Thursday, January 31, 2008

Two Leave the Nest

Today is the last day of Vince and Raul at the Treasury Dealing Room. Vince is leaving to work in another bank. Raul is transferring to the Trust Banking Group to handle and manage anything related to the equities market:

Gene, who had been with Raul since their SI days, requested me to do a farewell video for his friend. With the funny "interview" stuff I recorded after office hours, I ended up doing something that's almost 17 minutes long. To uploaded them to YouTube for your viewing pleasure, I had to cut that into 4 separate videos, as posted below:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 4:

You can only see Part 3 if you are in my Multiply network or your account is tagged as my friend in my YouTube account.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Celebrity Priest

"Healing priest Fr. Fernando Suarez will visit the exhibit 1-3 p.m."

That announcement's on the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The exhibit being referred to is the one for the Sto. Nino Festival at the PNB Financial Center.

Which is why there was one big crowd attending Mass at noon today. A number of them hoping to touch the priest and be healed. Some of them just want to have a glimpse and maybe even touch him. Security guards eventually had to surround him wherever he goes ... even to the elevator until he reached the car that's going to drive him away from the madness. Poor guy.

This is probably what the crowd surrounding Jesus looked like.

When I saw people hanging around the dealing room entrance hoping Fr. Suarez would exit through the door from the long gallery, or people rushing to the ground floor once the priest got on the elevator on the 3rd floor, I had to chuckle. They look like fans/groupies stalking a rock star.

Put something to the test today. Wondered if I would get the chance to see the priest without even trying hard to do so. You see, I have this weird luck of standing/sitting at a place where a certain celebrity or some notable person would pass that I get to be within 2 feet from them or closer.

Went to the banking hall where there was a crowd. No luck getting near Fr. Suarez.

Fr. Suarez

Fr. Suarez

Fr. Suarez

After taking pictures of the crowd, I decided to go the Coop and buy some food.

When I got back to the 3rd floor my luck kicked in ... the priest was being ushered to the elevator and I get to be close enough that the security guards surrounding him bumped into me.

So I guess the trick is to not even try.

The weirdest time this kicked in was when people were crowded on one side of the highway where reports said Pope John Paul II will pass by on his popemobile. I loitered on the other side, content to see him from afar. Lo and behold, his driver decided to take lane where I was, so I was on the front row to see the pope while the crowd was rushing to cross to my side of the highway.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bummed Out

I should really be reading Appendix 25 of BSP circular 594 right now. Don't feel like doing it just yet. Not sure how ready I'd be tomorrow at the discussion on the implications of the circular.

Funny that I have escaped being forced to be a lawyer only to often find myself face to face with regulations to be read and interpreted. Same thing goes with formulas. I was thinking "Good Luck!" to the people in the waiting lists who got my slots in Chem Eng (I passed every university entrance exam where Chem Eng was my choice). Math caught up with me 'cause I ended up modifying formulas for bond issues with special features and now looking up formulas for use in derivatives. Don't make me explain how I ended up writing office manuals either, since I have not done any writing for school publications and I actually didn't pay attention in Grammar class.

This week's episode of TARA just finished. No posts on TWOP yet. Yawn...

Don't feel like going to any Disney kid's forum. Was watching CNN earlier and one anchorwoman looked like Ashley Tisdale. The fact that my point of reference was Tisdale made me say out loud - within hearing range of Kai and Rey: "Oh my God, I'm watching too much of Disney channel."

My dad's radio is blaring loud again ... irritating. It's the latest of an evening of noise. Started at the ride home. A group of presumably college girls were yakking 3 or 4 rows in front of me and were still yakking while they were getting off the bus at the LAST stop. Two or three people sitting near me were listening to their music but I could hear the beat and hum despite their use of earphones. The bus TV was on. With all that noise, I had to put on my earphones and play my media player just to drown out the other sounds. I was rather wishing I had ear plugs.

-----edit Jan.25-----
The discussion on BSP Circular 594 was cancelled. Yippee?! He he he!

Copy cat

I just read someone's blog post on the Harvey Milk movie. He or she lifted a whole paragraph about Dan Nicoletta from my blog - word for word. Believe me, my left eyebrow was as high as it could get by the time I finished reading the post.

