Category Archives: Philippines

The trouble to see Chelsea FC


May 2011
Cebu Pacific did their 50% off on selected destinations which included Bangkok. It made so excited because my football team Chelsea FC was coming to South-east Asia for their Pre-season Asian Tour.  The cities included were Malaysia (July 21), Thailand (July 24), and Hongkong (July 27 and 30). HK would have been a practical choice in terms of money but I didn’t know anyone from that city and I was doing this trip on my own. Bangkok was more of a favorable choice for a lot of reasons despite having to stretch my budget a bit. 
Firstly, about twenty of my college classmates (Go Go Avoue!) are currently working in Bangkok. Secondly, I have friends who are also Chelsea fans so this will not be a lonely visit. And thirdly, I didn’t have to pay for a hotel since I was going to stay with a friend. However,  it took me until the last day of the seat sale to decide and finally book that damn ticket. I was so worried about pocket money. How am I supposed to finance myself? Can I save enough money in three months? But as my good friend said, “When there is a seat sale. go make the plunge.” Haha. I eventually followed his advice. Cha-ching. Happiness!
The problem with this ticket was that it leaves Clark International Airport. I had to book another flight to Manila and then traveled to Clark from there. Sounds like a lot, right? 

But I had this to motivate me. 
My ticket.
Weeks before I left the country, I had everything prepared. Money, Tickets, Backpack. The only thing that scared me were the immigration officials. Boy, did I hear a lot of stories. Since this was the first time I got to travel on my own, I really didn’t know what to expect. With some research, my visit to Thailand will not require a visa. I will just need a valid passport with a validity of 6 months (mine will expire on April 2012), a return ticket, an address of residence (covered by my good friend Doyle) and some pocket money. But wait, there was more. My friends said that I need to have a letter of invitation. WHAT? I didn’t have that. I had no time to prepare that document since I’ve only learned about it a week before I left. Another friend of mine was asked to submit one. Oh boy. Ever since I left Cebu the morning of July 23, that letter was the only thing I’ve thought about. However, I just had to be confident about my intent to travel. I also bought my company ID and COE (Certificate of Employment) for back-up. Surely, they wouldn’t deny me just because I didn’t have the letter.

The travel from Manila to Clark was a long one and I was panicking because I left Manila around 3 pm and my flight leaves at 830 pm. Turtle. The traffic in EDSA was horrendous. It took us more than hour before we finally arrive at the NLEX exit and another 2 hours+ before we arrived in Dau/Mabalacat Bus terminal at around 630 pm. Now, how to get to the airport. I asked around and there was this sorta shuttle-slash-aircon jeepney that offers a ride (500 php) to the airport for a minimum of 5-8 people. Since I was the only one traveling and I was in a hurry, I had to pay the entire amount. I did managed to bring it down to 400 and that was an achievement. haha. I do not believe I have haggling prowess.    

Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (as per my itinerary receipt) was something I did not expect. It was still “under construction”. It was small, like an ordinary provincial airport. I bet the new airports in Bacolod and Ilo-ilo looked way more decent. After I paid my dues (1600 travel tax, 600 for the airport fee), it was time to meet the immigration official. And I have to say this, he’s so gwapo. (lol). I gave my documents. He did some checking and asked me these questions:

IO: Mga ilang days yung stay mo. (How many days are you going to be in Bangkok?)
Me: Two days. Babalik po ako sa 26th ng gabi. (I will be back on the evening of  the 26th.)
Hmmm…
IO: Ano ang reason nang pagpunta mo? (What is the reason of your travel?)
Me: Manonood po ng Chelsea FC. Meron kasi silang tour. [taray mode haha] (I’m gonna watch Chelsea FC. They are on tour)
Then he said, “Ok.” Stamp. Stamp. Stamp.
HAPPINESS!!! A sigh of relief.
The 5-minute interview felt like forever. It wasn’t so bad after all that worry. All is well that ends well I guess. 
All I wanted was to board that plane and get some sleep. I was awake for like 12 hours+ because I had to work the previous night. 

Suvarnabuhmi Airport 
This airport just floored me about how amazingly good it looks. I was in awe on how different it was compare to our own in terms of its size and design. Everything about it was totally new to me and so beautiful. The queue for Passport Control was so organized. I was so impressed. (hayz, the noobness)
  
I’d rather not talked about the bad taxi driver that greeted me on my very first night in Bangkok because all the other taxi drivers that I had during my stay were awesome. 
Next post, The Chelsea Day. 🙂
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Sloth days are over


The sad thing about today was I missed my roommate Lotlot’s wedding to Jerkie. I promised that I was going to attend but the opportunity of having another job came knocking at my door about a month after I said yes. Sigh, another missed opportunity to bond with my Avoue batchmates. But I still have 3 roommates who aren’t married yet so hopefully I can finally keep my promise of attending at least one Avoue wedding. 🙂

