Sunday, December 28, 2008


I hate waiting in a kanto for a friend who takes all the time in world to prepare fresh for a night that would inevitably end up with us wasted. I see strangers walk pass by. Some are way too cute to be legal. Some look decent. Some papable. Some looks like they smell, or smell like they look. Some grungy but undeniably a whole amount of sexy, almost bastusin. Most of them I find utterly delectable.

I've been wondering lately if my standards are getting way too low. It seems that I find guys no matter how unkempt they are, attractive. I try to justify their appeal and only ends up thinking that the only common denominator is that piece of tool that dangles between their legs. The problem of course is that the same thing can be found between mine.

I refuse to consider that I've become too blinded and immune to the opposite gender to find they are getting scarcer by the second, too sex-crazed to the same, and then worst yet, too cynical to be sensible-- to make sense. I know I'm only thinking within, bounded and trapped, in the context of traditional societal norms. So I try to think of what I want/need/can do but I know there's a danger to that as much as always asking for the what-ifs and what-might-have-beens.

And my thoughts wander to bittersweet text messages, to worn out love letters in my grandma's baul to sickeningly saccharine blogs. Did I already say I hate waiting at kantos?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

What is QA?

I wanted to send somethings to the agents assigned to me so I started writing this. It got too long though and I failed to see the sense in sending this one so I didn't. Posting this here instead... :)

Quality Assurance, or QA, is that set of activities that are carried out to set standards and to monitor and improve performance so that the service provided will satisfy stated or implied needs(1).This process is done on a regular basis so that relevant quality standards, found through practice and research, are met(2).

In our line of work, this translates to parameters that are categorized into three major groups. The first one is the CALL FLOW. This includes the start and the end of the call, the paraphrasing, the all-important hold procedure and the documentation. The second one is the RESOLUTION. This includes using your tools effectively to pull up records, your probing skills, your troubleshooting steps, confirming that the issue has been resolved by asking the confirmation script, answering questions asked by customer accurately and not breaching policies especially those that can cost Symantec money. Last but not the least, is the COMMUNICATION. This includes your active listening skills, your skillful education to the customer, your professional conduct, giving a roadmap of the resolution to your customer, establishing rapport by showing empathy and apologizing and being generally understandable by the customer.

For example, a good verbage composition would enable an agent to address a couple of parameters with one stroke. As such, always open your call with the recommended opening script and then after getting the first name, ask the customer "how are you today?" This would effectively establish rapport and will pave an easy way for the probing of customer's concern.

Perfect QA score is 100%. Whenever one of these parameters are not followed, a percentage of your QA score is deducted. For example, if one doesn't apologize or address customer's stated agitation over the long wait time, 8% of the score is lost. If the same agent opened the call with just "Welcome to Norton" missing the "Support," that agent will lose 6%. That would bring the total QA score to 86% even if agent was very efficient on all the other parameters.

Within the parameters are fatal ones. Fatal items are these:
1) ensuring that issue is resolved in a timely fashion;
2) all customer questions are answered accurately and appropriately;
3) Symantec policies aren't breached (this is where Goodwill codes can be applied or escalating the case in need be);
4) customer doesn't have any problem understanding the agent.
Failure to comply with these parameters would automatically merit a zero QA score.

How does one get a perfect QA score then?

It's not that easy but it's also not impossibly hard. As stated above, these standards are gathered from research and extensive experience and exist naturally to help agents navigate through a complicated issue and give utmost satisfaction to customers the fastest way possible.
Be educated, and then educate the customer. Empathize and a customer would be grateful even if you weren't able to solve the problem in a short time. Speak slowly and clearly, and customers will appreciate the efforts you're putting through. Be sincere. Smile. What more, exemplary skills in any of the parameters can be given stars and they convert to an additional 1 or 2% to one's QA score. And on top of all that, it also means no headache for YOU.

So go ahead and ask your customer 'how are you today?'

Online Sources:

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Holiday cheers everyone! Here's to a well-spent 2008 and a very hopeful and positive 2009. :)

Lemme share some serious LOVE...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Opening the Attic

I was idly browsing online when I decided to visit my Friendster page. Like opening the attic (or bodega) and discovering your parent's old stuff, I came across my old blog and read what I wrote. Fast forward 3 years after and I sat amazed that it's been that long but still felt like yesterday.

I wrote a falling out article with D and I wrote another one although I'm not sure for whom. In both cases, I was not at my happiest. I noticed I wrote mostly of heartaches but not of the light regular stuff. I suppose it can't be helped: my heightened emotions at these moments encourages me to write and put into perspective, or make sense, whatever it was that was happening at that time.

I imagine myself 5 years from now and getting a kick again from reading what's happened and how I may have felt. Reading through these again convinces me that everybody should keep a blog, or keep a journal at least--because one can never really tell how it may feel once you read them again. Like right now. I'm won't say how or why but going through them made me feel just a tad smug.

image from here

Gretchen Barreto in You and Me Against the World

Gretchen Barreto is fabulous with a capital F in You and Me Against the World. Her hosting skills may come across as awkward at times but there's no doubting she's very beautiful (thanks Botox?) and the way the show is setup to spend all to the last cent the 1 million pesos cash prize is nothing short of amazing.

The episode I saw showed her calling a home viewer. The lucky guy sounded groggy, seemingly woken up from deep slumber. He wasn't able to answer her silly question which only checked if he was watching the show from the start but was given 200+ thousand pesos anyway. I say WTF!?! He sounded jubilant but at the same time doubtful that he'd been lucky enough to be electronically drawn and given this much money but he was. (I hope he does, or La Greta will make a tantrum like the infamous story where her credit cards were denied and she snapped "How can the be, we own the bank!")

Here in this third-world country, we need more shows like this one, although not exactly another one like her. :P

Family Day and What-Nots

Wanda and I found myself at Victoria Plaza after shift, going through different shops and still deciding what to buy with the budget given to us for our program's Family Day/Christmas Party. We were there to buy prizes for our major awardees, for awards like Mr and Ms Headturner, Red Hot Agent, Power Couple and Gay Star and for minor ones like Early Bird. It was an agonizing experience, aside from the fact that all the displays overwhelmed us and not helping us at all on what to buy, but with me limping and wincing with every step. My gout has no respect for this once-a-year pioneer event and it had taken the perfect timing to attack.

