Saturday, December 31

The week that was (December 25 - 31)

Sunday: We got up at almost 7:00am as Migmig was already up and awake. Since my daughter isn’t feeling that well, we just stayed inside while most of the people were still sleeping. We got back up at almost 8:00am and I was able to put her to sleep. We slept for the rest of the morning and got up at around 10:00am. Then I got myself ready for my first day of work which happens to fall on a Christmas Day. I took a quick stop at Fully Booked to buy Sunday’s paper. I also got my milk tea fix from Chatime at Gateway before taking the next MRT ride to the office. Unfortunately, I’ll be working alone for the day but I didn’t mind. Still, with no internet in the office I just listened to some music and watched some movies to keep me company. I also tried to try to use our iPad2 here which was connected to the internet for a few minutes before its connection was gone. I got a single call for my shift before my fellow colleague from the night shift came. I got to watch Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon before I finally call it a day. I was supposed to pass by CBTL at Ayala Triangle Gardens but it was already closed. With no choice, I just went home and be with my wife and daughter. I went online for another hour before finally going to bed.

Monday: Got up at almost 8:00am as I took Migmig out for some fun in the sun. I had breakfast at Jollibee while my mother-in-law took care of her for a few minutes. Then I was able to put her to sleep before going online for a few minutes. By 10:30am, we went to the grocery (me and Migmig) to buy some shampoo for me. Then, while I am waiting for my LRT ride, there was fire near our place that probably took some houses there. I had lunch at World Chicken and took a sip at Chatime before going to work. I just got a minute late and relaxed a little before started working. Again, I’m working all by myself but I don’t mind as most of the users were still on a holiday. I had some Jollibee for dinner while watching some movies and working on some tickets at the same time. After my shift, I head straight to CBTL at ATG to chill-out and claim my 4th planner for 2012 (I’ll write a blog about it). When I got home, my wife was already sleeping but the laptop was still on. I just told her to get some rest while going online for a few more minutes before going to sleep. As I was about to go to sleep, Migmig was already sitting-up clapping her hands while her mom was in deep sleep. Well, I got to spend some more time with her before both of us could finally fall asleep.

Tuesday: Got up at past 8:30am before taking Migmig out again. I even got to go online for 15 minutes and have breakfast at Mc Donalds before going back. Then me and my wife packed some thing for tomorrow’s trip to Batangas City as she has to attend her friend’s wedding. She cried all of a sudden which means its feeding time for her again. By 11:30am, I am off to work but I had to do some errands at SM Makati before logging-in at 1:30pm. By 2:30pm, I went out to have my late lunch at World Chicken. I couldn’t help it but notice for the past 2 days, I’ve been having toothache after having lunch with them and I couldn’t recall having toothache eating someplace else. I bought a cooling fan for our laptop as the old one already worn-out. Still with no internet in the office, I worked on some tickets and got them fixed or escalated at the most. By dinner, I grabbed some at PBCo and enjoyed it from my desk. I just watched some movies again before calling it a night and head-off to my 6-day year-end vacation XD. I took a taxi cab so I could go home early and spend the rest of my time with my family while my wife was still awake.

Wednesday: Got up at around 7:00am as we need to prepare to go to Batangas City to attend the wedding of my wife’s friend. Me, my wife and my baby together with her relatives and friends, we waited at Wendy’s in Nagtahan as an L300 picked us up and head-off to Batangas City. We stopped by at Sto NiƱo de Cebu at Southwoods as we waited for others to join us. We were really jam-packed inside the van but it was well worth the ride. It was my first time to reach Batangas City using Star Toll way. I also got to see Calamba from a new highway which I forgot to ask what road we passed by XD. By 2:30pm, we were already at Pontefino Hotel. After settling our reservation, we head to our room and made ourselves comfortable. Our room was just enough for the eight of us. Yes, eight of us for a room that was supposed to be for two people only XD. As the others have left for lunch at the groom’s home in Batangas City, my wife and I stayed and took care of Migmig. She cried out loud as she’s not familiar with the bed she’s at. Thank God they came back with some food so it was our turn to have lunch. I went to SM City in Batangas City to buy some extra snacks in case we got hungry and some extra refreshments. Then my wife was quite busy with her preparations for the wedding (she was the matron of honor) I got to take a quick tour of Pontefino Hotel which is not bad. Me and Migmig were the ones left at our room as most of them went to the church to attend the wedding. I told them I’ll be staying as I have to watch Migmig sleep. But after a few minutes, she got up and cried again. We went out for my baby to have a change of scenery. Since it was quite early, we decided to take a ride going to the church where the wedding was held. Good thing we went there as my sister-in-law was having problems using our digicam, So I grabbed the camera and have Migmig under my mother-in-law’s hands. If only I got my DSLR with me, I could have gotten better pictures of the ceremony. But using our old digicam, I got some decent shots that probably the paid photographers couldn’t have gotten. I took most of the pictures from the top as they were mostly in front of the altar and I don’t see anyone of them taking candid shots so I tried to do some candids. I noticed that the wedding ceremony was quite different from our wedding. Then during the portrait sessions, I took some portraits as well. I took some pictures of my wife and baby at the church before we head-off back to our hotel room. We immediately fed Migmig as she’s already hungry and crying before proceeding with the reception. Again, if only my DSLR was with me, that could have been equivalent to better pictures XD. I kinda noticed that the flow of the program was kinda jumbled compare to our wedding and the previous wedding I’ve attended. Food was quite ok but it could have been much better. After the party, we went back to the room to relax before finally going to bed.

