Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year (2008) Text Greetings

December 28

Colin 15:37 (After I thanked him for his gifts to the desk)
U r welcome n hapi holidays

December 31

Ceo/Hilda 09:54
When you share yourself with others, life begins to find its meaning...but the time you touch the lives of others, it's the moment you truly start living... so let us touch others even in our own little way not only this Christmas...but always...so we'll always find the true meaning of "living". Wishing you & your family a blessed Christmas, a joyous & prosperous New Year! - Asec euceo n hilda fajardo n family

Friday, December 28, 2007

New Year Party

A four day weekend just passed.
A four day weekend ahead.
More videoke after work today.
A naughty song from Jess.

TOSD people dropped by for a visit. Two of them were pushed to sing karaoke songs, another one had to be dragged out. He he he!

After much coaxing from the other TOSD folk, Jess consented to sing what I just found out today to be his "signature" karaoke song - Bikining Itim. The next one they pushed to the "center stage" was Gerry who sang "Mamaw":

Not gonna tell you who the TOSD people had to drag out of the dealing room and away from the videoke machine ... nope, not Jess, nor Gerry.

Printed the Customer Service manual I have to review by January 10. Reminds me I haven't finalized the Night Trading Manual. Lots of loose ends. Got to tie them up.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Greetings (Txt) 2007

December 24

Che 14:45
Peace, joy and love that Christmas bring be with you and your family.. Have a Blessed and joyous CHRISTMAS! Fr bond and che

Pen 15:00
merry christmas to u n ur family! pen junio

Fe 19:45
Christmas is a journey of the heart. Bringing peace n happiness to all. May Christ, whose birth we celebrate, bless you n your family with peace n happiness. MERRY CHRISTMAS from fe jed jairus janelle jeremy tetangco

Neil 21:00
Beyond d glitter of lights, d beauty of gifts & d festivities all over, may we not forget d reason of dis season - our Lord Jesus Christ, d source of true joy & love. Have a meaningful Christmas to u & ur family! :-)

Gene 23:46
"Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests." In this blessed season, we pray that God's favor rest on you & your family. Merry Christmas!!! from gene & may :)

December 25

Lanie 00:10
May GOD bless u & ur family much LOVE & HAPPINESS this holiday season. Have a very Merry Christmas & a wonderful New Year!

Tonti 01:37
merry christmas po. :)

Sam 02:19
Hapi Christmas. God bless u. Pls pray 4 my lola's health. Nadulas po. Tnx

Dottie 07:47
May d glory and holiness of d season embrace you and ur family..bringing u hope, love and peace now and 4ever.. have a blessed christmas..

Vikki 12:37
CHRISTMAS w/o Christ is just one big holiday party. May the birth of CHRIST...the Reason for the Season, brings you & your family Warm Love, Inner Peace & Abundant Blessings at all times! From our family to yours... A Joyful Christmas and a Bountiful New Year! Cheers!!!

Shayne 13:58
Wishing you all d timeless treasures of Christmas. The warmth of home, d luv of family, d compny of gud frends & best of all God's luv thru His son Jesus Christ",

Rach 16:07
We wish you a holiday season truly filled with wonder, delight and excitement! Merry Christmas! God Bless! Frm. Rachel, Jules & Yohan

Happy Holidays

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By jingfrey at 2008-01-01

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Another Christmas Gathering

Treasury's Christmas Party was last week ... so what would you call this afternoon's brief gathering?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Today's Dose of Randomness

Buddy and Menchie spent a portion of the time discussing the renewal of the bank's license to deal in government securities instead of listening to the SEC symposium yesterday that just by listening to them I remembered about the derivatives license.

Which is why I spent my free time today making some letters on the said matter.

Last year, I sent them out in January or February, and the approval from BSP is good for one year. Better early than late though.

-----HSBC's cute online Christmas Greeting card-----


Need more wall

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By jingfrey, shot with SONY ERICSSON P1i
When my sister who lives in Australia came to visit via Singapore, she gave me the first two wall decors. When I was in Hong Kong, my brother suggested buying the third one.

The question now is... where do I hang them?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Slow Afternoon

Buddy, Menchie and I attended the last day (for this year anyway) of the SEC Symposium on the latest rules on Fixed Income trading, which involves use of the PDEX system. Today's session was held at the Century Park Hotel, Manila. Those who attended Monday and Tuesday had warned me it was boring ... simply because half the topics involve stuff traders already know about. The only exciting portion according to them would be the open forum ... where some traders raise questions, and maybe do again what one trader reportedly did yesterday or last Monday ... call the whole thing "stupid".

