Jul 31, 2010

Marathon countdown

I fell off the wagon and been lazy for almost 3 months. Prior to that I was running 5-8k three times weekly for 5 months. An emergency has warranted my immediate move to my hometown. From then on we have been busy taking care of my sick dad at the same time making adjustments to our part of the house. Running errands however is not a simple task and has been taxing. Ive unconsciously lost weight from all the walking, hauling water, hand washing and cleaning up after the animals and the people at home. On top of that, I had to also allot time to look for a job. The weeks would go by and I would just be surprised to find out that an entire month has elapsed and that I have not worked out at all.

Now it's really time for me to go back to training. The marathon Ive committed to will be on December and I have only 4 months left to train. I honestly dont know if that would be enough time but Ill try to give it my best shot. It would probably just be for fun not personal best though.

Jul 30, 2010

Daily thoughts - on accepting what i cannot change and moving on

It has been almost 2 months since I left my job and veered towards the direction of uncertainty. So far I dont regret it. I dont know if my stance on this will change a few days, week or months from now but right at this moment Im honestly enjoying my freedom. The past few weeks have not been easy. Im taking care of my sick Dad and also helping spruce up the house a bit. Its really a pain in the neck. My dad is stubborn and the house needs constant cleaning. There are 3 kittens, 1 old female cat, 1 tomcat and 1 mommy cat. Originally, there were 2 mommy cats. But the siamese mommy cat has not come home since she was bullied out by the other mommy cat named Pretty.

Pepper and her brood. The gray cat Alejandro is Pretty's baby.

Pepper with her kids Maki and Squid (gray one is Alejandro)

So what's the story with the cats? Well I bought them a litter box a year ago. I found out it was appropriated for something else. Someone used it as a paintpan. Its really annoying because buying an actual paint pan would have been cheaper. Well since there is no litter box, the cats take a dump wherever they please. Yes it sounds nasty and it truly is. We have to leave newspapers on the areas they use as toilet, throw it out the next day and mop the floor. Its really taxing. The solution to buy another litter box would have been the best option but its unfortunate that the people in the house seem to use the stuff we buy not for its actual purpose. I found the lid of our automatic rice cooker being used as a cover to heat a pan the other day. One baking pan almost cracked because it was used to boil water. These are just among a few of the weird things I have to deal with on a daily basis. I think there are just too many animals in the house to begin with. The litter box here is not cheap. If I bought another one and it is used for something else, I might have another fit. For the meantime, while we have not moved to another house, we are just making this huge sacrifice of cleaning up the house and putting up with idiosyncracies of some people we live with. And of course our cats dont know the concept of family planning. I will have to have them neutered one of these days.

The situation at home is a little tense but bearable. We are living comfortably and we dont have to pay an astronomical figure for rent. We used to rent a room in Singapore which if converted to our local currency here, would make me afford to live in a 2 bedroom condominium. At least now, I can save my money for the rainy days and also I can buy what we need in the house and take more trips here or abroad. It is also a relief to not have to worry of losing a job and being sent back to my country. Although I normally dont hop from one job to another, it would be great to always have an option.

I have also come to accept that I am now just a visitor in our house and I cannot impose change no matter how genuine my intentions are. This is not my house and in a few years I will also be leaving. Although I want to make it look nicer, I cannot really force the issue if the people living in it does not welcome it. I have tried my best and Im happy to surrender and just let things be. Its more liberating that way.

Jul 29, 2010

Daily thoughts - another busy day @ Home


Slept for only 2 hours again before I got up and hauled water. Im getting kind of used to this set up. Its annoying of course but there is nothing we can do about it as of the moment. The good thing is there is still water supply and the time is just enough for us to collect a day's worth. I went back to bed and got up at 11am.


I was supposed to show up for an interview today but I also have another offer from my previous job. I still have to go to the office though and be interviewed as a "rehire". I was also told by my friend/trainer that it will just be for formality but I will most likely get the job since I dont have any issue with the company when I left 3 years ago. I dont want to get all my hopes up but Im excited to go to the new office and see what's in store for me there.