Thursday: I got up at 4:45am after sleeping at around 1:00am or so. Its probably the bedding that got me awake so early plus I wanted to take pictures of the hotel early without much people disturbing me. If only my DSLR was still fixed, I could have gotten better but our 4 year-old digicam wasn’t so bad. But I have to convince my wife that DSLR takes better pictures than our old digicam XD. Then the others woke up one by one as the sun rises up before me and my wife had breakfast at their restaurant. I was a bit disappointed that the buffet spread was limited to just a few choices. Then we had our photo-ops at within the vicinity of the hotel before I went back upstairs to get some sleep. Migmig slept with me while my wife and her sisters (and her friends) take a dip by the pool. By 10:30am, we were getting ready to check-out as almost all of us got hungry. After we checked-out, we took some more pictures before heading off to SM City in Batangas City to have lunch there. I chose Bigg’s Diner to have our lunch there as I checked the place the day before and from the blogs that I saw, the food tastes good and the price is really affordable (I’ll right a blog about this pretty soon). After lunch, it’s a long journey for us back home. It took us two rides before reaching the bus going straight to Manila. By 4:30pm, were back home and rested for a while. While watching TV, I fell asleep and got up after an hour, I joined Migmig upstairs only to got up a few minutes later as Migmig got up and cried aloud. We spent some quality time before we went back up to get some sleep. My wife followed after.

Friday: Got up early as I got to take Migmig out for some fun in the sun. I went online for a couple of minutes before getting Migmig back from her uncle. Then I told my wife to get ready as we will be having lunch at Di Mark’s along Taft Avenue near Vito Cruz. By 11:30am, we took the bus going there and spent the next hour or two there before going back home. We took a cab going home as all three of us felt sleepy. Probably we got at least two to three hours of sleep before we spend the afternoon. It was quite a lazy one for us as I wasn’t able to get out and take pictures. By night time, I slept early as I am the one incharge of putting Migmig to sleep.

Saturday: Got up early again and took Migmig out for the last time in 2011. Then I got out to SM Manila to buy some extra food for our baby as were running out of stock. I had my breakfast at Tokyo2 before buying some of the magazines that I need XD. When I got back, I just took care of Migmig and we got asleep for a couple of hours. Then I went out again to look for Migmig’s food as my wife was having tantrums on exactly what to feed to Migmig. Thank God I got some just before the entire store within Manila closes for the New Year. Then I went online for a couple of hours before celebrating the New Year. 

The week that was (December 18 - 24)

Sunday: Got up early to take Migmig out for some fun in the sun. By 9:30am, I had to leave early to go to Mercato Centrale to claim my planner. It took me a while as I had to stop by at Chatime since they have a promo until Christmas Day. Once I got to Mercato Centrale, I looked for the Human Nature booth. At first, I felt disappointed as I am having a hard time looking for them but after a while, I was able to locate where they are. One of the staff handed to me the Our Awesome Planner 2012 together with a free T-Shirt though I told them that medium sized ones doesn't fit me at all. I had lunch there before taking a cab going to the office.     We thought our colleague from the night shift won't be able to report for work but it happened to be that he just got late and arrived at 12:30am. Once he's settled, I took a cab going home because I'm really sleepy.

Monday: Got up early though I still feel very sleepy. After taking Migmig out, I put her back to sleep before watching WWE's TLC Match. Even if I left a little bit late and had lunch first, I still had enough time to spare before my shift started.Work was quite ok as we got some tickets to handle. However, we don't have internet in the office for some reason even if my colleagues did their best effort to have it resolved. We tried escalating it but to no avail. By 11:00pm, I logged-off and head home

Tuesday: Same routine in the morning before going back upstairs and put my baby to sleep. I was able to get some good sleep for about two hours before I got ready for work. Same with work, I got to get some tickets despite having no internet connection since Monday now. It happens to be that our company had some outstanding balance with their provider hence our connection got disconnected.

Wednesday: No internet in the office, no problem XD. There were plenty of downloaded movies for me to watch and I got to do other things that I haven't done when I'm online. My entire routine is pretty much the same for the entire day though.

Thursday: I really wanted to get some sleep after taking Migmig out but I wasn't able to do it as she doesn't want to get some sleep either XD. I just got myself ready for work instead. Since my other colleague won't be able to report for work, I've got the entire shift under my shoulders. I passed by Chatime at Gateway for a buy one take one on their pearl milk tea. Luckily, work wasn't that heavy as a few emails came by. Anyway, thank God, our paycheck was given in advance so I could do some shopping of my own for the holidays. For dinner, I went out to have some T-Bone Steak for dinner and bought some coffee for my colleagues as my way of saying thanks for their support (and I needed those stickers for my final planner). I just waited for the time to tick-off before logging-off and spend the holidays with my family.

Friday: Got up at 6:45am as Migmig was already up and awake but she's throwing some tantrums. It appears to be that she could have a slight fever so we feed her with her milk while her mom puts her to sleep again. I went online early to check on some of my things as we didn't have internet in the office for the past 4 days (WTF!) before returning back home. Then I helped my wife in taking care of Migmig until past 1:30pm before I went to SM Megamall to do some shopping of my own. Traffic was really horrible as I got there at almost 3:00pm. I had my late lunch at Rack's after trying this new drink from Happy Lemon which was really good. Then it was pants hunting for me. I picked black because I haven't got a pair of black pants for a long time. But it was really challenging to find a perfect fit for me as my size went up by at least 2 XD.While my 2 pairs of pants were being altered, I got myself a new planner. Its a different one and probably more informative than the ones I currently have (I'll blog about this pretty soon). And instead of starting my collection of photography books next month, I bought one by Tom Ang. It's a step-by-step guide which I wanted to check and get some inspiration with. Once I got all the items I need, I took an fx ride going home. My wife and baby was waiting for me already and I got to spend more time with them before going to sleep.