The day has finally arrived.  I am no longer jobless (thank heavens) and hopefully will stay that way for a long time. Even though I already accepted the job offer almost two months ago, it just started today. Yes, I waited for a long time. First training day ended and I love it when it’s just a 15-minute walk to my house. I walked a part of Escario street from Diamond Suites and Residences to Capitol site. I’m glad there is something that I can do to counter my sedentary lifestyle and it’s economical as well. (Seven pesos is good economics. Oh yes, it is. lol) I fear it’s still going to be a difficult first few months. I don’t know if my money will last till first pay day (Oh gawd but I’ll make do) and I have to think about the training months in Makati too. The sloth days were killing me financially but I’ve discovered courtesy of Jessica Zafra’s blog that bananas can save any dying stomach. Poor financial strategy I should say. The entire 2010 was bad in that aspect. I was struggling with managing my money. Impulsiveness should just die and helping someone should not come at your expense. Save! Save! Save! will be my battle cry. I’ve learned my lesson. I’m hopeful, as we all do, that everything will work out fine in the end. Being positive is how I should greet 2011. In five days, a new year will begin. It’s a start of something new after all and a chance to improve and be better.


Heritage of Cebu


I became an instant tourist as I was heading to the city hall to get my CEDULA.  I’ve always wanted to visit these places but I never got the time.

I didn’t know exactly where the city hall was so I just guess on where I should drop myself off.  This beautiful church welcomed me on that hot day. I would love to visit the church, explore its grounds but I was on a tight schedule and just took a few photos.

Next to it is the Cathedral Museum of Cebu.  This building goes back to the 19th century.  I was tempted to take a peek but I just have to return on another day. I wonder what this museum has to offer.

A few blocks away is the famous Basilica Minore del Santo Niño.  It’s a 16th century church. It’s amazing that it had survived for this long. There are lots of saints carved into the walls and also in the big wooden doors of the church. As you enter, on your left there’s a collection of paintings of former parish priests, depictions of the relationship of our ancestors and the Spaniards who came. You can also find the Santo Niñ0 store. A small garden with a fountain at its center is located a few steps away. If you want to do some reflection, it is certainly the best place to be. The air is cool and relaxing. A good place to exercise your melancholy thoughts. Daydream for hours on end.

The view from where I sat

I didn’t stay long. I just sat there for five minutes, taking the scenery in. The garden is not really breathtaking. It’s peaceful. I guess that is what you need to have in a place like this.

On the right side of the church were various patron saints and a few devotees uttered their prayers. I’m not Catholic and I felt like an intruder. I shouldn’t be there in the hall where people say their prayers. I just took a photo of the beautiful grotto and immediately left. What I love about old Catholic churches is their beautifully painted ceilings. I wasn’t able to get a closer look but maybe one day.

 

 

 

The Cross of Magellan


I have lived in Cebu for a year twice in the last 5 years but I haven’t seen this famous tourist spot personally, just in postcards. I can’t miss it since it’s right outside the exit of the Basilica and the city hall is just a few meters away. Ferdinand Magellan planted this cross when he arrived here in April 8, 1521. Which reminds me of that infamous local song dedicated to this Portuguese explorer. How his arrival meant the start of Roman Catholic life here in the Philippines.

As I was in front of the city hall, the building has this  huge quote, “Public office is a public trust.” I almost rolled my eyes considering how our government is. But that’s another discussion altogether.

I got what I came for. I’m pleasantly surprise to be a tourist in that very hot day. All of it happened in more or less thirty minutes.  It was disappointingly quick. But I promise to be back and hopefully by then I’ll be bringing a bigger, better camera.

 

Photos

Call center: Aegis People Support


When I talked about about setting goals, I meant finding a job. As of now, I’m not going at the nursing career route but is looking at the call/contact center industry. I’ve heard a lot of things, both amazing and horrendous stories. I’ve meet a lot of people who have been at three companies in the last 3 years. I am a newbie. I didn’t fully understood what they felt about this industry so I kept my mouth shut and would just have to experience it myself.

Last May 1, 2010 I was at a job fair in SM Bacolod and I applied at ClientFirst. They reviewed my resume and since I’m a “newbie” I was not scheduled to take the interview call immediately but waited for 4 days. I was happy that it was so. It gave me time to prepare and totally psych myself out for the “big” day last May 7. I passed and was penciled in for a validation call the following Tuesday. Next thing I know by Thursday evening, I was heading to Cebu to work at Aegis People Support.

This is a good opportunity for me. I intend to do well in this company. Our New Hires Orientation started yesterday and I got a brief glimpse about the company, the competitive salary and benefits and other stuff. And I’m actually going to start my graveyard shirt tonight.Woot.

