August 27, 2007
I think my next project should be...cookies! haha I'm already excited thinking about it! Maybe I'll get myself a mixer and some cookie cutters next pay day. One of my goals this year is to perfect my cookie recipe in time for Christmas. So, to all my dear friends reading this, expect Jampacked's special cookies this Yuletide season =)
August 26, 2007
I have a feeling I'll be watching it again soon. In the meantime, hand me my Aquanet! I need to get me some huge hair and a plaid headband.
Here's one of my favorite scenes from the movie. Enjoy!
August 24, 2007
August 20, 2007
August 18, 2007
"Water puppetry is performed in a chest-deep pool of water, with the water's surface as a stage. The puppeteers stand behind a curtained backdrop. First performed a thousand years ago on the surface of ponds and paddy fields in Vietnam's Red River Delta, water puppetry (roi nuoc in Vietnamese) is the lively creation of farmers who spent their days in flooded rice fields. At some point, they discovered that the water was an excellent medium for puppetry: it not only concealed the puppeteers' rod and string mechanisms, but it also provided exciting effects like waves and splashes.
The water also provides the best setting for the puppeteers' theme: day-to-day village life. Water puppets bring wry humor to scenes of farming, fishing, festival events such as buffalo fights, and children's games of marbles and coin-toss. Fishing turns into a game of wits between the fisherman and his prey, with the fisherman getting the short end (often capturing his surprised neighbor by mistake). Besides village life, scenes include legends and national history. Lion dogs romp like puppies while dragons exhale smoke and shoot sprays of water at the audience. Performances of up to 18 short scenes are usually introduced by a pig-tailed bumpkin known as Teu, and accompanied by a small folk orchestra." - the Puppetry
1.) Visit their Bonifacio Global City branch and stand in front of the display counter.
2.) Pretend you're having a hard time choosing the donut you want.
3.) The staff gets a freshly baked glazed number and hands it out to you for free.
This happened to us twice so it must a regular operational procedure. Of course, you have to order another one (or maybe a whole dozen!) to satisfy your craving because one donut is bitin. Hmmm...thinking about it now I think its a great marketing strategy. I wonder what happens if someone just gets the donut and leave without buying? hahaha
August 16, 2007
I've seen how beautiful the bay looked in guidebooks and websites but nothing could have prepared me for the real thing. Just a few minutes out on the sea and you are greeted by magnificent limestone peaks jutting out of nowhere. It was just island after island after island rising spectacularly out of the emerald green waters. A lot of times I felt like I was in the scene in Lord of the Rings where Frodo and his friends were greeted by a gigantic gate with two stone guards on each side. It was simply awesome.
The first stop in the cruise was a floating fish pond where you can fish for your lunch. A selection of crabs, HUGE prawns (which were more like lobsters), HUGE fish (which looked like baby sharks) and fresh shellfish were cultivated in nets hanging into the ocean waiting for the next hungry tourist to catch them. I wanted to catch one for myself but the fish sells for $17/kilo. Bummer.
While the passengers got busy on the fish pond, the crew on board prepared lunch Vietnamese style - spring rolls, soup, noodles, fish, wanton and french fried(yep, that how Vietnamese call it. I wonder if they have twister fried or criss cut fried as well haha). After lunch, passengers had the option of exploring a small nearby cave or just lounge on the boat. Those who wanted to explore the cave had to rent a smaller boat for VnD 30,000 or $1.8) per person. Pau had a mini-adventure and this was what he had to say:
The next couple of hours was spent cruising. This was the best part of the journey for me. There I was lounging on the roof deck with spectacular scenery in every angle. One interesting thing I saw were sea eagles circling then swooping down on the ocean to fish (very National Geographic). I was hoping to see Dolphins but our guide said there weren't any in the area.
The next stops were two HUGE caves which, for me, were boring because I'm not a cave-person =p
(I think I blend in perfectly hehe)
August 14, 2007
Hoi An, a 16th century port town in Central Vietnam, is home to a functional yet beautifully preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site. In it you can loose yourself in a maze of ancient shops, cafes and museums offering goods and services anywhere from traditional Vietnamese crafts, art galleries and souvenirs to customized suits and shoes. What I liked most about this town is the mix of authenticity and modernity. The structures have retained their traditional facades yet you see no signs of tacky attempts at renovation or rebuilding. Wooden display cases might have given way to glass and plastic, but the shops still remain open to the street instead of being air conditioned. The younger generation of shopkeepers who sport the latest hairstyle and fashion still interact with farmers in conical hats who peddle fresh produce around the city.
