Sunday, July 30, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 276 - Break the rules

First things first, my blog underwent a semi-face lift. :p This is probably the product of not having work for two days. Added to it some midweek drama of frustration, rejection and some grown up issues. While everything remains uncertain, I don't have a choice but to keep going. The path is unclear, but the journey continues. I feel hopeless, but I'm still hoping. I'm tired, but I'm not quitting. Napapagod pero magpapatuloy. Nasasaktan pero hindi susuko. Wait, I think I'm diverting. Hahahaha 

Setting aside this heavy and serious aspect of my life, I'm grateful for the unexpected two-day off from work. I had an extended weekend. I was able to sleep well. My skin looks better. I had healthier meals. Although on some occasions, we have fastfood delivery in the evening. It's one of my family's guilty pleasures. Like tonight, it seems like everyone has become addicted to Jollibee. We had chicken, spaghetti and the classic peach mango pie. After a great meal, my parents would usually get to bed early. While I spend my quiet time switching different TV channels, checking my social media accounts, watching some drama series until my eyes feel heavy. Unfortunately, staying at home for three days seemed to become unhealthy for me. The weather is threatening my body of an upcoming cold or fever. I love the colder weather but my weak immune system is never ready.

In the middle of the week, I had some learning points, courtesy of a government agency. I have high respect for established and performing institutions. Unfortunately, another experience taught me that it's harder to bend such kind of institutions. Processes and practices are designed for their convenience, at the expense of their clients' welfare. I'm tempted to detail everything. But for the sake of my sanity and reputation, I'm reserving everything in the future. Also, I need to consult some friends with background in human resources. Alright, I can't prevent myself from providing a hint. Hahahaha 

So much of all these uninteresting stuff, here are snapshots of the past week

Weekly Planner Mess - I want more stickers!!! But those that are sold in shopping malls and bookstores just don't fit my budget and preferences. Oftentimes, I find nice pieces from sellers in instagram. Problem with these independent online sellers are the shipping fees. :( 

Farm to table home produce - My Father's harvest turned to fried cassava in a cold and rainy afternoon

Postcard from Terra and some sad news about Apple's move to phase out all iPod units - This iPod nano gave me my first taste of Apple. It has been with me for 10 years!!!! Everything is still perfectly working, except for the original earphones. It surpassed all mobile phones I used for the last 10 years. It has become a witness to all my adventures and emotional episodes. It knew all the songs I associate for each chapter of my life, including all the unrequited love I eventually regretted? Hahahaha 

Apple's decision to phase out its stand alone music players is understandable. Smartphones and applications such as Spinnr and Spotify can already perform its function. But the old soul in me still prefers a separate device. I prefer that my phone's battery be reserved for other purposes. I also feel that I get better sound quality with this device. Meanwhile, I'm hoping that Apple will not simply pull out its line of music players. If I have resources, I might acquire the last version of the iPod nano... for posterity purposes. Hahaha

Some old and new - Can you spot my recent Cath Kidston purchase?

I gave in to the temptation of acquiring the detachable strap. I love how the strap can change the look of my usual monochromatic bag. 

Another Cath Kidston love and a little reminder to everyone

This brings me ... how to differentiate breaking rules from violating rules.

Speaking of rules, I was quite affected with the incident involving a lawyer and a high ranking government official. Part of the issue was a Facebook post that irked the guilty government official. I'm reserving my stand over the issue. Instead, I wanted to focus on the aspect of social media. 

Few years ago, a social media policy was circulated at the workplace. I don't oppose the existence of the policy although I saw gray areas on some provisions. Unfortunately, part of me feels that the policy does not serve its purpose. It's not being implemented. I have seen several incidents that qualify as a violation. Much to my surprise, the lead of the policy became another uncaught violator. I knew my place, so I chose to remain silent. As you know, we have another unwritten workplace principle to follow. Choose your battles, which sometimes translates to shut up or else. Hahahaha 

Having these thoughts, I'm drawn to the idea of identifying the thin line that differentiates the two schools of thought. Breaking the rules vs. Violating the rules. In my own belief, breaking the rules means transforming the playing field to create better opportunities. It challenges, but not devastates. Violating the rules is self-centered and breeds nothing, but problems that promote more wrong doings.  

