Sunday, September 27, 2015

Beautiful Sunday # 179 - Endings

This week marked the real ending of my documentation project. Our President and CEO finally received the much awaited recognition from the highest office in the country. The entire day was filled with first time experiences. The last time I saw the highest office was ages ago. I was in fifth grade and had the chance to visit its museum.

I tried my best to recall when did the project start. I traced my last posts and this was the earliest I encountered. It was two years in the making. We already learned the success of our project last June.  Fast forward now, it took months before the awarding ceremonies was scheduled. I wasn't expecting to be included in the list of employees joining the ceremonies. As far as I know, only the vice presidents and managers are entitled. Barely a few days before the event, my superior informed us of the event. Panic mode on, I have nothing to wear. The first instruction was to wear Filipiniana. The last minute, my superior made other plans. I already purchased a Filipiniana inspired shawl. I dressed down and rummaged my cabinet for the lone LBD (little BLUE dress). Setting aside the little stress, all the wait and worries since 2013 were worth it. I can claim that I have done something good in my life. This also proves what an older friend told me many years ago. The Big Boss above does not deny prayers and wishes with the best intentions.

Before tears accompany me again, here are the other beautiful things that made my week. 

Meeting one of my favorite bloggers, our role model for frugality!!! Thank you Edel of Life in Manila. Edel works with the office handling the event. I messaged her a few days before. At that time, I wasn't sure if I will be included in the list of guests. I took chance and everything just happened. Too bad because I didn't have any camera with me. It was restricted for guests, which I completely understood. But I was quite lucky ;) Edel saved the day. So I had a little remembrance posted from her Instagram account. The rare times you can see me looking decent on a dress. Thanks Edel for devoting some time and for this present too!

Immediately after the awarding ceremonies, I thought I will be asked to return to the office. We were treated to a celebratory lunch. All the more I was surprised because we went to La Cocina de Tita Moning, the restaurant where Edel dabbles as a tour guide. 

I was on a semi-loser mode here. Imagine being brought to a very beautiful place without any camera. I never bothered to bring my camera because it was restricted during the awarding ceremonies anyway. I only had my lousy camera phone. Worst, my phone's battery was beginning to drain. These were the few captures I made.

I swear, the place looks better than my poor photos. 

The living room is the most expensive part of the house because of the paintings!

It felt like Christmas! I was treated to a five course meal with the highest people at the workplace. It was a rare and I believe, once in a lifetime opportunity for me. 

One of the best things I'm looking forward this week is the long weekend. An extended weekend break is the best! I had a great start with my grandfather, auntie and cousins. 

Marikina Hits! - Out of nowhere, my cousins treated us for merienda last Friday. The man in the middle is my grandfather who's turning 91 before the year ends. Can weekends be forever like this?

As I was cleaning my things, I remembered having this book from Bobbi Brown. It is filled with inspiring messages and stories about women. If laziness will not attack me, I might write a review about this coffee table book.

And as always, long weekend is all about great food starting with forever favorite, Becky's Swiss Chocolate Cake. :) 

I checked my calendar and realized that this will be the last Sunday of September. How fast time flies. I'm facing the last few months of 2015. Hopefully, the next months will be filled with better and happier memories ahead. 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

1933 - Leonard Fritz of New Mexico, USA

Except for my lone surviving grandparent, I think no one in my immediate maternal and paternal families was born in 1933. A person born in 1933 is about 82 years old today. This means that this cover or envelope I'm holding today will be a century old after about two decades. After two decades, I'm probably in the last phase of my working life. I'm not sure if I'm already retired or still alive. :) 

I bought this stamped and used envelope a few weeks ago. Unlike my previous finds, the complete detail of the sender was provided. What seems to be unsearchable now is the identity of the real owner of this mail. In 1933,  addresses in the Philippines are short and simple. The town or province of the recipient is enough for the mailman. There are probably less than a hundred people residing in the town of Lucena. At that time, everybody knows everybody. 

