Nuffnang

Friday, October 06, 2017

And my laptop's wallpaper says...

























Getting ready for my next big move. I know that this quote has been slaughtered many times by the smart ones out there but it gave me so much hope today. Thank you, Les Brown.

May the universe be on my side.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

OK Cafe & The Chattahoochee River Trail


A dear friend, Monica B, took me to lunch at OK Cafe yesterday. Oh Southern cooking is the bomb! Here's my gigantic Country Steak. According to Monica, this steak is cooked Southern style --- so it's like Southern fried chicken but you have to swap chicken for juicy steak. This meal came with a free corn muffin (imagine our Kenny Rogers Roasters' muffin on steroids) and two sides. I chose Waldorf salad and black-eyed peas.

On the right side of the photo, you will see the killer southern pimento cheese spread served with crackers. My Filipino readers, it did not taste like Cheez Whiz pimento at all. At all!






























While I was fighting the southern food coma, Monica asked me for any place in Atlanta that I'd like to visit. Now, I'm a simple, poor, girl, with simple dreams. So. Lakeside hike. Monica, the learned traveler, gracious host, and skilled tour guide, immediately knew where to go. Apparently, she frequently visits the Chattahoochee River Trail.

The nature park does not require visitors to pay entrance fees. They only ask for parking fees and dear Monica has some sort of annual membership card, so she did not need to pay.

I will not attempt to describe the beautiful place. Here are some photos from our very relaxed hike. I kept telling Monica that I will not mind doing office work in one of the viewing decks. Seriously, this is the best place to be one with everything and everyone else.

Why don't we have these views in Manila? :(


























Friday, September 22, 2017

A Series Of Unfortunate Events


Naniniwala ba kayo sa mga pamahiin? Ayoko sana maniwala pero minsan parang totoo.

Noong Miyerkules, bumiyahe ako papuntang Atlanta. Business trip. Maaga ang flight ko kaya mga 4:30AM pa lang, palabas na ako ng bahay.

Kakaiba ang ingay ng maleta ko habang naglalakad ako sa corridor. Inisip ko na lang na siguro (mas) marami akong dala ngayon kumpara sa iba kong biyahe kaya mas maingay din ang tunog. Pagdating sa elevator, ayun nalaglag ang rubber lining ng isang gulong. Yun pala ang dahilan. So malas sighting #1.

Pagdating sa ground floor, naisip kong magyosi muna. Habang naglalakad papunta sa 7-11, nakasalubong ako ng itim na pusa. Dan dan dannnn... malas sighting #2.

Pagkakita ko ng black pussy, naisip ko talagang umuwi na lang at hindi na tumuloy sa biyahe. Kaso natakot ako sa karugtong na gastos 'nun para sa kumpanya. Baka katayin ako ng buhay at mamatay ako sa kahihiyan kaya tinuloy ko na lang din ang lakad. At saka walang multinational company na tatanggap sa dahilang... kasi po, mamalasin ako ayon sa mga signos. So ayun, tuloy ang biyahe.

Sa airport ay naisipan kong mag-kape habang naghihintay ng boarding time. Sa Bo's Coffee sa NAIA, ayaw gumana ng card ko. Little background... kapag business trip ay pinapagamit kami ng company credit card para mabilis magtuos ng gastos. Kaya nung hindi gumana ang PIN ko, kinarir ko talagang subukan nang subukan. Sa ikatlong subok, ayun gumana.

Pagkatapos ng transaksyon na ito, nag-comatose ang credit card. Hindi na gumana kaya napagamit ako ng personal card. At yan ang malas sighting #3. Paano kung wala akong dalang personal credit card? Baka nakulong ako sa Narita nung kumain ako ng pananghalian. Mas malas iyon, buti na lang ay mabait pa rin ang langit.

Nakahinga na ako nang maluwag nung nangyari itong malas sighting #3. Kasi diba, sabi comes in three's? Kaso hindi pa pala tapos.

Nangyari ang pinakamalungkot na kaganapan sa buong buhay ko na bumibiyahe para sa trabaho. Na-confine si TNLO sa ospital. Pneumonia.

Ito ako ngayon, lakas maka-OFW ng karanasan (mas marami pa silang pagdurusa, maliit na bagay ito sa kanila). Ang isip, puso, at kaluluwa ko ay kalahati lang ang nasa akin. Ang kalahati nasa Pilipinas. Pasalamat ako at mahusay na tatay si Sir_Ko, paano pa kaya yung mga OFW na tarantado ang asawa?

Yun lang naman ang gusto ko ikuwento ngayon. Bittersweet.

Sana gumaling na si TNLO. Sana hindi mahawa si Sir_Ko, si TLO, at ang mga Ate nila.

At sana malaos na ang malas.





Thursday, September 21, 2017

I think of you.


