Monday, December 31, 2012

Twelve-on-o-Twelve: A Year-end Gratitude List :)

There's been 365 days this year and 365 chances to live, to make it happen, and to let life happen to you. My 2012 has been FULL and AMAZING, that I can only end it with a heart full of THANKS. :D

So I compiled a quick list of of my top dozen super-thankyou-universe-dozen for the year (in no particular order) :D

1.      FINALLY managing to cut my "no-swipe's" at the office. bweheheh. I am one forgetful lady and I know it. But the most harm it has done to me was losing approximately 20-25 days worth of pay last 2010 only because I keep forgetting to swipe out of the office, and at some point got too embarrassed to file for adjustments. Thank God I was finally able to discipline myself to stick to a routine and effectively cut my “no-swipe” down to only 5 this year. Oi achievement na yun!

2.      The gift of “renewed” health. Sometime September this year, we went to a popular Chinese doctor over at Binondo, and I was diagnosed with ovarian cyst, gallstones, and fatty liver. FREAKY! So I went to a ‘real’ doctor and had all of these verified via lab tests and they all turned out fine. I know it’s just a bozo experience but this made me conscious with the things I ate because I swear I had a real scare. I even got to see a matured egg cell in my ovary during the ultrasound it was so cool heehee. I’m healthy! Yey!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Ocean Adventure Experience :-)

For the past "n" years, me and my parents have always celebrated christmas just resting in our house and just waiting for the inaanaks to pickup their goodies. However, my mother was blessed with a brand new company car just in time for Christmas. So for a change, me and my parents celebrated christmas out of town and in the bustling town of subic to visit Ocean Adventure and to serve as a brake in of the new car. :)

First off, my parents marvelled at the beauty of the SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway). It's one extremely long expressway stretching from along Star toll to Subic and Pampanga. The best thing about it would have to be the mountain's that were parted right in the middle to allow the vehicle to pass through instead of having to climb it. It was a beautiful sight though i couldn't help but wonder how the hell they did it, and how much damage it could have brought. On one hand, maybe this is better because it allowed the remainder of the mountain to be left untouched.


I didn't really have alot of expectations with Ocean Adventure because i thought it was just a simple theme park with a couple of fishies swimming around haha. Well it is a theme park, yes, but of a topnotch class i have to say.

ocean adventure

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

And Though It's Been Said, Many Times Many Ways...

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire,Jack Frost nipping on your nose,Yuletide carols being sung by a choir, And folks dressed up like Eskimos.Everybody knows a turkey and some mistletoe, Help to make the season bright. Tiny tots with their eyes all aglow, Will find it hard to sleep tonight. They know that Santa's on his way; He's loaded lots of toys and goodies on his sleigh. And every mother's child is going to spy, To see if reindeer really know how to flyAnd so I'm offering this simple phrase, To kids from one to ninety-two, Although its been said many times, many ways, A very Merry Christmas to you 

When I think of Christmas this song always plays in the background. :) I just love the classic rendition of Nat King Cole. Makes you want to sit in a couch as you feel your insides warm up :)

This Christmas has been very very meaningful to me, in the sense that a couple of things have inspired me to really share my blessings. This year has just blessed me with so, so, so much. And it really felt good to give it back to the universe, in a more significant manner. More so, when I knew that those whom I shared it with, badly needed a blessing. 

At one point it has gotten sooooo stressful. I mean I wasn't really used to it. I'm used to spending Christmas only fussing about myself, my family, my monito, some friends, and one inaanak. But this December was a different story altogether. All the extra-curricular activities and gift-giving/ gift-wrapping/ gift-hunting with schedules that are hard to beat, was almost driving me crazy.

But then when all was done and given, it felt very FULFILLING. :D :D And for this I have him to be thankful for. Thank you for really inspiring me with your ENORMOUS heart. :) :) Being with you is seriously life changing in all aspects hahah. 

"This is the message of Christmas: We are never alone. - Taylor Caldwell"

I think I just experienced the real essence of Christmas.  :) 


Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.
Larry WildeThe Merry Book of Christmas

merry christmas tree

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Planner Dilemma: Belle de Jour or Moonleaf Planner?

My 2012 was indeed a packed year. And for a packed year, there's nothing like a handy planner to spill your thoughts on and keep you sane. Belle de Jour has been my planner for three years already, in fact i even tried to set at least one day every week so i could browse on the entries of the past week and keep things in check. It worked at the start at least...

Indeed the BDJ planner has done wonders for me. I was able to utilize almost all the sections like the Letter To Self, Vacation Planner, and Bills Tracker. I'm also a fan of their monthly features about topics that are relevant to all ladies. There were also times when I used this as an alternative to my notebook in class. And I just love how I am able to see the plan for my whole week in just one go, and yet still have ample space to write my rambles on. I also like the simple "pep quotes" at the top of every page. Seriously, my BDJ-sessions (30minutes - 1hour devoted to writing on my planner) was able to keep me sane on a lot of hectic periods as I was able to spill out the piled up need-to-do's in my cluttered head. It's an extra pack for the brain and a sort of extension, and for that I will always be thankful for those who came up with this.

my BDJ 2012

My use for coupons wasn't really maximized though and was only limited to SM coupons, Ace Water Spa, and a couple of times for Coffee Bean. I try to caution myself against purchasing items, specially the pricey ones, just to make use of the coupons since it beats the purpose of the discount heheh.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Why I Don't Want Christmas Everyday (And Other Rambles)

Haha, I'm missing this bloggie. December has been an incredibly BUSY month for us. BUT it was also exciting :D Will post some of the photos soon. PLUS a new venture that we're also quite excited about.

