Friday, December 31

What Happen in 2010

 Picture from Google

As the year 2010 comes to a close, a lot of things happened to me with a purpose. Somehow, it helped me a lot improve myself again in almost all aspects.

January: Start of a new year with no job. I mean, I've started my job hunt for this year. I have also celebrated New Year as well as my Birthday for the first time away from home. I got my first interview since July 2009. It was for a new career in IT (as Helpdesk) which I'm not sure whether I would be able to make it or not even if I am backed up by my college friend (and tropa). I was also able to shoot 3 churches for 3 consecutive days even if my DSLR is still having problems. I have also attended the Photoworld Asia 2010 on the last week of January and I was able to make the most out of it even my camera is not 100% functional. When I have it checked, the guy told me that I got a busted lens which prevents it from auto-focusing, thus I need to have my 18-55mm lens repaired.

February: I sent my camera to Canon for further repairs since its lens has been damaged since October 2009. We also purchased a new laptop for my wife as well as a wireless broadband so we could surf the internet at home and for my wife's raket. I got also hooked (or should I say, way too hooked) with Plants Vs Zombies which sometimes distracts me from my reaching my targets. 

March: This month was like a wake-up for me. My application at Halcrow as Service Desk Analyst was rejected since my friend told me they hired someone else (probably better) though I was expecting for them to initiate a possible contract signing. Anyway, I also re-visited some online forums that I've been active before like pinoyexchange for possible job hunting there as well as scouting for some feedback on some companies that I've been eyeing to apply. I was also able to attend FHM's 10th Anniversary Party and it was really a blast. If I had work during that time, I may not be able to attend that event. It was like a VIP party for those who are really into FHM for the past 10 years or so. I attended a series of interviews left and right but most of them eneded up short. But I never gave up and still looked for that career I really wanted into. I was able to attend a job fair sponsored by The Manila Bulletin wherein I sat down and listened to the speakers as attentively as possible. I learned some from those speakers as well. After a few weeks of job hunting, I got to Greif instead and started working with them on the 29th. 

April: I got my camera back after being sent to Canon for repairs last February. As soon as I got my camera back, I was able to take pictures every weekend of the month. It was like shooting like there is no tomorrow but just better. Carshows, cosplays, festivals, name it, I've been there for that month. Somehow, my shots improved thanks to the photography tips I have found on the internet as well as to those who shared their talent. At the same time, I am also learning the ropes of being an IT Helpdesk which I know it will be the start of my IT career. There were times that work was so boring since we don't encounter issues very often but we still enjoy what we do when were busy. XD

May: I was able to get my first paycheck in 8 months. I bought my 2nd lens which was the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II. My schedule that time was a bit earlier compared to the previous month but its OK. At least that allowed me to go home early. I was able to attend an interesting tour courtesy of Mr Lawrence Chan around the metro. I got to attend two more carshows and a poker tournament together with friends which makes my day fun and memorable when I am with them. This was also the first time our country had its first automated election and it was somewaht successful. I didn't participate in it anyway XD. I also got my fist try in shooting a Santa Cruzan event in SM MOA which I enjoyed and learned a lot from it. 

June: I was able to purchase Scott Kelby's book on Digital Photography. It was somewhat helpful though I think its not enough when it comes to some scenarios. It was also my first time to go to a resort in Bulacan (Jeds). I also had the opportunity to take pictures in Makati via the I heart Makati Contest which I experienced to take long exposure photos especially at night. I got also coached (or should I say scolded) by my then-TL for some lapses in my performance for the past few weeks. That was a wake-up call for me to get more serious with work (for that time being. hehe). the following day, all of us at helpdesk got shocked because out TL left without informing us. Anyway, life has to go on.

July: I was able to purchase my bigger and better camera bag (Crumpler 7mdh) at Trinoma. Also, I have attended a major event for photographers (professionals, amateurs and hobbyists) c/o Digital Photographer Philippines. Before the month ended, I was able to join a road-trip of Pinoy Photography (Pipho) touring the countryside of Rizal and Laguna. For the fourth time this year, I was able to attend FHM's 100 sexiest Victory Party together with my friends and really enjoyed the event.

August: I had another change in my work schedule but this time, I worked from 10am-7pm which I consider my favorite schedule since I could go out at nights then. But since, I'm working at one of the busiest cities in the country, I got late more than several times I think. I also decided to have ourselves (me and my wife) visit and ob-gyne for her since it has been eight months since we got married and until that point, my wife wasn't able to conceive a child for us. Luckily when we visited the doctor (upon my mom's recommendation), she was a few weeks pregnant but at the same time, there was a cyst in her womb which makes her (and me) worry a lot. The operation for removing the cyst was scheduled for December so that the baby in her womb would be strong enough. Also, Grow asked me if I'll be renewing my contract with them for a year. I had to accept the offer since I need enough funds to keep us going and make sure we were able to save as well.

September: Probably one of the most eye-opening month in my entire life. I rushed my wife into the hospital not knowing that she will undergo a life-threatening operation. That almost drained me emotionally and financially but we were able to survive the ordeal. I had to take a leave of absence (unpaid) from work to take care care of my wife and make sure she recovers. Good thing I was able to attend some events which includes Dutdutan 2010 and my Sister's Wedding with the help of my newly-acquired items to help my camera take better pictures like my Phottix Battery Grip and my Nissin Di622 External Flash. I was also able to visit our wedding photographer to inform them of the layout we wanted as well as the draft for our wedding video. 

October: This would be the start of my one-year contract extension with Grow/Greif and I need to learn as much as I can so that I would be more marketable in my next IT job. Along with that, I was still able to attend some more events which includes two Saturday events that I had to file my leave twice for Saturday's event. Plus I was able to meet our Helpdesk Manager (who is US-Based) in person as well as the other visitors outside of the country for a visit. 

November: I'm slowly getting used to working night shifts even if I'm alone. I was able to join a photo contest sponsored by canon which gave me an opportunity to show my skills and get some freebies of course XD. I started collecting stickers/stamps for my 5th Starbucks Planner this lifetime. I have attended the Manila Auto Salon for the forth time but I felt that my eyes aren't as sharp as it was four years ago. I even feel my vision getting blurry as I walk through the area.