Saturday: Got up around early again to take Migmig out for a few minutes. Then I went out to claim Migmig's gift from Max's that turns out to be a whole fried chicken and tried buying cake there. But I had no luck at S Manila, so I head home, drop-off some things and I went to SM Centerpoint. I got the cake I needed until when I was about to go down the bus, the door suddenly shut down, leaving my cake smashed. I was so mad that I almost hit the driver in the head. Then I head to Goldilocks in Espana to get my cake there. Thank God there were several choices there and I got one that is right for Migmig. Then, I got to relax and enjoy the rest of the day as we waited for the clock to strike midnight celebrating the birthday of our savior. It would be also the first time Migmig will be celebrating Christmas with us so that makes it more special to us =)

Sorry for the late post as our office internet got really SCREWED-UP. XD.

Happy New Year Everyone! ^_^

Sunday, December 25

A look into the Starbuck’s 2012 Planner (a look into the 1st of 5 planner)

This is the first (of 5 planners) 2012 that I had recently acquired for next year. I’ve been seeing some reviews about it from popular bloggers and most of the reviews that I saw were nothing but praises about them. For me, it’s a bit of a mix of good and disappointing things I saw after feeling its pages. Even when I was starting collecting 17 stickers, I had mixed reactions about the planner (to be told further). 

I got this planner the night after I attended the Ultimate Taste Test 7.0. Having it was really unplanned as I had already planned it to get this on the 30th on November. But somehow, my foot dragged me to Starbucks at 32nd Ave just a few steps from Mercato Centrale. 

I choose the Cherry cover since its between the lightest shade (Poplar) and the darkest shade (Oak ). They only differ in color and wood finishing for their cover. These planners are assured to be earth-friendly through these three x-factors


a. Ethical Sourcing: This ensures proper forest management
b. Environmental Stewardship: All of the inner pages are made from 70% recycled material, which means more trees were spared from being cut.
c. Community Involvement: For each planner claimed, part of the proceeds go to SparkHope, Starbucks Philippines' flagship program for early childhood care and development in partnership with Unicef. 

One thing I don’t like about this planner is that it’s compact. Compact that I could only write a few words in it as it’s small. Compared with the 2011 planner, this planner has lesser space which looked like more of an organizer to me which I had a couple of years back. 

Though the one thing I like about it is the pouch included with the planner. Aside from it fits my planner; it can also fit at least two mobile phones and some paper documents as well.It also has a bookmark though I'd still prefer the string-typed ones attached to the planner 

Over-all, this small planner would go a long long way especially to people on the go and those who prefer light planners. As for me, I’d take this as my 6th Starbuck’s planner and I’m looking forward to the 2013 Planner next year XD.

Sunday, December 18

A Review on the Awesome Planner 2012 (Food and Travel Guide)

This would be my 2nd of 5 planners that I'll be having for 2012 as I still remember my first Awesome Planner I got for 2011

The curiosity in me got interested again in getting this planner so I made some reservations before claiming this planner and it also comes with a free shirt (that my wife uses).

This one is different from last year's as it shows more travel destination where you can go to and either relax or eat some. Every month, this planner shows some suggestions on where to go, where to stay and where to eat. From up north in Luzon to down south Mindanao, this planner has recommendations, I'm sure you'd love to visit soon. It also has a directory of Anton's 100 restaurants that he would personally recommend.

Taking a look at the Planner physically, it uses the spring-type of binding the pages instead of a planner's usual book-bind.For me, its kinda risky and I still prefer the book-type.

Over-all, this planner is recommended for travel bugs and foodies who seek new places to discover and explore. I hope I could take my family out pretty soon.

The week that was (December 11 - 17)

Sunday: Got up at around 8:00am as I took my baby girl out again. Then I bought Sunday's paper and helped my wife took care of our baby before I leave for work. I took my usual LRT-MRT route which I got to the office early. I went to Greenbelt 2 to buy lunch at World Chicken. When I got back in the office, my colleague was not yet there only to find out that she won't be able to report for work, leaving me all alone for our mid-shift. My wife was also away as she attended a Christmas Party, leaving our baby under her mom's care. Work was quite light as I got an email and a call while thinking of my baby while her mommy is away. After my shift, I went to CBTL in Greenbelt 3 thinking it would be quiet. As I got there, it was packed with people and it took me a while before I got my order, before taking a bus going home.

Monday: Got up at 7:45am as I had to go to my mom to hand-off some stuff and do some grocery for Migmig's baby food. When I got back home, I helped my wife in taking care of our baby while she was having breakfast. We (me and Migmig) went out to buy her vitamins as her bottle ran out of supply. By 12:15pm, I left home for work and took the LRT-MRT route. For me its more convenient as I could walk long stretches which serves as my exercise XD. I got to the office ahead of schedule and started working on some tickets. For dinner, I had fish from banapple and froyo (frozen yogurt) from CBTL late as my colleague had her lunch first. Then I spent few more minutes before logging-off and went home.

