December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas Soju!

(December 24)
Christmas eve dinner with my family! Delicious Korean food with bottles of red wine and soju. hic!

In case youre wondering, thats my brother Justin and his girlfriend Monica.

December 25, 2006

Long lost spark

(December 19)

I had fun wrapping gifts for Hangad the whole day. I felt a spark of creativity I had not felt in a long time. Sounds shallow but it made me realize how uncreative my job had made me. I can feel my mind waking up again to ideas and being reintroduced to that sense of wonder I had lost. This is what happens when a puppet breaks free from his strings. Exciting :)

We're singing for the Simbang gabi at Gesu later. The Hangad Christmas marathon continues...

2 1/2 hours with a Swede

(December 18)

I celebrated my first official day of freedom by putting together a Vattern.

A what?
A Vattern
A what?
A Vattern

Oh a Vattern

(how does that game go again?)

Vattern is the model name for one of Ikea's modular cabinets. You buy them in, well, modules and have the option of stacking them up, pairing them together or using them individually. This gives you a wide range of opportunities to come up with complicated shelving all with customizable parts and components in terms of dimensions, color and even depth. For the Ikea shopper, this means first getting the Vattern box in your cart and choosing which legs, drawers or shelves go with your Vattern (each part has a different model name which also serves as legs, drawers or shelves for other modular units aside from the Vattern). All parts are purchased seperately as knocked down furniture (as with all other Ikea stuff).

The fun begins when you start the assembly process at home. Fortunately for me, my Vattern consisted of only one module with four legs, a drawer and a shelf. I didn't need power tools for this one. Just my handy screwdrivers (flat and star) and a hammer.

Now I'm bad at assembling stuff (and all puzzles in general). Ask my brothers and they'll tell you I never contributed to putting together any of their Lego models. When Pau and I had to assemble a cabinet from Our Home, it was utter hell. It also didn't help that the manual wasnt accurate and the pre-punctured holes in the boards weren't precise. Don't you think its sad how we Filipinos have to satisfy ourselves with sub-optimal furniture (style, price and quality-wise) from SM when the same furniture can be found outside the country at a more reasonable price, with better product quality and superior design concept? I'm not talking about antiques, plastic or rattan furniture but the everyday stuff like cabinets, shelves, drawers, tables and chairs. Yes there are quite a number of local outlets who carry neat stuff but the price is just too much. This calls for a totally new blog entry...

Anyway going back to my Ikea Vattern, I was surprised on how easy it was to put togther the whole thing. It was amazing how the parts fit together considering they were all purchased seperately (I guess I was still stuck in the mindset that you buy furniture as a whole. And even if you bought it is as knocked down, you still get all the parts in one box). Not just that, all prepunctured holes were accurate and very easy to fit parts into. The best part of everything how was stable the Vattern turned out. Its not wobbly like the Our Home cabinet (HNH!).I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IKEA! I definitely dont mind the 2 1/2 hours I spent putting this unit together.

I wonder if Manila is on their map of regional expansion. Until then, I will have to limit my Swedish indulgences outside the country.

December 15, 2006

Unofficial Hangad videos

Have you seen my unofficial Hangad videos? Check out my YouTube channel. Below are some of my favorites:


Jagged Pieces

Send Your Spirit

If you like our music, make your own unofficial Hangad video. Send me the link or mail it to

Donation to Spark Hope=1000000 calories

I was on my way home from Hangad rehearsals when I remembered I only needed one more sticker to complete my Starbucks planner. I wasn't sleepy yet and didn't feel like heading home so I decided to drop by Metrowalk (part of me was also half hoping to catch someone online on YM :) ). When I entered, both counters had long queues and it moving quite slow. When it was finally my turn, I told the barista I was going to claim my planner. She turned to the next barista and said

"Handa mo ang videocam".

She then proceeded to tell me that I had to prepare a Christmas message for Starbucks so they can record it. It was required of everyone who claimed their planners. I said,

"Thanks to Starbucks and the pursuit of a planner. I'm now a lot fatter this Christmas...."

At this point she agreed with me (Aha! even baristas agree their coffee is fattening) and told me it was just a joke.

"Pinapasaya lang po namin lahat ng mga kumukuha ng planner"


Anyway, now that I have my planner I really don't know what to do with it. I don't use planners. I've had one before and I never got to fill up the pages past January. The only reason I got this one was to complete the damn sticker card (SUCKER!). I'm thinking of giving it away for Christmas or making it a raffle prize during the Christmas party or maybe just keep it and sell it online to collectors after 48 years. I dunno. Well, even if I have no use for it, I least I got to donate to SparkHope (STRIKE 2 SUCKER!). Hmm, so it not Starbucks who is making me fat. Its SparkHope. Gosh. If people really wanted to give to SparkHope, they really shouldnt do it via Starbucks. This is just another one of those marketing ploys used to justify people's guilt over spending too much money on coffee.