I'm getting a blogpost ready and I'm quite keen with peppering this blog with some product and service reviews :-D  Honestly I'm not very sure yet with the niche that I'd like to focus in, but while we're at it, I'll shoot in whatever comes to mind and whatever we're exploring at the moment and I tell you it's quite a handful! hehe! It's really fun to plan things and daydream and get some of these plans kicking. :D :D

Christmas is coming, yey for Papa Jesus and for celebrating relationships! :D Parties abound, reunions are on the way. And I'm really thankful that we have seasons like these. Some say that Christmas is merely a pagan ritual and that we're not really supposed to be celebrating Jesus. But seriously who cares? haha.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Kopiccino Lovin!!

Who needs Starbucks when you can have it right at the comforts of your own home?

coffee kopicchino

I just want to rave that Kopiko Kopiccino is my latest FAVORITE coffee. I've always loved Kopiko because its coffee the way i want it. I love the flavor, the aroma, and the rich coffee experience. Really wakes me up in the morning, but THIS KOPICCINO is pure LOVE.

Me and Papa Ray were working on some weekend projects, and part of the plan was to unwind afterwards at a coffee shop. However we lost hold of time and found ourselves rushing towards the evening so we decided to just have Kopiccino indoors instead. Indeed it was the best idea because we were just chilling in the comforts of our place, while the coffee peaked up our productivity. And it tastes reaaaally good. It's the same delicious coffee, with thick foam at the top plus the choco granules that add the extra sweetness and texture. As you can see on the photo above, we even had fun working out random figures using the granules. :p

I love simple joys. And a pack of deliciousness for only php8 is just perfect for me. I'm actually about to stock myself with lots of these for the coming days since this is the perfect companion for all-nighters. Yehmen! \m/

Remembering Love Letters :)

Me and Papa Ray celebrated our 14th monthsary last Saturday, Nov 24, and I decided to write him a love letter :D wee! Yep, the old school ballpen-on-yellowpad type of loveletter. Actually when he saw it he said “wow LIHAM! Meron akong LIHAM!” hahaha!

The art of writing love letters has been easily lost in the sea of text messages, chat, email, and FB status messages. It’s just much easier, quicker, and more convenient. In our case we've been very busy for the past months and most expressions of love have been through texting and chatting (well aside from being together almost everyday nyehehe).

Still, a little re-validation and appreciation of love can go a long way. Sometimes our loved ones get way too integrated into our daily routines, and can get lost in the midst of our fast paced lifestyle. If we’re not careful, this might cause us to take for granted the smallest things that make our heart smile.

Just like everything else in life, it’s always nice to pause and appreciate the beauty around you, and the love that you've got. For me, a great way to do this is to actually sit down, take a pen and paper, and write a love letter. 

While I was writing the first few lines, I tended to have this urge of finishing it fast. Like I wish I could just let everything out with one snap of a finger. We all know that typing (whether in cellphones or in keyboards) is much faster than doing the manual cursive, and so it had to take a little getting used to. However, that precisely is the beauty of writing a letter with a pen: the fact that it takes much longer forces you to feel and savor every word uttered. While you watch the lines along the paper, you tend to reflect on how much you mean what you really say. And before you know it, you end up spilling your heart out and enjoying the moment. I think I am much more focused when writing on paper (probably because there’s no alt-tab option to steal my attention away? Hehe ).

Sentence construction also takes the time and effort: “What are the things I want to say? How do I say it?”, and this time, there’s no friendly red line that tells you your spelling is wrong or that your grammar is awful. You do your own checking and well that’s part of the effort.

For me, the simpler is always the better. I love saying I straight to the point. Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t end up with short love letters. In fact they’re actually quite long. Or maybe that’s just because of how wonderful he is. Lol #kesomucho.

Aaaaaaaaand the really fun part was folding the letter afterwards. Hahah! Who among you guys remember the number of ways to fold a letter? I went for the old school way, the type of fold that you really use for snail mails. Here goes:

folding letters
Starting with your letter facing the upright position

folding letters
Take the upper right hand corner and fold it diagonally downwards
folding letters
Fold it again as shown above
folding letters
Take the upper left hand corner and fold downwards
folding letters
Fold it in half... and dont forget the magic line "Smile before you open"! hahaha :D

Writing letters probably isn't for everyone, but i find it a very refreshing way to express myself because that's just me, unplugged. I think its also a very intimate act of love and appreciation. And well all it takes is effort and some time. 

Ray was laughing the whole time because it really felt old school, but well I still had my prize: a tight hug and a kiss. Wee! 

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My First Two Weeks as an Employee

First off: HEEHEE. :p I found this blog entry on my multiply, last July 2008. I was a cadet engineer then. I've had mixed feelings upon re-reading this one. And thought it might be amusing to share this with you guys. It's like remembering an old friend. I'm honestly at loss for words now haha.

I'm just amazed to see how passionate i was then. Hehe, hello fresh grad kid!

