Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I enjoyed My Century Bangus Fillet at Home


I can’t help but notice that ever since I became a family man, I sometimes smell like a fish.

No, I did not marry a mermaid or a fish vendor. It’s just that things are a little different now that I prioritize changing the diapers of my 8-month old son than performing personal rituals. Don’t get me wrong ‘coz I am not complaining about it. It’s just that I am someone who is used to smelling good, since my work often requires me to interact with a lot of people.

At home, I am a hands-on father. I see to it that my baby has taken all his vitamins, had a nice bath and finished his favorite baby music CD before I leave for work. My wife goes to work an hour earlier than me and we asked my mom to look after our son for the meantime while we are still looking for a baby sitter.

With this kind of routine five times a week, I feel in love with anything instant. From 5-in1 coffee mix to no-cook noodles to easy-open canned goods, I find an ally to anything I can prepare and eat while carrying my little Charles.

In my short list of favorite food-for-those-on-the-go, Century canned products are on top. Not only that they are delicious, they are also good for the health. It is naturally rich in Omega 3 DHA that helps boost brain function That’s why I don’t mind friends who would tease, “I smell something fishy around here.” They’re might just be referring to my new found tummy pleasure.

My wife and I have a current favorite among the many Century products in the market. It is Century Gourmet Bangus Fillet which is really tasty and quite an experience out of the can. We have tried it as toppings on hot sinangag for breakfast; brought a can to office for lunch; and served as main course in an impromptu candlelight dinner at home. The best part is you don’t need a can opener to experience a great tasting meal. Just pull off the lid on top of the can and the rest is fish-tory, err, I mean history.

Century Gourmet Bangus Fillet has become a regular fixture in our house, specifically in the kitchen where at least a couple of can should be on stock in the food cabinet.

I’ll share a little funny anecdote which involves my son and a can of Century Gourmet Bangus Fillet that was caught on video using my cellphone (pls check video post below). Charles has fascination on anything my wife and I use frequently--- TV remote control, PC mouse, cellphones, etc. He would take ‘em from our hands and stick ‘em to his mouth.

One night, I arrived from work with a small bag of groceries. While I was taking the stuff out of the bag, Charles in his walker managed to grab a can of Century. I took it from his hands and asked him what he was holding and immediately returned it to him because he might cry. When he got hold again of the can, he shifted his walker to left and run away from me as if trying to protect his precious. Charles made what I call “a Century dash” four months before he even hit his first year of existence.

For now, we have to consult first Charles’ pediatrician if he’ll be allowed already to take a bite of this fish offering from Century. I’m sure it will not be a long wait from now that I will finally be sharing a can with my little boy. And who cares if we both smell like fish as long it's for the love of Century. And besides, I just love the idea of like father, like son.

video

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lessons from a Storm


It was the worst storm in the last 50 years with a record 41.5 centimeters of rainfall in one day that caused a flood of chaos in the nation’s capital resulting to over two hundred of casualties, dozens of people missing, half a million displaced and a damage to crops and infrastructure that is estimated to reach P3 billion.  Sounds like a good synopsis for a disaster movie but unfortunately it is a real life story that will be remembered as one of the darkest days in our history.

For days, we have glued our eyes in front of our TV sets to wait for news updates and advisories about the devastation brought by typhoon Ondoy.  Every scene, video clip or snap shot flashed on screen is like a bitter pill that is hard to swallow.  “I thought I was just dreaming,” said by a woman in an evacuation center when asked by a reporter to describe how she feels that moment.  I’m sure many share the same sentiment.  I know because it really felt surreal to see our house soaked in dirty water with all our things cluttered just a few days after cleaning and arranging all our stuff before I left for the PMAP conference festivities. 

We have heard a lot of stories about that fateful day --- many were heartbreakers that can soften even the heart of stone.  But there were also tales that make us cheer in the midst of the tragedy from time to time.  Indeed, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  Humbled by the storm, it will be easier for us to stand if we put in mind the lessons we can gain from the experience.   Here are some of those learning that I want to share:
  
If there’s a will, there’s a way Did you see the man on a wheelchair in the middle of a busy street wrestling against strong wind and rain to find a safe place to stay? How about the man trying to cross the ravaging flood walking on Meralco wires just to get home?  You can say things about their foolishness but you have to commend their heart and spirit.  They were not afraid to take what ever it takes to achieve their goals.  