December: It's so hard to imagine how time flies so fast. It was like yesterday that my wife and I got married and we just celebrated our first year anniversary. Also both of us are looking forward to our baby this April of 2011 and I'm still thinking of a good name for him (or her). I was also able to claim my 5th Starbucks Planner after taking my wife to her monthly check-up at her doctor at The Medical City in Ortigas. And I'm almost complete with my stamps for my first CBTL 2011 Planner after seeing it and got highly interested in getting one. Though one thing I noticed is that my interest in photography slowly diminishing again and I have to do something about it.

Basically, I'm blessed this year despite all the challenges that came along the way. Things do may come and go but all I can say is that I learned a lot from this year and I'm looking forward to more in 2011.

Goodbye 2010. Thank you for the memories. ^_^

2011 Awesome Calendar of the Philippines (Updated!)

I saw this on by Anton Diaz and I was really interested to get to know some of the events to happen this year. I do really wanted to go to some interesting festivals this year but I have to limit some since it would cost me time and money to go to places (especially me and my wife are expecting our first born within the next 4-5 months XD). Anyway, here is the calendar of events for 2011. I'm thinking of adding and revising some dates though =P

JANUARY 2011 Best Time to Climb Mt. Pinatubo!

1 NEW YEAR'S DAY | Saturday | Solemnity of Mary Mother of God | HOLY DAY OF OBLIGATION
9 FEAST OF THE BLACK NAZARENE | Sunday | Quiapo, Manila. An intense, day-long festival highlighted by a mammoth procession through the streets.
15 PASUNGAY FESTIVAL 2011 | Saturday | San Joaquin, Iloilo. One of the thrilling bull fighting festival as a culminating event of the Bayluhay Festival which celebrates the arrival of the 10 datus from Malay in the 13th century. 
15-16 ATI-ATIHAN 2011 | Kalibo, Aklan. Commemorates the 13th century land deal between 10 migrating Bornean chieftains and the aboriginal Ati King Marikudo. It also honors the town patron, the infant Sto. Nino.
15-16 SINULOG 2011 | Cebu City. Cebu’s biggest and most popular festival in honor of the Holy Image of Senyor Sto. Niño
16 or 23 CARACOL 2011 | Makati City. This is Makati City's version of the Mardi Gras conceptualized in 1986.
22-23 DINAGYANG FESTIVAL 2011 | Iloilo City. Street dancing characterized by frenetic stomping of feet and hypnotic drumbeating. It is a colorful whirl of thousands of people dressed in unique costumes dancing & chanting all day and night.
31 FEAST DAY OF ST. JOHN BOSCO. Celebration of the feast day of the Father and Teacher of Youth who founded the Salesian Society. 

FEBRUARY 2011: The Love Month!

FEAST OF NUESTRA SENORA DE LA CANDELARIA or "OUR LADY OF CANDLES." |Jaro, Iloilo. Western Visayas celebrates the Patroness of their region.
CHINESE NEW YEAR - THE YEAR OF THE RABBIT | Binondo, Manila The Chinese community celebrates the Chinese New Year with pomp & color through a dragon dance.
10-13 HOT AIR BALLOON FIESTA | Clark, Angeles, Pampanga. Watch the awesome hot air balloons fly out as the sun rises in the horizon.
14 HAPPY VALENTINES' DAY! | Monday. Filipino lover's most romantic event of the year!
25 EDSA REVOLUTION ANNIVERSARY | Friday | People Power Revolution Commemorates the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution that Filipinos came to known for.
26 PANAGBENGA - BAGUIO FLOWER FESTIVAL 2011 | Baguio City. Also known as the Baguio Flower Festival, it will be the 10th holding of this annual event which will showcase the City of Baguio as a City of Flowers.

MARCH 2011: Best Time to go watch and shoot the awesome Manila sunset!

Start of the Donsol Season in Bicol!

9 ASH WEDNESDAY | Philippines. The First Day of Lenten Season in the Philippines
26 EARTH HOUR 2011 | Philippines | 8.30pm-9.30pm. Cities and towns all over the world will switch off their lights for one hour—EARTH HOUR—sending a powerful global message that it is possible to take action on global warming. 

APRIL 2011: The Peak Time in Boracay.

April 9-11 | 3 Days Weekend!
9 BATAAN DAY (ARAW NG KAGITINGAN) | Saturday. Araw ng Kagitingan
18-24 HOLY WEEK! | Philippines. Philippines' most sacred week!
April 21-24 | 4 Days Weekend!
21 HOLY THURSDAY! Commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles.
22 GOOD FRIDAY! Commemorates the crucifixion and death of Jesus at Calvary.
22 MORIONES FESTIVAL | Marinduque. Re-enact the story of Longinus, a Roman centurion who speared the crucified body of Jesus Christ.
22 EARTH DAY 2011 | Philippines. A day designed to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's environment
22 Cutud Cruxificions |  Pampanga. The old tradition of dramatizing the passion and death of Jesus Christ (called Via Crusis) was played out on the streets leading to the crucifixion site before the 1pm Crucifixion. 
24 EASTER SUNDAYCelebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

MAY 2011: National-wide celebration of Flores de Mayo / Santacruzan.

April 30 - May 2 | 3 Days Weekend!
1 LABOR DAY | Sunday. National Labor Day!
FEAST OF THE DIVINE MERCY | Sunday | Plenary Indulgence for Divine Mercy SundayThe soul that will go to confession and receive holy communion shall obtain complete forgiveness of sins and punishment!
7-8 CARAMOAN, FIESTA 2011 | Caramoan, Camarines Sur. Feast of St. Michael 
8 HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! | Sunday. An annual celebration to pay tribute to all the awesome mothers!
15 PAHIYAS 2011 | Sunday | Lucban, QuezonAn annual celebration held to usher in a bountiful harvest and smashing good times.
17-19 OBANDO FERTILITY RITES 2011 | Tuesday-Thursday | Obando, Bulacan. Massive numbers of men and women dance towards the town church praying for a wife, husband or a child.
28 NATIONAL FLAG DAY | ManilaStart of the designated flag days where all government offices, business establishments, and private homes are also encouraged to display the flag.

JUNE 2011: Time to show your love for the Philippines by putting a flag on your home, car, and shirts.

