Tuesday, October 28, 2008


... that I am getting older

- Account executives from hotels address you as Ma’am.

Executives from local companies tell you to address them by their first name

 The age of your boss is not so far from yours

-  You know a bit too much where to find files and the stories behind stories in your office

- You are using “opo/oho” to a lesser number of people

- There seems to be an increasing number of kids calling you “ate”

-  More frequent visits to the doctor

- You need to go to the gym more often to stretch those bones and muscles

-  You are becoming interested in anti-aging creams

- You start thinking if you should brave the rain. 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I grew up with his music...

Gary V. (Valenciano) is so familiar to us Filipinos. I grew up with his music. Many of his songs were played during our "dances" in high school. I remember "Sana'y maulit muli," "Dina Natuto," and "Narito."  But what i really love are his songs about God's faithfulness in our lives. Such as "Letting go," Take me out of the dark," and "Lead me, Lord."

- Take me out of the dark - 

- Lead me, Lord - 

- Letting go - 

Friday, October 24, 2008


The only thing I hate about traveling is that it makes me think. A lot. Almost 24 hours of air travel gives one a lot of thought time. Living in a hotel room for a week with no company but a television speaking in a foreign language does not leave you with many options. A metro ride to and from your training area, surrounded with unknown faces, automatically shifts you to contemplating. Either that or to talking to God. But then, I talk to Him about the things that are making me think.


So what is wrong about letting your mind take a walk? Because it has the tendency to dash here and there freely and then run uncontrollably toward unchartered territories or thorn-filled forests. Or to fly high with unlikely dreams and then immediately plunge into gloomy doubts.


Music can also do this to me. The same for movies which can create illusions about love and success. The machine which rolls out wonders and hopes is the same one that discloses betrayals and broken homes.


It is good that I am not always on the road. That there is music that celebrates the glory of God. That there are movies that leave you just laughing so hard. And that at the end of each day, though I still spend a few minutes thinking, I can speak to Him and take my needed repose.

(I just watched Nights of Rodanthe: Richard Gere and Diane Lane)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Convergence 2008 : Influencing the Marketplace

Convergence 2008
Influencing the Marketplace

November 29 to December 1, 2008
Caliraya Recreation Center
Barangay Lewin, Lumban Laguna

For more information, please contact:
Ms. Espie Coronel : 0908 224 3699
Ms. Malou Tiu : 0917 532 2092
or email us at : makatiinfluencers@yahoo.com

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


There are things and people that come into your life and then suddenly, they disappear. And you wonder why. What is the purpose of encountering them if like a bubble, they burst into nothing?

The answer? So that these things could help you grow. Through the journey of life, we meet thousands of these kinds. And all one can do is to remember them. And most importantly, to learn from them. You never know, one day soon, when you meet them again or experience it again, you are a better person to handle the situation.

Good-bye. I learned a lot.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

WATCH: MP3 : Musikang Pinoy Plus, Palabas

A collaboration between top Filipino musicians and the ANINO Shadowplay Collective, MP3: Musikang Pinoy Plus, Palabas! is an invitation to celebrate timeless classics in Philippine music. Rekindle the passion for the sentimental kundiman, relive the most unforgettable Pinoy movie themes, and be inspired by compositions of Filipino masters. Against a backdrop of striking visuals in light and shadow, experience powerful and lyrical vocal and instrumental renditions sure to rouse and soothe the Pinoy heart and soul.

October 26, 2008, Sunday, 3:00 pm
Philamlife Theater
UN Ave., Ermita, Manila

Featured artists:

ALFONSO "Coke" BOLIPATA (violin)
Segundo Vasquez (guitar)
Alexis Edralin (soprano) 
Conrad Dondi Ong (tenor)

with Philippine High School for the Arts alumni

Naomi Sison (soprano)
Gemma Malicdem (piano)
Harold Galang (piano)
Miguel Castro (piano)
GJ Herman Gomez (flute)
Jonathan Arevalo Coo (piano)

and the ANINO Shadowplay Collective

Orchestra P800.00
Loge P500.00
(Student prices at P600.00 and P300.00)

For ticket inquiries, contact 

09228226501 (Hazel)
09193671910 (Wilford)
09153097123 (Kim)

or e-mail mp3benefit@gmail.com

MP3: Musikang Pinoy Plus, Palabas! is a benefit concert for the PHSA Ibarang Alumni Association 'Alumni Assistance Fund' and PHSA Batch '94 alumni Christine Ely Nuevo-Diego (under treatment for acute promyelocytic leukemia) and Juanito Torres (for his 3-month-old baby girl Johani Hope, born with gastroschisis). 

brought to you in part by

For more info, please visit: www.mp3show.multiply.com

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Home sweet home

After 16 days of traveling, I am finally back home. I am happy even though tomorrow, I will once again go back to the same old routine. Read newspapers, answer emails, talk with my boss, chatter with friends, eat my packed lunch, brave the bus ride, breathe the polluted air and listen to the noise of Manila. There is comfort in our routine.