We browsed through different shops that contain trinkets from Taiwan and China. These things are mostly ran-offs and poor imitations of the branded things. While I don't have a bone to pick with some of the items, I just wish they wouldn't be so blatantly fake. If the quality is passable, why not go to design town and get artsy and creative with the aesthetic of the thing? I doubt there would shortage on ideas and ingenuity in the internet. Some of them looked quite the real thing but it would definitely be better without the logos. And then there are some that aren't fake at all if branding would be the basis but are nevertheless disgusting because of their dubious quality such as batteries that only run for a minute and plastic toys that are impossibly brittle. I suppose they are there because of their affordability but if you really think about them, they are only problems in the long run. Haven't I read somewhere that batteries are dangerous and should be disposed properly? And plastics are plastic are plastic and are non biodegradable. That means we are just buying the cheap and fastest ticket to a more polluted Earth.

We did find some cute toys like the plastic motor fan shaped like a man with its penis as the switch. We thought it could be a nice prize so we asked for four of them. Surprise, surprise- out of the seven displayed, only one was working. We also came across a cute mug and a funky photo frame and giving up on the quality but taking it at face value, got one of each.

The fan was perfect for the Red Hot Agent. It was too small an amount so we added by buying the little chest of gold coins we saw inside the department store. In all honesty, I actually did not want to. I thought we shouldn't be awarding this agent at all. I mean, why reward someone who is basically an asshole? Then I conceded when I thought that these guys are not necessarily mean people (except for one nominee who had his 5-minute of fame as a 10k boy/gay and whom I totally find despicable, me and Wanda are probably meaner), it's just that they panic too soon and react too much when faced with a particularly complicated call. Their reactions are usually funny and almost always become a good reference and representation of our lives as call center agents.

We also found our prizes for our Headturners inside. We passed by the accessories section and I thought the silver and black gothic jewelry would go well since we work at night, like vampires. However, we settled with the shiny plain silver chains thinking it would compliment their beautiful faces and fit bodies, if not their slightly vain (hopefully not shallow) personas. The only inspiration we got was for the Gay Star- the shiny metallic tiara we bought would perfectly crown the queen of our program like nothing would.

We passed by Dreamworld to shop for five pairs of colorful tumblers, which are perfectly allowed to be bought in the floor. I looked at the place and crinkled my nose in distaste at the state of the shop. Before, Dreamworld was the place to buy original Disney/WB items. I remember I used to go there to windowshop for my favorite character: Tazmania. I couldn't afford anything back then because the price was too steep and now that I think I could, I wouldn't because I think I'm too old for them.

My gout got more prominent. With every step, it's like my whole being became focused on my big toe, the pain acute and the skin too sensitive, like million pins pushing in that special damned region. We bought candies to be put in lootbags for our guest kids. The shopping was almost over and I bought cheese-flavored french fries from Fries 'R Us. I had a moment when I popped a still-hot string in my mouth. One had to do these before it gets soggy. I smiled as I remembered myself 10 years back. I went to this mall, the first one ever in Davao City, for this. Despite the occasional sting on my foot when I try to move it ever so slowly, I felt it was all worth it. We bought what our program needed for tonight and I got a memory.


I woke up too late for the party. Fortunately, the pain on my feet had subsided; the uric acid that had crystallized probably melted by the couple of Colchicine I downed before I went to sleep. When I reached the office, people were already going out because the programme was finished. I was disappointed I wasn't able to take pictures at all nor and I didn't find out who won the awards. All was not in vain though. One of the people milling about at the entrance was the winner of the Gay Star Award. To anyone who cares, Biboi would insist this is just a "trip", whatever that means.


After the Christmas party I missed, I went to Wh'stletop, MTS and spent some bonding time with Jenny, Dimples, Avs and Nerissa. It was supposed to be a Batch 17 Christmas Get-Together but apparently, our batchmates had plans of their own that night. So much for spontaineity- that would only work with your closer friends like the five of us who met that night; others would be more likely to go on with their own plans if you don't plan way in advance. We also saw Alma and some of our other CIs that night. Alma was still as cute as a pixie. Hope her personal life is now better than the last time I heard it was.


Edick, who had his shop displaced a week ago, from the old Impit Purok to the stall beside Bulbagaba at Taboan, joined us. I didn't have any Christmas gift for him yet so I asked him what he wanted. Asking was not a wise thing to do. Without thinking much about it, Edick answered a massage. Edick was more of a 'massage parlor connoissuer' than I am so I knew exactly what he was up to. He told me a friend recommended a new one along Obrero Street. So we did and found FSN Body Spa and Massage Center. I don't think it's the same place that his friend has recommended. I had to laugh at Edick when our one hour session was finished. He was so disappointed. He said he didn't even try flirting with the masseur; the massage service itself left too much to be wanted. He despaired he'd never heard of a simple oil rub cost that much. Oh well, it's the thought that counts- a libre is still a libre.


Here's a Happy Birthday! to two of the men in my life. No issues or malice here, it's just that they are literally men and they are part of my life. Haha! Anyway, here's a toast to Sup Ron and my friend, JayR! Wish you a more blessed year! :)

Also, Congratulations! to Rhea. She just got her VISA. I'm sad to realize the Circle finds it harder and harder to reunite but I'm sincerely happy that it's finally Rhea's time to go out and experience the world by herself. Lipad Reipooh Lipad!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy Birthday Rain

On his birthday, it rained when most days have been awfully hot and humid at daytime. I guess what that means is he will be blessed by heaps and heaps of good things this year. A few close friends met up at Dimsum Diner for dinner and afterwards hung out at Jikong's, Torres.

Rain, happy birthday to you! Wish you all the best that money can't buy!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Simbang Gabi: Budbud at the Office

The Simbang Gabi, signals the coming of Christmas for most Filipinos.

Simbang Gabi is one of the Spanish-influenced traditions still widely practiced here in the Philippines. The word literally means Night Mass (technically it is dawn). So for nine dawns before Christmas, which is December 16, people would flock to their church of choice and attend mass.

Most of the people who attent Simbang Gabi do so as a novena. They believe that certain blessings or petitions are granted if one has the stamina to get up at the mass' ungodly hour for consecutive days for more than a week.

Outside the churches, a number of food peddlers open up make-shift stalls to offer a variety of rice dishes. Traditional Simbang Gabi faires are ensaymada, bibingka, puto bumbong, suman and other rice delicacies.

As we have no way to go to church to attend the mass at this time because of our shifts, the management brought this to us, or at least, a representation of it- they bought budbud into the office. There was bit of contention about what is budbud and suman but it was lost when we tasted the sitcky rice sans the usual white sugar- it was good.

Now if only sikwati(hot chocolate) was also available, it would have been perfect.

More pictures here.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Where's The Turkey?

I grabbed the chance of having a thanksgiving party together with my fellow QA passer, Gwen, without batting an eyelash. How else could I get luckier? In a moment's notice, her mom had took on the responsibility of organizing a party to celebrate, well, uhmm.. our success. Their place was available, the food and drinks already ordered and it was only a matter of adding my own monetary contribution and guest list and all was set for the evening.