Bayanihan still lives on Despite of the incidents of looting, overpricing of goods and alarming hoax text messages, the spirit of camaraderie finds its way to the hearts of the many.  It’s like Christmas where people become generous and ready to lend a helping hand.  But what really hit me was the story of two unsung heroes from Batasan, Quezon City. Muelmar Magallanes and Rolly Ignacio were already in a safe place when they saw neighbors drowning in the flood.  They were able to save many lives but did not survive the fury of the storm.  They who have almost nothing were the ones who gave everything they have for the sake of others. 

Even a click of a finger can save lives Forget the insensitive remarks of Facebook user Jacque Bermejo (Buti na lang am here in Dubai! Maybe so many sinners back there! So yeah deserving what happened), but we have to admit that being a little tech savvy these days is important if not a must.  I know some people who admitted that if not for a message posted in their Facebook and Twitter account, they might have been one of the many victims of Ondoy.  Members of such social network sites posted updates, notes and even videos online that made a lot of people aware of places or roads to avoid during the storm.  Now, text messaging has found a new partner in reaching out to people in the fastest way possible. 

There is life in after a tragedy Just like a promise of a rainbow after the rain, there is hope in every misfortune.  After two days on the rooftop of his house soaked in flood water, a man was finally rescued in the morning of his birthday.  It was drama yet joyful when his rescuers sang a happy birthday tune.  A female doctor of UERM hospital was inside his car when her vehicle was carried to nowhere by the flood.  Without hesitations, a security guard of the hospital jumped to save the terrified woman.  She lives another day and so does her patients.  A pregnant woman about to give birth was trapped in the second floor of a neighbor’s house.  He was saved by an American soldier who brought him to the nearest hospital.  The baby boy was named Jonathan in honor of his rescuer, Dr. Johnny Potter of the US Army.   
  
It’s not only the rain we should blame.  We can’t deny the fact that we could have also contributed to the enormous damage brought by the storm.  Garbage management has always been a problem in the past and we should be aware that even those little trashes that we just throw anywhere will return to us in bulks through floods and other calamities.  Be eco-friendly and maximize the use of every material at home or at the office.  We can get some inspiration from the people who created boats out of plastic containers, truck wheel’s rubber interiors, busted air bed and other things just to cope and survive the flood.

There is a thing called prayer to hang on to during desperate times.  I can’t remember when was the last time I prayed so hard for the rain to stop.  I usually devote minutes of prayer every morning to talk to God for all his blessings and wishes for my love ones but that Saturday morning during the wrath of Ondoy, I prayed the rosary with my wife asking for the weather to calm down.  I consider it a miracle to have saved all the important things in our home considering that we have no second floor and the flood outside was chest-deep.  Reminds me of a mother being interviewed on TV in an evacuation area.  She said (in tagalong), “We almost gave up because we really thought that no one can save us and we will all drown to death.  Then my daughter told us to pray and papa Jesus will save us.” 

 When you’re down, there’s no way to go but up.  Two years ago, tragedy struck our family.  Within the last quarter of 2007, we lost my first child Monique and younger brother Jimmy in two separate unfortunate incidents.  There was no devastating flood nor heavy rains but it felt like I was drowning.  Through the help of our friends, in their own little way, my family is learning to move on.  Now, this family is coping on how to live in a drenched house.  No, we’re not down because we’ve just been there and together we will all stand up to continue this journey called life.

We all have our own Ondoy story to tell.  Whether it’s a near-death experience, an unforgettable moment or a sad story, we should always remember that it is not only misery that we get from a tragedy.  Every obstacle in the roads we take can make us a better and stronger person.  We just have to learn from the lessons from a storm.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ready, Get Set... Game!


My family is a game show!

My father-in-law is the “Banker”, my brother-in-law is the game master, my wife is one of the sideshow dancers while I always give my all to get the prizes of the games.

It just happened that we just love little competitions in the family from time to time. It could happen during birthdays, victory parties, holiday celebrations or even in an evening when we feel like locking our horns. Every family game night is an event that each member of the family is excited about. This tradition has evolved from a family of eight contenders to eighteen (our housemaid included) who tries to outwit and outplay each other.

