Thursday, March 25, 2004


It is too bad that Starstruck and Star Circle Quest won't accept people of my age, these pictures would have added to their ratings. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Ok, ok, ok! I admit those were digital shots from the studio and they did something for that photo. But, that is only to get rid of two pimple marks and a few scars. Otherwise, that would still be me on my relax and non-toxic day.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004


Filipinos are indeed romantic!

One great testimony to the Romantic Pinoy is our music. Not only are the lyrics written with love flowing through the lines, but the melody and the orchestration of our music are reflections of our passions.

It was therefore a great treat when Ayala Corporation celebrated its 170th year yesterday with a concert dubbed as “Hindi kita Malimot: The Filipino as Romantic” featuring the country’s premiere (and accordingly the most expensive!) San Miguel Philharmonic Orchestra (SMPO) with Prof. Ryan Cayabyab leading SMPO in playing classic Filipino Love Songs.

The concert was for free which was staged at the lobby of Ayala Tower One in Ayala Triangle (for that evening, portion of Ayala Avenue from Makati Ave. to Paseo de Roxas was closed).

The Lobby of Tower One

Love songs like “Hindi Kita Malimot”, “Kataka-taka”, “Dahil Sa’yo, “Maalaala Mo Kaya” serenaded Manila’s well-heeled society and Makati’s ordinary employees. All of the music were Cayabyab’s arrangement and were played in public for the first time last night.

Filipinos penchant for drama is evident in Cayabyab’s arrangements and seeing how the ordinary folks reacted to the music is truly a manifestation that Cayabyab was able to capture the hearts of Filipinos. The soaring melody of the strings rising into a crescendo, followed by the rolls of the timpani and the clashing of the cymbals, then a soft violin solo is mesmerizing. I don’t know, but probably realizing how good our music is that I had goose bumps all throughout the evening. Or probably it is just because I am really a hopelessly romantic fool.

As an encore, SMPO played what Cayabyab called as “something pedestrian”. They played the full orchestra version of Parokya ni Edgar’s “Mr. Suave". And guess where it received most of the applause? At the back portion where most of the ordinary folks were standing. SMPO put class on “Mr. Suave” with Cayabyab gamely urging the crowd to shout “hoi! hoi! hoi! hoi! hoi! hoi!.” The economic disparity, however, among the crowd last night was very evident with those seated in front just keeping mum, while those at the back standing were clapping their hands and doing the “hoi! hoi! hoi!”.

But that was only part one of the show.

After the intermission, Eugene F. Castillo, who already made his mark in the US, took the baton for the SMPO and led the orchestra in playing fairy tale suits. The greatest treat for the night, however, was when Cecille Licad went onstage and performed Ravel’s Concerto in G with the SMPO.

Cecille Licad

I know, some of us here had bad experience in dealing with Licad’s behavior when she visited Silliman in 1998. But Cecille Licad is Cecille Licad. She is one hell of a performer! You don’t have just to listen to Licad’s music, you also have to see her perform.

There is only one word I can say about Licad’s performance (and I know Ryan would love this! hehehehehe), it’s “orgasmic”. Bless me Ryan for I know I’ve sinned but I just can’t help but think that when Licad performs, it is as if she is making love (or having sex to be blatant) with the piano. Watching her expression (since her face was focused by the camera and projected on the two wide screen) it is as if you are also carried with whatever emotion she brings and as the music rise into a climax, it is as if I am having my climax too.

The people of course did not let the chance pass by, after performing the concerto, they made Licad performed another piece from Ravel.

Obviously I had a great evening last night even if I was standing for almost two hours. Ayala Corporation, of course, wouldn’t present something mediocre. Even the lobby of Tower One was filled with flowers and floral artworks of Jaime Augusto Zobel Ayala was projected at the ceiling of the lobby for the whole evening.

It, however, leaves me a sense of panghihinayang. Having to stand at the back, I’ve realized how most of us are really “culturally illiterate”. I don’t claim to be culturally informed though, but I know how to appreciate classics. Sadly, you would hear comments (that is what you gert when you are standing at back with them) like “sana may ocho-ocho”. Or probably from a Makati Office Girl who speaks the “coƱotic” language and looks like any yuppies and would exclaim, “ang jologs naman!” if something was said out of their taste, only to be heard (by me, of course!) uttering the silliest comment I heard that night. Reacting when the voice over announced that there will be a ten-minute intermission, she exclaimed “saan na ang intermission?” She was of course expecting that when it was announced that there will be a ten-minute intermission, there would be an “intermission number.” And I thought she was the only one, when her lady companion arrived (from the rest room) and seeing the people standing, she asked, “anong nangyari?” To which her friend answered, “ten minute intermission daw.” Then she replied, “asan na ang intermission.” You could imagine how the contour of my face changed upon hearing that.

Well, what can I do? This is a free show and everyone, as in everyone!, were invited to watch.

Friday, March 19, 2004


Miss me? Accept it pipol, you miss me. Hehehehehehe.

Ok, so what happened to me for the last 18 days that I haven’t blog? A lot of things actually. There are plenty of things that I would want to share with you, plenty bad things to gripe about, plenty of stupid people to bitch - - but everytime I am in front of the PC, all of a sudden I feel lazy to write. Well, it was those days.

So, for the highlights of this month, here’s my report. I am finally a regular employee this non-life insurance company in Makati. For security purposes, I won’t be saying the name of the company here (actually, it’s more of I don’t want my big bosses to trace this site to me as I would be saying, ok “griping”, about this company in my blog).