June 11 - 13 | 3 Days Weekend!
12 PHILIPPINE'S INDEPENDENCE DAY | Sunday. Commemorates the Independence Day of the Philippines from the Spaniards
19 HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! An annual celebration to pay tribute to all the awesome fathers! 
27-28 PINTADOS/ KASADYAAN FESTIVAL 2011 | Tacloban, Leyte

JULY 2011: Start of the Rainy Season in the Philippines.

23-24 BOHOL SANDUGO FESTIVAL 2011 | Tagbilaran, Bohol This festival commemorates the treaty of friendship between Datu Sikatuna, a native chieftain and the Spanish conquistador, Miguel López de Legazpi, representing the king of Spain.
26 FEAST DAY OF SAINT ANNE: Celebration of the feast day of the Mother of Mama Mary
31 FEAST DAY OF ST. IGNATIUS OF LOYOLA: Celebration of the feast day of the Father General of the Jesuits. A 30-day retreat follows the celebration. 

AUGUST 2011: The Best Time to go on a wild river ride.

14 UGU BIGYAN's BIRTHDAY SALE | Sunday |  Tiaong, Quezon 48% Discount on Ugu Bigyan's Pottery (discount is equivalent to his age)
21 NINOY AQUINO DAY | Sunday. Commemorating the Death of Ninoy Aquino
20-21 KADAYAWAN SA DABAW 2011 | Davao City. This festival gives thanks to the bounty of fruits and flowers as the waling-waling orchid blooms.
August 27-29 | 3 Days Weekend!
29 OLD SWISS INN ANNUAL PRICE ROLL BACK | MONDAY. During Old Swiss inn's Anniversary, the prices are rolled back to the prices when it opened in 1940's. The best wasy to get a table during the anniversary is to collect 12 stamps from their Gruzi mileage Card.
29 NATIONAL HEROES' DAY | MONDAY. Commemorates the "Cry of Pugad Lawin" by Filipino revolutionaries called the Katipunan

SEPTEMBER 2011:The Best Time to go to Divisoria for Christmas shopping and preparations.

7-11 26th NEGROS TRADE FAIR!| Manila. The longest running trade fair of the best food, furniture, jewelries and products from the Negros region. Foodies should not miss this annual event :)
11 HAPPY GRANDPARENT'S DAY!  An annual celebration to pay tribute to all the awesome grandparents!  
18 PENAFRANCIA VIVA LA VIRGEN 2011 | Naga City. Bicol Region's biggest celebration is highlighted by a fluvial parade of Lady of Penafrancia carried through the river aglow with floating candles.
24-25 CLOUD 9 INTERNATIONAL SURFING COMPETITION 2011 | Siargao. The biggest international surfing competition in the Philippines held in Cloud 9, Siargao

OCTOBER 2011: Surfing Season in the Philippines.

1 THE FEAST OF ST. THERESE OF CHILD JESUS. Feast of Saint Therese of the Little Flower.
15-16 MASKARA FESTIVAL 2011 | Bacolod. The festival that made Bacolod famous began as an event to inspire the locals to face the hard times with a smiling face, thus masks with smiling faces are worn by revelers who join the parade.
16 WORLD BREAD DAY: Celebration of the World Bread Day.
15-16 LANSONES FESTIVAL 2011 | Camiguin. A grand celebration of the lanzones fruit in the island of Camiguin. 
26-30 DIWALI FESTIVAL | The Festival of Lights. Indian New Year Festival

NOVEMBER 2011: Halloween Parties.

Oct. 29 - November 1 | 4 Days Weekend!
1 ALL SAINT'S DAY | Tuesday
2 ALL SOUL'S DAY | Wednesday
12 45th Days with the Lord Anniversary Mass | Saturday Night. Dazers Mass celebration of the founding of the Days with the Lord. Basta Ikaw, Lord!
22-23 HIGANTES FESTIVAL 2011 | Tuesday-Wednesday | Angono, Rizal. Male devotees carry the image of San Clemente in a procession that features parehadoras, clad in colorful garb and wooden shoes, and carrying boat paddles and higantes (giants) 10 feet tall papier mache puppets.
23-27 8th MAHARLIKA SUNRISE FESTIVAL | Wednesday-Sunday | Roving Festival. The Sunrise Festival is a celebration of arts for service and blessedness held annually in the different regions of Maharlika (Philippines).
26-27 KERYGMA CONFERENCE 2011 | Manila | Kerygma Conference. The Biggest Catholic Charismatic Event in the Country
26-28 | 3 Days Weekend!
30 BONIFACIO DAY | Wednesday

DECEMBER 2011: Christmas Season in the Philippines.

4 ANNUAL CULTURAL TOUR OF NEGROS | Saturday | Bacolod. Longest running cultural tour in the country by Ramon H. Hofileña.
11 ANNUAL CULTURAL TOUR OF NEGROS | Saturday | Bacolod. Longest running cultural tour in the country by Ramon H. Hofileña.
18 GIANT LANTERN FESTIVAL 2011 | San Fernando, Pampanga. A Show-Off of Kapampangan Pride culminated with a display of Giant Lanterns measuring 18 feet in diameter.
16 SIMBANG GABI. Start of early morning vigil 9 days before Christmas
16 OBLATION RUN | Friday | University of the Philippines. The annual naked run of the full-pledge members of Alpha Phi Omega society is a tradition that started in 1977 to protest the banning of the movie, “Hubad na Bayani,” which depicted human rights abuses in the martial law era. The date honors their international founding day on December 16th, 1925. 
December 24-26 | 3 Days Weekend!
24 CHRISTMAS EVE | Saturday | Special (Non-Working) Day
25 CHRISTMAS DAY | Sunday | Holy Day of Obligation. Celebrating the Birth of Jesus Christ
December 31 - January 2 | 3 Days Weekend!
30 RIZAL DAY | Friday. Commemorating the Death of Jose Rizal
31 LAST DAY OF THE YEAR | Saturday. Celebrating the Turn of the year.

My December to-do list (Final Update)

Before the turn of the year, here is my final update for December and for the year 2010. 