Positive: Someone deems my words worthy enough to quote it. Negative: I don't get credit. And another thing: I have no idea who the blogger is.

It's not knowing the blogger that kinda bugs me - not the fact that he/she copied from me. I'm used to seeing other people, mostly kids, post LG stuff that they probably found out because I posted it on the LG.org forum. In those instances, I didn't mind because the people posting the "news" in their blogs or HSM websites are people I interact with on the forum.

  • I once posted a link in the forum pointing to a wee article about LG partying. This is something you won't see in a Google alert ... it was in a gossip BLOG. It made me chuckle to see the report afterwards in at least 3 HSM websites. What's funnier is that at least one of those posts got the report wrong because he or she didn't read the original article ... just the excerpt I posted in the forum.
  • Early this month, some kids wanted an mp3 copy of what LG sang in the "At Jesus' Side" video - so they can listen to it from their ipods. I made an mp3, PM'd them the download link and placed Happy Song in the subject. Guess what - a lot of kids now call it the Happy Song... even those who made their own mp3s of the song.
  • Somewhere in YouTube are videos using behind the scenes pictures I found from a film crew blog and whose link I posted on the board. The film's director didn't like those pics circulating even before the movie's ready so the original blogpost with the pictures, along with my post on the board, were taken down. However, a number of kids already saw my link before the post was taken down and saved copies of the pictures.

Now the last one I'm not really comfortable with because the owner of the pictures actually e-mailed me about not wanting them posted anywhere. I promised him I won't and I am keeping it. The problem is, I have no control over the kids who have made their copies before the pictures were taken down.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

2008 Sto. Nino Festival

The Congregacion del Santissimo Nombre del Niño Jesus holds its yearly exhibit at our office building (PNB Financial Center). Officially called Fiesta del Sto. Niño 2008, it opened last Jan. 17 and will end Jan. 27. This is the period that the feast of the Sto. Nino is observed in many places in the country. The exhibit features statues/images of the child Jesus owned by its members.

People who work in the building (like me) visit the exhibit out of curiousity during lunch break and before leaving for home, but the crowd that attends the daily evening mass are made up of real devotees who come to the place in droves, bringing their kids along.

You'll find in the exhibit a combination of the old and new, big and small, the conservative and contemporary ... including statues dressed up in uniforms similar to what its owners wear to work (policeman, baker, tailor, judge, etc.).

Some are dressed so extravagantly one wonders if they're entering a fashion show. Coincidentally, fashion designer Ben Farrales is one of the congregation's founders.

The exhibit both inspires and appalls. It's inspiring because of the beauty of some pieces and seeing the labor of love invested to make the sets look beautiful. It is appalling when you realize fellow Catholics worship these things ... which brings home the meaning of idolatry. Study in a Catholic school like I do and you'll be taught it's wrong. Which raises the question on why parish priests encourage such behavior.

Anyway, appreciate the art the same way a Catholic would appreciate the art of a statue of Buddha (oh wait, I think some confused Catholics think Buddhas are lucky...which is just a tad short of worshipping them too).

Pictures from the Lobby and the Banking Hall where the daily mass is held:

Pictures from the Long Gallery:

I didn't take pictures of everything on display. You may find more and different pictures at Wetsky's site:

If I hadn't been looking up the event on Google, I wouldn't know that the head of the Group where our backroom belongs to has a Multiply site.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Today's Dose of Randomness

Steve Berry

Finally finished Steve Berry's Third Secret yesterday. Definitely much better than Romanov Prophecy. No mention of Nostradamus there, but Berry used the St. Malachi prophecies... which temporarily became popular when Pope John Paul II died and people were speculating who the next pope will be.

I've decided to buy the latest book from Berry ... just to make Jeng and Menchie happy.

Software for the P1i

Anyway...I fell asleep way too early yesterday that I woke up at 1AM this morning. Decided to download some programs for my cellphone. I got 10 points to spend for programs, and each point is worth about 10 euros. I have until November of this year to use them. Problem is, the first time I saw the list of programs available last November, I couldn't decide what to buy to get the most of my 10 points. Good thing there are trial versions.

