My farewell email



Today is my last day working for M and my last day here in Malaysia.

I am forever grateful for having met and worked with you for the past three and a half years.

AK will be taking over as Head of CNO-IN/VASP so do contact him if you need any assistance.

I wish you all the best in your endeavors.

Thank you very much.

Best regards.


Man's main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. ---Erich Fromm



Nanay Ko Yan

From today's issue of the PDI Metro Section:


Protest rally greets new PNU president
Failure to meet standards cited
By Tina Santos
Last updated 00:23am (Mla time) 06/28/2006

Published on Page A21 of the June 28, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

SEVERAL faculty members and students of the state-run Philippine Normal University (PNU) yesterday held a rally to voice their displeasure over the appointment of lawyer Lutgardo Barbo as their new president, saying he had failed to meet some of the minimum standards set for the post.

Students, teachers and administrative staffers wore black shirts as they held a rally and noise barrage inside the PNU campus on Taft Avenue, Manila to question the decision of the eight-member Board of Regents (BOR), the university’s highest policy-making body. Black pieces of cloth and a streamer with the message “No to politics, yes to merit” were hung from one of the buildings.

The BOR had chosen Barbo, a former governor of Eastern Samar, over four other nominees—Dr. Esther Ogena, Dr. Twila Punsalan, Dr. Rosa Maria Llanes and Dr. Carolina Danao. The protesters claimed that Barbo’s name should not have been included in the final list of three candidates submitted by the search committee.

“We were surprised to find out that he got the position when in fact, he ranked last among the five candidates,” said Felice Yeban, a Department of Social Sciences professor. “He does not even have a minimum of five years of administrative experience in teacher education or related fields,” she added.

The Inquirer tried but failed to reach Barbo for comment.



Evening KL Drive

I was driving from KL to meet my futsal friends who were giving me a farewell dinner. Since they knew that I was a self-proclaimed Bah Kuh Teh connosieur, they took me to a BKT shop in Old Klang Road. It was not as great as the one that me and the missus go for every Sunday but the setup was nice since there were veggies and mushroom sidings that came with the meat. Ang difference lang naman eh yung sabaw di kasing-lapot nung nasa Klang. Evertything else was ok.

Since traffic was very tight during the rush hour, I managed to scramble for my cam-phone and take pictures of some of the KL sites that I've frequented (yup traffic was that jammed).

I think when I look at these pics months from now I'll just sigh and say, "Been there, done that."

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Last Hurrah for Futsal

Last weekend was Malaysia's futsal farewell to me. I joined a team for the Company's futsal tournament, a one-day league last Saturday. It was in sync with the current FIFA World Cup so the organizers decided to give the team names based from the current countries in the said Cup. My team was Mexico.

Our team was a bunch of misfits but we were able to pull through: we played 6 games in the round-robin where we had 1 draw and 5 wins....by the enemy. Seeing the other teams play I knew that we had no chance. So I just forgot about being competitive and just focused on having fun and let all my teammates play. Even after every hurting loss, I was able to end up with a smile and shrug it off. "All for fun," was all I kept saying to myself.

Needless to say that we went there not for the trophy, but for the laughs. As for me I was able to score a glorious free-kick from the halfway line, passing a two-man wall and the suprised goalkeeper ---although we still lost that particular game 3-1.

Anyway I still had my regular Sunday futsal so the next day I was at it again, enjoying "The Beautiful Game" for those 2 hours. But as end-time neared, I knew that this *could* be my last futsal game (I've seen the futsal court in Club680 in Libis but the missus mentioned that his friend's friend has difficulty in getting a quorum).

When I get back to Manila I'll surprise my old football club in DB-Makati. Yes, the prized left-midfielder is back to play with Malaysian experience to boot.

Play on.



You've read about it, heard scary stories, and watched it in Pinoy horror films. Below could be the closest proof of their existence ---pics taken in Sual, Pangasinan using night vision by an emailer called Edwin Cura (click the pics to zoom).


Not just a mug

Well I couldn’t figure out the riddle that my team gave since I was too busy handing-over some work. It turns out they were referring to CHILI’S at Midvalley Megamall (yeah I know, you too would not have guessed it. I guess my team is better off as engineers rather than riddlers).

All of my 5 staff members came. They treated me to a nice dinner (I ordered the beef-ribs and chicken combo ---bochog).