Tuesday: Got up at around 7:30am and took my daughter out for some fun in the sun. We visited some churches in our neighborhood so I could have her familiarize with some images that most Catholics pray to. After that, we went back home and put her back to sleep beside her mommy. Thank God, she was able to fall asleep so quickly. I had to leave home early to go to Canon Service Center in Paseo de Magallanes to have my camera checked. The travel took me more then an hour and a half to get there.Once I got there, the environment was really cozy and spacious. There were items for sale which were quite pricey compared when purchased online or at Hidalgo. One of the reps told me that my camera had severe damages as I need to have its shutter assembly and CMOS replaced. Initial estimate would cost about 14,000 pesos which I got surprised. He said that the CMOS had scratches and cost for replacement was around 12,000 pesos. I told them that I have to think about it whether or not to proceed with the repair or I'd pull-out my unit. After my visit with Canon, I went straight to Glorietta to have lunch there. I picked Kim n' Chi to have lunch there as I tried their beef-bulgogi omu-rice. It was really fulfilling as my stomach got really stuffed. Finally, I passed by CBTL to get something to drink. I tried their iced tea and I find it refreshing. Work was really fine as I got some tickets to take care of. Before I went home, I grabbed something to eat at KFC near our office. That day was really a stuffed day for me literally before going to sleep XD.

Wednesday: Got up at past 8:30 and took Migmig out for a walk. I was suppose to get up earlier but I felt that my body needs a few more minutes of rest. We got to spend out time outside for an hour probably, we got back and tried to put her to sleep again. Unfortunately, she didn't sleep as she wanted to play more. We decided to use her stroller and she seem to enjoy it. It would really help our baby sit on her own so both of us (me and wifey) would be hands-free in doing other things. I got to feed her hands-free since she's sitting on her stroller. Though she may find it uncomfortable at fist, I know she'll get used to it. I left home after having lunch there and took the LRT2-1 route which gave me enough time to do other things as I got early in the office. By 7:00pm, I went to food choices at Glorietta 4 to grab some dinner. I had Beef Bulgogi Omu-Rice and Sukiyaki from Kim n' Chi. It was really a fulfilling dinner as my tummy got heavy before going back to the office XD. I got to work some more email while updating some blogs and playing 8-ball online before calling it a day XD.

Thursday: Got up at around 8:00pm as I played with Migmig in our room. It turned out to be that she wanted to go out and enjoy. She cried so loud that my wife and I had a little argument about it. Eventually, we went out at 10:00am and its cloudy so we enjoyed a few minutes of daddy-baby time. Thank God for her stroller, she's getting used to it as I feed her from there and she fell asleep in minutes. She got up after almost an hour and wanted to be with her mom. I left home at almost 12:30pm and took the LRT-MRT route and make sure I stopped by CBTL to have some iced tea and make sure that my stamps for their planner would be almost complete ( I need 3 more stamps XD). I got to the office with plenty of time to spare. I got a call from Belgium which I need to escalate as well as a chat from one of our outsourced partners which needed to be escalated as well. So far so good, except for my 8-ball online which I am on a losing streak again. Work was pretty much steady as I had lunch taken-out and had it in the office before finally calling it a week. 

Friday: Got up at 7:00am as my mom called through my cellphone saying she's downstairs. She got to spend a few minutes with Migmig before she went back to work. Then we went out to her other lola for some fun in the sun while I grabbed something to drink at 7-11. Then we went back home and tried putting her to sleep while my wife was online for an hour or two. We had to make the most out of the time our baby is sleeping so we won't get delayed with her check-up. As expected, we left home again at past 11:30am and got to the hospital at almost 1:00pm. Good thing it was my baby's turn as we just spent less than 10 minutes before we head to SM Megamall. It was a hot and humid afternoon when we got there. Once we got there, we had lunch at Cajun Red Rock as I had ribs and my wife, fish. After our late lunch, we looked for some tablets that my wife wanted to buy in the future. We also checked some laptops from Neo and there was a trade-in promo that we almost wanted to get. Unfortunately they don't transfer files for trade-in so we simply have to wait for a chance to get a new laptop. We also passed by at Pixel Pro to check some camera and I was surprised that the Canon 600D (body only) was sold for 38K cash (with 3-year pasrts and service warranty) compared with CMP at 42K. My wife told me why not get the Canon 7D from dbgadgets and I told her its still expensive compared to the other one I'm eying at. At the end of the afternoon, all 3 of us got tired as we got home. I went online for the rest of the night before finally going to sleep.

Saturday: Got up at 6:30am as I dress-up a little and head home to San Pedro. Going back there was a breeze as I had a quick breakfast at Jollibee. Once I got home, I unload all of the stuff from my bag and put it under my bed which I think it needs more space underneath XD. Then I left home at almost 11:00am but I had to stop by at an internet cafe to check my facebook among other things. I took the bus going to Lawton and thank God for the traffic I was able to get some sleep XD. By 2:00pm, I am already home as my wife and baby were fast asleep. I stayed home for the rest of the afternoon and went online. But we were having some difficulty in getting a good connection though eventually, we did at our bedroom. I went to bed ahead of my wife as she went online for a few more minutes.

Thursday, December 15

Top Ten Reasons Why Large Companies Fail To Keep Their Best Talent

Its really ironic that most of the best talents the company has doesn't seem to stay there and stay put. Most of the best employees here in the Philippines seem to always look for greener pastures (I'll be joining them soon XD) plus boredom gets in the most of them.

While setting-up my work PC, I saw this from my friend's fb (facebook) wall and I couldn't help it but to take a peek. By next year, our company may lose one of their best talents LOL.

Here is a good read for those who have time to kill and for those who plan to go for greener pastures. 

