Sunday, August 31, 2008

Going to Dumaguete

Bee and I initially planned to go to Batanes next week. We looked up tour packages and since my mom's folks live there, I said I might get us free accomodations.

I started calling Auntie Fe on the two cellphone numbers of her that I have in my directory, but the phones just keep ringing. Since she's always shuttling between the USA and Batanes, I have no idea if she actually is in Batanes.

Texted my cousin Pie to ask if she knows how to contact Aunt Fe. She had no idea but she has Joy's cellphone number. Joy is Aunt Fe's daughter who I think still lives in Philadelphia. Texted Joy. Got no response.

Tried Aunt Dolly. Bad news. She and Uncle Lou will be going back to Guam next week and won't return to Batanes till the 29th. That means we can't stay in their house. She did tell me about the good lodges/hotels/inns ... and that's how I learned in a roundabout way that she has booked her sons (my cousins) and their friends in those lodges for December.

The death knell for the Batanes trip came when we realized all trips going there next week were fully booked. Dang!

After lunch, Bee suggested Dumaguete. I haven't been there before but after some surfing realized it has a beach and dolphin watching tours. I okayed the plan.

This morning my cousin Joy responded via text and told me she informed her brother Wesley, who actually lives in their townhouse in Marikina. He later texted me to ask when I plan to go to Batanes so he could text his brother Glen who's actually in Batanes. I told him thanks, but the trip was cancelled coz I couldn't get a flight. I was chuckling when I was texting him coz it was funny that I initially coursed through QC where Pie is, then US , then Marikina, just to get a message across to Batanes. And mind you, I was always asking them what number in Batanes to call.

Anyway, Bee and I were busy texting and chatting yesterday and today to plan the Dumaguete trip. She arranged for our accomodations, I paid for the plane tickets online (I don't like transacting online, but I decided to do so today simply because I wouldn't want to bother going to the ticket office AND waiting in line).

After getting the online confirmation of the ticket payment, I was thinking - this is it, it's final, no backing out, I'm flying to Dumaguete on Wednesday morning. Sure hope the weather forecasts of rain in Dumaguete don't come true.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Lunch with Bee

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Bee called me around 11AM to tell me she was at the nearby Mall of Asia, looking up the International Food and Beverage Expo at the SMX Convention Center. She asked if I wanted to join her for lunch. I said no problem and around 12:30NN entered the SMX building for the first time.

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I didn't know there was a PHP50 registration fee, and no one stopped me from going in. I learned about the entrance charge from Bee when I was already inside. There was a kiosk that sold kaldereta and rosemary chicken rice meals ... decided to try both. The chicken was already bad and after failing to convince Bee and I that the bad smell and taste came from the rosemary, they replaced it with another serving of kaldereta. Crazies... do they think we wouldn't know the smell of rosemary as opposed to food that is already spoiled? Big difference. Only someone who does not cook would fall for that.

We told them not to sell the chicken to others anymore ... they did not listen as I saw one of their waiters bringing chicken to another table. Pity the person if he or she got food poisoning.

Told Bee I will be on leave next week. She reminded me her birthday's next week. Told her I know, so I asked her if she wants to go somewhere. She said she would love to go out of town. I said I have no problem with that. By the time we parted, we agreed we would be planning a trip for next week. Options: Batanes, Bohol, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand. If within budget ofcourse.

Okay, so this is reminiscent of how a trip to Mall of Asia with Sam turned into a trip to Tagaytay, and lunch at South Mall extended to having dessert at Mall of Asia... but is the sudden trip thing becoming a habit?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tessie's Birthday

It's Tessie's birthday today, and she's been telling my mom last night that we'll be having pancit (noodles) today.

She took her Birthday Leave today and at lunch time I called the house to ask if there's going to be pancit and other birthday food ... mom said that Tess spent the day writing letters and cards, and never bought any ingredients to use.