After eating I was surprised they handed me a gift, which turned out to be for Lucas. It was a set of floating bath-tub toys and a rattle. Lucas (and I) will definitely enjoy it.

I had a feeling that they were also going to give me a gift so after setting aside the toys, I started laughing, “OK OK give me MYYYYY gift!!! YAHOOO! Come on gimme gimme!!! HEEHEE YAHOOO!”

Everyone was dumb-founded. “How did he know?” they all must’ve asked. Actually when we entered Chili’s one of my staff was already there sitting by the waiting area. He failed to hide one of those shopping paper bags so I somehow knew that it was for me.

So much to their disappointment that they weren’t able to surprise me this time, they handed me the paper bag. It’s labeled “Royal Selangor,” a shop known for its pewters. After several layers of packaging, here’s what I got:

A pewter mug. It's reminiscent of those used by kings of old or what you see in such films as LOTR. Note that Royal Selangor products do not come cheap.

But what touched me was that they’ve put an engraving on the mug with the words WORLD’S BEST BOSS and underneath it they put in all their names. Needless to say that I was close to being teary-eyed. I was touched. They would’ve given me a ceramic or plastic mug but that engraving meant more to me. It meant that I’ve done well here as a manager according to not one, but all of my staff.

So I gave my short-speech to them, wishing them all the best in their careers and their personal lives. After which, we capped the night by playing cosmic bowling which unfortunately I only scored 104 which meant I am light-years away from being World’s Best Bowler.


Dinner riddle

My staff have been so kind to give me a farewell dinner tonight as I've only over a week until I fly back to Manila. However, they have been cheeky not to reveal to me the venue for tonight's dinner directly but by a riddle.

I have to solve the riddle below in order to find out the venue for tonight. Well if I don't solve it, they'll end up having dinner just by themselves and it's going to be their fault, not mine. Hehe.

Well it is whr Microsoft came from
Some spices involved as well
Thr are many of this dine in this country
But the one we all gonna be is at the famous spree & dine, situated,
Center of an elongated lowland between ranges of hills..



WARNING: I almost threw-up watching this one.


Great Shot!

Yup, the missus and I are finally one of those people who'll put all of their kid's pics on their blogs, cellphone wallpaper, laptop wallpaper, friendster profiles, YM display image, and so on and so on. I guess that's one of the joys of parenthood, a.k.a. the 'hood. You will never grow tired of looking at your kid every second of the day, moreover if you're thousands of miles away like me.

Here's a great shot taken by my sis. It's by the window of the missus' hospital-room while I was letting God's morning sun touch him.


New Kid In Town

As of June-16 7:34pm, the missus and I are officially parents. This 3.019kg bundle of joy called Lucas Elijah entered the world screaming and crying as the ob-gyn pulled him out of the missus' womb. Since we checked-in at the Asian Hospital in poshy Filinvest-Alabang, the husband was allowed in the op-room so I was privileged to be THE first relative to lay eyes on him. As the missus was welling with tears as she heard Lucas' cries, needless to say that I followed him with my trusty Canon 7megapix digicam from the missus to the glass-bassinet as the in-house pediatrician checked, measured, and weighed him for the tale-of-the-tape. Full video coverage, syempre.

It shouldn't be surprising that after being toweled dry, Lucas was as handsome as his father (wink wink). The missus points out the nose, the eye-sags, and the thick-hair as the features he inherited from me, while I can see the missus in Lucas' brown eyes.

Around 3am the next day the missus and I together with my sis were visited by him for a try at breastfeeding. Since there is still no breastmilk generated by the missus immediately after birth, you can imagine Lucas' frustration when he tries to suck but didn't get the intended output. His view on this issue? Cry, of course. Amazingly when he cries I would carry him from the missus and rock him gently from side to side and, voila, he stops crying. Di pa ako kumakanta nun ha.

We benefited greatly from his "every 3-4 hour" visits since we get to see (and smell!) him often. He smells like vanilla with a touch of pinipig (really!). No artificial flavoring, ika nga. Just all-natural baby smell.

My sis, armed with a film-type pro-camera, 2 digicams, 1 videocam, and 3 cam-phones could not help but just click and shoot away during these visits even as Lucas squints everytime he feels a flash coming on despite his eyes being closed. He may have a future in male modeling, hehe.