Whenever I go somewhere pretty, I think of you.

Needless to say, I think of the children too. Our children. The beautiful creatures who copied your eyes and your comforting, magic, smile.

When I'm in an organized space that smells of citrus and expensive fabric softener, I think of our smelly room and many years-old clutter. I think of the used and unused clothes making love on the floor and in all the tiny corners of our little home.

When I am covered in intelligent ambient lights, I think of how there are tangled cobwebs in ours. And how the electric fans are broken, and the cabinet doors are falling apart.

I think of you. And I am comforted by the fact that none of these beautiful, fragrant, temporary, things are real.

I think of you and I am home. It does not always smell or look pretty, but I made a choice and I was chosen.

I think of you. And I am home.
















Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Cannot do exit row seats

Para sa kaligtasan ng lahat, hindi ko pinipili itong mga upuan na ito. Ang daming requirements na siguradong hindi ko maipapasa. Maraming manganganib ang buhay.

Pero isang beses nakaupo na ako sa exit row na hindi natatakot. Wala akong kaba, hindi ako nakakaramdam na kulang ang skills ko ako. Kasama ko kasi siya....


Thursday, September 07, 2017

"Isa kang Darna na nagtatago sa katauhan ng isang pulis."

Nabasa ko lang. 

"Isa kang Darna na nagtatago sa katauhan ng isang pulis."

Kilala ko yata ang sumulat.

January 22, 2016.





"Whenever you look at me I wish I was her"

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

"No one gets to get it for free"

Monday, September 04, 2017

"The Story Of Us"


Husband:
I wasn't cheating!

Wife:
I walk into your office,
and I hear you telling some Sara...
...intimate details about our
relationship, about our problems.
Obviously there's something going on
between you and her.

Husband:
Nothing is going on between us!
We were just talking!

Wife:
About us?! About our life?!

Husband:
We were just talking!

Wife:
That's not talking!
That's a relationship!
Why didn't you tell me about her
if there's nothing to hide?

Husband:
I just needed somebody to talk to!

Wife:
Bullshit! Why didn't you talk to me?!

Husband:
You wanna know why
I don't talk to you?
You treat me like I'm a big pain
in the ass that gets in the way...
...of what otherwise would be
a normal, organized life!

Wife:
Have you ever thought that
everything isn't always about you?
Maybe I'm tired! Maybe I'm dealing
with 5000 things all day long!
Maybe every need you have
doesn't have to be met...
...at the exact moment
you need it to be met!
God, we have actual kids here, Ben.

Husband:
I am not a third child!
I am not talking about having
each of my needs met!
I'm talking about a connection!
A look! Something that says
that we're on the same side here!

Wife:
Why don't you talk
to your girlfriend?
I'm sure she can help us
get back on the same side.


Script is here | Watch online here

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Why Can't I Write About Pain

A dear friend told me,
Please write about pain.

After four days of soul searching
and mind bending
and meditating,
I am staring at an empty page,
wondering how,
and why I can't write about pain.

It's possibly because I've been told
I am wrong. A hundred times over.
I have no right, no reason,
no evidence.

And since I am not allowed,
I must obey. For all that I am worth,
for all my hurt and unimportance,
I must not write about my very important pain.

But I just did. Didn't I?


Friday, September 01, 2017

To be young-er

July 2011. I can't remember if this made it to our department's magazine. Headspace screenshot.

===

Your Career
• What were you doing before you joined APS
I was a fresh grad, BA Journalism, from UP Diliman. Some seniors, back then, told me that financial advancement is in Corporate Communications and Advertising. I was looking for career opportunities in these fields and 14 attempts failed because of my in/experience and salary expectations. Actually, the job title didn't concern me at all. I just needed a high-paying job that will help me send my three sisters to school. APS was the 15th company I applied in and I'm a proud member of the now indigenous APS Batch 15 (three of us are still in the company). And yes, for 2001, the price was so right!

• How did you find out about APS
Aside from the fact that I needed in a job, I also wanted my boyfriend and I to work for the same company. I followed him wherever he applied. J He had an interview with PeopleSupport (we thought that it was a non-Government organization) and our game plan was that we'll tour all the Philam floors and submit our resume's before his interview. While he was taking the assessment, I submitted my resume to Roger Ong (the 2001 version of Mother Domeng). Since my goal was to join any Corporate Communications team or advertising company, my resume was printed like a Hallmark greeting card. It was pink (this was before I watched Legally Blond so the idea is mine, I didn't steal it). Back then, PeopleSupport was still hiring ahead of the curve. It took almost three weeks before I received a call from Recruitment. I didn't know what I was getting into. But when I saw PhP12,000 as my starting salary, I nearly cried – my expected salary was PhP8,500. Almost two weeks before the job offer, the boyfriend was already offered a job in a real estate company as Copywriter so we didn't get to work for the same company anymore. But that's ok. After eight years, I married him anyway. We do not work for the same company but we live in the same house.

