Friday, November 4, 2011

Keep your spirit high!

It is a reality in our existence that everything is not within our control. All that we could positively deal with is our attitude – how we would look at each submerging situation in a much lighter manner – it’s our own line of attack. Changing one’s way of thinking towards things is, indeed, a very good approach to coping with stress which is so common in an environment where everyone is required to be always on the go.

If truth be told, last month was very stressful for me – stressful in a way that I almost stopped thinking about how to deal with every piece of my priority. I was too behind my quota at work and I could barely figure out a way to strike it right at its eye. I also had some research papers presented for my graduate class and I could say that such was a product of my mediocrity. Not to mention, I also hardly complied some of the requirements in one of my subjects in the graduate school. I could have done better but there’s no way to look back because no matter what, everything has been done and change is awkward when doing it backward. Nevertheless, I learned from it and all I could do now is to learn from such experience and move forward with a better perspective.

I believe everything is doable with a positive spirit. I just need to learn to set priorities and as Stephen Covey suggested in his best-selling book “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” you need to put FIRST THINGS FIRST. It all needs to start with the questions “What are my priorities?” and “How can I logically put them together?” With these questions, obviously, there is no time to waste for every moment counts for every preference. I might find it difficult to pack my sleepy head off to work on a graveyard shift. I might find it difficult to keep myself awake while working with my clients in the other side of the world on an eight-hour shift when everyone else in the neighborhood is enjoying the comfort of their bed. I might find it difficult to work with my course works after spending the whole night at work. Everything might be so difficult but no one ever forced me do what I am doing. It was my choice and it’s all up to me how I am going to work on them. Failure is not an alternative so I’ll work this out with passion. As a line in the Holstee Manifesto goes, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your job, quit… start doing things you love.”

If every moment in life is a battle to win, then I need to be the victor. After all, this is my own life. From now on, I will keep my spirit high!

"Every day might not be good, but there's something good in every day."  - Anonymous

To my followers and fellow bloggers:
I am back to blogging and, yes, I could rant again. What a relief! Happy reading folks! If you’re still dropping by, please let me know by leaving some words in the comment box. At least, I would know that I am not talking all by myself here. (laughs)            


Wednesday, November 2, 2011


"The tragedy of life is that not it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it." - Anonymous

I miss my blog and I am sure it misses me too. I don't know if I still have readers here or they have forsaken me like what I have done to this blog for already a couple of weeks or months ago. Anyhow, I am compelled to tell a story today because it's not just a day -- it's my BIRTHday.

I was brought to this world 26 years ago and since this day is the 26th year, it brought me back to vivid memories letting me linger to how I lived life. Those reflections made me agree with Danny Kaye who once said, "Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can." If life is a great big canvas, we should make it as colorful as it could be. Thus, living life to the fullest.

This day, I want to share a huge bottle of champagne to everyone who made my life as colorful as it is. Thank you for helping me paint my huge canvas. Cheers, my dear ones! Live life and live it well! 


Friday, September 2, 2011

Pinoy Buko King Made it World-Class

He is Felipe Tacogdoy of Bohol and fondly called by the villagers as "Pepeng" or "Nong Pepeng" for those who are younger than him. He's one of those ordinary people in the village but he's different due to his extraordinary ability. In this video, he showed the world what he is capable of doing. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The BlabberMath: Coming Out Soon

Creating a mathematics blog has always been a plan of mine. However, the thought of not being able to regularly update it  was a limitation I set that's why there were always delays in the fulfillment of the plan.  It's because unlike a personal blog, you need to thoroughly review everything you have written before you publish it. Accuracy of the mathematical facts to be posted would be an utmost consideration or else one would  only provide misleading information about an already established science.  No one would also like to read twisted or questionable facts. Mathematics as a science is governed with well-proven laws and theories which took mathematicians years or decades of overcoming contradictions.

Now thoughts have been finally put together for the launching of a blog which will hopefully ignite the interest to the subject which has always been considered by students as monster or a burden loaded in their shoulders. Initial posts taken from the previous mathematics articles I wrote have been placed in the line-up of posts and the blog has already its blogspot hosted domain. Few more articles recently wrote for my Research in Mathematics class in the graduate school are just to be added.

