Sunday, December 25, 2011

Party at work

2011 is almost over. This is one of the challenging years for the company due to twin disaster in Japan and Thailand that threatened the global supply chain. Despite these exogenous events, the company is thriving to get it's 10th consecutive triple crown. A decade of quality products and service.

With all of these things,the year has to end on the right note.

First is the Dealer Christmas Party at Manila Hotel.

Then the Marketing Division Christmas Party at the Wharft ala 70's

Then the Coporate Christmas Party at TMP Sta Rosa. (and I won a Rudy Project sling bag in the raffle)

Then the VSO Christmas and Year End lunch at GT Tower.

Lastly is the DDD Christmas and Year End Dinner at Cyma and Polo's Biggest Loser Celebration.

Cheers for closing another fun year, 2011. Let us all welcome the year of the Dragon with optimism!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hope for Philippines

Is there hope for Philippines?

It is as if all the good things here in the Philippines have been taken away. They took away our natural resources, they took away our best people, they took away our identity, and they took away our pride as a nation.

Gone are those days that Asia looks at Philippines as a progressive and ideal model of success.

Now, this entire Social and Political malady is being blamed to a corrupt government. We keep on complaining that the government is not doing its job properly. But had we forgotten, “we deserve the government that we have and that we elected”. A government that is corrupt just magnifies the corruption that is happening even to the smallest fabric of our society.

Corruption is everywhere and every one of us is guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Buying of pirated DVDs is corrupt and a crime. Not following traffic rules is corrupt. Bribing and under the table transactions is corrupt. Not properly segregating your waste and littering is corrupt. Any form of stealing is corrupt. Cheating in any form is corrupt. These are some of the corruption we consciously and unconsciously done.

Adding insult to injuries is when other nations look down on our race and discriminate us for being a Filipino. I sometimes can’t blame them because we act such barbaric (sometimes beyond what we can even comprehend). Now our identity as Filipinos, as a race, and as a nation is generalized and stereotyped as Thieves and Murderers just to name a few.

Now is corruption the problem of this country?

It is actually shocking to hear that a Korean can understand well the problem of Philippines compared to other Filipinos. Jaeyoun Kim said: I strongly believe that the problem is the lack of love for the Philippines. I was deeply moved by this because it totally makes sense.

If we really respected our country, we would do anything to protect its integrity. But we did otherwise. We blemished it with inconceivable ways of corruption. We act foolishly and selfishly. We act to serve our self-seeking and egotistical “selves”. We care so much for ourselves that we have forgotten the role we play in a big jigsaw puzzle. What is worse is that this acts becomes callous that will eventually be a tumour deeply concealed to all tenets of our society. And this scares the hell out of me.

Now I ask you, would you rather leave this nation and serve someone else nation than help rebuild whatever is left for this country? Are you willing to give up on our country to earn a small reward of fortune?

I think this poses as a challenge to every one of us. If you feel like making a difference let us start it to ourselves. Small changes will be small steps of revolution, but if everyone is united to changing their lives, it will be a big leap towards a new Philippines.

Now I will leave a question for everyone to ponder upon,

What do you call those people who blames and insults you for a crime you did despite being guilty of the same crime? We call them Hypocrites. In retrospect, how do we call those people who says that our government is so corrupt yet we are corrupt as well?

Now make yourself count for this country…

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Going Green: a mere propaganda?

At this point Global Warming is no longer a myth. We now see in our own eyes Mother Earth’s wrath.

And because of this, we see continuous pressure for a lot of companies to “Go Green”. It therefore sets the bar higher for future innovations in the business operations.

Companies have been more keen and vigilant on reducing waste in their production line. And some take this call more seriously by creating products that are environmentally friendly. One that I am very familiar with is the creation of Prius, a hybrid, fuel efficient car of Toyota. From then on, we see more big companies’ committing to creating Earth-friendly products even to the little things like using of Reusable Canvas Totes instead of plastic bags in the market.

Although this new trend has created such a big fuss, I can’t help but to remain sceptic. Does it really reduce waste? Does it really reduce carbon emission? Does it really make sense? Despite these counter measures, there are still a lot of arguments against it that I somehow find plausible.

