Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pia's Visit

Pia and her husband are in the Philippines for a visit and she decided to drop by the Treasury Dealing Room. They'll go back to Singapore within the week.

Pia Llena's visit

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How much does a 6day, 5night trip to St. Petersburg cost?

The local headlines got me wondering about how much money a person would need for a trip to Russia.

Let's say you are leaving Manila on Oct. 27, a Monday and coming back on Nov. 1, a Saturday.

If you fly Singapore Airlines, business class, you would be paying a round-trip ticket fare of USD 3,935.11 or using the airline's current conversion rate of 0.77, EUR 3,030.03. If you decide to take your spouse with you, that would be USD 7,870.22 or EUR 6,060.07.

Say you decide not to take chances and get a 5-star hotel at the St. Petersburg area. How about booking a room at the Hotel Astoria for five nights? With the spouse in tow, you get a Deluxe double room for USD 2,250 or EUR 1,750. Free daily breakfast is included in the package you got.

This far, the trip already cost you and your spouse USD 10,120.22 or EUR 7,810.07.

But you wouldn't pay all that amount in Russia. You would be paying for the plane fare in Manila, and if you haven't paid for the hotel via an agency, then you would be bringing at least USD 2,250 or EUR 1,750 for your hotel room.

For the sake of erring on the safe side, let's assume that transfers, seminar registration fee, shopping, tours and meals other than breakfast would be worth thrice the 5-star hotel room rate for 5 nights = USD 6,750 or EUR 5,250.

This means that a budget of USD 9,000 or EUR 7,000 would probably be enough for two people to travel to and stay comfortably in Moscow.

And if you did spend it there, you wouldn't be bringing it all back. Assuming your company paid for your stay, you would still be paying for the spouse. So roughly, you would be bringing back only half the said amount.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tullett Prebon Cocktail Party

Tullett Prebon hosted a cocktail party last night at Fiesta San Miguel in Dusit Thani Hotel in Makati. Beer and iced tea were free-flowing. Left around 10PM. Heard from Rey that the young ones stayed way past midnight.


Tullett Prebon Cocktail Party

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Morning Ghost?

Jan usually comes to the office early. This morning, she saw the reflection of a lady with no feet on the dealing room door. She's putting it down as a ghost encounter.

This would give credence to the speculation that the building ghosts roam freely on Tuesdays and Fridays ... and this encounter means they don't wait until evening.

He he.

Friday, October 10, 2008


The first bus I rode on the way back home had a flat tire along the highway near Villamor Air Base/Fort Bonifacio. I think it was a flat tire since I could hear a whooshing sound.

One of those trucks whose business is to assist stranded vehicles on the highway (for a fee ofcourse) stopped by. After some minutes - and I gather that the driver, conductor and the truck people have given up on fixing what was wrong - the driver climbed back into the bus and announced that the truck will tow the bus back to the terminal where we would transfer to another bus.

Those who didn't want to go back to the terminal got off the bus and tried their luck in getting on another bus that might stop by. Others like me didn't mind going back and transferring to another bus. Then there are those people who were asleep and didn't hear the announcement. The driver then stepped off the bus and one of the guys from the towing company took the wheel.

The truck had already towed us as far as Pasay Road when a lady at the back found out where we were headed and started a racket about not informing the passengers about what was going on. I am guessing she just woke up. Her racket woke the other passengers who were also asleep when the bus driver made his announcement. The newly awake passengers joined the racket, giving the towtruck guy a headache. One of the funny statements I heard came from lady #1 who questioned the decision to turn back when we were allegedly already in Alabang. Either she doesn't know her geography or her eyes had trouble discerning the landmarks in the dark. I almost spoke up to correct her wrong statements, but decided I didn't want to be on the receiving end of an aggravated person I don't even know.

This yapping goes on until we reach the bus terminal. As I waited my turn to get off the bus, lady #1 passed by me, holding a big box of cake. It was seeing the box that made me realize that the reason she might be very pissed off has a lot to do with the cake - is she running late to a party? Or if the party is not tonight, is the cake icing already melting?

When we got onto the second bus, there was another problem. No one from the bus company made the announcement to the passengers to keep our bus tickets. Since 1/3 of the passengers on our bus had left when the driver announced that we will be towed back to the terminal, 1/3 of the passengers on the replacement bus therefore were new and hadn't paid yet. When the supervisor started inspecting tickets of the transferees, those who left their tickets in bus #1 started complaining. To get the people off his back, the supervisor chose to give the driver the go signal to start the engine and leave - which meant 1/3 of the passengers got a free ride this evening.

The whole ordeal would be considered a hassle by most, I on the other hand found it amusing.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Ghost Sighting

Learned that Rey thinks he saw a female ghost in the dealing room Friday night. Joey didn't turn his head to look at it but he felt the chill in the air and got goosebumps.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

US Embassy Bazaar

Bee, her sister Eleanore, and their sis-in-law Rowie went to the US Embassy Bazaar held at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. Bee invited me to tag along and I said I'd meet there at the WTC.

Arrived there 1 1/2 hours before closing time, and after going around, I just ended up buying a t-shirt for myself and machang for my dad - as it is one of his favorite food and one doesn't always come across a store selling it unless you live in Chinatown.

Saw this nativity scene and thought of Jeng's projects.

Hitched a ride with Bee and her folks to Glorietta. On the way there we ended up playing some sort of guess that 80s song since the radio station was tuned in to a station playing 80s the whole afternoon.

Passed by the Food Court to buy a whole chicken from the Savory stall ... I already am bringing home machang for my dad, so I thought I might as well buy some Savory chicken for the rest of the folks.

National Book Store was on the way to the bus station and I found myself buying Brisingr and Stardust.

When I got back home, I learned that Edith had visited Papa before going to the airport and leaving for California. She brought an aircon unit which her nephew Edwin promised to have installed in Papa's room within the week.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Today's Dose of Randomness

Learned that Edith is in the Philippines. She texted Jon that she is in town and they met at the condo she bought at Global City that she's now fixing up before putting it up for rent.

ACI/MART/TOAP/IHAP General Assembly tonight at the Hotel Intercon in Makati as usual. Guest speaker was BSP Gov. Tetangco.

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Met Jon at the Intercon lobby after his meeting with Edith. I think she brought up the issue of the properties.

Decided to watch the last full show of Eagle Eye before going home.

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