It wasn't totally stupid ... it's just plain crazy how they've handled the implementation so far. The regulation requiring a license for trading or brokering takes effect tomorrow and there hasn't even been one licensing exam held. If we are going to be technical about it, no one is licensed to trade/broker domestic government securities tomorrow! To get around that technicality, those who've attended the symposium will be granted a provisional license ... which I suppose is valid until the trader takes the exam scheduled next year.

Anyway ... I DID NOT fall asleep. Once I've decided to stop bugging Rey with text messages, I preoccupied myself with sketching and taking these pictures with my cellphone, which from the outset I've decided will tell a story. Menchie sat beside me and figured out early what I was doing. She had to stop herself from giggling out loud ... expecially since Buddy had no idea what was going on. Well, Buddy eventually caught on to what was happening.

-----after the symposium-----

Since the Century Hotel is near the Harrison Plaza, Buddy asked our help in choosing a book at National Bookstore for his wife's nephew. Dodie and the kids will visit her brother in Hong Kong this Christmas. Books in the Philippines are cheaper than in Hong Kong, so Buddy thinks a novel would be a nice gift for his Dodie's nephew. The boy isn't into epics or fantasy stories, which leaves adventure, horror, detective or suspense novels. We picked two books that are more of the suspense genre.

Buddy had some hardware supplies to buy, so he left Menchie and I to browse around while he slipped out to the nearby store. At the fiction section, I found out Menchie was a fan of Steve Berry. She saw a relatively new book from him but thinks it's a bit expensive. I asked her if his books were good. She was the gushing fan when she answered yes. Asked her if I could borrow one book ... and told her that maybe, if I liked it, I'll buy the book she wanted to buy so that she could borrow it from me. That was a quick deal.

-----Dec. 21 edit-----

I realized that Vincent borrowed her books and is not yet finished reading them, but she got them from him just so I could borrow them and maybe, just maybe, buy the last novel. That's one hard-core Steve Berry fan for you.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Today's Dose of Randomness

Cleaning up my cellphone and found this image:
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By jingfrey, shot with SONY ERICSSON P1i

That's Ted and his wrist watch taken Nov. 23 ... he asked me to buy a metal wristband of the same color in Hong Kong. Took the picture just so I won't make a mistake on the color. Problem was, I didn't see any Timex watches being sold in the places I went to in Hong Kong, and neither did Jon.

------Joggers back at Centro Pacita------

Walking to the bus station this morning I thought of pulling out my cellphone and click pictures of Centro Pacita:
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By jingfrey at 2008-01-01

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By jingfrey at 2008-01-01

The joggers have re-claimed the place. No sign of the weird golfer. Don't think there's a big enough patch of grass on which he could practice now.

Friday, December 14, 2007

PNB Treasury Sector Christmas Party

The Dealing Room had its own Christmas party today, a day after the bank party. Since we wore the neon shirts yesterday, there was an announcement yesterday that we wear either green or red this day.

The videoke we rented arrived before lunch, and Menchie, Shayne and I spent lunch break singing... Menchie figured we may not have a chance to sing in the afternoon.

As in Christmasses past, Ms. Laguardia of MTRCB dropped by to visit old friends and participate in some event. No filmfest movie passes raffled this year. He he he. She did speak about her PNB years to the start the program:

The new traders organized this year's games:

I got called to participate in 2 of them. The first one was guessing what word is printed on the paper taped on my forehead by asking questions from my game partner who can only answer "yes" or "no". No chance of guessing the word was Marty's name because Vikki said "no" when I asked if it is related to TMG. Ted was coaching everyone, which is why Gene had to go through the guessing exercise twice. I jokingly ordered Jim to drag Ted out of the dealing room for disrupting the game. Although I did not guess my word, my team won... so I still walked away with a Snoopy cellphone stand. The second game I was called to participate in required us to soften an eggplant without leaving the circle or crushing the vegetable that it peels or its insides spill out. I won and got PHP500 out of the game. I had the luck of being given an eggplant that's already a bit soft. I did point it out before the timer started ... but they didn't change the one I got.

The last game before Kris Kringle revelation started was a derivative of trip to Jerusalem or Musical Chairs:

Kris Kringle revelation:
My "mom" turned out to be Dottie. My initial guess was Vincent when he was the one showing me how to drink the jello I got for "soft and round". But when I learned the one who picked my name was a "mommy", I had two guesses: Dottie or Adie ... simply because they were always curious about what I got. I wasn't far off.

My "baby" Milette already knew I was her "mom" as early as Wednesday because I admitted it. The funny thing was, she had a hard time believing I was her mom simply because I said I was. Ha ha ha! I was at the lobby of RCBC last Wednesday when she called me on the cellphone - just to ask for the last time if I was seriously her Kris Kringle "mom". She was at the time at the World Trade Christmas bazaar buying her "revelation gift".

