Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tradition Brokers tour the PNB gym

Mica, John and the swap desk brokers dropped by after 5PM carrying some sandwiches for the the PNB dealing room to generally just hang out with the PNB spot and swap traders. Rey gave them a brief tour of the PNB gym.

Boring Day

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What to do when the USD/PHP has been on the 48.12 - 13 level for about an hour...and there's less than 30 minutes before the PDS market closes.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Temporary Black Boxes

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IT did some upgrading last weekend w/o our brokers ... result? 3 out of 4 squawk boxes were down and it's one of those days we get to appreciate these "antique" phones that are lying around... I used local lines to contact the brokers, left the speaker on... voila! makeshift broker boxes. Keeping the line open after leaving an order is tricky: hold the line, replace the receiver, retrieve the line.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

San Miguel Premium All Malt Beer

Was at the supermarket tonight and as I was deciding on whether to buy canned softdrinks or not, I saw this:

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If I hadn't stopped in front of it, I wouldn't even know it existed because 1) I don't like beer and 2) I haven't seen any ad or commercial for the San Miguel Premium All Malt Beer.

Transformers Fans

Was chatting with my cousin Jean on fb.  Next thing we know we were making plans to watch a movie in Makati.  I dragged Jon along.  Funny thing was, Jean and I haven't met in person before. :-)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Hand Sanitizers

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Everybody's afraid of getting the flu or SARS virus these days.  The PNB Financial Center has followed the other establishments in installing hand sanitizers at every floor. 

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bus Stop Line

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Heavy traffic means the buses take longer to return from Manila.  It also translates to a very long line at our stop.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Visit to Adie

Adie was confined at the Manila Doctors Hospital after going for surgery.

A number of us in the dealing room visited her today.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mothers' Day

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Someone gave away roses to all ladies last Friday because of Mothers' Day.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


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One of the traps caught a rat last night. It's a big one.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Sunday Breakfast

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Champorado with Tuyo.  A Filipino breakfast.  Only this one's not made of rice.  It's oatmeal.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Esme's Despedida

The PNB Treasury held a despedida lunch at HK Chef for Esme. She availed of last year's early retirement program.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


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Bought some mangoes from Boss Dan. They were delivered today.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Dartboard's Here

When the year started, we in the FX group started to collect PHP10 for every deal that has to be reversed. We increased the penalty to PHP20 in March. By the first week of April, we had collected a total of about PHP600.

We decided to use the money to buy a dart board. I asked Boss Mon if it was okay for us to install a dart board and he said yes as long we don't play during work hours.

I asked Rey to look around and said the good ones cost at least PHP1,000. I told him I'd contribute PHP500 since I wasn't able to give a real Christmas gift to the group last December, then if what he buys cost more than the pot money, we'd divide the balance equally by 5.

He had the dart board this Monday and we asked the carpenters to install it on this post.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Labahita ala Bacalao ala Vizcayna

One food I look forward to eating every Lenten season is what we at home simply refer to as "bacalao". Technically it is Bacalao ala Vizcayna, but since bacalao is either expensive or hard to find, we use daing na labahita. We use the recipe my father brought from his home province of Cavite.

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By jingfrey73, shot with DSC-W70

Spanish olive oil like Borges is the best to use when eating this: apart from cooking the fish and sauce with olive oil, we also pour a little olive oil on top before eating bacalao. I recommend Spanish olive oil because I have tried other kinds and they just don't have the right taste that will complement the dish - they are usually bland and I am used to strong flavored olive oil.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

MIAS 2009

Bee and her brother have been talking on facebook about going to the Manila International Auto Show (MIAS) that I thought of going there with Jon who likes cars ... sort of a birthday gift to him.

As usual, after Jon and I had taken pictures of the cars, Jon would "hunt" down the sexy models and ask me to take a picture of him with them. I think one of them appeared in FHM. The clip below are my pictures of the cars.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

My 2009 Birthday

Went to work yesterday instead of going on birthday leave. The brokers, who make it a habit to send something to traders for birthdays, had to ask if I was going on leave or not. Hahaha! They know I usually take by birthday leave on my birthday. Only Tradition asked me what day I wanted them to send the food.

Tullett Prebon sent a bouquet of flowers and a Sugarhouse cake.
ICAP sent a chocolate cake, pancit, and barbecue.
Amstel sent a suckling pig with dinuguan.