I think I sound too preachy already. I have to end here. :) Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Some midweek thoughts


Two years ago, I reached one of my lowest points in life. It started around May and lasted until the last quarter of the year. It was only my birthday and the Christmas season that changed everything. A year after, I probably got used to with the sadness. A few friends, family and some little surprises along the way helped me get through everything. Fast forward now, I think everything remained the same. It's sad and disheartening. More than the struggle, it makes me realize that my efforts are useless. I'm still a failure. My greatest fear is remaining in this pathetic state and accepting that I will never be meant for greater things. That hurts.

I'm not sure if it's the weather or because I'm idle. Work was suspended for two days. I should have followed my instincts. I should have brought home some files to accomplish. If I was productive, I will never have time to entertain another set of sad thoughts. But these sentiments have been recurring for years already. This leads to the lone and obvious action, I have to painfully wear and walk the shoes of a grown up. 

I'm exerting efforts. A few times, I thought I was on track. Only to later realize, I'm on my way to another taste of failure. I hold on to the idea that a rejection means one step closer to that dream. But standing up and moving on is never an easy phase. It entails another state of sadness and losing that dwindling self esteem. 

While everything is still uncertain, my prayers remained the same. More than finding some light to my struggles, I wish and pray for good health for me and my family. It's more than enough reason to remain grateful, amidst my other struggles. 

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 275 - New Beginnings

I woke up in a cold and rainy Sunday morning. The cold weather, a set of clean and soft bed sheets and a great sleep is my definition of a great weekend. Everything becomes perfect, when a sumptuous set of meal awaits me. A hot and savory broth, grilled fish stuffed with tomato and garlic, fried chicken in garlic and butter sauce, tacos or nachos with beef and cheese sauce, and some freshly squeezed lemon juice or margarita to cap the night. The broke and pathetic person in me can always dream. :p Truth is, right now I just had some cheap afternoon snacks from the neighborhood bakery. I'm over and done with a cheap spanish bread, pandesal and pan de coco with a glass of Coke. I'm more than awake to realize that there are more responsibilities ahead. Adulting is always the best way to awaken the sleepiest and laziest person in me. Or sometimes, an unexpected cold shower is more than enough. :p 

The past week surprised me with some farewells. People moving to new places and venturing to better opportunities. Along with it are people who remained, but changed? This week, I have close encounters with people who traded their principles for personal gains. One thing I learned from this practice, other people will never recognize your capabilities. There's always that grain of doubt planted whenever you achieve something. Sad, but there will always people who would fall in this vicious trap. Some used to be a significant part of my life. As much as I want to preserve nurtured relationships, being used as an instrument for some self-centered gains calls for some grown up decisions. I have other burdens to deal with, I don't need excess baggage of deteriorating relationships.  

I'm done with my weekly dose of drama. Here are the few beautiful things that made the past week.

Weekly Planner Mess - Monday was great because I arrived so early for work. Luck was on my side, I escaped the usual hell of traffic in the beginning of the week. In the afternoon, work was suspended because of the impending public transport strike. I was able to leave work early, dropped by the mall, ended buying nothing (achievement!!!), went home and spent the rest of the afternoon with zzzzzz. 

Tuesdays and Fridays always feel like achieving something great. I'm back to having evening classes that extend until 9 pm. I can feel my adrenaline overworking. I have to finish my office work, make all means to look at least half decent before my classes, rush for early dinner, attend to my classes and run as fast as I could to catch the last few trips of the train. 

Scene last Saturday morning  - Coffee table books, suman (steamed sweet sticky rice rolls), fresh buko juice, watching some Korean drama, daydreaming and convincing myself that everything will make sense someday. :p While these are happening, I have full blast sounds from my radio (Yes, radio. Beat that millenials hahaha) or iPod nano. Spotify is good, but I hate that it prevents me to fully customize my playlist. 

