Sunday, February 24, 2013

Three Tricks to Workweek Survival

The week has been a busy one for me. I think the number of clients I dealt with over the phone increased this week compared to the past ones. Add up the cold and rainy weather last Friday. It really made me think "what if I just stay in bed and sleep all day today?" Haha! But I did not give in because I have work to do -- and there are a lot of it.

But! I found refuge on some stuff enough to erase the stress of handling a lot of things to do. Thankfully, though, my work is not over the top stressful and that the remedies I found were in fairness, effective:

Back then, I really don't utilize a planner for a silly reason -- I don't really know what to write in it. But when I think of it now, I finally got the logic. Indeed, having one is such a huge help in managing my schedule. Nowadays, my planner has my to-do list, the leave schedules of our lawyers and staff, which is important especially since I talk to clients on the phone on a daily basis; some words of inspiration, after-work commitments and even the people I got to talk to (friends mostly) on a particular day. Writing down reminders indeed can save someone's sanity and from having those "I got mixed up" moments.

Stress is visible from the outside so why not minimize it by applying some hues on the face. While I started using makeup when I turned 25, I really did not take it seriously (as in on a daily basis). But nowadays, I make it a point to really allot a few minutes to prettify myself when I reach the office in the morning. No, I don't do it at home because I commute to work and given the pollutants I tend to catch on the road, the dust could beat all what I put on. One does not really have to take too long (as if you're prepping up for a wedding) because you can even do it in as fast as five minutes.

But the most effective way to fight stress is by eating. And by eating I don't mean the walang disiplina stress binge-chowing type. I've been guilty of relying to fast food diet of sausage muffin and large vanilla iced coffee for so long to the point that my taste buds just surrendered to it one day -- which I am thankful of. I have been noticing the sandwich shop, Subway right across the office just near Eastwood Excelsior and I've been a fan not just of their products (I discovered I could finish a 6-inch sub sandwich on my own) but of healthy food options as well which is good thing.

To sum it up, my measures are just three basic rules: PLAN, PRETTIFY, FEED. And it does more than just the usual magic.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

God's Two Cents on Prayers

How much more then, will your Father in heaven
 give good things to those who ask Him. 

These verses from the book of Matthew was read during the Mass this morning when I dropped by a church in Pasig before going straight to work.

And during lunch time today, as I stayed at the parish just across my office building, I took the plunge and got on my knees to pray and ask something I have always prayed for. Who knows, God could just grant my prayer.

After all, the thing I've been praying has been my heart's desire for so long.

Friday, February 15, 2013

It's Not Just About Hearts and Flowers

Blogging on a Friday night. My internet connection is finally restored after almost a week, but since my brother kidnapped my laptop (with my permission) I'm blogging on another source.

Yesterday was Valentine's Day. How was your celebration? For sure a lot of people are still having a hang-over of this so-called "Couple's Holiday". You also would want to ask me if I got envious seeing those ladies with flowers in their hands (and huge bouquets at that). Well, sadly it's not like that. One thing I realized was while this day is commercialized, huge bouquets of flowers are not practical. Especially if you don't have your own car and you'll just commute going home. Nakakaawa ang mga flowers. Nakakahinayang na masisira and it will just wilt in a day or two -- if not in a week.

You might be wondering how mine was. Well, mine was typical. And while I have known myself to be someone who has never celebrated this day (even when I was still in a relationship ages ago), I will not hide that I sort of wanted some variety this year.

As always, I spent my my day mostly at work. This is my second time to celebrate Valentine's Day at the office and as I was busy with the paperwork, my office mate, Bernice gave me this card. We also held an open-microphone singing contest at the end of the workday where employees were allowed to sing to their heart's content.

This shot was taken a week before Valentine's. Yesterday, I spent the remaining minutes of my lunch time inside the church. It was one of my wishes to spend time inside a church ALONE. And yesterday, I got it. While it sounded creepy, and the silence inside the church might be eerie to some, I did not feel that way. Instead, it felt wonderful to be sitting inside a place of worship, taking delight in the silence and the light of the afternoon as I tried to verbalize my heart's desire to God for a different Valentine's Day.