December 11, 2006

Mau idol

I didnt really follow Philippine Idol during the past 6 months but I was able to catch last night's results. Filipinos really have a thing for the "api". Not that Im saying that's all there is to Mau. She's a fantastic and soulful singer but its unfortunate her physical appearance had to be an issue. I personally dont think her appearance was a hindrance. In fact its about time we recognize somebody like her with real talent. There are just too many of these models/actresses/actors turned singers with no vocal talent at all. Personally, I was rooting for Pao (who, by the way, had a breakthrough duet with Aiza last night. I think it was the high five in the end that did it for me. Does anybody know where I can get a copy of that performance?) but Mau will do. Go Mau!

Wedding factories, Elaine interrupted and irritable church manangs

We havent sung for a wedding in San Agustin for the longest time until yesterday. We stopped accepting weddings in San Agustin ever since it turned out to be one of those "wedding factory" churches. "Wedding factory" churches are those that have weddings scheduled every hour on the hour so couples usually have to buy an hour or two and spend up to P50,000 just for the church rental (big revenue source for wedding factories). And because you rent by the hour, they have time guards(usually young girls wearing tops with fancy cuts which went of style 2 years ago) making sure that you stick to your slot. This often results to very mechanical weddings that have to fit 60 minutes. First, your entourage and bridal march have to run to the altar to save time. Then your officiating priest has to deliver his homily as short as he can (possibly the only advantage of this set-up? =p). The choir only gets to sing during offertory and communion. And doing your pictorials is like waiting for your order in the food court ..."Parents of the bride get ready...Next we will have the bride's immediate family...friends of the bride will be next...customer number 23 your salisbury steak is ready..." (I have to mention at this point that after the priest has said his final blessing, a time guard has kidnapped your commentator and has taken over the microphone. It is her duty to scurry your guests from one pictorial set-up to the next.)

Luckily for us the couple we sang for yesterday was wise enough to buy 2 hours(Congratulations Randy!). This meant a smooth and meaningful celebration from start to finish (though the time guard still took over the pictorial part).

Doinks #1--The bride had picked Panunumpa as the wedding march and we had Elaine sing it "Ikaw lamang ang pangakong mahalin... At mapapawi...."

[crakle. Pan camera to old lady with manang uniform on the lectern]"Annoucement. Please turn off all your cellphones as the mass is going on. Also please watch your valuables..."

Doinks #2--Nicky plays Ito ang Araw as the responsorial psalm. After the choir repeats the chorus, a manang suddenly appears beside him and asks irritably

Manang: "Matagal pa ba yung kantang yan?"
Nicky : "Opo. May dalwang ulit pa"
Manang: "Bilisan mo. Ang haba pala nyan may susunod pang kasal"

5 days to go til Independence Day

"When God closes a door, someday he opens a window"

These days I certainly find myself saying that line again and again, Though in my case God did not close the door, I did. Come to think of it maybe he just used me to do his job. At least I'd like to think closing the door was part of his plan. If you ask for what then I still cannot say but I know deep inside me its for better things.

Some windows,maybe even doors, are starting to open and its exciting. I havent felt this spark in a long time.

Solongfarewell/Gilbert knew better

Sept 27, 2006 (late posting)

I've finally decided. I'm taking a break from corporate life. No I'm not going back to school
or have signed up for the seminary (though that remains to be an option). I've just had
enough of telco. You know you want out when waking up in the morning is impossible knowing its gona be another day at the office. When your mind ceases to function in meetings and just
agree with what everyody has to say just to get it over with. When you don't question the directions given to you even if you feel it doesn't make sense. When you you totally don't care about what you do with your job anymore. In short, when you at look at yourself in the mirror and see Pinochio - the wooden boy puppet version.

What does making investors happy got to do with my own happiness? That's a load of corporate crap. Yes I may be "on top of my class" but at what expense? High stress levels about meeting sales targets that you don't even get credit for. BULLSHIT.

Honestly at this point I'm not sure if I really need to get out or just take a break. It's not just because Im burned out. I've given up on the industry. Yes its fast moving and that means itll always change and products will continue to evolve and there will always be new products to launch ...So this should be exciting right? Im not sure if I really want to be in the bandwagon. If I leave now it'll still be fastmoving. Nothings gona change.

"I'm afraid once you start working for telco you'll be stuck in it forever" - quote from our new
BM. I'm with your bro all the way.

Gilbert knew better when he left his job of 10 years. He was their no. 1 salesperson in the service chain and yet he left in the middle of it all.