Another place which makes Hoi An special is the food but that deserves a separate entry on its own. Hoi An is also the perfect place to set up base if you want to explore the My Son ruins (think Angkor Wat but older). Overall, the town is a charming retreat where Vietnamese culture is still very much alive and where motorbikes haven't taken over every inch of the street.
August 13, 2007
First, majority of the modern day Viets are of Chinese descent. If you've seen how rural / provincial Chinese live then you would know what I mean. Unlike the Chinese in the Philippines who have been inculturated, educated, and enjoy a decent way of life or the Singaporeans or HongKongese who live with first world standards, Chinese Viets still peddle their wares on the street, congregate on groups of four on sidewalk cafes, squat on small stools eating noodles and sipping tea, cook and clean their dishes on the sidewalk and throw their garbage wherever they wish.
The second reason why they may be like this is because they don't know any better. Those I've met who do know basic rules of courtesy practice it. If this is the case then the Tourism Authority needs to launch a massive education campaign immediately.
The last reason I can think of is because they have recently welcomed tourism and capitalism to their shores. As new WTO members and a booming tourist destination, the locals still have to cope with the effects of modernization - more cars vs motorbikes, traffic lights (which riders are still familiarizing themselves with), road rules (which still have to be implemented) and road safety (a major issue for a population who refuses to wear helmets on the road).
Vietnam might be catching up on education, commerce and technology but they have a long way to go if it wants to be as tourist friendly as there Siamese neighbors.
August 10, 2007
Vietnam has been very interesting so far. In fact, the most exotic place I've been ever. Maybe I'll write about all our adventures here someday but for now I just want to talk about food. Before coming here, I've always wondered why Lonely Planet dedicated a book to Vietnamese cuisine when, from previous experiences restaurents like Pho Hoa nd Pho Bac, the food wasn't that great. All my doubts were erased when we had a culinary adventure in Hue and Hoi An. Never had I tasted flavors so interesting and subtle. Imagine meat and vegetables with a bit of saltiness from Chinese food, and a bit of spicyness from Thai food plus the aroma of herbs mixed in a bowl of white noodle soup or fried in rice paper. Mmmm! I love the spring rolls so much, we've been ordering it with every meal for the last 5 days. One order(usually priced at VnD 25000 or P50) gets you 8pcs with dip(not Jufran mind you but a clear vinegar-type dip)...Oops were boarding. Later.
August 7, 2007
August 5, 2007
August 3, 2007
Valer kuberch, kahit jutay
Ang julamantrax donchi ay anek-anek.
Nyongkamas at nutring, nyogarilyas at kipay
Nyitaw, nyotaw, jutani.
Kundol, jutola, jupot jolabastrax
At mega join-join pa, jobanox nyustasa.
Nyubuyax, nyomatis, nyowang at luyax
And around the keme ay fulnes ng linga.
Hilarious! I predict this won't be the last of it
Do not judge the book by its cover.
Is it possible to imagine a Filipino VP of one of the biggest brands in the country who doesn't speak English? Leave it to my luck to discover this rare gem. I had my first Tagalog interview EVER with this person and not because it was out of nationalism or patriotism, but because it was lack of skills in speaking English. At one point I found myself wondering if this was a practical joke the employer was playing on me. It didn't help that he did not look like a VP at all. Picture everything you DON'T expect an executive to look like and he's your guy. Believe it or not, the first description that popped into my head was "retired bus driver" followed by "MMDA" followed by "Jollyjeep operator" (Jollyjeeps are those small canteens set-up along the streets of Salcedo and Legaspi. Consider them the the modern and mobile versions of the neighborhood carenderia). The friend who endorsed me for the interview warned that this was an SEC DE company. How was I to know she meant the management and not the market? =p
Case # 2
Non-profit for Profit
"I need people who are willing to take two steps back (in career advancement and compensation) and dedicate themselves selflessly to the objectives of the company"
OK STOP. Which industry VP do you think this statement most likely originated from? An NGO fighting for the rights of Cordillera tribal ancestry and heritage? A political organization dedicated to improve the conditions of the urban poor? A religious company focusing on spreading the good news through its media products?