From the missus' family to mine, he is everybody's apple-of-the-eye. Ang pogi pogi't cuuuuuuuuuuuute daw. You only need to look at the parents, of course, as to why that is so. Hehe.

We were hoping to bring him home last Sunday but unfortunately he had a brief breath-holding episode ---5 seconds to be exact (I guess he was practicing deep meditation when the nurse spotted him). The pediatrician ran some tests and found that he may be suspect for some sort of infection. Thus he has to stay at the hospital for 5 more days (actually, 4 days left, and counting) with antibiotics injected to him twice a day (poor guy). He will be tested again on Friday morning so I hope it's negative so that he can go home to see his room (which has been recently renovated btw, sparklingly). Me and the missus had tears running on our faces as we said goodnight to our boy, and left for home.

I had to leave for Malaysia too so this morning I went by myself to the hospital to see him. He was just about to be injected for his morning medicine but I requested the nurses to postpone for a while as I needed to see and talk to him.

You may think I'm crazy but alone on that parent-area in the nursery with him, I was really talking to him: telling him how pogi he is, asking him to be strong and hopefully get out of this hospital by Friday, telling him to stop courting all the other baby girls in the nursery since there are more girls outside, and that airconditioning should not be a problem since his room in QC is equipped with it. Ahh yes, I also sang to him the chorus of "I'll Be" amidst the tears running on my face. It was really painful leaving him there. Well, hopefully he goes out by Friday so that he can see all his relatives (or vice-versa).

I took the video below using my N70 just before I left the hospital today for the airport. Like the missus, he likes it when I stroke his head gently as it relaxes him. Touch-therapy I guess. You can't help but agree, he's damn cute.


Leaving on a high note

It was not surprising that the news of my resignation had spread to the whole Company in over a week. Thanks to the tsismosos and tsismosas, it found its way to every person that I've worked with for the past 3.5 years. This has proved that office rumours spread faster than bird flu.

It's really amazing that every now and then I'd get a text-message or a phone-call asking, "Is it true that you are leaving us?" To which I would respond to a humble YES, citing family, with population soon to be increased to 3, as my main reason for going back to Manila. Yes when family is put into the picture (or the resignation letter in this case), the Company has no other choice but to accept their loss.

I am very flattered by the comments that I've received such as:

"Oh man why do you have to leave? How are we going to do this/that now?"

"I'm very sad that you're leaving. You're definitely one of the best people in this project."

"You're a very good manager. This team will be lost without you."

The best so far was from my boss' boss, who commented during the monthly meeting in front of all the other managers and senior managers:

"R and S are leaving soon. These are the good guys. I hope they will reconsider and stay with us."

I am very humbled by their comments, knowing that I've done well in this Company. Leaving this place knowing that I've left at the top of my game has made me feel content. Hopefully I will be able to leave the same impression on my next challenge, wherever/whatever it may be.

I guess this was how Michael Jordan felt during his 1st retirement.



Family Photo

I'm looking at this pic and I'm thinking, "Hmmm....kami rin kaya magpakuha ng ganito?" ;-)


Last Saturday night, I was able to buy a new pair of football shoes: a pair of Nike Mystic TFs (turf). I was apprehensive on buying the white-colored pair since the missus always comments mukhang pang-doktor whenever I hold a white basketball/football shoe when I go window shopping. But then the missus isn't here and this will be my farewell gift to myself before I leave Malaysia so I just said "Who cares?" and signaled the salesman that I'm making the purchase. I was able to break it in since I had a futsal game last night with my Chinese buddies. I didn't score a goal but the new shoes felt good compared to my old Umbros since the grip to the turf was better. Of course that goes without saying that I felt more pogi when I was wearing them.

After the game I proceeded to Pyramid for dinner. Seeing that the Chicken Buffet restaurant was full, I proceeded to Sushi King and ordered the usuals: komoro bento set, soft-shell crab temaki, and then a pair of fresh salmon and tuna-mayo maki from the kaiten. Busog as usual.

I then decided to stroll around the mall to remove whatever added calories I've eaten. My feet then brought me to a baby shop called Annaku ("my child" in Malay). I felt a different high as I was browsing thru the store ---everything was just soooo little and sooo cute! It was then that I called up the missus and asked her if Lucas still needs anything. Lucas' wardrobe so far only has white shirts so I picked up 2 blue Disney shirts that were just sooo teeny-tiny cuuuute! I've added two infant Disney socks with Mickey Mouse's face on it. Lucas will definitely look pogi (and absolutely CUUUUTE) on these.