I hope this will be a good experience for me.

—-
I’m sharing this announcement from ClientFirst Facebook page.

Client First If career growth, competitive pay, excellent training and fun job environment in the fab city of Cebu top your wish list, then join the Aegis PeopleSupport Job Fair in Bacolod on May 24 and 25 @ Client First, 304 Lacson St., Bacolod. The hiring process from interview to contract signing takes only a day. Trabaho agad! Job Fair is open to all graduates, undergraduates (with at least one full year in college), experienced call centers and practically anyone with great English communication skills who are customer-oriented and can adjust to “Twilight” schedules. Please come next week for pre-interview, resume check and orientation. For those who live in Panay and the rest of Negros Island, text 09085344042 to request for a Skype interview or call 7090562 (office hours).We will also entertain walk-ins on May 24 and 25, especially those who have resigned and can join Aegis PeopleSupport A.S.A.P. Job starts May 31, June 4, July 2, July 26 with more to come! Say hello to a great career!

Meeting Gibo


I have been following Gibo since September last year and he was actually my reason why I registered for this election. I never intended to vote and I can’t just believe for the first time I’m getting myself involved in political matters, albeit, in a small way. When Gibo’s campaign trail hit Negros, I was so ecstatic to join. I have been dying to meet him since I failed to attend the Takbo Para Kay Gibo in Global city even though I registered for that fun run.

April 8, 2010 started well. Armed with my Green shirt and Lineage II cap, I went to the Volunteer Center near Robinsons. I didn’t know anyone from there since that was my second visit. The first one was when I registered to become a volunteer. Everyone was busy preparing for his arrival. I was able to talk to Mam Bernadeth and she gave me a pen to write on the freedom wall. There was no more adequate space but I tried my best to squeeze my message. I also helped out in preparing for the posters, answering some inquiries about the motorcade, gave a few ballers and meet people who will be riding the coaster to the Old Silay airport.

There were approximately 100+ cars lined up inside and outside the airport. My companions found another group and decided that we stick together for the motorcade. We did not have a vehicle so we rode on any car that was available. So there were now six of us on the back of a small multi-cab. Gibo was supposed to arrive at 4pm but was delayed for about an hour. We do not know the reason but it’s not important anymore coz our worries went out the window when the chopper landed. OMG. You don’t know how excited we all become. We started preparing ourselves, our flags, the ballers, leaflets and fliers. We instantly transformed into Gibo crier mode for the rest of the journey. We shouted more strongly on traffic stops or when there are a lot of people. When some people say Noynoy or Villar, we screamed at the top of our lungs GIBO. It was really fun. Since the small multi-cab can only accommodate 4 people to stand at the back, we took turns. We waved our green flags while shouting Gibo and we did not care. The materials especially the ballers were limited and it was sad to see that we had to turn down a lot of people or tell them to ask from the following cars. We actually got separated from Gibo, switched to a bigger truck and resumed the trail in SM Bacolod till we arrived at the Sugarland Hotel.

Now this is the part where I shed any form of shyness I had in my body. When I was in the Hotel lobby, I saw Rey Langit and Edu Manzano and there were also people who want to have their photographs taken with them. After a few minutes, I saw Gibo coming out of some hallway and not everyone noticed. I immediately thought to actually meet him right there but too shy to move my feet and in a split second he was surrounded by a lot of prominent people. Then they walked over to the hotel dinner room. I scolded myself that if I do not do something now I’ll never be given another chance to shake his hand. I slapped myself with some confidence, walked near the stage and didn’t care that I was rubbing elbows with don and donyas of Negros. I patiently waited for my chance and there he was coming towards me. I extended my hand and said Hello sir. Gibo said Hello while looking at me straight in the eyes. He didn’t disappoint me at all.

You see, I get annoyed with people when I’m shaking their hands and they’re not looking at me. It’s funny sometimes to see people looking at their hands or elsewhere. I always appreciate people who do eye-to-eye contact during handshakes. I see it as a sign of sincerity and good manners. For all the good and bad of Gibo, I’m glad that he didn’t let me down on this one.

After Edu and Gibo made their speeches, he hastily wanted to go the people who were waiting at the Plaza for the proclamation rally. I also got the chance to meet his wife, Maam Nikki. Have no pictures tho. :(After I greeted her, she smiled and unexpectedly, she put her arm on my waist and rub my back. Now, I was like *thud*. She’s amazing. I’ve always loved her style. It’s simple, casual but she still looks effortlessly gorgeous. So imagine how I felt after that surprising gesture. Another *thud*. ^_^. But I was a bit embarrassed really because my back was a little damp from the motorcade.

