Friday, May 18, 2012

I did not order steak.

Through the years, people from different countries have established their own cultures that have defined them, made them unique. Chopsticks will always be attributed to the Chinese (at least that's what I know) and the Italians will always be remembered for pizza (again, that is what I know). Some habits or practices I can understand, some I find funny, others just outright questionable.

I was at a very popular coffee shop the other day, and I ordered a classic spam sandwich which, I told the barista, I would be eating there. I was asked to wait for my name to be called as they were going to warm the bun. Lo and behold! With my warmed sandwich came a fork and a knife. Time seemed to stop for a second as I stared at the tray. What in the world do I need a fork and a knife for???

I was itching to go into mataray mode and sarcastically say “Miss, I did not order steak,” but held my tongue for obvious reasons. So instead of asking the barista what the cutlery is for (which I am wont to do each time I do not understand something), I just took the tray to my table. But I still could not get myself to use the knife, let alone the fork. The sandwich was not hot enough to burn your fingers and warrant a tool to hold it with.

Was I missing something here? Was there a practice or an etiquette that I was not aware of? Was there a new "proper way of eating sandwich?"

In the end, I just did what was expected - held the sandwich with a paper napkin, brought it to my mouth, and bit. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Caught red-handed!

Oh my goodness! The hospital attendant in charge of delivering patients' rations caught me eating the food meant for the patient. I was about to put another spoonful into my mouth when he came in. Caught red-handed! And worse, I acted on instinct, lowered the spoon and said " kain tayo!" (let's eat!) ang gave him an innocent smile. The smile must have caught him off-guard, but I guess he was used to seeing food rations being downed by people other than the patient.

It was not delicious, by the way. Hahaha!

NOTE:   I was supposed to post this in Feb 2012 but I can’t remember why I never got around to doing  J

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Yellow. Then Blue. So What’s Next?

So much has already been said and written about this, and I don’t want to jump into the bandwagon. But I cannot help writing about how I feel towards the idea because I just have to get it out of my system. It’s really annoying, you see. I am talking about the motorcycle lane along EDSA, which the MMDA thought could solve the problem with motorcycles that travel along the great avenue.

I know that the MMDA meant well when they decided to enforce a motorcycle lane. But with all due respect, did actually think about the pros and cons when they decided to enforce it?

I have taken the EDSA route going north at least 30 times in the past two months. I have tried to convince myself to try it out before lashing out. But no amount of self-convincing could make me award pogi points in favor of MMDA. Why? Because despite assigning a motorcycle lane which was primarily meant to give priority to motorcyclists and prevent them from zigzagging in between cars and tight spaces, I almost hit a motorcycle that appeared out of nowhere – in three separate occasions. 

First, we had the bus lane, which the MMDA designated the color yellow. Rules say buses, whether travelling or picking up passengers, should stay on the yellow lane. But is it followed? Oh, puhleeeeeeeeeeeeze!!! Buses have occupied the third, even the fourth lane – right in front of MMDA officers. So much for having the EDSA 500 (or was it 300?) and the Constables. The buses just freely passed right in front of them.  $#@*!!!

And now the blue-colored motorcycle lane, which has not really served its purpose.  So what’s next?

It all boils down to the fact that the special lanes for these “special” people with their “special” vehicles did not serve their purpose. We did not need a motorcycle lane in the first place. What MMDA could have done was to enforce simple logic – that motorcycles, though skinny compared to your usual sedans and SUVs, should still conduct themselves on the road as if they were regular vehicles, similarly sized with cars and AUVs. Think about it – when a red car wants to overtake a blue one, the red car keeps a reasonable distance from the blue car, enough for both drivers to see and realize each other’s intention and respond/react accordingly. Well, that’s generally speaking. I know there are crazy drivers out there who have total disregard for traffic rules and common road courtesy. But when motorcycles overtake vehicles – they stick too close to the vehicles they want to pass, simply because they think they can squeeze and fit into tight spaces, not realizing that they are putting themselves and the other vehicle at great risk. These motorcycles just pop out of nowhere, and it drives me mad. Why, just this morning, still along EDSA, two motorcycles running between cars – right on the blue and white demarcation line!!!

Instead of coming up with all sorts of ideas that apparently have not been thought of very well, why not go back to the basics and instill discipline, be more strict in issuing driver’s licenses, do spot checks, and actually go out and catch traffic violators. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

How Would You React?

