Friday, July 30, 2010

TGIF – It’s a Great Friday Indeed

Yes, it’s Friday… and not just an ordinary Friday, today is the last working day of the month of July. So, why I’m so happy? It is because I have only three late arrivals for this month and that means ... I made it this month ... I had complied with our company’s policy on late arrivals.

It was only second week of July when I already have 3 late arrivals so for the past two weeks, I’d been very cautious not to be late again until today. Thanks God, the traffic on my route to the office cooperated. I encountered less traffic on my way and of course I left our house 5 minutes earlier than my usual departure time. But I think the traffic was really lessened on my way to the office ... the usual problem areas which causes heavy traffic were already having a normal traffic flow ... thanks to the efforts of Taguig traffic police around Upper Bicutan Market. Their visibility around the area made the vendors stay away from the sidewalks and pedestrians walking on these sidewalks. Motorists now have the full access of the road.

On Monday it’s already August and my “early bird” challenge again begins. Anyway, I’ll just take each day at a time and hopefully I will have no more late arrivals this time.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Akari Reachargeable Lamp with Fan and Radio

Last June, we were looking for some household products at ACE Hardware when we chanced upon their display of rechargeable lamps.  I remember, it's already June and rainy season will be starting anytime soon.  This is the season where power failures are common and it is just practical to have emergency lights on a stand-by. 

There are lots of choices for the emergency lights displayed but we settled for the Akari brand which also comes with a fan and an AM/FM radio.  It's a little bit pricey but considering the additional features, it's worth it.  For the manual of this product, please click here.

Recently, we tested the effectivity of our new purchase when typhoon "Basyang" hit Metro Manila leaving us with damaged power lines which caused a twenty hour brown-out in our area. 

We used the rechargeable lamp, fan and radio for eighteen hours, of course not using all the features at the same time, two features at a time is the most.  We are thankful that before the rechargeable unit was drained, the power supply in our area was restored.

Having bought the Akari rechargeable lamp with fan and radio was really a wise decision especially if you have small kids at home.  The use of candles which are the number one source of fire during brown-outs was eliminated.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Taking a Much Needed Rest

Last Friday I was not able to report for work.  I had a headache, fever which reached to 39.2 deg. Celcius and my muscles ached.  The night before, I already had a headache and I thought it was just another migraine attack so I slept earlier thinking that I would be okay the next morning.

Friday morning I woke up still having a terrible headache and this time, it was accompanied by fever and muscle pain.  I felt terrible that morning so I just stayed in bed.

The whole day I did nothing but stay in bed and sleep, drink a lot of water, eat fruits especially the citrus ones and took Bioflu, an over-the-counter anti-flu drug.

Taking the much needed rest and medication was effective that in the afternoon my fever subsided and my muscles did not ached anymore.  My head was a little bit heavy but this time it was tolerable.  The next day I was already okay and I was able to do some light household chores so I did not bother to have a check-up with the doctor anymore.

I'm not sure if it was flu that hit me last Friday but the symptoms I experienced were that of a flu.  I just don't have a cough, stuffed nose and sore throat which are also symptoms of a flu.  And besides, I did not expect to be affected by flu this year because I had my anti-flu vaccine last June.  Anyway, as what the doctors usually reiterate, having a flu vaccine doesn't give a 100% guarantee that we can be flu free for the whole year since every year there are new strain of flu virus which are not included in the vaccine so it is really possible to be affected by flu even if we had our anti-flu shot.  The good thing is that, if ever we will contract the said virus, the effect would be minimal.

Well. whatever it was, I was thankful because I was forced to take a rest, my much needed rest after abusing my body for the past weeks, sleeping past midnight, eating a lot of meat, missing on my daily multivitamins and so on and so forth.

Most of the time, our body tells us to slow down but we tend to ignore it so we end up with sickness which are actually preventable.  I have learned my lesson and from now on, I'll try to listen to what my body tells me.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

My travel buddy

Everyday I use public transportation in going to/from the office.  From our house to my office, I have to take 3 jeepney rides and 1 tricycle ride and in between these rides, I have to walk a little distance from one ride to another. Sometimes I have to run after a jeepney just to have a ride.  Yes, there are still areas in Metro Manila where taking public transportation is a pain in the ass.  I'll try to get some video and post it here sometime.

Before, I used to travel wearing high-heeled shoes, well, not really that high, I'm only used to wearing 1 inch to 1 and 1/2 inches heels but with the kind of travel that I am into everyday, it was really a big discomfort.  I remember getting blisters on my foot making it hard to walk normally.  Aside from those blisters, I easily get tired walking a few distance.