BUZZ! None of the above. This actually came from someone in the most profitable category of all - FMCG. This is perhaps the biggest corporate crap I've heard so far. How dare do capitalists ask their people to step back and dedicate themselves without question when they just sit behind their fancy desks and count the cash flow? It's one thing to openly say that a business needs to make a profit but another to actually recruit employees who would voluntarily be underpaid and underemployed for the good of the profit. We're not improving lives and working towards a greater good here. This one is all about making people spend more on things they don't need. This is just a dayjob honey. Its not life.
August 2, 2007
My friend Louis sent me this link to www.himantayon.com. Tan-awa unya. Mabuang kag katawa! HAHAHAHA! Mogawas imong pagka-bisdak!
At Dunkin Donuts:
Counter Crew: Ma’am, what’s your order?”Ma’am: Uhm, I want the…ano…kanang ham and cheese BANWIT
Gasoline Station sa Banawa.
Gas Girl: Agay! Akong napaak akong dila! Number, number!
Gas Boy: Seven.
Gas Girl: Seven. A…B…C…D…E…F..G…kinsa man akong kaila nga gasugod ug “G” ang pangan oi…
Gas Boy: Si JUN-JUN!
4:00 AM, on board a 10K Jeep to Pardo, Cebu City:
Nakatupad ko’g mag-uyab who were both working at a call center. They were arguing about something.
Girl: I know what you did! I know people from your account. They tell me things.
Guy: Huh? Babes, I woke up late. That’s why I was late. I even called my Supe. You ask her!
Girl: Why are you DEFENSING yourself???---
Radio interview, Cagayan de Oro, 12:25 pm, July 27, 2007:
Announcer: Sa imong tan-aw Misis, unsa gyud kaha ang hinungdan nganong gipakatap man sa maong foreigner ang imong mga hubo nga hulagway sa internet?
Misis: Wa gyud ko kasayod ngano iya man gi-post ang akong mga PECS sa internet. Wa gyud ko kabalo unsa gyud ang iyang MOTIFF.
First there's Company A, a media conglomerate about to launch an international brand into the telecommunications arena. This is the most attractive of my options in terms of position and global exposure. As a potential officemate said, "Nothing you can't handle". I guess the technical know-how and systems processes will not be a language which would be alien to me but at the same time, a part of me is scared of facing the challenges of the job. It'll be hello again to "subscriber" "ARPU" "churn" "platform" and "network". In terms of career path, this could be a jump off point to work in the regional or global offices of the company. The experience can also lead to much higher opportunities within the telco industry...which is exactly my biggest issue. I will be dealing again with the industry I have turned my back on and vowed to stay away from. I had promised to expose myself to other markets and industries which exploited my telco training.
Company B comes from the industry I want to be a part of - FOOD! I've had positive meetings with Management and an offer has been drafted. The company is aggressively reinstating its position as a challenger in its category so a major transition is taking place in the organization. The position intended for me has not been approved yet but, according to the Marketing Director, has a 99% chance of being approved. There's only one catch. I have to join the team at an entry level position until such a time when the new organization will take effect. Now I already have been scarred by a history of unfulfilled career promises by Management so I've become very doubtful of these tactics. As much as I found the industry attractive, I am not about to give up years of experience to start again at the bottom of the ladder. The only reason why this is still a valid option for me is because I've been informed to give them 2 more weeks to work it out. If all my issues pull through with this company, then you just might see me blog more about food than anything else. In terms of career path, this will open doors to lots of other players in the food industry. Exciting!
Then there's Company C, a communications agency servicing the country's largest consumer goods company. This is the most bogus of my choices because the position and scope I'm being eyed for is, as the VP put it, "changing every day". Like Company B, this organization is also in transition but the possibilities are exciting. Potential perks of the job would be dealing with a client that significantly contributes to the country's GDP, giving recommendations to a category known for cut-throat advertising and in-depth exposure to real consumer work. The only downside to this is that I will be going back to client servicing. My last client was hell on earth but I'm told this potential client is much more professional in dealing with agencies. If I decide to be part of Company C, I would have rounded out my brand management experience and doors will be open to careers in Marketing Communications.
I've asked God for a sign to somehow ease the decision making process and what I got was a dream of me having a pregnant wife - which my friend says means "a major change is about to take place". That's good. Change is good. But change towards what? I think I need to go back to sleep and see whether my wife has given birth to twins, puppies or vegetables.