*Feeling reaaaally reflective :P *


Every time the day ends and I think of how I currently am, I always feel thankful, that I have been guided to make a really good decision in choosing this job. Because right now, I'm really having a blast. =D

I've already made a really long blog entry about my current job and the company I work for, so I could share with you my pride and the excitement of belonging here. But just before I was supposed to post it, I saw an announcement, discouraging the use of the company's name and then talking about it in the internet, because company image is something they really take care of, so I decided not to post it anymore.

The company I work for is a subcontractor. They have more than 200 customers from the semiconductor and electronics industry who send them orders to assemble and manufacture as ICs (Integerated Circuits). That's why their main focus is customer satisfaction. It is made critical by the fact that an IC pretty much like the brain of the device, and as we are presently very technology-dependent, product quality is of utmost importance, because the reliability of most of the conveniences and equipment that we have today are at stake, and most importantly, the lives that depend on them.

This type of industry really entails a lot of pressure, because you have to keep up with customer demands, and the highest product quality. This was felt very much during the orientation. People here are proud to be with one of the better companies around, as the training and work attitude that it develops in the person are said to be commendable, and the benefits and compensation are good, but they also acknowledge that not many people are able to survive the extremely tough environment. (totoo niyan, maraming nagtatanong sakin na engineers," sigurado ka ba dito ka? Nako baka magresign ka lang din kaagad!" kanerbyos kaya)

Discipline, safety, presence of mind, and endurance among the employees are some of their most valued virtues. One has to work fast, keep giving their best and high energy even under loads of pressure, learn to deal with all types of people (specially those whose attitudes take an unpleasant turn under pressure… there's a lot of them at the production line so bawal daw ang pusong mamon don), follow and keep in mind ALL rules (and I tell you, there's a whole lot of them) and never, commit a mistake (as much as possible at least. Potek masugatan ka nga lang sa locker ang dami nang cheche-boreche e).

Tough right? Specially for me who can be mali-mali at times. But that's because there's always a lot at stake, like product integrity, company image, and customer satisfaction. Displease the customer and they run out of business.

I feel very blessed because I was assigned to the department that I have worked for during my OJT, so I already know the basics of the job and several of the people I'll be working with, who are really nice. There are a few new faces but I was able to get along with them well. And I really like the work in this department because there is good exposure in the assembly line and in dealing directly with the customer as well. (at in fairness ang ganda na ng office nila! Haha!)

The regular cadetship program involves a month of machine operatorship, 2 months of being a machine and line technician, and 3 months job-specific training. But this program is made for process engineers, who specialize in only one station of the assembly line and seek to improve and maintain the yield of this station. In my case though, I will be a product engineer who covers the whole assembly line to monitor the status of special products as requested by the customer. So it is more recommended for me to at be immersed in several stations.

At first I was assigned to specialize in the Die Attach area (one of the methods in IC production), but because of the nature of our job, an engineer suggested to me that I get immersed in 3 stations: the Die Attach, Wirebond (most critical), and Mold. One station per month. Hopefully my direct superior approves of this. And that would be cooool. =p

In between the line immersions, we'll have lots of training programs that aim to improve us as engineers and as people. It can be held either in Muntinlupa or Sta. Rosa. I'm looking forward to those too.

2 weeks operatorship and 2 weeks technician training per station is the plan. I started last Friday. In the production line, different roles are shown through different badge colors, because everyone wears white bunny suits. Even if I was an engineer trainee, I was made to wear a badge color for the operator, so I really would be one of them, because I was told that an engineering badge tends to intimidate them so that might hinder them from really sharing everything they know about the work. I met lots of people in the line and most of them were friendly and were willing to teach me.

So there, that's pretty much it. I'm really excited to get moving. I feel like working here has given me a chance to have a fresh new start. Do you know that feeling when you think you can do more but you never do? That's always been a frustration of mine. I've always been a so-so student in UP. Well I am proud of graduating on time, but my grades are unfortunately just... blah. I don't know if I'm just acting like a filingera, but sometimes I look at my grades and I feel like I can do more. Then I promise to do better next sem, but I still end up looking at my classcards and feel… blah. Hehe ang lungkot kaya nung last sem, kasi wala na kong next sem para galingan pa ulit e.

There were times when I felt like I was in my element, then I do really well… like when I get a high score for an exam, when I give a well prepared report, or when I am with my former SME execom team mates. That kind of affirms my hunch that maybe, I really am more than a mediocre UP kid.

That is what I wish I could bring out in in this company. I felt very much in my element during the interview, and I'm hoping that it is a good sign. I hope that the training and the culture helps me bring out the best in me. Of course I've done a lot of self-examination and knew what my weak points are, at least most of them, and I am determined to work on them for the next few weeks/ months. With the help of God, I really hope to be a much much better person in a few months, or years. My current plan is to keep on doing everything with a purpose, so that I am really motivated when I work. Hindi yung gagawin ang isang bagay para magawa lang.

