Aug 20, 2011

Daily thoughts - weird fascination

i dont care what you think. whatever version, it works for me. i love the nyan cat!

Daily thoughts - old thoughts of my previous "life"

i came from work exhausted.i work for 10-12 hours a day and get paid the basic pay that most foreign workers in my field get.

 ive never been so tired in my life! i have been in medical school and its both physically and psychologically taxing. ive slept on wheelchairs, an upright chair, a disgusting hospital bed, but still it all pales in comparison to my harrowing experience of working here..when you are in medical school, somehow you know someday you will be destined for greatness. a noble profession awaits you.

thats a story for another time.

going back to my reality,ive always believed that time is gold. time wasted is gold wasted. the same logic applies when you are doing something and you don't get paid doing it. They are stealing your gold.

the more frustrating part of it is being helpless because you know that you gotta do it otherwise it will perpetuate a more complicating consequence of going hungry and not being able to pay the bills when you get sacked.

for the past few days, ive been trying to convince myself how lucky i am. to still have my job when a lot have lost theirs. perhaps that's the only silver lining to this b..s..t life here.

Still I cant fathom the seemingly progressive but paradoxically backwards way of life I have. I don't know how much longer I can stand the way they treat us. Like a bunch of modern day slaves.

Did it ever occur to these people that we have lives too? That they arent just the ones who have families waiting at home. we also have books we want to read, movies we want to see and other chores that needs to be done within the same day? of course it does not matter to them. they pay us to get the job done and if not, we can always leave. we are after all expendable. they took us in because our local counterparts wont take the same shit and get paid  the same measly amount we are getting.

they prefer us over them because our labor is cheap but our product is good.

yes how convenient for them right?

they pay for a greasy dollar burger but they expect to get a quarter pounder with fries on the side, a milkshake, upsized coke and a special toy.

i went to school for ten years. I ran for a varsity team to make it in college. I am not exceptional to the point of meriting me an academic scholarship.. but I am not bad. I have some qualifications that would entitle me to a better salary and a decent workload. But its not happening. Its partly my fault. I did not read the fine print.

Most people I know at work are paid twice more than me and they can always leave on the dot.

I am doing a stupid job, getting paid a stupid rate. one day i say, i'll make them pay..but how??as they say.. then how???

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure it out when you know someone is screwing you up. Even an illiterate person knows when someone is cheating him.

How can i make them pay when they are already stealing from me. Robbing me of my precious time. Time that i can use to read and learn more. Time that i could alot to catch up on things i want to do with my family. I cannot even upgrade my skills because there is a fee to everything here. Not that everything back home is free. But almost every item here is twice the price and yet half the value.

The opposite is true however on how we are compensated. they pay us half, they get twice the effort.

At this point, the only thing I can think of that is probably free here is the bus to IKEA.

to be continued...

Aug 12, 2011

Daily thoughts - PHILIPPINE CUSTOMS OFFICIAL, soliciting "FEES", is this "customary"

A friend of mine requested for me to blog about this schmuck to warn fellow Filipinos about some corrupt customs officials at the airport. Im embarrassed to post this but people have to be informed of such flagrant display of corruption even on such a small scale.

(my apologies for those who dont understand Tagalog, I will translate the rest later. for now I just had to put this up this because my friend has been prodding me for days to do so.)

MAG INGAT SA'KIN!!! (In English, beware of me!)

Customs 1: wala ba kayong idedeclare? 

Customs 1: Do you have anything to declare?

Achi: wala. 

Achi: none

Customs 1: may electronics ba kayong binili? 

Customs 1: Are there any electronics (gadgets) you bought?

Achi: wala

Achi: none

Customs 1: paki buksan ang maleta! Pwede kayo magpasok ng gamit from hongkong ng 10k per person lang pag lumagpas may tax ng babayaran.

Customs 1: kindly open the suitcase. You are allowed to bring in items from HongKong worth 10k PHP. This is per person. However if the amount exceeds 10k, you have to pay taxes

Nilagay namin black na maleta sa table para mauna buksan.
We put the black suitcase first on the table so the guy could check it.

Customs 1: ung pula!
Customs 1: the red one!

Princess thinking: choosey to ah ipapakita naman pati ung red nauna lang ung black ayaw pa!
Princess thinking: this guy is so impatient and choosy, we were going to open the red one too but we thought of opening the black one first

Customs after opening the bag: “dami nito ah! Puro bago! Wala bang resibo?”

Customs after opening the bag: "this is a lot! All new items. Is there a receipt?"

