Saturday, April 30, 2011

Royal Wedding Bandwagon

The Royal Wedding between Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge seemed to have swept the entire world by storm. I was able to watch a few scenes of the said event on TV yesterday; although I have comments to make regarding the said wedding of the century.

I was a bit disappointed with Catherine's dress. I admit I was expecting something to be as elegant as the late Princess Diana's gown but it wasn't even at par to it. It took months of speculation regarding who designed the dress, that eventually turned out to be the late Alexander McQueen's label (prior to the revelation, I was thinking of Vera Wang) but like what some fashion experts say, there wasn't anything McQueen in it. I'm no fashion guru so I cannot really comment so much. Yet, Catherine is stunning just like how any bride would. It's just that I find her gown so simple when I was expecting something glamorous.

Another was the ring. It was so evident that William struggled in putting the ring on the bride's finger and I wonder how and what Catherine felt. Now, if I would be a bride, I won't like my wedding band to be the wrong fit.

When it reached the part for the vow, I liked the part when Catherine expressed that she won't obey her husband. Now, while wedding promises are important, she was just that open and honest by her words. At least she knew that you should not really make a promise you won't intend to keep. And I see it to be that way. I admire her courage to break a rule once in a while.

If there is one thing I like about this wedding, it's seeing two people who are obviously filled with love. At a certain point, they're an epitome of the advice that you should marry out of love and not out of responsibility -- although being an heir to the throne is going to be a responsibility eventually. Their wedding is a far cry from that of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's. There was none of those "whatever love means" line. They're that matured to face the world as husband and wife and are prepared to face challenges together.

Many are hopeful that this marriage between a humble royalty to a sophisticated yet simple commoner would bring a big difference to the monarchy. I see William and Catherine as an ideal pair, I should admit. And just like people out there, I also hope that their marriage would be a divorce-less, lasting union and that it's really the start of a happy ever after.

Fishball Perceptions Moves to A New Home

Watch out for the big switch soon!

That is because Friendster has already started notifying their subscribers that they are doing a big revamp on their site. Upon hearing this, I got more concerned of moving my blog entries rather than having my profile kept for their new format.

You see, Friendster hosted my first blog entry when I started joining the blogging bandwagon five years ago. And prior to having Zone of Solitude, Fishball Perceptions housed my thoughts about life and the world. And erasing five year's worth of memories sure isn't that easy.

So, please pardon me if I will be going on a temporary hiatus as I'll be doing a little "house hunting" for this blog. Housewarming will follow next and that I promise.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Discovering Places This Holy Week

One of the things that immediately came to my head as I finalized the papers for my approved two-day leave for Holy Week was going to the traditional Visita Iglesia with some family members including Tita Vinda who was home for a vacay and initiated the plan for this once a year church trip. We drafter the churches to visit as soon as I arrived from work Thursday morning and upon informing them that I won't need to come in to work until Friday night.

This year, I visited the usual churches and chapels including the St. Gabriel the Archangel Chapel and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Binangonan (not pictured) and the parish church in my hometown which I haven't paid a visit lately since I've been hearing Sunday mass at the Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord in SM Megamall.

St. Clement Parish Church. Photo from here.

Taking the unexpected surprise of having a time off from work, we particularly visited these churches last night:

Christ the King Parish Taytay, Rizal. Photo from here.

From what used to be a small church along Taytay National Road, Christ the King Parish is now in a more appropriate and spacious location just minutes from where it used to be situated. They now call this church a Church in the Sky because it's now on top of a hill overlooking a wonderful scenic view comparable to the hills of Antipolo.

St. John the Baptist Church, Taytay Rizal

There were two churches from Taytay that we visited and this was the second one. St. John the Baptist Church is at the town proper. This is actually the third time I visited this church, the same place where mom and dad got married 27 years ago.

Our Lady of Light Parish Cainta, Rizal Photo from here.

Next up was the Our Lady of Light Parish in Cainta. One thing I found out, this church is one of the oldest religious structures in the province. It also made me feel a bit giddy because I got to pay a visit to the church where a friend's sibling got married years ago. Oh, and this is my first time in this place too.

photo from here.

photo from here.

Our trip extended to Pasig area visiting San Antonio Abad Parish in Maybunga, Pasig and the one pictured above, the Sta. Clara de Montefalco Parish in C. Raymundo Avenue. It was also my first time to visit both churches but it was Sta. Clara de Montefalco that left mom and I really astounded. The interiors of the church was really breathtaking and wait until you see the altar. I thought Antipolo Cathedral and San Beda College's Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat have the best altar when it speaks of aesthetics, I can't help but let a deep, loud sigh seeing how beautiful their altar in that Pasig church was. It gave me an idea that if and when I get married, I'd want that to take place here. The church also features a huge statue of St. Claire situated in a wishing fountain -- and based on my experience, it was in this church I realized each wish still needs some effort. I advise you to drop by and give this church a visit and try for yourself to know why I said so.

What I Did For Maundy Thursday

When it dawned on me that I will not be reporting for work yesterday night, given my approved leave at work, there were things I drafted impromptu aside from catching up Zzzzsss.