Hehe I remember when this trainer told us that career growth oppurtunity is fast for those who really are deserving, that there was a really good engineer, who after just five and a half years, already got promoted as a Senior Engineer (maraming levels e, una Engr1, tapos2 at 3, kumbaga siya, nadaanan na nya yun lahat in such a short span of time), then she challenged us, "o kayo kelan niyo balak?" I joked and said, "Ma'am bukas po! ". But I was like maaaaaaaaaaannnn that's hot! I'd love that! Hahaha. Dreaming has become my favorite past time. :p

So there, this was another incredibly long entry, but can you blame me? I'm really bursting with stories. Hehehe. I hope everyone is doing well. =D


There's an urge to tell my 22-year old self a thing or two. But I realize I'd better leave things that way. It's always best to let people learn on their own. :p And well, to all those who said I won't even hit 3 years, I'm on my 4th year now and still alive and kicking :p

Saturday, November 10, 2012

What I Learned From Steve Jobs

I was never a fan of Steve Jobs. I didn't exactly subscribe to the Apple-mania and to this gadget-elitist thing. “Once you Mac, you can never go back” that’s what they say. Still, I’d turn my back on the thought that my tools ought to be more expensive in exchange for some flair and style. I just didn't get it.

And then Steve Jobs died. The best recipe for popularity is to just...die (Lol). I never gave him a second thought until he did, at least. Then came the stories of him being one of the greatest movers of 20th century technology, and stories of him being temperamental (a gross understatement as it turns out) and uncompromising.

What intrigued me was his belief of not making use of market research, because “people don’t know what they want until you give it to them”. And I realized he made a fair point. More than once did I prove to myself that what I wanted is not always what I need.

He seemed to be someone who moved against the tides and found his way to the top in spite of. This, together with his controversial temper, drove me to read his biography.

Papa Ray gave me a copy of the e-book for our 5th monthsary. We’re currently on our 13th month, so yes, it took me more than half a year to finish it. First because I didn’t have a tablet at that time and could only read it on my laptop, and when I stare at the laptop I end up checking Facebook instead. Haha! Second, because it was gadawfully long. During my first few days of reading it I managed to reach a third of the book and then just got too busy to go on.

I finished it just this week and I am one inspired young woman. Heheh! :

I think it is part of his genius that he personally asked Walter Isaacson to write his biography when he was diagnosed of cancer. I have his audio-book with Einstein and it was really, really good (pity I still haven’t finished it either, I couldn't help but doze off every fifteen minutes hahaha!). The depth of research is amazing, and I really like how he is able to give approximations on the core of a man’s character, that is able to consistently manifest in crucial points of his life.

His work with Jobs is all the more awesome, with Jobs being able to give him firsthand information, and Walter being able to freely interview all the people involved in an attempt to provide a balanced perspective of the various events in his life. It’s an incredibly comprehensive work and it made me feel like I've already known and understood Jobs, as complex as he is. And with that, Steve was able to achieve his goal.

I need not write a synopsis of his life and the book, it’s easy to Google that. But I’d like to share a couple of quotes that I found very memorable in the course of my reading:

“Deciding what NOT to do is as important as deciding what to do”

– the idea is FOCUS. Dear God where can we please buy focus? :p One of the stellar characteristics of Apple is being able to focus on ONE goal, as ONE team, and eliminate the things that do not matter. This allowed them to really focus on improving their product and making sure it had top notch quality. Same goes for us. Sometimes it’s tempting to take on everything and consider ALL (assumed) factors, in an effort to create a well-rounded decision, however sometimes it just distracts us from the main goal. Learning what NOT to do, and firmly standing to that decision, is as important as identifying the key items of a problem.

“Find a way to make the product DEFER to you… It takes a lot of hard work, to make something simple, to truly understand the underlying challenges and come up with elegant solutions” 

This is taken from Jony Ive, Job’s chief design person. The idea is that for you to create simplicity, you must CONQUER its complexity. :-D Beautiful isn't it? Sometimes we think the more complicated things get; the more intelligent we think we are. Intelligence is more than just understanding the complicated; it is also about conquering it to achieve what is simple. It gives us the power to cut 7 steps to 1 unified method, or maybe reduce a whole red tape process into a smooth and efficient flow. Or even as simple us the ability to reduce a confusing dilemma into merely a question of what is right and what is wrong.

“The right kind of building can do great things for a culture”

– Hello Philippines. Hello Manila.  I guess we have long been caught up with our own poverty that we find matters such as ‘culture’, too “bourgeouis” or too elitist.  However, I've always believed that food is for the body, as culture is for the soul.  I hope I live to find the day when I walk Makati, or QC, with Filipino brand-buildings being portrayed as high-class instead of “indigenous”.

“Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, random discussions” 

 – one of my favorite qualities of the Apple company, as I have learned, is that they don’t hold meetings like corporate companies do. They are not ‘compartmentalized’. Jobs hates Powerpoints. He likes DISCUSSIONS.

One of my favorite things about college was how you could just come up to a friend and then bounce several ideas off each other and before you know it you’re planning to build a company. I totally loved my org-executive meetings in college (S.M.E represent!) because it was a time when we’d just follow a skeletal agenda, then brainstorm and really have fun with where our ideas and plans could take us.

Those, for me, are the REAL discussions. A group of people in a spirited conversation with a common goal. Not sitting in a round table, in a contest on whose ego wins nor whose department gets the highest number of quality issues, nor who is able to pass the blame on who ever. There are times when I sit on a meeting and feel frustrated at how it’s more like a show because sometimes they’re all about superficiality.  These are the kinds of life-realities that you need to deal with and work around and sometimes before you know it you’re one of them. And that’s sad. And you have to remember to pull yourself again and remind yourself that you are not about appearances.