Whether it’s a high-profile tech company like Yahoo!, or a more established conglomerate like GE or Home Depot, large companies have a hard time keeping their best and brightest in house. Recently, GigaOM discussed the troubles at Yahoo! with a flat stock price, vested options for some of their best people, and the apparent free flow of VC dollars luring away some of their best people to do the start-up thing again.

Yet, Yahoo!, GE, Home Depot, and other large established companies have a tremendous advantage in retaining their top talent and don’t. In our business, we see the good and the bad things that large companies do in relation to talent management. Here’s my Top Ten list of what large companies do to lose their top talent:

1. Big Company Bureaucracy. This is probably the #1 reason we hear after the fact from disenchanted employees. However, it’s usually a reason that masks the real reason. No one likes rules that make no sense. But, when top talent is complaining along these lines, it’s usually a sign that they didn’t feel as if they had a say in these rules. They were simply told to follow along and get with the program. No voice in the process and really talented people say “check please.”
2. Failing to Find a Project for the Talent that Ignites Their Passion. Big companies have many moving parts — by definition. Therefore, they usually don’t have people going around to their best and brightest asking them if they’re enjoying their current projects or if they want to work on something new that they’re really interested in which would help the company. HR people are usually too busy keeping up with other things to get into this. The bosses are also usually tapped out on time and this becomes a “nice to have” rather than “must have” conversation. However, unless you see it as a “must have,” say adios to some of your best people. Top talent isn’t driven by money and power, but by the opportunity to be a part of something huge, that will change the world, and for which they are really passionate. Big companies usually never spend the time to figure this out with those people.
3. Poor Annual Performance Reviews. You would be amazed at how many companies do not do a very effective job at annual performance reviews. Or, if they have them, they are rushed through, with a form quickly filled out and sent off to HR, and back to real work. The impression this leaves with the employee is that my boss — and, therefore, the company — isn’t really interested in my long-term future here. If you’re talented enough, why stay? This one leads into #4….
4. No Discussion around Career Development. Here’s a secret for most bosses: most employees don’t know what they’ll be doing in 5 years. In our experience, about less than 5% of people could tell you if you asked. However, everyone wants to have a discussion with you about their future. Most bosses never engage with their employees about where they want to go in their careers — even the top talent. This represents a huge opportunity for you and your organization if you do bring it up. Our best clients have separate annual discussions with their employees — apart from their annual or bi-annual performance review meetings — to discuss succession planning or career development. If your best people know that you think there’s a path for them going forward, they’ll be more likely to hang around.
5. Shifting Whims/Strategic Priorities. I applaud Yahoo!’s plans to build an incubator or “brickhouse” around their talent, by giving them new exciting projects to work on. The challenge for most organizations is not setting up a strategic priority, like establishing an incubator, but sticking with it a year or two from now. Top talent hates to be “jerked around.” If you commit to a project that they will be heading up, you’ve got to give them enough opportunity to deliver what they’ve promised.
6. Lack of Accountability and/or telling them how to do their Jobs. Although you can’t “jerk around” top talent, it’s a mistake to treat top talent leading a project as “untouchable.” We’re not saying that you need to get into anyone’s business or telling them what to do. However, top talent demands accountability from others and doesn’t mind being held accountable for their projects. Therefore, have regular touch points with your best people as they work through their projects. They’ll appreciate your insights/observations/suggestions — as long as they don’t spillover into preaching.
7. Top Talent likes other Top Talent. What are the rest of the people around your top talent like? Many organizations keep some people on the payroll that rationally shouldn’t be there. You’ll get a litany of rationales explaining why when you ask. “It’s too hard to find a replacement for him/her….” “Now’s not the time….” However, doing exit interviews with the best people leaving big companies you often hear how they were turned off by some of their former “team mates.” If you want to keep your best people, make sure they’re surrounded by other great people.
8. The Missing Vision Thing. This might sound obvious, but is the future of your organization exciting? What strategy are you executing? What is the vision you want this talented person to fulfill? Did they have a say/input into this vision? If the answer is no, there’s work to do — and fast.
9. Lack of Open-Mindedness. The best people want to share their ideas and have them listened to. However, a lot of companies have a vision/strategy which they are trying to execute against — and, often find opposing voices to this strategy as an annoyance and a sign that someone’s not a “team player.” If all the best people are leaving and disagreeing with the strategy, you’re left with a bunch of “yes” people saying the same things to each other. You’ve got to be able to listen to others’ points of view — always incorporating the best parts of these new suggestions.
10. Who’s the Boss? If a few people have recently quit at your company who report to the same boss, it’s likely not a coincidence. We’ll often get asked to come in and “fix” someone who’s a great sales person, engineer, or is a founder, but who is driving everyone around them “nuts.” We can try, but unfortunately, executive coaching usually only works 33% of the time in these cases. You’re better off trying to find another spot for them in the organization — or, at the very least, not overseeing your high-potential talent that you want to keep.
It’s never a one-way street. Top talent has to assume some responsibility as much as the organization. However, with the scarcity of talent — which will only increase in the next 5 years — Smart Organizations are ones who get out in front of these ten things, rather than wait for their people to come to them, asking to implement this list.

I am one of them. XD

Wednesday, December 14

Taking wedding pictures from a guest's point of view

For a couple of years now, I've been invited to attend a wedding for around less than five I think. Not that I don't have much friends but rather they may prefer NOT to invite me perhaps XD. 