So at 6pm, without a second's sleep, I went to get Nerry from her boarding house and together we went to Morales Village, at Gwen's house. I expected more than the handful of people that had attended but I suppose it was just impossible to have everyone when each of us have different teams, and therefore, schedules. The table, although all there had already eaten was still full. Even beef stew from my favorite Carling's had made it to Gwen's table. There was also lechon, some kind of a sweet-tasting chicken, a tomato-based pork dish, fish strips, fried shrimp, kinilaw and pancit (I'm not exactly sure what their specific names were but I liked it all). We had leche flan and yummy fruit salad for desert. I really couldn't be more satisfied with the food available.

Since Gwen and I moved in basically the same circle, we have the same guests. On top of that, I invited team-O (Team Orgy for the uninitiated but no, we don't really do that. That is, we do it discreetly one-on-one :P). Nerry, Lester, Lala, Chelsea, Oliver, Tope and I- a mere fraction of our glorious rancuous training team, were the only ones there. While I hoped the others would be there, I guess I couldn't really insist on that. It was after all, just a thanksgiving. Nothing too personal with that.

I am grateful. That's the reason for the event in the first place but it was with despair that I grudgingly ended the night and went to the office because I still had duty. I have asked my current supervisor the night before to take the day off but I got a firm no. So being the (slightly) goody-two-shoes that I am, I limited my alcohol intake that night and still sober but tired (I never got to sleep at all during the day), took on an 8-hour shift of answering begruntled customers whose issues are not limited on the product they are calling about.

Because I was totally spent, I got nauseated the night after, running a slight fever and unable to summon up enough energy even to take a bath (it's all probably in my head) so I called in sick. So yeah, I got a bit miserable but really, at the end of the day, I still could feel gratitude wash over me like the rain does after a particularly humid and muggy day: I don't have to take in calls anymore and that thought never fails to bring a grin on my face.

More pictures here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008


I got IT.

Thoughts on Political Activism

I was passing by Uyanguren Street on my way to Bryan's carinderia when I saw a large group of marching protesters against Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. I wasn't able to see a good look at their banners and determine what exact issue they were rallying against. I suppose they were marching towards Rizal Park, in front of San Pedro Cathedral, exactly like we used to do when I was an elementary student at Assumption College of Davao. They were causing traffic at the already congested street.

Back then, I didn't know what we were exactly doing, just happy we had reprieve from the boring classroom lectures. In my innocent and unpolluted mind, I was happy to "take a stand", with ACD almost always in the forefront of student activism for environmentalism, ethnic minority issues and what-have-you. I doubt the parents would have allowed us to walk for miles and I don't think they really knew we always did that.

I'm not so good in expressing my political convictions, always taking the less aggressive road- aware of the misgivings or the atrocities of the current administration and aware that people know about it as well (hence the marches) but always settling with just fixing the immediate things around me. I thought about the government and politics and it just overwhelms me. Perhaps it's a limitation, a character flaw, or even cowardice so I clam up. That is why, I've always held respect for people who are vocally so, even if I don't necessarily agree with them.

As we were crawling pass the long line, I saw a couple of them laughing, probably in their late teens, their toothless grins conveying to me that they are just there for fun, like me when I was younger. The driver told me matter-of-factly that they were paid to be there. I felt a twinge of disdain. And despair for the country. Now I won't say the driver was right. He could be right, or he could be totally wrong. I was in elementary back then and I didn't know better. Hopefully today, these people know what they were taking a stand for.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


In a fit of ill-prepared imprudence (am I ready or good enough?), I applied for the post of a Quality Analyst. This morning was my interview. After it, I wallowed in 5 minutes of intense hopelessness. I knew in the deepest of my heart that I messed it up. I told everyone who cared to ask, or just listen, that I failed miserably. Totally. Idiotically. Disappointingly.

However, I didn't get any rejection email (they call it regret email) which means the QA manager perhaps saw enough in me, in my botched attempts to give him a coherent answer, to let me pass through his scrutiny. Then my dear ex-supervisor congratulated me "in secret" and my QA bestfriend hugged me. I could, wanted to, cry because I could see the sincere happiness in her eyes.

That would mean I got it right? Not exactly because I haven't received any email confirming that I got the post. Right now, it's hard to stay still and it's hard to laugh. All day long I tried to keep a poker face- not able to show the tiniest hint of a smug smile on my face. After all, there's nothing really to show for it.

I hope and I pray I will get it. Announce it. Please. NOW NA!

(on a negative note, if I do get the rejection email.. uhmm.. well, life goes on)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Manny Pacquiao Wins Over Oscar Dela Hoya

Manny won over pretty-boy Dela Hoya at their Dream Match (yeah, it's that kind of match you have to dream about because of the income it generated for these two guys, no matter who won) last Sunday. I was at work and came out just in time to hear that Pacman won. Woot!

I was looking for news articles about the match when I came across this. So while the Pacman can go home and get it on with becoming the next president of the Philippines, the Golden Boy can continue pursuing his fetish of fishnet stockings. This made my day. By the way, Oscar indeed is pretty. :)

Picture from here.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Day of Amore: Basti's Brew and Ems Pasta and Rolls

The girl's name Amore \a-mo-re\ is a variant of Amor(French), and the meaning of Amore is "love".

Last Friday, I got the surprise of my life when Niña(we also call her by her second name, Amor) texted me that she was in Davao City and she wanted to hang out with me. Aside from the fact that it's not like her at all to text me and be urgent about meeting, it's also the big bump that have been swelling on her stomach for the last 8 months or so that made me not quite grasp the idea of her out and about in Davao when she's now based in Mati City.

We met at Victoria Plaza and got settled quickly at Basti's Brew, which was our favorite tambayan when we were both nursing students. We used to take advantage of their bottomless iced tea priced affordably at P50/person. We only ordered food when we had more money than what was needed to pay our cab fare home (we were neighbors; conveniently using each one as excuses when one of us wanted to go out and didn't want to tell where to exactly). I looked at Amor and saw that aside from her very obvious pregnancy, she hadn't really changed much.

Amor ordered a strawberry concoction that tasted like medicine. We both didn't like it. We were waiting for Jenny, another nursing classmate so I didn't order any, just lounging there to while away time. Amor had a new i-Phone, which I completely salivated over. I wanted to have it, told her so and we just laughed about it, not having the malice of possessiveness and real jealousy that real friends have.