Kai handed me Milette's gift, which turned out to be a bag, since Milette is already in Zamboanga today ... her real mother's funeral is tomorrow (her mother died of old age early this week).

Dottie gave me a cup and saucer set.

I gave both Dottie and Milette chocolates ... the boxed ones with different fillings in each piece. I know Milette loves chocolates, and it was nice knowing Dottie loves chocolates too. Also gave milette a purple pencil shaped like Mickey's head ... something I bought from Disneyland and knew she would like because (1) it was cute and (2) it was in her favorite color: purple. I almost gave that to her for "long and hard", but I realized the Disney brand will point me out as her "mom" because everyone knows Disneyland was my first stop in Hong Kong.

Was out of the office 10 minutes before 10PM today...when the Videoke singing was in full swing. No one could force me to stay and sing since I already sang during lunch break. He he he! I wanted to leave before 10PM because yesterday I left at 10:25PM and there were no anymore buses at the terminal when I got there. I had to ride a van that charged PHP20 more than the usual fare.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

PNB Christmas Party

The theme for the Bank's Christmas Party this year is to wear something glittery. Since Treasury initially had no plans to follow the theme, but we had planned to wear neon shirts for our Sector's party on the 14th, there was a last minute decision to wear the neon shirts to the bank party instead. As for the "glittery" part, we decided to hire a face paint artist for PHP 2,000. The artist came in at lunch break, and managed to finish around 5:30PM. Tina brought her "magic sing" microphones and so I participated in the videoke session while waiting for the bank party to start.

The sector went to the banking hall together. With our colorful shirts and face paint, some people asked if we were going to present a number. The answer ofcourse was "no".

The program was kickstarted by the PNB Dance Club, as usual:

The JEDEP participants who were unfortunate to finish this quarter, were asked to present a number then hold the bags for the game that was similar to "Deal or no deal". It's unfair that previous batches who did not finish during the holiday season escaped this "initiation".

Apart from being in colorful shirts, the Treasury sector was also a noisy bunch. It was therefore inevitable that when not enough people showed up wearing the glittery theme, we would be "volunteered" by the organizers to participate in the costume contests. Buddy's spiderman face qualified him for the individual category, the whole sector qualified for the group category. We didn't win any top prize ofcourse ... we weren't glittery enough.

By the way, there is a color scheme to the shirts: The IMG people wore green, the DMG folk wore yellow, the TMG people wore orange, we at FXDG wore blue, while SLTIG and "the others" wore fuschia.

Before the major prizes were announced, there was a break wherein people were encouraged to dance to the music. Initially no one dared to stand up, so it was Treasury Sector who started the dancing. The shots you see are blurry because the Boss kept pulling me back to the circle to dance... one would have thought I'd escape that since I was the one who started the freaking dance line.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Here they come a-caroling

Around 3PM, some kids from an orphanage passed by the dealing room to perform music and solicit funds. I was told this group came from a different orphanage than the one that visited for the past two years... the kids this year are older too.


------totally different topic------
2007-1212 029 (Small) Liezl and Beth were talking at the water cooler and I realized they wore similar blouses, only of different colors. Told them to "model", but they preferred to clown around in this picture.

ICAP Charity Day

Photobucket ICAP has a global Charity Day every year during December. For this year, Charity day is today, and all brokerage fees from their transactions will go to a foundation. ICAP Manila has chosen Cartwheel Foundation as its beneficiary. Our broker, Malou, has invited us to drop by their office at RCBC tower for lunch. Part of Charity Day is that brokers wear costumes. ICAP Manila brokers have chosen to wear school uniforms this year. Since the girls will be wearing short school uniform skirts, like the one seen in animes and manggas, Rey and Dennis definitely wanted to go ... bringing me along since I have a camera.

Celebrities are often invited to Charity Day, and this year, male models Marc Nelson and Rovilson Fernandez, actress Mylene Dizon, and two other female TV hosts whose names I can't remember are the celebrity guests.

2007-1212 005 (Small) Rey, Malou and me with Marc Nelson, Rovilson Fernandez, and a female TV talk show host (whose name I can't remember at the moment). Rey asked Marc/Rovilson for hints at what happened at the Amazing Race Asia in which the two participated as a team (season 2). Rey couldn't get a word out of them.