So what were they? Scroll down to know.

After getting enough sleep from the night shift, I spent an hour watching a documentary from GMA 7's Case Unclosed with the episode Lihim ng 1897 (Secrets of 1897). It tries to solve the mystery of Juan Luna and Andres Bonifacio's tragic deaths. Apparently, they say it was Emilio Aguinaldo who ordered to kill the two aforementioned heroes. Given the history geek that I am, it just replenished my mind. I remember back in highschool, this was mentioned to us by one of out tour guides that the reason why Aguinaldo lost a second term for presidency was because it became known that he was the culprit of Bonifacio's death.

Anyway, a couple of hours after being a couch potato, off we went to Jollibee to treat my nephew and niece together with my cousins and mom for dinner. I promised that to my niece earlier that morning after she tripped and scrapped her knees after running to see me when I came home from work.

After staying there for an hour or so, mom and I stopped by Watson's to get dad's prescriptions and there I met Siena, one of my classmates back when I was still in preschool. Funny but mom was amazed because we still remember each other (not just by names, mind you).

Once we all got home, we just made room for two to three hours of rest only to hit the road again. This time, for the Visita Iglesia which will be in my next post.


As I type this down, I just arrived after the traditional Visita Iglesia tonight with some members of the family. You might be wondering how come I was able to attend or what am I doing in front of the computer blogging at the wee hours when I normally am at work.

Well, I actually got to avail of a paid leave for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. And what was miraculous there was I got it on the last minute. Just when I have already placed a resolve that I'd be working and it won't be a holiday for us.

I've got to catch some Zzzsss as it's almost 2 am. I think and know I used my first PTO day well. And I'll post that soon; hopefully tomorrow.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In Between These Two Commercials

I was newly-enjoying this McDonalds commercial, BF-GF weeks ago when I found out that this was pulled out by the McDonald's management out of respect to the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) saying that the commercial might imply a false notion to the minds of children to the concept of courtship' because in this commercial the little girl asks for a confirmation but latter says all she wants was french fries.

Creativity wise, I really don't see anything wrong with the commercial. If I were to compare that ad to this other TVC, I'd prefer the former:

In this one, this guy acts as if he's already that mature enough to date a girl (even at a fast food), warn his parents to stay out of the scene thinking it's embarrassing but at the end, it still were his parents who went on to foot the bill. To be honest, I feel sorry for the parents and hate the guy (even the look in his face) in this TV ad.

Now, with regards to the BF-GF commercial, I just see it as that -- creatively exploring a concept to effectively market a business. With regards to instilling false notions, I suppose, it's up to the parents to educate their kids that courtship is not as easy and as cheap as buying french fries. After all, TV is not always the reality (especially in the case of commercials) and likewise, kids should still be guided with explanation from parents on the concept of commercials (yes, even if they don't say parental guidance).

Oh, and I admire that little girl who asked "girlfried mo na ba ako?" I swear, if I get to see her, I'm going to give her a big bear hug for being such gutsy. I wish I were just like you, kid.

What Made My April

As I write this down, I'm on a morning coffee indulgence. The past months, I have stopped infusing my system with caffeine and so, I just do that whenever I get the weekend mornings off. The month's almost halfway through; likewise, there are some things that have highlighted my April (well, that's of course aside from acquiring Bogs) such as these:

My brother JR finally graduated from FEU with a degree in advertising arts last April 14th. Being the doting ate, from shelling off allowance for his extra-curricular stuff (read: gimik Lol) I'm now consulted by him again for job hunting tips. Welcome to the real world, bru!

I scored some feathers for my cap again. Just before the weekend and another bout with migraine, I had to attend the awards and recognition day at work. I was actually hesitant after realizing that I did not make it to the cut to the final three (because I landed fourth :-p) but well, while it's not the moment yet, I was awarded these thingamajings -- including a certificate excellence for a commendation I received last March 30th.

And I am into books, books and books. While I had to say goodbye to three titles in my little library that went to charity for the office book drive, I recently bought two titles to indulge in. Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go and Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson. Unfortunately, I was unable to finish Mr. Ishiguro's book as I'd like to think I felt all too tired with the long journey and tiny font styles given the additional fact that the time I was mixing reading and working at the office at the same time. It was also hard for me to go through imagineering (thanks for that word Steven Spielberg) a love triangle between three clones (go read the book to find out how). But while I stopped at chapter 16, I will plan to reread the whole thing again once I finish the current book.

Sunday's at Tiffany's on the other hand is by so far, one of the best books I have read to date. While I am a bookworm by heart, not all novels to me are appealing (except for Nicholas Sparks's A Walk to Remember and Jude Devereaux's A Knight in Shining Armor). After all, I don't just read. I paint portraits and images and travel with my mind through the books that I read. I'm really enjoy the adventure I am getting -- from traveling through another country to painting a portrait on my head as to what Michael could look like.

