> Lanie turNs a yEar yOunger

Lanie – our Call Center Manager will be celebrating her birthday this Sunday. We thought of doing something special for her. Here’s what I did for her tarpaulin.

> perCeiveD, are yOu?

How do people see you? How do they think about you? Do you know how others perceive you? Have you ever wondered? Do you even care? You may have heard this proverb somewhere along your career path:

They’ll never care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Trite? Maybe. But there’s probably a nugget of truth there. In fact, I’ve learned recently that often the things that seem to bug me the most usually carry with them a lesson I need to learn.

We are measured …
Not by what we are, but by the perception of what we seem to be;
Not by what we do, but by how we appear to do it.

It really doesn’t matter what I think as it relates to my behavior in the world. If I’m a nice, caring person in my own mind but occur in the world as a pushy blowhard, that’s what I am. Others’ perception is their reality, and unless I’m willing to take a look at that through eyes other than my own, I’m destined to remain forever locked in that perception.

It’s as easy [and as difficult] as having a conversation. But I’ve got to be willing to hear – really hear – what the other person says.

Try it – I guarantee it will make all the difference in the world.

> trY sometHing nEw

It has been a very looonng day for me. I’ve been thinking so much. In times like these, I always think of doing something new. That’s how I cope with the cruelties of the world.

A friend then told me – If you’re thinking about how to fill that time not watching TV, you might want to try a new hobby. Most provide great benefits like stress-release, increased social life and, sometimes, an income.

I know it’s so Manang but who cares? 

And so I came across Gay and Z’s La Union and Davao pictures. Astig! Ni-gawan ko agad ng arte ang mga pix and really loved it immediately. I wanna try this also. At least for the sake of taking pictures. Something to brag about… yeah?

> sLow dowN

I was having lunch with another blogging friend Antonio earlier and was reminded how important it is to pause… to breathe… and to be mindful.

I’m reminded of a song by Freestyle. I may not exactly mean the exact meaning of the lyrics [or I’ll be stoned to death] but just the main thought of it. Let’s take it slow. Can we?

This is a great song that just happened to come on the taxi’s radio when we stopped at a red light on my way to work.

SO SLOW

I’ve been with you boy
Three years is quite a while
But getting too sensual
Is really not my style
You know I love you
And i like it just like this
Sometimes I feel like giving you
More than just a kiss

Refrain:
But baby it’s wrong
Baby it’s not my kind of game
If I give it to you now
Our love will never be the same
It won’t be long
We gotta play our love just right
I know you know the time will come
But baby for tonite…

Chorus:
Lets take it slow
[So slow]
Anywhere you wanna go
Baby for you
I’ll lay it all on the line
You ought to know
[Ought to know]
Boy I ain’t got nowhere to go
I’ll give it to you
Only to you
We gotta take it real slow…

When we get together
You know I feel the fire
It burns up inside me
Oh, that natural desire
I know that you feel it too
I know you wanna flow
Keep dreamin about it
And the fire starts to grow

[Refrain]

[Chorus]

I know tomorrow
It would still you and me
I’m saving it all for you especially
Trust in me baby
When I say this to you:
If we wait a little longer
Our love will be forever true

[Chorus] 2x

I love to sing this song while sitting on a red light. I know, I should have slowed down. How about you?

> pesKy Love LessOns

I have been so pessimistic about love from time I can’t already remember. I have always been cautious and distant. I always tell myself – “I’ve already been there and done that..” so being fooled once again is a big NO NO.

I thought I already learned all the love lessons I could get. I thought I already knew the right signals. The dangers and the selling points. I thought I knew…

I’ve been involved and lured once more but the good thing is that I’m taking them positively now. I don’t feel bitter anymore, I can just easily smile and say – “Well, there’s another lesson learned”.

Wow, it’s amazing how readily those pesky life lessons can appear – and how prevalent they are when we have something to learn! The funny thing about lessons is that they are so personalized! Served up on a silver platter, tied up with a beautiful bow, and complete with a gift card with my name on them! It’s like being knocked and called – “Special delivery for Al Michael!” – the way Starbucks baristas call your name when your coffee is ready. “Grande cappu-lessons for Al Michael!” Hmmm… I love that.

