Sunday, April 29, 2012

PRE-SUMMER WEEKEND GETAWAY IN BRUNEI

There is no specific months of a rainy or a summer season in Brunei. Sometimes its so hot. Sometimes heavy rains visit the Sultanate. However, there are moments that as expats or Overseas workers you feel like enjoying or "reliving" the unique season back in your home country. So last Saturday, I and my friends recreated "Philippine Summer" in Brunei.

As you all (possibly) know that I'm going back to the Philippines tomorrow night for my end-of-contract vacation. So last Saturday's swimming escapade was somehow a pre-summer treat for me.

So wanna know what happened over the weekend? Or should I say the best weekend sleepover ever? Read on to find out more.

Friday, April 27, 2012

FRIEMILY (FRIEND + FAMILY)

I can vividly remember the first day I arrived in Brunei. With loads of excitement and a bit of apprehension, my expression was, "ghost town ba ito?" Compared with a jampacked and busy NAIA Terminal 1 airport, walang wala ang Brunei Airport sa dami ng tao. Walang katao-tao. And instead of hearing honks and screaming (na bonggang nagmamadali) people, chirping birds and the gushing wind welcomed me.

I was alone when I came in Brunei. I didn't have any friends. I was clueless with what Brunei can offer. All I knew then, I needed to heal or recover from the devastation caused by the sudden death of my mom.

God heard what my heart and mind was pondering on. Before a job offer in Brunei came in my life, I was praying hard to God that I wanted to once again find my happy and strong self. With my Mom's passing, the days became gloomy and my dreams turned sour. I was not driven to move on with life. And so I sought for a change of environment. So when God offered me Brunei, I accepted it. I carried whatever hope that's left with me. I took baby steps in piecing my dreams.

My life totally changed when I embraced a life overseas. Hindi rin pala talaga biro ang malayo sa pamilya. But with real friends around, you can be sure that you can lead a fruitful life.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

THE WAY PHILIPPINE ENTERTAINMENT TV SPEAKS

2005, Interview Session
After months of longing for home-cooked meals, dining with family members and hearing a stretch of stories peppered with gossips and animated re-enactments from my siblings and cousins, I will be back in the Philippines for a three-week vacation. To say that I'm excited is just an understatement.

Whenever I stay in the Philippines for either a short or long vacation (personal or school-related), I observed that exaggerations play an important role in Philippine Entertainment Television shows. As a former writer and producer in the kapamilya network, and now that I've been away for the country for more than four years now, I've observed that scripting has never changed especially on Teaser of Shows and Spiels during live shows, except that there's a mention of trending, Facebook, blogs, etc, which showcase participatory or civil engagement.

Read on to know the Top 15 words or phrases (that I think) which Philippine Entertainment Television use a lot to convey goodness and happiness (and most of the time mislead), which make viewers watch out and follow shows.

Friday, April 20, 2012

ROUGH AND TOUGH

I had a rough day yesterday. I was pressured to decide if I'll take the job offer from a big company that I applied with in Brunei. The energy-sucking and mind-boggling moment started as early as 8:30 in the morning and lasted even until late night. I had to give my "yes."

Positively, after all the apprehensions and a string of pangungulit to all my friends on what should I do, I finally made my decision.

But before I share to you what I decided to let go and keep, I wanna blog about the blow-by-blow detail of how my day went by yesterday. Halo-halong gulo, halo-halong saya.

Read on to know more.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

DIGITAL LIFE

I've been reading several books on virtual and network society. As you all know, I'm applying for a PhD. However, as of writing, I guess, I'm gonna detour my plan of getting a doctorate in media and communication. Guess what, lumabas na ang resulta ng aking panayam kahapon at ako nga'y tanggap na. I won't disclose the information yet but I tell it's gonna be good. But as of the moment, since wala pa ang black and white ng alok, nakabitin ang mga bagay kahit paulit ulit ang employer na kukunin ako.

Going back to my research, as I was so glued in topics on virtual and network society, I get to reflect on how social media have changed our lives; from the moment we wake up, go to school or work, and up to hours before bedtime, everything seems to be dependent on web-based and communication technologies such as mobile phones, laptops, iPad, and many more.

In this entry, let me share to you some thoughts on the differences of our lives through digitalization. Happy reading.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

CONFUSING EH!

Once in a while, I prefer to be alone. There is something about solitude that strengthens my spirit. That whenever I'm alone, I get to reflect on things about my life. But sometimes, I don't like shutting myself off to the world. I'd like company, even in an offline and online environment. This is what I need at the moment. Thanks to some dear friends, a simple SMS cuts the emotional baggage.

Just this morning, I was seated on a bench on a covered pathway. I was actually waiting for our office assistant. He sent me and was about to pick me up. And as I was waiting, the rain poured heavily. In that moment, I calmly enjoyed the dancing rain on the ground. With the greens that swayed with the wind, my mind bent over on where would I be on the next few months. Truth be told, I'm at the crossroad of my life. It's like I'm in the middle of intersection. The road, like an opportunity, is widely opened and inviting. I just don't know where to walk in.

The moment the rain stopped, I got back my composure. After receiving some text messages from my dear friends, I realized to understand the word "surrender." Yes, may HIS will be done. I am letting go of this confusion.

So what really confuses me?

Monday, April 16, 2012

THE GODFATHER


Baby Pia!
A baby is a blessing from God. And so whenever my friends and acquaintances ask me to become a Godfather of their child, I always reply with a "yes."