I will post pictures during the week (here's to having a fast internet connection!!!). But just now, I savor the fact that I am typing on my bulky laptop while seated on my bed, listening to familiar music, eating rice and savoring the quiet of the night. 

Again just for me, I totally did not get any sleep during the flight home. Watched four movies (Get Smart, Hulk, Fool's Gold and Phantom of the Opera). I was awake for more than 24 hours!

I just so love KLM and the individual tvs, the roving stewardess who bring water or juice throughout the night, the available chocolates for those who are hungry, for hot noodles in the middle of the night, for filling meals (yeah, airport meals might not be the French cuisine but still, they taste good), for middle aisle seats near the lavatories, for the warm wool blanket and pillow, for the adjustable headrest. They should pay me for giving them a good review! 

I thank God for the protection He gave me while traversing six cities in three countries.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Missing Manila

Yup, I am in the South of France. Marseille last Saturday and Nimes for the whole day of Sunday. And 3 days in Istres. All of these cities are interesting to see. But of course, home is different.

In Paris, I realized that I am glad I am a Filipina. For many reasons that I might discuss in a future blog. I am glad that I have in the Philippines, the land of smiles and the sun.

And I decided one thing... not again, until...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Do not read. This is just for me.

Sunday: Arrived in Paris. Weather is better. Not as cold. Left my things at the hotel and went to the house of a Filipino couple. I met ate Rose to get my euros. Delicious Filipino dinner : squid, fish and rice.

Monday: Interesting melange of trainees. I was seated beside a Lebanese from Kuwait. His bagages got lost in the system. Lunch was delicious. From entree, main course, dessert to coffee. And paid for by the headoffice! Went to Place d'Italie to look for an adaptor. It was so expensice! P700! It was only P30 pesos in Manila. Dinner was fun with Merns at St. Michel. Talked all night while eating pizza and pasta.

Tuesday: Training all day. Was so sleepy! Had a sandwich for lunch. It was nice to get to know Christy from Taiwan. Dinner was wonderful with Myr, an Algerian friend. I last saw her 6 or 7 years ago. I missed her curls. Over kir and rissotto, we remembered the people from our office (from my previous work). A mixture of English and French all night.

Wednesday: Trade show which meant that we didn't need to wake up too early. Standing almost all day. Mussels for lunch. And a big ice cream dessert. Topped with whipped cream and raspberries. Again, delicious. Christy and I bought some food from the grocery. Ate them at her hotel room and talked about our offices. Interesting to know that we share the same faith.

Thursday: Busy day. Started early and ended later than usual. Lunch was only for 30 minutes. Got lost in trying to find the place of a former trainee. It was the night for snails, pizza, salad and cheese bread (forgot the French term). Played Wii for the first time! (Golf and bowling). Had an enjoyable night.

Friday: Still a busy day. Learned a lot. Got to know my co-traineed better. Said goodbbye to the organizers (gave them some dried mangoes from Manila). Went to Rambuteau area to visit Hillsong Paris. Got lost again. Falling arch (foot cramps). Sadly, there was no service that night. Went to Gare de Lyon to see where I am supposed to catch my train. Started to pack.

Now: Breakfast was buffet. Cheese, bread, tea, peach jam, egg, and orange juice. In a few minutes, I will leave this hotel (Lux Hotel Picpus) that I have called my home for a few days. Goodbye Paris. Hello South of France!

Friday, October 10, 2008

French food

It is not easy to eat baguette. It can be painful for your teeth. Especially if you only have 25 minutes to eat a 12-inch bread. Chicken, ham, tuna, mozarella, etc, Take your pick.

Mussels. That was what I ate for lunch last wednesday. My colleagues said that it is famous. I was glad to try it. Plus large real french fries. I missed the rice that usually accompanies it in Manila. Surprisingly, it was filling. But then, they were chuncky mussels.

I ate nectarine for the first time (I think) two nights ago. They look like apples but they are soft on the inside. Juicy, sweet and filling!

Rissotto with large shrimps. So rich that I was not able to finish it all. Almost cloying.

To get back at me, the French girl I convinced to eat balut told our friend in France to feed me snails when I meet here. They were delicious! They were baked in persil (in English?), garlic and olive oil. May I say that I am adventureous?

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Little tips from Paris

Using the escalator? Stay at the right side. The left side is meant for those who are on a rush and choose to still walk up or down the escalator.

The metro has movable chairs (like cinema seats). If it is full, you have to, you have to stand up so that there would be more space for those who are standing. If you don't, you might hear a thing or two from the passengers.