• Tell us about your career in APS
I started out as an eRep for NSI, with a few months in Fandango and Expedia, before I returned to NSI and fulfilled the role of a Subject Matter Expert. Nearly a year into the role, I felt that I was ready for bigger responsibilities and so I applied for the Team Supervisor function with Experian. As a Team Supervisor, I was assigned as Creatives POC and my task was to come up with campaigns and initiatives that will drive performance. One of the projects that we conceptualized was a training campaign to boost retention. I had to collaborate with the training team and in the course of the project preparation and implementation, I realized that it's something I would like to do long-term. Since then, every career move was driven by the long-term goal of practicing training and performance consultancy. I applied for the trainer post in Experian, got accepted, and eventually got reassigned to HCC (now Wyndham). After almost two years of being a trainer, I applied for the NHO Training Manager post and got accepted. Bonuses came along the way. Due to reorganization, I became NHO-Employee Engagement manager and got a year worth of experience in events management, organization-wide employee campaigns management and organizational climate research. Still with the end-goal of training and performance consultancy in mind, I pursued the opportunity to become a Leadership Development trainer when it became available. I then moved to Shared Learning Services (now content and development design). I thought that my professional journey in the company has ended and it's time to leave to continue my pursuit of work experiences that would prepare me for the long-term goal. Then, the opportunity to become a Senior Manager for training presented itself and I pursued it right away. I feel blessed that despite the two-year hiatus from training management, I was still considered for the post.

• What is the most memorable moment in your professional life?
When I figured out what I wanted to do with my professional life – training and performance consultancy. Everything became easier to accept and plan for after that realization. I may disagree with a lot of realities at work but I am always humbled by the fact that 1) I need a job and 2) I need this job to get me my real dream job 5-10 years down the line.

• Who do you regard as your professional role model?
My father. His family was a victim of a series of unfortunate events and so right after high school graduation, he was pushed to the streets, literally, to support his younger brother. To send his brother to school, he became a cigarette vendor, a farmer, a construction worker, a messenger, a factory worker, a truck driver and a jeepney driver. He excelled in every job he took – if he were to be appraised, he'd bag a 5 for intellectual curiosity. To date, he's still a jeepney driver who does not rely on any machine shop for his auto-mechanic needs. He can build a house from the ground up.

Your Job
• What do you like most about your job as Senior Manager for Training?
First, it's one step closer to my long-term career goal of being a training and performance consultant. Second, I get to work with a group of talented individuals. Third, and this has keep me grounded regardless of the post I'm assigned to fulfill, it pays the bills.

• How would you describe your leadership style?
I got the 4P concept from the Initial Supervisor Training (first batch!) that I attended in 2003 and I live by it to this day. As a leader, I exert every possible effort to ensure that the 4 P's coexist harmoniously: People who are clear about what's expected of them and their role in the organization, efficient Processes, fair, well-communicated Policies and documented Procedures.

Aside from 4P, I was fortunate that I've had the chance to work with leaders, whose leadership styles resonate (conscious effort on my part) in mine. I say "resonate" because I have yet to achieve the degree to which I would like to mirror their styles and strategies. Arjay Angodung was my first supervisor when I was still an agent – he's fierce and direct (I transform into my 20-year old self when in front of him). And he will always be the first living example of an unforgettable leadership quotation that I read – "You know that you're a good leader when your team functions even when you're not around." Chino Salgado showed me the "heart" of management – he instilled the weekly 1on1 discipline in all his direct reports and he always took the time to conduct skip-level meetings. If you want to piss him off, just under-report agent sentiments. 😀 Moi Lee-Rodriguez and Bob Greenleaf showed me the science in what I've initially perceived to be an art. Whenever I'd consult Bob on training concerns, I do not only receive advice. I get prescriptions – books, online articles and zillions of PDF files.


• We know you as Romi, Senior Manager for Training. What is the other side of you that our readers don’t know?

I hate the industry and nationwide obsession with the ability to speak like Americans. It angers me that it's given so much importance to the degree that even when people hardly make sense, the twangs and confidence almost always make up for it. EOP and power dressing have become low-risk, high-yield career development investments.

I never conquered my fear of public speaking. When I conducted my demo for the training post, I was in the bathroom for quite some time before the demo. I was throwing up for almost ten minutes. To this date, when I need to speak in front of an audience, I need at least 20 minutes of emotional prep time.

If my circumstances in life were different, I would drop everything to be a full-time mother and wife.

• Being a leader, people look up to you and talk about your success. But what are the three professional achievements that are personally close to your heart?

