Tag Archives: Travels

21 Days (51/365)

If there was one word that would most accurately describe the last three weeks of my life, I would choose WHIRLWIND.

6 sessions, 2 public seminars, 3 clients and 89 hours later… I finally get to stay home on a weekend, not thinking of what kind of miracle I’ll have to pull off next week.  I am officially tired.  Tired, but oddly satisfied.  Tired, but secretly proud.  Tired, but fulfilled.  I once said that training is a calling.  This month, I proved myself right.

I’d like to take this moment and give a shout out to Mr. Marvin Garbin – officemate, consultant and friend extraordinaire.  He was with me in the last session and, if I may say, one of the most difficult (due to several factors).  That particular run wasn’t perfect, but hats off to you.  You have made me very, very proud.

Other things worth mentioning:

  • My most recent class in People Handling now has a facebook group for alumni.  I am very flattered to have been quoted =p  It is remarkably touching to know that you have made a difference.
  • My most recent class in Advance Supervision earned me my first 4.9++ grade.  Despite not having gotten the Highest Rater award for the week, I wouldn’t have traded my class for anything.
  • 2 out of town trips to Antipolo made me appreciate Jenn, Arthur and Marvin even more.  I have always said that having friends in the work place is never a requirement, but I have always been blessed as I keep finding true mates in every organization I have worked with.  Two weekends away from home also made me miss and appreciate my home life with Brian even more.  Our life may not be perfect, but it is the only life I would ever want to live.
  • The OD-fied version of Advance Supervision is my major breakthrough.  It gave me sleepless nights and stress migraines, but I am damned proud of what I was able to accomplish.
  • Last but not least is my recent overnight stay in Subic.  Once again, I would like to thank that particular client for deciding to partner with us – without them, it would probably be a long, long time before I stepped foot on Camayan Beach Resort.  The set up was less than ideal, but I honestly believe that Marvin and I did the best we could under the circumstances.  There are a lot of things that we could improve, that’s a fact.  More importantly, however, Marvin and I were a TEAM (not just a group of people posing as a team).  He pulled his weight, I pulled mine; we made changes to the program we both agreed was best for the run; we debriefed, admitted our shortcomings and helped each other move on.  I couldn’t have asked for a better partner.

Next week, I begin my journey towards Six Sigma Green Belt Certification, plus a chance to see Louie and Bing in action during the launch of Managing Change and Transition.  For now, I am lounging very comfortably in bed, fully intending to spend the weekend with Brian (real person), Neal Caffrey (White Collar) and Jay Wilcox (Covert Affairs).  I can’t think of a better way to transition to a not-so-hectic schedule.

I have a lot of things to be thankful for.  I know that.  Sometimes it makes me wonder why I’m such a bitch.  Then again, I wouldn’t want to be any other way.

Blessed Be…

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Song for the Sleep-Deprived (33/365)

I spent most of last night with my family – despedida dinner for an aunt and uncle who are going back to the US on the 20th.  Too many people asked me where I had disappeared to – something I don’t think I’ve done – that I actually asked my nieces, “Why do people keep saying that I’ve finally reappeared?  How many family things have I missed, anyway?”  They had no idea.  I swear, too much exposure to my family brings out the worst in me.  Talk about the beginnings of a tantrum.

Yes, I did not go to Baguio with the family two weeks ago, but if I remember correctly – and I DO – I was disinvited.  Who on earth gets disinvited to a family outing???  Apparently, I do.  Here’s the thing.  If there is a budget and it couldn’t accommodate me anymore, it’s fine.  Having my travel and living expenses shouldered was not the point.  The point was me being there with the family.  I guess suddenly receiving a message saying, “Since you went with us to _______, it’s so-and-so’s turn to go with us.  We’ll bring you next time.” did not sit well with me.  People of the world, I have gone up to Baguio without a car, even without standing reservations at any hotel.  Surviving a weekend without plans was not a problem.  I guess I didn’t really think family gatherings were on a take-turns basis.

Am I overreacting?  I’m sure a lot of people would say I am.  But, hey, my perspective.  My feelings.  Very valid.  I do have the right to feel bad, right?  I never thought I could love one half of a couple and dislike the other half so much.