I called again in the afternoon, and there was still no party food. Mom said Tess was not inclined to go out and shop, and announced that the celebration will be this weekend instead. Mom took pity on her and stepped out to buy ingredients for pancit. I told mom not to cook anymore and wait for me.

Since I left the office in the evening, the Pancit Malabon restaurant was already closed. I ended up buying a cake and a party pack (pancit + lumpia shanghai + siomai + liter of softdrink) at Goldilocks instead.

Texted Jon to eat at the house coz I brought food for Tess' birthday.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Start of another long weekend

National Heroes Day's on Monday and that means a 3-day weekend. It's a sunny day with kids either doing chalk work on the streets

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or having fun at the carnival

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...and the corner of 2nd street is often "littered" with grandmas, nannies, drivers, older sisters/brothers/cousins, and parents of the children riding the carousel.

I was not in the mood to sit in front of the PC, so I dragged my brother to the supermarket to do some groceries. After we delivered the groceries home, we decided to watch a movie ... in Makati. We got there around 2pm and realized we could watch 2 movies instead of just one.

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That's the Wall-e bench at the Greenbelt Cinema. We watched "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" there, though. We saw Wall-e at the Glorietta an hour later.

Intended to have that time gap so I could pass by the hobby shop Dreams to buy the knitting needles Jeng has been longing to get hold of for ... I don't know how long... months? He he he. Obviously she was excited I would be able to buy those needles, coz for someone who rarely goes to the Ayala Center Makati, she could pinpoint to me in her text message where the shop exactly is. Ha ha ha!

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Intended to send that pic to her cp to assure her I did buy it... not sure if the message got through (I haven't sent an MMS before).

Thursday, August 21, 2008

ID Picture day

August 14:

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The SEC exam registration form requires 2 ID pics with "name tags". We wondered if that meant actually wearing or holding a "name tag". Since going to a studio would cost around 100, which includes around 6 pictures or 4 extra pictures we really wouldn't need, we planned to take the pictures in the dealing room using my camera then using petty cash to buy the photo paper.

With Dennis as stand in, we tried having him pose holding a blank piece of paper last week with his name digitally added later.

Vikki went ahead and had her picture taken at a real studio. What the studio gave her is the picture with a small white space below where her name is. Which made things easier.

August 22:

So, last night and today, those who needed IDs lined up to have their pics taken then I added their names digitally this afternoon.

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Not bad, eh?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Long Weekend


July 22, 2008: Why in the world was Jeng knitting in the dealing room?

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  • It's a slow trading day?
  • It's a stressful day and knitting calms her nerves?
  • It's okay because it's PNB's anniversary?
  • It's breaktime?
  • It's past 5PM?
  • She's on a "trading break"?
  • She wants me to take a picture of her that she can show her online knitting buddies?



August 21 marks the anniversary of Ninoy Aquino's assasination, which is why the nearest Monday, August 18, is a holiday.

Spent Saturday doing laundry and reading the first few SEC Rules in the reviewer. Since I bought a 120GB Buffalo ministation last Sunday, I gave one of my old 40GB mobile hard drives to Jon and told him to remove his files from the PC's hard drives. He spent Saturday and Sunday doing that... since it included recovering files from a hard drive that had its FAT (file allocation table) wiped out. I would probably start doing my own file recovery later today ... THEN FINALLY format the whole affected drive.

By Sunday (yesterday), I had gotten tired of reading the reviewer and decided to watch cable TV instead. Step Up's being shown again so I watched it. It is reminiscent of those 80s movies (Flashdance, mostly). Speaking of those 80s movies that borrowed from Flashdance, Cinema One was showing the 1984 flick "14 Gong Steady", and I can't help but note how pretty Nadia Montenegro was. The kid from Disney channel, Selena Gomez, reminds me of her.

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Selena Gomez
Nadia Montenegro

What do you think? I think Nadia was around 11 years old when she did "14 Going Steady". Too bad she got fat after settling down and having kids.