To get rid of those travel discomforts and somehow make my everyday travel a little enjoyable, I decided to wear walking shoes instead and just wear my high-heeled shoes at the office.  It's good that we have an individual cabinet at our office and I just leave my office shoes there.  It really brought a big change on my everyday travel.

The shoes shown above is my new purchase, it's my third pair of walking shoes.  Actually that's a replacement of my first pair which already gave in to my everyday travel.  I maintain two pairs of walking shoes at a time, that is to use them alternately within a week so I can use them a little longer.  This time, I bought a little priced brand, Hush Puppies.  I never had a shoes from this brand before but when I fitted one, it is lightweight and soft inside, my feet are really comfortable wearing them so I never had second thoughts in buying them.

I just wonder if the shoes can endure longer the harshness of my everyday travel.  I'll find that out in a few months time.

Me and my temper

My temper beat me again today.  Damn, I really hate it when I loose control of my temper...I tend to do foolish things or speak words which I regret later. 

My 8 year old daughter really tested my patience today and I was not able to control my temper.

Early this morning she had her tantrums and she really wanted to get her way.  I just let go of her behavior this morning and we went to the mall to watch Toy Story 3 and bought some grocery items before going home.  At the grocery store she again had her tantrums when we did not gave in to what she wanted.  Right there and then I wanted to shout at her but there are lots of people and I don't want to make a scene and embarrass her in front of many people.

I was really irritated by her behavior that when we were inside the car, I just flared up and shouted at her and called her names.  It's good that my husband had maintained his "cool mode" and asked me to stop.  I returned to my senses and stopped.

Haaaay, it's really hard to discipline children..... lots and lots of patience is needed and it's really a big challenge for me.  Children will always be children with all their tantrums and I hope next time I will have the much needed self discipline, to control my temper so I can deal with their behavior without resorting to spanking or shouting.

Monday, July 5, 2010

CJ's 4th Birthday

July 4, a day special for the American's a special day commemorating their independence day.  To all my American friends, happy independence day to all of you.

This day is also special for our family because it's my son's birthday.  Yes it's CJ's birthday and he turns four years old this year.  Time flies so fast, it's just like yesterday when I gave birth to him, so small and so fragile but look at him now, so energetic and full of life.  If given the chance, he loves to run and run and run.

To make this day special for our little boy, we invited our relatives to join us for a simple celebration at our place.  My husband cooked Igado (an Ilocano specialty which is his specialty) and pancit (canton noodles).  Pancit or spaghetti is always present in any birthday celebration, Filipino style.  It signifies long life, as what I heard from old folks.  As an additional treat for children, we served hotdogs, fruit salad and my brother brought some ice cream.  Oh I forgot about the cake, my son equates birthdays with blowing the candles on the cake so it's really a must for us to buy a cake.

We occupied a space at our subdivision's clubhouse so there is enough space for the children to play and later they were not able to resist the temptation of taking a dip in the pool.  It was really a lovely day and the children enjoyed their bonding moments.  CJ was very happy and satisfied at how his birthday was celebrated.

The birthday boy (wearing red polo shirt with black lines) with his ate and cousins.

                                  The children just don't get tired of running.
                      At the playground taking their rest before dipping in the pool.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Office Policy on Tardiness

My time sheet for the month of June is frustrating. I have 2 late arrivals for the first half and 4 late arrivals for the second half of the month. Wow, I have 6 late arrivals for the month of June. I am an early riser and I leave our house as early as 6:30 AM so it’s really frustrating to arrive at work late. For the past few months since I went back to work after my two-month maternity leave last March, this was not the case, maybe because it’s vacation time and traffic was manageable. School opening started 2nd week of June so no wonder traffic is everywhere again.

Our office has strict policy on tardiness. Our office hours starts at 8:00 o’clock AM so 8:00 or earlier, we should be in the office. No grace period, whatsoever. Once you swiped your card at 8:01, you are already late for 1 minute and will be deducted a 15 min pay, you swipe at 8:16 and you will be deducted a 30 min. pay….and so on. It’s a 15 minute cut-off, already programmed in our computer system. I don't know why this is the case but no one questioned it.

Aside from the salary deduction we get for being late, we are also required to fill-out an explanation form if we exceed three late arrivals in a month, so in my case for the month of June, I’m already a candidate for an explanation letter. Once my department manager is not satisfied with my explanation, he will recommend a disciplinary action based on the company’s Code of Discipline. I’m just hoping that our department manager would be considerate enough to consider my explanations.