Downloaded DocumentsToGo first. My phone can already make, read and edit word and excel files, but not powerpoint. DocumentsToGo will allow me to read and edit Powerpoint. Hopefully, it has more excel functions.

Next was Finanz ... which is supposed to have financial calculations ... but I'm now thinking of uninstalling it because it's not that good ... it downloads currency rates from the internet though and that's cool. But not worth 2 points.

Third on the list is Best Crypto. It's supposed to allow me to put passwords on certain documents ... since that function does not come with my cellphone version of the office softwares. I've installed it but haven't tested it yet.

Also downloaded the Oxford english dictionary ... haven't installed it yet.

Downloaded both Sony Ericsson Media Studio and Mobiola Studio. Sony's expensive than Mobiola. I want to test if they convert DVDs and Youtube videos the same way.

Last on the list is the Mobiola webcam software that's supposed to allow me to use my phone camera as a webcam.

I think I'll test Bestcrypto and DocumentsToGo first before installing the others.

I'm gonna hunt for free downloadable games next. he he he!

Website Hopping
How I ended up reading about One Tree Hill

Before I started downloading the programs, I did a backup of my phone, had my system updated, which erased all phone memory, then had to do a restoration of data. That took a lot of time (and I was always wondering how long it would take before I had to let go of the "c" key on my phone), so I started looking up other sites.

Opened the lg.org forum and found out Lucas Grabeel has joined the cast of a new movie, Milk. He also has an interview in OK! Magazine.

Browsed through other pictures in OK! magazine and kept seeing Monique Lhuillier's name so I visited her site. Looked up some articles and blogs mentioning her or her creations.

Saw a blog mentioning Monique Lhuillier, Vanessa Hudgens and Michael Copon. It was about all three having Filipino ancestry, and currently making a name in USA. Huh? Michael Copon? Never heard of him so I ended up typing his name in Google. A bunch of YouTube videos have been posted about him.

Since I've already logged into my YouTube account to watch Michael Copon's videos, I looked into my subscription box and saw new music videos and movie trailers/announcement have been posted.

More about the movies and videos in my other blog: http://box-o-donuts.blogspot.com/2008/01/bits-and-pieces.html

Cleaning up my YouTube channel

Going to hide the older videos I uploaded. I've got too many up. If anyone wants to see them, s/he has to connect to my channel as a friend first. If s'he doesn't have a YouTube username but already has a gmail account, s/he can use that gmail username and password to log on to YouTube.

Oh yeah, I must really know who that person is before I add him/her as a friend.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Not quite

Some comments this week that I didn't really respond to at the time they were said, and what I would have loved to say if I didn't worry about coming across as either cheeky or weirder than I already am:

Malu said I was shy about standing near Marc Nelson when we had our picture taken at the ICAP Charity Day.
I wasn't shy about standing close to the guy ... I just find picture taking with celebrities a bit embarassing ... since I have the bad habit of chuckling at people going ga-ga over being inches away from a celebrity. Which totally brings the chances of me asking for an autograph nil...unless I'm asking it for someone else. It's a weird attitude I picked up in Grade School. So ingrained. Hard to kick.

Cheryl said my family has cats for pets instead of dogs.
I told her that aside from cats, we have 3 dogs. I failed to mention we also have 1 turtle, 1 kulasisi (the green finch type of bird, and not the human mistress kind), 1 rooster, 1 hen, 2 pigeons, at least 5 parakeets, and hopefully, the fish in the grotto are still alive. If my brother decided to keep the snakes as pets instead of shooting them dead, we'd officially have a zoo.

Rey figured that the book I'm reading must be boring since it's been a week and I haven't finished it yet.
Steve Berry's Third Secret is much better than Romanov Prophecy. I haven't finished reading the book because I got side-tracked.

As I read the Third secret of Fatima, I was reminded about something I saw and read in these books:
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
By jingfrey, shot with DSC-W70 at 2008-01-17

The small book has the "Complete" centuries of Nostradamus, with both French and English versions side by side. The other book has copies of Nostradamus' "paintings". It's trying to locate the picture in the big book that's similar to the imagery in the Fatima secret that had me sidetracked.

I checked the internet. Guess what? Other people have already thought about the probability of Nostradamus' prophecies regarding the Roman Catholic Church dovetailing with the Fatima "secret". Realized I'd be spending too much time if I decide to continue researching on the two. I decided to stick to reading the novel.