There's no definite time for launching yet but I'll surely inform everyone when I am launching the blog. It would not make your nose bleed. I promise! 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Violin and Cello Rendition of Beatle's "Let it Be"

I was stumbling upon the web when I luckily found this video of two talented teens playing their rendition of Beetle's "Let it Be". Without second thought,  I became a fan of the 15-year old Violinist Michael Province and 16-year old Cellist Nathan Chan. This video reminded me of the high school class I handled for the longest time in Thailand as majority of them were into music.  Enjoy watching!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Creeping Captivating Camotes

Consuelo Wharf, San Francisco, Camotes, Cebu
 What else could you think after a long week at work?

A walk in the forest? A day of relaxation in the beach? A long drive or a road trip? A view of fascinating landscapes and seascapes? Well, simply let your imagination fly with the wind and think of any ideal vacation you could think of then bring your mind to Camotes Islands in Cebu , Philippines and you'll realize that what's in your psyche is more than just mere imagination.

A two-hour ferry trip from Danao City, Cebu brought us to the captivating group of islands named Camotes which is composed of four municipalities namely San Francisco, Poro, Pilar and Tudela. San Francisco is the biggest among the four municipalities and home of most of the tourist attractions. According to the owner of the homestay where we lodged for a night, only Pilar town is separated from the municipalities. All the rest are connected by bridges.

The trip itself going to the island was fascinating because we were accompanied by friendly dolphins showing their hospitality to tourists visiting the island. We arrived in Consuelo Wharf in San Francisco town around two o'clock in the afternoon and did a hike around the nearby village.  The hike was so disturbing as there were two motorbike drivers who followed us all the way forcing us to take a ride but thanks to the rain which saved us from those stalkers (hahaha!). Later on, we decided to rent a motorbike and driving around the town was really a good experience. We rented the motorbike for only 500 pesos and it already allowed us to visit different spots in the place.

A serene view at Lake Lanao Park - an
enchanting work of nature.
 Our first destination was Mangudlong Rock Resort. Too bad, the sea wasn't that good that time so bumming on the beach wasn't a good idea. We then headed to a private owned beach house to see what the place could offer. The longest stop was in the enchanting Lake Danao Park. One would really wonder how a huge body of freshwater could exist in the middle of seawater. The park is vegetated with lust green trees of different species. Visitors could go for boat ride around the lake or enjoy a simple meal in a small floating cottage. We saw locals in the area weaving leaves of local plant called silo-silo and just a trivia, they celebrate Silo-Silo Festival once a year.

White sand beach at Santiago Bay.
 The next destination was San Francisco town proper which boasts its baywalk and clean surroundings. Almost every house in San Francisco is tag with the name of the owner and a local said that it's part of their cleaning and greening program. The town is a recepient of Cebu governor's environment program award. It has also earned mentions in international environment programs such as the Geneva convention.

It was already late in the evening when we headed to Santiago Bay to get some place to stay. Some of the hotels were already fully booked and they're quiet expensive so we ended up staying in a homestay which is just walking distance to the renowned Santiago White Beach. The following morning was a wonderful breakfast along the shore followed by refreshing rest under the heat of the shining sun.

We went back to San Francisco town via coastal road where the views are more fascinating. We then headed to the enchanting Timobo Cave where the crystal clear and cool water is just so tempting for a refreshing bath. However, the time was so limited as we needed to go back to the pier for our trip going back to Cebu where another week-long work awaits. We left Camotes on a gloomy afternoon when the sun was about to set telling us that another adventure awaits us when we come back.  

BPI Opens Biggest Yet Search for Kids of OFWs on its 160th Year

After the successful search for outstanding Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), the Bank of Philippine Islands opens biggest yet search for kids of OFWs. Here's the press release from Brand Speak Asia's Media Relations Department as forwarded by Marist Nagera.