As for the sender, I'm quite surprised that I encountered a complete address. I searched for the address through Instant Street View and found this residential site. I was amazed by this web based application.

You can see actual photos of a given address. Instant Street View is like a better version of Google Maps. There are still photos of the streets that were captured around October 2012. This place in New Mexico is a residential site and feels very quiet and peaceful. 

Truth to be told, I initially doubted the authenticity of this envelope because the postmark is so neat. But when I checked the texture of the stamps, my doubts faded. The stamps have a different feel and texture. It felt like I touched a newly issued paper bill or a crisp set of linen papers. The stamps have this unique smooth micro layers. 

Since the details of the recipient are unclear, I'm focusing my research to the sender.  If this website provides reliable Census figures, Leonard Fritz was born in 1916. He was around 17 years old when he sent the postcard. If he is still alive today, he is almost a century old. I wonder how is he related to the recipients stated in the envelope. As I further googled for information about Leonard Fritz, I ended with different leads. One obituary identified Leonard Fritz as a respected entrepreneur. Details from such article however do not coincide with previous year of birth mentioned. Also, this entrepreneur did not show traces of living in New Mexico.

Another interesting lead is from the American Battle Monuments Commission. Leonard Frtiz was one of the American soldiers who  became the casualty of World War II in the Philippines. He died in 1945 and his remains lie at the Manila American Cemetery.  If he was really born on 1916, he was only 29 years old when he passed away. If he is the real sender in this envelope, I would like to believe that I have a memorabilia from one of the heroic and selfless American soldiers.

Unlike the previous used postcards I have, the details of the sender or recipient is quite unclear in this case. My hope is that a relative or someone from New Mexico will probably land on my blog and recognise this little treasure I have. :) 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Beautiful Sunday # 178 - It will be alright

I started making this post on Saturday night. I felt too tired after having an unexpected afternoon errand with my cousins. Before we parted ways we had pizza, barbecue and doughnuts for dinner. Happy Tummy! It was a night of stories and laughter. Just what I need after a week long work. Last Friday night, I also had waffle dinner with my friend, MFA. Thanks MFA for those relaxing Fridays. 

Meanwhile, here are some of the other beautiful things that made the entire week.

Some scenes from the historic Intramuros.

I'm always saying that there's a little benefit of having a workplace located inside a historic site. True. But when you are there for work, you will never have the chance to seriously tour and appreciate the place. Would you believe that in my 11 years of working, I've never joined any Intramuros tour? You can never do it while working. Weekends maybe a good idea but as always, my lazy self prefers to sleep and occasionally meet my few friends and cousins. Maybe one of these days?

The Chamber of Commerce Building is one of the silent attractions in Intramuros. I love the white painted building and the little balcony on the side. 

I wonder if anyone occupies the balcony as an office space. How lucky! 

I'm not a big fan of Chicken Insasal but Bacolod Chicken is probably one of the few restaurants who can cook inasal that fits my weird taste buds. I used to eat here at least once a month with my BFF T, who left more than a year ago. We used to take our unhealthy lunches on this strip of Intramuros whenever we want to discuss something confidential / gossip about someone and some things about the workplace. True to the saying, if these walls could talk... the walls of the restaurants and fastfood chains in the area have heard and have a lot to say about our worklife sentiments.

I had too much introduction but the real reason why I captured this photo is to express my mixed sentiments on the ornamental plants in wooden crates. They look nice but I find them a little inappropriate. They consume space, cause traffic and minor accidents I guess. 

MFA and I tried this waffle stall in SM Manila last Friday. Belgian Waffles found its competitor :) 

I love the tables and chairs that Wuffwich provide. A little improvement from what The Famous Belgian Waffles offer. 

I ordered choco banana and paired it with my favorite buko juice. 

Print your Instagram Photos via Polagram. Marieken gave me the idea to turn some of my Instagram photos to postcards. Polagram is one of the online printing shops I encountered. The service was great. The prints are glossy but not one of those that would easily fade. Although I would have preferred matte prints for better quality and longer life span. The shipping is also fast. It took only two days of waiting. My only complaint, a bit expensive. :) Anyone who knows a cheaper alternative? 