Anyway, the good thing about movies being shown in the daytime is that they're family oriented. My mom and I saw "Secret Garden" for the first time yesterday. It has a lovely story. This morning Star Movies showed "Flicka" ... a little known movie starring Alison Lohman (White Oleander) which is about a girl determined at taming a Mustang she named Flicka.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Something to Cheer About

Gidget, of the secretariat to MART, ACI, and whatever other org in the Philippines connected to those two and bank traders, sent everyone an e-mail this afternoon that had people cheering: SEC agreed to postpone the licensure exams to October.

That's a relief ... the past few days were maddening to those slated to take the exam this August. Rhoda and Dessa have attended review sessions with PDEX, and even invited the PDEX people to PNB to repeat the lecture to everyone else (considering that the sked was 9AM to 12NN ... only the marketing people and the FX bond traders were actually able to leave their desks and attend).

Since the extension of the provisional license applies only if the traders were able to submit their registration for the exam before the original provisional license expires (September?), Dennis was still asking if I was going to take the 1.5" x 2.0" pictures. I declined ...simply because I was busy doing the task he "volunteered" me to do during a meeting last Thursday... the same task that is partly the reason that my forced leave has been postponed indefinitely. Told him he could borrow my camera though.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


My boss told me to postpone my 5-day forced leave that should start tomorrow, but I told Jon that the plan to move the furniture from Manila to Laguna will push through ... which is why we were at the apartment at 9:00 this morning to meet the guys who agreed to lend their 14 feet truck.

The recent flash floods have actually ruined the boxes that held the china we had packed months ago... the bottom part of them anyway. We slowly turned the boxes upside down, and voila ... no need to repack the dishes.

Burglars, who figured they could get anything they want since no one lives in the burned apartment, have stolen the shower heads, faucets, the LPG tank, and even the light switches. Neighbors say the thieves tried to steal the water meter as well. One neighbor said he had gone in and saw that not everything was burned down... that he even had the temerity to go in makes him suspect.

We were done by 10:30 ... even though we had to work through rubble and broken glass. This made me realize how people who rob houses by putting everything in trucks could commit the crime in an hour or two.

We were supposed to get Lola Inang's wardrobe and the old sewing machine, but Tess wouldn't lend us the key to her room. She planned to catch up with us "later"... thinking it would take hours for us to finish the task. In the truck and on the way back to Laguna, Jon called Ma and told her to tell Tess, who was still at home, to not even bother to leave.

Unloading the truck and putting the furniture and boxes in the garage and terrace took less than an hour.

Ma and the rest had already eaten when we arrived, and there was no food left. I was not in the mood to stay put, so after Jon had finished installing the washing machine from Manila at the back, I told him we were eating out for lunch. We ended up eating a Yellow Cab pizza in Makati ... while watching the Mummy movie. I have seen the movie before, but since Jon hadn't and there wasn't any better movie showing, I didn't mind seeing it again.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Entry for August 5, 2008

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shot with SONY ERICSSON P1i

Noticed that some people were unloading boxes last night at the soon-to-open Mercury drugstore at the plaza.

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This morning, anyone passing by could see through the windows that the all the shelves are now well-stocked. That means the store will be opening in the next few days, if not tomorrow. The question now is if they stock the medication my father takes. It would be a boon if they do.


Paid my phone bill today at Glorietta. Wanted to eat pizza afterwards but Yellowcab was full. Walked into Pizzahut Bistro instead and called my brother, who just left the clinic, to join me for dinner just because I don't like to eat at the Bistro alone.

One thing I like about the bistro is that it has more items on the menu compared to a regular Pizzahut restaurant. I am still wondering though if those wine bottles on the table are real, and if anyone has actually opened and paid for a bottle.