This is the point when I realized, how an organization structure really affects how a product turns out. Jobs was able to force his personality in Apple’s very DNA. He ensured that all his groups worked not as various departments, but as one team (albeit often controlled by only one). It’s a slogan that is very easy to say but hard to actually enforce. And in succeeding he was able to come up with a product that is tightly integrated: software-hardware-design-user experience. Amazing. And inspiring. Think of what you can do if only you could manage this in your own small teams.

“It’s just the way he’s wired “– This is always said about Jobs and his crazy personality. What I learned, with how Walter delivered it, is that this is NOT an excuse, rather merely a fact. It’s never justifiable to crush a man’s self esteem in front of everyone, nor to yell at someone who have worked so hard for long months only to be dissed by the CEO. However he does it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't  But in the many times that it DID work, Walter never really made me feel that being an ass was alright. Being an ass sometimes works, but karma works just the same. It did happen to Steve, in a sense.

 “I hate it when people call themselves entrepreneurs when what they’re really trying to do is launch a start up then sell or go public, so they can cash in and move on. They’re unwilling to do the work it takes to build a real company, which is the hardest work in business”

I’m not exactly a business person, but what I know, is that a business thrives when you LOVE what you’re doing, and not when you just see it as a milking cow. I guess in today’s competitive world, it is no longer just about thriving, but also about surviving and being a step ahead and always taking the extra mile to add an extra value. 

 “It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. We believe that its technology married with the humanities that guide us to the result that makes our heart sing” 

This moved me. He said this in the product launch of the Ipad. And somehow it was a culmination of what Apple has fought to be from day 1.  This puts them apart from everyone else. They are the ones who were really able to live up to their vision, and it isn't an easy feat. Again I always believe that it’s easy to cry slogans to show on advertisements or cork boards or brag about in meetings, but unless a systemic approach is made to really live up to that vision, everything is merely superficial

And this reminded me of what passion really is about.Passion is the tune of your heart singing :-)

I am tempted to buy an Apple product I just don't know what yet. Have I changed my mind about the arrogance of closed systems? Not exactly, though I do understand it better now. Will I subject myself to it? I doubt. So why do I want a piece of Apple?

Because at this point, to me they signify a turning point of technology as we know it. A lot of key features of our gadgets today that we've taken for granted are fruits of the many months of labor from those guys at Apple, in conceptualizing what the user may want in his phone/media player/tablet. More than being just a status symbol, their products are testaments to what people can do when they keep pushing themselves to the limit, and are able to integrate their different strengths into one direction.  

Amazing companies and products do not always win the congeniality game, but it is undeniable that that this group of people did set the bar and moved the technology age a step forward, with each brilliant innovation that they have made. :-) And obviously it works for a lot of people, they wouldn't be one of the worlds most profitable companies for nothing. So I'd rather not miss that. :-)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

So What Makes a Good Morning?

goodmorning coffee

A good morning is the aroma of hot coffee waking your senses.

A good morning is made up of your favorite breakfast waiting at the table to start the day (pancit canton and toasted bread for me! :p)

A good morning is looking into the eyes of your special someone as he(she) breaks into a sweet smile (yihee)

A good morning can be from a random kind deed of someone you least expect.

Best of all, a good morning starts when you tell the universe that you'll have one :D

No matter how big or small, a good morning kicks off the start of a great day and a grand week. :D

So start that day right, yes? :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

Driving Notes

I'm finding driving to be a highly enjoyable feat.
Its forcing me to focus in ways that I've always found hard to achieve, with me being so easily distracted. Well how would I not? A wrong step on the gas or not being able to hit the brakes could endanger a life. It's crazy.

It's also empowering in a sense. It requires you to develop instincts, much like riding a bike but way more complicated. You have to keep in mind the side mirrors, the road bumps, the intersections, the pedestrians, the sidewalks,the parked cars, and more importantly (for a beginner at least), centering the car on the lane.Stressful but fulfilling when you manage to work on bumps smoothly and when you feel that you are able to somehow drive the car well. It's suuuuuper fun. Life ought to give us more good stresses like these. Hehe!

What I'm carefully taking note of is the correct driving etiquette. Use of the pass light, overtaking from a good distance, driving at a safe distance and not doing 'tutok', a respectful way of beeping the horn, and always, always, doing the DEFENSIVE driving. I'd like to be a driver with class. :-) I'm glad to be student of one of the best drivers i know, my tatay. :-)

Will be converting my student license to a non-pro soon. I hope to be confidently driving the streets by January next year. Wee! :-)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Livin Laiya Loca

So how often to Front of Line Process Engineers go on outings?

WE DON’T!! SOS! Hahaha.

I guess it's because there just weren't enough people who were willing to push it through and organize for real. But all work and no play makes the Juan a dumb engineer at (PE) bay!

But not anymoooore! :)

Courtesy of FLINS, we have finally organized a summer outing!

If before all our plans were just writings on water, we have now FINALLY swam that water hahaha!

Laiya Batangas

We had our outing at Virgin Beach Resort at Laiya Batangas, last September 29. What we loved is that we almost had the beach to ourselves. Steeg! The resort wasn't really out of the ordinary but what made it really fun was the how everyone was able to relax, and have a good time.

