Archives

Happy 33rd Birthday to Me!

I turned 33 yesterday, April 10. I didn’t celebrate it… I mean, I’m too tired and not wanting to socialize so I just went to church (D- took and picked me up to/from church). After church we just went to Wendy’s to get a 4 for $4 meal plus extra fries and a chocolate Frosty for me. It was good.. 🙂 Better than the fancy meal we had last Saturday at BJ’s. Well, we call it fancy because we’re very frugal and a $50 meal is already fancy for us. I was looking forward to enjoying my Grilled Chicken Alfredo but I didn’t really like it and ended up only eating a tenth of it. 😦

Anyway, so we enjoyed our Wendy’s meal and went to Walmart to get some bananas, and Honeycrisp apples. We’ve been eating more fruits than meat lately. And it’s very surprising especially for my meat-eating husband.

I enjoyed just lying on the couch and relaxing. We watched Star Wars for the 3rd time while I responded to Facebook greetings and messages.

Update on my pregnancy: I’m already on my 13th week! We had an ultrasound for baby on April 7 – so the doctors can check if the baby is growing at a normal rate and they measured the fluid that was on the baby’s neck to find out if he/she has Down Syndrome. Doctor said that babies who have Down Syndrome have 3 or more measures (forgot the measurement) while normal babies should have less than 3. Our baby had 1.67, which is good! Yay! 🙂 So we finally announced the pregnancy on Facebook and a lot of people left messages of support, which warmed my heart.

What I’m worried about: I have been stressing about my project and work in general. Recently there’s been  a lot of pressure at work. And I’m overwhelmed. I need to handle it better.
– What can I do?
– manage my time better
– organize my work better
– ask help
– delegate
– Work SMARTER!

I’m going back to blogging regularly because this helps me de-stress and unwind

Pre-32 Post 31: Looking back at the year that was

This is it! I’m officially out of the calendar in one week! I’m turning 32 next week! I can’t believe it. Time flies. So fast.

Dated. Said Yes. Got Married. Now Living Happily with the Love of My Life.

Joined project. Learned. Batch. Interface. Team. Friends. Offshore.

Miss -> Mrs. 🙂

Austin. Houston. Arlington. Waco. San Antonio. Texas.

Want to blog. Words. Short. Back. Blog. Short. Sweet.

To a true friend on her birthday

15-12-06_1402 tres marias

We’ve been friends since the year 2000. That means it’s been almost 13 years of friendship. We came to know each other when we took up BS in Information Technology at MSU-IIT. Our friendship deepened when I became President of our department org – JITS and she became our Treasurer. We also became group mates in several school projects, experienced the same struggles, challenges and fun that college life had to offer.

We have fond memories of celebrating Valentines day in one of the streets of Iligan – sharing our “love” problems – as if! Hehe. Those “problems” seem so childish now but they felt like life-and-death situations back then. Oh, puppy love. :p

After graduating from college, I worked in MSU, at Gensan – her hometown. She resigned from her first job at STI to work with me at MSU. And there we felt like being in college once again – but on a whole different level. I worked as an IT instructor and she was a programmer at the Computer Center. We witnessed how each other matured, fell in love, got hurt, and survived life’s trials.

She has always been my confidante, my shoulder to cry on and my “encourager”. As they say, big things come in small packages. She may be small, but she definitely has one of the biggest hearts in this universe. Other people may see her as maarte, mataray, or suplada. But for us who really know her, she’s probably the sweetest, kindest and most supportive friend one can ever have.
cropped

 Han, although we are now miles apart, we have managed to still keep in touch of each other regularly. I feel that you are really just around the corner. And I am really,  really grateful to you for that. You know what, you are the only constant thing that has remained in my ever-changing world – for 13 years (except for my family)! People have come and go, I’ve been to different places, worked at different offices, but you have been with me all through this time. You don’t know how much I treasure that. I’m really lucky to have you. As a friend, I really couldn’t ask more from you. You are just amazing!

Always remember that I am your friend and will probably be for the rest of our lives. I wish for your true happiness. May you always be a great mom to my godson Yoel, a loving wife to your husband, and a caring daughter and sister. I pray that you’ll always have good health and you’ll never be hospitalized for any sickness again. Continue to be the strong and beautiful woman that you are. May we continue to grow in our faith in God and offer our weaknesses to Him – our main source of strength and inspiration. I love you, my friend.

P.S. I’ve been wanting to make this post for you but for 2 years, this time of the year has always been very busy for me. And now, here it is… I hope (and I know) that you will have a great day today. We’ll continue to be awesome at 30! Enjoy your day!!! Happy, happy, birthday! Sending hugs and kisses!

Happy at Thirty!