I rewarded myself with a good Monster Coke Float from Mcdo before I went to the public plaza. There were quite a lot of people there, some were supporters of Mr. Monico Puentebella and Congressman Tan. I listened to Gibo talked about his programs and platforms in Hiligaynon. He spoke it well and much more better than me. Embarassing. Anyway, I hope the people who attended understood him and hopefully will vote for him come May 10, 2010.

Otso-singko tayo sa Mayo.

Presidential Poll


On the left sidebar, I added a presidential poll served by Vizu.com They have good configurations with their polls. You can even add pictures. I first had a poll at nuffnang ads but they only cater 5 answers. I’m glad I found Vizu through web search.

So Vote now. 🙂

Straight From The Horse’s Mouth: What do they say about Gibo?


A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor but a man of understanding holds his tongue. Proverbs 11:12

FROM FELLOW PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND NOTED PERSONALITIES

1. REP. CYNTHIA VILLAR: Gibo maintains the highest form of professionalism in his campaign.
http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=1384925307040&ref=share

2. SEN. RALPH RECTO: Gibo is the true jewel of the cabinet. http://www.gmanews.tv/story/185858/gibo-recto-exchange-praises-in-bukidnon-festival

3. “I first got to know Gilbert when I saw him and his wife on one of those asinine TV talk shows in mid 2009. His answers to the vapid questions were sensible and well thought out. Aside from these qualities of intelligence, he exuded sincerity” – FRANCISCO SIONIL JOSE, one of the most widely-read Filipino writers in the English language. Philstar.

To read more about this note: Visit my Facebook Note.

People remembers good people.




I really love this picture. It’s so touching that someone actually kept his SSS ID back when Gilberto Teodoro Sr. was still the administrator. He was the father of my presidential candidate, Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro Jr.. You see, the son is running for the 15th presidential seat of the Philippines and a lot of rumors hounding him and associating him with our current president Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. To me, it seems silly since Gibo did not receive anything nor is he involved in all of PGMA’s secret or alleged wrongdoing. It is just because they are in the same party, Lakas-Kampi-CMD, and some people branded him as her lapdog. There is nothing that they can throw at him legitimately so they opted to discredit him with these thin accusations.

With this picture, let us all remember that his father was an SSS administrator for the entire 20 years of the Marcos regime (1966-1986) and he did the following:

  • he was the longest to serve as head of the SSS, from January 1966 to February 1986, which was established in 1957
  • since the agency was young when Teodoro was its head, most of the programs he initiated became the blueprint for SSS’ success.
  • Under his leadership, the agency was able to launch the Educational Loan, Calamity Loan, Investment Incentive Loan Program, Small and Medium-scale Industries Program, Study-Now-Pay-Later program and the three-month salary loan program.
  • He also supervised the decentralization process of SSS operations, which speedup processing of loans and benefits, and increased registration of wage earners and employers especially in rural areas. The decentralization move had also allowed members to remit payments through authorized banks.
  • Teodoro first implemented SSS Medical Care (Medicare) program in 1972, which provided cash payments for medical, surgical and hospitalization expenses of members and their beneficiaries.
  • Three years later, he launched the Employees’ Compensation (EC) program, which gave additional funds to members who suffered from work-related illnesses, disabilities and even death.
  • Also under Teodoro’s leadership, the SSS started granting funeral and maternity benefits and survivors and dependents pension in the 1970s. In 1973, SSS coverage was extended to overseas Filipino workers and in 1980 to self-employed persons.
  • Moreover, SSS fund placements in various government banking institutions had yielded high returns, which helped spur economic growth and fund public infrastructure projects.

So be not afraid. PGMA and Gibo are not even blood-related. The true and legit association Gibo have is with his father. Others might say, we can’t assume that he would be like his father but even more so with Noynoy and Ninoy. Gibo has never used his father’s or mother’s accomplishment to boost his candidacy. He, himself, is enough.

Here are some wonderful quotes from Gibo:

Nothing is worth my reputation or my father’s reputation.

I am no one else’s facsimile. I make my own decisions and no one can dictate upon me.

I will not be running for president if I were only to be a puppet, it is not worth my family’s reputation to do so.

I am not the President. I am not Senator X, I am not Senator Y, I am not defense secretary this. I am Gilbert Teodoro, I am myself.

The picture above came also with a this description from a Green Team Volunteer:While we are busy campaigning in Lingayen, Pangasinan, may mga tricycle drivers na pumila para magpalagay ng posters ni G1BO sa mga tricycle nila, we had lost count kung ilan ang pumila at nagpalagay ng posters pero sunod sunod ang mga ito.. Then suddenly, a man across the street approached us and asked for G1BO stickers, binigyan namin at biglang binunot yung wallet niya at pinakita ito.. ^_^


To know more about Gibo, visit his official website or other sites like Green Beret, Barangay Gibo, Green Team.

Sulong Gibo. Sulong Pilipinas.