Jenny was as usual late, having to do a million of errands for her family. When we got out to board her car, we found out that it was lightly dented by a flashy yellow SUV who was backing out the parking lot. Jenny's sister was the one driving. She pushed her horn like crazy but the driver didn't hear it. Fortunely, a guard was standing nearby and ran off after the offending car. It was blocked at the exit and went there. Of course, everyone (walking or in their cars) had to crane their necks to take a look at the commotion. So... Pinoy... like me.

Because of the ensuing process of estimating (the car had to be taken to shop ASAP so that repairs could be estimated and paid off by the driver), Jenny wasn't able to eat with us (supposedly, we were going somewhere for pizza), utterly late for more of her other million errands.

Amor and I decided to do it by ourselves, even if Jenny wasn't able to. We asked to be dropped off at Ems Pasta and Rolls. The first and only time I was there was with Minrose to try their pasta. The resto name after all has the word on it so we thought it could be their specialty. I remembered the baked lasagna to be too soggy and too sweet for my taste but I also remembered that I was full when I left there. So we went inside, Amor and I, wanting to try their other offerings.

I ordered Baked Spaghetti and Chicken and a single roll of Fresh Lumpia while Amor had Carbonara and Chicken. The baked spaghetti was like the baked lasagna I had before and the chicken was too salty. I complained to Amor but of course, I ate it all up. What I really liked was the lumpia though. This one never failed me, especially if an additional serving of the peanut paste is served with it. I noticed that a lot of people eat there, that I really like the vibe of place and looking at their posters, saw that they offer a Party Package Express at P1,450. This includes a pan of baked spaghetti, a bucket of fried chicken and a chocolate cake.

I went out of the place pretty full. As usual, we walked hand in hand. Pretty soon, and all too fast though, it'd be a way different scenario next time- the one clutching Amor's hand her son. At that moment, it was almost like we were holding on to the shreds of memories of our nursing days that we will forever have but is now utterly just a thing of the past. Back then, we were more innocent and carefree. There was really no need to get poignant about all these as the future is progressively more exciting but it must be Ems pasta that did it. We finally found a cab to take us to our neighboring homes.

More pictures here.

Ems Pasta and Rolls
Jacinto Ext., F. Torres Street, Davao City
Contact # 0822268268

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Muddled Thinking

A man who does not think for himself does not think at all. (Oscar Wilde)
After dinner at my grandmother's house to celebrate my lolo's birthday, I went to Idol Grill at Torres. I personally don't like this joint as the live music seemed too loud. I was supposed to meet Jayr earlier tonight but he's so impossible to contact that I simply gave up.

He was supposed to make my day; a last hurrah before another week at work will start. Maybe it is karma working to get me back for yesterday- they say too much fun overflows to an ocean of misery... although I could not say I was exactly miserable. Disappointed, I think, but that is just expected. I'd normally raise hell if someone drops me without notice. I had to cancel a couple of invitations to go out after all. So I had to settle with meeting up with Ernie. I invited him to play MAFA with me but he said where he was so I decided to tag along, not caring who he is with. When I got at the place, he was alone; his friend had apparently gone home.

Ernie already had a couple of Redhorse. I hadn't had any and Ernie feebly protested that he had enough. I looked over the other table, then back at Ernie's too-smiling impish face and decided we needed more fun. I ordered another bucket of the beer on the pretense that I was doing it for Ernie's sake; the guy at the other table had just winked at him. Ernie, tipsy, described the situation as iring-iring (or cat-cat). So there we were, perpetually flirting and hoping for a morsel of attention to come our way. When it does, we giggle like two prepubescent guuurls. It was fun but I knew it was lamefully pathetic. The band suddenly played 'The Past'.

I smiled, quite smug- the universe is definitely throwing me a curved ball. And it couldn't even resist rubbing it in. It was in this momentary lapse of attention of the present that Mike showed up. Mike. Mike, whom I've confessed unabashedly that I lusted after him the first time we met. Mike, who smiled at me after I said it like that. Feeling at ease with each other, our talk became a bit serious despite the shallow ass I had earlier made of myself. We both shared what was happening with us and who we are, like old friends that had just met anew. For some reason, it became a conversation of "us." At that time, he was wallowing post-heartbreak and I think I was too although now I couldn't quite pinpoint with whom. I thought it was not the right time for anyone to commit (like there should be a time). We met a couple of times after that but it never amounted to anything. What I couldn't forget about him was his intensity though, the way he discussed the pettiest of things. It was this intensity that we had considered "us."

I could only grin at the impeccable timing. He was with a couple of friends but couldn't find them at the moment so he decided to sit with me. There was the usual kamustas and he looked at me like I've grown a big zit on my nose. He told me I look leaner. I usually smile at this, not really knowing how to respond to a compliment, but doing that for having nothing better to say. The words escaped my lips before I could really think about it. "Bullshit. Whatever." I said, rather sarcastically and loudly. I thought I also said it too sharply so I just bit my lip when I took a quick glance at his face and saw he looked hurt by my reply.

We kept silent after that; aside from the fact that the band had started their third round at the stage with heavy metal music, talking almost impossible. I would have gladly forgotten this minor incident had he not talked to me before he stood up and left. "Sayang. We think too much. You more than I do." He half-smiled before he stalked off.

I admit I felt a bit guilty. In my drunken haze, I pondered on how and why I did what I just did. I don't know what got into me to react like that to him. I wasn't even able to grin, which I usually do to take back what I've just said or at least dilute the harshness- for damage control. In hindsight, I couldn't really say it was that big of a outburst but maybe it was. I thought I was becoming too mean.

I didn't know how Ernie did it but I suddenly found myself surrounded by the guys from the other table. Ernie had successfully summoned up the courage (in other words, got more drunk) to invite them over to our table. I shook hands with the strangers but was left fiddling with my phone; unable and too wary to join in the group's conversation, afraid my natural sarcasm and biting remarks would not help Ernie in any way with whatever his motives were.

Before I got too lost in my own world though, Jayr appeared, smiling apologetically as he said he was tired but couldn't pass up the few chances we have of seeing each other. He drank faster to make up for the bottles Ernie and I had already finished. I relaxed because finally I saw someone I expected tonight. Before long, I was laughing with the group.

Jayr and I went home together, me dropping Jayr off at his house. He asked me innocently if there's something fun he can do at my house. I answered none; didn't say out loud that my answer to him on that question is never; knowing that there would be lots of implications and risks in such a prospect within personal quarters. These "implications and risks" made Mike's statement came back to me about thinking too much. He does have a point. Maybe I do. Too much, like he said.

I don't know. And then I think (there it is again) maybe it's for the better. Mike, Mike, Mike. Catch me when I'm not thinking.

