Category Archives: Me

One day at a time

It’s been about three weeks since I started working in an office again. Odd how I’ve been working for nearly ten years, but a year out of the workforce is making it a little difficult for me to adjust.

The work itself is not so bad. It’s a writing job, so it’s a comfort zone of sorts. However, it’s in the technical field again so I’m a floundering a little. In so many ways, it feels like I’m back in college: a journalism student hanging out with computer science students and zoning out when they all start talking.

I will be honest and say that this isn’t what I imagined I’d be doing with my writing skills. It pays well, no doubt, but it’s not what I feel like doing for the rest of my life. I do vow to be a better money manager this time around, so the bulk of what I earn goes into my savings.

Anyway, I’ll take each day as it comes. I’m also weighing some options, like going back to school in preparation for a future job that I’m not entirely sure I want, but it is really quite attractive.

I’m backed up with blog posts, and I have to edit some photos for a post that I should’ve uploaded last week. I’m spending ten hours plus at the office, and when I get home I have just enough energy to eat dinner, watch some TV and go to sleep. Two Mondays ago I found myself saying “Where did the weekend go?”, something that I didn’t expect to say again.

I’m itching for a trip to somewhere. My Hanoi trip didn’t push through (because I didn’t keep track of my passport’s expiry date) so my wanderlust has yet to be appeased. I’ve no plans for any trip this year, though I do want to see if I can get to Batanes before the year ends. Or at least, go somewhere I have never been to before.

I’m quite excited at the prospect.

On the tech front, I got a pocket wifi from Smart. Downside? My phone won’t connect to it. Boo. I’ll fix it this weekend. Have a good one.

Keep moving forward

What an interesting week so far, and it’s only Tuesday. I suppose tomorrow it’ll be another adventure, but for now I’m sitting back and relaxing.

Sunday my sister and I travelled back to Metro Manila. I had to be in the city by Monday to work on some things for my future work, while she had to do some things for upcoming board exams (on that note, I ask you all to please pray for her. She’s worked hard for this). The trip itself was uneventful, and I mostly just slept through it like I normally do.

Monday, I had to deal with the hell called Metro Manila rush hour. I had an appointment in Makati, several miles away from my house. The trip from there to the nearest LRT station was fast, but I had to line up just to get into the station and to buy a ticket. MRT was a whole different story. There was a line to buy tickets, and I had to wait some 20 minutes or so because the admin halted ticket selling. There was also a line to get in to the platform.

The rest of the day was halved between talking with HR and then getting my pre-employment check-up done. Only I was told that I had to come back the next day at 9 AM, which meant I had to do the commute thing all over again.

Today started out well. There didn’t seem to be that many people on the LRT, which made me happy. When I got to the MRT, I was surprised to see that there was literally no lines to get a ticket. However, I had to line up for about 15 minutes to get inside, then line up for about 30 minutes just to get on a train as every one that passed was filled. I love that we have trains that cut down travel time, but getting on them is a nightmare.

My commute took far longer than the rest of my medical exam. I was there and done in less than 30 minutes. I had time to zip by the bank, then passed by Robinson’s East to check out the NBI clearance process. While I still made it to the 500 limit the mall imposed, I had no intention of waiting. I decided to come back tomorrow, bright and early (yeah, and bring snacks and entertainment).

Now for the fun part. I was having budget concerns, because some of the requirements for my employment needed printing and photocopying. I figured I had to do some clever juggling, so while I was figuring out how to do that, I decided to sift through the remainder of my personal stuff here.

Lo and behold, I found copies of ID pictures — the exact number and size of what I needed — and some documents that I thought I had left behind. So the few bucks I would’ve shelled out for printing and copying went to buying a snack for my sister and I.

Tomorrow is another day. Today, I am thankful for:

  • Getting to my appointment on time despite the commute challenges
  • Being able to get my requirements completed with minimal cost
  • Getting back online after a week of no connection
  • Starting up on my freelance projects again
  • Conversations with good friends
  • I hope your week is going pretty fabulous as well.

Philippine Postal Heritage Tour

Pictures to follow. Sorry! Photos added. Still a work in progress. 🙂

About two years ago, I went with Lornadahl for a Postal Heritage Tour around Manila. While it’s not an official tour of the Philippine Post Office, it was nevertheless an educational tour on the postal service and philately, as well as some places around Manila that isn’t covered by the usual Celdran tour. This tour is hosted by the Filipinas Stamp Collectors Club and guided by Lawrence Chan.

What makes this tour interesting is that you get a look into the very fascinating field of philately, as well as a glimpse inside the majestic yet sadly dilapidated Metropolitan Theater in Manila. The tour also stretches to include Intramuros but as the tour is flexible, it sometimes doesn’t even get that far. Still, it’s a trip that is worth the time and effort.

I joined Anne and her cousin for this tour. Rence said that it usually lasts until early evening, mostly because the participants are fascinated by exploring that it’s hard to stick to the time table. We met at Liwasang Bonifacio, the park in front of the Post Office that is more known as Plaza Lawton. The older generation would probably recognize it as Arroceros Park.