We have tried different board games like Monopoly, The Game of Life and Uno. We have also played games of all sorts and silliness from the classic Charades to the no-brainer Hep Hep Hooray to the national pastime Pinoy Henyo. We would often do it in pairs--- me and wife vs. my in-laws and their spouses. On special occasions like Christmas, we usually divide the family into two groups. Last year, we draw straws to know in which teams one will be included. This year, it will be boys versus girls as we slug it out which group can best interpret the viral tune “Nobody” by the Korean pop sensations Wondergirls.

But before the main event of the evening, we always start our family game night with parlor games and fun activities. Each couple will take turns in hosting a game and should provide prizes for the winners. Every one gives their best no matter what the prize is. Last time, I got a bar of chocolate and a Php 50 worth of gift certificate for the two games me and my wife won. It’s actually the bragging rights of who won most of the games that we are after. The invisible trophy stays in your house until the next family game night.

What we actually like about such activity is that we learn new things (from trivia games), build trust, strengthen our relationship, discover more about each and everyone and enjoy the company of our loves ones without spending much. And so we say, “The family that prays and plays together, stays forever!”

Thanks to Animetric’s World and Color Mix Toys and Games for coming up with a great promotion that reminds us in a way the importance family game nights in every home.

Color Mix Toys and Games is the exclusive Philippine distributor of Hasbro games like the Family Game Night line that will bring back those fun times shared with our family when TV sets and PCs were just mere household appliances, unlike today that these things actually get a chunk from our family time.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Gingersnap's Warehouse Sale 2009


It's been an annual event for me and my wife to wait for the banner announcements of Gingersnap's Warehouse Sale. We have actually memorized where in Pasig they will post the said banners since their warehouse is just a walking distance from our home.

Today, Nov. 16 is the start of their much-awaited sale (lucky people who have no work today 'coz they'll have the first crack at the items) that will last until Dec. 29, 2009.

My wife is a fan of the brand 'coz she loves the style and fit of the preggy outfits of GS when she was still carrying our little Charles. This year, it will be "all Charles" clothes once we invade their warehouse maybe this weekend if our sked will allow us (boss, no weekend work please!)

Why are we that excited? Check the prices of the GS items at malls like SM. They are a bit pricey because of the quality and designs. Maganda naman talaga. In their annual sale, you can get items below P100 that still looks it is worth a thousand pesos. I have no reason to exaggerate nor to hard sell GS since I don't know anyone working in their company. It's just our way of spreading the good news to all moms and dads out their who are looking for better cloths at lower prices and also for those soon-to-be-parents and not yet parents in search for good gifts for the coming holidays.

TIP: If you want the items to look that you got them from a GS store or from the mall, buy GS gift boxes (there are diff. designs to choose from) that are also sold at the warehouse at Php 30 each. Price is based from our last year's visit.

Attached is the map going to the Gingersnap Warehouse. They are open from 8 am to 4 pm. Their address is Warehouse 19, Armal Compound 2, M.Eusebio Ave., San Miguel, Pasig City Call 916-1553 / 916-1542 for more information :-)

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Put Angst In A News Vol. 1 Issue no. 2


Headlines:

Gloria Arroyo is facing another possible impeachment complaint due to the ZTE scandal
Does this come with hidden videos? If not, forget about it

Gas companies accused of hording petroleum products
I smell something fishy… did someone pass gas?

Bomb explosion in Puregold mart linked to business competitions
This is scary since I go to Puregold to buy Colgate since I can’t find ‘em at SM

Showbiz:

Christopher De Leon wants “to be killed” in Lovers in Paris so he can move to GMA 7
How about him hanging himself in the Eiffel Tower… that will be refreshing and asteeg storyline!

Dingdong Dantes will replace potics-bound Richard Gomez in Family Feud
Will Richard win a senate seat? Survey says…oo. (doble zero ata ‘to e)

Sesame Street turns 40!
It also means that my age is not far behind

Aling Dionesia is open for kissing scenes in her next movies
Now that’s what you call real challenge, Manny.