And, of course, my uncle, transparent man that he is, called me over five minutes after I arrived and asked if there was anything wrong because his wife sent me so many messages and I haven’t responded to any of it.  Many?  Many?!?!  I got a total of two messages from her.  I told him there was nothing wrong between us (me and him)… I then sent a message to Chris with very, very colorful words.  I really felt bad about it, I guess.  I just never took the time to write about it before because without my family in front of me, it was easy to forget that I felt left behind (or thrown away).

The other thing I realized last night was whenever I’m with my entire family, I suddenly morph into a true Palenzuela – even my accent changes!  I turn into one of my nieces.  And this is validated because Hank agreed to my observation when I mentioned it to him.  I knew there was a reason why I grew up away from them.  I love my family, don’t get me wrong.  And even with my horribly complicated history, I know I am a true Palenzuela – more than a decade of estrangement being parent-less didn’t stop me from turning out exactly like them.  Growing up away from the family does have its perks, though.  I got all the dominant characteristics, making it undeniable that I am part of the family, without the obsessive, self-destructive tendencies (or, at least, I have more control over mine).  So I do believe that everything really does happen for a reason.

Anyway, I opted to go home early, seeing that I have work today and I’m trying my best to come in before 8:30 am.  I got back to the condo around 11 pm and immediately checked my email to read through the materials for the Siemen’s session tomorrow.  To make a not-so-long-story short, I was working until a little after midnight.  So today, I’m writing this with bleary eyes and a slight headache.  But I have PS in about two hours and a half and I’m praying that sometime between now and before we start, I become fully functional and act like a social being.

I guess we’ll see…

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart

Not because of who I am
But because of what You’ve done
Not because of what I’ve done
But because of who You’re

I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I’m calling
Lord, You catch me when I’m falling
And You’ve told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours

Who Am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again
Who Am I, that the voice that calmed the sea
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me


I am Yours
Whom shall I fear
Whom shall I fear
‘Cause I am Yours
I am Yours

Who I Am

Casting Crowns

And I am praying for one night... Just one night, that I will be able to sleep soundly until dawn.  One night.  Please?

Blessed Be...

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Awkward Conversations Stuck On My Feverish Brain (19/365)

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a verbal war and no matter how hard you wished for the ground to miraculously open up and swallow you whole, it just wouldn’t?  I have.


And, I really think about it, I did totally nothing to deserve bearing witness to such awkward moments.  But maybe there was a reason – and that would be because the Goddess knew I would not be able to resist the urge to write it down.  And so here I am, fulfilling what I was born to do (and no, it’s not manlait ng tao).

The first time I played the part of witness was when Louie, bless his sharp mind, quick wit and impeccable sense of timing (yes, that’s supposed to drip with sarcasm), called a meeting one afternoon to discuss account updates.  Most, if not all of us, were in horrible moods then – Abbie because he was asked to come in at 8:30 am for a meeting that apparently didn’t happen; Jenn, because she was on the warpath about the XYZ account; and me, because I came in at 8:30 am for a meeting after informing my boss that I was supposed to be picked up from Robinson’s Galleria, only to be informed that I should meet up with the boss at Trinoma at 9:15 am instead.  Art, if I remembered correctly, was also a little pissy, but I couldn’t really remember why.  Anyway.

So Louie gets to this point and asks, “What’s the update about XYZ?”

Jenn, being already on the warpath, took that as a go-signal to start spewing all the rage she had been carefully nursing the past couple of days.  Poor Art – I knew he was caught totally off-guard and, true to form, he remained quiet throughout Jenn’s tirade.  Art, like me sometimes, chooses to shut off all emotion when confronted with a very uncomfortable situation.  That’s how he copes, I guess, and I can’t fault him for that because I know it’s incredibly effective.  Art and I, we compartmentalize – the only difference, I think, is that my ability to compartmentalize only goes so far while his seems to be endless.  In that situation with Jenn, was he wrong?  Yes, he was.  But that wasn’t the point.

You see, that afternoon, Art, Abet, Louie and I were scheduled to leave the office for our respective appointments.  Starting a meeting that had the potential to explode like the atomic bomb was not the best idea my boss had ever come up with.  Having the possibly-atomic-bomb-like meeting in the middle of the production area of the office was even worse.  And that was EXACTLY what happened. That meeting blew up like an atomic bomb and Abet and I were helplessly caught in it.  It got so awkward that I was texting Brian, telling him how much I wanted to laugh – and I would have, if only it wasn’t so inappropriate.  So from that day on, Jenn erased Art’s existence from her life and I have that particular memory seared in my brain.

