Sunday, December 31, 2006

2006 Year Ender

In a few hours it'll be the end of 2006. And as a tradition to this blog, I would always put a year ender report, which new year's resolutions I have fulfilled, and a new list of resolutions for the new year. It was one hell of a year for me.

2006 was a year of travel. This was the year that I spent new year away from my family in manila for the first time. I was able to explore new places in different countries. It has been my dream to see the world. I may not have seen even an eigth of the world the past year but the few countries I have visited so far has made me yearn for more travels and vacations outside the philippines. Finland was my second home this year. I was in Helsinki almost every month (except Feb, March and December only!) spending at least a week in each month. It's the reason I have this platinum status and lots of mileage in my account. Haha.

Helsinki, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Rome, Vatican, Paris and Frankfurt(I've been at the airport so it still counts!) I've been to places too beautiful for words. Europe stole my heart. And I will take it back again someday.

2006 was also a year that I have taken lots of tiring vacations (yes they were all tiring! trust me!). That it felt like I was not able to rest during my vacation and was still working while I attempted to run away from it. HH and I went to Punta Fuego January 2006 and I went alone to Cebu last April.

Here are the other things that happened and what I've done this past 2006...

1. Had regular check-ups with my OB and opthalmologist. As promised last year, I have taken my health more seriously.
2. Shopping sprees were more frequent. I broke my promise I know!
3. I was in Frankfurt the same time the World Cup 2006 is being held in Germany. It was a riot in the airport.
4. Last January was my first time to travel a country alone and very unfamiliar to me.
5. Jaime, Punzi and Kirt resigned during the 1st quarter of the year. They are my former seniors and mentors.
6. Punzi got married last March and migrated to the US a month after their wedding.
7. Pheng got married few days ago and is 5months on the way.
8. KV resigned after 6years in the company. She's one of my closest friends in the office.
9. First time to join the executive team of my company.
10. Met up with John in Cebu.
11. First time to be involved in a local project.
12. Workload was more tiring due to the resignation of the seniors.
13. Set-up my network here at home.
14. Painted the interiors of our house green.
15. Smuggled laptops, boxes and boxes of chocolates and tons of Mango clothing to Manila.
16. Mom got an operation.
17. My uncle's first death anniversary.
18. My lola's 80th birthday.
19. Relatives from Cebu, Australia and US were all here to spend New Year with us.
20. My first Krispy Kreme!
21. My 26th birthday. Err... Im old!
22. Turned down that kick-ass job in UN and took the L1 offer instead.
23. Bought new beddings.
24. Most number of consultants from our company at a given time in Helsinki. Nothing beats our crazy asian adventures in Finland.
25. Finnish men are cute but Italian men are handsome and sexy.
26. Time heals all wounds. Closure begins after forgiveness. Im glad to have finally closed the book with the architect.
27. After 3 summers in a row, I'll never get tired of summers in Helsinki. I still think it's the perfect summer.
28. The merger... Nokia Siemens Networks.
29. Smallville season 5 and 6, Friends, CSI and Desperate Housewives kept me sane during my lonely days in Helsinki.
30. I've gained a couple of good friends this year and I am thankful for them.

These are but a few of the things that I am grateful for this past year. May 2007 bring forth better opportunities, good health for me and my family and a non-problematic lovelife. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

More Reasons to Celebrate in December

Big celebrations came to an end today.

1st up... Pheng and Doc Donar's wedding. It was a beautiful wedding at San Sebastian church followed by the reception at Plaza Ibarra's. The reception location was so spectacular. It was where the ruins of Intramuros can be found. I've seen the place in a lot of movies but couldn't find exactly where it is located until awhile ago. Congratulations again Pheng and Doc! Pheng, the biggest project (yet!) of your life came to a successful end. I'm also glad it's over so we can now focus on the real project in the office. Haha.

Next is my lola's 80th birthday celebration. It's the biggest party we've celebrated for the last how many years. The party seemed like a reunion for our family. It's actually not yet over but I had to come up to my room early because Im planning to go to office tomorrow. Gallons and gallons of Australian white and red wines came pouring in, courtesy of my uncle. Now I know where I got my smuggling skills. Haha.