Achi: wala e kasi puro sa tiangge lng nabili, pero ung iba meron.

Achi: None because we just bought it from the tiangge (street bazaar?) but some have receipts.

Achi binigay ung ibang receipt sa customs 

Achi gives receipts to customs official

Customs nagcompute how much lahat. Wala pang 10k so nag isip ng other way
Customs official computes all the receipts but realized that the total amount does not exceed 10k PHP. He seem to be thinking of another way to "tax" the Pinoy travellers.

Customs 1: ang dami nito ah ibebenta niyo to!

Customs 1: this is a lot, You are planning to sell these! (take note, it was a statement not a question)

Achi: hindi, personal use yan tska pasalubong.

Achi: nope. its for personal use and the other items are meant as gifts

Customs 2  lumapit kay Customs 1. Custom 1 binigay computation ng babayaran daw naming tax”
Customs offical 2 approaches Customs offical1. Custom 1 gives computation of the tax we were required to pay.

Customs 2: eto ung babayaran niyong tax 4k plus.

Customs 2: here is what you need to pay as tax. 4thousand plus PHP.

Achi: ang laki naman! Tska sbi nyo 10k per person pwede e wala pa 10k yan.

Achi: Thats too much! You said 10k php per person is allowed, those items arent worth 10k.

Customs 2: e ibebenta nyo yan.

Customs 2: you are going to sell those eh (eh is an expression we use over here) take note: again the guy just assumed the items bought were meant to be sold here.

Achi: personal use yan tska pasalubong.

Achi: thats for personal use and gifts.
Customs 2: kapag personal use 2-3 items lang.

Customs 2: if its for personal use it should be 2-3 items only.

Princess thinking: bobo! So pag lumagpas ng 2-3 items automatic ibebenta na namin!
Princess thinking: dumb ass! so if it exceeds 2-3 items it automatically means we will be selling it??!

Customs 2: bayaran niyo na 4k LANG naman total kayang kaya niyo yan.

Customs 2: pay the tax since its ONLY 4k besides you guys can afford it.

Princess: hindi LANG ang 4k!!! tsaka sabi mo pag lumagpas ng 10k tsaka may tax e d naman lumagpas.

Princess: 4k is not cheap! and besides you said, if the items exceed 10k php worth, then it will be taxable. But you computed the receipts and it did not exceed that amount.

Customs 2: lahat ng pumapasok sa bansa may tax. 15% ng total na binili niyo ang babayaran niyo plus 12% tax. 

Customs 2: All items that enters the country are taxed. its 15% of the total value of the items, plus 12% tax.

Achi & I: siraulo to ah paiba iba ng sinasabi kanina hinahanapan tayo ng electronics nung wala sbi pwede 10k each person ung gamit na dala natin tapos ngayon pinag pipilitan na ibebenta natin ung binili natin tapos biglang 15% ng total na binili natin ang babayaran natin plus 12% tax. Siraulo!!!!!!

Achi and Princess thinking: This guy is nuts! He keeps changing his statements! earlier he was asking if we brought in electronics and said 10k php worth is allowed for each passenger. Then later on he kept insisting the items were meant to be sold here, now there is a 15% tax on the items bought plus 12% tax?? wtf?? this guy is crazy!

Para matapos na pinag usapan nalang! Nagrequest pa ng 2k para hati hati daw sila. KAPAL!!!!!
Anu ba yang customs dito sa Philippines!!!!!!! Halatang gusto niyo ng lagay kasi hindi lahat ng bags chineck niyo! Mag sisinungaling na nga kayo paiba iba pa ang sinasabi niyo! Mahiya naman kayo! Lalo ka ng nasa picture ka!!!!

Just so we could go home and end this crap, we tried to come to an agreement with the officials. But they still had the gall to ask for  2K php so they can split it among themselves. SHAMELESS!!!!

What the fuck is wrong with the customs officals here in the Philippines??!!! It is so obvious they want us to grease their palms because these guys didnt even check all of our bags. 

You lie and make up different "policies" so you can rip off  your fellow countrymen. Shame on you! Especially you in that photo!

Guy's name is Roy Tabangan or Tabangay.

(note:Blue Text lifted verbatim from facebook account of the person who experienced this firsthand. Red Text my own personal translation. I tried hard not to inject profanity and personal opinion while translating since this post is supposed to be objective..but Damn I was so annoyed too!)