They say that green technology is very expensive. You need to invest a lot on research and development. This means you need a lot of money to jump start your green advocacy. But the problem just starts there, a lot of them tried but with only few successes. But even if the prototypes used in the R&D has been put into mass production, very few will be able to buy these products because the prices gets inflated due to high cost and investment. Well, companies still looks at their accounting books for a good ROI. This is the reason why we can see very few Prius along EDSA or elsewhere.

Also, the “Going Green” advocacy has been viral for consumers. They became more sensitive on products that they buy. They check the labels, the facts about it, etc. It is seen as a shaping movement by consumers not just to be informed but to have a direct participation on dictating market trends. At first, it was a consumer nightmare for companies. But, thanks to the ingenious marketing people to see this as another tool to increase their profit.

At first it may seem good. Companies are adopting the “Go Green” advocacy, but not really for the true intentions of it. It somehow became a Marketing race to create a new strategy that revolves in this new consumer craze. It is a race to gain sympathy for consumers to buy their product i.e. is the “Earth hour”.

My fear now is that, Going Green has not really served its purpose because of too much cheap pandering on it by a lot of insincere companies.

In the end, I would like to ask this question: Would we rather depend saving the environment to these profiteers or should we be a bit more sensitive and change our lifestyle? Just have a little sacrifice, a little change to make our home / ecosystem conducive for living for our children.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Work meets leisure

The past months were awfully-wickedly-busy months. Workload is pouring in like the last quarter of the year is headed for a total train wreck. Although the calendar is overcrowded with a lot of deadlines and events, I could say that I was able to get through it (Proof: I am blogging again).

I would say that the past 2 weeks or so has been amazingly tough. I’ve been on and off the office for meetings and official business trips. And I can say that these were the times that I realized the degree and gravity of our work.

In those days I have travelled and met a lot of interesting people, not to mention, really accommodating hosts. I would say that this experience will definitely go to the top of my list of favourite things a love about my work.

Veni, vidi, vici. I came, I saw, I conquered.

I came to research. I saw what these places can offer. And I conquered the great foods that each places offers.

Beyond my work, I tried to enjoy every place I visited. I laid out a carefully planned itinerary for every trip so I won’t miss out the fun of being a tourist.

I surely missed my working area. And since my last official business trip was cancelled, I am to go back to my office routine. Darn! I almost forgot, I still have to do my liquidation.

Cheers everyone! I hope you are enjoying your job as well!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Part 4: Eavesdropping

Past midnight, I am just nearing deep slumber when I heard a loud noise. Damn it! I forgot to change my alarm. I am wide awake now just staring at the ceiling.

If sleeping for me is just as simple as counting sheep in my head, then I would have no problem now. Geez… As an insomniac like me, I could only hope that sooner or later I will get some sleep.

Clueless of what to do, I just listen to the bark of the dogs, the speeding cars along EDSA, the air-con, until I finally feel drowsy. And finally I am dozing off.

I woke up at around 6 in the morning. I prepare my clothes for work. Spread some butter to the freshly toasted bread. Pour on cold milk onto my cereal.
Then after taking a bath and changing into my corporate clothes, I left right away to avoid being late.

Tuesday mornings are not too different from all the working days except for the weekly update presentation to the executives.

Since I am pretty much done with my presentation I decided to take a load off by smoking a stick at the smoking area. The smoking area is just a few feet away from the pantry. While I consume my first stick of the day, I accidentally overheard some colleagues talking about something.

Maybe because I am curious or just simply bored, I made an effort to eavesdrop on their conversation. They are talking about someone, the newly hired Marketing Assistant. They seem excited and eager to meet that person.
So for me, I was like- Fresh meat! Bottom of the corporate food chain…
I am curious of course, but then why should it concern me that much? After all, we don’t belong on the same team.

