Sunday, June 29, 2008

Random Stuff

Unless I'm mistaken, the following is the commercial shot in our office building early this year.

Heh. Who knew the Hall looked like an "airport"?

This clip is from the collection of "maytaodito" at Veoh.com. His channel is: http://www.veoh.com/channels/philtvads

Veoh.com is not that easily accessible these days to all PLDT DSL subscribers. You have to change DNS settings to even access the site correctly (especially the javascript). Hence, the need to upload this clip to YouTube.


Was reading about an English school in wikipedia when I thought of looking up what is written there about my school: St. Scholastica's College, Manila.

Boring write-up... it's what you'll see on the school site. The only interesting part are the notable people who studied in St. Scho. Former Pres. C. Aquino tops the list, as usual. A good number of the other people on that list are activists, news reporters, and rockers. Puro siga. Ha ha ha!

On the flip side of the coin, you'd find artists, classical musicians, socialites, models, actresses, beauty queens and other celebrities on the list. I think adding models to the list is a crazy undertaking. Every batch has at least one print/ramp/commercial model, so whoever wrote that article is bound to miss a lot of people... starting with a couple of my high school batchmates who started out as commercial models then ended up in the first Star Circle of ABS-CBN.

Hmmm.... two members of the notorious Gucci gang are included. One of them's quite near my age that I probably bumped into her in grade school (she studied until 4th grade only, then went abroad).


My sis in the US texted me about a month ago that my bro's divorce had been finalized. It wasn't surprising news. Asked her for details. Got no answer. We probably have the same habit of not checking our incoming text messages routinely.

My sis in Australia called yesterday to greet my dad. We talked a bit and when the subject of my bro came up, she said she thinks the third party is currently living in with my bro. .. because the e-mails my bro had been sending lately are written in good english. That's lovely deductive reasoning! Got me laughing hard for a bit there.

My sis intends to get the full story by calling our ex-sis in law. Well, we still think of her as part of the family despite the divorce.

My sis is still pestering me about that visit to Australia. Told her I'd probably go if she has already relocated to Brisbane. Actually, I'm just too lazy to answer the BOOKLET one has to submit to the Australian embassy ... all that fuss without being sure that you made good use of your time (basically the same reason I keep putting off trying to get a tourist visa to the US too). Partly it's because they pester me that I don't do it. I guess there's something to what astrologers say of the Aries being stubborn... and generally not receptive to nagging. Think Newton. More specifically his Third Law of Motion: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.


I was playing MetroStation's "Shake It" repeatedly earlier this day... the beat keeps out the rainy day blues (it is another ruined laundry day). For some strange reason, it is Chris Brown's "Forever" that is now stuck in my head...especially the first few seconds of techno intro.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Product Mastery Program

2008-0627 001 (Small)

When you see that much people gathered in front of the computer, you start wondering what they're looking at.

2008-0627 002 (Small)

Apparently, Buddy was taking the trial run of the Product Mastery exam. His "audience" was curious at what the questions are, and at the same time doing some coaching by guessing the answers.

2008-0627 003 (Small)

Adie even brought snacks when she joined the spectators' gallery.

The people handling this thing plan to put us through at least three levels, and I have yet to take Level 1. I don't know when I should take it ... one waits for the username and password to the site to arrive by e-mail. From what I've heard, one gets one trial run then the real exam. If one fails that, one gets another chance. If you fail that again, there's a waiting period before you can re-take it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

More Haircuts

Shayne (right) finally cut her long hair. She would joke that she now looks like a grade school kid. Jan (left) further shortened her hair... and insisted I also take a picture. Now people are egging Kai to follow suit and cut her hair.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Vote: 4 Philippine entries for New 7 Wonders of Nature

The Philippines has four areas nominated for the New 7 Wonders of Nature.