A few of my favorite things lately - Classic leather tote, blue Sperrys (I'm a convert),  a great read, my favorite V-neck shirt from Giordano (How I wished I bought this shirt in all colors. This is just one of the few t-shirts that don't make me look fat) and my ever reliable iPod Nano... still alive and surviving for 8 years! It has surpassed all my recklessness. Unfortunately though, I'm having a hard time searching for the right earphones. I've tried different brands only to have them working for a few months. I wanted to purchase the original Apple earphones but dear God, no for a thousand pesos. While searching for alternatives, I encountered this headphones from Zalora. I might try it one of these days. 

Remembered a dearest friend....Can't believe that it has been three years since she has been celebrating her birthday in heaven. Weeks before she passed away, she related her problems. While I was trying to console her, I admit that I never knew how it felt to be in her shoes. Years after, I completely understood her sentiments. I've been praying that I will soon be fine. I'm wishing that Anna will send me messages of assurance that indeed, everything will fall on the right place. It will be alright soon. :) 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Treasure! Tony Calero in 1947

I think I have developed a new source of interest. It started when I purchased this postcard from Baltimore in 1947. I now love buying "used" and vintage postcards. Used postcards are those that were stamped and really sent to a particular person many years ago. I actually have this dream that the postcards I have today will eventually be brought to a vintage market place. Another collector will acquire my postcards and he / she will begin researching about my details. That is, if any member of the future generation will still show interest in collecting stamps and appreciating the classic postal mail. 

This unexpected interest intensified when I was able to somehow, successfully search the real owner of the postcard from Baltimore in 1947. My secret dream is that a member of the Villonco family will eventually discover my blog and reach out to me. I'm not sure, but I have a feeling that the Villonco couple is related to the granddaughter of this famous actress and film producer. My belief intensified when I learned that both the paternal and maternal families of the granddaughter hails from Malabon. Blame everything on my self-taught internet research stalking skills. Hahaha But I know someone who does it better. Hello Mother E! Hahahaha

This newly discovered addiction interest made me acquire a few more pieces of used postcards. I actually purchased two more and I will separately blog about it. :)

My recent acquisition is a locally sent postcard in 1947. The  sender is unknown. But based on the details shown on the postmark, the card came from Baguio and part of the limited First Day Cover (FDC). As far as my limited knowledge in Philately is concerned, FDC is released to mark the initial issuance of a commemorative stamp. It has an envelope or postcard bearing a stamp with a postmark indicating the date of initial release.

This FDC originated from Baguio City and was released way before my parents were born. The stamps still relate that the Philippines is still under the Commonwealth system, a few years after the Japanese colonisation era.

More than the historical meaning of this time period, I was rather interested with the real owner of this card. I initially searched for the location of Filipinas Building. I was unsuccessful. I believe the building is no longer existing or probably, it has changed its name. I went searching for the recipient of the card and I would like to believe I was successful.

This blog was of great help. Unfortunately, I can't find the blogger's contact details and it has been more than a year since it was updated. Nevertheless, I was able to secure possible photos of Tony Calero.

Photo originally owned and uploaded by Cuervo Property Advisory
Standing second from the right is the Tony Calero, whom I feel is the real owner of the postcard. I can see a typical Filipino with Spanish lineage. As we often call it here, mestizo and mestiza. :) This again gave me an idea that the family is considered as an affluent member of the society. True enough, the entire family is identified as the pioneer of country's first board of realtors.

As I understood it, Tony Calero is part of the group who  established the Manila Board of Realtors in 1938. Upon further research, Manila Board of Realtors is now called as the Philippine Association of Real Estate Boards Inc. (PAREB). There are a lot more information about Tony Calero and the Manila Board of Realtors. But I feel so lazy to read the additional details. :) Added to this, there was a time when Tony Calero became the president of the group.