The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) calls on children of Overseas Filipinos (OF) to join the country’s biggest yet search for Expat Pinoy Children, the 2011 Search for the Ten Outstanding Expat Pinoy Children. This year, BPI brings a bigger and wider search for exemplary OF children as it celebrates its 160th anniversary celebration.
Now on its 5th year, the Search for Ten Outstanding Expat Pinoy children will award students with exceptional achievements in academic and non-academic fields for the Ibang Klaseng Talino, Ibang Klaseng Community Leader, Ibang Klaseng Entrepreneur, and Ibang Klaseng Artist/Athlete categories.

“BPI’s annual search for outstanding Expat Pinoy children reflects our continued thrust to support and help the country build a stronger nation through the empowerment of our country’s modern day heroes, our overseas Filipino workers, ,” says Teresita B. Tan, Executive Vice President and Group Head of Overseas Banking and Channel Services Group of BPI.

First introduced in 2007, BPI’s Search for the Ten Outstanding Expat Pinoy Children empowers the youth and their OFW parents by recognizing their significant contributions in the country as model families and modern day heroes of today’s generation.

This nationwide Search is open to college students not more than 21 years old, with no failing grade and with a parent holding a current work contract abroad. To join, applicants must submit an essay titled “What is the strongest characteristic that you have which you think is unique to an OF Son/Daughter that you believe is beneficial to change the community around you?” or alternatively “Ano sa palagay mo ang natatangi mong katangian bilang anak ng isang Overseas Filipino Worker na makatutulong sa pagpapaunlad ng iyong pamayanan?” in either English or Filipino with at least 1,500 to maximum of 2,000 words. The applicants are judged by a screening committee based on their academic excellence, community contribution, and other non-academic talents or skills such as sports, music, or arts. Seven (7) students will be awarded with the Ibang Klaseng Talino award and three (3) students will be given the Ibang Klaseng Community Leader, Ibang Klaseng Entrepreneur, and Ibang Klaseng Artist/Athlete awards. Application period is until August 15, 2011.

Promo details and application forms are available at

Monday, April 18, 2011

Found the X Factors

My decision of going back home in the middle of my immersion to foreign culture was one of the most difficult decisions I made. Difficult it might have been, I easily gave up a huge portion of my investment including my passion and my ambition of getting an international master's degree in education.

The thought of pursuing my teaching career here in the Philippines and being close with my loved ones erased all the second thoughts. However, things did not happen the way I planned. Instead of finding myself in the learning hub, I grabbed the enticing offer of the growing call center industry in the country where I eventually worked in a field I never imagined. The pay was good and the benefits were promising but I never found myself there so I decided to leave and planned to settle for less pay yet gratifying job. I eyed for public service but the public didn't seem to like my service so I decided not to pursue. No matter how ridiculous my thought was, I couldn't put myself into the level of following a questionable system like I never had my own shot of education.

Leaving the vaccine of frustration, I went for an offshore publishing industry where I am currently being trained as Publishing Consultant. The nature of the job is so promising and the management seems to be very supportive not only to my growth in the company but to my personal and professional growth as well. I never thought of the possibility of  learning the nature of the publishing industry together with the principles of mathematics but it's happening before my very eyes right now. Such reason alone motivates me to put things into the next level. 

If there is one thing that I need to learn from this, that is building confidence from the trust that people give you. Do not abuse the considerations that people are giving. Instead, leverage your performance from such trust. I am only starting and it should be a good start! 

NOTE: Special mention to my trainer (who must not be named) for the support and understanding when I mentioned that I would be enrolling for MS Math and to my professors who consider sending problem sets with me every time I would miss my classes because I need to go to work.         

Friday, April 8, 2011

Soliloquy in the Sand

As my feet slowly touched those fine grains scourging with the giant waves, my mind started to wander like the ocean breeze. The sun kissed my soul with a note in its glare – whispering a word I never heard before. Persistent I was, the journey went on – in search for reasons lying on the horizon. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

BPInoy Opens Nomination for Biggest Yet Search for Outstanding Pinoys Abroad

Do you know an exceptional overseas Pinoy? The Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) now opens the nomination for outstanding overseas Filipinos (OFs) for the 6th BPInoy Awards, an annual recognition for Pinoy achievers in the global platform and the biggest one yet to happen in its history as BPI celebrates its 160th year this 2011.