Aug 6, 2011

Daily thoughts- A kitten named Shopwise

I went to town yesterday to get supplies for myself and the cats. I was almost at the grocery store when I spotted this tiny kitten walking by the side of the road. I stood there to block it from wandering all the way to the busy street. I also stood there for 15 minutes contemplating what to do. There are 18 cats in the house. 6 newborn kittens, where 5 dont even have names yet. This kitten was obviously malnourished and is probably less than a month old.

I had to take it home. There is room for one more..until I can get it also adopted out..Hopefully

I later on realized that the kitten was too young for kibbles. So I put it with one of the mommy cats in the house

Pretty and Fruitcake

Pretty's baby Fruitcake

Pretty and her new baby Shopwise

comparing their size. skinny Shopwise and healthy Fruitcake
Tomorrow Ill give her a warm bath. Im so amused and happy that Pretty didnt have a hissy fit when she found the "stranger" on her usual spot. Instead she just made sure that the kitten was warm and fed.  Thats the spirit Pretty. Spread the love=)

Aug 2, 2011

Attention :JP Morgan Chase Philippines HRSD Officer in Charge- PLEASE DO YOUR JOB!

I was overseas for 3 years. During the time I was away, I asked a sibling to take care of my clearance so I could get my back pay at my previous company. He was however told by the HR Department that he would need a letter of authorization and a special power of attorney document to be able to accomplish this. That in itself seem to me a ruse by the company to delay and discourage me to process my clearance.

When I came home for a vacation it was hard to really squeeze my time to take care of it.Who spends their 5 or 7 day vacations to work on a backpay?

When I finally moved back home last year, I tried to take care of it. My dad was sick and dying, I needed the money and it could have been a little help. Unfortunately, some of the people who were required to sign the document were not around when I came by at the office. This further delayed getting the paper done.The months stretched into another year until finally I got it all done on June 22 2011. All this time I was taking care of this document, NOT ONE PERSON ever mentioned that there was a possible forfeiture that would happen if you do not submit the document within 3 years. People signed, even derided and joked about how old the document was. Sadly, I had to realize this after a month. I submitted to them my COMPLETED CLEARANCE paper. I found out rudely this annoying reality after I called their department. By the way I spent the whole day trying to reach a live person on July 22, 2011.

For most of the day, I had to be routed to an answering machine meant to take messages but unfortunately was always FULL. When I did get to a live person, she informed me that my document is still in the works. Then after a few minutes she calls me back to tell me that my clearance cannot be processed anymore since it was over the valid period.

It was odd because she realized this only after a few minutes. I wonder if they bothered to even process it. If it couldnt be processed, they could have at least informed me since left my contact number on the document.

I had to explain to the woman that I have tried to get the paper done during the time I could but the people who had to sign it werent always present. Besides I dont spend my vacations going back and forth everyday to have my clearance signed. She however gave me a random jargon about some code from DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) that would best explain this. So I asked her what code is that, but she coudlnt tell me. I requested the woman to check the information with her officer in charge and get back to me.

A week passed but the woman named Ms Remedios (Rems)didnt call me. Instead I ended up calling her again. She explained that my backpay is indeed forfeited. I understood her and despite the unfairness of the situation, I accepted it. I did however tell her to ask her boss to at least send me an email explaining to me this information in black and white. I told Ms Rems that the handbook does not mention anything about it.

IMO I deserve that email/letter.  I worked on that clearance, spending money and my time going to their office which was way out in the city. If I wont get my backpay, the company should AT LEAST have the decency and professionalism to elaborate the reason by form of a letter or email. In fact I shouldnt even be requesting for it.

Unfortunately, I have to follow up and remind them about my small request. Ms Rems told me she couldnt provide me the email of her boss named Maricar Angeles, instead she asked me to give her my email address. I spelled it out to her to ensure she jotted it down correctly. I requested for her to relay my message that I needed that email as soon as possible. On top of that I asked Ms Rems to forward me a copy of my scanned clearance form so I can ask another department (she referred me to a different department) to get my certificate that I have been cleared.

Today is August 2, 2011. It has been over a week but I havent heard from Ms Maricar Angeles.

My husband told me to just let it go. Sure, I dont care about the money anymore, although technically it belongs to me. Whatever policy they have,about forfeiture of any backpay, although it is meant to protect the interest of the company, is acceptable as long as they can further back it up with an explanation.

A few words uttered on the phone saying "oh sorry its forfeited bcause its been over 3 years and its a rule laid by DOLE", is insufficient. And them expecting me to just accept it and let it go is like just telling me to FUCK OFF.

JPMORGAN CHASE BANK is a respected company. I am honestly proud to have worked for them.  Unfortunately, I dont understand how they could employ sleazebags like these who cannot do their jobs properly.