  1. Tubbataha Reef
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    Site Description: Tubbataha Reef is an atoll coral reef in the Sulu Sea that belongs to the Philippines. It is a marine sanctuary protected as Tubbataha Reef National Marine Park. The reef is composed of two atolls, North and South Reefs. Each reef has a single small islet that protrudes from the water. The atolls are separated by a deep channel 8 kilometers wide. Over one thousand species, including many that are endangered, can be found at on the reef. These include manta rays, lionfish, tortoises, clownfish and sharks.
    Current Ranking: 3

  2. Chocolate Hills
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    Site Description: The Chocolate Hills is an unusual geological formation in Bohol, Philippines. It is composed of around 1,268 perfectly cone-shaped hills, all about the same size, spread over an area of more than 50 sq km The hills are covered in green grass that turns brown during the dry season, giving them the name ''Chocolate Hills.''
    Current Ranking: 4

  3. Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park
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    Site Description: The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park is located about 50 km north of the city of Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines. It features a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2 km. navigable underground river. A distinguishing feature of the river is that it winds through a cave before flowing directly into the South China Sea. It includes major formations of stalactites and stalagmites, and several large chambers. The lower portion of the river is subject to tidal influences. The underground river is reputed to be the world's longest. At the mouth of the cave, a clear lagoon is framed by ancient trees growing right to the water's edge. Monkeys, large monitor lizards, and squirrels find their niche on the beach near the cave.
    Current Ranking: 5

  4. Mayon Volcano
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    Site Description: Mayon Volcano is an active volcano on the Filipino island of Luzon, 15 km northwest of Legazpi City.It is classified by volcanologists as a stratovolcano (composite volcano). Its symmetric cone was formed through alternate pyroclastic and lava flows. Mayon is the most active volcano in the country, having erupted over 47 times in the past 400 years, and is a part of what is called the Pacific Ring of Fire.
    Current Ranking: 9

Click here to visit the site: http://www.new7wonders.com/nature/en/nominees/asia/

The process is still in the initial stage where places around the world are nominated and the most votes increases the chance that a site is included in the final 21. All you have to do is register to be able to vote. Your registration entitles you to seven votes. That means you can vote for all four nominees and add 3 more places from other parts of the world of your choice.

You have until December 31, 2008 to make sure that at least one Philippine site is included in the final 21 which will be announced on January 2009.

The real voting for the New 7 Wonders of Nature will take place in 2009 through 2010. The site has scheduled to announce the winners on the summer of 2010.

Friday, June 20, 2008


When the dealing room folk voted to spend the Summer Outing Allowance to hold a BINGO, I wasn't in the conference room. I would have voted for Star City, even though going to a theme park sounds childish. I would find it more exciting than Bingo on any day. Anyway, I have no right to complain since I didn't even attend the meeting when they were voting.

Ergo, I was planning to skip Bingo on Friday night and forfeit benefitting from my summer outing share of the funds. I envisioned myself watching the Hulk movie instead. Boss Danny "jokingly" threatened Thursday to tie me up to my chair just so I stay...and take pictures. I got the hint... I brought my camera today. I think Boss Dan wasn't too keen on sitting through a Bingo session himself, and he sure as hell won't give others the benefit of escaping the event if he can't. Ha ha ha!

The event almost got postponed. It pushed through anyway. Rhoda donated some PLDT give-aways, which were the first prizes given out during the lunch session of Bingo. The cash prizes were given out during the evening session.

The funny thing is, for someone who wasn't looking forward to the game, I actually won a web cam during lunch:

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It was Rey who wanted the webcam, but he won a 1GB flash disk instead.

For the afternoon session, I also won PHP150. It was a PHP300 prize shared by me and Beth who both called "Bingo". I almost won another PHP300, or was it the PHP1,000? ... I only needed one number before calling out BINGO.

Boss Jun's luck was working even if he wasn't in the room. Jeng was playing his Bingo cards and won one of the cash prizes. There was a bit of controversy of people not around winning ... in my opinion, Jeng need not say it was Boss Jun's card that won ... it would have avoided controversy. No one would know the difference anyway.

It was almost 9PM when the game ended... getting out of the office building at that late hour is yet another reason I wanted to skip the event. Good thing I didn't miss the last shuttle trip out. I would have to ride a jeepney and pay a fare if I missed the shuttle service.