The Once-in-a-while Driving Student :p

At Cavite

Today was another driving-session with my tatay. I've been trying to learn how to drive since last year but my schedule wouldn't permit me to really devote alot of time to it. Id practice drive for about once or twice in one month and that was it. I got around to making the thing run up to the 5th gear but i still had trouble with steering wheel control and gas-clutch-balance.

This time though, we had nanay with us and it was a totally crazy scene at the car:
Mama: "Anaaak brake brake brake! Ibaba mo na sa second gear!... Aaay aaaay brake brake!!"
Tatay: "Nangning nalalaglag ka sentro sentro...clutch -brake!"

Hahah swear sakit sa ulo.

What i found really hilarious was when mama started singing CHRISTIAN SONGS in the car. Dumi-divine intervention ang panalangin?? hahaha! 

I think tatay had to pee for 4-5 times during the whole session. Haha grabe ang nerbyos ni Itay. Sabi dati nung si mama tinuturuan nya drum daw ang nac-cr nya ngayon balde nalang. Improvement? HAHA.

We did our practice driving on the road going to Trece Martirez, Cavite. It had quite a number of curves, up and down slopes, and occassional private vehicles.

However, the most stressful were the COWS.  Maygad. During our first round there was a cow lying in the middle of the street. Hindi ko naman siya masasagasaan pero ang sakit sa ulo lang ng presensya niya don heheh. What stressed me was during the last part, when we encountered two cows having some quality intimate time in the MIDDLE of the effin street. I was like what-the-hell?? Tabi kayo dyan pliiiiis. Talagang nagpapalakad-lakad pa sila don ayaw umalis e syempre keber sila sa busina ko. hahah. Sabay nung pagalis nung baka hinabol naman kami ng tatlong aso. Hahah grabe sakit sa ulo!

But i'm really enjoying it :D this time i'll follow tatay's instructions to do some practice stepping on the clutch gas and brakes so i wouldn't have trouble familiarizing with them again. I'll take advantage of the 4 day weekend next week to make some real progress. :D Yey!

Friday, October 26, 2012

SuperCeleb to a SuperSem with SuperFriends! :D

The beauty of friendships is the fact that no distance or time constraint can really keep you apart. You may stop seeing each other for how many months, years, or so, but when you see each other the separation feels never really too long.
"Pag ayaw may dahilan pag gusto may paraan" :)
The past few months have been really toxic for me, juggling work and school has been eating up way too much of my time and my only saving grace have been short weekend breaks with my family and dinner dates with my boyfriend :) That guy just kept me SANE throughout this semester and I can't thank him enough. His patience and support is just amazing.
Anyhow, needless to say, I've been terribly missing my friends. My life-friends :D Alam mo yung mga taong pag nakita mo alam mong naka-kunek na sa puso mo?
AAAAAND I'm super happy to have met up again with two of them, Narkee and Oc-Oc, just this afternoon. Yey! We had lunch and coffee at  the Fort and just chatted the whole afternoon away. It's just really sad that Joanie wasn't around.
It was a very refreshing experience. These are people who have known you for a longtime in as much as you have known them. It feels good that you know that no matter where you find yourself, you know that they're just there and they still love you and you're always going to be there for each other.
dropped by at gelatissimo :)

After the lunch and coffee date we went to Robinsons Manila to accompany Oc-Oc to her friend and dropped by the St. Thaddeus Church near the Malacanang to light some candles and pray. I was really thankful that I had the chance to visit the Church today because my heart was just overflowing with gratefulness for all the blessings that I have been receiving, the most recent of which was passing the hardest lecture that I've had so far in my graduate class.
Happy! Will now have to maximize the next couple of weeks before I hit the next semester.
Thought to keep myself going: "Success is not gained by pressuring yourself to win every time, instead it is achieved by NEVER.GIVING.UP." \m/

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Things to Remember during Report-Writing: Note to self#1

Let me make a confession: i have AWFUL MEMORY. I swear. I'm a mess with my stuff. I used to forget logging in and out of the company all the time (only stopped when i finally realized how much money i was losing), i'd leave my eyeglasses everywhere,and no ballpen has ever lasted me for a year of regular use.

I used to blame this on stress and the hectic schedule of being a working student, but my childhood friend since i was 6yrs old quipped:"hindi kaya! Maliliit pa tayo anu ano na nakakalimutan mo!" 0_o

So i dunno, maybe it really is just me. I tend to get easily distracted. Heheh.

The classic victim of my forgetfulness are my reports. Dates, numbers, names, labels... name it, somehow I've forgotten editing it. And these happen alot of times. At first its funny, but eventually it gets annoying (for others, even if they dont tell), and embarassing for me. That was even at the forefront of my boss's concerns about me -attention to detail.