The smuggling didn't stop there. My uncle also sent balikbayan boxes containing lots of signature perfumes and cans of corned beef. We were also surprised to find out his luggage contained several kilos of Australian beef. Hahaha. Pinoys! Feels like Australia is just inside our house.

Im already too tired. Dozing off soon.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Horacio and Krispy Kreme

Relatives who came from the US, Australia and Cebu are all here now. As usual, it is a riot here at home. A humongous tuna (27kilos) also arrived from Davao from a family friend. We are also expecting a lechon fresh from Cebu to arrive tomorrow. It's been a while since we had this big party at home. My lola is turning 80 tomorrow and I am glad I am here to celebrate with her.

Tomorrow afternoon is also my good friend/officemate/teamlead's wedding. I am one of her secondary sponsors. Her wedding was also my sort of alibi so that I can stay longer in Manila and delay my supposedly trip. hehe. Pheng and Doc, Congratulations! May you have many wonderful years together.

I was too lazy to wake up this morning so I was absent from the work today. SL... sakit-sakitan leave. Hehe. I haven't been getting enough sleep for the past week that's why. I will also be on leave tomorrow due to my officemate's wedding.

Funny that my uncle and aunt from Australia handcarried 2 boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts here. I told them we already have it here in Manila just a few months back. They opened a branch in the Fort where HH and I bought our 1st ever kirspy kreme. It was way better than our usual Dunkin Donuts, Country Style and Mister Donut. It didnt even came close with Go Nuts Donuts. Some chismis from my uncle was that Kris Aquino used to fly to Sydney, Australia just to buy boxes of Krispy Kreme. Haha.

Been marathoning CSI Miami for the last 12hours.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

I was not able to blog during Christmas last year though I remember clearly that I was so bored to death at home in Helsinki that time. Hehe. Laziness strucked me. Probably due to the kind of weather in Helsinki. You know how it is when it's too cold, you barely have the energy to move. For documentation purposes, I decided to blog today even if I am sooooo darn sleepy.

I was awake during Noche Buena. Thank God! Mom was too engrossed until 2am awhile ago talking to her friends in the US. She was using my IP phone. I would like to thank my company for sponsoring my mom's overseas calls. Haha. HH visited me last night and had noche buena with us. Fyi, HH is Iglesia and they don't have christmas. If we decide to get married, he has to deal with this Christmas tradition that we celebrate as Catholics.

We had lunch at my other lola's house (fatherside). We feasted on high-blood triggering and overly high cholesterol foods. My lola is the greatest pinoy food cook I know. No regrets in eating much awhile ago. I know the extra pounds it will cause me is all worth it. I will definitely miss my lola's cooking when I leave. Me and my sisters were like santa clauses to the kids at my lola's house. Few years back, we were still the ones being given gifts. But this time, it was I and my siblings turn to give out gifts.

Giving gifts is more fulfilling than receiving them. It feels good to share blessings to other people especially with kids. My favorite nephew, Kyle (yes, he is named after my ex! not my idea though! Defensive..haha.), was so cute awhile ago trying to catch the moving toy train. He seemed to have so much fun playing with our gifts.

I am happy that my family is here with me to spend another Christmas together. Thank you Lord!

May you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve

It'll be christmas tomorrow. Many things have been happening and my brain is too overloaded with thoughts to write in my blog. Daily rants...

My PAF (Performance Appraisal Form) was discussed last friday in the office with my boss and team lead. It was good. They kept telling me that it's so difficult to appraise me knowing how hard i've worked the past year and knowing that I've been dealing with our clients quite smoothly. There were only 2 things that I needed to work/improve on. One, to pass that Java certification exam that I have always delayed. Getting certified has been on my PAF for the last 3years. Although my boss can't blame me that it's taking too much time, he knows that I've been busy doing something else for our projects that's why I have been unable to study. At least mid this year, I already bought my voucher for my exam and it is expiring in Feb so I will really be forced to take the exam anyways. Two, my being emotional with work matters. Maybe it's a woman thing. I can't help but be emotional on some matters about my work. I mean, when a client is an asshole, I can't help but complain to my boss. However, I ultimately still try to be calm and professional (or naive) when dealing with those difficult clients. I may complain and rant a lot to my boss but after that, you wouldnt see any sign of unpleasant feelings in my email replies to those clients. I guess I just needed an outlet to bring out all those negative energies within me.