After all the early morning rituals at the office I went back to my cubicle. That time the HR is already introducing the new hire. Much to my delight, the new hire is Cathy. She is a friend way back in College.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Part 3: The recoil

It is past 7pm when I arrive at the Apartment. I enter the building with so many things going in my head. Who is she? What is her name? Will she remember me? These questions reverberate until I reach the 4th floor. And then I saw my neighbour smiling at me and appear to be saying something. Well, I never really paid much attention to it. I guess he is just asking how my day went. To be frank, I want to reply with a big grin in my face. On the other hand, since I’m trying to be nice, I just smiled back at him but did not say anything to avoid a prolonged conversation.

I search for my keys to open the door of my unit. As I open the door, my room is pretty much the same. It is dark, almost pitch black. It is bare, for I prefer to have a big space and less furniture. Despite the almost barrenness of my place, I make sure that it is clean.

I turn-on the lights and proceed to the kitchenette. I open the refrigerator and scavenge for whatever leftover I had from the pizza I ordered last night. I also took a beer can just to booze off all the questions I had in mind.

After eating I undress and headed to the shower for a hot bath. I opened the shower and just feel the pressure and warmth of the hot water. I closed my eyes and then think of my random encounter with my crush. I just can’t help it. Her beautiful face sticks to my mind.

It is past 10pm already and I am still thinking of her. I wonder if she thinks of me too or at least wonder what my name is. So I decided to get off the bed took my Marlboro and headed towards the ground floor.

I took my first stick while observing my surrounding. As I consume my first stick of the night, I watched this building construction at the other side of the street. They are just welding the metal framework of the building.

After finishing my first stick I decided to take a second stick. Just as I am lighting up my cigarette, I saw a vintage Mercedes struggling to park in-front of the building. The driver seems to be not in tune with the car. He struggled and often gets his engine cut off when trying to stir the wheel to the other side. Finally, after many minutes the driver parked the car and I finished my second stick. I decided that it is time to sleep already.

I went back to my room, locked the door, placed a timer in the air-con, and took off my pants. As I lay on my bed, I finally rest my case on her. It is just something random, coincidental, and I just have to sleep this shit over.

Part 2: Random Encounter

As I faced towards her direction, I noticed that she cut her hair. She looks quite different; nevertheless, she is still stunning. At that moment I immediately offer her the seat, hoping that the little incident would be forgotten.

It was really awkward for both of us. I wanted to open my mouth just to start a conversation. But my throat feels so dry and I can barely mumble a word. My hands are sweating and apparently my face is turning slightly reddish. Oh my holy shit, I am blushing- I told myself. Indeed I am.

I finally made up my mind; I will be the one to start a conversation. So I took a sip of my coffee to quench the dryness of my mouth and throat. Darn! That was hot! I almost forgot that I like to drink my coffee when it is no longer hot.

But at the moment I am opening my mouth she just took the lead and asked me, So what were you thinking? You seem so preoccupied with something.

I then responded that Nothing… I am just killing some time before going back to the apartment.

I wanted to throw her a couple of questions too, but she just keeps asking me random questions. I don’t know if she is just bored that is why she is doing this or is just plain talkative. But then I don’t care if she keeps talking since I am spellbound by her beauty.

The conversation that started out of nothing seems to be getting longer. Her stories of herself were really fascinating. I find everything about her adorable. She basically talked about all the random experiences she had. And all I can say to myself is, just keep talking keep telling me weird stories.

But as we slowly getting comfortable, someone just barged in. Her friend just came to pick her to go see a movie. She hurriedly picked up her things and then she said goodbye.

And in just a matter of seconds I can no longer see her. She is gone and we never get to exchange numbers, worse is we haven’t formally introduced ourselves. Yes, we talked for almost an hour yet we never care to ask what our names are.

So I thought to myself, probably another random encounter of the day. So deeply disappointed, I just left the café and headed straight back to the apartment.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Part 1: The Cafe

It was an exhausting day; another manic Monday rush. It was one of those days of the week that we wish we never have to go through. But alas! It is almost over.

Tic-tac... Tic-tac... I am literally counting every second until it reach 5pm. The minutes that passed by seems longer than the usual. And I anxiously and irritably waited.

My eyes are glued at the clock. But then, I gather my thoughts again and try to check my bag if I forgotten any of my things. I pulled each drawer to make sure nothing is left. I pile each folder and paper neatly on my desk. It was more like a habit- to make everything look organized.