1. Attend Bumper to Bumper 6 later this afternoon. (Done)
2. Attend Greif Christmas Party on December 10. (Done)
3. Pick-up Deliverables at Ariel Javelosa Studio on December 6. (Got it as early as December 5)
4. Accompany my wife on her check-up on December 21 (Done)
5. Collect all the remaining men's magazine for 2010.(Almost done except for UNO and Playboy)
6. Settle my Philhealth Contribution for 4th Quarter. (Will do this on 2011)
7. Go out and have fun together with my wife on our first anniversary (December 6).(Done)
8. Start collecting stamps for CBTL's 2011 Planner. (Got 22 stamps so far)
9. Attended wifey's Christmas Party. (Done)

Happy New Year! XD

Thursday, December 30

Senior Texting Code

I just got it from my colleague a few minutes ago and I find it humorous. Anyway, if you qualify for Senior  Discounts these are the codes for you. XD

ATD: At The Doctor's
BFF: Best Friend Farted
BTW: Bring The Wheelchair
BYOT: Bring Your Own Teeth
CBM: Covered By Medicare
CUATSC: See You At The Senior Center
DWI: Driving While Incontinent
FWB: Friend With Beta Blockers
FWIW: Forgot Where I Was
FYI: Found Your Insulin
GGPBL: Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low!
GHA: Got Heartburn Again
HGBM: Had Good Bowel Movement
IMHO: Is My Hearing-Aid On?
LMDO: Laughing My Dentures Out
LOL: Living On Lipitor
LWO: Lawrence Welk's On
OMMR: On My Massage Recliner
OMSG:  Oh My! Sorry, Gas.
ROFL... CGU: Rolling On The Floor Laughing... And Can't Get Up
SGGP: Sorry, Gotta Go Poop
TTYL: Talk To You Louder
WAITT: Who Am I Talking To?
WTFA: Wet The Furniture Again
WTP: Where's The Prunes?
WWNO: Walker Wheels Need Oil
NMD: Need More Depends

Feel  free to add any codes you feel are missing; send the additions back to  the person who sent you this so they can update their list.

GGLKI (Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking In). XD

Wednesday, December 29

Metro Manila Film Fest Awards Night Results

Too bad I wasn't able to put this to writing early since I wasn't feeling well that time. My mom slept early last Sunday which means, she doesn't have a clue as well on who won on the said awards night.

Anyway, here are the list on the winners for the MMFF 2010 Awards Night.

Best Picture
Ang Tanging Ina Mo Rin: Last Na 'To! (Star Cinema)

2nd Best Picture
Rosario (Cinemabuhay & Studio5)

3rd Best Picture
RPG: Metanoia (Ambient Media & Star Cinema)

Best Actress
Ai-Ai delas Alas (Ang Tanging Ina Mo Rin: Last Na 'To!)

Best Actor
Dolphy (Father Jejemon)

Gatpuno Antonio Villegas Cultural Award

Best Director
Wenn Deramas (Ang Tanging Ina Mo Rin: Last Na 'To!)

Best Screenplay
Mel del Rosario (Ang Tanging Ina Mo Rin: Last Na 'To!)

Best Story
Mel del Rosario (Ang Tanging Ina Mo Rin: Last Na 'To!)

Best Supporting Actress
Eugene Domingo (Ang Tanging Ina Mo Rin: Last Na 'To!)

Best Supporting Actor
Dolphy (Rosario)

Best Cinematography
Carlo Mendoza (Rosario)

Best Editing
John Wong (Rosario)

Best Production Design
Joel Luna & Miki Hahn (Rosario)

Best Visual Effects
Rico Guttierez & Co. (Si Agimat at si Enteng Kabisote)

Best Makeup
Nestor Dayao & Co. (Si Agimat at si Enteng Kabisote)

Best Theme Song
"Gaya Ko" (RPG: Metanioa)

Best Musical Score
Jesse Lazaten (Ang Tanging Ina Mo Rin: Last Na 'To!)

Best Sound Recording
Ditoy Aguila (Super Inday and the Golden Bibe)
Ambient Media (RPG: Metanoia)

Best Child Performer
Xyriel Manabat (Ang Tanging Ina Mo Rin: Last Na 'To!)

Best Indie Film
Presa (Adolf Alix)

Gender Sensitive Award
RPG: Metanoia
Ang Tanging Ina Mo Rin: Last Na 'To!

Best Float

Best Dressed
Dennis Trillo
Jennylyn Mercado

Faces of the Night
Sen. Bong Revilla
Sam Pinto

Congratulations to the winners!  I'm thinking if I'd put my feedback here or not. XD

Sunday, December 26

How to win a Poker Game

 Picture from google.

Be it an Online Poker or the Real Game itself, you may want to check this link. Hope this helps.

I might frequent his in the near future as I tried a couple of times myself. XD

Where to go for Basic Photography Lessons?

I have to start 2011 right and smarter. Though I've been taking pictures for a little more than 2 years, taking a basic photography course will definitely enhance and sharpen your skills more in taking excellent pictures as it also provides you the solid foundation on how a good picture is composed. This would also take your skill up a notch with someone guiding you and proving you feedback on how to improve more. But the question here is where should I take my basic photography class to? Though some people I've met online and in real life were mostly self-taught, they still recommend taking a basic photography class to further enhance your skill and at the same time build future connections and contacts.

After browsing several topics in Pipho and DPP on where to take basic photography classes, I trimmed down my options to three. I could go with either FPPF, John Mateos Ong's The Purpose Driven Photographer, or under Jo Avila. I was able to check what they offer, from the basics to their secrets on getting better pictures.

Though I know taking either one of these three would still give me full benefits, my criteria would still be with whom I am most comfortable with as well as who would teach me more tricks. Well probably having more subjects to shoot during the course would be an advantage, but the bottomline is I need to learn something from this experience that I haven't learned before plus meeting fellow photographers that have the passion for taking pictures and looking forward to shoot more and learn more from one another.

I'll keep you updated where will I be taking my basic photography course. XD

The week that was (Dec 19 - 25)

Sunday: So far, so good. Still no calls for me as I could do some backlogs on my blogs as well as check another blogger's entry.I got to delete some junk emails in my inbox as its already reaching 5000 mails already. What keeps me awake now is this new monitoring we need to check for every two hours 0.0 I'm ok with it for the time being but I'll make my comments probably after a few weeks of this.I got a call at around 5:10am and took me a while to have it fixed since I haven't encountered the caller's issue for quite a while. But everything is now ok. Then I got another call that took me a while before finally calling it a day at 7:45am. I had my breakfast first at the nearest Jollijeep before heading home via taxicab. I got really sleepy after my shift since for the third time, I've been leaving the office at past 7:30am. This has got to change. XD. I got home at almost 9:00am and my wife was awake when I got home. We watched mass on TV before going to sleep at 10:00am. Got up at 3:00pm but I'm still sleepy. I had to get up because someone will be using our room for ironing our clothes. After attending the 6:15pm mass, I went upstairs and got asleep.