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Better Than Ronaldhino

Well tonight's the opening ceremonies of the FIFA World Cup. This is going to be THE very first time that I'm going to watch the opening ceremonies so I'm going to savour every minute of it.

Since the games in Germany will be shown live, i.e. late mornings here, then puyatan ito. But I don't care. It comes every 4 years so I'll get the Sour Cream n Onion Pringles and Coke-Light ready.

Btw, this video is absolutely funny.

Crazy isn't it?


Evolution of Dance

I got this from my sis. See if you can recall how many you used to do.


The Owa Dialect

You need to be well-versed with the Owa dialect if you're in a conversation with my mother-in-law. The word Owa was derived from the missus' niece when she was just learning to speak ---she tried to call her Lola but Owa came out instead. Thus the nick stuck with her 'til this day.

The Owa dialect is simply elongating a normal word with skee's, ong's, and what not's to make the sentence or phrase end with a comfortable tone at the end. It's very addictive mind you.

With the help of the missus, here's the Owa dialect as we know it today:

Okoy = O.K.

Basket = Baket. (example, "Ay basket???")

Goletstralaletskee = Let's Go

Of coursetamente = Of course

Ay shockdabolskee = ay shocks

Tongtong/Tongtongitis = short for "tongtong kulangot pastingbulala," or simply, it means skinny.

Bruhitik = Bruha

Doodle = also means skinny, derived from "yatpa-doodle-doo"

Plongkay = a girl having her 1st menstruation too early

Liliaskee = Lilia

Marioksee = Mario

Taweki = Rowena (don't ask me how it go to Taweki)

Boying = Boy

Mikotut = Miko

Patringgogo = Patricia

Cleopatrick = Clay

Lucas Pakaskas = her "coming soon" grandson

and my favorites:

Tiburcia = Tomboy sya. Tibo sya. Tiburcia.

Dulcisima Plandeskoy = Dulce Flandez, one of her loyal house-helpers.

Markong Debakongkong = Mark, her nephew.


Korek ka dyan!

Has anyone tried Yahoo-Messenger's Philippine Audibles? Kung hindi boses bading eh boses ni Kuya Bodjie!

Paging YM developers, gawa naman kayo ng maayos na audibles kase:

"Sori, strik ang parents ko!"


Free Photo Booth

I watch The Tonight Show with Jay Leno whenever I can. I find the show very entertaining since he always comes up with different skits/pranks that just makes me laugh out loud.

The Free Photo Booth prank has been going on for quite sometime on his show, with the booth installed in Universal Pictures. Jay Leno has been making this prank for several episodes already so when I saw that it was coming up on this particular episode I just stopped blogging and watched.

I was surprised to see the latest episode coz two of the victims looked to be Filipinos, especially the 2nd one when his accent gave it away.

Click here to play the video.

I can't wait for the next episode.


Unless you haven't been to Malaysia, you will not know what cendol (pronounced chen-dol) is. If you happen to take a holiday here, you HAVE to taste cendol, specifically this particular one from Subang Jaya. The missus and I absolutely LOVE this tasty dessert, especially after our Sunday Bah-Kuteh (a Chinese pork dish) which makes it a truly power combo meal. Along with Rojak (another delicious dish), you'll always expect a long queue from people of all walks of life ---whether you're driving a Proton or an Alfa Romeo.

What we've assessed to be the main ingredients are sticky sweet rice, kidney beans, covered with ground ice. It is then poured with a delectable helping of
arnibal and then topped with coconut+condensed milk with chewy green thingies.

As it is handed to you, you sit down by the sidewalk and mix it with a spoon. And then, under the summer beach-like weather, you take your first sip.



WorldCup 2006 Predictions

Here's my prediction for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Final 16 teams:

GroupA - Germany, Ecuador
GroupB - Sweden, England
GroupC - Argentina, Netherlands
GroupD - Mexico, Portugal
GroupE - Italy, USA
GroupF - Brazil, Japan
GroupG - France, Switzerland
GroupH - Spain, Ukraine

Did you know that as of May '06 among the 205 member teams of FIFA, the Philippines is waaaay at the bottom with a ranking of 191?!



So did he or didn't he?

Here's that much talked-about Schumi incident at the recent Monaco F1 Grand Prix.