Wow, I’m 30! I always thought being thirty was wayyyy old. And mature. But I still feel (and look) like I’m in my early twenties. :p

I still got one more year to go before I’m finally out of the calendar. Oh.. but who cares? Right now I am just so thankful for the wonderful years that God has given me.

When I turned 20, I wrote a 5-year and 10-year plan on my diary. Well, a lot of my plans have already materialized, like being able to:

– complete my Masters degree in IT (at 24)
– get IT certifications (PhilNITS at 24 and Java at 29)
– help my parents in sending my brothers to college (at 25 and  28)
– work in a world-class IT company (at 28)
– serve at The Feast (at 28)
– start paying for my own property (at 29)
– cross off items on my bucket list like treating my family to an out-of-town vacation, going to Japan, and giving my parents an anniversary trip

However, I also envisioned myself getting married and having my own family at 26. It didn’t come true but it’s been a colorful and interesting journey. I have endured (and survived) 3 major heartbreaks. It was tough, but I learned a lot. And those experiences have shaped and made me the person that I am today.

My friends actually agreed with me when I told them that I noticed that I am more at peace, more secure, and more emotionally mature now. Before, I used to cry and succumb to sadness and negativity when I am faced with problems and challenges. Right now, I already know how to handle challenges and negative emotions. I now face the world with a positive disposition. I may have failed a lot in the past, but I know that they are only stepping stones to a better version of me. 🙂

I honestly think that 30 is better than 20 because when you’re at 30, most often than not, you already know yourself better, you are able to make wiser decisions because of your accumulated experiences, and you are already working on a job that you really love.

I was thinking about writing this post when I came across Bianca Gonzalez’s latest post on her blog. I super like what she’s written about why being 30 is more awesome than being 20.

Why being 30 is more awesome than being 20. 

 

Because you can say you’ve “been there, done that” to problems that you had no idea how you’d get through when you were 20.

 

Because you’ve embarrassed yourself and committed booboos enough times to know how to laugh at yourself and not take yourself too seriously.

 

Because when they say you have to be “whole” before entering a relationship, you kinda know better what it means to be “whole”.

 

Because you need not be too safe with your words and you don’t really feel the need to please others all the time. Why? Because you are strong enough to stand by your word and you learn that you really cannot please everyone.

 

Because by 30, you’ve probably gone through a point in your life where you lost everything, and you know now that you are strong enough to pick yourself up again and rebuild your life.

 

Because by now you’ve sort of figured out the answer to that nagging quarter life crisis question: What is my place in the world?

 

Because you just know yourself better. 🙂

 

I’m not saying I have it all figured out because I don’t, but I can say I know how to go about things a bit more.

 

– Bianca Gonzalez

 

I look forward to more awesome years ahead and I trust that God has the best in store for me (and for you, too!).  😉

Birthday trip day 5: Camiguin Island

Whoa, it’s my nth birthday! (Note: This post was written on April 10) 😀

I woke up with a smile on my face. My family is with me (although we’re missing my brother Jong and his family) and I’m on Camiguin Island! Yey!!! 🙂

We had a terrific day yesterday. The expense for the tour around some of Camiguin’s tourist spots was really worth it. I woke them up at around 5:30 so that we can go to White Island and enjoy the sandbar before it gets too hot. We rented a pumpboat for 400 pesos and 2 pairs of goggles and life vests so we could enjoy swimming and catching a glimpse of some fish.
white_island

We had a very simple breakfast of camote, banana (saba), pansit bihon (for long life), pork barbecue, and milo/coffee. Hmm.. I am sooo grateful to the Lord for this very wonderful day! 🙂

We ate toyom (sea urchin meat), which was sold on the island for 20 pesos. It was Mama’s favorite and she really couldn’t resist eating it. It looked yummy so I gave it a try.. It’s not that  yummy for my taste, but it’s not bad either. 😀

with_loved_onessolo_camiguinL-R: At White Island, Highway overlooking sea, Old Church ruins, Walkway, Ardent Hot Spring

I didn’t want to leave Camiguin and be away from my family again but Mama had to get her PRC licence from Butuan. So at 10am, we left the beautiful island. It only took us about an hour and a half to reach Balingoan port. My siblings and the other passengers caught a glimpse of a dolphin! Oh, lucky them. I only saw the dolphin when it was already submerged in water and it quickly disappeared.

After having our lunch at one of the carinderias in the port, we bid each other goodbye at Balingoan bus terminal. Amazingly, the van from Balingoan to CDO cost only 100 pesos and it only took 2 hours for me to reach CDO! At 2pm, I was back in CDO… and since Dianne was still busy at work, I had to stay at D Morvie inn for 200 pesos (12-hr stay). The room was really tiny but since it was airconditioned, had a cable TV, and Wifi connection, it really wasn’t bad at all.