My dad's condition seem to be worsening. He seems to also be more forgetful lately. I think he has ascites and his face and legs are constantly edematous. 3 days ago he went to my brother's store to have dinner there. I dont think he brought a flashlight with him. On his way home he tripped on a metal that was sticking out from the ground. Ive tripped on this same metal on broad daylight and my husband was cracking up coz of my clumsiness. I was not surprised that my dad lost his balance that night and almost landed on his face. I felt so sorry for him. He did not even tell us about this mishap until I saw him yesterday and he told me he could not get up from his bed. He really looked bad, like he is going to die anytime. We bring him breakfast and dinner on most days and he gets his lunch from my brother's internet cafe. Now that he has this problem with his leg he will most likely be confined to the house for several days. I wouldnt say that I prefer for him to be in this kind of condition. But he has been very stubborn and he is not following doctor's orders to stay put and not walk around too much. He already has a weak heart and there are days he would be gone for the entire morning and would show up after lunch. I dont really know what's going on in his head. I dont want to pity him because he does not want that. But although he is only 67, he looks more like he is 87 because of how his heart ailment has taken a toll on his once able body. He has been in the ICU twice in a span of 4 months. I hate to admit it but he obviously isnt getting well. I worry so much about him and sometimes I dont know how to help him because he does not listen to us. There are also times I would catch him smoking. I cant help but just shake my head in disbelief. I dont scold him anymore about it because its useless, he does it anyway. I dont want to make him feel like a prisoner so despite the fact im adamant about his vice, I just let him do whatever he wants as long as he is happy. I know I may be wrong but I know his days are dwindling. I might as well give him that option to do whatever he wants.


We had lunch at my brother's internet cafe/mini restaurant.

We had sinigang and rice. The food was really good!=)


There are 3 kittens in the house. They usually just stay on the first floor of the house. Sometimes they go upstairs to the second floor to play or camp outside our room when they are hungry. Then there are days they would stroll inside our room when I leave the door open. Sometimes invited sometimes not. I figured since they like to hang out sometimes in our room, that privilege has to come with a price - a bath! So I gave the the two kittens, Alejandro and Maki, their first ever bath.


(from L to R) Maki, Alejandro, Pepper and Squid

It was surprising because when I poured water on these two cats, they didnt seem to mind it at all. Even when I was trying to lather the shampoo on their fur. They only realized that it was cold when I was already rinsing them. Whereas our own cats Dapper, Thumper and Marble, would squirm everytime they are given baths. They act like its the first time they ever had one. On the other hand, these two kittens were unbelievably more behaved. I dont know if the reason is because the kittens sometimes play in the rain . Or simply because they arent sissies like our 3 rat babies?


I tried experimenting on my cats a few weeks ago. I have this old music box in my room that plays "you light up my life".

Every 5am and 5pm I would turn the ratchet lever or the windup key and then let the music box play, then I would put a scoop of catfood in my pets' bowls. I tried doing that one time even it was not yet the cats' feeding time. Of course they bolted from their sleep to survey the room for their food. I can tell they were dismayed to find out it was a trick!I know it sounds mean but I thought it was amusing. But now I dont make fun of them anymore. I still play the music box though before giving them breakfast or dinner.


Today we had adobo style porkchops, one piece of tofu and a veggie called talbos and steamed rice. We were supposed to watch Che (Guevarra) biopic but something happened downstairs that ruined my mood. We will probably finish it tomorrow.

The day was eventful although I just stayed at home. Im sure Ill miss this once I start working again.

Good night!

Dapper and Donkey

Jul 28, 2010

Daily thoughts - Job hunting day 4

I have an interview again tomorrow. For the past few weeks, Ive had 3 past job applications that were actually favorable but the hiring process threw me off and the offer was just ridiculous. One employer made me wait for 4 hours. Another made me take an iq and grammar exam but then can only afford to to pay me 15k PHP when passed their screening. Then there was that interview that required us to show up at 9am but I waited until 2PM. It was so distressful that I walked out, threw a fit but then interestingly, I was asked to have the interview before I walked out of the building.