Monday: I was thinking if I'll be getting up at 1:30am or 2:30am since I don't feel much sleepy anymore.I simply went online at around 3:00am and spent some time there while waiting for WWE's TLC Match on pay-per-view. When I tried to watch TV, there was something wrong with the cable. It seems that there is something wrong with the cable company that made all cable channels out of reach. I patiently waited but to no avail. I went upstairs to read Sunday's paper and prepared myself since we will be meeting my mom by lunch at Harrison Plaza. After taking a bath and getting dressed, the cable came up again and I was able to watch TLC though I was able to watch only 2 matches. At 12:00pm, my wife and I went to Harrison Plaza hoping we could take a cab but we were unable to get one (since its Christmas Season already). Instead, we took the usual Bus-Jeep route going there and thank God, it wasn't traffic and we got there in less than an hour (much faster if we didn't wait for a cab for 30 minutes). Then my mom gave my wife some shopping money probably as a gift for us and she (my mom) went back to the office as she told us that she was swamped with work. Both of us decided to go to Robinson's Place Manila to have our lunch there and do some shopping.Then we went to BDO in SM Manila to deposit some money and have my wife's last name changed to mine. That took us a while since there were several process to complete. After we got home, I went upstairs and fall asleep. That was the 2nd time it happened.
Tuesday: I got up at around 3:00am (probably between 12:30am to 2:00am) since I slept early. I went downstairs and went online for a couple of hours before waking my wife up since we need to go to the hospital for her check-up plus some laboratory tests for her. Going there was quite ok since we didn't encounter any traffic at all. When we got to the hospital, the doctor wasn't there yet so we waited for a while. Her (the doctor's) secretary told us to go down first so my wife could take some tests needed. After an hour, the doctor hasn't arrived yet so we grabbed something to eat since we haven't had our lunch yet. After having our late lunch, we went back up and her doctor was already there. Good thing the doctor told her how remarkable her (my wife) pregnancy was. After her check-up, we went to Robinson's Galeria to spend some more time. My wife saw this sale from Celine and grabbed those sandals that she wanted. Though there were times that it was a little close to frustrating when it comes to looking for her shoes since my wife's feet is smaller (size 5) than any average woman has. Then we went to the new Starbucks at the Veranda to check if the place is cozy enough. And it is. We stayed there for a while as I got my 2011 Staubucks Planner after purchasing my last 2 drinks plus her usual Banoffee Pie. After coffee, we went to Watsons to buy some toiletries for her mom (my mom-in-law) before finally going home. At that point, I feel really sleepy again and once we got home, I lay down on our bed and fall asleep early for the third time. XD

Wednesday: Got up again at 3:15am (the 3rd time in a week) and went online downstairs until probably 9:00am. Then before watching Inception, I watched another tv show about "The Prince of Poker" on CI. It was an interesting real life story of a reporter-slash-amateur poker player and how he shocked the worked when he was qualified for the World Poker Tournament. He didn't win eventually but a lot of people admired him (me included) and the rest was history. Then I watched Inception on DVD. It was longer than expected but still it was a very great movie that made me think up to the very end. After that long movie, I prepared myself to get some sleep for atleast 5 hours and got up at around 6:45pm. I prepared early but my wife told me about the results of her CBC the previous day. I was a bit alarmed and bought the medicines needed right away. I left home early so I would be able to adjust commuting earlier for the next two weeks (due to holidays). I got a bit uncomfortable with my wear beneath probably since its brand new. I got in the office just in time after passing through CBTL again for another serving of their ice-blended drinks XD. So far so good.

Thursday: I got a call at around 1:30am and I was able to fix his problem in a jiffy. The rest of my shift was a little bit boring so I've just browsed to my heart's content for the meantime XD. Though we weren't that busy, I left the office at almost 8:00am since we had a debate on our schedule for January. I took the MTR-LRT2 route and passed by a carinderia before finally heading home. I was supposed to take a few minutes rest before taking a shower but I got asleep, probably because I got too tired doing nothing. XD. I got up at around 6:30pm and made sure I prepared myself early to anticipate possible traffic. I left home at 8:15pm and got in the office after an hour that gave me enough time to play Mafia Wars XD. Before 12am, I went out and went to CBTL (The Coffee Bean and Teal Leaf) at Greenbelt 3 to buy something and get some double stamps for my planner. I was surprised that one of the supervisor said that the double promo stamp is not yet available while it was posted in facebook that the promo starts at 12:00am. He said "Technically, its not yet the 24th since the store was opened since this morning (23rd). The promo will start during the opening of the the store on the 24th." I didn't argue since the line was quite long. Instead of getting three frozen swirls, I just got one. Good thing I saw Sheree (Former Viva Hot Babe) there to cool me down. She doesn't look as young as she was before. 

Friday: I got back to the office at around 12:30am and people from the US told us that they will be transferring the phone to us since they will be celebrating the holidays there. Good thing I was able to do some personal stuff and I got a single call at around 4:00am. It was an unusual call since the caller cannot provide me with the credentials that we need to assist him further. We left the office early and I took the MRT-LRT2 route. I passed by CBTL at Gateway to get some frozen swirl but to my surprise, they don't serve it. The barista told me that they don't serve it yet there but they have plans soon. I just ordered a pure vanilla ice-blended and a slice of guiltless chocolate cake before going home. My wife was awake when I got home and I went to bed at 10:00am. I got up at 5:30pm and made sure I'd be able to prepare early so I won't encounter any hassle going to the office. Travelling to the office wasn't much of a hassle 

Saturday: Well its Christmas alright. I'm all alone here in the office. So far, so good. Good thing I didn't a bit emotional on being alone here in the office instead of spending the holidays with my loved ones.I got an email from our Helpdesk Manager and I was able to respond to it despite my PC having a mind on its own. After my shift, I went to CBTL in Salcedo to relax and made sure to have my coupon stamped. Going there didn't pose much problem to me since I have a map on where it is actually located. Well the place was cozy enough that I could get some sleep there if I wanted to. I was able to help myself with two frozen swirls which translates to four stamps on my planner coupon. After almost an hour, I went home looking for a cab but I wasn't able to get one and instead, took the jeep and the LRT. I got home within an hour and my wife was still sleeping. I wake my wife up so we could have breakfast together. I was able to doze off at around 10:00am and got up at 5:30pm. Still feeling sleepy, I had to get myself ready for my shift. I left home at around 8:00pm and commute via LRT2-MRT. I was looking for the latest issue of UNO but I wasn't able to find one. I continued until I got to CBTL in Greenbelt 3 to get another ice-blended frap for me XD. I got in the office early which allowed me to relax for a while.And I thought I would relax he entire shift until I got my first call at 10:20pm. It was for a Site Outage in the AMER region which kept me busy for the next 2 hours.