We had our exchange gifts last week at the office. I am glad that most of us treat each other as our second family. It's amazing that the very reason why people stay in our company is because of the camaraderie and homey environment that you will hardly find in big companies. I am still glad to have stayed here inspite of everything.

I have a new addiction... perfumes! I just bought 3 perfumes during the last 3 months: D&G Light Blue (my usual scent), Reaction and Ralph. I even got HH a new perfume as a Christmas gift, Vera Wang for Men. And then for my pops, Hugo Boss. This is bad.

Relatives from the US and Australia will be here after christmas. They'll be spending new year and my lola's bday here in Manila. Everybody here at home are all busy getting things ready for our balikbayans. How come I don't get this much attention everytime I come home? Haha. As if ang tagal kong nawawala.

I was hoping to read something about how I spent christmas eve last year but unfortunately, I just found out I was too lazy to blog that time. I only had one blog entry december last year and it's not even a christmas entry. Pathetic! As far as I can recall, I think I was just at the apartment in Helsinki the whole day. It was snowing hard, that's why. And then for noche buena, I prepared potato salad and baked porkchops. Haha. Pathetic talaga! I was too lazy to prepare something more worthy of a noche buena meal because I was alone at the apartment that time and since it was a holiday, the supermarket was closed.

I am so glad to be here in Manila for Christmas.

Monday, December 18, 2006

On Moving Out

Moving out has always frightened me. When I heard that we were moving out of our old office in Salcedo Village November last year, it worried me. What if the new office is too far from the "sakayan" and the lazy walker that I am would have to take taxis everyday? What if there's not enough resto's nearby so we can eat our lunches? Do we have to go to glorietta everyday just to have lunch? What if the new building we're going to transfer to is too crowded? Will I always be late waiting for the elevators going up? Those kinds of worries haunted me for months until we finally moved here in the new office and I got the hang of staying here. It was all good afterwards.

It's been a tradition in my family that everytime someone gets married, the new family member moves into the house. All of my cousins who got married are living in their parents' house. My lola specifically said that she doesnt like people moving out of our house. I think it gives her a feeling of security when she sees all of us quite often in our compound and she just needs to cross the street to watch over the newly wed cousins of mine. This time, I think I need to break this tradition. I am moving out.

Next year, I intend to move out of our house. That's just about a few weeks from now. Honestly, I am not yet ready for this but I guess there's never a good time for saying goodbye to the things that you got used to. Moving out of my comfort zone is a big leap to this "independence" that I have always wished for. I just hope all will be good.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

December Days

it's another busy december for me. I was hoping that this year will be a relaxed one because last year was quite chaotic for me (imagine being in the middle of the project while everyone else was busy doing christmas shopping... silent night playing in the air, a foot-thick snow, anywhere you look seemed gloomy) that it even came to a point that I was not in the country to spend it with my family. Well, not spending christmas in manila last year was actually my choice. I just thought it's about time to experience white christmas away from my family and I needed time to be alone in preparation for the coming christmases that I won't be spending with them in the next few years.

It's already the 3rd week of december and I am not even halfway finished doing my christmas shopping. December weekends were spent working and helping inside the house. I have a new house help by the way, Ging. I have not really started preparing for my US migration. I dont even know if my boss is working on my visa... Haha. I actually don't want to know the current status of it. I am really hoping to delay it a few more months. It's really been chaotic these days because of new projects coming in and the lazy atmosphere that slows down my work.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

My Life as an IT Consultant

Currently tinkering my new software toy....

My client is upgrading their intranet applications to BEA WLS 9.1. I have to learn this tool real quick to give them a feedback if their apps will still work in the new environment without any modifications.

....starting to get pissed with create JoltConnectionPool not working correctly in this version!