So just the other day, i came up with a list of reminders for me, when working on a report, or any document for that matter. This also has a couple of notes I learned from a recent paper-butchering I had for a research conference at the university. heheh! (Dibale natanggap naman yung research namin for oral presentation :-) )

Just thought of sharing it here just in case someone else finds it useful :-p here goes:

  1. Focus. In as much as it's almost next to impossible to focus on your document/report alone, just try to focus. Note: If you can plug in your headphones, do so. They help to create a personal zone in a noisy workplace.
  2. Be mindful of your spelling and your grammar. This isnt always easy because not everyone is grammar-savy, but asking always helps. And definitely reading. This gives you a 'kutob' instinct on how things are supposed to sound like, heheh.
  3. Keep sentences concise and direct. One" comma" is fine, two is enough to be wary, three is too much. Blogging is waaaaay way different from technical writing.
  4. Tell a story, and a story that 'flows'. No gaps. Note: Ensure that your images are linked to your stories. Images should aid the understanding of the statements.
  5. When all is said and done, do your initial review: From page 1 to the last.
  6. (And MOST important for my case) Leave your report for at least 10-15minutes. As in don't look at it, close the file. Then get back to it afterwards. Review your own work with a fresher mind. You'll be surprised at the small nuances you'll see. :-)

So thats basically it. Presence of mind really is the key,but for people like me who just cant grasp everything all the time, these types of lists really help. :-)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Cab To BenCab

The highlight of our Baguio trip is fulfilling my 2 year-old dream of seeing the Bencab Museum. This is the Museum set up by National Artist Ben Cabreras in the mountains along Asin Road, Baguio. We took a 15minute taxi ride (main mode of transpo, all taxi drivers give the exact change! lol) and weeehew hello Bencab Museum! :D :D

Bencab museum

AMAZING IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT. I felt like I was in a playground hahah. It's a simple three-story building, all painted in white, and with different rooms each having a different name: Erotica Gallery, Contemporary Gallery, Philippine Contemporary Art, Print, Patio Salvador, and the Bencab Gallery.

Daylight filled almost all corners of the place and made me feel like it tries to be one with the nature that it surrounds itself with. The white walls and simple cubic rooms provided the right backdrop to the different kinds of exhibits that the museum housed. The structure in itself is refreshing and awe-inspiring at the same time.

My favorite part of the museum is the Bulol Installation (see above). It's a whole wall filled with wooden images of people in a sitting position. Those are the Bulol's- gods of our Ilocano forefathers. Carved out from age old wood, these images are known to watch over crops and ensure abundant harvest and protection against natural calamities.

"Handcarved from hardwood abundant in the region, these primitive sculptures emphasize the male and female genitalia, representing fertility and abundance…"

 I kind of felt starstruck. This is actually an altar for the ancient gods, and couldn't stop myself from paying homage.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Up...Up… and Away! :D The Baguio Getaway ;)

One year! How fast time flies! Wasn't it just yesterday when he asked me out for dinner after how many palipad-hangin-patay-malisya months? :D

"Time flies when you're having fun"

To mark the first of many years to come, we decided to spend a whole weekend on the land of Pines: Baguio City.

"Baguio City was established by Americans in 1900 at the site of an Ibaloi village known as Kafagway. The name of the city is derived from the word bagiw in Ibaloi, the indigenous language of the Benguet Region, meaning 'moss'. The city is at an altitude of approximately 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) in the Luzon tropical pine forests ecoregion condusive to the growth of mossy plants and orchids."
- Wikipedia

I was a giddy kid as the Victory Liner Bus (1st time on Deluxe!) rode off to the north. (I tried the CR in the bus and I went out almost nauseated hahah.)

True enough, you knew you were already in Baguio when leaves of the trees changed from rounded corners to spiky thin greenies. It's been almost 10years since I last came to Baguio but I don’t think I was able to appreciate it the way I did last weekend. I really got to experience and get a feel of the place. Iba padin pag commuter ka! :p

The roads. Maygad. It's like a Rollercoaster City. Sharp curves everywhere, and their highways are more like high-WAVES. Pataas pailalim ang mga kalsada! And their jeepneys weave in and out of the streets without even breaking a sweat. I think they've got more powerful engines there than they do in Manila. Kung makapag-backing wagas!

 So I guess this could justify why on the first night I was DEAD.TIRED. My feet almost died. We walked around SM Baguio and strolled along the Session Road. Downtown Baguio is very much like Manila except that it's cooler. Literally and figuratively :p

SM Baguio

They've got affordable dining lined up at the Session Road. We ate at Steaks Toppings, where you had a hefty serving of steak and great ambiance for less than Php150 a meal.
session road baguio

"Seryoso ka paglalakadin mo ulit ako dyan???" Medyo tawa-busangot mode nako nung hinihila ako ni Papa Ray. Hahah! He practically succeeded in luring my attention somewhere else to forget my tantrums (he's getting better at this actually lol) and managed to drag me back, climbing to SM. We had coffee and just took in the chilly Baguio air. It was some silent time discussing random matters (including our budget lol!) and I think, this is the part of the trip where we just breathed and really realized that, "hey sweetie, we're actually in Baguio! " :p

starbucks baguio

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

You Do it Anyway

Sometimes i dont even know why im still studying. But i do it anyway.
Because i know at one point in my life i knew that i have to have to have to do this. That i wanted to do this.

"Dont think, just feel" - Pupil

In other words im freaked for tomorrow's exam. But ill take it anyway. Game on!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Me and Ray are two of the last to watch Bwakaw last night at Festival Mall. I think only 6 people were in the cinema haha. But that can't discourage anyone, the movie garnered rave reviews, standing ovations, and long applause all over during their cinemalaya screenings. It won audience choice awards and best actor during the awards night.
Among all indie films ive seen, this would have to be one of the most commercially appealing, mainly because one doesnt have to be a movie buff to really appreciate it. It has a moving plot, great cinematography and camera work, and good musical scoring. It's not your usual sob story, and a very refreshing break from all the love and breakup stories that have been saturating pinoy cinemas. A great movie review that I've read about it can be seen here.