Can you guess the title of the book? :)

As always, in search not for a happy ending, but new and happier beginnings. 

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Track registered mails and packages from the Philippine Postal Corporation / Phlpost

I'm not sure if the Philippines is the lone country that maintains a manual system of handling letters, parcels and packages. While some parts of the process may be automated, most still require manual procedures. As proof, the logbooks still serve as their trusted companion.

On those times I claim a parcel or a registered mail from the Manila Post Office, I took the opportunity to inquire and hear the sentiments of the employees. Our short dialogue often meant hearing explanations on why parcels are always delayed. A staff told me that most Post Offices are undermanned. They don't have enough personnel to deliver the parcel / package notice. Same goes with the people involved in sorting items that arrive. Manual inventory and checking of items from the delivery sheets, compiling  and writing items in a logbook, writing down information in the parcel notice form and attending to the bulk of clients about to claim their packages.

There was a time when my expected package has been delayed for several months. I took the initiative to follow up. I was accommodated by the Post Office personnel even in the absence of the "white card" (parcel notification form). I was given series of folders containing tracking numbers and names of recipients. It was a tedious task, but way better than worrying and waiting for my package. After browsing several folders, I found my tracking number and name. Alleluia. :p I was told that I can always proceed and follow up the status of my package, as long as I have a tracking number. 

While I can always make advanced visits to the Post Office, I wasn't comfortable with this approach. I wanted to ensure that my package has indeed arrive at the local Post Office. Some countries have their own online tracking system. For instance, UK Royal Mail can track packages originating from their area to the Philippines. (provided that the item was sent under a tracking system) In the Philippines, I was wondering if we have the same facility. I searched for local tracking system and I was led to this.  

For the longest time, I didn't know that the Philippine Postal Corporation has this useful online facility. I was initially in denial. :p I don't have much expectations. But anyway, I tried the and was surprised that everything worked.  

I felt that my package has been most likely forwarded to the Manila Post Office weeks ago. I printed and brought this status page and sure enough, my package has been sitting in the Post Office for weeks. 

The tracking page can be accessed here

For those who are expecting parcels and packages via the local post office , here are a few tips I can provide based from my experience.

1. Always ensure you have a tracking number for your registered mails, parcels and packages. It will be almost impossible to trace items without the tracking number. Most tracking numbers en route in the Philippines usually have codes of RS-0000000, RF-00000 SP-00000 and the like.

2. Once the status page declared that your package is en route to the local delivery office, there's a high chance that your item has been sitting in the Post Office. Just print the tracking records above for reference. You might not need to wait for the parcel notification form. 

3. Don't forget to bring a valid ID. Parcels and packages will not be issued in the absence of this document.

For now, I'm quite satisfied with this facility that Phlpost provides. In the future, I hope more automation and faster processes will be rolled out. 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 274 - Rebound

It was one of those days when I woke up feeling like a decade was added to my age. Grown up concerns, worries and fears are always the primary culprits of early aging, especially for the female populace. Despite knowing the root causes of everything, I keep depending on anti-aging products. :p I try different moisturizers to eliminate all the fine lines on my face. I do this even when I'm aware that facing my issues and letting go of unworthy concerns are the antidote to advanced aging. Okay, enough of my weekend rant. :)

The past week was challenging in so many ways. There were so much thoughts in my head. As always, much of it were induced by circumstances and people around me. Some years ago, I used to be the quiet person on everything. I'd rather bear the burden because I was afraid of conflicts. I had my own learning points so I transformed  and became frank and opinionated. Never mind the after effects of raising my thoughts .... but not raising my voice. Hahahaha It's always a different story when someone begins to raise his / her voice.  But another experience changed me again. These days, I realized that being silent seemed to have more benefits. With all the experiences, thoughts and opinions I have in mind, I sometimes feel that I could already deliver a TED talk. Hahahaha