Finally, it is time to go home. I made my final inspection on my desk just like a detective looking for any signs on the chaos that transpired early that day. As usual, I bade my colleagues the usual cliché. Goodbye. See you tomorrow. Take Care. But it depends. If I’m in a mood and chatty, I’d probably say something else like Ohh… You got a really nice tie, Ohh… Nice Bag, Where are you heading… But today is not that day to chat while taking the lift to the ground floor.

As soon as the lift reached the ground floor and opened its doors, I rushed towards the exit. Then, as I jumped outside, I stood still trying to remember where I am heading at. I am clueless. Why am I really on a hurry? So I just decided to go with where the majority is headed for.

Then I saw this coffee shop while crossing the street. So I think, maybe I need to take some caffeine into my system before heading somewhere I am really not sure of. I entered the Café. I ordered the usual Brewed coffee and a cinnamon. I sat by the window watching the rushing pedestrians running for the buses at the pick-up points.

Every time I drink coffee, it is as if I went to a Trans. There is as if a barrier that is covering me and leave me deep into my thought while staring blankly at the walkway. But, this day someone dared enter my sacred moment alone. At first I don’t really paid much attention. Then the soft whisper turned to a bitter slightly hard toned question. Mister, is this sit taken?!

Obviously both of us are pissed off; I stopped my fascination of the rushing hordes and turned my head towards the direction of what is ruining my afternoon siesta. We met face-to-face probably both making a forced smile. And to my surprise, she is the girl I used to take the elevator with. She is the girl from the 25th floor that I had a crush. And I thought to myself, this day is beginning to shape to something interesting.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Individual sacrifices to save the environment (lent+earth day reflection)

Happy Earth day everyone!

The celebration of Earth day for the first time coincides with the celebration of Holy Friday (Christian Holiday). I guess this is a good time for us to reflect on how we could possibly affect changes on helping solve Global Warming.

We have to understand that every one of us has a role to play to create a significant effect on decreasing carbon emission. May we all find in our conscience this day, the “will” to transform ourselves on caring more for the environment.


Why is our individual effort important?
I honestly believe that no matter how many policies we make or international agreement on reducing carbon emission, it will always be futile without public participation/support.

That is why if we need to make that change, then the change has to happen more on the Consumer side rather than in the Production side (but it does not mean that Companies should not make any effort to change their production to go green).

We have to understand that companies basically respond on the Demand present in the market. That is a basic economic principle. Of course no company is willing to supply something that will not be bought by consumers. There is basically no problem with this on the initial stage. The problem lies on when we tend to consume too much leading to Aggressive Consumerists or Excessive Materialist Consumers.

Let us try to put this in a simple picture. An average person living on a progressive economy will usually inhibit the characteristic mentioned above. This person already has Macbook, Ipod, Ipad, Iphone, Car (which practically is okay). Yet we still want something else. We want something new. So despite the fact that they have these things, that person will still buy the latest car model, the latest Apple products, etc. (this logic is not limited on this pattern of consuming goods).

Why is this so problematic?
Because of the ever increasing demand the only option left for Profiteering companies is to expand. And we have to understand that when companies expand, it creates a dreadful environmental trade-off.

More forest, more farmlands, more shorelines will be converted to industrial/commercial zones to cater to our excessive demands. It also means that more waste materials shall be left which most of consumers doesn’t really care about. So it means that we extract more on the environment, we take something away from the environment which took so long to grow. And friends, one of which is what we call - trees which primarily offset our carbon emission.

So what happens usually is that those products which they formerly own will be considered as “additional waste”. We throw them away because we no longer find them useful since there are more “kick-ass” technology out in the market. This is a cycle that Consumers are not usually aware of. This is a vicious cycle that continuously degrades the environment.


This is why I urge people to get involve by being more conscious on their consuming patterns.

This is a problem that concerns everyone.

This is a problem with dire consequences.

This is a problem that needs strict measures.

This is a problem that must require everyone to act.

