Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010 ... Welcome 2011

A few hours from now, year 2010 will officially end and it’s time to welcome the New Year, 2011.  Time really flies fast that it’s like only yesterday when we welcomed the year 2010 and now we’re welcoming another new year.   

Year 2010 was a wonderful year for me and my family.  Almost all aspect of our lives was blessed.  Of course there were difficult times but God is really great and mighty, He is always there to lift us and brighten our day.  So with a grateful heart we say goodbye to year 2010 with lots of memories to cherish.

Year 2011 will officially start a few hours from now and we will welcome the coming year with lots of hope. The past year had been good and we are hoping that the coming year would be better from the last.

Happy New Year everyone!  

God bless us all.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Seasons's Greetings

Merry Christmas everyone.

May the hope, peace, joy and love that the season brings be with us not only this season but all throughout the year.

Let us not forget that Jesus is the real reason for this season, may he always reign in our heart.

God bless us all.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Busy Week at the Office

This is a busy week at the office, not mainly because of work related issues but because of the additional activity in preparation for our department Christmas party which will be held on Wednesday, December 15.   It’s good that our company Christmas party was already over so we can concentrate in the preparation for our department Christmas party.
Christmas parties are becoming complicated nowadays in our office.  Instead of just a simple dinner with some games or videoke and exchange gifts which give us time to associate with our colleagues without the stress of work related activities, our party becomes a competition.
There are four teams in our department and each team has to prepare something to present in our Christmas party.   This is a contest so prizes are at stake and everyone wanted to win so here is now the exciting part, the practice.
 We have to stay at the office after office hours for the practice.  Sometimes we have to stay up to 8 o’clock while the others still stay up to 11 o’clock just to finish some of the costumes/things to be used in the presentation.  Haaay, why do they have to make this party so complicated?  They say it’s only for fun but how can you have fun if you are stressed out with all these preparations.  Oh, maybe I’m just the one being stressed out here, our young colleagues seem to enjoy all these activities. 
Sometimes I’m thinking of not attending our department Christmas party but I already skipped our company Christmas party so it would be so stubborn of me not to attend this one.
Anyway, there is only one day left and this will be over.  We’ll just do whatever we can and just enjoy the party.

Monday, December 13, 2010

It’s Performance Appraisal Once Again

It’s the end of the year once again and in our company it’s time for performance appraisal.  Yes, our company has this yearly performance appraisal for all employees.  The management had developed a certain criteria where the immediate supervisor of an employee rates her/him based on the standards which were also set by the management.
For a company of more or less 800 employees, it’s a little tedious process but somehow the management had already put the system at work.  The result of the performance appraisal is discussed by the team manager with the employee usually at the first week of December, just before the release of performance bonus.  The amount an employee receives is based on his/her performance appraisal.
Actually this bonus depends on the company’s earnings for the year.  They may or may not give this bonus but so far with the seven years of my stay here, they have given us this performance bonus yearly.  Yes, even last year when the business was not good.
Personally I don’t really put so much emphasis on this performance appraisal thing.  With or without performance appraisal I just do my job as what is expected of me and as much as possible I follow all the company’s rules and regulations … I only have one weakness though, and that is on tardiness.  Well, what can we expect?  With the kind of transportation system here in Metro Manila, it’s really hard to comply with our company’s regulations on tardiness.   I may have my reasons for not complying with this company’s regulation but rules are rules and as long as I’m connected with this company I have to live by their rules. 
Anyway, this year’s performance appraisal for me is better than what I have expected.  Got a low rating on punctuality issues but it was balanced by other criteria so overall I still got an above average rating. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Our Saturday Family Day

It's Saturday once again and it's time to have fun with the whole family.  This time we went to the mall to treat my mother-in-law ... as promised and also to do a little shopping for the coming Christmas party at the office and at my children's school.

It's always our habit to visit the mall during their opening hours to avoid the crowd in the afternoon until closing time, especially this Christmas season when most people are going to the mall to do their Christmas shopping.  This way we can also avoid traffic jams and the difficulty in finding a parking space.

We arrived at the mall at around 11 o'clock in the morning and it's almost lunch time so we decided to take our lunch first.  Hubby and I planned to treat Mamu and the kids to Mini Shabu Shabu at Bonifacio High Street at Global City.  The restaurant just opened when we got there and there are still no customers so we were served with our orders immediately.  It was another new experience for Mamu and the kids.  My daughter enjoyed the idea of cooking the food on our table and even requested to try it again in the future.

Having our lunch at Mini Shabu Shabu
As usual, the children finished their food earlier and  while waiting for us to finish they went out of the restaurant and did some sight seeing outside.  Global High Street is a nice place, they got wide areas for children to just run around and enjoy.

Look at what the children enjoyed while waiting for us outside the restaurant.  My daughter enjoyed taking pictures with his brother having some fun with cute little dogs walked around by their owners.  My daughter's afraid of dogs so she just contented herself with taking the pictures at a distance.

At first CJ was afraid to touch the dogs
A little later, he was already starting to touch the dog.  His favorite is the one wearing green clothing just like him.
It's time for the dogs to go.  Bye, bye doggies.  Really cute ones.
We can actually see the children from where we were sitting inside the restaurant so we just relaxed and tried to continue our lunch while watching the children enjoying themselves outside.  The weather's good and it's not that sunny so even if it's already noon, it's not that hot.