Adie had her picture taken beside the suckling pig...to add to her collection of pictures of lechon.

Unexpected were the CDs Gelyn of Amstel gave me... didn't think that when I commented on facebook that I lost my Alanis Morisette CD, Gelyn would buy me another one. The movie soundtrack CD should have been for "Now and Then" if she found a copy, since I also mentioned that I liked the movie and its soundtrack.

When I got home last night, my sister Tessie gave me a Goldilocks cake and some roses.

Tradition sent a mix of Japanese and Korean food today which we ate for lunch.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The PNB Gym

Peeked into the PNB Gym at the 10th floor last week with Dennis, Rey and Adie. It wasn't finished yet.

Checked out the PNB gym with Ted and Joey this afternoon. This time, it was operational.

I like.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The IRS Seminar

Baiphil is sponsoring a series of seminars on Treasury topics. Yesterday was the seminar on Interest Rate Swaps.

The speaker was okay. I had problems during exercises though since I was seated at the back and he used small fonts on the exercise pages.

I did feel sleepy at some point... but the good thing about being at the back was that I was close to the coffee station.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friday Night

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Last night was ACI Dealers Night at Capone's Bistro at A. Venue Mall in Makati. Stayed there for an hour or two, slipped out with Dottie, Jeff and Liza, had coffee at the nearbyCoffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and waited for Jon to get of the clinic so we could watch Watchmen before going home. Since the movie started 10PM, I think we got home around 2AM this morning.

Friday, March 06, 2009

What Sally sent home

Francia texted me yesterday asking when she could bring over the stuff, and the suitcase they came in, that my sister Sally sent home. I told her I'd meet her at the PNB lobby this morning.

When I met Francia, lo and behold... she pulls out a big suitcase from her car's trunk.

After dragging the trunk to the dealing room, I opened it. Inside are a handful of photo albums that Francia had brought to California for Sally, which Sally returned. With it are used wallets, 2 cellphones, a mini DVD player, and a discman - stuff that Sally probably does not need anymore but figures we could use.

I think the only thing new in the suitcase is the collectible box of Victoria's Secret scents... and Sally is the one who collects these kind of boxes, not me.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Dennis' Dinner Treat

Dennis treating people out to dinner is a rare occurrence that one should say yes coz one doesn't know when he'd ask again.

Dennis decided to spend his first few paychecks at his new job by treating the treasury people out to dinner by batches. Last night, he invited Gene, Ronald, Esme, Liza, Marti, Rhoda, Malu, Adie, Rey and me to Harbor View Bistro located at San Mig by the Bay within the SM Mall of Asia compound in Pasay City.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Adie's pearl necklace

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By jingfrey73, shot with SONY ERICSSON P1i at 2009-04-26
Rey tried on Adie's pearl necklace and proved to her that he doesn't have such a big neck that the necklace would break.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ending up in Glorietta

I planned to follow up the PhilHealth papers at St. Luke's today but ended up taking time looking for alternative ways to go to Batanes because Zest Air had indefinitely postponed its Basco flights.

It was already 5pm when I got to Makati so instead of continuing north to Quezon City, I just stayed at the mall and waited for Jon to get out of the clinic.

Checked out Glorietta 5 which is only half occupied as the other establishments slated to transfer there have not finished with carpentry and/or interior decoration.  All the restaurants are located near the windowed walls, and the other establishments are on the inside.  This means that most restaurants on the upper floors have seats at the balcony or deck.

The side facing Glorietta 4 has a nice view of the mall:
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Zooming in, see those people clustered on the balcony of Glorietta 4 (picture below) ?
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That's the smoking area. He he he.

PNB Treasury Dinner

For one reason or another, the boss had the marketing people arrange a dinner for the whole sector.  Dottie booked a function room at the Saisaki restaurant, where majority of us headed after office hours.

We all had dinner first, then the parlor games started.

The first game had each of us picking half of a heart from a plastic jar, then when everyone had their halves in hand, we had to look for the person holding the other half to make the heart whole.  The first couple to go to the front and sing a love song gets a prize.

Funny thing was, when the hearts were formed, there was no male-female couple.  Some didn't even have partners.  For a brief moment, the party could be mistaken for a gay and lesbian gathering.  Ha ha ha!  Dottie decided to give a prize for the first two female couples and the first two male couples.  All four couples had to sing.