Is there anyone here who is familiar with the Calero family or at least the Manila Board of Realtors? I would love to hear stories, especially if it comes from his family. Likewise, I'm interested where is the Filipinas Building referred in the postcard's address? 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Beautiful Sunday # 177 - Work and Play

What happened in the Philippines last September 8, 2015? A friend related in his social media accounts his sentiments. According to him,

Morning : Happy Birthday Mama Mary
Evening : @#$%^&*


I started the day by attending the workplace's Holy Mass for the Blessed Mother. It was scorching hot the entire day. Afternoon came, the heavy rains started to be felt. I had my usual evening classes. I dismissed at 7 pm. I dropped by the office to rest for a while. When I went out, there were still heavy rains. The vehicles on the road weren't moving. I walked from the workplace to the train station. I have no problems except for the dirty flood along Recto Avenue. (I was so paranoid. I almost thought I can consume the entire bottle of alcohol. Hahaha)  Took the train and I thought I will be able to easily catch a UV express bound to Marikina. It was late and I was expecting that everyone is already home. Much to my surprise, it took me more than an hour of standing and waiting. My ending, I walked again until I was able to accidentally score a seat to a UV Express bound for home. I thought only the people from Manila were affected. When I watched the late night news, I saw the terrible situation in EDSA. I'm still quite lucky. 

This was morning before Manila and the entire NCR had the worst traffic nightmare. I dropped  by the Manila Post Office for the Postcard Challenge. (Ooops, the tall building on the left is the controversial national photobomber. :) 

I would pass by this park every time I go to the Manila Post Office. There's a nice hidden park in Intramuros. Unfortunately, entrance is restricted or discouraged if I may say. 

Whoever said that our country is deprived of parks and quiet outdoor areas. It's not true in the case of Manila or at least in NCR. There are parks around except that it sometimes become a haven for criminal activities.

I have super oily face so I can't understand why I purchased VMV's moisturizer for dry skin. Hahaha While I'm still unqualified to review VMV, I'm happy to say that I love the "additional oil"  and its cooling effect to my skin.

This has been the best conditioner from Pantene I've ever used. This is perfect for women who share the problem of thick, heavy and tangled hair.

Who can remember this? I was surprised with the new packaging of Haw Flakes. 

Some of the vintage postcards I bought from my favorite shop

Thank you dear Marieken! Happy to have found a great friend and listener in the blogosphere. 

And recently, my favorite bag with a few friends:)

Dad's new bike, if only I know how to bike

This is what weekends are made for 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

1954 - Second Asian Games

A few days ago, my eBay account resurrected again. :) I had a few items needed to be sent to the courier. I squeezed in everything in my one-hour lunch break. I dropped by Escolta and before having lunch at McDonald's, I went to my new favorite place. :) The little shop that sells everything vintage. It was where I found this postcard from Baltimore in 1947. I have plans of blogging the shop. Unfortunately, the owner was not supportive of my plan. I sought permission if I can take photos. The lady seller refused. Her husband might not like it. In my mind, why? I didn't insist. I respected their preference. Although the lady seller agreed over a few photos on their items. 

Apart from postcards, the stall offers other vintage collectible items. I didn't bother to check, I'm afraid it might turn to an addiction. :) I contented myself to the vintage postcards. I was hoping to purchase another "used" postcard. Unfortunately, another collector came earlier. The lady seller instead offered me stamps. And not jut stamps, take a look at my recent treasure find

It' s a set of commemorative stamps way back 1954. 

The Second Asian Games is equivalent to the world olympics of Asia. This is still different from the SEAG (Southeast Asian Games).  Sixty-one years ago, the Philippines hosted the olympics. I further gathered information about the Asian Games. I was surprised to discover that this was the first and last time that the Philippines hosted the event. The olympics happens every 3 to 4 years and the next leg will be held on 2018 in Indonesia. 