We went back to Market Market mall after our lunch and aside from the gifts we bought for the exchange gift, I bought little items for my colleagues involved in our project and also for the classmates of my children and of course we also bought something for Mamu.  She loves shoes and that's what she always ask for her birthday.  Anyway she's not into pricey ones so it's not really a problem on the budget.

Around 3:00 o'clock in the afternoon, we're already done with our little shopping and so we went home and just took a rest for the rest of the afternoon.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's My Mother-in-law's Birthday

It's my mother-in-law's 79th birthday today.  Happy Birthday mamu, we love you and we wish you more birthdays to come. 

My husband and I planned to treat mamu (my mother-in-law's popular name among relatives and friends) on Saturday but decided to have a little celebration today as well.  I took an early quit at the office and went to the mall to buy a cake and lechon manok (roasted chicken) while my husband bought ice cream.  At home I asked our house helper to cook some noodles, a.k.a pancit.  Voila, we have something to feast on.

Mamu with hubby and the kids 
A birthday won't be complete without pancit (Filipino style).
Rocky Road Cake from Red Ribbon ... hmmmmmmmm....yummy!
Nestle Rocky Road ice cream ... husband and I didn't have an arrangement but ended picking-up the same flavor for the ice cream and cake.

After two attempts, the children prompted to help their lola blew the candle out.  "You're taking too long lola, we're anxious to take a big bite out of that cake."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I want A Simple but Memorable and Meaningful Christmas Celebration

Nativity scene at our children's school

It’s December once again and in a few days time, it will be Christmas day. 
Of all the holidays in a year, Christmas day is my most favorite one.  As a believer and follower of Christ, celebrating His birthday is the most special day for us.  He is the ultimate reason why we celebrate this season.  We have every reason to look forward for this day to celebrate and be happy because our King was born … but sad to say nowadays, a lot of people view Christmas as a stressful and extravagant occasion.   Blame it on today’s too much commercialism.  Too much emphasis is put on material things.  Notice a lot of advertisements nowadays … Christmas won’t be complete without this or that … haaaay.  From decorations, to parties, to gift giving, everyone wants to have the best.
Call me old-fashioned, but I love the simple celebration we used to have in the old days.  The simple decorations which highlights the nativity, the simple dish shared by the whole family, attending mass on Christmas Day and watching the story of Nativity being portrayed by local artists at the town plaza for free.  What made these simple activities enjoyable and memorable was the presence of all family members.  I seldom receive Christmas gifts back then but I never mind, having my loved ones around me celebrating Christmas day was already enough to make my day.
This is the kind of Christmas celebration I want my children to grow with.  I want them to value more on the presence of their loved ones and not on material things, to be grateful for whatever gifts they receive irregardless of the price tag and to have a generous heart so they will learn to give without expecting something in return.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

It’s Saturday Today and A Regular Working Day At The Office

It’s Saturday today and not like any other Saturdays, today is a regular working day for us at the office.  Normally our regular working day is only from Monday to Friday but today management declared it to be a working day in exchange of our working day on Friday next week.  That means, we will have a long weekend next week … yehey!  This decision by our management was based on the schedule of our Christmas party celebration which will be held on Thursday next week.  This is to give employees a time to rest after the party.
As much as possible I don’t want to work on a Saturday because my children expect this day (and also Sunday) to be a family day.  They expect papa and mama to be off from work and them, also off from school.  So when my daughter saw me getting ready for work this morning she’s a little disappointed and she asked immediately her father if he is also going to the office … oh what a big relief when he answered no.  So it’s a family day today at home without me.
Commuting from home to office on a Saturday is a little comfortable.  Commuters are not that many compared during regular days, so it is easier to get a jeepney ride, however traffic is still present.  Our travel from Bicutan to Alabang via SLEX (South Luzon Express Way) was slow, maybe because of the additional volume of cars going out of town.  Anyway, I reached our office safe and sound and that is what is more important.
At the office, many colleagues filed their leave so they don’t have to report today.  Lucky them, they still have a lot of leave credits left.  For me, I only have one leave credit left and I’m reserving it for my children’s family day (also Christmas party) at school so no choice, I have to report today.
The good thing about working today is that our work is more relaxed because our counterpart in Japan is on their weekend vacation so we’re focused working on our scheduled task for the day.  There are no calls coming from them giving additional instructions or asking for drawings to be submitted.   

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Children Hates Vegetables

“Eooow … gulay na naman? (Eooow… vegetables again?). 
That’s the common expression I hear from my 4 year old son every time vegetables are served on the table.  His expression is always accompanied with a deep sigh.   My 8 year old daughter on the other hand doesn’t complain but she sees to it that whenever she gets food from the serving bowl, all the vegetables she doesn’t like is left behind.
My husband tells me not to worry about our children not wanting the vegetables for now because eventually they will learn to love them as they grow older.   He cited himself as an example because when he was younger he remembers not eating a lot of vegetables. 
I agree with my husband but still sometimes I can’t help it, I still worry that they might be used to not having vegetables on their diet.  I know of some friends who don’t eat vegetables and I don’t want my children to be like them.  Vegetables have a lot of benefits to our body and it should be included in our daily diet.
For now, we just don’t stop serving vegetables … different kinds of vegetables.  Most of the time, it’s just me and my husband who eats them but from time to time we have lured the children to taste them and somehow they have learned to eat some of the vegetables.  I hope, little by little their taste buds would develop a love for the vegetables and that time will come when we can serve more vegetables and less meat on the table.