Cartoon from here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Amaranthus Garden

Avs and I went to Jickong's at Torres yesterday for a much-needed reprieve from stress and from life in general. We decided to forego our usual Generoso and opted to drink Redhorse. We also ordered a plate of their own take on Buffalo Wings, which was admittedly very good. As usual we splurged on their teeny weeny barbecue.

To cap the night off, we went to Amaranthus Garden - Massage and Spa. I tried to research what Amaranthus is and I discovered that it is a herb. Whether they use it extensively in this place, I wasn't able to find out.

Formerly, this was called Refresh and it was, and probably still is, known for the extra services that their handsome masseurs offer. I'd be lying if I say I haven't tried these extra services, although they are but a few and far in between. I won't also say that I didn't like them. However it has always been plain obvious to me that these kind of things are there because one encourages it. Therefore, if one doesn't want these things. then one can right off the bat set the expectations he has for what services he require. I don't think there is a need here to launch into a social dissection of poverty in this third world country and how it had forced people to go into offering these kind of "immoral" services, the term immoral meriting another round of heavy discussion on its own. I'd rather take the middle road and say you pursue what you want and you pay what is due somebody.

There are still a handful of massage/spa parlors in this city even at this ungodly hour but I can definitely say the massage in this place is good. My masseur was a cute (build-wise as well) guy named JP. I was pleasantly surprised he knows how to put pressure on where it feels the best. He did tease me, and I allowed him but if it was based solely on the message, I'd give him a rating of eight out of ten. What this means is I'll be back there again to unwind and relax, even not necessarily have these extra services. A returning female client, while we were paying for our "Dream Massage" at a very affordable P250, told me that Angelo (aka Takao) and Ricky were two of the most requested. I'll definitely keep those names in mind.

Amaranthus Garden is open 24 hours a day and is located at corner Porras and Palma Gil Street, Obrero, Davao City. For reservations and home services, they can be contacted at (082)3044571 and 09173721716. They also have their own blog at

Damosa Gateway's Bazarista 2008

Another bazaar is in town for the Christmas holidays. Dubbed as Bazarista 2008, it will be located at Damosa Gateway and will run from December 10 to 20. Their contact cards boast that it is "definitely the best buys this Christmas...." and it promises great finds that will make one "shop until you drop."

Stalls are still available at P3000 for 10 days. My friend Jonel organized this event and for reservations, he can be contacted at 09107621741.

Christmas tree doodle from here.

Counting My Blessings: Juventus: Picobello, Twilight and Mia Piace

The end of the month of December signaled another change in my hectic-but-not-too-exciting work life. It is the time that we have to quit our special team, Juventus, to be displaced to another- hopefully refreshed and now more equipped to handle customers.

I miss the one-hour post huddles that we did everyday. It was pure pleasure really, being able to breathe the electrified office atmosphere first, unhurried and not forced to start another day of sycophancy and haggling with strangers to be more agreeable and more understanding about the flaws of the cosmos in general, and particularly the product we provide support with.

It was good to say "How are you today?" and make small talk without being mindful of the extended amount of time one spent with a particularly angry customer. We were reminded everyday that quality must be married to quantity but in that team, quantity seemed inconsequential; the satisfaction of the customer always the top priority.

We celebrated the success of the month and our team by having a pizza party at Picobello at the the 5th level of Gaisano South Mall. Tired and having not enough sleep, I struggled to make it on time to take advantage of the pizzeria's Buy 1 Take 1 promo which was only available from 2pm to 5pm. The Quattro Formaggi (four cheese pizza) was good, but it was my favorite Calzone that made me remember why I think this is the best pizzeria in town. The place also a lot of excellent Italian meals but we were eating off my superior's pockets so no need to ask for more, really. For about P2,000, a group of 12 people's hunger was satiated and it even included the drinks.

We separated ways after that, with people going home to their respective families. Four of us were left to watch Twilight together at Gaisano Mall of Davao. Before watching the movie, we had coffee at Brewedcaster at the 5th level parking lot.

Like most movie adaptations are wont to do, this one didn't quite reach the mark that the book version had achieved. It wasn't able to show the intricacy of the love-against-all-odds story that the book had, set fantastically against the mysterious and interesting legend of vampires. Admittedly, there were moments that Robert Pattinson sent my heart aflutter. I doubt he could ever reach the perfect godliness that the hero in the book was perpetually described in but he sufficed. Kirsten Stewart was also pretty but she came across too much as channeling Jennifer Love Hewitt's brand of angsty-while-being-annoyingly-cute acting. The movie focused on the fantasy of having a perfect vampire-boyfriend who could move at great speeds, climb at the topmost part of trees and sparkle-dazzle under the sun, and hence showed more of the action parts of the story. I wish though that the movie could have established the protagonists' personalities, the dilemma of being utterly different but essentially compatible, the humanity of these so-called monsters, of being able to transcend these differences (like vampires not succumbing to their animalistic urges) and to blindly and wholeheartedly fall in love- to fall into this purposeful abyss with blind faith and commitment. For me, the book's very human and is essentially a love story that could apply to everybody who thinks they're different and therefore is afraid to fall and lust and commit and get crazy (Hmm.. like who? Hehe). I can be easily pleased though and despite the obvious flaws of the movie, I'd still recommend it.

After the movie, we wanted to dance and drink so we went to our usual haunt at Yukemie, at Rizal Promenade. It got too crowded and getting progressively older, it made me want to just go out in the open air and drink my Redhorse. Some text messages were sent and pretty soon, our group of four expanded to nine and we decided to go to nearby Mia Piace (Italian for My Place but there's nothing Italian about the place at all, unless Italian just became the synonym for Davao's gays and bisexuals) for rounds of Margarita. We sang sappy love songs and tried to belt out popular power ballads while getting drunk. Pretty soon, our group got rowdy and much too noisy, at almost 4 in the morning, although it was all confined within our circle so it was all good.

Everyone got hungry so we ate at Dimsum Diner at Ilustre. As we were eating, I looked at people's faces. Everyone was tired but still animated, the banter flowing easily. To me, they represented another month of a job well done. Nothing too glamorous or big or amazingly great, but I'm just counting my blessings.

More pictures here. Twilight book cover from here.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Davao Convention Center's Christmas Bazaar 2008

It's that time of the year again when shopaholics go crazy over sales and bazaars. This is probably so because this is the only time they have an excuse to go shopping-gaga to buy gifts for themselves and their loved ones for a year well spent, financial crises and economic downturns aside.