And like once wasn’t enough, it had to happen again, this time, with Jenn and I acting as witnesses to a relatively interesting exchange between Anthony and Damaris.  Okay, backpedalling a little here, just so you get a clearer picture.  The team – our team – recently went to Hongkong (hence the very, very true albeit very, very short entry about it).  In that little country not so far away, groups broke apart and new ones – at least ours – were formed.  Jenn, because she truly is the friendliest of them all, tried her best to connect to the two other girls in the team – Bhie and Damaris.  Unfortunately, that didn’t work out too well, thanks to the wonderful breakfast comments we heard.

First, there was the thing about our boys not being gentlemanly enough.  I guess because certain people expected their bags to be carried and this didn’t happen, it was translated to them not being chivalrous.  Was chivalry truly dead in our group?  Of course not – at least not with the boys I hung out with – but that’s besides the point.  I openly admit that I appreciate having my things carried for me as much as the next person, but should boys not carry it for me, why should I get totally offended by that?  In the first place, it was MY CHOICE to bring the bag that I brought – so I should be accountable for lugging it around.  The logic of that particular expectation completely escapes me.

Second, who, in the Goddess’s name gave Bhie the authority to “test” who was ready to be the next coordinator?  Dudes and Dudettes, it was a vacation – a vacay with an ulterior motive, true – but a vacation nonetheless.  My idea of a vacation is doing the things I want to do, buying the things I want to buy and hanging out with the people I love hanging out with.  Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate the “structured” approach to our trip – it certainly made sure that most of our hours were accounted for – but after day 2, it became a little too much.  By Day 3 – and this probably had more to do with the fact that Jenn and I were supposed to have planned this segment – I was all but ready to get a gun, put it against my head and pull the trigger.  Like I’m SO SORRY that I wasn’t as organized as them.  Yes, again, dripping with sarcasm.

But, going back to my original point, groups were broken and formed in that little country not so far away.  Their group lost Anthony but gained Art… and we gained Anthony.  It was nice to find a new friend in a place where I didn’t really expect to find one.

Now, we’re back in Manila and the team obviously hadn’t forgotten how we had formed our little cliques.  Anthony totally loves his teammates – now whether the feeling is mutual or not is something I will eventually find out.  Incidentally – and just because I have to say this – the absurdity of that last statement almost made me laugh out loud.  Okay, back to the story.

Yesterday – so recent, right? – I decided to migrate to the other area because of two things.  One, when I got back from FEU, no one was in our area.  Second, Anthony was in his.  What I failed to notice was that Damaris was there, but since she was a non-entity to me and didn’t really matter that much, I didn’t really mind.  So Damaris and I exchanged our his and hellos and I sat down next to Anthony will every intention of bugging him.  Then Jenn showed up, demanding why I was where I was.  Soon, Jenn and I had relocated to the other area, with laptops and all.  Now Damaris was supposed to be obsing Therese’s run of Strategic Marking, if I’m not mistaken – and in her haste to finish all she had to finish (I’m assuming that was her reason.  I could be wrong, you know.), she started telling Anthony to do most of the stuff that she was accountable for.

It was the statement “Binebenta nga kita eh” that triggered my chismosa-ness and REALLY made me pay attention.  When I heard Anthony reply with “E di wag mo ko ibenta”, I was seriously contemplating to pull him down to his seat.  Good thing he enough sense to walk away and tune the rest of her comments out.

I don’t like Damaris… She acts all weak and kawawa, but what she really is is passive-aggressive.  She’s the type who will push people around if they don’t complain, and the minute they do, she’ll burst into tears and play the victim.  I hate that.  I think there are two kinds of people in this world – those who victimize other people and those who allow themselves to be victimized.  There’s always a choice.  I don’t think she’ll ever have the nerve to really go head to head with anyone – she’s weak that way.