On my 5th APS anniversary, I finished paying for my youngest sister's College Educational Plan. It was the last goal I set for myself as a single woman.

Some of the processes and procedures that I established for the teams I used to work with have outlived my existence in the team (ex. The Finance Tracker (printed version) was the result of a process I established in 2005, the NHO announcement templates and new hire database in 2006, automation of the enrollment process for Leadership Development Classes, hosting of updated credits tracker and CEFs in SharePoint in 2008, enhancement of the ETP request form for Content Development in 2009, etc.).

In 2005, our team was already documenting processes and procedures. The very first training playbook was from NHO.

• If there is one thing in APS that you can change, what will it be?

We claim that we are the most stable BPO organization. We take pride in our ability to adapt to the changing needs of the industry. Our organization-wide performance management efforts continue to evolve but our compensation and benefits management strategies have already celebrated their 10th anniversary. The salary of a trainer in 2003 (it was higher before this) is still the salary of the last trainer we promoted. The same goes for Operations Team Leads and Leads for other support groups. I hope we take WOW-ing the PEOPLE to heart. Or to use today's buzz phrases. Let's do a DMAIC on employee engagement as it translates to employee retention. Or let's CUIKA 10 years worth of ePulse data.

Now this response is for a what-if question. Since I do not have a direct influence to the matter I chose to "change", allow me to share – and invoke - the mindset that helped me survive the past seven years of my ten-year tenure in the company… (with Valley Girl accent) I dunno, I just work here.

Your Life
• What are you most thankful for?

That I got everything I wanted at 28. I wanted a husband, a child and friends to keep until I'm senile.

• Who was the most influential character in your life?

Jun Cruz Reyes. Please look him up if you have time and read his books too. J He taught me to value the really important things in life. Your passion, your ideas… not the titles attached to your name, not the number of MA's and PhD's or list of honors in your resume. Oriah the Mountain Dreamer and her poem "The Invitation," never fails to give me a much needed refresh (F5) when things get messed up.

• What is the most memorable moment in your personal life

When I found out I was pregnant. It was memorable because it was a miracle (I'll spare you the clinical details).

• Who do you regard as your personal role model

Madonna (Louise Ciccone). She's a songwriter, a performer, a visual artist, a mother, a children's book writer and a romantic partner that has yet to find her happy ending. She has an uncanny talent for reinvention and inciting cultural revolutions. If you've seen Madonna perform on stage, you wouldn't know that every step from any Point A to Point B on stage is measured (yes, counted and timed). Documentaries on her performances reveal that everything is scientifically organized yet on stage, it just looks seamlessly artistic. I hope I can do the same in my personal-professional life.

• If there is one thing in your life that you can change, what will it be?
I learned how to smoke during my first year in the company and all my annual efforts to quit have failed miserably.

Your Legacy
• What is your message to the training team?

The message that I'm about to share is not mine. I just got it from Covey. Start the year right by asking yourself what you want out of your life – what are your needs? Proceed to assess how the company is helping you address your needs while considering how you are able to assist the organization with its needs as well. There may, or may not, be a strong connection but whatever the results are, be quick to respond. If you need this job, do everything possible to keep it. If you don't need this job, then take time to ask why are you here? Whatever the results are of your personal inquiry, hold on to them because they are the realities you need to live with. Be humble enough to accept these realities. And everything else will follow.

When PeopleSupport University was dissolved sometime in 2007, former director Bob Greenleaf told us to just look at the reorganization as a graduation. He said that we've already graduated from the University and it's now time to face the real world.

In the real world, revenue and profit margin reign supreme over training discipline. That's a fact. CST is not an educational institution. We are an assembly line expected to churn out trainees without defects. That's another fact. Except for a few lucky accounts protected by their SOW, we are Non-Revenue generating. We are a cost center – the fact that we have an incentive program is a random act of kindness. That's another fact. Finally, we are not an autonomous department. We all have a dotted line to Operations. The training voice is as good as a soft whisper of recommendation. Operations is not the enemy. It's God. That's another fact.

I read somewhere that "old warriors know how to wait, young warriors fight head on." As managers and training practitioners operating in this type of environment, take the old warriors' stance. Learn how to operate within our realities. Acceptance does not necessarily mean surrender. Wait. Wait for that perfect opportunity to negotiate for what the discipline believes in. Wait for the right venue to present itself and push for what the practice says to be effective. If all else fails, at least you tried. After all, as a manager, you should have learned this by now – the show isn't about you. It is never about you. It's about the disciplines – the training discipline, the management discipline.