These past two months were really trying months for me and Aldwyn knew that (he was the only one who had the chance to see me on those days). As you see, I was only on contract with the company since January 2003. My contract ended last January 16, upon my boss assurance, he said that I would immediately be taken by the company as part of their regular force. I hang on to that assurance, unfortunately it wasn’t an easy one.

I was interviewed again by our SVP Treasurer (he is the one who approves hiring of employees, our HR is a mere stamping pad). He told me that until I can submit my transcript of records that is the only time they can start the process. Fortunately the ever-dependable Moses Joshua Atega was there to help me get my TOR from Silliman and I was able to submit it before January 30.

I was already expecting that I won’t be receiving my Salary yet for the Jan. 30 so I have made provisions already. True indeed, I wasn’t able to get my Salary that day because nobody from our HR worked on it.

February came and I was expecting that by the 15th I would be receiving my Salary. But I was wrong, while my boss received a note from the HR head that our SVP has approved my hiring, nobody from the HR staff worked on it. It was really bad! I celebrated my 28th birthday with no money. Worst, those people from the HR blatantly said that why I am still working when my contract has already ended. I am really stupid right? Unfortunately I am not, I was working because my boss told me so. I was fuming mad already that even my boss had some taste already of my anger.

Now before you people cast some invectives against our HR, in fairness to them they don’t know the situation. It was only my boss and our SVP Treasurer that talked, trouble was their agreement did not trickle down to the people who would be implementing it. A miscommunication, but at what price to pay (a month that I did not received my salary).
After learning the true situation, it was only then that our HR started the process. I was made to take an IQ test and psychological test (and I tell you their material were already antiquated and the rumors was -- I am the one of those who had high marks), go through a series of interview with HR head, head of the IT and our SVP for properties, and had my medical exams.

February 27 came and I was hoping that I would finally be receiving my salary. But I was wrong again. The HR couldn’t catch up with the paper works. They, however, assured me that I would definitely be receiving my salary by the 15th of March.

First week of March, the HR Head talked to me and he said that finally the company is hiring me as a regular employee effective March 1. My first question of course was, “what will happen to that January 16 – February 29 period where I was working (and handling confidential information) for the company?” He answered, I would be receiving a different check for that based on my old rate. Then he said that management decided to reduced by 2,000 the salary that I am receiving as a contractual employee but in exchange would be giving me a 1,100 monthly meal allowance and another 1,000 gift cheque from SM. I said, “okay.” And as regular employee I would be entitled to until a 16th month salary and a medical, dental, optical health plan. And finally, to probably save them from the trouble that they have given me, instead of going through the regular 6-months probationary period, I would automatically be hired as a regular employee with a rank of a Supervisor I.

Whew! Finally last March 12, I received my salary (which was just in time for the midnight madness sale at Glorietta) and on the 15th I received my salary covering the period of Jan. 16 – Feb. 29.

So why did it took me only this day to write about this? I was actually busy having my therapy for all the heartaches that those two months that I was left hanging in the clouds. I t wasn’t easy you know. So what kind of therapy I have undergone? Shopping, my dear, shopping (hahahahahahahaha) and of course a trip to the salon.

How did I get through those two months living in Manila and commuting everyday without a clear income? Well, there is always my boss and my aunt to borrow money from, and being a seasoned survivor, there is always a hundred and one ways to save your last centavo.

Now talking about my company, this is the kind of company that I will grow old with. No, I don’t mean I would spend years working here, but I will age soon in this company. This is the company that won’t allow their ladies to wear an open-toe-shoes and no denims for men in Filipino, mag mukha kang manang dito! And I had my taste of this insane policy last Monday.

Have you ever been to a salon, have your haircut, and after your done you couldn’t help but smile because you feel good about your new hairstyle? I tell you I went through that last Friday. My first trip after getting my Salary was to go to Bench Fix Salon in Glorietta and had my haircut. I decided to have it trimmed shorter. But Mike, my regular stylist (mind you he is straight), added some twist, made me look a bit hip by putting some stylishly unkempt spike and I like it, my friends like it, my aunt like it, my church mates like it, my roommates like it. I feel good and I know I look good.

Monday came and then my boss saw me with the new hairstyle. True as I feared, he didn’t like it! He said James (our SVP Treasurer) might see me and reprimand for my hairstyle. “For what”, I would have asked, “for being stylish, for looking young?” Would my credibility be lost just because I have a “spiky hair”? I don’t look like the new- age punk in the eighties! I look good! But what can I do, argue over my hairstyle with a person who sense of being cool is so seventies? Whose jokes was so yesterday?!

So I have to make a compromise. So here I am with a little of those spike but not spiky enough to cause them the alarm. I hate it! But what can I do, I need this job to survive.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Finally! A much-deserved award for Sean Pean! And not only that, Hollywood gave this guy dubbed as "Hollywood's bad boy" for his not so pleasent relationship with Hollywood, a standing ovation. Great! Just Great! And the acceptance speech? Despite being snubbed a number of times by the Academy, he still said this:
Thank you. If there's one thing that actors know, other than that there weren't any wmds -- it's that there is no such thing as best in acting. And That's proven by these great actors that I was nominated with as well as the -- as well as the Giamattis, Cages, Downey Jrs., Nicholsons, etc. that were not nominated. We know how great all of you were.