Im not being arrogant but I just know what I am capable of. One interview should be sufficient for the position Im asking for. Also a salary competitive enough that it should at least be commensurate to what I can contribute and also based on my experience.
I dont know what the deal is why the hiring process lately is just going overboard. High attrition? Inexperienced interviewers? I honestly dont know. But these interviewers should practice some empathy on applicants. Nobody wants their time and money wasted. Phone interview should first be conducted to gauge if the applicant is spontaneous and has a good command in english. I dont think it is necessary to make them go to a headhunter to assess what is already written on the resume and then again make them go to the Client another day. Its just common sense. If there is a second interview at the Company's site, then it should be the final one. It is unnecessary to go through 3 interviews, (headhunter, hr and finally panel) .

Rant will continue tomorrow.Off to bed

Jul 25, 2010

Daily thoughts - Water hauling, not just an art but a way of life - that I dont like

I slept for only 2 hours but I had to drag my ass to get up and collect water. Water supply has been kind of flaky for the past year and I have not gotten any clear explanation from our subdivision's developer on this. There is an option to connect the main water supply coming from the city here but I was told that this was going to be a very costly option. My Dad told me that the developer would have to excavate the residential roads and install new pipes. The ridiculous part on this though is if the residents want this installation of running water, we have to shell out at least 33,000 PHP (713.205 USD) to have it done. So what the hell right? First of all, not everyone in our area is willing to fork out that amount. And not everyone can actually afford it. People would rather use that money to buy food or pay for other important things like their kids' tuition.

I dont know what the deal is but a year ago we still had running water. Then when we came home last May 2010 for a visit, we found out that the running water came on for only 2 hours per day. It is not even enough time to get your laundry done. You would have to allocate time within the week to do that. Most of the time we just collect water in big pails and do the dishes. Laundry had to wait during the weekend when we had time. Also sometimes, the water supply lasts only for an hour and a half. Worse sometimes it is only for 50minutes.

When we moved to this neighboorhood in 1986, we used to pump water out of the ground over here. I remember way back in High School that we had to fill up a whole drum container of water. It was like that for probably a decade that it was no longer a big deal.

Our subdivision was later on bought out by a developer called ACTIVE and we then had running water from then on. So it is kind of strange why all of a sudden, the system seem backwards. With the advent of mobile phones and wireless its ironic we have reverted to the stone age style of hauling water.

This is what a water pump over here looks like:

We have one of these in our apartment in the province. it used to be the main source for water supply but we had the local water company to install running water. The water pump is used only for watering plants now and as a back up in case there is a problem with the running water. Unfortunately we dont have this old school water pump over here at our Main house in Antipolo. I would have preferred it especially now that the running water supply is so erratic.

Another thing I wish to point out is that the Developer's website proudly displays it in their ad online that we have steady water supply.

Strong and steady water pressure huh?

At the moment Im still giving these guys the benefit of the doubt. But I almost forgot to mention that I sent an email to them regarding this matter but that was a month ago and I have not heard from them. So Im not sure whether this will be rectified at all. But yeah, I am still giving them another chance.

In the meantime, we are making do with what we have. It is still not that bad considering there are places in the country constantly having a water shortage problem.

Im surprised to also discover that there are places in Big Mighty America that also has water problems. Namely in the state of Arizona and some people there have been doing it for years they no longer mind. I wonder if I would consider that though. Having the old school water pump does not seem like a bad idea. It would be economically advantageous however since we are now living on the second floor of the house Im not sure how that will work out.

Daily thoughts - High School of the Dead

Im currently hooked on a recently aired anime called High School of the Dead.