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shot with SONY ERICSSON P1i

Monday, August 04, 2008

The circus is in town

While walking to the bus station this morning, I saw something surprising ... the travelling circus is setting up its ferris wheel at the plaza.  It is surprising because 1) the fiesta would be in October (and presumably San Miguel Corp. would be holding another Oktoberfest that hopefully will not clog up the main street with people lining up for beer) and it's only the start of August ... they're way too early; and 2) I know that they used to set up camp in the lot before the town plaza was built ... didn't realize they would still set up camp in the lot in between the buildings.

Took some pics this evening:

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shot with SONY ERICSSON P1i at 2008-08-17

That's the ferris wheel above. Below is the tent where the games and betting tables are:

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shot with SONY ERICSSON P1i at 2008-08-17

Friday, August 01, 2008


Taking pictures with a cellphone camera ... that was what I was doing last night while waiting for the shuttle bus that did not come ... well, I don't know if a shuttle bus did come, I decided to walk to Taft Avenue after almost an hour of waiting.

The buildings in front of PNB FC, which is along D.Macapagal Blvd.:

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shot with SONY ERICSSON P1i

The stairway and ramp leading to the booking office of Philippine Air Lines:


Noticed Rey's PC Monitor is going pink this morning ... and I.T. would rather try fixing it (for the second time) than automatically replace it.

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shot with SONY ERICSSON P1i

General Services finally delivered the photocopies of the SEC review materials this afternoon, and everyone got in line at the combo machine to bind their copies.

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GSD did a good job of making the copies back-to-back when we originally gave them the material printed one page per paper. Budget may be raising questions at the number of people taking the exam all at once (wow, gee ... why don't they ask the people who decided every bond trader in the Philippines should have a SEC license and hold the exam this year?), good thing GSD had no problem processing our request.

Tough Luck

Heavy rains caused flash floods yesterday. Flash floods caused heavy traffic.

I thought that by leaving the office at 8:30PM, I would escape the traffic. Tough luck. All roads in and leading to Makati City were clogged ... and that includes Gil Puyat Ave. The shuttle buses were stuck somewhere between Taft Ave. and Roxas Blvd. By 9PM, I gave up waiting for any one of those buses to return to PNB, so like those that have gone before me, I walked from Diosdado Macapagal Blvd. to Taft Ave.

There was a long line at the BBL station when I got there. Fortunately I didn't wait in line long since the buses were just returning from Laguna ... those that were in line before me were the ones who may have waited for an hour or so.

Once settled inside the bus, I texted Jon to ask how he fared ... poor guy had been waiting for an hour in EDSA for a bus. Told him he could've used the time to watch a movie. He replied that the lines at the movie houses were just as long ... since a lot of people chose to stay at the mall than brave the traffic.

He got on the bus and was on his way home while I was still at the bus station... I was at the end of the line when the buses started coming, so by the time the bus I was on started loading passengers, only a few of us were left.

Before the heavy rains came and this whole mess started, the electric company had scheduled a 11PM power outage to do some repairs on some lines at Pacita. I was hoping they'd postpone it since it was raining. Once again ... no luck there. The repair guys were working on a post by the time the bus arrived at Pacita ... illuminated by the only electric light in that area ... powered by their generator. I had no choice but walk home, depending on car headlights and moonlight to light my path. Jon was already there eating when I got home ... surprised that I got in after midnight when I was already on a bus when he was still waiting for a bus. Hmmph... his bus was already moving along the highway while my bus was still stationary at the station.

After joining the others for a candle lit dinner ... because the power came back only around 6AM today, I lit up candles in my room and just sat on the bed staring at them. I may have spent the time playing the piano or my ukelele if I wasn't feeling tired from all the walking I just did. Anyway, I started to find the fire fascinating and grabbed my camera.

To tell the truth, the flame in that clip got much bigger ... when I tried to blow it out, the flames just swayed and almost touched some cloth .... which may have started a nasty fire. Dumped water on it instead ... the fire crackled and the melted candle started boiling the same way hot oil would when mixed with water ... something I found fascinating after assuring myself that I did NOT stupidly burn the house down.

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