This year’s awardees will be joining the roster of past BPInoy Awardees such as White House executive chef Ms. Cristeta Pasia-Comerford, BBC news presenter Rico Hizon, internationally-acclaimed fashion designers Monique Lhuillier and Josie Natori, and world acclaimed Lea Salonga and International signing sensation Charice Pempengco.

“We commend the Filipinos who take risks in a far away country wearing his distinct nationalism as his pride and honor. In turn, they become global achievers and continue to bring pride to the country with their achievements. Through the BPInoy Awards, we recognize these Filipinos, our country’s pride and modern heroes that today’s youth can also look up to,” says Teresita Tan, BPI EVP and Group Head of Overseas Banking and Channel Services Group.

Individuals of Filipino heritage, regardless of current citizenship, and of good moral character, may be nominated for their outstanding achievements as long as they have lived and or worked overseas. All nominees will be evaluated by the BPInoy Awards Steering Committee based on criteria that include top-of-mind awareness and societal impact of achievements, among others.  Two awardees will be chosen for the Arts and Media or Sports Category and Business or Science and Technology Category.
Nominations may be made by any Filipino individual or organization based locally or internationally, by sending a short article about the nominee, specifically on his/her accomplishments that have brought honor and pride to the country which answers the questions:
·         Why does the nominee deserve recognition as a BPInoy Awardee?
·         How have the nominee’s efforts made a difference for the betterment of the Overseas Filipino community abroad?
·         Is there anything else that makes the nominee exceptional or unique?

Entries must be submitted on or before May15, 2011 to addressed to Ms. Athena G. Balleza, Marketing Department, Overseas Segment Division, BPI.

For more information about the BPInoy Awards, log on to

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Heat is On

Just when everyone thought that summer would be sprinkled with intolerable amount of rain and that going outdoors would not be ideal, I and my fellows went on and seized summer 2011. Summer experience could never be more satisfying than basking under the heat of the smiling sun and getting refreshed with the cool warmth of the water.

The Cebu mainland as seen from the ferry going to Lapu-lapu City
(Mactan Island). Boat trip is a very good alternative for those who don't want
to deal with heavy traffic jam. Beaches and resorts around the Mactan Island offer
good escape from the bustling life in Cebu.

A watchtower welcomes every visitor to Lapu-lapu City. 
 The following pictures were all taken at Agus Hotel and Resort in Agus, Mactan, Cebu -- just few minutes drive from Lapu-lapu City's port. For a minimal cost, everyone can enjoy summer while in Cebu. Renowned hotels and resorts in the island like Imperial and Shangri-La are still recommended and on top of the list, of course. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Cebu Trivia Nights at Alejandro's

Trivia night organized by iSee events. Photo from
The latest craze among popular bars in the metros has been in Cebu and I just knew it yesterday while eating out with my team mates at Alejandro's Filipino Resto at Don Jose Avila Street in Capitol Site, Cebu City.

"TRIVIA NIGHT AT ALEJANDRO'S" has been happening every Wednesday since February last year at Alejandro's. The first in Cebu, this fun and educational night should have been loved by infoholics of all ages. And this only means one thing: I need to roll up my sleeves and get ready to dig my long lost wits factory. However, I happened to glance at a poster which said that the place is WiFi spot so I could perhaps ask for Mr. Google's assistance just in case everything goes to worse but I know it's not a good plan. 

I should be there in one of the trivia nights this month and learn new facts and not-so-factual stuffs. What a great diversion for emptied mind. See you there, folks!  

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What it takes to be a call center agent?

photo credit:
"Many are called, but few are chosen." 

Most Christians are familiar of that verse in the Bible but those working in contact centers or in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies could relate more than the traditional Christians.

In the Philippines, the contact center (call center) is one of the industries that stabilize the economy of the country. In fact, it's next to the overseas employment which bring bucks to the Philippine economy through the remittances of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). Money and benefit-wise, working in a call center is the next best thing to being an OFW. However, getting into the industry is not that easy and sustaining the tension after you get hired is much more difficult if you do not possess the right attitude. 