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The next parlor game was "How well do you know your boss", where the group heads and boss mon were seated at the back row while their staff (?) are seated in front.  Shayne was the one chosen to sit in the chair in front of me, and we weren't that good especially if I myself do not have an answer to some of their questions ... like - if I don't have a favorite love song, how the hell could one expect Shayne to know what it is? He he he.  Che and Tita Esther won that round.

The next parlor game was "hep hep...hooray!".  You guessed it, the party organizers got it from the ABS CBN noontime show.  Marti won the first round.  Lenny won the second round.

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The last game was "How well do you know your friend".  Part of the game is recorded below.

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One of the funniest moments came from that game.  Some people in the audience would whisper hints to the contestants.  So when Gene had to guess what Pam is most afraid of, someone hummed the theme from Spiderman. Instead of writing "spiders" which is the correct answer, he answered "men".  Everybody had a good laugh at that.

Dottie rented a videoke for the night, but it was barely used.  Marti sang a couple of songs during dinner, and a couple of people sang before the party was ended since the restaurant was closing.

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Photos taken last night:

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Tomorrow's Valentine's Day, and some people were in the mood for celebrating.

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Boss Mon gave a rose to every lady in the dealing room.  Malu gave out chocolate roses.

I ate the chocolate rose but I didn't want to bring the rose home.  Ted asked if he could have it instead.  I told him to go ahead and bring it home to his girlfriend or mother, or whoever he was planning to give it to.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bringing My Dad Home and Getting Sick

I started coughing badly Saturday, and by Sunday I had fever. I wasn't feeling well when I went to work Monday.

When I went to St. Luke's Monday evening to handle paying the bills, I was so sick that I was in a bad mood... worse than in previous days when the hospital's slow pace would drive me nuts.

We hired the same ambulance that drove my dad to the hospital. The driver arrived wearing a polo barong and slacks ... which was when I realized he may actually have a regular 8 to 5 job and drove the barangay ambulance as a volunteer. Ha ha ha!

We got home around 1:00 this morning.

I took another sick leave today. My brother says I got flu.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Get Well Baskets

When I went on leave because of my dad's hospitalization, I told Rey to not bother telling the brokers.  Well, Prebon and ICAP were so insistent that Rey called me the other day and begged me to please tell him my dad's name and hospital room number so that the brokers will stop nagging.  I gave him the details because Rey's predicament amused me and I felt sorry for the guy.

Prebon sent my dad a basket of flowers with apples.

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ICAP sent a basket of assorted fruits.

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The photos were taken by Jon.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

Update on my Dad

Jon thought Papa had pneumonia when he agreed that Papa should be brought to a hospital, where tests will confirm whether he is correct or not.

When I bugged Jon last Feb. 4 to ask the hospital what they thought Papa's sickness was since Mama did not bother to ask, a resident confirmed that the diagnosis was pneumonia.

My dad could actually go home but he wanted his teeth checked and extracted ... he had been putting off going to the dentist for years, afraid that his heart condition would complicate a tooth extraction, that the only place he is comfortable with a dentist is a hospital. My uncle said he'd talk to a dentist in the hospital and schedule an appointment.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

A Note on KFC Salads

KFC happened to be the only restaurant near St. Luke's that was still open around midnight so my brother and I passed by for dinner before heading home.

I ordered a salad and when they delivered it, I saw that the lettuce leaves weren't fresh anymore and requested for a replacement.

The person the server took the salad to made a gesture of coughing into the salad and she probably thought she was being funny.  I didn't care though as long as they replace the salad they gave me.

When they finally delivered the salad to our table, I ate part of the toppings then started turning the leaves over.

Guess what ... I still saw leaves with reddish brown edges.  Worse, they may be the same leaves I saw earlier.

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Needless to say I did not finish the salad.

I won't be eating salad in KFC again.


Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Bringing my Dad to the Hospital

Papa had fever and chills last Sunday.  When he still had fever Monday afternoon, I told mom that maybe we should bring him to a hospital.  I was thinking the nearest one, which was San Pedro Doctors Hospital.  However, when my dad heard that he will be brought to the hospital, he began to insist to be brought to St. Luke's Medical Center... which by the way is in Quezon City, a place north of Manila while we live south of Manila.