I left work promptly at 4:00 pm because I planned to see one of my former professors, Ma'am Cez Villegas as I won't be doing anything post office hours. We had this wacky photo session with the students and her friend and colleague, Mrs. De Guzman. Once we were back to our "normal selves" off we went to this "hole-in-the-wall" coffee shop, Don Antonio's Cafe which is just a few steps away from the university. You might think it looked familiar. Well, it is. The said place has been there all along but I did not discover it until August last year when one of my friends invited me here to hang out post work. We shared Fish n' Chips (which I have been craving for for some time) and what else can I say? It's tastes the same, as delicious as that of being served in the restaurants near my office, without costing me an arm and a leg.  

And while I was with Ma'am Cez yesterday, I received this phone call from one of my friends, Januver (but what's on my phone ID is his nickname spelled the in same way to that of one my favorite US presidents). I don't normally receive phone calls on Valentine's Day, and if I do, it's the work-related ones.It was a short conversation filled with tummy-aching chuckles enough to turn me beet red because of laughing so hard!

Now, who says you should be a Valentine Grinch because you're single? I want to believe, God answered what I asked for in the way He wanted (and I was prepared for that unexpectedly) for He literally gave me a different Valentine's Day. Who says it's all about mushiness and flowers? I got a job, I was in the company of lighthearted people, had a simple feast on good food and I've been blessed with a funny yet thoughtful friend.

At the end of the day it just makes me think... I've got all that I needed. And I am more than happy and thankful.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Chinese New Year Post

Blogging with Rico Blanco's Your Universe playing from my Nokia X2-01. The recent weeks has kept my hands tied up with things to do in the office. It extended till yesterday because I had to attend a community meeting in behalf of my parents. But nevertheless, I was able to make it through the busy week.

Today is Chinese New Year. Officially, it's the Year of the Water Snake so, Kung Hei Fat Choi! Prior to Chinese New Year, Eastwood City has been decorated in line with this event.

These red Japanese lanterns are a sight to behold whenever I pass by to the office on early mornings. And apart from these red decors, the management of Eastwood City also has those 12 signs of the Chinese Zodiac lined up. 

Keep CALM and get PROMOTED. Check!

I was born under the Rat sign and it was easy to locate. I immediately looked for the thing that says about my career and found the words in the photo above. Now, before seeing this, I had kept a scrapbook of my bucket list for this year ahead and among those were hopefully getting a promotion. So coming across this is one nice coincidence. They say it's possible so I'll need to exert effort -- a little more extra to it.

It is not the fault of our stars.
I really did not intend to know their prediction when it comes to my sign's romance department although it said that I'll be able to meet more new people this year. I just took this photo to know who I could be "compatible" with. It's not the fault of the stars but I rather believe that some things are more a product of God's Divine Intervention. That the things that happen now and those surprising revelations that I get to find out are part of what God has designed.

And if there's one thing I associate more with Chinese New Year aside from Feng Shui, it's tikoy

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Monthsary Thoughts

Image: Google

  • 32 people to talk to
  • 15 documents to furnish
  • Emails left unread
  • A message I forgot to rely; thus I should do that first   thing tomorrow

And to think that it's just Tuesday.

As I type this, I am still in my work clothes. I just had a cheeseburger and soda for snacks (and I am trying to nip the soda drinking habit to the bud). Incidentally today is my 11th month in the firm.

And compared to the past months, it fell on a hectic day.

I might sound to be ranting, well in a way yes. I guess the need to let out a thought comes once in a while lest it would consume one's energy. I think this day has been a productive one given the things I have accomplished; but I guess it's normal to perform a maintenance check. There are times despite accomplishing a lot of things in a day, I tend to question if what I have done is enough. But don't get me wrong. I may sound to be kidding when I say "I love this job" but in reality, I do. Of course, there are times that useless word called quit comes in my mind.