Sports:

Kareem Abdul Jabbar has leukemia
Now that’s a tall order

Tickets to the Pacquio-Cotto fight are selling like hotcakes in local theaters
I don’t think this will be the case for Aling Dionesia’s music album

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Put Angst In A News Vol. 1 Issue no. 1



Today is the first issue of Put Angst In A News in this Blog. This is where News and Opinion (mine) meets in 50 words or less.

Headlines:

Hillary Clinton will meet Gloria Arroyo on Thursday.
Lucky Mendiola studes… PAG-ASA might declare no classes that day!

There will be a crisis on fuel supply in the weeks to come.
Hmm… it’s beginning to look a lot like Crisis-mas

Mayor Alfredo Lim’s KKK supports Noynoy-Mar tandem
Noynoy used to have K then K got married to Mar. K to!

DOJ says convicted rapist Romeo Jaloslos unlikely to get pardon in time for 2010 polls
Lets take the soothsayers’ word for the meantime

Showbiz:

Willie Revillame is missing in ABS-CBN’s Christmas station ID
Technical malfuction lang siguro?

Ask if he’s leaving the Kapamilya station, Aga Muhlach says he will have a new show in “channel 4… channel 3?”
Put them together and remember me

Australian concert-goers says Britney Spears was lip-synching in her performance
At least they were also looking at her mouth

Thursday, November 5, 2009

What type of employee are you?


This is my article published on the Philippine Daily Inquirer - Working People Section November 1, 2009

When I was still working in a call center, one of the events that employees look forward each year is the company’s Halloween party. It’s one of those times that almost everyone in the office really spends time and money and gives extra effort on what they would wear on that day. Aside from the fact they can be “someone else” for a day, some companies actually give generous prizes to those who can think of the best costume.

In the spirit of such fun-filled activity in the workplace, I have come out of some costume suggestion to those people who have yet to decide who they’ll be come Halloween. Why not personalize your outfit based on what type of employee you are from the list that I came out with:

The Joker. The official comic relief of the company. He may not be the smartest person in the group but his one-liners or punchlines can easily perk-up everyone especially during gloomy afternoons.

But Man and Robin.
The former is someone who always has something to say before he accepts a task given to him. Maybe this is his way of bargaining if he can lighten his workload. The later is his partner in crime, sidekick and best friend rolled into one.

Invisible Men.
There are actually two sub-types of invisibility in the workplace. The first one are employees who love to file leaves of absence while the other one are those who are present in the office but their outputs are seems invisible.

The Transformers.
These people have the ability to change their behavior, work habits and opinions depending on who they are dealing with or talking to in the office.

Care Bears.
Sometimes they are referred as the “mother, father, big brother or big sister” of the office. They care for everyone and has a bagful of advices, shoulders to cry on and helping hands to anyone in need. You can talk to them inside the comfort room or a sleazy beerhouse and they won’t mind.

Pussycat Dolls.
This is a group of female employees who do almost everything at the same time—their rituals in the CR, eat lunch, go home. They usually have the same nightlife thus most of the time, all of them goes to work late.

Jonas Brothers.
The male counterpart of the Pussycat Dolls. Like the girl group, they spend a lot of time in front of the mirror especially if there is a pretty visitor in the office.

The Celebrities (Politicians, Athletes and Performers). Politicians are those who are more concern about worker’s right in the company rather than their performances. Athletes might not be your ideal team player but when it comes to company sports fest, they are your leading scorers. Performers are those who excel during office programs—they can sing, dance and do cartwheels. One common denominator among celebs is that all of them have good PR skills.

The Saint.
They are considered as the endangered species. They are straight “A” employees who have a good relationship with their bosses though they don’t want to be called as “teacher’s pets.” They amaze everyone because despite of their busy skeds and toxic workloads, they still find time to participate in company extra-curricular activities.

Gifted Child. The people who have an answer on every question and problem in the office. But sometimes they know too much that they tend to cross the limits and can be a bit annoying although they don’t really mean it.

Commoners.
They are the so-called generic members of the class. It’s either they lack individuality or they always play safe at work that their boss won’t even notice if they will be absent for a week.

The above list should not be taken seriously although we can’t deny that it is a slice of reality from our workplaces. Whether you see yourself in one of the categories or not, a fact that remains is that every one of us has a role to perform in our respective organizations.