Did you ever wonder why the exact same situation can totally tick one person off while another person in the same environment doesn’t even notice? That’s the fancy gift-wrapped lesson with the personalized card on it. I’m learning that the situations that bug me the most are the ones with the most important, and often the most pressing, lessons for me to learn.

I’m finding some situations are appearing in more than one package for me recently. They might not look exactly the same on the outside [one’s got a gold bow and one’s got a red bow, for example], but the lesson inside is exactly the same. Until I figure out why these gifts are still being presented to me, I’ll be destined to keep unwrapping the packages – hoping to find new gifts inside, but finding the exact same thing in the box. It’s not enough for me to say to myself “I’ve already got one of these” … I’ve got to really ACCEPT the gift for what it is – a lesson for my entire life. When I get that I have a choice to really accept the gift as a GIFT, not a reprimand, an “I told you so” or a form of punishment – I can get beyond this gift and beyond the situation that presented me with the gift, and on to other opportunities to learn and apply.

It’s not enough to just understand this insight… I now need to actually DO something with it. The true test will be whether I’m presented with this gift yet again. I’m banking on getting something brand new next time!

Another boyfriend for Al Michael!

And yeah, here’s what I did when I thought okay talaga kami. Sad ‘no?

> vegeTarian’s haVen

Visiting Baguio has always been fun. There was even a time that I decided to just stay and work there. So like what I said from my previous post, I went to Baguio last month for my much-needed break. Days before leaving Manila, I made sure I won’t miss the most happening restaurants up there. People would always catch me browsing ClickTheCity.

Jc, Kiko and I – we all love eating. We usually have our weekends saved for movies and a lot of binge-ing. I used to restaurant-hop back in college. I remember going to one place over lunch and just jump from one resto to another. Different place for appetizer, main course, dessert, and drinks. I can spend that much for food and not feel guilty about it.

I frequented Baguio when I started working because I thought it’s the most convenient place to go to if anyone wants to feel being in a totally different place. But I’m done with fancy places and I’m sick of tourist spots. I wanted to experience the city’s modern culture, something different and authentic of Baguio.

If you think you’ve had enough of Session Road with its dense cluster of “traditional” culinary musts – Swiss Baker, Star Cafe, Cafe Luisa, 456 Restaurant – think again. You may have to crane your heads a little higher, way above the first floor establishments along Session Rd, and check out what’s cooking in the upper reaches of the Session buildings. Vegetarianism has found a strong foodie foothold in one of the rooftops along Session, and even if you are a meatlover, you’re bound to visit and revisit this foothold not only for the food, which is good [fresh vegetables in Baguio make this possible], but because its such a fantastic looking place. It’s called Oh My Gulay!, and if I were a brief and concise person, my review should consist only of an “!”.

From the minute you walk through the cave-like entryway into OMG!, the first words that would come to mind would actually be its name.”Oh my Gulay!” literally translates into the silly phrase, “Oh my vegetables!” But this exclamation is really the Filipino version for the expression “omigosh.” Makes no sense? I didn’t think so, either. But the restaurant is living up to its name and more, and here’s why…I was born and raised a carnivore. Veggies never had much appeal for me and vice versa. But this cafe/bistro on the top floor of an ancient building along Session Road had too much intrigue for me to ignore. So, as is customary in the highlands [you have to huff and puff in order to get anywhere], this particular climb to the fifth floor can really work up anyone’s appetite. And so there I was at the entrance, panting and parched and starved, and what lay before me was a vision. This wasn’t just a restaurant; it was a village on top of a building, secluded from the rest of the city four floors below.

This place would remind you of a scene in a Peter Pan flick. There’s a tiny bridge you’d have to cross to get to the numerous seating areas. Further from the bridge and up a few steps is a semi-open space that overlooks this storybook spread. Practically everything here has an ethnic touch to it, making it much more extraordinary than any other public place I’ve visited in Baguio. The place even has a mini-water mill that actually turns! And if you think that’s unique, wait till you visit the john — it’s inside the village chapel. Haha! The entire area can seat 50 people easily. I went there on a weekday, but as I was informed, they also have a live band that plays during weekends, which justifies the stage you can see to your right the moment you enter this Peter Pan world.

Still don’t wanna believe? Play the video below courtesy of Jc’s cinematic mind.

 

> misS ko na Galera groUp

I miss our Galera group so I thought of doing this. This wallpaper is now gracing my cellphone. Nice no?