Everyday, hundreds of people undergo job interviews to get into the industry but at the end of the day, only very few of them end up being hired. According my site director on his short speech during our graduation day for the Product Specifics Training (PST), only three to five percent of the applicants get hired and only one to two percent get into the account where I am right now (something that I could really brag about because I am one of the 3 % and nevertheless 1%... hahaha!). Not only that. After more than a month of handling calls on a training atmosphere, roughly only sixty percent of us were endorsed to the production where everyone is being observed for three months before regularization. And yes, everyone is expected to deliver the highest possible satisfaction to our clients and to their customers. 

Now what does it take to become a call center agent? Well, just in case you would like to join the industry and enjoy the benefits that people in the clan are enjoying, here are some of the things that you might expect and get through.

1. Expect for the highest possible kind of intimidation. However, always believe that we'll not get intimidated without our consent. Let's turn intimidation into something that would help build or attitude and character. They'll help in the long run. I realized they're not meant to intimidate anyone but build anyone through constant challenge.

2. Of course, there will be English Only Policy (EOP). It is stressful if you are not used to it but remember that there's no other way to improve our grasp of a second language but by constantly using it. Call center agents were being tagged before as Over Acting Animals (OAA) by their insecure counterparts because of the EOP but according to my Communication and Culture Trainer, language has never been and will never be OA(A) as it is neutral. However, people can be. It's never been bad to speak the language which enables you to earn higher than what others are earning.

3. You'll be in a DOG EAT DOG SOCIETY. The pace of the job is really fast. By the time you sit and take calls expect that work would be uninterrupted within your eight-hour shift. You're so lucky to get ten minutes avail time. However, it keeps your work attitude healthy as you will never have time to gossip with your workmates. 

4. Diversity will be the best policy. People in the industry are so diverse. There are those who are so professional, not so professional and not professional at all and you need to get into each level in order to succeed. On the other hand, everything has never been personal as you are all there for work. After all, there are rest days and off schedules. But if possible, try to get along with your team mates as diversity makes this world go round and so your head!

5. There are rumors and they are all true. You'll be cooked inside a pressure cooker until you get soft. The company will give you their expectations which are really high and your customers whom you are in direct contact with would expect higher from you because to them, you are the company you are talking about. Can you imagine it? They're all there and that's part of the job. You can never get rid of those metrics but you can control them. With the right attitude, beat all of them. In the end, expect a higher pay. Challenge those people and you will surely get what you want -- even the ones you never signed for -- a day in a five star hotel, a trip to a foreign land or to the beauty spots of the locality, a movie or food treat or even both, an appliance or gadget you ever wanted, a party and, of course, cash!

6. You'll learn to do a couple of things at the same time. Multitasking is a specialty for most of the call center agents. One needs to listen (attentively), document (correctly), speak (clearly) and read and understand (accurately). None of those things  should be missed!

7. Patience will always be a virtue. Imagine irate callers coming in and yelling about their dissatisfaction. Sometimes, they will shout at you or even curse you. However, none of them is personal as each and every person calling do not personally know you and if there's any reason for their anger, that should not be you. One of the good things I learned from such is the value of patience. I thought my former students stretched my patience to the farthest end already but my customers lengthened it to eternity. It's a matter of focusing on the problem rather than the person as the problem is the root cause for such negative behavior.

Convergys Services Philippines is one of the leading call centers
in the country serving most of the top companies in the United
States including financial firms, telecommunication companies,
network providers, etc. This picture is one of Convergys' sites
located in i3 Building, Cebu IT Park, Cebu City.
(photo credit:
Once you get in, you're never assured that you'll be retained as the industry has a very strict compliance to the standards set by their clients. In return, they set high expectation among their employees to make sure that they will deliver what they have promised to their clients or even go beyond. However, every mistake is valuable in the learning process so be positive in taking feedback and  learn from every speck of coaching session from your mentors. It's all about maintaining a humble and grateful heart and a happy spirit!

I know all these things are easier said than done. However, they could all be cultivated with constant practice. Now if you think you have the right attitude and skill and has always been wanting to join the BPO industry, join the country's leading industry.  Cultivate that skill and attitude which would enable you to land a slot in one of the Philippines' highest paying industry. Join us! I'll be more than willing to assist you through our Employee Referral Program (ERP). Just ping me HERE.