I had dinner with my friend Dianne and her friend at Loreto’s. They serve good food and there was a live band – we even asked them to sing Happy birthday for me. Hehe.. Yey! 🙂 After our dinner, we went to a Class A seaside restaurant just to feel its ambience. It was beautiful and romantic. Perfect for a date. Haha. Dianne and I reminisced about our high school experiences and crushes. We even sang our first year high school Science class song..

The time to be happy is now, and the place to be happy is here. And the way to be happy, is to make others happy and to have a little heaven down here! room29

Haha. We were like two giggling high schoolers once again. Note: The first 3 pics were taken on April 8, on Ferl’s birthday at their home in CDO. The last pic with Dianne was taken at Loreto’s during my birthday. 🙂

When I was back at the inn, I felt a little sad to be alone in the tiny room. Luckily, there was Wifi and I was so happy when I found a lot of birthday messages from my friends and family in my Facebook inbox! Laiza and Ems even had a video greeting for me. Awww… so sweet! A perfect way to end my birthday! 🙂

Birthday trip day 4: Camiguin tour

I woke up after about only 4 hours of sleep. I’m so excited to meet my family in Balingoan. I had breakfast with my pretty hostess, Dianne. She’s my roommate, classmate, groupmate, and friend from high school. Of course, a sleepover isn’t enough to catch up with each other’s lives.

She instructed me to take a tricycle and then a jeepney to Agorra terminal, where I can find a van that will take me to Balingoan port. Luckily, when I arrived at Agorra, I immediately spotted the van. It wasn’t full yet but after about 5 minutes, we were off to Balingoan.
image
However there was a loooong and slow caravan that was campaigning for some politicians that blocked our way. 😦 So the supposedly 1 hour trip from Cagayan de Oro to Balingoan became 3 hours! My family arrived at Balingoan port sooner than me. 😦 But it’s okay, we were reunited at Balingoan port at last!

Fare (van) CDO to Balingoan port: 120
Ferry to Camiguin: 170 (plus environment fee: 5 + terminal fee: 25)

We had a quick lunch before we got on the ferry. It was a bit cloudy and the waves were a little scary but overall, it was a fine day. Yey!!! We were finally on our way to Camiguin Island! The ferry trip took us 2 hours.

Upon arriving at Camiguin port, we rode another van to Mambajao, which was about 15 minutes. And then a tricycle took us to Pabua’s Cottage.

Van to Mambajao: 30 pesos
Tricycle: 20 pesos

Finally, we checked in at Pabua’s cottage, which costs 1,200 for an overnight stay. It was pretty comfortable, air-conditioned with 3 twin sized beds, a bathroom, cable TV, and Wifi connection. Hmm.. Value for my money! 🙂

image

I allowed my family to take some rest because they came from a gruelling 10 hour trip from Mangagoy. At around 4pm, we rented a multicab for 1,000. It took us to the Walkway, Sunken Cemetery, Old Church Ruins, and Ardent Hot Spring.

sunken_cemetery

family_camiguin

Oh, by the way, Ardent Hot Spring had an entrance fee of 30 pesos each and table rental of 70 pesos. Pretty affordable and tourist-friendly. 😉
ardent_hot_spring

After which we had a sumptuous (advanced birthday) dinner at a restaurant. The bulalo and lechon manok were really, really yummy! It’s one of the tastiest lechon manoks I’ve ever tasted. Yum!

We went back to Pabua’s Cottage after dinner and got reconnected with the rest of the world through Wifi connection. If you wanna visit Camiguin and you are on a tight budget, I highly recommend Pabua’s Cottage. 🙂 Happy trip!
dinner_pabua_cottage

Birthday trip day1

An overly excited /anxious (to be left by d plane) me+ very humid weather = sleepless traveler. Despite my lack of sleep, my energy was still at its all-time high because I’ll be ‘home’ with my loved ones.

image

image

I had a great time catching up with my family in Davao. James, my cousin, has recently arrived from Doha, Qatar. And he got chocolategr and lotion for me. Yey! I was supposed to leave for bukidnon right after the delicious lunch prepared by Mommy(my beloved aunt) but she wanted to watch ‘It takes a man and a woman’ at Gaisano Mall of Davao. I’ve been planning to watch the movie too so it would be great to watch it with them. The movie was indeed fun to watch. Just a chillax, light, funny movie.

I was supposed to leave right after the movie but because my cellphone was so careless and got left behind at Mommy’s house, I had to ask James to meet me at SM Lanang to give my phone. Grr.. me and my carelessness!