I prefer not to be stressed over this although I admit I was rankled by it a few days ago. That money could have been for my cats' air fare. 4 cats, 200 USD each. Thats big money. Thats little for Chase Bank though, and yet they wont part with it. That money is probably what they use to pay idiots who work for their Human Resource Salary Department.

Guys be fair to the bank because they are paying you to do your job.

DOLE emailed me a few days ago.

trunkline 9085000 local 67076

I may just drop his issue, but still, Ill let their main office know.

Daily thoughts - Lazy Sunday afternoon and the art of doing nothing

I got pretty burned up the entire week, running around doing errands. I also availed of a free workout at Slimmer's World. I ran for 40 minutes, "climbed" the stairs for 10minutes and had some weight sessions for another 20 minutes. It was actually great but the following days after that revealed how out of shape I am. I have been running for a few months but I dont really lift weights. My puny arms just arent used to it although I do carry heavy cat litter and kibbles from the grocery on a weekly basis.

Friday night was also eventful. I went to get my medical done and went to the city to meet up with a friend. The traffic was horrible from Rosario to Megamall. It took an unbelievable one hour for me to get to my destination although normally that trip should only be 10-15 minutes. Unfortunately also I decided to get on a jeepney and it was a bad idea since being stuck in traffic at 12pm in the afternoon in a non airconditioned vehicle is like going to the sauna. I was glad that I made it to Greenbelt before chaos kicked in at the mrt. I made sure to take the train before it was rush hour.

The day turned out good though. Me and my lady friend had a great time looking around the mall and we had a nice dinner at Cibo. The pasta was amazing. We capped off the evening by checking out the Resorts World Casino and the place looked great. It kinda reminded me of the malls in Singapore, pretty majestic inside. Although I did see a lot of "hookers" around midnight. I dont want to elaborate on it but my friend told me that they do have high class prostitutes that frequent that spot.

I had to sleep over at the physician's quarters where my friend do her rounds of hospital duty. It was too late at night for me to go home and I was also exhausted, I didnt protest anymore. It was an odd experience. I had to be snuck in the quarters had to get up before 6am so I can walk out "undetected". Nevertheless it was an interesting experience although I dont want to go through that again. I felt like a criminal in there. It was like I was a man sleeping in a ladies dormitory, stressful. Not just that, the room was crammed, had a musty smell to it, the bunkbeds looked like it was about to fall apart, and each bed had blankets draped on it to probably serve as a makeshift divider. I cant believe it was a physicians quarters. It just looked so forlorn like it was an abandoned part of the building except it had occupants.

Well it is better than nothing though. I just dont understand why that particular hospital cannot provide a better sleeping area for its doctors. Just my 2 cents.

When I got home the next day which was a Saturday, I couldnt rest right way. There was turd in the litter box and my room was a mess. Obviously the cats were upset about my being absent for an entire night. I had to clean the room, feed the pets, make myself a meal. By the time I was done I was so tired I passed out on the bed without even taking a shower. I woke up after a few hours, showered, prepared dinner, fed the pets again, changed the sheets and logged online for a few hours more.

So come Sunday I thought I just wanted to relax. I woke up a little after 10am, made some fish paksiw and a pot of rice. I also prepared a tall glass of iced tea with lemon slices. I lazily lay on my bed and watched a movie.

This was movie was good and very funny.  I napped after watching it. Cats followed suit.

Boomer resting on the sheets i laid on the floor supposedly for laundry

Thumper by the scratchpost

Dapper and her white lion doll
I got up after 2 hours of nap, ate my leftover fish and watched Shutter Island again. After watching the movie, I went to bed early.

It wasnt a day wasted. I felt rejuvenated next day. The art of doing nothing seems to be more rewarding than we think.

In my case it takes so much effort than it seems because I normally want to put things away, sweep the floor, smooth out the sheets, brush the cats, fold the laundry and a million other things I want to do before I can do relax. In short, I just want everything to be in place, in order that ironically I get agitated instead of relaxed by following through with my compulsion. So by the time Im done, Im too tired to even conclude I enjoyed my day. I strain myself too much by letting little things that doesnt require urgency to be done and consider it a must do right away. I have decided that I wont do that anymore. When I want to spend my day relaxing, Ill do just that and everything else can wait. Of course that doesnt apply to a work that needs to be completed or has a deadline. I intend to just stop acting like everything is just one huge emergency.

Seriously, it really felt wonderful..and the great thing is it doesnt have to be a Sunday  for me to do it all over again. It s not about being lazy but more on just trying to unwind, at least for one full day.