Ofcourse I know he wants to be brought there because my Uncle Totoy is a doctor in that hospital (given his age, he's probably more busy being its Assistant Medical Director for Professional Services and incumbent Chair of its Institutional Ethics Review Board, or IERB, instead of attending to patients everyday).  My first problem was finding an ambulance to take him there at a late hour.  My mom waited for me or Jon to arrive from work instead of making calls and packing stuff to be brought to the hospital. We left the huose after 11PM and got to St. Luke's before 12:30AM ... the trip was fast because traffic was VERY light.

Although Jon called Uncle Totoy before leaving the house, we still had to follow procedure and check Papa in through the emergency room.  It was 1:30AM yesterday when we finally checked Papa into a room.  Needless to say, I took a leave yesterday and today.  I this morning updating my brothers and sisters abroad through mail, then I'll spend the afternoon inquiring about PhilHealth benefits, paying bills and ofcourse, withdrawing money.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Tita Es, Malu and I all hitched a ride with Boss Jun on the way to the BNP Paribas lunch presentation at Makati Shangri-La, and as I was sitting at the back, all I could think about is how weird it is that these days, one ends up sitting on a seat that's full of wires inside.  It's almost like sitting on an electric chair except that the electricity goes to the TV, the speaker, and other push buttons one finds on a car seat.

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

NIght Out with Sam and Jon

Sam happened to be free yesterday afternoon, and since we haven't seen each other for weeks, we decided to meet in Mall of Asia.  After eating dinner, we decided to walk at the Esplanade, also known as San Miguel by the Bay.  This is where the night life that used to be along Roxas Boulevard migrated after Mayor Lim shut down the Manila Baywalk establishments.

Sam and I saw a henna tattoo stall and she decided to have one.  She predictable chose a scorpion.  I refused to get one myself and just waited for the artist to finish painting the henna tattoo on her arm.

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When we've walked half of the Esplanade, we took a rest along the breakwater and I texted Jon to ask if he has nothing to do and if he would like to join us.  He said yes, so we listened to a band while waiting for him to arrive.

When Jon arrived at around midnight, we walked the length of the Esplanade again.

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We realized that the bars catering to groups of friends on a night out were located nearer to Roxas Boulevard, while the restaurants catering to families and parties of a more sedate kind were on the other side - which is also the area where the 'seaside dampa' restaurants are.

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Dampa restaurants happen to specialize in seafood where the customers can shop and choose the ingredients then tell the cooks what dish they want to eat using said ingredients.

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Around 12:30 this morning, Sam decided to head for home. Jon and I walked around a bit then I got thirsty.  We stepped into Eskimo Bob, which is owned by the same group that run Icebergs, and ended up also ordering ice cream and some chicken and chips.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Loving Chocolate

The balikbayan boxes Edith and Willy sent from California finally arrived this last weekend.  I didn't mind that most of the stuff there were for Papa, Mama and Tessie ... as long as I get this huge block of Belgian black chocolate.

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I love black chocolate, even more so when it's Belgian chocolate.

Monday, January 05, 2009

McDonald's Coupons

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When I bought my newspaper this morning, the vendor lady told me there is a promo today.  I then found it odd that the paper has some sort of red jacket.

Turning to the back of the jacket, I realized that it was a sheet of coupons.

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Saturday, January 03, 2009

Comfort Food

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This our version of Calandracas ... that soup from the province of Cavite, which we prepare for Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.  There's nothing like a hot hearty soup to warm you up during the cold of midnight.  Cavitenos traditionally eat Calandracas during New Year's Eve, but I like it so much that we've included Christmas Eve as an occasion to cook the said dish.

There was enough left over ingredients to cook another batch, so we had Calandracas again yesterday.  Yum!

A good blogpost of the origins and the preparation of the said dish is by Ige Ramos at http://igeramos.multiply.com/journal/item/61/Calandracas

It is in Tagalog though, so if you don't understand the language, you'd need a translator.

Our preparation of Calandracas has some differences from Ige's recipe.  Whenever it's hard to find pata de hamon in nearby wet markets or supermarkets, we use chorizo instead.  We tend to use kinchay because it has more taste than the regular celery.  We also do not use chicken liver, beef liver, pumpkin, macaroni or onions.  I suspect we've kinda meshed together Calandracas and Caldo de Gallego in our version of the soup.

At lunch today, I rummaged through the ref and saw there's some more chorizo, a couple of eggs, and some kinchay in the crisper.  I decided to make fried rice. 

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