Buying some stuff from the grocery store? Bring your own plastic bag. They are for sale. By the way, you also pack in the stuff that you just bought.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Enjoying Paris

I have come to appreciate the metro system in Paris. I think that it is the best one in the world (at least, among the places I visited so far). Once you understand how it works, it is so easy to follow. My favorite metro line is no. 6. It brings me right to my hotel, to the training area and to various touristic sights I want to visit. And maps are given free and available everywhere! So tourist friendly. I just wish that it is also true for the prices.

I had a P900 ($20) pizza last night. That is expensive considering that a normal pizza in Manila is around P400. Tonight, I had shrimp risotto for P1400 ($30?) and a glass of champagne for P800 ($18). Yesterday's lunch was fully French that might be around P3500 ($80?). The great thing about all these? I didn't pay for them! The lunch was a welcome treat from the headoffice. The first dinner was a filipina friend's treat. And the one tonight was from an Algerial girl I used to work with in Manila. God really provides! Greatly delicious!

I wish I did not forget my umbrella in Manila. I wish I did not forget the umbrella i just borrowed from a Filipino friend. I wish it was not raining. Wishes... and so got caught in the rain. I love the rain. But not when I do not have an umbrella! Yet, I am not complaining. The French are used to walking under the rain. I just hope I won't bring home another cold strain.

An international gathering again. Let me list down the cities we come from: Manila (that's me!), Kuwait, Taipei, Canton, Moscow, Dusseldorf (I hope the spelling is correct!), Tel Aviv, Ontario, Johannesburg, Lima, Toronto, Caracas, Tunis, etc. It is interesting to talk to them all.

It is so unfair! They speak French so well! But then, they are French. O well, they can't beat me in Tagalog and English (not applicable to everyone).

I know it is cold and it is hard to take a bath. Some may choose not to wash their hair for a day or two. But what if the hair looks like it hasn't seen water for at leastt a week or two? Does that mean that the same is true for the body? Just do not breath. Or at least face the window and let the fresh air drive away unwanted odors. And wish that the next metro stop would be the destination of the person beside you.

Red toilettes (restroom) with violet toilet bowls. One and a half foot by three feet elevator. One and a half by one and a half foot shower area. Ground floor is 0 while 2nd floor is the 1st floor.

How come there seemed to be more good-looking guys and girls this time? Hmmm...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Cold in Brussels

I never really thought about the weather conditions in Brussels. I just thought that it is somehow similar to that of France. So I was ill-prepared when I arrived at the airport and was welcomed by rain and strong winds! I was literally shaking because I was so cold. My coat was still inside my checked-in luggage! And the possibilitty that we would walk in the open to go to the airplane (a bus brought us to the loading area) never crossed my mind! Just one of those experiences.

Brussels is a small city. I think it only has three metro lines (Paris has 13 or 14, plus the city rails). I decided to just focus on two areas since I had limited time. The Atomium and Mini Europe area, and the Grand Central area. I am to say that I was able to find the "must-see" places even without a map! This happens when you did not prepare for your side trip!

I saw so many chocolates stores and entered shops of beers. I saw the statue of pissing boy (pictures when I get back). I ate a panini while looking at buildings. I basically just walked and walked until I got tired. And took a lot of pictures and only had one my own taken.

Saturday night saw me inside an Irish pub. I met around ten new people. The interesting thing was that not one among us was Belge! There were Bulgarians, a German, a Polish and several Italians (and two other people whose nationality I did not hear). It was interesting to exchange stories about how we got there. What I found so "international" about the situation was one Bulgarian was working in Macedenia for a Chinese company. He is in Brussels togetehr with his girlfriend who is studying in Netherlands. It was a fun albeit a smoky night.

I had a short yet a wonderful time in Brussels. What made it more meaningful was the kindness of this Bulgarian couple who became my friends while they were in Manila. And here, halfway around the world, we just laughed, talked about the international business situation, and planned to see each other again somewhere (either in Asia or Prague) someday.

Lion Chaser Manifesto

Quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. Set God-sized goals. Pursue God-ordained passions. Go after a dream that is destined to fail without divine intervention. Keep asking questions. Keep making mistakes. Keep seeking God. Stop pointing out problems and become part of the solution. Stop repeating the past and start creating the future. Stop playing it safe and start taking risks. Expand your horizons. Accumulate experiences. Enjoy the journey. Find every excuse you can to celebrate everything you can. Live like today is the first day and last day of your life. Don't let what's wrong with you keep you from worshiping what's right with God. Burn sinful bridges. Blaze new trails. Criticize by creating. Worry less about what people think and more about what God thinks. Don't try to be who you're not. Be yourself. Laugh at yourself. Quit holding out. Quit holding back. Quit running away.

Chase the lion.

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson (www.evotional.com)