-----the Jus predicament----

If you watched the video up there, you'd notice two slides with Jus on the cellphone ... that's him talking to his kid who's currently touring Singapore. The story is, Jus ordered the kid to deliver bottles of sardines to Cristy in PNB Singapore, but did not tell the kid to who the sardines were for.

Cristy herself had no idea why Jus would give her sardines, but could not contact Jus for clarification. Assuming they were a gift (at this point, anyone who heard the story would comment: "Jus - give almost a dozen bottles of sardines as a gift? Nah!"), Cristy gave the stuff away to her officemates, even opening one for lunch.

Later in the day, Au called Cristy to ask if Jus delivered the sardines she ordered (and therefore will pay for). Major Uh-oh on Cristy's part. No more sardines left. Jus can't force Cristy or Au to pay because it was his fault to give incomplete instructions. Jus and Cristy were speaking on the phone for about 30 minutes just to sort it out.

Honestly, we all got a good laugh at hearing the story, although it really wasn't funny if you were Jus and lost some money. Jus managed to stay cool and even stayed for BINGO. That's when the jokes about Jus getting back his loss by hiking the prices of products he would sell to the Treasury folk started.

In Memoriam: Watson and Becky


Bobby and Watson

That's Bobby on the left and Watson on the right.

Watson is the only surviving child of Ginger at the time of her death, and therefore was the oldest of our pet cats after she died. He and his siblings were the strongest kittens ever to be born in our home.

He had one sister, Mikey - who ran away when we brought her to the SPCA for check-up, and therefore was lost. He had two brothers: Andrei was the curious one and was the first to start visiting the outside world for long periods of time... one day he never came back. Bacchi was the fattest one and was the first to take to climbing ... climbing out of the box, climbing up a tree, and eventually climbing up the wall and to the roof. Like Andrei, Bacchi would always visit outside the wall; but unlike Andrei, Bacchi usually came back within the day. It is only during his last year or so that Bacchi would disappear days at a time. Like Andrei, there was a day that he just never came back.

Watson was different from his brothers in many ways.

He wasn't a very active kitten. While Andrei and Bacchi were teasing Heidi the dog (those two are reason Heidi hates cats), Bacchi would just sit somewhere nearby and watch them. He would also watch the TV if he's inside the house.

He would grow up to be a ferocious cat though ... he was as territorial as Bacchi and the two would often fight on the roof if they see each other. But unlike Bacchi, Watson likes to take care of kittens. Bacchi wouldn't come near a kitten nor would he want them coming near him. Watson on the other hand would lick the kittens clean and on those rare occasions he's feeling generous, he'd save them food to eat... food he'd stolen from the dining table, and sometimes from someone else's house.

The picture up there was taken last February. This summer, Watson stopped eating for some reason and then he got weak and died. Bobby (who I sometimes call White-Nose or White-Socks or Short-Tail) is now the oldest cat in the house.


Becky was the second youngest dog in the house. I think the metalsmith who installed the grates and gates in the house was the one who brought her as a "gift" since he knew my dad likes dogs. I think he was the one who also gave us Harry. I won't be surprised if that same smith was the one who was eventually hired to make the dog houses for Heidi, Becky and Harry.

Becky spent the first few months of her life in the dining room, when she started growing, she was transferred to the kitchen. Becky was playful and she was even friends with Bobby the cat when she was a puppy. She liked teasing Heidi, and unwittingly made an enemy of the older dog. Heidi just went for her throat one day, which is why the two could never be put in the same area ever. Hence, the need to place Becky in the carport and install the gate that separated it from the front porch where Heidi is.

This is Becky staring through the bottom of the gate when she's bored.

Becky the dog

All dogs like to dig, and since there is no patch of earth big enough to dig in the carport, Becky took to scratching these tiles instead:

Becky the dog

My sister Tess likes putting all fancy stuff on the iron chairs and table. Becky usually stays off them ... but when she's being naughty she would grab one and chew through it. Tess would usually "report" to my mom that Becky's done something bad ... but my mom would just tell Tessie that she should know better than put something in the carport that the dog would want to play with.