Imagine this…

Your special someone gently wakes you up with a kiss. And before you even brush your teeth or comb your hair, he shows you something on the laptop...

The video comes up. (I Won't Give Up On Us)

I wonder how you’d react…

I clearly remember my reaction that morning – I cried.

Then I hugged him.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I am assigned the position of site manager. As such, I am tasked to ensure that activities at the site are done according to international standards and company SOPs so that everyone is kept safe and protected. Also, being a site manager makes me the point of contact between the site and upper management. Theoretically.

I’ve always thought that managers are accorded a certain degree of autonomy and a free hand when handling people and activities at the site. One becomes a manager because he has skills required for the post. A manager gets to call the shots as long as these are compliant to rules, standards and SOPs. Upper management, a.k.a. your boss (sometimes inappropriately termed your “mentor”) does not step in as long as there is compliance, timelines are met and deliverables are delivered.  

Yes, I am a site manager.  I know I am.

So you can understand why I am irked when my boss contacted my site directly for additional questions, something that was mine to do, something that could have waited the next day. It was not urgent at all. Worse, he told the site “If you need any of my assistance do feel free to let me know.  He could have at least said, “If you need any of my assistance do feel free to let me or my site manager know.

Now he is asking me to follow-up with the site for information for which he contacted them directly to begin with.

Calling upper management…

Did you really hire a manager? Or just needed a messenger? Because I sure as Hades know what I applied for.

Friday, February 3, 2012


I just love taking public transport. You get to encounter people from all walks of life. And although you don’t get to chat with them (starting a conversation out of the blue will give them the impression that either you’re losing a few bolts, or that you were was born with mutated congeniality genes), you can actually come up with all sorts of stories just by looking at them. A fun way to while away the time when stuck in traffic.

Travelling via public transport also gives me the time to think and reflect. One might say that I could always do it at home. But for some odd reason, I find that I am able to think more when I’m travelling. Probably because I do not have the TV or the bed or the home theater system or the PSP when I’m travelling, temptation that you’d normally find at home.

Taking the public transport also teaches me to be thankful – thankful for all the blessings and even the things that may be perceived as misfortunes. There were so many times when public transport made me realize how fortunate I was – from missing a freak accident because I got stuck in traffic, to serendipitously meeting with a friend who turned out that she badly needed help, to gaining new lessons in life by talking to the taxi driver.

Taking the public transport also allows me to enjoy and appreciate nature. Unfortunately, there is not really much left to enjoy and appreciate. So..

Tara! Sakay na!  J

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Is She Really Serious?

A few weeks ago, I was discreetly observing a young female inside the jeep as I was on my way to work. She was probably in high school, judging from her uniform, although she could be well mistaken for a college student because of the amount of make-up she wore, the finely-polished fingernails, and the inch-high shoes that were definitely not prescribed for high school students.  She had a handbag that could definitely not fit a regular notebook. I was guessing she had a compact, a roller brush, a lipstick, and a ballpoint pen. Well, probably a few pieces of scratch paper for “taking notes” in school.
My first thought was this - that girl is not serious about school, because unless you’re really gifted with a high IQ and can remember pretty much everything that teachers discuss in class, you need books, notebookS, at least an umbrella, a pencil case, and a writing pad. It does not take a genius to know that you will need more than just a small handbag to fit the essentials.
And what’s with the make-up and the nails? I said, “Wow! This girl must have so much time to spare that she can still put face paint on. Probably did not need to study much?
But a student who is really serious about studying will tell you that with the amount of stuff they need to absorb everyday, there is never enough time; that a 10-minute extension in study time means a lot.
I remembered a story my aunt told me ages ago. Back in high school, she had a classmate who won the Miss Something title in a local beauty pageant. Ever since winning, she would always come to class wearing make-up. One day, their strict teacher asked her to stand and answer questions about their lesson. The lady couldn’t give anything. Finally, the teacher said, “If you used the time you spent putting on make-up to study instead, you’d probably be able to answer me now.” The student was so embarrassed that she never went back to that school ever.
Two points – that girl in the jeep does not have strict teachers (or teachers who do not care), or she has not experienced the embarrassment of my aunt’s classmate.

Well, maybe not yet.