Caring for the environment does not mean that we should live a primal life and leave all technological advances we have made. What I am saying is, what is the harm on having a simple sacrifice on not buying the latest gadget if what we have can suffice our needs already?

For some, this may sound like demanding too much. But come on! We brought this problem to ourselves. And we have to be more willing to sacrifice a lot to solve this.

Cheers and have a Happy and Holy week.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

RH-Bill in focus

Does the church have the right to voice out their opinion on RH Bill?
Yes, and it does not violate the separation of the Church and the State. It is still in the interest of the church to participate in these kinds of discussion since it is perceive as a duty to preserve their values, thus preventing any policies that might foil their long standing tradition/belief. And being an important key player, it is also their right and duty to give information to the public.

Now, are they relaying the right information?
Yes, because that information is based on their fundamental beliefs as a religious institution.

But in relaying those information are they fair?
First, we can’t expect things to be fair since we are fighting from opposite standpoint. Yes the Church may have propagandas. Yes the Church may claim that the bill is a work of evil. Yes the Church may use the power of its institution to bred hatred on the policy.

On a more critical point though:

1. Overpopulation: is it a myth?
- Some says that we are overpopulated that is why we need the bill passed. Then the opposite side says that the mere fact that we limit no. of children to be born (thus limiting mouths to feed) then we as if consider the unborn (or people in general) as liabilities which in fact be a great net asset.

My opinion: First Philippines is not overpopulated. It just so happen that our productivity (in terms of producing goods) is outpaced by the growth rate of our population. There is nothing wrong in a growing population since it can really be an asset. But to what extent can the state sustain such growth for it is consider as an asset? If it continuously grows (given limited resources) then we will probably be putting the general welfare in jeopardy.

But in a more important note: should we really look at this only in macro (effect in economy/country as a whole)? I think we should also look at the Micro as well (impact of it within the family). In my previous post I talked about that family size matters. In this case it matters because most of those with big families are living below poverty line. Is this compelling enough to push for the bill? I say yes basically on the side of educating families on Family Planning.

2. Who should teach couples about family planning?
-Some says the Church should teach them because its values are towards enriching family ties/strengthening family bond. Other says the state should be the one to teach them because priests know nothing about sex, etc.

My opinion: Both of them have the duty to educate couples. In the end what we seek to give to people are informed choices. It means that we give them the right to choose given all necessary information related to family planning are disclosed to the couples.

That is why the Church should educate them thru Pre-nuptial seminars about the toil and trouble of having a family. It is the responsibility of the Church to make them understand that the intention of sex is for procreation. At the same time, the State has the duty to fill in some missing puzzle pieces regarding family planning like the use of artificial contraception.

We empower the couple to choose. It is not that the State will lead the couples astray for using contraception. Let just say that this is a form of mitigating future harms that might happen brought about by too much passion between the couple.

3. Will this lead to Abortion, further Pre-marital sex, more single mothers, etc?

Some says that those countries who took a path which is similar to RH Bill actually experience more problems and further social decay like abortion, more pre-marital sex, more single mothers. These obviously thwart the claims of those in favor of the bill.

My opinion: May be it will lead to abortion. May be it will lead to more whores. The thing is, should we depend on situations that are yet to occur? Does the bill inhibits or create circumstances that will allow in the future Abortion? Not at all. It is even against abortion.

Pre-Marital sex is this a myth? In a more realistic look on society, we can’t deny that it happens. It will continue to happen because the moral fibers of society have been continuously distorted by western liberal ideas that we all freely accepted through modern media. It will continue to grow as long as we foster liberal ideas from the west even with or without the bill. That is why judging the bill on this ground is a little unfair. Since the bill is realistic enough to understand this fragile situation. It just so happen that the bill opted to go to the path of practicality.

I want to talk about other things but It can wait. 

This bill will still go a long way… A lot of Debate… A lot of Propaganda… This can be a defining moment for P-Noy’s administration.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Does family size matter?

The average family size in Philippines is 5. Minimum wage in NCR is 367.00-404.00 Php (as of June 2010). In a practical sense, how will a family of 5 be able to budget this to pay for FOOD, rent, clothing, EDUCATION, utilities, etc. If only 1 is working in the household, how is 8000 or so per month can cover this much cost?