I havent really read too much reviews on it but personally I really like it because Im into zombie movies plus I love anime. Its on its 3rd episode only and the story is just getting better. The characters are all interesting and the visuals are fantastic.I am a little shocked tnough that some of the scenes are a tad graphic. I mean, the gore and also the part that guys like (ass, tits and a peek of some knickers). Most of the characters on this show are all just too nubile for highschool.

All I could say during those parts were, WTF and jailbait. Also, a series is never complete without the usual annoying asshole character out to piss off everyone.

I cant wait to get the next episode once its out. I think this anime kicks ass.

Jul 24, 2010

Daily thoughts - Job hunting in Pinas once again!

Kakauwi lng namen ngayon galing sa Eastwood. Ang masasabi ko lng pag uwe eh PAKSHET sana natulog na lang ako. Bad trip at kung kelan dumami ang BPO companies dito eh mas mukhang pumangit naman ang style ng pag assess nila ng kada applicant.

Malaki ang pinagbago ng hiring process ng BPO compared to how it was 3 - 5 years ago. Dati in a day alam mo na agad ano ang status mo after mo mag apply. First time ko nga magwork sa callcenter nung 2002, interview lng at typing exam tapos na. Di man lang ako hiningan ng transcript or proof na talagang College Graduate ako. Interview lng sinabi na skin eh pasado nako. The same day alam ko na agad na hired nako. Sa mga sumunod na call center jobs ko sa Ortigas at Makati, ganun din. One day hiring lang. Papabalikin ka na lng nila for contract signing.

3 years din ako nawala at nakapagtrabaho ako sa abroad. Hindi ko ineexpect na sa pagbalik ko eh parang mas kumplikado maghanap ng trabaho kumpara nung iilan pa lng ang naging call center job experience ko.

4 na kumpanya na ang naapplayan ko sa loob ng 1 buwan. Kahit naman me offer na at depende na lng sakin kung tatanggapin ko, marami ako napunang nakakairita at aksaya sa oras ng kanilang pagpoproseso.

Eto ang iilan sa mga katarantaduhang parte ng hiring process nila

1) IQ exam - ok lng naman sana me iq exam kaso di naman to college entrance exam eh. pag sagot mo ba ng telepono eh kelangan magsolve ka ng abstract? aalamin ba ni customer kung mgaling ka magpuna kung ano ang susunod sa trend na maliit na bilog, kasunod eh 2 malaking bilog, ano sa tingin mo ang susunod na hugis?

Kung nakalagay ba sa resume mo na galing ka sa isang reputable school tapos me additional post graduate course ka pa with matching overseas job experience at maraming certifications, kelangan pa ba ng IQ exam???

2) Typing exam - sa tingin ko importante ito. Kaso kung ung applicant naman eh nakita mo na sa documents na dala nya na marami na sha call center experience, including overseas exposure, necessary pa ba ito? Sa tingin mo ba eh makakalusot ang isang rep sa buong stay nia sa isang kumpanya kung mabagal sha magtype. Kung walang call center experience, maiintindhan ko. Pero kung nakita mo na sa resume at supporting documents na naka 4 na call center na ung tao, dapat i skip na tong parte na to.

3) Head hunter interview, hr interview, panel interview. - Define redundant. This is the most annoying part. Especially if after youve been screened by the head hunter, you still have to go through the whole milling process. Ang pinakaburat pa sa lahat ng ito ay ung pagaantayin ka nila ng buong araw. Akala mo espesyal ka kasi final interview ka na. Yun pala pag aantayin ka nila ng 4 na oras tapos pagdating mo sa opisina nila for the final interview, pagaantayin ka nila kasabay ng ibang walk in.

4) Payat na sahod - matapos mo pagdaanan ang lahat ng nasa itaas, oofferan ka nila ng sahod na pang entry level. Kahit naman na prove mo na sa interview, exam at supporting documents mo na more than qualified ka, di ka pa rin espesyal. Sasabhin nila syo na, they are offering the best basic salary. Yung ad pa nila will say 20-25 k. Pero ung offer nila syo is 15k.