A few weeks ago, I had an experience with someone who left words possessing an element of offensiveness. That someone pointed the behavior of some people, who refuse to render unpaid overtime or report to work hours before their official time. The exact words uttered was, mahiya naman kayo sa nagpapakain sa inyo. Whew! While that someone has the right to demand from subordinates, I don't like the choice of words and meaning behind. Just when I said that sometimes, it's better to hold on to my silence. But heck, receiving hurtful words make an exemption. Contradicting my own thoughts, remaining silent sometimes give an artificial right to other people to hurt us. But since I'm writing this experience, one can easily tell how the situation was handled. Yes, I was one of the many people who decided to remain silent. :p 

Setting aside my scattered and complicated thoughts, here are the beautiful things that happened last week.

Default photo of the week - Half way of the year, I hope I can religiously make journal entries until December 2017. I'm running out of stickers but I don't want to splurge anymore. Also, some companies are starting to release their 2018 planners. I'm tempted to get a Kate Spade. But if Papemelroti will release another version, I might as well stick with a good old and affordable brand. 

Finding some inspiration during mornings ... with my all time favorite Yakult :) But truth is, one bottle is always, NOT enough. 

The book I've been wanting to finish, one of my Cath Kidston sale finds, a nice bargained top, and a recent discovery, Clinique Happy!!!! My friends have been telling me to try this scent. I don't regret trying it, but with its price ... this might be the first and last. Hahahaha

How to  make the best weekend! Pizza from my Father's Birthday, favorite chichacorn from Binondo and wine to cap the night. 

On a lighter note, Kris Aquino is giving me that much needed comic relief. Check out this job interview and our week as told by Kris. Jollibee also released a sequel to its commercial series about that guy who attended the wedding of his one great love. Apparently, there is a female BFF who has been loving Mr. Heatbroken. Surprise of surprises, my friends left negative sentiments for Mr. HeartBroken. #Rebound* Hahahaha I'll keep silent about my opinion. I'm quite sensitive and equally negative with such issue these days. HAHAHAHAHAHA 

Another weekend has ended, another full week ahead. Breathe in,breathe out. There will be better days ahead. :)

*Thanks dear friends, I found the perfect title to my post. :D 

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # 273 - Inspiration

This may not be the best weekend because I'm already counting the days before the next payday. :p However, treats like a cold rainy day, softest bed sheets, salmon soup for lunch, cheap and freshly baked bread from the neighborhood bakery and coke with potato chips on a Saturday night are more than enough to make me forget my payday struggle and everything from my usual weekdays. Ahhhh weekends, I will never get tired of expressing my appreciation for it. Pardon my repetitiveness, but I realized that weekends make it as my picture of a perfect lover. Everything seems to fall in place on weekends. Quiet, relaxing, and romantic? That is if romance means being allowed to sleep without being disturbed by an alarm clock. Hahahaha

Lately, I noticed a few friends and acquaintances sending me inspiring and "feel good" reading materials. While I appreciate that they remember me, it made me realize a fault. I have been spreading pessimism and negativity  in this blog. Apologies dearest friends, I have become uninspiring and pathetic. Unfortunately, expressing my sentiments (especially the negative side) has become my coping mechanism.  

Setting aside my issues, here are some of the good things that happened last week. I'm slowly adjusting to my Friday night classes. However, going home after my 9 pm class means holding on to my adrenaline. I have to rush to the train station to catch its last trip. Added to this, my stomach seem to overreact. I'm fighting the temptation to have a second dinner. ;) Like last Friday, I gave in to some nachos and cheese from Taco Bell. I needed it. I craved for it. I'm at my happiest state whenever I have a full meal from Taco Bell. Hahaha On the positive side, I think I will miss all mall wide midnight sale for the next five months. But heck, there's no point in lying. Hello online shopping. Hi to our greatest collaborator, Mother E! Hahahaha 

Meanwhile in photos, here are the other beautiful things that happened last week

Weekly Planner Mess 

The love for Peter Rabbit never ends - Thank you Justine for this Peter Rabbit set. Justine is a former student who made a surprise visit at the office weeks ago. More than the gift, I feel overwhelmed whenever a former student remembers me. You see, I'm not the most lovable person both in the workplace and classroom. :p