Same as with my 1947 postcard from Baltimore, I still don't know what to do with this very vintage item. As always, I will keep this in my possession. A little information I secured from the lady seller, she told me that even the employees of the Philippine Postal Corporation are buying from them. I suspect that some of the stamps they auction every month is coming from this seller.

To those who are interested to visit the shop, here are the landmarks to remember.

From the left, the Sta. Cruz Church and Banco de Oro (BDO) and Asia United Bank (AUB) on the right.

The stall is right in front of BDO, behind the white van parked. :)

I might get back next week. Hopefully, there's another used postcard waiting for me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

11 Things from 11 Years

Before I start this post, I'd like to share a recent stupidity I experienced at work. The Big Boss has been telling me to organise the plan for another documentation / accreditation project. If there's possibly a specific position specifically designed for documentation for accreditation, I'm probably one of the few persons who can qualify. "Of the few," because "only a few" people have fully embraced the role. More often than not, only a few schools designate one person to perform this role. All these years, I have learned to translate the real meaning behind vague accreditation requirements. It's like having a customer who simply said "I want diet spaghetti." Everyone will surely feel rattled, "how in the world shall we cook and prepare "diet spaghetti?" This has been my role over the past years. I do the tedious job of identifying the resources needed, specific steps and ensuring that everything will steer to the creation of the perfect diet spaghetti. I don't call the shots though. There's another person who will drive the entire execution. When the customer is pleased, credit goes to the chef and and the executioner. If everything fails, you can probably sense the ending. My instagram account will be filled with food uploads, McDonald's delivery will get additional earnings for one month, Watsons will experience an upsurge in their sales of tissue, Johnny Air will have additional income and this blog will become the screaming evidence of everything. Hahahahaha That has been life for me over the last years. I will never say that I've gotten used to it. I've just learned to always expect the unexpected. 

What an introduction, I haven't even started yet. Hahaha As I was saying, the Big Boss told me to organise the plan for another accreditation project. My stupid and obedient self started the work. I figured out how to work my way so I started to create and save a word file. I was about to save the file when I was told, "do you want to replace an existing file?" WTF?! I checked the existing file and much to my biggest surprise, I HAVE ALREADY PREPARED ALL THE DOCUMENTS SINCE LAST YEAR. I was surprised to see an entire folder of detailed and organised files. As I further scanned my documents including my email, I discovered that I have submitted everything to the Big Boss last year. The heck. :) How could I be this stupid? Weeks ago, I was even feeling quite guilty for not accomplishing this task immediately. Turns out, I have done my part. The stage now belongs to the executioners. And just like that, remember this post? Yup, I'm an idle and useless being again. Award!

My initial plan was to identify at least 11 lessons I gained from my 11 years of working. Somewhere along the way,  I found the idea cliche, useless, uninteresting and probably, will look like a copycat of all those preachy and self help articles constantly shared in my Facebook newsfeed. As I was typing the title, 11 things I learned from 11 years of working, I realised to simplify and focus on 11 things instead. I intend to compile the most memorable 11 things that made up each year of working. 

1. When I was finally hired - It took me 4 months to land on my first job and first company.... to which I still belong today. I was interviewed by the former President & CEO for a post in the research team. Back then, I can't figure out if I made it or not. After the interview, I was asked to wait in the HR Office. In a few minutes, the HR Staff brought me to the school clinic. Joy to the world! I'm no longer unemployed!!!

2. When I got my permanency status - Six months went too fast. I finally belong! This was important for me, my family and my plan of pursuing further studies. 

3. When I started writing producing my own researches, which I discovered was even read by the former President & CEO. - I used to believe that my reports only go to my department head. There was one incident that made the President & CEO implement some disciplinary measures. I never knew that my report was partly instrumental until a senior colleague told me about it. I may appear as the antagonist, but I had a silent proud moment at that time. 

4. When I started to present my own research works - One of the reasons why I'm thankful for my first boss. She trusted me enough to present my own output. I conquered my stage fright. 

5. When I entered Graduate School - The perks of working for a school, I got a considerable discount for my Graduate studies. I gained friends but unfortunately, no one remained. Hahahaha Everyone went on with their lives and I lost the energy to organise reunions and get togethers. 