I think this would probably be my longest personal entry I made here so far. XD

Saturday, December 25

Noche Buena in the morning?

Why not?!? XD

Its past 6:00am and I have only a few minutes to go before my shift ends. I know our noche buena at home in Manila consists of simple food, I'm still looking forward to eat together with my wife and by Sunday, we could have a taste of my folk's noche buena at San Pedro after my shift tonight.

And I'm quite hungry as of this writing. XD

Again, Merry Christmas to you and your family. ^_^

The real meaning of Christmas

As most kids look forward to Santa Claus giving gifts to each and every good girl and boy (Santa, Ive been good too you know XD), let's not forget why we celebrate it every 25th of December.

Baby Jesus Christ

Its His birthday today. XD

Happy Birthday Papa Jesus Christ.

Friday, December 24

Working on a Christmas Eve

Some people would be upset or sad if their boss would have them report on December 24 especially if their shift starts a few hours before Christmas. What more if they would be reporting on Christmas eve ALONE?!?

This would be my case. It would be the first time I'll be reporting on a Christmas eve and my shift starts from 10:00pm to 7:00am the following day. Plus, I'll be working here all by myself tonight and tomorrow night. But I'm not complaining because I wanted to experience how it feels to work on a holidays while everyone else is enjoying. Plus aside from the extra pay that I'll be getting, I got a 150-peso meal allowance for reporting to work on that day so I don't mind working tonight for now. XD

Thursday, December 23

The New Generation Peso Bills

Looked like play money to me. XD

I was supposed to write down something about it but unfortunately I didn't because I got preoccupied with a lot of things. XD

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has launched the New Generation designs of Philippine banknotes including the new 500 peso bill with both Ninoy and Cory.

Anyway, here are the pictures of our new bills. The old bills can still be used for the next three years or so.

The 20-Peso Bill Face-Up

The 20-Peso Bill Face-Down

The 50-Peso Bill Face-Up

The 50-Peso Bill Face-Down

The 100-Peso Bill Face-Up

The 100-Peso Bill Face-Down

The 200 Peso-Bill Face-Up

The 200-Peso Bill Face-Down

The 500-Peso Bill Face-Up

The 500-Peso Bill Face Down

The 1000-Peso Bill Face-Up

The 1000-Peso Bill Face-Down

BSP's statement on people's criticism about the newly released banknotes can be found here

Until I haven't got a piece of that crispy money, my impression would still be the same (looks like play money XD).

Wednesday, December 22

Sleeping too early

During my recent rest days, I've been hitting the sack way too early. Instead of sleeping at around 10 or 11pm, I'm getting sleepy 4 hours early than expected making me getting up at around 3:00am.

I know that's not good since I need the night rest as much as I can and I'm not getting any at all. Probably, I'll try to stay awake for the season and go to be between 10 and 11pm. XD.

I have to check some email and work related stuff now. XD

My Updated Lakbayan Score

I first posted my score here and somewhat my score improved a little XD. I don't want to wait for five years to update it but I'll try to update it atleast every 6-12 months.

My Lakbayan grade is C-!
How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!
Created by Eugene Villar.

Now, its time to plan some traveling activities again. XD

My Starbucks Planner 2011 (Planner Number 5)

Yesterday, after we went to The Medical City for my wife's check-up, we went to Robinson's Galeria to check on their new Starbucks at The Veranda. The place was quite nice and spacious inside unlike the one on the 4th floor near movie world. Once we got in, the atmosphere got homey all of a sudden. Its like our home in San Pedro particularly my room.

We ordered our usual drinks (A tall Strawberries and Cream Frap for my wife and A grande Cappuccino for me) and  her favorite Banoffee Pie. The Barista congratulated me and asked if I wanted to exchange my sticker card with their planner. I told her I'll be doing that in a couple of minutes since I'll be taking pictures of it together with my order as a souvenir.

I didn't waste much time and I tried my best to take pictures of the completed stub first. My wife doesn't like the idea of me taking pictures using flash because she thinks its annoying and others might get disturbed as well. I did my best using the available light and the lens that I had. Unfortunately, I should have brought the 50mm with me for low-light situations.

After taking pictures of the completed stub, I have it exchanged for my 2011 planner. That would be my 5th planner since the  2007 planner and I chose the wood-type since I don't like the color of the velvet one. Again, I took some pictures of the planner itself using available light and lens. I made sure my unwilling model (my wife) would be in the pictures as souvenir.

By the way, when you redeem your Starbucks 2011 Planner, Starbucks donates to Spark Hope which is their flagship program for early childhood care and development in partnership with UNICEF. This means you get to help too without you noticing XD. So to those critics who say hanging out here and drinking expensive coffee is a way to waste time and money, you got it all wrong =P.

Anyways, pictures to follow again. XD

Tuesday, December 21

Some Christmas Shopping

As what I have wrote previously, my wife and I were able to do some Christmas shopping yesterday. After my mom handed my wife some extra money, my wife smiled at me thinking it was time to do some Christmas shopping for the both of us. Looking back, even if I won't be able to give myself something this Christmas, as long my wife is happy, I'm happy.

After boarding the jeep back, we decided to visit Robinson's Place in Manila to have our lunch there and at the same time, do some little shopping. My wife was looking for some maternity clothes while I was just accompanying her, and get contented with windows shopping XD.