Me, Rey, and Dennis with Mylene Dizon and the two female talk show hosts. Notice how Rey pulled me back so that I won't cover his face in this shot with his crush (Mylene).
2007-1212 006 (Small) 2007-1212 007 (Small)

2007-1212 008 (Small)Rey and Dennis with Boyet Ayes of RCBC (Boyet used to be our boss in PNB) and Boopsie Erana of ICAP (ICAP Manila's big boss and yup, Cristy's crush). Boopsie did not wear a school uniform. He's the "school principal" he says...ergo the checkered shirt and the suspenders.

Marc and Rovilson being surrounded by women who want their pictures taken with them:
2007-1212 009 (Small)

The guys were shy and were content to just look at Mylene and the other female celebrities:
2007-1212 010 (Small)

Rey and Dennis with traders from other banks:
2007-1212 011 (Small) 2007-1212 012 (Small)

Broker Malou joins in the conversation:
2007-1212 013 (Small)

With Dennis:
2007-1212 014 (Small)

2007-1212 015 (Small) With Stephen who brokers for PNB when Malu is on leave or on break. Everyone's joking he's taken the "schoolboy" costume to the extreme by smearing spaghetti sauce on his shirt. Ofcourse it was accidental.

2007-1212 016 (Small)At Malou's desk. The currency brokers are the noisiest (when it comes to work, okay...not personality-wise) and are seated separately from the other brokers.

Colin, former FX Group head at PNB and who now works for RCBC, was also at the party but we had no chance to take a picture with him since he preferred to stay in the outer room where the crowd is thinner (simply because the celebrities weren't there).

Click the album below to see more pictures from ICAP Manila:

2007-1212 017 (Small)Before leaving the RCBC building, we visited Ces who now works for Shell. She used to be with PNB's TOSD - or our backroom. Shell's office is at a different tower from that of ICAP's.

2007-1212 018 (Small) At the ground floor, we ran into Jerome, who used to head PNB SI and is now also with RCBC. It's hard to get a picture of him when he's playing camera shy and hiding behind either Dennis or Rey. Realized later I should have just switched my camera's settings to "video".

Managed to get one shot of his face. Yes!
2007-1212 019 (Small)

------back at the PNB Dealing Room------

I realized I left my PNB ID at the RCBC reception desk the moment Dennis' car entered the parking lot. Had to ask our messenger Jon to fetch it for me. Reimbursed him PHP20.00 for his parking fee.

-----Dec. 27 edit-----

ICAP's "Thank You" note to all those who participated:

-----Dec. 30 edit-----

Finally! After looking up some blog posts of ICAP brokers, I now have the names of the two TV hosts: Reema Chanco (the long-haired one) and Cesca Litton (the one with the short hair). If I still watch MTV or actually watch basketball games, I'd probably be very familiar with their names and faces.

Monday, December 10, 2007

MIA from yet another party

ACI's Christmas party has been rescheduled to today. I wasn't in the mood to show up ... again.

Went home instead and watched this week's episode of "Heroes". I know ... I'm such a Heroes junkie. No need to tell me.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

SM Supercenter Cinema

One good thing about the SM Supercenter having 4 movie theaters is: it's faster and cheaper to see a movie now than when I had to go all the way to either Festival Mall, Alabang Town Center, or SM South Mall. Only have to pay PHP7.50 for a jeepney ride to SM Supercenter, while a trip to Festival Mall in a van costs around PHP30.00. Travel time to SM Supercenter is definitely less than 30 minutes.

For the activities I planned today - watching the "Golden Compass" movie then buying groceries - SM Supercenter will definitely do.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Movie Friday

The movie "Enchanted" was released weeks ago, but I haven't had the chance to watch it yet. Since this week may be it's last run in local cinemas, I had to watch it even if I had to go home late at night alone ... Jon didn't go to Manila today because he was busy typing up the memos Pa's gonna send to the veterans office in Missouri.

Totally loved it.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Mom's birthday

Mom's birthday today. Since I wasn't able to buy her a cake last night, I was bringing both a box of cake and a "bilao" of Pancit Malabon on the way home. Good thing only a small bit of the top of the cake was ruined when we opened the box at home.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Goodbye Hazel

After giving birth this summer, Hazel started getting thin. When my brother decided to start giving her special food and medicines, it was too late. She died this afternoon.

She was just a kitten when she wandered on to our backyard roof last year. When my mom first noticed her, she couldn't be made to come down despite the rain ... so my mom had to put a basket upside down on the roof edge where she could take shelter. I was the one who coaxed her to go down the wooden ladder and snuggle into my arms. Bacchi had been missing for months and probably dead. She immediately took the place of Bacchi in my heart. She also looked like Bacchi when he was a kitten. It wouldn't be reaching to assume Bacchi had fathered her through some neighborhood female feline.