Today, the Christmas Bazaar held annually at Davao Convention Center will open its arm to usher in the rush of holiday spenders. Available merchandise ranges from very small trinkets that makes the cutest giveaways for acquaintances to the latest styles in clothing that would surely catch the interest of fashionistas and to serious purchases like big wooden furniture. This year's bazaar will be open at these dates:
  • November 28 - 5PM to12MN
  • November 29/30 - 10AM to 12MN
  • December 01 - 10AM to 9PM
One of the booths will offer my friend Rhea's fashionable items. She sells cute tops, eye-catching dresses, funky watches and minor but all-too-important accessories, some of which she made on her own. She also sells these products at Stylistica, her online store at Multiply.

What I love the most in the bazaar last year was the food options, which were delicious and very affordable. Hopefully, this year's offerings will satiate the discriminating taste of Davaoeños.

It's too late to book a booth right now but for any inquiries, one can contact the organizers at (082) 222-3494 to 96. Davao Convention Center, or more commonly called DavCon is located at F. Torres St., Davao City.

shopping bag pic from here

Motivation: Blogging and Memories

They say out of every hundred people, only one knows how to motivate themselves and sustain that motivation. Call it self-motivation, although that word's technically wrong because no really makes you do whatever it is you're doing, or call it intrinsic motivation-- that good feeling of satisfaction, sense of control and that sense of being-ness one gets from an action. As much as I'd like to be one of those, I'd be the first one to admit I'm not. That is why at work, I need encouragement, assurance and the occasional acknowledgment to be able to excel, or even to simply slug it through when work becomes boring and repetitive. I'm someone who needs extrinsic motivation.

It is in this vein that I've pondered about this shrine that insists on my so-called existence in cyberspace. Now that a month have passed by, I can say I have certainly expanded my knowledge in the technical aspects of making an online journal. However, like work, it has become a bit of a burden. What should I write about and how to write it has become a headache. And like work, I need to have something that should motivate me to keep on blogging.

I thought about it and have only succeeded in making my headache worse. Then it suddenly hit me. The reason for this was because I was expecting an audience, when in fact, there was none. I guess I was too caught up in generating traffic, which shouldn't have been the case because this is after all a personal blog. As much as I like to make my life interesting, it really isn't. And what I have to write here only registers to those who know me and have interacted with me in real life.

I thought back to remember the reason I started to blog in the first place. I remembered I did it because I wanted to write. In writing one gets to fully internalize the experience- to look at it from different perspectives, to justify things after the initial rashness of the action has gone, to delineate what are blurry and hazy, and more importantly to immortalize it; to keep the memory after a few minutes, a few days, or even years had passed.

Truthfully, I have gotten bored from blogging. Like I said, I'm someone who need extrinsic motivation and I do get pretty lost when left on my own. However, this won't stop me blogging with the motivation that someday, I may need these old memories to know who I am, to feel better about myself and the future, when the recent ones will fail me.

image from here

Thursday, November 27, 2008

World AIDS Day: Spread The Word

I was hopping from one blog to another and found myself on a random blog, Diverse Reality, on the internet (actually the author is my first visitor using BlogCatalog). One of the items on the top of his page caught my attention. It told me that "Bloggers Unite - World AIDS Day". I clicked on it and was directed to Bloggers Unite, a group of bloggers that participate by writing on different issues that they advocate every month (I suppose if you have something to say AGAINST it, you can opt to do so).

Right off the bat, I warmed up to the idea of helping a cause by writing about it on my blog. I am not one who can easily make beautiful prose (it might appeal only to me) nor am I the strongest of writers. However, whatever little thing I can write here, I can afford to do so, just to "make a difference" even in the tiniest of ways. In other words, to be counted.

I signed up and here is my post for this month's upcoming event on the 1st of December: World AIDS Day.

Here in my beloved third world country, AIDS is something everyone is aware of but does not really know about. It is an illness that everyone is afraid of and there is certainly a stigma around the whole thing.

For example, an AIDS patient becomes notoriously popular in any of local hospitals here, even among the health practitioners. Anyone suspected of AIDS will be talked about, with nurses either getting way too excited because of the experience (the novelty of it, I guess) or way too afraid to get infected through a myriad of different ways. I know this because I was once a nurse-student.

There are still a lot of things that people don't know about AIDS. Testing for this certainly isn't popular. I think one of the major reasons why this is so is because it doesn't seem real in this place where you don't know anybody at all who has it. Perhaps people who do have it will do all he/she could to hide it. What people doesnt know here is that it is a critical issue all over the world already. With health practitioners reacting like that, then there is definitely a need to increase awareness of the issue. It just won't do that people here won't take the precautionary measures, to take the extra steps to be protected against AIDS simply because the possibility of infection is too remote a possibility.

The world is shrinking as it is becoming "global" and it is always better safe than sorry-- before the reality of this illness strikes home. To my visitors, please join the campaign. Be part of Bloggers Unite and increase AIDS awareness!

Colourise-ing My Blog

Before I finished customizing the Dilectio template, I decided to shift to a different one. I really had a hard time with the background and all the other things I wanna put in there. I searched for other templates and was tempted by the simplicity of Colourise which was designed by a fellow Pinoy. Apparently, it was a generic CSS template hosted at Style Shout and was converted for Blogger use at ThemeLib.

Admittedly, it is way too dark but I think I can tweak or reverse colors in the near future to suit my purposes (no promises for now though) but as it is, I like it. That is why, my Plurk timeline background now also has this.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Back to Back Party!

Sutherland Global Services, my BPO employer, celebrated its annual day last February 22 at The Venue. There were moments of boredom (some speeches can really bog down a program) but for most of time, it was fun (Madame Chaka, keep your fake boobs in!), exciting (Oooh, 10K boys!) and and very very entertaining (Kamikazee rocks!).

The food left me a bit wanting, the drinks, or lack of it, could have suffice for whatever the night lacked, the prizes were too few for an "annual" day, and some agents had to go on duty on this one night of revelry but I guess one can't really complain when the company rarely gives a party or celebrates like this. What I'm saying is, at least it EXISTED so, thanks from the bottom of my callous heart. Seriously.

On a more dramatic note, after the local band have packed up and the people have finished dancing to their heart's content, two associates (or co-employees) of mine have sparked up an argument which made me walk out of the room because I can't bear the wacky tension they have suddenly created. One misunderstood comment, one snappy comeback and the room suddenly felt oppressive and too crowded-in. I wonder why people can't be more agreeable and less confrontational. It's not about who the bigger asshole is but who the losers are-- them. If trying to be friends with everyone is over-rated nowadays, there's at least something to be said for not having someone whose mere presence boils your blood; for not having a thorn in your heart at all. Let bygones be bygones, perhaps?