While she was looking for her clothes, I stumbled upon an underwear sale by Jockey. Its a buy 3 take 1 offer so I had to check it out first. I was surprised how much my favorite boxers cost. I was just less than 200 pesos so I had to grab that sale since my undies are getting old and torn already. She wasn't surprised of my decision to get those since she bugged me before to get a new set of boxers to replace the old ones. XD

When we got hungry, we went to UCC to have our lunch there. One reason why I wanted to go there is because of the planner I saw from the Philippine Daily Inquirer last Sunday (Still thinking if I have to log about it). After our long lunch, we (or should I say my wife XD ) continued our shopping of gifts for her friends and for her Doctor as well.

I have to thank my mom for making my wife happy and able to buy the things she needs for the season. ^_^

I want to be a Certified Ethical Haker! XD

Before raising your eyebrows and get scared, read the entire post. XD

While I was blog-hopping yesterday morning, I stumbled upon an article on Ethical Hacking. I was thinking at first why promote hacking in cyberspace? It is kinda bad when one thinks of stealing someone's data from an email or a social site. I got curious all of a sudden why people wanted to be hackers of an ethical kind.

I checked on this link out of curiosity and got me hooked for a couple of minutes to see how it works. Right now I'm still reading some of the information on what CEH (Certified Ethical Hacking) does, and how it affects each and everyone of us in a different way. 

In an nutshell, computers around the world are systematically being victimized by rampant hacking. This hacking is not only widespread, but is being executed so flawlessly that the attackers compromise a system, steal everything of value and completely erase their tracks within 20 minutes.

The goal of the CEH and
penetration testing is to create a certified ethical hacker to help the organization take preemptive measures against malicious attacks by attacking the system himself; all the while staying within legal limits. (Penetration Testing.) This philosophy stems from the proven practice of trying to catch a thief, by thinking like a thief. As Information technology advances and organizations increasingly depend on technology, information assets have evolved into critical components of survival.

Computers around the world are systematically being victimized by rampant hacking. This hacking is not only widespread, but is being executed so flawlessly that the attackers compromise a system, steal everything of value and completely erase their tracks within 20 minutes.

Here is a video of an overview on Certified Ethical Hacking by Wayne Burke (I had to check if I got his name correctly). 

I think I need to save some money for this to add this on my resume pretty soon. XD

Monday, December 20

Should I renew my Passport?

Since July 2010, my passport has already expired, UNTOUCHED. Which means I haven't used it ever not even once since I got it on July 2005. It was just a part of my cabinet for five years until my wife asked me to have it renewed.

I was planning to renew it since September of this year but unfortunately, I haven't done it yet since I don't have the time and energy to do so (I work at night btw =P).

Probably, I'll start to make arrangements next year though so that it would be a busy 2011 for me. XD

You could check out their website at at on how to apply/renew for a passport. But I have to warn you that applying or renewing for a passport needs a lot patience here. And don't forget to bring all necessary documents if you don't want to go back and forth there. XD

Sunday, December 19

One week before Christmas

Its only seven (or six) more days before Christmas. Most people would probably be finished with their Christmas shopping. Some are still doing theirs while others haven't. I won't be doing any Christmas shopping this year for the 2nd straight year. Why? Because I DON'T have a 13th month pay as well as bonuses unlike most of my friends that are working with their respective companies.

This is one downside of working as an independent contractor (or working as an IT consultant). My paycheck every end of the month can meet the basic standards of a married man with at least a kid (mine will come within the next few months) but it would only be enough for all of our needs. Other that that, I had to get a sideline probably to sustain some of the luxuries I wanted in life.

But hey, I'm not complaining here since I'm starting to enjoy the simple thing in life it has to offer. Perhaps I'd go on overtime every now and then to get some extra. Or work on holidays to get that extra holiday pay for me to get a CPL and ND8 filter soon. XD

The week that was (Dec 12 - 18)

Sunday: My eyes were very sleepy and I took some quick naps without me knowing it. I got another call with the same problem though it took me a while before resolving it. What keeps me awake at night is doing some blog reading of famous bloggers. Well working on a Saturday night isn't that bad sometimes. Just make sure you don't have any plans on going out on a Saturday night or you could still go to your Saturday afternoon gimmicks, just make sure you report to the office at night XD.

Monday: Got up a bit early since I need to go online for a few minutes before doing my laundry. After that, I went to the office not to work but to claim my 1000-peso prize. I took a different route to get to the office. I even passed by Heaven and Eggs at Glorietta to have a buffet breakfast but I assumed that their set-up wasn't ready yet so I went straight ahead to the office. But the person I was supposed to talk to won't be available until 9:00am. I just chilled and went online from the office. Good thing the person I wanted to meet got there early so I was able to receive my 1000-peso cash prize and went back to Heaven and Eggs for breakfast. The ambiance there was quite OK (though I was hoping to eat there seeing the old set-up) but the food choices were quite limited. I just had to make sure to get as much coffee and omelet as I can before going back home. I bought some stuff along the way before finally getting home at around 1:30pm. Then I just spend the rest of the day at home reading the magazines that I've bought as well as going online for a few hours in the afternoon before hitting the bed at 10:30pm.

Tuesday: I got up at around 4:00am and went online to make myself feel sleepy. I signed-off at 10:00am since my wife will be using the laptop in the afternoon. Slept at around 2:00pm and I was able to get up at 7:00pm. Good thing I got to the office at 10:03pm and began my work.

Wednesday: Work was quite steady as I was able to do some stuff online before going home. I made sure to get home early since I will be accompanying my wife to her Christmas Party that night. I think I was able to get a good sleep for 6 hours before preparing ourselves for that night. We took a cab going to Shakey's at Tomas Morato. We were the first ones to be there. I forgot to get some money for our expenses so I looked for an ATM machine to get some.When I got back, I felt hungry but the food from Shakey's wasn't served yet. So I wen't out again to check out Johnny Rocket's Burger just across the street. The ambiance was good but the food isn't as well as the price. For 355 pesos, I could have got 3 Champs from Jollibee instead of the #12 that I ordered which according to the menu was the spiciest burger. Good thing, I got enough room for a few more bites at Shakey's before taking some pictures of the party itself. I was surprised that my camera's battery emptied out on me in less than an hour, but fortunately, I was able to take a few decent shots by then. I didn't notice the time that it was almost midnight. My officemate called me asking if I will still report to the office which I confirmed that I'll be coming. My wife and I took a cab and head home first for me to change bags and make sure my wife is safe and sound.