Because of that, I didn’t catch the last 4-stop aircon bus bound to cdo (last trip: 6pm). Whew! It’s the only glitch to my otherwise perfect Davao stop. But wait, I saved 80 pesos and traveling at night to Buda is pleasant coz it’s cold there. Sort of Tagaytay of Mindanao. Plus my seatmate will also stop at Salawagan (it’s my first time to visit my sis n law’s place), so it’s really a blessing in disguise. 🙂

One thing I don’t like about being with my loved ones is the immediate feeling of loneliness and ‘missing-them’ feelings right after. Sigh.. but this is my reality. Just gotta live with it and deal with it. All in all, it’s a beautiful day in my ‘2nd’ city-Davao. Till next visit!

image

Posted from WordPress for Android

Happy 1st Anniversary!

Tomorrow I will be celebrating my first anniversary with my present company. It’s been an incredible year. As I look back at my first year in the IT industry, I want to answer the same questions that took me here in the first place. (I used this questionnaire to help me decide about leaving my former job and moving to my new company).

  1. Are you satisfied with your job at present in terms of the following:
  •  compensation? My career counselor also asked me this question when we had a one on one discussion and he was surprised when I said ‘Yes.’ He said there are only a few people that he knows who actually says that they are satisfied with their current compensation. Maybe because I am not expecting too much or maybe because I have been accustomed to the low salary rates of a university instructor or maybe it’s just because I know how to handle money. I am not so certain with my reason. But yes, I am satisfied with my compensation. I was able to pay my brother’s tuition on time, live comfortably, pay my bills, tithe, save, and invest.
  • career growth – does it help you improve your skills and increase your learning? Yes! My golly, I have learned so much about the IT industry in this one year. Also, from zero knowledge in some of the technologies that we are using, I am now about 30% knowledgeable. :p My JEE proficiency has also increased because of my exposure to a project. I am so glad that I am now able to apply the things that I have been reading and teaching to my students before. Although it pains me to realize that what we are teaching in school is just the tip of the iceberg. Or maybe just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. Haha. Aside from that, I was also able to explore/try out other things outside of work that I haven’t tried before such as: volunteering for Childhope Asia, joining Toastmasters Club, Yoga, Taebo and cooking class, Young Entrepreneur’s club, and other stuff that the company offers to its employees. I have been so active in joining these clubs/seminars/trainings/volunteer work before, when I was not yet deployed to a project.

2. Is your environment conducive to working? Yes. It’s good that the company provides for the needs of its employees and making sure that we are able to work comfortably.

3. Are you comfortable with the people you work with – your peers, teammates, management/staff? Yes. I am glad that so far, I have been working with nice, smart and fun people.

4. What are the things you want to change/improve? What are the challenges you’ve encountered in doing your job? Hmm…… if I am given the power to improve something in my present job, it would be the work hours. I do not believe in working for more than 40 hours per week. I believe that there’s more to life than work. Your work should not define you. You don’t live to work, you work to live. Unfortunately, they say that it’s normal for us in the IT industry to have erratic working hours. They say it’s inevitable. This, of all the challenges I’ve encountered in my job, is the hardest for me to accept. Especially because my longest job, the one I had for 6 years – as an IT instructor in Mindanao State University only required me to work for at most 8 hours in selected days  or a total of about 26 teaching hours per week. Plus I got to enjoy Christmas and summer vacations and sem breaks. Another challenge for me is being so new to the industry and yet a lot is expected of me because of my position. I had so much to learn and unlearn, I had to adjust with the corporate environment, and at the same time, lead the younger ones, who, like me, are also new to the company. And most of the time, they know a lot more than I do because they’ve been in the IT industry much longer.

In the next months or maybe years with the company or the IT industry, I want to be more daring, assertive, and proactive. I wish to take on roles or tasks that will help me maximize my full potential. I want to push myself to my limits, in terms of software engineering, system requirements and analysis,  Java skills and soft skills such as communicating with, and leading people. However, as I have said, I wish this would be possible even if I don’t have to extend my working hours. (I also have other plans with my life and other dreams I want to pursue).

5. Do you see yourself in the same job or company for the next 5 years? Maybe.

A life well lived is simply a compilation of days well spent.-Douglas Pagels

Thank you for these wonderful gifts… =)

The wonderful gift from Ems: a book: Gifts I’d Like to Give to You… super nice

And Laiza’s mini dress from Boracay… =)

 She is my childhood bestfriend, Honey. We’ve known each other since we were in our mothers’ wombs. Haha. We practically grew together and she’s like a  sister to me. We’ve last seen each other during her wedding at Cebu in 2008. Old friendships, like wine, are really the best because they get better as time goes by. I am so glad we met here in Manila and got reunited after 3 years… =)

This little package really surprised me. I couldn’t believe that he’s capable to do such a thing… thank you! It means a lot to me.