I'm halfway in reading the book. And I don't mind staying up for a few hours late at night as the book's too addicting. For real. But I'll have to put the book down first as I've got to go to church later.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Henamoko and Being One with Japan

Just this week, the company where I am currently employed initiated projects that will raise funds for Japan after the earthquake and tsunami that hit the said country. All of the proceeds will be donated to Japan and being an employee, I decided to join the endeavor; participating in three events last week -- a street food fair (initiated by our department), a book donation drive (which was spearheaded by the UK print group) and the other one was Henamoko --a tattoo project which was a brainchild of our graphic artists.

Compared to my younger brother (who's got some images tattooed on his body), I have never tried having a tattoo even before. But this time, after telling mom that I plan to get one (and not waiting for her response) I decided to give it a try. Still, I decided a rather simple design that could be finished within 30 minutes given that I have to be in my station by 7:30 pm. Now, the tattoo reminds me of that scene from one of my favorite films, A Walk To Remember where Mandy Moore got one of her dreams of getting a temporary butterfly tattoo on her back.

Anyway, I clarified with mom that this is just a henna tattoo and won't be permanently etched in my skin. More than just giving in at another exciting dare at 26, I know that I played a part in helping out someone else.

The Box That's Been Sitting There For A Week

Almost two years ago, I stated in this blog one of the things I have long-really wanted. If you can recall, I said it's a must have for me in this post. Given my erratic task with my freelance writing stint, I badly wanted that gadget but on the other hand, back then, I can't afford that just yet, and so it was a wishful thought.

But when I scored a nice-paying job at a US-based multimedia industry, I really took the effort to save up and turn that wishful thought a reality. I had to ignore the presence of gimmick spots left and right as well as give up indulging tall cups of frappes for the meantime. But likewise, the sacrifice paid me off -- after four months.

Last Sunday, I tagged mom along with me to troop to Gilmore to finally acquire the gadget that I've long wanted. But that's contrary to what I previously mentioned two different brands, last Sunday, I bought and got myself this:

An Acer Aspire One netbook in Black. Prior to purchasing a netbook (yes, I just wanted a netbook and not a notebook both budget and size wise), I was thinking of getting an MSI Wind (because they have my favorite colors) but after comparing the product specifications, I opted to get Acer instead. My netbook is just a single core Intel Atom Processor (a dual core is also great but of course, it comes with in a higher price) with 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and 6-cell battery pack (which is enough to last until 6 hours if I'd be using it outdoors). As per the price, I got the gadget at PhP 12,500 and it included some freebies too.

I'm not really after high-priced, branded gadgets. I'm just a low-maint geek anyway and I prefer my gadget to be that too. Part of me still can't believe that at 26, I finally have a gadget that I purchased using my own money. Yes, it could be quite late, but still, I get to feel proud as if it's an accomplishment of some sorts to have acquired something without asking mom or dad to pay for it. But because I've been occupied with work, my netbook (which I simply called Bogs) as well as its manual is still unread and untouched. I'll be exploring the whole thing tonight.

And since this only has a 1 GB memory, I still am thinking which software would be appropriate to install in it.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Reason To Cry and Love

In the middle of everything, I got one of the best surprises I could ever receive this week. Exhibit A, that photo on the left. An unexpected mail that was enough to make me cry at one moment and eventually smile a smile of contentment.

These were the emails that was handed to me by my supervisor last Wednesday (which is in front of me, though already folded as I type this down) congratulating me for what they say was "a job well done".

But just to be swift, I am not writing this to brag about a commendation. Just to make it clear, commendations especially the announced kind is one thing I am uneasy about even before. I have been with my job for four and a half months now and all this time, despite times of fear about failure, I was just doing things and living on that one day at a time philosophy. After all, mom kept telling me, love your job -- and mean it.

And it was the same thing last Tuesday. I was assisting a client over the phone just as usual and at the end of the call, the client who thankfully was happy, asked for my supervisor's email address. While I sent the information, I immediately shrugged the whole thing afterward and moved to the next call I had to attend to.

So I really had this disbelief come Wednesday night when these letters came with emails from my bosses with the latest coming from the head office in the US. My immediate boss was smiling at me as I was reading the email with my hands shaking. I even remembered her telling me, "wag kang iiyak ha." but I was unable to hold it, eventually I still did.

I don't see it as an OA moment. Within the time that I am in this job, I've been through a measure of tough, stressful times; and having to deal with people from different races and attitudes is not that easy as eating peanuts. I found it amazing that despite being someone who is impatient, tagged as snooty and one who feels a certain social anxiety, this job has actually gave me a sweet resolve that actually tested my patience -- only to realize that I could actually handle it.

And it's not always everyday that these things actually pass my way. But more than just the overflowing congratulatory notes from my supervisors and managers that made my heart want to swell in happiness, I had to read back to the message that was sent by the client.

An excerpt of which was this:

"I just wanted you to know that she was very professional in working with me and I really appreciate her help. Sometimes with everything going on so fast, we don't get a chance to thank the employees behind the scenes that help us out. Please give her a big thank you when you see her next."

I don't really fish out compliments from people as I feel too uneasy about it. For me, just as long as they don't shout cuss or cursing words over the phone and just hearing them happy and satisfied is enough knowing that I have accomplished something good. But hearing those words from the client made my heart melt -- at least for a moment being as I go back to the real world -- before my phone rings again with someone in need of help.