Thursday: After taking my wife home from the Christmas Party, I changed my bags and went straight to the office. I took a cab so I would be able to get there in the shortest time possible. I passed by CBTL again to get my frap before logging-in at 1:00am. I was surprised that we got a lot of calls including me while I'm even setting-up my tools but we were able to manage on our own here. After shift, I took the MRT-LRT2 route to have a different view of the scenery. I even passed by some food stalls at LRT Legarda Station to have my breakfast there. I got home at around 9:30am and probably slept by 10:00am. I got up at exactly 6:30pm and went outside to check if we already have our salary. I was quite surprised to check that my paycheck was quite small compared to what I get for the past few months since I started working at night. Anyway, I head for work via LRT2-MRT route and passed by CBTL again but there were more people when I got to CBTL that why I got late again for more than 30 minutes. XD

Friday: Work was quite ok during the shift. By 3:00am, we went out to have lunch at Army and Navy at Solaris Bldg and enjoyed my Burger and Burrito lunch. I left the office at around 9:30am after finishing a long windows update from a user at the west coast. But instead of going home, I went to Robinson's Galeria to settle our internet bills. Probably I got there at past 10:00am and settled the bill. Then I took a quick snack at the food court to keep me awake. I got home probably at 12:30pm. By that time, my body got really heavy as I able to fall asleep in less than 5 minutes. That sleep was probably deep I didn't even notice my wife changing her clothes in our room (I usually feel something if someone opens the door or someone is near me). At 8:45pm, I left home for office. I took a cab to avoid getting late for the 3rd time this week. Good thing the driver knew a better route and I was even able to stop by at CBTL to get my frap XD. I got in the office just in time for my shift. so far, so good XD.And even my colleague gave me a burger from Brother's Burger as my snack.Probably a Christmas gift for me from him. XD.

Saturday: Got two calls while our US counterparts are on lunch. Actually, it became three since the other was an outage. Good thing I was able to do some blog-hopping before my shift ends. I was craving for Manang's fried chicken for breakfast but unfortunately, they're closed probably for the Christmas season as most students from Intramuros were on break as well. I got home at past 9:00am after having my breakfast at an eatery nearby plus I bought pandesal for my wife and in-laws as well. When I got home, I was surprised that my wife was already awake. not only that, our wedding portrait and papal certificate were already hanged on our living room to my delight. I thought it would be collecting more dust in the storage room. After having another round of breakfast at home, I was supposed to go to sleep early until my wife wanted to watch tv. The show was entertaining that my wife fell asleep (she got up at 4:30am). At 11:30am, I went to bed for my sleep. I got up at 7:30pm to get ready for my shift. Instead of taking a cab for the third time, I gambled and took the usual route via bus and got here 2 minutes before my shift starts. So far so good. XD

Saturday, December 18

What Websites Do I Visit?

Almost everyday I go online looking for information, catching up with friends, and most importantly, get myself amused. But what websites do I visit often these past few days (or weeks/months)? How many website do I visit? Here's the list 25 websites I usually visit and why I visit them. XD.

1. Facebook: I've been addicted to it since late 2008. At first, I thought its just like friendster with games. But its way totally different from its competition. Though I've been registered since late 2007, it the game Mob Wars that got me hooked into this game. Then, after Mob Wars came Mafia Wars as well as hundreds of other games that I'm still hooked-up to until now. I consider this as my 2nd life. XD

2. Manila Tonight: A member since 2006 but I got more active in 2007. This website caters to various types of people especially those in need of carnal satisfaction (if you know what I mean). But its not all sex here. The topics posted here are very interesting and it has a lot of groups you can join that suits your interest.I usually visit my own thread as well as threads for photography, food, gadgets and my fellow group mates with same interests.


3. FHM Phils: This is the first forum I've been very active with. As far as I know, I signed up here last 2003 but became more active three years later. I've gained so many friends here online and IRL (in real life).This is where I get the latest updates on who is the next covergirl or when will be the next autograph signing.

4. Yahoo Mail: I had this email since 2001. I used to have my email address as but I registered for a new one after I passed the board exam.It used to have a mailbox limit of 4MB but it changed to unlimited mailbox storage which means I only have to keep 1 Yahoo Mail account instead of 4. And I created sub-folders in my email so I know where to read where.

5. Digital Photography School: Since I've started photography as a hobby in 2008, I began looking for good websites to enhance my skills. This is one good website to visit. 

6. HP Learning Center: I've been a registered online student since 2003 and up to now, I get information from this site.

7. Jobstreet Philippines: My first jobsite I registered to.Though I must say its won't guarantee you a job 100%, you could still look for job opportunities here as well as job hunting and career tips.

8. Jobsdb Philippines: This would be the second jobsite I registered after jobstreet. Though I haven't landed a job using this search portal, 

9. Weddings at Work: This is where bride-to-be (and groom-to-be) visit. It contains a lot of useful information as well as promos like free or discounted service from top wedding suppliers here in the Philippines. Their forum is also filled with lots of customer feedbacks from their wedding suppliers both good and bad. And one of the best thing is about this forum is that they really help each other out as well as comfort you if you feel upset on something. 

10. My Wedding: This website is intended for soon-to-be couples. Almost similar to multiply, it allows you to post pictures, blogs and music. What makes it different is most topics here are wedding related and most of the time, women are the ones who maintain and update this site.

11. Multiply: This is where I keep my collection of pictures as well as my old blogs. Its like having an online album with me anywhere I go. Though some of my friends' accounts were hacked, thank God mine is still intact.

12. WWE: Being a fan since the late 80's, I really love watching those special moves from my list of favorite wrestlers from Hulk Hogan to Steve Austin to John Cena.

13. Cisco Learning Network: Another new website for me. Right now, I visit this more often to keep me updated with the latest in Cisco as well as to refresh my memory since the last time I was really focused on Cisco was in December of 2008.

15. I totally forgot when was the first time I signed-up for this. So far, this site responds the fastest when it comes to my job applications and interviews were scheduled as soon as the next day.

Well that's all for now. I have to visit some more to see if I could learn a thing or two. Stay tuned for Part 2. XD


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