And know that even when you fail, your failure stays inside the office. Outside, you're still a friend, a partner, a father, a mother, a brother, a sister, a daughter, a son, a photographer, a dancer, a cook, a chef, a scuba diver, a jetsetter, etc. – do not allow your work to define who you are. Of course it's an entirely different story when you fail because of sheer negligence. You should be stoned to death, if that's the case, because it's a crime to keep a job you can't decently fulfill. It's a crime because you're stealing the opportunity from someone who will be able to give justice to the post. Neglect of duty is a crime punishable by death. I mean it.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Rachem is not a paleontologist

JOEY: Ok, let's start with the cons, 'cause they're more fun. All right, Rachel first.

ROSS: I don't know. I mean, all right, I guess you can say she's a little spoiled sometimes.

JOEY: You could say that.

ROSS: And I guess, you know, sometimes, she's a little ditzy, you know. And I've seen her be a little too into her looks. Oh, and Julie and I, we have a lot in common 'cause we're both paleontologists, but Rachel's just a waitress.

CHAN: Waitress. Got it. You guys wanna play Doom? Or we could keep doing this. What else?

ROSS: I don't know.

JOEY: Oh, her ankles are a little chubby.

CHAN: Ok, let's do Julie. What's wrong with her?

ROSS: [long pause] She's not Rachel.

...

RACH: What is this? Ross, what is this?

CHAN: Good luck.

[Chandler and Joey leave quickly.]

ROSS: Ok, just, just remember how crazy I am about you, ok?

RACH: Kind of ditzy? Too into her looks? Spoiled?

ROSS: Now that's a little spoiled. He was supposed to type "little", the idiot.

RACH: Just a waitress?

ROSS: No, that, that was, I mean, as opposed to uh, the uh, ok. Is this over yet Rach?

RACH: Oh! I do not have chubby ankles!

[Rachel leaves, and Ross follows her into the hall.]

ROSS: No, no, wait, ok, ok, look at the other side. Look at Julie's column.

RACH: She is not Rachem. What the hell's a Rachem? Is that some stupid paleontology word that I wouldn't know because I'm just a waitress.

Coincidence


Ate, masaya ako para sa iyo kasi hindi ka nauubusan ng confidence. Kinaya mong maging preachy kahit inutil yang world view mo.

Kung hindi mo pa alam, may mga taong sa gabi nagtatrabaho at hindi pa man pauwi ng bahay sa mga pagkakataong bilib na bilib ka sa sarili mo kasi gising ka na. 7AM ba?

Gusto mo ng palakpakan? Gusto mo ng bagong kaalaman?

Anong ginagawa mo kapag 1AM? Sarap siguro ng tulog mo ano? Kami na mga panggabi, nangangalahati pa lang kami sa shift namin nun. Kaya tulog ako maghapon kasi magkabaligtad ang oras natin, boba.

Hindi ko alam kung ikaw at ang mga kagaya mo ang dahilan kung bakit ako nasisilip at nasusumbatan na maraming pagkukulang. You and your healthy living. You and your belief that "life is too short for sleeping."

Ignorance is bliss. Sarap sigurong maging ikaw pero huwag na lang. Kasi galit ako sa magnanakaw.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Day 1: If You Forget Me



I want you to know
one thing. 

You know how this is: 
if I look 
at the crystal moon, at the red branch 
of the slow autumn at my window, 
if I touch 
near the fire 
the impalpable ash 
or the wrinkled body of the log, 
everything carries me to you, 
as if everything that exists, 
aromas, light, metals, 
were little boats 
that sail 
toward those isles of yours that wait for me. 

Well, now, 
if little by little you stop loving me 
I shall stop loving you
little by little. 

If suddenly 
you forget me 
do not look for me, 
for I shall already have forgotten you. 

If you think it long and mad, 
the wind of banners 
that passes through my life, 
and you decide 
to leave me at the shore 
of the heart where I have roots, 
remember 
that on that day, 
at that hour, 
I shall lift my arms 
and my roots will set off 
to seek another land. 

But 
if each day, each hour, 
you feel that you are destined for me 
with implacable sweetness, 
if each day a flower 
climbs up to your lips to seek me, 
ah my love, ah my own, 
in me all that fire is repeated, 
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten, 
my love feeds on your love, beloved, 
and as long as you live
it will be in your arms 
without leaving mine.

~Pablo Neruda

I miss you, Titus

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Overjoyed, over love, overwhelmed

Overwhelmed.

To atone for my blogging sins, I would usually do "late posts" until I don't have any dates with just "good intentions" to post. I don't know if I can do that considering the 30-day backlog.

Let's see.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sobrang linis ba ng kunsensya mo?

Ako hindi, baka ikaw. Ayus lang, choice mo yan.

Anyways, hindi ako kumportable sa mga ganitong paandar sa airport. Oo, convenient. Oo, mabilis. Pero paano ang kaligtasan? Hindi na uso ang honesty system mga guys. Tigilan natin yan.




