's up to the boss to either push for it or not. He actually went straight to the boss to ask. Which is why I was surprised when the head of treasury came to my table to ask me if it was okay if the trip is next January instead of next week.

Told him it was no problem.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Pacquiao - Barrera rematch

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ICAP reserved the Carlos P. Romulo auditorium at the RCBC building and gave invitations to clients to watch the Pacquiao - Barrera boxing rematch live on cable ... albeit on the big screen. Many people showed up, since the live broadcast is pay-per-view, and the one available on regular TV and regular cable is on delayed telecast (with LOTS of advertising). Got 2 tickets and dragged my brother along.

The last time ICAP gave out tickets for a similar event, it was held in SM Mall of Asia. They must have figured out renting an auditorium is cheaper ... they have unlimited hors d'oeuvres and drinks outside the auditorium door this time. There were about 3 fights before Pacquiao and Barrera would go into the ring... which makes the food table a good idea. My brother and I unfortunately ate breakfast at Jollibee before going to Makati, so we were too full to taste the food on the table. We weren't in a hurry to get to the auditorium at 8:30AM, since we estimated that the main event wouldn't start till after 10AM.

We still got in early (maybe around 9AM). We sat somewhere in the 5th row from the screen, and we arrived in the middle of the Forbes-Bojado match.

The next match was Andrade vs. Mack. Yusuf Mack works his shoulders in such a way that it looks like a dance move. Buddy's dance moves to be precise...one way to put it - disco moves of people in their mid-40s to 60s. I knew Buddy was seated two rows behind me. I texted to him that Mack was doing his dance. Without warning I felt something tap the back of my head. He actually stood up and reached over one row just to do that! I turned around and he said (in Tagalog): "You think I don't know you're sitting there?". I was laughing for about 10 seconds. I texted the same message to Che. I think she was sitting in the loge upstairs. She replied in agreement. Although Mack started out blazing, I knew Andrade was going to win when a few rounds later I saw the glint in his eyes that said: "I could taste victory/I could take this man down". Andrade was even smiling in the last few rounds.

Luevano and Davis were next. Luevano is one good looking guy, I must say. It was funny when he faced Davis with an arched eyebrow. First impression? Luevano was very confident he'll win, but I felt Davis might pull a few surprises. I wasn't wrong. Davis had managed to press Luevano to the ropes at least once, and he sure as hell tried to keep up even after wounding his eye. It's a wonder Luevano hasn't been too distracted with trying to pull his shorts up. If you manage to watch a replay, count how many times those hands move to the hips to pull up those shorts.

Pacquiao's face was definitely more confident (and smiling) compared to Barrera even before the fight. Barrera would unleash some mean-ness in the ring but Pacquiao eventually won by unanimous decision. Barrera was more on the defensive side, and in my opinion, it was often up to Pacquiao to start the actual exchange of blows. In previous fights, ones I did manage to watch anyway, I hated Pacquiao's tendency to just charge in ... simply because his body stance leaves him open to any counterattack that could floor him. He improved with Morales, and is definitely much better in this fight with Barrera. Thumbs up to his coach... who I hope has enough patience considering that Pacquiao's recent distraction would come from his recent contract with GMA 7 as a talent.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Another "Making Props" clip

Sam and friends making rock props for her play Munting Maya:

Preparing for a Children's Play

My friend Sam is taking up music and is almost finished. She only has to finish her thesis. Actually, she had a choice to either have a piano recital, or write a manual for teachers on how to make musical plays. She chose the latter because she didn't think she could handle the stress of a piano recital. We were in a coffee shop a year ago when she started the outline of her play. Back then, she was planning to ask the students of the College's night school (working adults who want to finish High school) to participate.

This school year, she started working "part-time" as a music/PE/home economics teacher in a Montessori School for special education children. When the principal learned about her thesis, the montessori school offered to produce the play, with their "grade school" students participating.

She's been very busy with school and work since June that we mostly communicated through text. In a reversal of roles, I am now the one usually asking her "what's up?" ... before she started working, she was the one asking me that question. Ha ha ha!

Her text messages when asked how the play was doing:
Nsa skul ako ng LPMS den un 1 musician we wil compose & notate d musical scores 4 d musical play. Ingat

Practicin but wla pa s porma kc readin ng script p lng kmi. Bz s activities ng skul. Review ako ng board exams 4 teachers aug 26 n un. Aug 14 un proposal defense ko. Hay hrap maging teacher

Gud am. Forgot 2 info u we hev rehearsals starts at 930am to 12nn. Tsalamat (sic)

After rehearsals this morning, the students were sent home. I wasn't able to make it their rehearsal. I was there lunch time, thinking that Sam and I would grab a bite in a fastfood or somewhere else. I didn't know that they had lunch prepared in the school. After eating, the teachers began making the props, and I helped a bit. My only real contribution though was help crumple the newspapers and suggest stapling them together in strings before gluing them to the manila paper. Most of the time though I was just filming them and taking pictures. :-) Not that I didn't want to help... they only had one glue gun and three brushes.