These are pictures of her taken last December 9, 2006:



Other Stuff:

It's mom's birthday tomorrow and I thought of buying her a cake now so the folks could open it early tomorrow instead of waiting for me in the evening. Stopped by Goldilocks but the remaining cake I wanted didn't look good. Thought of going to Makati Shangri-la and actually attending the Prebon Christmas party, but since I was near the bus stop, I felt like going home early. Besides, news of Hazel's death hasn't exactly left me in a partying mood.

-----Dec. 25 edit... I'm clearing my cellphone messages-----

Rey is on leave this week but he sure isn't gonna miss the Prebon party. Actually, I told him I was going, so he decided to go as well. He was very early but didn't want to be the first one in so he hung around the hotel. Later, he realized he should have registered the moment he arrived because there was an early bird prize. Then he texted me there were a lot of pretty Prebon girls surrounding him... though I have no idea why he's telling me that. He was already at the party and I was on the bus home when I texted him that I wasn't going after all. He called me madaya. He he he!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Can't use my credit card

Mariel was on Birthday Leave yesterday so I only had the chance to give my gifts to her and her kids today. Gave her stuff I bought in Hong Kong and I guess they're birthday gifts since Mariel's birthday was last month, Lauren's was 2 months ago, and Kyla's at the end of this month.

Had a Kris Kringle session this afternoon ... and there will still be another Kris Kringle session on Thursday. They (as in the office's Christmas events committee) moved last week's Kris Kringle to today since a lot of people were out of the office (that includes Milette, Boss Mon and I). The theme was "cute and funny" ... and it's no surprise most people got stuffed toys today.

Called the credit card company to ask how much I have charged to my account, and how much I need to pay. A lot of my recent purchases were on 0% installment basis ... and although the maximum amount payable per month is small, the TOTAL purchase price is already charged to my credit. I expected to hear that I have at least PHP10,000 credits left since I paid more than the whole plane ticket fare before I left for Hong Kong - a week before my November bill arrived. Was surprised that I couldn't use my card because all my credits have been used up.

Upon query, I learned that there's US$398.33 or PHP 17,203.88 posted on 2:30PM of Nov. 25 that has been charged to my credit but not really billed yet or "floating". The credit card company couldn't determine what merchant posted the amount until the float has been settled.

The only thing I could think of is the Marriott Hotel, but I remember being told that there were no additional charges when I checked out. The help desk told me the amount could have just been earmarked when I checked in but the earmark has not been lifted yet. I was advised to contact the hotel to remind them to cancel the earmark. After I put the phone down, I immediately went to the Marriott website's "contact us" page to request them to check their records and make sure I do not get charged extra for my stay. Texted Milette to tell her what happened. She said she'll check with BNP Paribas tomorrow.

-----edit Dec. 5-----

Boyet of BNP Paribas HK talked to me on the phone to assure me that no additional charges were incurred by me at the Marriott because they already got the statement from the hotel. He told me that lifting of earmarking from credit cards could really take days sometimes. When I told him it's been a week, he said that Reena had the same experience from a hotel in the Philippines ... in her case the earmark was lifted after almost one month.

Fine, I could live paying for my purchases with cash. I would just miss collecting those reward points. What I'm relieved to confirm ofcourse is that the amount is just an earmark ... and not something I would actually end up paying for.

It's crazy how fast and easy it is for hotels to earmark an amount on a client's credit card, but the lifting of the same earmarked amount isn't as efficient. Are they just plain lazy or do they get something out of it?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

SM Supercenter Muntinlupa

When I found out that they were building an SM Mall in Muntinlupa, I was dismayed rather than excited. Mall means more traffic, and the last thing I want is my travel time to and from Metro Manila lengthened because it's already an hour longer than it used to be (in the 80s, it took 45 minutes to get from Manila to Pacita...now it takes 1 1/2 to 2 hours!).

Well, I haven't really cursed the place yet for traffic because it's still closed when I go to work, and the bus I take going home doesn't pass by Muntinlupa anymore (I take the Southwoods exit bus). I have no idea if traffic is heavy near the mall area on a work day.

This afternoon, my brother and I decided to check the place out.

It's one small place. Half the shops have not opened yet and most of the shops that were open were selling computers or cellphones. The areas run by SM itself are open ofcourse: The supermarket sells grocery items, appliances, home items and clothes ... in bigger SM malls, the supermarket usually just sells food and home products, with the clothes and other stuff to be found in a separate department store area. The place has four cinemas... two showing foreign films and two showing locally produced films.

After we've gone around the place, Jon and I bought groceries. Just found out I still couldn't use my credit card. Good thing I brought more than the usual cash that I carry around in my wallet.

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