Actually, many of my colleagues especially mothers are not favorable with this company policy… with the kind of transportation system here in Metro Manila, you can’t really tell how much time you need to reach your destination. Many had tried to appeal this policy but to no avail, the management only made it stricter. The original scheme is maximum of 4 late arrivals in a month but they lowered it to three when many appealed for a grace period. Their reason is that, we are professionals and part of being professional is being disciplined. Ok fine….so be it, case closed.

This month I should leave our house earlier, maybe 15 minutes earlier and I’ll see what happens. Hope it works.

I have to adjust to meet our company’s policy and it means a little sacrifice on my time with my children…our breakfast time together will be cut short and I will have to leave earlier than my husband which means he will be the one to walk our daughter to school…haaay…the down side of being an 8 to 5 employee.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Philippines...My Country...My Responsibility

                                                                From Wikipedia

It’s official, the 15th president of the Republic of the Philippines was sworn into office yesterday, June 30, 2010. Our new president elect is no other than President Benigno Aquino III, the son of our former president Corazon Aquino, the first woman president. President Benigno Aquino also marks a first in Philippine history and that is … being the first bachelor president. Congratulations Mr. President. I pray that God will give you wisdom so you can lead this country to prosperity, peace and unity.

Honestly, President Aquino was not my candidate for presidency. No, I have nothing against him or his family, it’s just that looking at the qualifications of the presidential candidates last election, I found other candidates to be more competent and qualified than him...but since majority of Filipinos voted for him, it’s only proper to recognize him as our president and give him the support and respect that any president deserves.

With the new president comes a new hope for the Filipinos, hope for a better Philippines. Hope that most of the time is being abused by most of us. We put so much hope in a person or group of persons thinking that he or they will solve all our problems, like magic they will take our problems away...we forget our personal role in solving all these problems.

For our beloved country, the case is also the same. Each time a new administration comes in, we put so much hope in them. There’s no problem with that, it’s just natural for us to hope that these elected officials will do their jobs well and come up with projects that will ease the lives of the people, be honest ... and all those good stuffs mentioned during the campaign. But still the same, we have to do our part, we have also our responsibility so that this country will move forward. We should always think of what we can do to help this country even just in our own small ways and not the other way around.

I received an e-mail months ago. It was entitled “12 Little Things Every Filipino Can Do to Help Our Country”. I did my research and learned that the e-mail’s content is an excerpt from the book written by Alexander Lacson with the same title. He ran for a senate seat last election but unfortunately he lost. Anyway, what he wrote is interesting and can be our guide in becoming a responsible citizen not only of this country but anywhere we will be.

Here is the list (all text written in blue are my personal opinion and if you have any other opinion, please feel free to comment:

1. Follow traffic rules. Follow the law.
    - This is for our safety, better follow the rules than be sorry.

2. Whenever you buy or pay for anything, always ask for an official receipt.
    - Establishments have marked up their prices to include government taxes so it is just right that we ask for official receipts to make sure that what is intended for government tax will really be remitted to the government. This ensures an efficient tax collection.

3. Don’t buy smuggled goods. Buy local. Buy Filipino. (Or, if you read the book, he suggests: 50-50).
    - Patronizing our own products help local businesses which in turn generates job opportunities. Buying smuggled goods denies our country of the taxes which our country is entitled to have.

4. When you talk to others, especially foreigners speak positively about us and our country.
    - Although there are not-so-good things that are happening to our country, we still have a lot to be proud of ... our talents, our beautiful places ...

5. Respect your traffic officer, policeman and soldier.
    - Just like any other ordinary people, these gentlemen and women deserve our respect.

6. Do not litter. Dispose your garbage properly. Segregate. Recycle. Conserve.
    - We now see the effect of not throwing our garbage properly. Our drainage system are clogged that for just a small amount of rain, many places are flooded.

7. Support your church.
    - Just like other aspect of our life, our spiritual side should also be nourished so we need to support our church to keep it growing and nourish souls.

8. During elections, do your solemn duty.
    - This is our right as well as duty to our country, so let’s exercise our right and do favor for our country.

9. Pay your employees well.
    - This is just the right thing to do. This includes our household helpers. Let’s give them what is due to them and treat them fairly.

10. Pay your taxes.
      - Our taxes fund projects for the benefit of everybody.

11. Adopt a scholar or a poor child.
     - There are lots of poor but deserving individuals who are very willing to study but have no resources. Give them a chance, let’s help them.

12. Be a good parent. Teach your kids to follow the law and love our country.
      - The children are the future of our nation but that won’t be possible if we won’t do our part as responsible parents.

At first blush, this list seem simple but when we study them more closely, they are difficult to do, but with God's guidance we won’t go astray.