Making the bird's nest:

When they decided they were done for the day I treated them all to a McDonald's burger meal. Sam was supposed to meet her mom at 4pm but we were still in school by that time. While eating, I finally figured out why Sam wasn't that enthusiastic to meet her mom ... she was going to be dragged to a speed dating event. To her chagrin, I laughed really hard.

After leaving the school, we (Sam, her co-teachers and I) dropped by a diner/bar. They all ordered beer. As I couldn't learn to like the taste of beer, I thought I would taste Ginebra's latest drink: Infinity - which actually is a line of mixed drinks in four flavors. I think I ordered strawberry tequila, but no Infiniti drink was available at the time. I bought Sprite instead. Funny thing was, when we asked for glasses with ice, the beer drinkers got real glasses and I got a plastic one. I joked that it made me feel like a kid amongst adults.

After one round, we separated. I accompanied Sam while she bought some materials for the props and batteries for the lapel mikes. She saw a rack with arnis sticks and bought a pair as well (practicing would be a stress reliever, she said). We headed to Starbucks after that for coffee (and counteract the beer Sam drank). We got around to talking about her folks ... specifically her mom's current obsession with having a grandchild, which also means rushing Sam to get married. I told her that if she ever felt like writing another play, and this time for adults, she should base a lead character on her mom. We both thought that would be a fun character.

We were only halfway through our coffee when Sam's friend Perry called her up to invite her to an impromptu birthday party he and his friends decided to celebrate while they were in a car. Since we were already near a mall, Perry asked Sam to buy crispy pata... then called again to ask her to buy junk food, iced tea and grandma. Sam was really puzzled by the last one til I pointed out he meant Grand Matador brandy. It was raining when Sam and I parted outside SM South Mall ... Sam to meet Perry and his friends, and me to go home. Sam was actually in a mood to hit Perry with her arnis sticks by then because she had to commute while carrying two bags of groceries, while it was raining.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Wasting time

Found a lyric sheet with guitar chords on the net. Printed it and played it on the ... piano. A bit far from the actual version of "You are the Music in Me" ... he he he ... my piano teacher (when she was alive) used to tap my fingers with a stick when she hears me playing the right notes but at a different tempo (Que horror!).

Now if I had been playing the keyboards in my old room, my folks would probably be upset at the ruckus this early in the morning. I like doing this better than karaoke/videoke.

What was I supposed to be doing again? Ah, right, testing that beta website. Ah well.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Archers win game 1 of UAAP championship series

Trading ended at 4PM. By 4:30, I was done with the reports and should be resuming my review of the test site for the new PNB website. Should. Everybody else was watching the UAAP basketball game.

So, instead of comparing the signed off copy vs. the product on the test site - page per page, I ended up watching the last quarter of the game.

UE's Red Warriors had a winning streak since the season started. They were favorites to win this, with La Salle's Green Archers being the underdogs. After La Salle clipped the basketball championship hopes of bitter rival Ateneo Blue Eagles, expect to find the Ateneo fans rooting for UE. An interesting trivia on this championship series - the coaches of the battling teams are brothers. Franz Pumaren is coaching the Archers, while younger brother Dindo Pumaren is coaching the Warriors.

Many people betted on UE ... and those who betted on La Salle went home with more than 100% return on their bets.

UE lost the game 1 by one point. They must win game 2 if they want a chance to bring home the trophy.

The web page UAT is tomorrow. I should really start reviewing the site now.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Sam's play

Sam called yesterday afternoon. Talked a bit about her "crush of the week" ... the guy who emceed her cousin's wedding. He's gone back to Cebu now.

Asked her about her play. She told me they start rehearsal this week. "Start" had me worried ... the play is on October 13, which means she only has two weeks left. The cast is made up of 10 - 12 year old kids studying in a special education school ... I hope they have enough time to polish everything before the performance.

Sam tells me she wrote more than ten songs for the play. None of them have been notated yet as she has a problem with putting the melodies in her head onto paper. Her friend who was supposed to do it seems to be busy lately. Judy will play the piano again... but she would still need the music sheets. I suggested to Sam that while she waits for Judy, she could play her songs on the piano and record them so the kids would have something to practice to ... she told me she has a problem with finding the right keys on the piano too. He he ... she's gonna resort to humming I think.

Asked her if they have rehearsals next weekend ... she told me they meet 11AM-12NN next Saturday. Promised I'd drop by. I'll probably bring my camera ... warned her I plan on interviewing the kids on what they think of their music teacher. My first question would probably be: what they think of her not giving a grade higher than 85%. Ha ha ha! She's paid for the video recording of the play ... I said I'll do the behind the scenes and post them up on YouTube. Mwa ha ha!

Her reaction when I told her that her recital clips were already up? Yikes!

Unfortunately, her connection is dial-up so she couldn't play the clips at home. Told her she doesn't have to... she knows what's on them anyway. I'll probably need a bigger memory card for Saturday.

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