The director based this film on his mentor who has already passed away, Rene Villanueva. The story revolves around an old man spending his days waiting for his death to come. Gad i cried BUCKETS. Anak ng jueteng talaga! (Rene's favorite expression :p).
I've always had a soft spot for the elderly. There are appearances from alot of recognized actors, which i guess added alot to the appeal of the film.
But Eddie Garcia - geez the man is stellar. I had a renewed respect for him. It can't be easy to play the role of a discreet gay. You almost couldn't tell except for the subtle changes in tone, and the way he looked at Sol, his love interest (or disinterest?lol).
"Rene ipangako mong hindi ka susunod sa akin dito, dito maraming nagaalaga pero walang nagmamahal" - a line from Alicia, his special friend and ex.
I think that line summarized all the reasons why we really shouldnt leave our loved ones in the home for the aged. Im so blessed to be living in the Philippines. I guess ive always worried about how life would be like when I grow old. Will I sulk at all the things i wish i had done? Can I bear seeing my parents getting old and frail?
I reached for Ray and asked "Pano kaya pag tayo tumanda na noh?"
He held me and said "Andito lang ako sa tabi mo hawak ko kamay mo."
So what more could i ask for? :-)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cars, Driving, and Such :p

black car

So hot you want to lick it :p

I've always had a thing for shiny cars heheh. This is taken from a transport show of vintage cars by papa ray. Was browsing his photos when I came across this one. *Fell-in-love*Just like Asiong Salonga's car!
Tatay asked me "What if we upgrade your license to non-pro?"

Geez I wish I even had the time to finish our driving lesson sessions. I really get a kick out of sitting behind the steering wheel. :p

Tatay has got to be one of the best drivers I know. Basically because he knows how to enter a time-space warp every 6:45 am just to beat our shuttle to the pickup point, OR chase it all the way to San Pedro. Hahaha! Early morning thrills for ya! (And I enjoy the father-daughter talks we share on the road :p )

AND, he takes the ride so smooth you don't even feel you're chasing. Well unless he beats the green traffic light as it counts 3…2…1… SPACEWARP!

Haha. Must finish those driving lesson sessions this year. #notetoself

Sunday, September 9, 2012

LSS of the Week: Hurts Like Heaven - Coldplay

I'm not a love-at-first-hear kind of person, and so the Mylo Xyloto album took a while before it grew on me. THIS is my official favorite from the album :D followed by "Every Teardrop is a Waterfall".

I believe they released the single last year? How come i didn't know pft 0_o  (Note to self: Must update myself with radio again)

Hurts Like Heaven- Been playing in my head for almost a week now!
(Lyrics here)

Alot of people lament that Coldplay no longer sound like they used to, and I do agree. They've added songs that are a llittle more upbeat, and maybe a little too pop-ish for some, but what do you do with your musicality if you don't grow and evolve?

"It's so cold so cold, it's so cold so cold"

 Listening to Coldplay always makes me feel a sort of strange magic...and i don't think they've lost it :D What I think they have managed, is to bring their brilliance closer to the public.

"Oh you, use your heart as weapon, and it hurts like heaven"

Ahhh I love it. They sound so good. They say that Coldplay holds the most amazing concerts. Pag sila talaga nagperform sa Manila NAKO. Walang 8D 8D! Walang exam exam!! Hahaha.

"Yes, I feel a little bit nervous, Yes, I feel nervous and I cannot relax, How come they're out to get us? How come they're out when they don't know the facts? "


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hitting the Top, One Shot at a Time :)

live with delight authors

You might have noticed that top right section of the blog no longer holds the "About Me" portion, but now has the "Contributors" link. Weee I'd like to welcome my co-creator for my blogs (and the love of my life :D ), Papa Ray! (applause!)

In a nutshell, I'll do the writing while he does the 'shooting', great deal, yes? :D

What I'm loving about this is that we both get to develop the things we'd like to do, and in the process get better at this, together :D

And I'm super excited! :D

*Singing* Because once we hit the top there's no stopping us! :D

hot air balloon

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Philippines a Century Hence: an Attempt to Recall

As an attempt to keep up with the spirit of the National Heroes Day (which we've spent working overtime btw 0_o), I decided to read an essay of Rizal - The Philippines a Century Hence. At school, I think I only managed to read excerpts of the essay, but wasn't able to read it in it's entirety. I was curious to know if the predictions of a genius from a hundred years ago could even be close truth.

For one, I think that is a really ambitious feat. How can you even hope to imagine what the world would be like in a hundred years? More so with much detail?

 I am definitely no historian, I couldn't even pride myself with having a competent grasp of history. Nevertheless I do have a love for country, which will always keep me interested with her stories.

"I do not write for this generation. I am writing for other ages. If this could read me, they would burn my books, the work of my whole life. On the other hand, the generation which interprets these writings will be an educated generation; they will understand me and say: Not all were asleep in the night-time of our grandparents'."

—Pilosopong Tasyo, Noli Me Tangere.

May I just say that this is a very fitting introduction of the book. It reminds you, right there and then, that what you're about to read is the work of a visionary.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge "- Albert Einstein.