6. My short stint in Taiwan - I will be forever thankful to the two superiors who trusted me with this opportunity. Likewise, the former President & CEO who approved my financial assistance. 

7.  I gained freelance works - It's all on me but I wouldn't deny that my working experience gave me the access to freelance works. 

8. When I started teaching - Contrary to everyone's belief, you can teach in college even without a masteral degree. In my case, I waited for my time. I wanted to fully equip myself with knowledge and skills before I ventured to teaching. I finished my masteral degree before I applied for a teaching post. 

9. When my past documentation project became a successful endeavour - Thank you PQA Committee and as much I don't want to mention it, big thanks to His Excellency. 

10. Friends that come and go - The heartache of being left behind and seeing your dearest colleagues turned friends having the time of their lives. And me? (insert background music) Hold on for one more day. :p Amen

11. All the seminars, trainings, learning opportunities - Much of what I have today are products of years of work and this "after school" learning opportunities. Thank you to all my superiors who allowed me to venture to these learning opportunities.

11 is surely not enough for my 11 years. There are other things I wanted to write. Some I can't remember. Some I can remember after I published this post. Some are too shallow but in the future, I will realise how it shaped me today. Some I don't feel like sharing. Some still give me tears and pain. Some I prefer to be kept unsaid. 

Add 11 more years, I would be in my 40s then. I don't know what it is for me after another decade. What I know for sure, I don't want to live my life accumulating bitterness and regrets. Otherwise, my life can already replace the existing alamat ng ampalaya (legend of the bittermelon) :D. 

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Beautiful Sunday # 176 - September

Hello BER months! I can feel my favorite time of the year coming. Can't wait to be happy and merry again. :) I'm typing this post at 2:34 am. Still wide awake, not because of freelance or take home teaching works. Yay! All examination papers have been checked and research papers are almost halfway done. 

The past week gave me overwhelming emotions. One was explained in the previous post. But thank God, our heartbreak ended with happily ever after. :) And just like that, I learned to forget all the other negative things that happened last week. As an added treat, I had a great dinner with my friend. Thanks girl! Other than the company of a great friend, here are the other beautiful things that made my week.

Great Britain fans unite :) - I saw this sofa from SM Department Store last week. It's actually a sofa bed. I love the versatility and design.

The new favorite - Everyone around me loves Elizabeth Arden's Green Tea. It has been everyone's favorite ever since I started working? I even remember a famous celebrity raving about this perfume during her pregnancy. It took me years to finally try it and no regrets at all. The price was all worth it. 

New product discovery - I encountered a kiosk in SM Megamall that sells nacho chips and dips. I got interested and the next thing that happened, I finished the entire bag and bottle by myself. Glutton mode, on. ;) The entire PopCorners Chips and Dip costs Php 155, a little expensive especially if you can DIY dips. But for the sake of curiosity, I gave in. 

Burgers and Potato Chips - This is what Friday lunches are made of. The original plan was to visit my new favorite shop along Sta. Cruz Church. I wanted to go treasure hunting for postcards. Unfortunately, it rained during lunch time. I ended indulging myself with burgers, potato chips and just one one one fried oreo ;)

And because I failed to buy postcards from my favorite shop, I went to Papemelroti instead - I'm happy to discover that new designs were released. I love the recipe inspired and teapot postcards. 

Forever blue, bluer than blue - I both love these blouses from For Me. I purchased only one. Can you guess which? ;)  

It's the most wonderful time of the year! - SM in particular took out their Christmas trees and decors again. Since last year, these sweets inspired Christmas tree has been my favorite. Glad to know that SM continued selling these decors. 

Shinning Shimmering Splendid - I think I'm obsessed with glittery shoes lately. I can probably make gold and glitter as my Christmas theme. When did I ever had a theme in the first place? :) But truth is, I'm even eyeing another pair of gold ballet flats for my birthday. :)