Jenn and I were telepathically communicating, but I think our lines got crossed and she couldn’t get what I was trying to say, which was “go online”.  Later on, I found out she was shouting “Must go online” in her head – and yet I was online and she wasn’t.  Again, totally coincidental that I was there, but that didn’t make it any less awkward.  At least Anthony had the decency to feel ashamed of having witnesses to that little spat.  Today, she didn’t say two words to me, I think.  Again, I actually don’t mind if people don’t like me – it isn’t exactly my goal to win the Ms. Congeniality award in the office.  What I do hope for, however, is more transparency.  All I want is to have friends who are REAL and the rest are just people that I have to work well with.

So let’s hope for that.

For now, I have to go because I am seriously burning with fever and will have to attend an SMB session tomorrow.  So here’s to having more interesting days in the office that I can write about.

@ JCB: Happy ka na?  Nakapag-blog na ulit ako =)

@ ACD: Remind me of that theory I thought of tomorrow.

Blessed Be…

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Just Saying (18/365)

The Hongkong trip was AWESOME!!!

Blessed Be.

Blessed Me =)

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Making Memories (or Is That Your Natural Eye Color?) (09/365)

If you had asked me yesterday if I thought the day would be fun, my answer would have been a big fat NO.  But, just like I was with so many other things, I was wrong.

It started with lunch with Chris at Shangri-la – he had steak and I had McDonald’s.  We both refer to it as comfort food.  Why he needed comfort food, I had no idea. At around 2 pm, we decided to move on.  The plan, originally made while in Starbucks with Errolle and Marvin the night before, was to meet up with Mark then pick up Marovi from the airport.  It was rather straightforward until we were actually living it.

We did meet up with Mark (Chris really, really wanted to meet him) in Ayala a little after 2 in the afternoon.  After standing around in front of that building next to PBCOM, I finally convinced them to accompany me to the office because I wanted to pick up some stuff I had to use for the next day’s SMB session.  Chris, wearing beige pants and slippers, opted to not go to the fourth floor with me mainly because he “felt so underdressed”.  Thinking this was a good moment for him and Mark to start a conversation, I left them downstairs and proceeded to get my paraphernalia from my desk.

Thank the Goddess, no one was in our area when I arrived.  I honestly did not want to have to explain why I was walking around the office wearing jeans (I was on leave) and why I was not able to report for work (this really wasn’t anybody’s business but Louie’s).  So I snatched my corporate shoes and my very corporate blazer and before anyone else asides from Bobby noticed my presence, I left.

I found the boys making small talk, apparently discussing what had happened during videoke Saturday.  It was a sudden need to drink something that finally got us walking.  One thing I did notice about those hours in Ayala is that we had this habit of standing in one spot, start talking and not move.  This particular phenomenon happened in front of the building next to PBCOM, outside my office building, the corner of Rufino and Dela Rosa, inside Mini-Stop and outside Mini-Stop.  But I digress.

At the corner of Rufino and Dela Rosa, Chris was trying to decide where to get water – from 711 (wherein we had to cross the street to reach) or Mini-Stop (where just had to turn the corner and walk a little further).  This is Chris we’re talking about – of course we ended up heading to Mini-Stop.  He got his water, I got my Mountain Dew (and only because I knew I was going to topple over soon if I didn’t get any sugar in me) and Mark got some fruit juice in a bottle and we fell back into the habit of standing around some random area, talking and blocking the aisles.

At some point, Mark took a call, tried to naturally walk away from us and lowered his voice in an effort to not make us hear.  Unfortunately for him, I have bionic ears.  This obviously did not work.  And so at this point, I had to ask, “What in the Goddess’s name was that lovely language he was using?” – I did really ask this, by the way.  Unfortunately, as of the writing of this post, I have yet to get a straight answer.  Ah, Mark, my apparently multi-talented, strange-eyed friend, your attempts at hiding so many things is so… strange.  Endearing, time-consuming and a little funny, but strange.  Asides from that particular question, the other most popular inquiry (which, by the way, is presently still unanswered) was, “Is that your natural eye color?”  Chris and I spent many minutes trying to figure out whether or not Mark was wearing colored contact lenses.

Moving on… Our time with Mark comes to a close a little after this because he still opted to continue with his errands and I had opted to spare him from continuously trying to say no to me.  I think he’s just really nice that way and, if left to my own devices, I  would have bullied him  endlessly.  That said, between the time we left Mini-Stop and when Chris and I finally got a cab, I had somehow managed to get a door slammed in my face, almost losing my balance on a sidewalk and getting left behind on the other side of the street.