Kaya napa face palm na lng ako pag uwi ko. At next week,ako ay babalik dun sa mga naginterview skin para ibigay ang aking sagot sa kanilang offer. kelangan ko na sabhin sa knila na salamat sa oras nyo pero you can shove your 15k salary offer up your ass.

Jul 10, 2010

A few old drawings

Ive liked sketching for as long as I can remember. Ive always wanted to pursue a degree in Fine Arts but right after highschool my Mom had already decided I had to be a doctor. Well it didnt really pan out as she had planned. I had a degree in Biology, then went to Medical School for 4 years. Then a few months before graduation I took a leave and never went back. I just got so tired and sad. I wanted to figure out what I truly wanted in my life.

Well its been 6 years and Im still figuring it out. Hehehe

So after so many years of school, I feel like a high school graduate again waiting to start college. If I had the time and money I would love to go to school and take up Fine Arts or Veterinary Science. If I could only do both that would be great right but its time to be realistic though. I have bills to pay and my Dad is my priority right now.

But no one said I cannot draw again. I have made a pact with myself not to let any job deprive me of my personal time to do what I love. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way to remember some basic tenets in life.

For starters I found some old books that belong to my Dad. It has step by step how to on Watercolor Painting, Charcoal Drawing, Oil Painting, Acrylic Painting, How to draw landscapes, still figures and my favorite,the human face and body.

I also found some old drawings that I made way back in 1991. Im surprised that even without any fixative, they all seem intact. It was kind of inspiring to see them again.

my brother

sketch of a graduation pic of one of my friends in college

Elizabeth Hurley

nude lady (from a magazine)

If only I had'nt stopped drawing and learning how to improve Id probably be very good at it now. But its fine. I dont think its really too late to hone my skills. My dad said that if you have talent it will always be there. Not everyone is given the gift to draw especially without formal training. I wonder if he was referring to me though or him=). I hope the saying the fruit does not fall too far from the tree will apply on this case though. I really admire my dad's talent.

My Dad is my inspiration. He is very good at painting and sketching even if he never went to any Art school. I hope one day I can be as good as he is.

Here is a link on a post I made about some of his drawings.

Jul 9, 2010

Cats getting settled

our cats being sent off by the tomcat at Pasir Ris

We officially moved our cats home on May 6 2010 to the Philippines. Although I originally planned to stay for a duration of another year at my job, I had to change my plan because I have to take care of my sick Dad. So after only 9 days since I went back to Singapore, I flew back home to my country to be reunited with my babies.

The cats seemed to have settled in pretty well.

Fat cat boodapdap inspecting the room

Thumper inspecting her new room
Thumper getting bored
We are also slowly trying to introduce them to our other house cats. It says on the book Im currently reading (Cats for dummies) that it has to be a gradual process. It is best to confine the new cats for at least one month before the "meet and greet" session with their new feline friends.
Thumper relaxing

Mini Marble relaxing

Boodapdap cleaning herself

There are other cats in the house. Only recently, we have allowed the 3 kittens downstairs to wander in our room. They seem to be having so much fun! At first I thought they wanted to go inside our room because of the food. But I noticed now that even after Ive fed them outside, they still want to hang out to play in our room. Its also great that none of my cats are attacking any of the kittens. They hiss and growl a bit but thats about it. Of course these are all "supervised visits" hehe.

Here are some photos of the kittens hanging out:

maki and squid amused with the scratch post
Maki and Alejandro enjoying the feather teaser and oops the hubby's undies. hahaha
Dapdap and Maki coexisting peacefully

We are pleased on how happy our cats seem to be. The only hiccup on this move is finding a good pet shop for our babies. For over a month we havent had the luck of finding a decent pet store with at least Hill's science diet cat food or kitty litter other than Catsan. But for now the cats are doing okay. We are still on the lookout for better brands. That will be fine though. We will be staying here for quite awhile.