While browsing through my wall (facebook), I saw this post linked to Digital-Photography-School about how to take wedding pictures from a guest's perspective. Sometimes, I've resisted the temptation to step-in to the paid photographer's shoes just to get a good shot. But after reading this, its not bad taking pictures from a different perspective (yet I'm looking forward to cover a wedding as an official photographer XD). 

Anyway, here is the article by Annie Tao on taking wedding pictures from a guest's point of view

How do we, the aficionado or professional photographer, act when we attend an event, such as a wedding? I want to be the grateful and graceful guest and get great pix. How can I do both during the ceremony? I always try to stay out of the official photographer’s frame, and not distract my fellow guests, but what else might be appropriate?

Let’s be frank. If you were invited to a photography-worthy event, like a wedding, you are most likely good friends with or a relative of someone in the wedding. So bringing a camera – whether a professional-grade camera, compact camera or smart phone – is to be expected.

The one complication is that digital cameras are so affordable nowadays that it seems like everyone owns a camera. Or two. Getting in the way of the hired wedding photographer is an obvious no-no, but can be easy to do when you’re trying to get good shots.



Here are a few tips:

  1. During the ceremony, stay at your seat. Only the wedding party and vendors (ie, the hired photographer and videographer) should be the ones moving around.
  2. Bring a zoom lens or a compact camera that has optical zoom. That way, you can get close without distracting the other guests or photographer.
  3. Accept that you will have a limited variety of shooting points. Instead, get creative with your angles, focal points, and camera settings.
  4. Don’t follow or shadow the wedding photographer. If the photographer is shooting the wedding party or anyone for that matter, go to a different area. Feel free to watch in awe of the beauty that is being captured, but don’t try to squeeze in your own shot. Not only can it be distracting to the hired photographer to have other people photographing her (or his) subjects, but also, it can impact the images! The images could end up with individuals looking in different directions or having more canned smiles, rather than genuine ones, because it takes longer to get the shot when the subjects don’t know who to listen to or look at.
  5. Don’t pull aside the bride and groom to take your own portraits of them. Know that the hired photographer will take those, so take shots that are particular to you (ie, you and your childhood friend, the bride) and do it when the bride and groom aren’t busy with the hired photographer, like during the reception. 


If you are a guest at a wedding, then be just that: a guest!

The images you capture should be from a guest’s point-of-view, which can be a wonderful supplement to the hired photographer’s images.

Sunday, December 11

The week that was (December 4 - 10)

Sunday: Got up at almost 9:00am as it was raining outside and the cold weather prevented me from taking my daughter out for some fresh air. I bought Sunday's paper as well as Migmig's milk as it ran out in two weeks and a few days. I left home early and took a different route again. While passing through Gateway, I checked some shoes that are on sale and I saw some of the shoes that I'm eyeing to buy. Most of them are on 20-35% discount that really almost tempted me to buy the one that I saw.I got in the office just in time and rested for a few minutes before going out to buy some dinner for later. Then my colleagues from the  night shift won't be able to report which leaves me to decide whether I would go straight-shifts or not. I informed my boss about it and he told he he would fill-in. I told him I can handle double-shift but he insisted that he would come. Work was zero as I just killed time and my eyes began to fall.By 10:00pm, my boss came to work as areplacement for my colleagues who won't be able to report for the night. After my shift, I went to the nearest Seattle's Best Coffee shop to grab something to drink. I also checked their planner after seeing it in a blog a few hours back. After browsing it, I have to get this one which requires me 18 stickers (more or less 2000 pesos worth of drinks). Then I took a cab going home on a raininy Sunday night and I got home in 30 minutes. My wife was still up as I took a quick shower before going to bed.

Monday: Got up at almost 7:00am as Migmig was already awake. We went out but it was cold so I made sure my baby is well covered so she won't catch cold. We were out for an hour before we went back to bed to get some more sleep. Thank God the additional 2-hour sleep as it helped me in its own way for me not to get tired easily. I left home at past 12:30pm after having lunch at home (it really helps a lot to have lunch at home because it saves money XD) then took my usual LRT ride. I got in the office with plenty of time to spare. Work was quite ok as I got to do some tickets. One of our colleagues from the EMEA Region needed help from us which I obliged. It was a learning experience for me as I got to do tickets that are new to me and that I haven't done it before. I got to create some EMEA Request though there were some that I wasn't able to create due to some configuration issues with our system. Thank God one of our colleagues from the night shift was able to report for work giving us a sign of relief XD. By the time our shift ended, I went to CBTL at Ayala Triangle Garden to grab something to drink before going home. When I got home, I went online for a few more minutes and I noticed that I wasn't able to go to this certain group page (BMSD Moderators). I sent a message to the creator of the page and he said that I was removed from the group. He added that it was a unanimous decision to remove me as I didn't attended the meeting tonight (Of course how could I attend if I have work =P). I wasn't able to defend myself from them and state out my points. On the bright side, I could do other things as moderating our page was a bit too tasking for me, preventing me to do other things. 

Tuesday: Got up at around 7:30am as I took my daughter our for some fresh air. I was able to grab a drink from 7-11 before going back home. I told my wife to get up early so we could get going to SM Mall of Asia to celebrate our second anniversary there. We got there at around 1:00pm and went to PBCo to have our lunch there (I'll write a blog about this soon). After our lunch, we simply strolled around the mall and at the same time, look for some gifts for my Christmas Party come Friday but unfortunately, I wasn't able to get one as they're pretty expensive. So we went back to the main mall and took some pictures with Migmig. It was her first time to visit SM MOA and so as my wife in more than a year. The afternoon was pretty much fun as we got to spend it together. By 6:00pm, we ended our day by having a cup of our hot drinks at SBC. I showed to my wife what their 2012 planner looks like and she likes it as well. We took a cab going home but it took us almost an hour to get home. It turned out that there was a rally which was a start of a possible 5-day rally at Mendiola. We were really tired but we enjoyed the day.