Monday, April 24, 2017

Skillz

Oha. Nakakabasa na ako ng nota!

Madali lang pala e. Tingnan ang mga kulay at numero...

























Tapos, irakenrol sa kapares na tiklada rito!



Joke lang. Bitter lang ako na hindi ako marunong.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Detox for my curly tops


Meron akong running joke para sa mga nagtatanong kung naturally curly ba ang buhok ko. Ang lagi kong sagot: Oo, kasi nung pinagbubuntis ako ng nanay ko, nanipa siya ng pulubi. Ayun, sinumpa ako.

Yes, sumpa ang tingin ko sa buhok ko. Paano ba naman, may sariling buhay at paninindigan ang hitad. Habang napaka-perfect ng instant ayos hair ng mga kababaihan sa paligid ko, ako mukhang walis tambo kapag hindi naglagay ng gel.

Pero last week, nagkaron ako ng hair epiphany (wow!). Naisip ko kasi, kapag ba lola na ako naglalagay pa rin ako ng gel araw-araw? Parang hindi ko gusto ang imahe. Saka parang mauubos yata ang buhok ko sa tulong ng global warming. Kaya naisip kong itigil na ang pagma-martial law sa wild hair ko. Ito na ang bagong hair routine.

  • Monday - DIY hair spa treatment (thank you, kaibigang Watsons)
  • Tuesday - Shampoo
  • Wednesday - Conditioner
  • Thursday - Nothing
  • Friday - Conditioner
  • Saturday - Shampoo
  • Sunday - Conditioner
  • Anti-frizz: Nivea Hand Cream (nabasa ko na ok raw ito) at saka yung regalo sa akin na tsubaki oil. Inuubos ko lang ang mga supplies na ito. Nasa research phase ako ng ipapalit na mas permanente. Kung may suggestion kayo, please send them my way. Mas konting chemical, mas maganda.

Nakakailang araw pa lang ako sa routine na ito. Napapansin ko na mukha akong gusgusin sa unang dalawang araw. Para akong nalosyang na manikang basahan. Pero habang tumatagal, mas kumakalma naman ang baby bangs ko. Sana magtuloy-tuloy na ito. At sana maraming magregalo sa aking ng conditioner ngayong pasko. Ang mahal!

Bless me, Mother Chaka.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Introverts say hello

Earthquakes are not to be taken lightly. But when I first saw this icon, it took me back to frightening memories of me meeting people for the first time.


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Fragile Little Things


...that happened since my last post.

Feb-17: Our 17th Boyfriend-Girlfriend Anniversary
Feb-17 to Feb-19: Anniversary Getaway --- Cancelled because...
Feb-18 to Feb-26: Atlanta Business Trip
Mar-04 to Mar-05: Tagaytay Trip - Despedida event for Josie
Mar-15 to Mar-15: Turned a year older
Mar-19 to Mar-21: Singapore Business Trip
Mar-18 to Mar-23: Anniversary Getaway in Singapore --- Cancelled because we're poor
Mar-19: Josie's flight to Bangkok

It's all bittersweet, with new experiences painted over different shades of sadness. I am blessed, I am happy, I am sad, I am counting my blessings. But truth be told, most days from the last post had me worrying that I may just die of overstimulation. I am exhausted from trying to stand still in the middle of this cruel vortex that I made for myself. But we are all tired and we're all in this together. That makes me feel good about myself and all these fragile little things.


I knew it. With faith, dragons can be real.



Tuesday, February 07, 2017

My Sister Needs Help


My sister set this up in GoGetFunding today. My brother-in-law was diagnosed of stage 3 cancer yesterday and we need all the help and kindness in the world to support his recovery. I know I only have 12 seasonal readers but if you can spread the word, the 12 may become 12,000 by the sheer power of faith.

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Help Us Grow Old Together


We were highschool sweethearts. At 17, we ran away together but ended up coming back home because we couldn't make it out there. Fast forward some more years. We are now husband and wife and parents to two beautiful cats and one rowdy dog. We got our first car last year and got the key to our new home.

Today, we confirmed that Cezar has cancer.

We're still waiting for the specifics but our ENT surgeon said biopsy confirmed the mass under his right eye is malignant, we just don't know what type of cancer yet.

We have already sold our house and loaned a large amount from my husband's employer. The car will have to go soon, too. We have worked hard all these years to be independent and to at least invest our money where it wouldn't waste away with the years. Now, whatever we have left, we are still in the process of letting go to be able to raise funds for his treatment.

His last surgery was done to at least rid him of some of the pain that the mass is causing him (cancer is making his teeth loose and causing a lot of pain). It was tagged as a dental procedure and HMO covered nothing. With a cancer diagnosis his HMO will cover everything but his maximum benefit limit will not even be enough to pay for the surgeon's professional fee.