Becky the dog

I realized Becky was sick Thursday night when I saw my brother injecting her with medicines and vitamins. That would be after I asked my mom why Heidi was howling and doesn't want to be left alone. As I was patting Heidi on the head to shut her up, I looked over at the carport and saw my brother with a very sick Becky. Apparently, Becky hadn't been eating for days. Those injections didn't do much good though. Mom told me Becky was dead this morning.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Today's Randomness

Watched Kung Fu Panda with Bee and Jon last night. Since the movie started at 9:30pm, I arrived at the house at 00:12 this morning.

Learned that Ces Drilon and the two other captives were released by their Sulu abductors today. Loren Legarda is currently in the limelight for helping negotiate for the unconditional release of the three. The official statement is that no ransom has been paid. Yet the Radio Mindanao website has a news flash where Indanan Mayor Isnaji stated that the abductors told him that money from Manila is on its way (note on 23-June-2008: this article could not be found in the website's archive and although it has disappeared, traces of it could be found in Google's cache ... PNP now claims that at least PHP5MM ransom had been paid and part of it pocketed by Isnaji himself).

Celtics won this year's NBA championship. Technically they won it June 17th, US Time, but it's already June 18th if you're in Manila.

Had a meeting today where I turned over all projects I was doing for Boss Mon to Tina. She agreed to do the job full time. I haven't received a memo yet, but I'm guessing my temporary detail as his Technical Assistant is now finished. Will be trading thirds again, I expect.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dinner with ICAP

ICAP wanted to treat us out to dinner and told us to pick out the place. Boss Danny wanted seafood so we suggested Claire dela Fuente's Grill and Seafood Restaurant at Seaside, which is along Pres. Diosdado Macapagal Blvd.

We were there around 6PM and discussion revolved first around the NBA finals ... which included bets (loser treats winner to dinner). Most of the girls were rooting for Celtics, making Stephen wonder why he's the only guy who's not rooting for Lakers.

Funny how a simple joke about Boss Jun's vacation moved the discussion to Philippine showbiz... Boss Jun and family went to Turkey and some other Mediterranean country/ies, so the joke was he visited Ylmaz Bektas - Philippine celebrity Ruffa Gutierrez's rich ex-husband who lives there. From Ruffa, the discussion shifted to Gretchen Barretto who's now banned from entering the RCBC building where ICAP has its Metro Manila office ... and why she's banned (the so-called elevator incident). Then we talked about other celebrities who have hooked up with rich guys like Gretchen has hooked up with a Cojuangco. That included the rumored gay relationships between rich guys and actors. Which inevitably shifted the talk to actors hiding their sexuality in the closet.

Milette had already eaten at the restaurant before and claimed that they play the video of "Something In Your Eyes" over and over again. That's the Carpenters song that Claire dela Fuente re-recorded for her latest album, with Richard Carpenter's blessing and cooperation.

We didn't believe Milette till the restaurant staff loaded the music video around 7PM. From that hour till we left sometime after 8PM, all you see on the screen are the 2 video versions of the same song ... played over and over and over again. Claire's version isn't bad, but when you hear a song played more than a dozen times - continuously, you'll find it annoying, which we did by the time we left the restaurant. At that point, we were not only making jokes about the effect of hearing the song countless times, but we were also making jokes on the hair products being displayed for sale in one corner (the same corner where you could buy Claire dela Fuente's CD) ... like the waiters' hair are all full and wavy, and you won't find a bald one because to hire a bald waiter won't sell hair products.

Despite having talked about a lot of things and ordering a lot of dishes, we finished surprisingly early ... we usually end dinners like this around 9PM. Hitched a ride back to the office with Boss Dan, then took the PNB shuttle to Buendia where I took the bus home.

Just in case you haven't seen or heard it yet ... am now presenting to you Claire dela Fuente's version of "Something In Your Eyes", and nope - I haven't figured out the difference between the original video and the director's cut:

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Asset and Liability Management Seminar

Baiphil hosted this year's Asset and Liability Management Seminar at the City Garden Hotel in Makati. Boss Dan thought I should attend. So there I was, with Menchie and three Risk Management Group folk, listening to Security Bank's CFO talk about the day's topic from 8:30am to 5:30pm.