After the party, we went to Cogot to celebrate Wanda's birthday. There were actually a lot of Sutherlanders in the area but we were just a small group of 10 people around a single monobloc table. BJ was generous enough to order a pulutan of Crispy Pata and Kinilaw as his gift to Wanda. I was too hungry to be satisfied with just that so I ordered and finished off in a record-time of 5 minutes Lechon Kawali rice. We had fun doing what we liked to do most, which is talk about other people's business like it was our business while keeping a steady supply of Redhorse passed around among ourselves. It was not really the nicest thing to do, and definitely not the best way to foster friendship, but it was all done in good spirit.

There were only a couple of drunks at the end of the drinking session; in fact, I didn't feel like I drank at all but I didn't mind. The tiring night and the promise of cool rainy day was too much of a reason and a temptation. It made me want to go home immediately and just sleep the day away.

More pictures here.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Making My Own Music

I've stumbled across an old meme at The White Room. I agree with Podie that this meme is one of the interesting ones around. Also, after hearing the self-deprecating but funny Kamikazee sing (or caterwaul) their songs, I allowed myself to indulge in a fantasy: how about I make my OWN music album?

Here's how this works:
  1. Go here. The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

  2. Go here. The last four words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

    If you want to do this again, you'll hit refresh to generate new quotes, because clicking the quotes link again will just give you the same quotes over and over again.

  3. Go here. Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

  4. Go here. The first ten links you end up in (minus the .coms) are your 10 song titles.
After about 4 minutes, here's my album:

Reason Shines But Dimly

1) Debauched Sloth
2) Real Ultimate Power
3) Fair
4) Movable Type
5) Def Dumb and Bass
6) Twisted Monkey
7) Adirondack Review
8) Fury
9) Toronto Zombie Walk
10) Radio Left

Intriguing, although I don't know how to play a single musical instrument, and try as I might, my voice can never be musical.

Image from Dunny's Photostream.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Alone But Not Lonely

(previously entitled "How Does A Gay Guy Die? Marry Me or Not?! ")

This question came in light of the complicated sickness that my dad is experiencing right now. I know it might sound morbid but in our household, the topic of death has been discussed too many times that my parents can afford to joke about it. We are definitely as dysfunctional as families come.

Ive already shared about my struggle to sensitize myself to my father in spite of years of falling apart but our differences never came to the point of us wanting to really be out of each others life. It's like the thread that's holding us together might be so thin so as to be almost invisible but it's of the industrial kind. So he's sick and we as a family is there for hm, praying for a miracle and trying the most we could to provide with his medication and therapy but most of all trying to understand his temperamental lows as most ill people are wont to do. All these come to me as this: that my father is lucky enough to have a wife and three, if not the most loving ones but are at least there, kids. Which brings me to the meat of my prognostication about dying: Is marrying and starting your own family the only way I can be sure that I wont die miserably alone?

I have two gay friends who are way older than me and I've seen them at their happiest and their lowest. Most of the time, if not all, seem to revolve around the 'straight' guys they fell in love with at that time. Always, they get back in track when they found the next guy they could shower their affections on. When I pointed out the viciousness of the cycle they are trapped in, they just offer a smile of dismissal over my lack of experience. Over and over, they told me that a guy would always want a girl even if a gay guy is there to love him and sacrifice everything for him (I really believe they would).

I also have a couple more other friends, again older than me, who is less 'feminine' than those first two and they aggressively have relationships with fellow gays. One would think that they have at least tasted what it is to be in a satisfactory relationship where there is mutual support and literally equal footing between the two partners. Sad to say, they haven't. As words of advice, they told me that gays are promiscuous in nature, not exactly unable but find it really hard (more than heterosexuals) to stay honest and faithful to their partners which meant I'd better learn how to play without my heart on my sleeves. They weren't talking bitterly of their failed relationships and were in fact simply describing themselves.

Call me ignorant (ignorance is bliss after all) but I'd argue against that kind of thinking that encourages people to take unfair advantage of anyone, no matter what the reason is. I do, however, suspect a certain wisdom in their words.

In fact, who will I listen to but those who have lived through the same things I am experiencing right now? It made me wonder: Do we, then, move on from one guy to the next, eternally hoping for the best, whatever that is, knowing fully well that the present loves we have are all too transient and fleeting? Do we ever find that one who will stay with us, who will fight through thick and thin? Or are we better off to just accept this as a fact of life, which means that a gay guy go through life by developing a heart made of steel, borne out of his experiences, so that when he dies, chances are he might still be alone but at least not exactly lonely.

Perhaps, I'm just talking from the perspective of a 3rdworld country whose culture is so deeply enmeshed with the Catholic doctrine that has a lot to say against homosexuality. But then again, on the other side of the world, where people are supposed to be positively aggressive, they just made out a stand to ban the legality of same-sex marriages (for a more in-depth discussion of this topic, called Proposition 8, head over at NSFW Queerclick). Marriage or call it whatever you like and hide it behind a veil of holy sanctity under whoever god you believe in but I've always seen the issue as focused on the word 'legality,' whereas if allowed, will allow gay couples their civil rights and be respected as a one legal entity in our world of governments and contracts. If they can't make a step forward in being able to accept gays, a minority that can no longer be ignored, how much more in my country? I just hope we are not considered as abnormalities anymore.

I'm old enough but is still too young to subscribe to my friends' philosophies but time moves so fast and pretty soon I might believe in what they're saying. How I hope I'll be given a fair fight at it: To grow old and ultimately die, more than 'being-alone-but-not-lonely', but happily AND with a somebody.

Before that happens though, this gay guy has lots of living to do.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sup Call

It's raining once again on this fine beautiful Thursday, and I've been lucky enough not to get caught in it and reach home just in time before it really started. I can certainly smell and feel Christmas but aside from the cool smoggy air, I've received unexpected presents that I'll be counting in for this year's yuletide season.

See, before I went home from work, a supervisor asked me for my IJEF. I don't know the words for the acronym and I can't tell you even if my life depended on it, but this is actually the application form required by management when someone wants to go higher up in our call center company's ladder. Before him, I was also asked by my own supervisor to pass my resume (although he embarrassed me to death by reading my older one). These amount to two reasons I could definitely smile about at work everyday.

Now this may not necessarily mean my application (yes I will certainly submit it) would result to anything definite, and I would certainly not hope too much to protect my all-too-sensitive heart but compliments like these definitely make this lowly agent feel so much better with himself. These make me want to work harder, although God knows I'm fed up sick agreeing with strangers that my accent is bad, even laughing with them at MY expense, and be better or fabulously amiable while taking calls simply to make these superiors also proud of themselves for leading a team that, in the ranking and reports, actually performs. In other words, the compliment, even if given indirectly, warrants a mutual compliment and would mean I'll go on continue laughing AT myself if only to get a CSAT (or a positive feedback) for the team.

