Saturday, January 12, 2008

Family excursion

As I had predicted, we started the day quite late. I mean packing alone took an hour. We must've packed enough stuff for a two-day outing including four pillows!

And then there was the rain. We have had such a relatively dry December that the rains were actually welcome but not at the intensity and volume of that day. It poured unceasisingly throughout the trip.

Funny but one of the best parts of the trip was the sleep. It's good that we have all been trained to sleep whenever we get into a comfortable position wherever we are. I dozed off on southbound C-5, between Bicutan and Calamba exits, the length of the STAR tollway, along the old highway to Tanauan, and from Tagaytay through Sta. Rosa till the C-5 exit on SLEX. I must've slept a third of the day-trip. I had recovered much of the sleep lost over the Christmas season.

Then there was food. We were all looking forward to lunch in Tagaytay: I mean it can't get any better than a hot lunch after a long road trip at a resto overlooking the famous lake within a volcano within a lake within a volcano with the whole family. Too bad that the rains stirred up pea soup thick fog that obscured the view though. But the food at Antonio's Grill made up for it in a big way. We were so hungry that we over-ordered: bowls of batchoy big enough for two, chicken inasal plates again for two, the famous tawilis then a humongous grilled bangus. We then cleared the palate with their awesome turon filled with tikoy and sweetened banana, ube and langka. We intended to walk down to Starbucks but the rains made a mess of everything. We moved coffee to the Starbucks in the Shell station near the San Pedro exit.

We haven't had a family excursion for some time so the trip was extra-special. Using a rental service with driver ensured that everyone remained in good spirits and was rested over the entire trip. It was money well spent

Thursday, January 10, 2008

On makeover shows

I find myself drawn to watching shows like Queer Eye and How Do I Look lately because I think I like to cheer on personal transformations and triumphs. Everyone loves winners but even more if we get to see the transformation unfold slowly. It taps the voyeur in all of us, thus the success of reality shows. But is my interest more an attempt to somehow assimilate someone else's victory vicariously, visually? Is this the same reasoning that drives people to hide the self-improvement books and audio material from friends and family for fear of being seen as lacking self esteem?

Either I should work on more personal victories, see my life with rosier lenses, continue watching the shows or all of the above.

On Four Eyed Monster

I just watched this YouTube movie that apparently has been getting much attention from the indie film set. The movie is titled Four Eyed Monster, with the four eyes referring to people in "couple-dom". Contrast that to jealousy, the three eyed monster. I guess one of them is jealousy.

In any case, I didn't get the movie. I guess I just found the story too angst-driven, too obsessed or self-obsessed, with the characters unable to process feelings and words . Is it a New York thing to have that feeling of isolation, of being alone in the crush of millions?

Watching the movie for me was significant though; I don't really like to sit still for more than 30 minutes especially for movies. I guess I just feel that there is something else or somewhere else for me to do or be. Probably the movie was compelling enough for me to see it through...ok, not really since I was occasionally flipping between it and my Facebook page and Yahoo accounts.

In any case, I will attach the URL here for everyone else to view, judge, enjoy, critique.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

On being the change

One of the inspirations I had for the naming of the blog, and I guess for the direction I plan to take in life, is the new CNN segment called Be The Change. The program allows viewers to contribute their stories on how they are contributing meaningfully to improving life. Viewers take us on a video blog of their projects and the results they have had or are hoping to have with their work. So the challenge then is how I may live and be the change I hope to see.

The radio

It's still true that one learns something new from the radio: the Boys of DWTM late last night said that the bird of love is the SWALLOW. Too funny.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Sibs night out

Ateng, Yay and I decided to go out on a sibs date while the folks were at a party with their friends. We haven't gone out in two years so we were looking forward to the night.

We waited for Yay to come home from work (I fortunately had taken a leave) then drove together to Eastwood City, well, to the strip mall adjacent to Eastwood. Muy and Yay had fallen hard for Omakase, a Japanese restaurant. Muy ate there with her classmates and we have gone there several times since.

We decided on a selection of sushi instead of the usual a la carte plates, much the way we eat at Chinese restaurants with their dimsum cart. We had five different plates of everything from spider crabs to spicy unagi to butterflied shrimps plus a plate of teriyaki chicken, which we washed down with house tea. We must have been really hungry since we cleaned up forty pieces plus eight slices of the chicken.

We then transferred to Eastwood City for dessert. We scanned the stores and restaurants for someplace that offered ice cream and strangely enough, there were none. We ended up at's like Ateng never came home. Oh well.

It was a typical Friday night with Eastwood bursting with visitors. Families, call center agents, office employees, model wannabes, tourists were on every table, streets, parking lots, even comfort rooms! Incredible to see buying interest after the Christmas season.

Too bad, none of merchants in Eastwood had my terminals. I will have that rectified in January.

Thursday, January 3, 2008


My Ateng took the last flight in from HKG on CX. She vowed never to fly CX again because the trip took most of a day with a required stop in HKG and because Chep Lap Kok was so so huge. CX from SFO disembarked at Gate 1 then they were told to wait for the MNL leg at Gate 20 then moved later to Gate was a virtual work-out. She really thanks the inventors of wheeled carry-ons.

While waiting for her at the airport driveway (more on this later), my Mom and I noticed the hordes (literally) of Koreans descending from a late flight from either Seoul or Busan. We ranked as the second biggest destination for Koreans, second only to Hong Kong. What's more significant is that the difference between the two countries was only 5,000 guests -- something like 17 more B-777 or B-747 planeloads in a year. Kudos to Ace Durano.

As for the arrival, we were waiting long at the airport driveway but didn't see Ateng so we drove to the "Customer is King" Caltex station to kill time. Yay called us to say that Ateng had apparently been waiting at the upper lobby and was refusing to come down. Ateng said that we didn't discuss the exact waiting arrangements and in fact, was arguing with the porters about it. We had to talk her down the lower driveway. She hasn't been home too long. Funny.

Idle thought

Like my mom always says, an idle mind is the devil's playground...or was it the hands? Anyway, while working at clearing the mind-sludge of the holidays, I heard of two more friends taking that job leap.

The first will hit the group like the proverbial ton of bricks if and when it comes into fruition. However, I feel that the move is the best professional decision this friend will take. I mean why stay if the recognition, both soft and hard, comes oh so very slowly while the work is increasing geometrically - with no positive resolution in sight.

The other is my best friend who will make his first professional move in ten years. In his case, the deserved recognitions have come but the opportunity to participate in a new project was just too irresistible.

So is it that an idle mind is also an envious mind?

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

First day of work blues

I had psyched myself to face the new year by writing down my January objectives on my new Starbucks planner (sucker!!!), updating my Facebook shout-out to reflect my eagerness, and laying out my clothes for the day. I woke up at 5:15 A.M. to get myself into the office early and to avoid the fine for violating "coding"; I even packed breakfast and took my coffee to go so as to get out earlier. So, as the saying goes, I left home "with a song in my heart yadda yadda yadda"...

...only to be told that most of my colleagues have decided to take an extra day off today to finish off their residual vacation leave days! AAARRRGGGHHH!!!! I could've slept in then watched the new episodes and cartoons of Nick the whole darn day!

P.S. But then, I would've missed back-to-back RPM and Cycling classes later on today. Again, that silver lining...