Cezar will need a maxillectomy where the doctors will remove a large part of his upper right jaw bone and possibly his right eye. Depending on how successful the operation will be, he would have to undergo radiation and chemotherapy.

Cezar is the love of my life. When we got married, we promised each other forever. We said we'd stay together until we're both old and gray. We are still dreaming of having kids someday and I hope we can keep our promise of growing old together to each other.

I'm asking for your help so we can have Cezar's surgery scheduled as soon as possible. I am also asking you to please remember us the next time you pray.

For the past 14 years, Cezar has been my rock and he has taken care of me like no one ever has. I intend to return the favor and make sure that he's taken care of.

We would be eternally grateful for any help you may be able to extend our way.

Please help us fight for his life. Please help us fight for our love. Please say a little prayer for us and our families as we go through this difficult time.

Friday, February 03, 2017

[January 2017] Imelda Marcos: The Verdict

Thank you for the reminders and harrowing details, Mrs. Pedrosa.


Imelda Marcos: The Verdict
by Carmen Navarro Pedrosa

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Decisions, Decisions, Lagi na lang!

Sa bawat segundo ng buhay ko, lagi na lang akong kailangang gumawa ng desisyon. I'm sure kayo rin naman. Ang kaibahan lang natin, blog ko ito kaya ako ang nagkukuwento. And you will read on and on and on because I said so. Harhar! Peace tayo, biro lang. Basahin mo please. I write for the betterment of my self esteem and this is all that I have. Maawa ka na, wag mo akong iwan. Charot!

Hemingways, nagdesisyon akong mag-me time sa newest favorite spot ko kanina. Pampabawas negatrons sa sistema, pang-refresh, pampakalma, pang-renew ng faith sa kabutihan at sangkatauhan. Pero kailangan ko na umuwi at mag-impake dahil maaga ang biyahe bukas para sa isang work-related, offsite, three-day event. E umulan. Ayan, sinasabi ko na nga bang hindi dapat mawalay sa akin ang higanteng knapsack ko e. Wala tuloy akong payong. Kasalanan ko kasi pinanaig ko ang kapekpekan kanina para magmukhang presentable. Ang dala ko tuloy na bag ay isang maliit na woman human bag. Seriously ladies, how do you survive?

So ito ang itsura ng utak ko habang nagmumuni-muni. Director's cut ang flow na ito, hindi ako nage-edit. Hindi ko pa alam sa paragraph na ito kung ano ang gagawin ko.

-Kailangan ko na umuwi pero hindi puwedeng mabasa ang bago kong sapatos na compliant
sa dress code ng conference. Ay, thank you pala sa boss ko na pinagtiyagaan akong i-coach sa definition ng resort chic.

-Puwede kong iplastic ang paa ko at maglakad sa ulan pero wala akong payong, mababasa ang mga gamit ko. Kaso, san naman ako kukuha ng plastic bags sa ganitong oras?

-Puwede ako bumili ng payong pero kulang ang pera ko. May ATM across the street pero basa na rin ako bago pa makarating. Bakit pa ako gagastos ng P200?

-Puwede ako magpasundo kay Sir_Ko pero may sakit siya. Hindi siya puwedeng maulanan at malamigan.

-"Heto akoooo, basang basa sa ulan, walang masisilungan, walang makakapitan."

-Dito na lang ako. Mauubos din naman ang ulan. Babae nga, natutuyo. Langit pa. Langit lang yan!

-Joke lang Baby Jeezas. I didn't mean to insult your home. Pero ano nga kayang depresyon ang pagdadaanan ko pag natuyo na ako at nag-menopause? Think positive! Sisikat na ako gaya ni Madonna by then. Makakasulat din ako ng libro.

-Pero paano nga ako uuwi?

-Dapat talaga meron akong kotse. Yung kulay violet. Eh san naman ako kukuha ng pambili?

-Bakit ba ako nagtatrabaho kung di ako makabili ng payong at kotse.

-Sabagay ayus lang. Di naman ako marunong mag-drive. I have a strong feeling, hindi ako matututo niyan.

-"Buhos na ulan, aking mundo'y lunuring tuluyan."

-Masarap siguro kumain ng Andok's habang naliligo sa ulan. Yung hindi chopped, yung buong manok ang hawak ko tapos lakad lang ako nang lakad. Kaso acid rain na ang ulan ngayon, baka ikamatay ko pag humalo ang ulan sa manok na binabanatan ko.

-Kailan kaya ako mamamatay? Erase, erase, di puwede yan!

-Ayoko na isipin. Dito na lang ako.

-Ultimatum. Pag 2am na at umuulan pa rin, susugurin ko na. Basa kung basa!

-Pero sayang talaga ang P300 na pinambili ng sapatos. Kulay red pa naman.



Will you marry me?