The fountain was being used for the Bourne Legacy shoot, and the crew had set up camp at the park itself. I tried to catch a glimpse of Edward Norton but I doubt that he was still around.

The Historical Post Office
We went inside the Post Office first. The Post Office is a small, self-sustaining compound. Because of the large fleet of vehicles it needed, they had their own gas station. There are also smaller buildings within the compound, but sad to say, more than half of them are in a bad state. One is the Post Office museum, but it’s currently closed. I had the chance to attend a philately lecture there during the last tour, but the building is off limits now because it’s structurally unsound.

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The Post Office building is an impressive structure. It is often used in many local productions as a setting for school graduations or law offices. Sad to say, there is news that the building will be sold in the near future as the postal company is losing more money than what they are earning. Fullerton Hotel is said to be interested in it.

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February list

We’re well into the second week of the month (and the week’s nearly over too). I thought I’d list down some goals for February, as inspired by Carina. There’s still time, and there are a couple of things that I want/need to do. Here we go.

  • Write 5 articles a day
  • Have $500 by February 28
  • Write down everything I eat
  • Write down all expenses
  • Take daily photographs
  • Memorize katakana

Not much, really. Let’s see how well I fare come March.

In other news, here’s my horoscope for the day (Wednesday, rather. I didn’t realize the day has changed). I don’t quite fully believe in them, but it’s always fun to read them and perhaps use them as a guide for my life. Without going into detail, let’s just say that today’s forecast for my sign is a little apt for something that’s running through my mind.

Love may be in the air with sweet Venus visiting your impulsive sign until March 5. You’re optimistic about your chances, whether or not something actually happens. Just remember not to come on too strong or you might overwhelm someone with your exuberance. Express what’s in your heart, but make sure to allow enough room for others to be themselves.

Such fun.

Also, I want to change my writing style/voice. If it were music, I think it’s too pop but not in anyway appealing.

Moleskine on the Move: My Winning Entry

Some surprising and pleasant news came through my email yesterday afternoon. Bill Yeung of Working Unit Ltd./Moleskine Asia sent me an email informing me that I was one of the winners of the Moleskine on the Move contest. My entry was the top pick among all the entries submitted through the Moleskine Asia Facebook page.

I found out about the contest only a few days before the deadline. I had just gotten some new Moleskine from Avalon.ph and I was looking for information about the Peanuts editions when I stumbled across Moleskine Asia. I thought about passing it up, but I figured I’ve got a few days and nothing to lose. When I confirmed that the contest was open internationally, I decided to go for it.

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The craft knife came in handy.

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Getting the ball rolling

I haven’t picked up a paintbrush and did some serious painting in a long time. The stuff I did recently was similar to sketches. Now I know some folks would say that it’s better than doing nothing, but given that I’m the type who wants to do serious pieces, the little bits were really not much (sorry if that confused you).

I had been meaning to sign up for art classes, but so far the ones I saw were either really expensive or didn’t appeal to me at all. I was hoping for some summer weekend classes around QC or Ortigas, but no luck. A random visit to the UP CFA site showed a schedule of art workshops for April and May. Basic drawing, oils, acrylic and watercolor for P5,000. You can imagine my glee at this.

Unfortunately, I missed the first two, so I had the option of taking acrylic or watercolor. I decided to take the latter mostly because I couldn’t file VL at so short a notice for the acrylic class.

I eagerly signed up, and excitedly went to buy my art supplies. I technically had a couple of the ones on the list, but I decided to get some new ones. I got new paintbrushes (loving my Sakura 2 and 1 brushes), new paints, paper and so on.

I wasn’t quite sure what my expectations were. In most art classes I’ve taken in the past (both for summer and for school), we usually start off with a lecture on color theory and basic strokes and stuff. For this class, we only had a quick diagnostic sketch, then dived straight into painting.

Having previous experience with watercolor and how it works (behavior, mixing, application etc.), I didn’t have much of a problem. My problem was that I was mostly a theoretical painter: I’ve read a lot on how this is, how that is, what this technique does and so on, but I’ve yet to try it because I was so scared to fail.

Which is the main reason why I wanted to take art classes. I’ve still got a lot to learn despite my familiarity, but Im quite nervous to start. So I really appreciated the heads on style, rather than the classroom lecture most of the other attendees were expecting. It’s pretty much the same way I learned how to use Photoshop and HTML: I look for the specific task/effect I wanted, then learn the process. I pick up techniques along the way.

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Our instructor was chatty. He reminded me of a dentist in the way that he’d talk to us about all sorts of things while we’re deeply concentrated with our work. He’d offer us advice during our progress. A distraction, but sometimes welcome.

This was our process: Prepare the canvas by cutting the paper, mounting it to the board, then soak. Let it dry then sketch the subject, then paint it per section. I didn’t think I can do it, but slowly but surely, I was able to get it. Sure I made mistakes, but I had fun doing them. The painting isn’t really done, but it’s very close to. I plan to finish it this month. I don’t know what I’ll do next, but I’m happy to know that I can do it if I wanted to. 🙂

P.S. I really love hanging out a UPD. I want to study again!

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