And lastly, trying to find some inspiration from an old coffee table book

Aside from books, listening to TED talks has been one of my constant sources of inspiration. In fact, one of my ultimate life goals is to become a TED speaker .... one day. In my dreams, I know. Haha But before I become a potential speaker, I have to become a great person first. I should become an expert in a specific domain. I have to be great in something. Unfortunately, that niche of greatness remains indeterminable for me. A confession to make, I always daydream of possible topics I can share on my future talk. Like shallow topics of how not to lose your confidence even when no one seem to take interest on you, how to survive a stagnant career, how to avoid retail therapy when depressed hahahaha This afternoon, I discovered a TED speaker I least expect. The controversial Monica Lewinsky talked about a growing industry of Public ShamingI never knew that Monica is a great public speaker. I can't help but admire the person she has become. I guess she's proof that we can always insist a different ending to our stories. 

I think I already talked about a lot of the past week. I'm hoping to finish a major task (Crossing my fingers.)

Happy Sunday to everyone!

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Beautiful Sunday # -272 - Moving on

And just like that, half of the year is over. Like probably most of you, I'm trying to recall anything significant that happened over the past months. My attempts to lose weight, some accomplishments related to work, pulled out some draining investments, and cleaning out of my closet (literally and figuratively). Added to this some things not worth mentioning anymore. I'm keeping some for the sake of my sanity and reputation. :p 

Six months went so fast, but the past week felt so long. I'm back to teaching and thankful that I was still given the opportunity. Even though my schedule is quite challenging because I have classes on Friday nights. #Loser Hahaha But come to think of it, I don't really have critical or life changing (exaggerated, hahaha) activities on Friday. Save for the mall trips and dinner every Payday Friday. I hope I can survive the "enviousness", while all my colleagues are rushing to leave work. This arrangement will last for four to five months, I hope I can survive it. Better yet, I hope something good will emerge. Like some unexpected weight loss. Hahaha

A few days ago, I had some personal drama episode again. It paved the way to close some chapters and grown up struggles. I have two friends who patiently listened, albeit online. Thank you E and LT! While nothing has been resolved, I felt better knowing there are people who can embrace my shallow and repetitive emotional outpour. My major learning this week, I created my own heartbreak because of expectation. As much as I don't want to admit it, I waited for something that won't ever happen. 

On the positive side, there were pleasant surprises that happened along the way. I was visited by a former student in the middle of my drama episodes. Thank you Justine!!!! The nearby 7-11 store at work is currently closed, which lessened my Coke and junk food intake. Although I'm missing the little conveniences it provides. I'm enjoying another Korean drama, I regained my shallow cheesy hormones. Thanks Rose for the recommendation!! After several months, I felt motivated to finish a book again. 

A Tale of the Time Being has been sleeping in my shelf for months now. I hope to finish it, as my first long read for the year. Also in the photo is the Cath Kidston case from my cousin. Thanks M!

Weekly Planner Mess containing a lot of personal drama this week 

This lace up ballet flats is love!!! It's a replica of Miu Miu 's ballet laces. Please don't judge me ;) because there's no way I can afford a pair that costs $ 670!!! I'm tempted to wear this in class, but I'm afraid of the distraction it will bring to my students. Hahaha

Just when I promised to forget shopping. ;) One of my finds from Cath Kidston's online sale this month. Thank you Mother E for facilitating the easiest shopping experience.

I'm typing this post while (as always) munching a bag of potato chips and mini-oreo cookies. So did I say that I want to lose weight? ;) I'm loving my quiet time at home. I woke up from a long sleep in a cold and rainy Saturday. The intense summer heat is finally gone. I had the best home cooked meal, much of it were products of my father's attempt to make a farm-to-table home. 

There's another full week ahead of me. Like what I often mention, I just wish for a stress-free and fulfilling week ahead. Time to move on again.