I'm already in the middle of the story. So far, the it's all about Vatican politics and Marian apparitions. No mention of Nostradamus. Wouldn't be surprised if the novel mentions it though.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Today's Dose of Randomness

Lunch at Legend restaurant with ICAP brokers Tomi, Malu, Gino and Amy.

Since the restaurant in near the office, we got there early and someone did some fooling around while we waited for the brokers:

He he he!

Back at the dealing room, we saw the marketing folk huddling in one area.

They finally got their own PDEX trading station and a tech guy from PDEX is showing them how to use it.

--------it's ms. turtle, dude----------

Jeng made this cute stuffed turtle. She hasn't decided what to call it yet. Menchie had the crazy suggestion of calling it JD ... Jeng's initials. Jeng naturally wasn't inclined to name it after herself.

What I keep nagging Jeng to make are the kids from South Park though. Problem is, I don't think she watches that cartoon show.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Goodbye, Ginger.

Ginger, the house's "original cat", died around 3AM today. She failed to weather the flu she caught early this year, even after being brought to the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) yesterday and had and IV stuck into her.

Watson, who got sick at the same time she did, is doing better. He's the oldest cat now. Most of the cats we have, and had, descended from Ginger (3 of the kittens are Hazel's). She's buried in the flower box outside the gate.

Ginger was young when she started wandering into the back garden, and oftentimes she'd rest on the windowsill outside my room. One night, she was playing tag with another cat and crashed into the old doghouse. The metal foot of the doghouse gave way and pinned her leg down. My mom and I heard her loud wailing and rushed out to see what happened. My mom saw her under the dog house and we lifted it to free her. She ran away as fast as she could given her bad leg.

A few days later, my mom started to smell something bad and realized the maimed cat has decided to hide under the broken down gas range. She was still nursing her wounded leg, which is where the bad smell was coming from. We realized the cat would die if she did not come out to hunt. We didn't want the cat to die in our house, nor did we want to place her on the street in her condition. My mom and I decided she should be fed but we can't coax her out of her hiding place. I was munching on a meat ball and by instinct took it out of my mouth, and placed it on my hand and started calling the cat. It was delightful to watch her slowly approach me, sniff the food, and delicately eat it from my hand.

We took care of her after that till her leg mended...sort of. She often hopped on her other three legs, but she uses that leg when she's running or climbing. I named her Ginger and she immediately took to responding to that name. When she was around, she often stayed in the laundry area. She would let me carry her and I would then take her in the house for a few minutes.

My dad, who spent most of his life hitting cats with a slingshot (even when he was already 60 or 70), warned me she might bite or give me some germs. That never happened. After a few months, it was my parents who surprised me by letting the cat sleep inside the house.

One night, she started scratching on our bedroom doors and meowing loudly, that my brother woke up. She was warning us that 2 snakes had entered the house. My brother killed the snakes, and Ginger earned the right to sleep in my parents' room. She was one spoiled cat. She had the right to leave and enter the house at will, while the other cats are lucky to even step inside the house.

Since it's my mom and brother who usually feed the cats, most of the cats usually ignore me or are even afraid of me. Ginger on the other hand, often approaches and greets me by rubbing against my foot when I arrive home from work on weekdays or when I sit in the living room after I wake up on weekends. I guess she remembers that the first food our family fed her came from me, and it was I who gave her a name and bought her first plate.

Being the oldest cat, every other cat in the house respected her. She only had to jump in during catfights for the brawl to stop.

Princess, who often sleeps with her on the terrace, is already looking for her mom.

Gonna miss my Ginger bear.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Today's Dose of Randomness

Was absent yesterday. I've been sneezing occasionally since last week and no matter what I do or no matter how much sleep I get, I still end up feeling tired and yes ... late to work. I also have a headache that won't go away. Muscle pain, especially at the back - check; headache - check; sneezing or coughing - mild but still a check. I feel hot, but the heat's contained in the head area, so I doubt if the thermometer says I've got fever. I initially thought it's some sort of flu, but without the fever it's probably the common cold. What's odd about this one is that I only sneeze occasionally and though I always feel parched, my throat started itching only today, making me cough mildly at times. I hope this does not evolve into full blown cough with laryngitis. I do not want another bout of losing my voice!