Wednesday: Got up at around 8:00am as the weather was really cold outside. I wasn't able to wake Migmig up since I had to some errands for the day. After going online for less than an hour, I went to Digiprint located at Times Plaza near Luneta Park to have my picture printed in time for print exchange later in the evening. I was quite satisfied with my print as it doesn't look dull. Then it was off to Robinson's place for me to buy some gifts for our upcoming Christmas Party in the office. I was able to buy three of the four gifts that I need. By lunchtime, I was looking for a good place to eat only to end up having lunch at Rack's ordering boneless ribs and clam chowder and went home really full. When I got home, I sorted the gifts that I bought and got myself ready to attend another Christmas Party c/o Jo Avila. I left home at past 3:30pm and took a stop at CBTL to grab some coffee to keep me up. When I got to Sir Jo's studio, there were people already exchanging pleasantries with one another as I registered for the event so I could get some freebies XD. I was able to get a back issue of DPP (#4) though I could have gotten 2 plus other freebies. Food was c/o Goldilocks and there were prizes to raffle off. Though I didn't win any of the ones I liked, I got some that could be useful to me in the near future. I left the party at around 10:30pm and took a cab heading home.

Thursday: Got up at 7:00am since I need to go to the hospital for my follow-up check-up (I have to schedule it a few days early). I got there by 7:45am and have my blood extracted to check my uric acid if it has already improved or not. While waiting for the result, I went online for probably two hours before I went back to the hospital and get the results. Somehow, my uric acid dramatically improved (lessen) but still, its above the specified limit. So the doctor told me what not to eat for the next 30 days and I have to continue my medication. When I got back home, Migmig was awake already being carried by her mom. I was able to carry her for a couple of minutes before her going to sleep. Then it was my turn to get ready for work as I left home at past 11:00am. I took a different route going to the office. When I got to the Ayala station of MRT, I went to SM Makati to buy some food for our daughter. Then I had lunch at World Chicken before reporting for work at 1:30pm. I was able to do some tickets as well as I got a single call that took me a while before resolving it as everyone was in a festive mood already. By dinner, I had World Chicken again as I bought Rogue's December issue to complete my collection. I got to play 8-Ball online while updating some of my blog entries. By the time my shift ended, I took some of the gifts that were meant to be mine. I stopped by CBTL at Ayala Triangle Garden to grab something to drink before heading home.

Friday: Got up at almost 8:00am as I took Migmig out for her daily dose of vitamin d again. After an hour, we went back and get a few more hours of sleep before getting up at almost 12:00pm. When it was my wife's turn to take care of our baby, I got to wrap my gifts for our Christmas Party at St Giles Hotel in Makati. I went online for a couple of minutes before I get ready to attend our Christmas Party. I left home at past 5:00pm and got there at around 7:30pm where most of my colleagues were already there. I started to take pictures of our event until one point, my camera got this error 99 again. It took me a while before eliminating that error. But I noticed every time I take a picture, half of my screen (lower part) went completely black with or without using flash. It dawned to me that the problem I'm having was the same problem my friend had a few months back. It made me worried a lot because I know I just got my new lens and I had to wait for at least a year to get a new camera body or even a new lens. I got some decent shots anyway so I didn't have to worry for now. After the party, we went to the nearest Rufo's to grab a few bottles of beer and catch-up with our personal lives. For me, this could be my last Christmas Party with them as I have to move somewhere else and move upward. I took a cab going home and got to our bed by 2:00am.

Saturday: Got up at 8:00am as my head was still a bit spinning from the alcohol the previous night. I was able to take Migmig out again for some sun while I went online for a couple of minutes. When we went back home, I went to Binondo to buy some Christmas gifts for my wife. I took a quick stop at Intramuros to have my breakfast there before walking all the way to Binondo. It took me a while to decide as my wife has some specifications for her gifts. I took a breather at SBC in Binondo while reading Saturday's paper and waiting for my wife's final specifications for her gifts. Once I got them, I went to the nearest Eng Bee Tin branch to grab a box of assorted hopia for my wife. Though I overspend for her gifts by about 200 pesos, I didn't mind as I know we would be able to have some of them. When I got back home again, Migmig was a little bit cranky and my wife hasn't done any of her morning rituals yet so I had to take care of our baby as I put her to sleep while bottle-feeding her. She was able to get some sleep and so am I. I got up at almost 2:00pm and I was suppose to get ready to attend another Christmas Party. But my wife was able to do something that prevented me from going out. This would be the 4th (or 5th) Saturday that I wasn't able to go out and take some pictures to hone my photography skills. I got to put Migmig to sleep again only to get up after 30 minutes or so. We went out again to her lola to get some cool crisp air. I had my snack at Mc Donalds as I got a bit hungry myself. While having my snack, its quite hard doing it while holding Migmig on my other hand plus she wants to grab everything she see's. When we got back, my wife was online and I tried putting her to sleep again. Unfortunately, I'm having a hard time putting her to sleep. So my wife took over and I used the laptop to kill time and to console myself for not being able to go out to attend my photography group's Christmas Party.