Yet, when I think of it, just comparing the pros and cons at present, the pros are greater and what I have now is better than those that I had in the past. From the schedule, the pay to the people I am working with.

There is a big difference.

And simply because of  one busy, hard-hitting day, I almost forgot to see how blessed I am to be in this field of work. Good thing I was able to control the negative thought. What slapped me awake was realizing that I'll be reaching my first year in just a month more. I've been in this race for this long and I'm almost in the verge of getting one of the many rewards to quit! If I decide to quit, it's like I flushed all my hard-earned efforts in the toilet.

That will be the most stupid decision to do. And I'm old enough to be that stupid. If I were in my early 20's and just in my first job, that will be acceptable. But I am no longer in any of those two situations.

Stick to the fight when you're hardest hit. Rest if you must, but don't you quit!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Rejections Are Part of a Bigger Plan

"Rejection isn't failure. Failure is giving up. Everybody gets rejected. It's how you handle it that determines where you'll end up.”
-Richard Castle-

Rather than Valentine's Day, one of the things that I look forward to is the annual UP College Admission Test (UPCAT) Results. I am no longer in the academe but the thrill of finding out who made it to "the cut" never fails to excite me. When the exams were held last year, one of my students Ron braved and took the challenge.

12 years ago, I took the said challenge hoping to make it to the premier state university in the country. While it was enticing to try other schools (especially the elite ones), I only hoped for UP and took it seriously. 

I waited and waited and waited for months in the hope that I'll eventually receive the wonderful news. But in the process of waiting, few months before graduation, I had noticed this school. I even passed by in front of this place every single day for months. And while this school is also a state university just like UP, I still had my eyes and my mind on passing by The Oblation daily the following school year.

However, it seemed that God has greater, more different plans for me. The day came only for me to find out that I did not make it. Of course it was devastating but I tried my best to move on. I tried other universities in Manila. But it's as if relocating for a degree is not in His plan.

Like others, I bargained -- to God and to my parents. It was my mom who tried (and tried hard at that) to convince me to enroll at the University of Rizal System and we made a deal that I will just stay there for a semester if not a year and try my luck at UP again and transfer.

Funny but it never happened. I stayed there for four years and eventually got my diploma from the said university.

You might ask me, do I still have regrets that I did not pass the UPCAT and that I did not qualify at UP. And my answer would be somewhat but then again, NO. When I think of it, I am lucky in more ways that I could ever imagine. I got educated without leaving my hometown and my parents. It's now, almost 8 years after I graduated that I come to realize I gained something out of one person's (who happens to be one of our former mayors) vision of establishing a state university in the municipality -- and that is being able to get quality education without having to go through the hassles of studying in Manila (price, distance and all).

Choosing to stay and just let go of my Oblation Dream sure was not easy; but in the end, it was worth it. My alma mater became a witness to a lot of events. From how I gained milestones, how I fulfilled some of my dreams, how I fell in love and had my heart broken (but that's deserves a separate entry). I got employed in a prestigious university three weeks after graduation, lived my dream of being a published writer by working for one of the multinational companies in the country, became a daughter of Uncle Sam with my former job in a US advertising company before landing my current job in an Australian law firm. In between these  careers, it proved me one thing: Getting to where you want to be and finding your place in the sun is not always about from what school you are from. 

To those who passed, congratulations. Not everyone is given that opportunity so never let it slip away and instead, make the most out of it. For those who did not make it, Take heart. There's one great reason behind it. And believe that it's going to be far better than you think it is.

Photo: URS Angono Facebook page.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Love as Stated in the Bible

I normally attend the Eucharistic celebration in our parish during Sunday afternoons. But for today, I opted to attend the one held an our before lunch time because I had to be present in the christening ceremony of my brother's friend's son where I am one of the godmothers (ninang).

And as luck would have it, my favorite Bible verse was read during the Mass's first reading.

Effects and edits made using
Aside from inspiration, hearing my favorite Bible verse sparked another spirit -- HOPE. 

LOVE. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 

Love never fails. 

11 days to go before Valentine's Day. Happy love month everyone.