Image Hosted by ImageShack.us I usually pass through the long gallery every morning as it is a short cut to the dealing room. This morning though, I noticed people setting up cameras and bright lights atop the stairs leading to the gallery so I used the staircase that leads to the main branch. Near the chapel I saw some TMG people talking and probably on their way to the banking hall, which is also near the staircase where I saw the camera crew. I first thought that our corporate affairs people have decided to start taking pictures for the company's annual, and that our marketing folk were having their group picture taken. Learned later that the TMG people just wanted to see if actor John Lloyd Cruz has already arrived. Apparently, the camera crew belongs to an ad agency and they're shooting a commercial today. It's funny how many commercials have been shot in the building and I've only recognized the building in one commercial.

Friday, January 04, 2008


Randomly typed "shibashi" and "st. scho" in Google and came across this video of Sr. Mary John Mananzan teaching shibashi steps in some conference:

Too bad the video's dark.

This clip reminds me of a St. Scho retreat in Batulao where a number of us students woke up early and saw Sis. Kristia Bacani doing the shibashi. We ended up joining her. Turns out that the SSC Manila nuns practice shibashi every morning.

Learned from other, younger Scholastican's blogs that eventually, shibashi was incorporated in the grade school Morning Praise. That would mean a looonger Morning Praise.

I doubt if other Catholic schools have that! Ha ha ha! Stuff like this reminds me that studying in St. Scho isn't your ordinary Catholic school experience. Oh man, the idea of fighting nuns is running through my head right now. Shibashi after all means 18 movements of Tai-chi ... which is, apart from being a relaxing exercise, can be treated as an introduction to the Chinese martial arts.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone!

My blogs are finally updated. Oh yeah!

Didn't go out to record the fireworks set up by neighbors on New Year's Eve. Just watched them from the porch with the dog curled up beside me. At the stroke of midnight I usually play Auld Lang Syne for about 15 minutes or longer. Didn't do it this time. I did open the piano once I got tired watching the fireworks... which was almost 1AM of January 1. Played Auld Lang Syne about 5 times before switching on my cellphone's music player and tried playing the songs there "oido" ... that means playing by ear - no piano sheet.

Had some success with "Say it Right", "Don't Matter" and "Beautiful Girls". Disney Channel was playing High School Musical 2 Monday night, so I took out the chord sheet of "You are the Music in Me" and tried playing it. Did better with the chord sheet of "Hey There Delilah" because the song's on my cellphone and I could listen to it over and over till I get the melody and rhythm right.

To the clueless, chord sheets are only useful in telling me what keys to use with the left hand, not what to do with my right hand - I have to figure that one by myself. Sometimes though when I don't agree with the chord sheet, I also do some editing on the chords - I think some chord combinations work well when you're strumming a guitar, but they don't sound well together when used on the piano. Got so lost in the groove of "Say it Right" that I kept playing it till I was sleepy. Woke up late for the next day, that's for sure.

Had Calandracas for lunch yesterday. It's one New Year tradition we got from the Cavite side of the family (along with Bacalao for Holy Week). Tess passed by later in the afternoon to greet everyone a happy new year. She gave me a couple of glass bead bracelets. I guess that'll be the last Christmas gift I'll be receiving for this season.

Since digital cameras make it so cheap to take pictures, have a peep at my 2007 Christmas stash (all pics shot with DSC-W70 ... according to imageshack - this blog's picture host):
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By jingfrey
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
By jingfrey
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
By jingfrey
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
By jingfrey
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
By jingfrey
On the left is the portable stool from Deutschebank. Propped in front of it is a back scratcher. On top of the stool is a face towel from Jeng tied up with one of her hand-made book markers which she did by "tatting". Curled up at the bottom is the bendable pencil from Liezl. The coaster with candies came from Es.

Dottie gave me the back scratcher for Kris Kringle's "long and hard" ... a lot of people got back scratchers on that day by the way. The handle of the one I got was odd looking and looked more like a wand ... which was why Ted and I ended up exchanging "expelliarmus" and "avada kedavra" that afternoon. Ha ha ha!

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