Will you be able to feed your family with adequate nutritional benefits? Will you be able to send 3 kids into school and to at least reach Secondary Education? I think it will be very hard.

In a study made by Virola and Martinez shows that families with smaller members have higher Per Capita Income (family income) which translate to higher level of expenditures (family expenses) and higher savings (family savings). This kind of observation is consistent from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Moreover it was observed that those poorest of the poor families with utmost 6 members have higher per capita income compared to those with at least 7 members.

In reality, families living below poverty line tend to have higher members (bigger family size)…

Now what is wrong? Some say it is family size, some say it is only due to lack of economic opportunities, some say it is because of the corrupt government. They are all correct but we can’t cure it by excluding one from another and this problem is multi-faceted.

First thing I think that should be addressed is proper population management. Then spur economic growth. And hopefully it will create a trickledown effect on every pockets of society. I guess it is a matter of educating the public and it should not just be limited on giving free condoms (but is an important aspect).

In my personal opinion, can we really convince the society that we should live a righteous life and do not have sex to avoid unwanted pregnancy and ballooning of family size (abstinence)? I think it is a good way and may be effective. And this message has been relayed to the whole community (A COMMUNITY PREDOMINANTLY CATHOLIC- RELIGIOUS).

But my inquisitive mind still asked, despite the religiosity and pervasiveness of this teaching, why do we still have the problems of unwanted pregnancy and ballooning family size?

I am Pro-life and I will say that pro-life (for me) means living a righteous path but at the same time living in a decent condition.

Monday, March 14, 2011

A place like home...

A home is a place where we find refuge, we get to be ourselves and do things that we are restricted to do. It can ultimately be a source of identity and security. For me a Home is not a physical entity but a concept which we may attribute to something that makes us feel comfortable. At least this is what a home for me.

A home may be my family… May be my country… May be marriage…

But at times, what we perceive a home may also be a torture chamber hidden in the shadows of gender inequality and discrimination which is a paradox that is hard to fathom.

Men and Women play different roles, at times roles depend on the gender perception and stereotypes of a place. It may hard to admit but some societies are still fueled by machismo attitudes and patterns of patriarchal control. Some opt to institutionalize it or it may just be entrenched social practice that is considered as cultural and universal.

We see in a daily basis women being abused and battered. But it is only the tip of the ice berg. Sometimes when these things are considered normal and even customary it already borders the defiance of human dignity. When men play a role of manipulation and control, women are often left vulnerable.

Sometimes women are led to believe to be submissive even to the most abusive and atrocious way. These can be seen in different societies in various forms like foot binding, burning their selves alive, be whipped by older brothers, breast ironing, female circumcision, etc. And I think this is where we might find it hard to empower women, because they went through very long years of brainwashing and indoctrination making them see this as normal or a rite of passage…

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Grayscale Environment

We all live in the comforts of the metropolis. We find our way in the shadows and between those high-rise structures. Day and night we march on like little pawns on a chorus of the bustling corporate life. Within the confines of those enormous structures we build our own little worlds.

And with the towering figure of these structures we sometimes find ourselves fidgeting and wondering where we are. Despite the length of time we spent we never really sought to understand our surrounding.

Yes, it is sometimes depressing after realizing that life became boring. We may have trivialized how the environment is actually affecting our behavior and feelings. On the flipside, it may significantly affect our perception on how we act on our lives.

Our sensorial outlets are very powerful on affecting the way we feel. If all you see are the enormous buildings, smell only the smog, hear only engines of cars- what do you think we will be? If I am to paint it in my imagination, its color is monochromatic gray, the texture is rough, the strokes and lines are sharp and crooked. We may not have really realized it but we are living in a harsh surrounding; a man-made hell wrapped with gratuitous decorations. The cruel thing is, it actually made us enjoy the scenery.

That is why, it is really nice to still even see parks where trees and flowers really grows at the middle of this chaos. To seriously think about it, this small parcel of land is actually an insignificant consolation of the trade-off we have made. A small place of refuge for the systematic alteration of the environment we are in.