Naka-jackpot ako na maimbitihan sa isang bonggang bonggang wedding proposal. First time ko makanood ng ganito sa totoong buhay, ang ganda, ganda, ganda! Sana iniimbitahan din ako ng mga artista para hindi na ako napapagod manood sa YouTube.

Gusto ko ang song selection. Pagpasok ng beautiful bride-to-be, ang kanta ay "Saving Forever For You" ni Shanice. Hindi Pempengco, Shanice lang, walang apelyido. May AVP ng mga pictures nila ni boyfie niya through the years. Pagkatapos ng AVP, may kumakanta naman ng live ng "Panalangin." Ukelele ang gamit ni Ate at medyo nanghinayang ako na gitara ang kinakarir ko. Parang mas mabilis ang progreso ng maliliit na kamay sa ukelele kaysa sa gitara. Anyways, sa gitna ng kanta ang speech at luhuran portion ng groom-to-be. Lakas makaluha ng ganitong eksena. Hangswit!!! Tapos, nung masungkit na ang matamis na oo ay "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" naman.

Manghang mangha rin ako sa set up ng lugar. May pathway na puro bulaklak sa entrance. Tapos isang pathway pa ulit na puro kandila, rose petals sa sahig, at roses naman papunta sa isang table. May magandang kuwento tungkol sa table. Noong araw daw kasi na magkaibigan pa lang ang couple na ito, randomly tinanong ni girl kung iimbitahan ba siya pag kinasal si guy. Ang sagot ni guy, "oo naman, gusto mo table #2 ka pa." Kaya ang table na sentro ng gabing ito ay may label na table #2. Imbitado nga naman siya sa kasal, siya pa ang bride. Boom!

Ang isa pang kuwento na nakaantig sa mommy heart ko naman ay ito: mommy ni guy ang nag-ayos ng lugar. Concept niya lahat ng romantic details kaya ang kuwento ng daddy ng groom-to-be ay bigla siyang nasingil tuloy at natanong na "bakit nung tayo walang ganito?"

Dahil diyan nagkaron ako ng bagong pangarap. Pag si TNLO ang nagpropose balang araw, ibubuhos ko ang isandaang porsiyento ng lakas ko para sa concepts at designs. Yihaaa!!!

Finally, bet ko ang pagkakatanong ni guy. Hindi, will you marry me. Hindi rin, let's get married. Ang tanong ay nakakakilabot. Will you give me the honor of calling you my wife? Or something. Medyo di ko na narinig lahat kasi hinihigit ko ang tonsil ko para di pumalahaw ng iyak.

Days before today, sinasabihan ko lagi si guy na "you have to do this right!!!" And boy, he delivered. Sabi nga ng soon-to-be-wife ay perfect and beyond everything ang experience.

Best wishes sa kanila. Invited din daw kami sa wedding kaya magda-diet na ako. Ang ganda ng mga angkan nila. Nakakahiyang maging thorn among the roses, na siguradong babaha sa kanilang wedding day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

It's a sunny day

"... but the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round"


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sweet, Sour and Salty

The theme of my womanhood in 2016 was, and continues to be, "disliking my evolution." And it's anchored on my feeling of alienation from the "me" that my husband liked in the late 90s. And how the new woman-mom, I feel, has not been able to cope with the hyper-development of my former boyfriend.

I am threatened by the nagging feeling that I am no longer the interesting, angst-ridden, opinionated, well-read, news junkie, who had a lot of things to say about politics and feminism.

I don't know how or why, but I've always felt that it's my brand of crazy that caught his fancy. I try, and try, and try. But I really don't feel any special connection with the stock market, or backpacking in Europe, or reading the news (anymore). Ang hirap magpa-charming. Tapos ang dami dami ko pang character flaws.

So everyday I am just thankful that I, would love to think, have not yet been replaced. I know, that's such an anti-women thing to say but it's how I really feel. I am so blessed to have married the love of my life. Huwag lang sanang ma-bore sa akin nang bonggang bongga habang kinakapa ko pa kung paano mahalin itong matander na version ko.

Happy 8th, my love. Pramis, maliligo na ako lagi kahit walang pasok para di ako amoy kabiguan.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Eh Bye FB and IG ulit

Actually, ilang araw na rin. Pagkakadalubhasaan ko muna ulit ang simpleng buhay. Mag-gardening muna ako, chareeeng!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Pechay de peligro

May tumubong higanteng pasa sa binti ko kaya napasugod na naman ako kay Dr. Google para sa madaliang lunas. Sa kakahanap ng alternative na paraan, napadpad ako sa isang home remedy site. Biglang lumitaw ang link sa article na ito. Aba siyempre na-curious ako. Paki-forward na lang sa mga kababaihan sa buhay mo. Baka makatulong.