What I am basically is a team player, like most people are and what most can be, and a simple form of acknowledgment, the smallest appreciative remark or in my case encouragement, given sometimes, even if they are a few in between, can get a group of people to move-- and move in the right direction. What I'm saying is that anyone in position should try being more vocally appreciative, or at least being generally a bit more nicer to those below their status, especially the ones they are managing. One can never measure the effect a thing such as this will bring about. Right now, that's reciprocated appreciation and a certain fondness for these two guys.

So to these two superiors, here's a sup call on you! Kudos!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Team Juventus Name Tags

I decided to take pity on Paul (not that he was really asking for it) and decided to design the name tag for our very transient team. I hope they like it. At the least, A for my ae-ffort!

Mushy Crush-y Tuesday Mornings

After the first shift of the week ended, I found myself along my usual route to Gaisano Mall, to wait for a jeepney to take me home. At this ungodly hour, especially now that I've just finished beating myself over the hill to please a stranger on the other side of the world, I suppose I could just hail a cab at the front of the office but the peace and the cool of the early morning air always gets to me and I'd rather walk some ways off to the kanto, normally with a ciggie on one hand, and spend time riding the jeepney, which speeds through Bajada like a daredevil.

On this special dawn though, I was with a friend from work. He was going home as I was. Usually, he would prefer to be alone, not wanting the barrage of silly questions I throw at him, and he'd normally walk a different way even if we're going at the same side of town. But today, he walked with me. He was hungry and I suddenly found I also was so we went to Dimsum Diner at Damosa.

I've been meaning to ask him some pointed questions about who he really is so while eating, I ventured out to tell him I have a crush at the office. I knew the term was too juvenile, too high-school, so I gladly defined what I meant by it. I defined a crush as somebody whom you think lights up a bare and boring room even when it's not exactly empty, who you'd like to talk to no matter how small the small talk is, and who is possibly as silly as you but whose comment you always allow to slide, even finding some remarks impossibly witty when if somebody said it, you will find downright stupid. I didn't give him any details, only intending to find if he grabs the bait that I've laid out in front of him. I segued to ask if he likes anyone in the office. Giving him the barest of a smile, he understood where I was leading him at.

Armed with a couple of sticks of my Marlboro Greens and his 3 sticks of Black Devils, we sat on an elevated platform beside the road and we had a long discussion about who he is- about being, ehem, old, about what it means for him to love, or even like, somebody, on his last failed relationship, where he stands on the gender spectrum, about his daughter, how he hates guys who actively pursues guys but hides behind a facade of respectability with a girlfriend or a wife, how he is actually very open but does not care to tell just everybody about it, on being honest and comfortable with his family, his close circle of friends- and about how his near-fatal accident changed his life. We also talked about his cousin, who everybody suspects has an incestuous crush on him.

We decided to call it a day, errrr a night, when the sun was beginning to peek out of the horizon. I guess there was actually nothing really special on this morning, but as it is, I was able to know more about the guy in ways I suspect he wouldn't even start sharing with other people. I was feeling light and heady and pondered on all we had talked about.

Well actually, what I didn't tell him was I crush him.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dis Is 8!

Pun is intended.

It's The Venue's 8th year celebration and they celebrated by inviting Vice Ganda (add Vice at Friendster here) and Anton Diva for a night filled with stand-up comedy, dancing and sweaty gyrating, violent and raunchy jokes, and spine-tingling singing. It was already SRO (standing room only) but lots of people still wanted to buy tickets to get in.

Methinks The Venue couldn't have chosen better performers to invite on this night. The duo is even better for entertainment than any local band in the Philippines right now. Vice Ganda is positively witty without going into the obnoxiousness of customer-bashing that lots of stand comedians usually let their spiels go to, and Anton Diva, is well, a diva-- (s)he sang "And I am Telling You," the showstopper's version by Regine Velasquez and popularized lately by Charice Pempengco.

Everyone definitely got their money's worth in that show. Hope they could do it again!

I have to say something here about the location. I know it was their 8th year anniversary but outside, which is called the Venue Compound, the place is painted in a different stroke. I think the bars there are basically left to ruin. One can certainly see the struggles of the few remaining bars with the slow trickle of customers that goes milling in the area. Before, the place was a center for fine dining and a pa-sosy place to see and be seen but it has steadily deteriorated over the past years. Right now, they replaced half of their parking lot with an area that seems to resemble the popular Torres nightspot but so far, nada-- people either thought it wasn't yet finished or they're just upfront ignoring it. I guess they could stage more shows like this one but then that could lose the novelty of the show with Davaoenos, who are far more discriminating and needs more push in spending their hard-earned money, and who it seems, easily favor the new over the old, especially when the fare are the same. Just saying.

More pictures here.

Juventus Post-Shi(f)t Huddle

To foster a friendlier team environment , A-Bay which also goes by the name Team Juventus, ate at Jollibee-Bolton for breakfast after a rigorous 5-day shift of taking calls from usually irate customers who are either asking for a refund or wants technical support for their corrupted antivirus software. Because it was also payday, everybody was able to go.

At 4:00 am, it looked like somebody booked a private party at Jollibee.

Afterwards, we went to Cogot, the most decent available waterhole after 2am, when most of Davao closes down. Here, city ordinances don't apply-- one can order beer as much as one can take it and at the same time smoke under a roofed establishment. The owner probably is a very powerful person, with obviously a very deep pocket, but the best thing about the place is the good food (Lomi is always good when you're drunk and your dinner is threatening to spill out of your gut) and the fact that no matter how many times I've been at the place, I've never seen people fighting or throwing bottles at each other, which I think is a very nice thing when drunk people are a given here.

The group, of course, got a bit rowdy and the noise level obviously increased. I think everybody basically had a great time. Talk about foster-ing!

I was still tipsy when I got home at about 8:00 am. I texted my supervisor and my 2 L2s thank-you messages. I don't know but after pressing the send button, I thought maybe I didn't need to so it kinda felt like an awkward FC(feeling close) moment. Ah, I guess such a very nice day wouldn't, shouldn't, end without me embarassing myself. Anyhows, cheers to A-Bay! It was a great post-shi(f)t huddle!

More pictures here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thanks Maj

A big shoutout to Ria for writing about my site here.

Thanks Maj! :)

Facebook Fiesta

Checked out my spanking new Facebook profile and I got amazed at how many friends requested to add me or had accepted my friend requests. I seriously wasn't aware that a lot of people have been actively using Facebook for quite some time now. I guess what I mean is that I was stubbornly stuck at Friendster.

For those who are still not my friend or link in Facebook, add me! ;P