Sorry for the long post here. XD

Thursday, December 8

International Human Rights Day on December 10, 2011

Taken from Google

On Saturday, it would mark today's International Human Rights Day . And at the same time, the "Bawal Mag-Shoot Dito Pilipinas" will also be having their first "Photographer Right's Day" as to coincide with that day. At this time of the year, the rights of the photographers should be protected making sure future generations would be able to enjoy and share its fruits. 

Taken from their facebook page

I'm not even sure if I would be able to attend as I need to cover an event the night before but will see =). 

Swabeng Food Trip: Peanut Butter Heaven at PBCo

Last Tuesday, We decided to go out to SM Mall of Asia to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary with my wife and kid. When we got there, I know where to take them for lunch, Peanut Better Company or simply called PBCo. I have 3 vouchers with me worth 900 pesos of food.

Good thing the place was not packed with people as we took Migmig with us on a baby stroller and she's almost about to sleep.

While waiting for our food, I ordered a Cherry Coke (45 pesos), Cherry 7-Up (45 pesos) and a DK Pepper Cherry (pesos). For a change, I wanted something different to drink though my wife doesn't like it that much for its medicinal after-taste (tastes like cough syrup).

Drinks in Cherry Flavor

We got BBQ Wings (165 pesos) served next. Its drizzled in chili peanut butter after being tossed in a tomato-base chili sauce which makes it a hit to chicken wing lovers (including me). I hope they can take order by the dozen (or more).

 BBQ Wings

Then, we had a Box of Chips (65 pesos) with an extra Wasabi Mayo (35 pesos).The potatoes were perfectly fried to a crisp but not to the point of charring it. The wasabi mayo added an extra kick to the already seasoned potato slices. A bucket of these potato chips could really make my day. XD

Box of Chips. But where's the mayo? XD

Next was the Classic Spaghetti (136 pesos). For one, its pretty odd to have a peanut butter on your spaghetti but its loaded with sun-dried tomato peanut butter. And it tastes really good. I could pair it off with bread to make it a peanut butter and spaghetti sandwich. XD

Classic Spaghetti

Then, my wife had Fish N' Rice (135 pesos). I wasn't able to had enough bites of it but my wife seems to enjoy her fish with cucumber mayo sauce.

Fish N' Rice

For dessert, we had Half Cinnamon Apple Sandwich (75 pesos) and Half Marshmallow PB Sandwich (75 pesos). We had to take these two with us as we got already full from the food that we ate. XD

Cinnamon Apple Sandwich

Marshmallow PB Sandwich

And for sweet ending, we choose Greentea PB Choco Shake (185 pesos). For some reason, I should have chosen another one but since I haven't tried this before, we give this a go. Its actually a combination of green tea peanut butter, chocolate bits, and vanilla ice cream blended with ice.

Greentea PB Choco Shake

Not bad for a restaurant that served peanut butter on most of their food. My wife loved most of them and I hope we could visit PBCo when my daughter starts to walk. ^_^

Monday, December 5

International Volunteer Day

Taken from Google

Today is International Volunteer Day which was established by The United Nations GA (General Assembly) in 1985. It has been celebrated worldwide as millions of volunteers are involved with various activities like clean-up campaigns, exhibits, and conferences among others. 

What do people do?
This day hopes to heighten people’s and governments’ awareness of the voluntary contributions. It also focuses on stimulating people to offer their services as volunteers, both at home and abroad. Over the years, governments, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals contribute the International Volunteer Day through various activities including:

1. Voluntary community projects.
2. Parades, marches, or rallies.
3. Award ceremonies for volunteers who made significant contributions to their communities.
4. “Time donation” campaigns that involve people pledging hours of voluntary service to specific projects.
5. Companies launching voluntary programs as part of their corporate responsibility.
6. Volunteer competitions.

    Activities and events for the day help promote the impact of volunteering and the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, via volunteering to:

    1. Help eradicate poverty.
    2. Achieve universal primary education.
    3. Promote gender equality and empower women.
    4. Reduce child mortality and to improve maternal health.
    5. Reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other major diseases.
    6. Help ensure environmental sustainability.
        Many people participate in many of these events through the World Volunteer Web, which the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) operates in partnership with various organizations.

        You may read more here, here, here, here, and here.
        Now is the time to volunteer and contribute something don't you think?

        Sunday, December 4

        One-Shot at Manila Auto Salon 2011

        Taken from Google

        Well this has been another post due last week but due to unforeseen circumstances, I have to move it to a latter date (today). I was suppose to attend this event twice (Friday and Sunday) but I wasn't able to do it due to unforseen circumstances again XD.

        When I got to SMX at 11:00am, I didn't waste any time to shoot some cars first while there weren't much people yet. For me, if I wanted to shoot cars without getting bumped or distracted, I go to carshows early so I would be able to get good shots.

        I was able to take pictures of cars but I did it on a different perspective and angle. By 1:00pm, I'm already done and I feel a little bit hungry so I went out to eat first. It was 2:30pm when I got back to SMX to take pictures of the lovely car show models.

        I just strolled around first to look for new faces but I couldn't recall if I was able to take a quick snap or two. Most of the lovely carshow models I saw at SMX were the same faces for the past couple of car shows.

        Sometimes I get a little bit reluctant to take their pictures but eventually I take pictures of them as time progresses. I do saw some of my friends taking pictures and having a chat with other models and fellow photographers who usually frequent these carshows.

        I spent the entire afternoon at SMX and head-off to SM MOA to attend another event.

        Here are the rest of the pictures. Hope to see you on next year's Manila Auto Salon 2012. XD


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