With Mark physically out of the picture, in comes Marovi.  Marovi is Chris’s cousin from his mother’s side.  She was scheduled to arrive at 5:00 pm at Terminal 2 and we were supposed to pick her up.  The very first thing I thought of upon getting out of the cab was, “I’ve been here before.”  It was the same terminal I had been in when I last left for Hong Kong in 2006.  I loved being in the airport – I still think it’s one of the most hope-filled places in the world.  Maybe because for me, it symbolizes the many, many possibilities and the many, many lives being lived all over the world and the many, many stories they tell.  There is also that rush of adrenaline, brought about by the “what-ifs” and “what-coulds”.  The airport is a portal… It is a gateway to a different place, a different culture… A different life.

Anywho.  While waiting for Marovi to walk out into the arrival area, a former Sykes employee approached us and started a conversation.  Chris, always the better people person, engaged in dialogue.  Neither of us remembered who this girl was, but it was Chris who verbalized this.  It turned out she was an SBRC agent named Divine and is now in Manulife.  It truly is a small, small world. And sometimes, no matter how far apart we feel we’ve become, it’s surprising to find out how we are still somehow tied to one another.  Manulife is currently a client of ours – a client wherein AdSup is being run.  Divine, bless her soul, is currently attending the AdSup class being run by Abet.  See?  It’s like 6-degrees to Kevin Bacon all over again.

So the original plan was pick up Marovi and bring her to her cousin’s house in Cavite.  What really happened was this – we did meet with Marovi at the arrival area of Terminal 2.  She, however, also had two friends pick her up.  It ended as all five of us – the two friends, Marovi, Chris and I – piling up in a car and driving to Blue Wave where we had “merienda” in Starbucks.  Chris finally got to try the Grilled Ham and Three Cheese sandwich that I love so much.  Now he loves it too.  We also decided to split a venti Earl Grey and now I’ve discovered that I don’t particularly like Earl Grey.  English Breakfast is still the best for me, except that I always get a bum tummy what I drink it.

After the afternoon snack, we ended up taking a cab to Bacoor.  A cab.  I wouldn’t have taken a cab to… well, anywhere.  But then again, I wasn’t the one with the luggage, nor was I paying, so a cab it was.  I was very amused by the fact that because I was with Ilonggo people, I remembered every single Ilonggo term I had ever learned.  And all communication was done in our dialect.  Not bad for someone who’s only ever been to Bacolod once.

We ended up having dinner in Judy’s house – fish, corned beef, cheese dogs, rice and soup.  Any takers on who ate the most?  Oh, wait, that’s a total giveaway.  It was a nice dinner – very quiet, very homey, and very let’s-all-sit-down-and-eat-dinner-as-a-family.  By this time, it was 9:00 pm and I could feel myself drooping.  In the end, we decided to sleep over, accepting the fact that we would have to get up at 4:00 am to be ready to travel to Manila by 5:00 am.  I went up early – mostly because I haven’t really slept and the pressure from the emotional roller coaster that is my life was taking its toll.  Chris, who was playing catch-up with his cousin, later on told me they were still awake at 2:30 am.  And yet he was the one who called me up at 4 am to make sure I was awake.  That meant he had around an hour and a half of sleep.

Miraculously, though, we were done preparing by 4:30 am and were out of the house by a little before 5 am.  At that early an hour, I really kind of thought it would be fairly easy to get a ride.  I was wrong.  In the end, we took a cab (again!).  Chris decided to risk it because the fare would be metered anyway.  We ended up paying Php205, which wasn’t bad.  We got to Manila a little after 6 am.  Because it was obviously too early for me to go waiting at The Podium, Chris decided that he would go home first.  I agreed to this because it would allow me to apply make up and dress up and tie my hair.  On the way to his apartment, however, we started seeing a lot of karinderias and ended up having breakfast at R & J’s.  I finally got to order the tapsilog that I’ve wanted to try since the first time we tried eating there.  The food, as usual, was AWESOME.  As in AWESOME.  Tapsilog and Beef Kaldereta.  AWESOME.

I have to go back there soon.  Anywhere, back to the real world.  Until next time…


Blessed Be…

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