I could be at Ocean Park with Yvette attending a short seminar on underwater photography. The ALM seminar wasn't boring though. I only started to feel sleepy in the afternoon session, and that's mostly because I had eaten a lot of food ... they served Tuna sandwich and fries for morning snack, Chicken Cordon Bleu for lunch, and pizza for the afternoon snack.

Maggie of Risk Management was an active participant ... she kept asking questions which in effect extended the session. I wouldn't be surprised if some people joked about staging the questions to come from PNB ... especially after I found myself answering one of the questions in the afternoon session. Truth is, I was too sleepy to realize I was reciting... when the speaker said my answer was incomplete, I had to jog my memory to come up with the rest of the answer... which effectively woke up my sleepy mind.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lunch with Bee ... or Hooters at Mall of Asia

Bee renewed her US visa today and since the US Embassy is near our office, we decided to meet for lunch at SM Mall of Asia. I told her to pick the place as she would get there earlier than I would. She picked Hooters.

Hooters isn't inside Mall of Asia. It's located at San Miguel by the Bay ... those buildings outside Mall of Asia on the stretch referred to as the Esplanade. Those boxy one story buildings are restaurants, and they all face Manila Bay. A lot of them used to be located along Roxas Boulevard.

When Hooters opened around April or May, the guys at the office checked the place out. They were expecting to see women like the ones you'd see in pictures of Hooters in the US, either through magazines or the internet. They were disappointed.

I thought the guys were exaggerating until I went inside myself. Every waitress there, though wearing the expected tank tops and short shorts, was of the petite build and none have memorable bodies or faces. I saw more sexy girls in the Car show held at the World Trade Center every April.

The girls are very friendly though. They always ask if there's anything more we'd like to order ... that if I stayed there longer I would find it annoying. The girls do some kind of dance every hour or so... which reminds me of the SM supermarket employees breaking into the Papaya dance every hour. Cute to watch ... but I wouldn't want to be doing that kind of routinary job. According to Bee, the ambiance was different from the Hooters in the US she'd been to ... the US outlets were more darker inside.

An American restaurant, the food Hooters serve is limited to sandwiches, soup, salad, and chicken wings. Bee wanted steak but it's not on the menu. Being the Hotel and Restaurant Management graduate that she is, and having worked in a number of similar restaurants (she and the restaurant manager actually used to work together in another restaurant), Bee couldn't help but pass judgement on the food: the chicken wings isn't good, neither is the caesar side salad (the vegetables in the one I ordered either weren't fresh or got damaged in handling/delivery... those in the table next to us probably agree as they barely touched their salad), and the hamburger buns weren't the best kind. Bee still considers Chili's burgers one of the best she's tasted. But I don't think Chili's has outlets in Metro Manila anymore.

Bee and I spent more than an hour talking. When we stood up to leave, I realized that she wasn't driving and that her driver had been patiently waiting for her outside. I asked if he had eaten lunch. Bee said he's full as he'd already eaten a lot while waiting for her at the US Embassy.

Bee dropped me off at PNB, and she was surprised to see another Hooters outlet beside us. We decided to meet next week and watch a movie.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Someone had a haircut

Dessa had a haircut. And the guys make a point to mention it whenever she walks by. They would probably keep at it for the rest of the week. Actually, the boys are now nagging the other girls to follow suit. Ha. Ha. Ha.

Friday, June 06, 2008

NBA Finals

Yup! The NBA finals have begun.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Men who hate needles and blood

Was looking through my phone's calendar and realized that PJ and Jerry celebrated their wedding anniversay last June 3. Texted PJ to greet her.

She texted back and thanked me for remembering. Then she told me that she and Jerry celebrated it in the hospital.

Worried, I asked why he was hospitalized.

PJ replied to say that it was Jerry's general check-up but he fainted when he saw the needle to be used to extract his blood sample.

He he he!

Reminds me of my dad. My mom told me that during the time she was in labor, about to give birth to me, my dad was also on a hospital bed for high blood ... I think the doctor just told him they may do a cesarian section on my mom (okay, so he was probably worried my mom would die of complications, and not that he saw blood or needles...still does not erase the fact that he got hospitalized).

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