In the Philippines, I had a few Godchildren. Some of them are one to three years old. While some are grown up. And whenever I hear good stories about them, I feel very proud and happy for them.

Just recently, my supah friend Lisa and Kuya Rhenee asked me to be the Godfather of their miracle baby named PIa Maria Isabelle. The moment I got the text message from them, a smile surfaced on my face. Apart from the fact that Lisa and Kuya Rhenee's entrust me their angel, what's more exciting is that Baby Pia is my first ever inaanak in Brunei Darussalam.

Truth be told, I've always been amazed with Lisa and Kuya Rhenee's strong faith to God and their love for each other. For the past eleven years, they've been hoping and praying to have a baby. That despite the struggles, they stand firm and patiently wait. And so, finally, with Baby Pia's coming, I know exactly how they must have felt to realize the undeniably life changing good news.

Read more to know.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

UP CIRCLE BRUNEI'S HAWAIIAN NIGHT


(Photo courtesy of Dr. Joey Santos)
With Brunei’s conservative culture, to find a place where you can party, engage in wacky activities or watch fabulous  performances is very rare. But for someone who's imaginative and resourceful on creating "good times" without going overboard with Brunei's serenity, as a popular saying goes, if there’s a will, there’s a way.

Just recently, I organized an event. As one of the officers of UP Circle Brunei, an organization that hosts alumni from the University of the Philippines who currently live or work in Brunei, I sperheaded the Induction of Officers and Members ceremony.

As I was planning the event, I thought of Philippine Summer as the theme. And so, a vibrant and exciting Hawaiian Night was conceived. The Induction ceremony was held last Saturday, 14 April 2012 at Dewan Shabandar in Holiday Lodge Hotel.


Friday, April 13, 2012

AH, COPYWRITER? WHAT'S THAT?

I've jumped from one company to another. In a span of nine years, I've worked in four companies. I started as a production staff in ABS-CBN, moved to ABC5 (now TV5), worked as a Language Instructor or teaching Filipino to foreigners while doing freelance writing, and now making my living as an Advertising Copywriter and Events Organizer in Brunei Darussalam. On the side, I do events hosting and planning.

I tell you, it's never easy to explain the kind of profession I have especially for a person who's unaware of the ropes of the advertising and creative industry.

For example, normally in a gathering, the moment I open my mouth on what I do for a living, I get the usual "Ah, copywriter? Ano yon?" Then I start to talk about and "report" what does a copywriter do. While most people associate a copywriter to journalism or PR writing, I tell them that it's different. Eventually, when I start to mention design and advertising, the people that I talk with start to somehow understand the nature of my job.

But what's funny, some people have different interpretations on my job as a copywriter. Let me tell you the stand out banters.



Thursday, April 12, 2012

WEEKS AWAY

I'm weeks away from my vacation in the Philippines in May. But at the moment, feeling ko ay lutang pa rin ako. I'm not yet sure if I'll be really home on May because I haven't got my renewed passport. I went to the Philippine Embassy in Brunei two weeks ago. They told me that I'll be able to get my passport before April 21, the expiration date of my working pass. Once I get my passport, my boss will extend my working visa until December. Yes, you read it right. I plan to stay in the company until December only. I am very confident, as I'm claiming it, I'll start a PhD soon, either this year or on January 2013.

For now, let me veer away from thinking too much about work, research and my PhD Application. I'm just excited to go back in the Philippines in May. Read on.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

PROJECT (S) IN HAND AND MIND

I'm supposed to be finishing my book chapter on a forthcoming publication but I'm not. Instead, I'm busy planning some projects in mind. Perhaps, this is my way of coping with continuous and repetitive tasks. So to veer away from the "usual" research and massive reading, I'm currently handling UP Circle Brunei's Induction of Officers and Members, which will happen on Saturday, 14 April 2012.

Despite my busy schedule, I'm happy that I'm able to accomplish some of the to dos in my list. Apart from reading and jotting notes on new media, I've also successfully booked a beach for my upcoming vacation in the Philippines with my family. Finally, after how many weeks of emailing and messaging my dad. One problem to go, to book another location on May 12 and 13.

At the moment, all I want is to go to the beach, bask under the sun, sip a fresh juice and relax. But of course, I know that I'll achieve that in May, on my vacation in the Philippines. Natawa lang ako kasi sabi nung isa kong friend, pumayat lang daw ako, nagaaya na mag-beach.

So yesterday, I was busy with organizing the UP CB event. Although there's work in the office, but not that packed compared to the past month, I am able to tie some loose ends on event organizing. Calling people, updating officers, and messaging members were some of my tasks yesterday.

And just last night, together with some members, the decorations for the stage, which were made of colourful paper cut outs and letters, were accomplished.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

ON POST-HOLY WEEK THOUGHTS

It's been a while since I blog not about fitness. As you all know, I blogged about my 30-day Fitness Challenge. Positively, I achieved something out of my weight loss program. Yes, my dear readers, I lost 6 kilos or 13.2 pounds.

Now that my program is over, I've opted to continue working out and eating healthy foods. As of last week, when I ended my 30-day fitness challenge, although for a day, I ate one cup of white rice, right after, I began working out again and turning my back on sweets and salty foods.

Last week, we, the Catholics, observed Holy Week. Looking at my Facebook wall, with all my friends posts, I can say that there were two things that stood out in the whole week. First, some of my friends were out in a beach (mostly Boracay). Meanwhile, some of my friends observed Wednesday until Saturday on a reflective and religious phase.

In this post, I would like to share to you some of my sentiments over the past week. With the low and serene mood brought about by re-living the sacrifices of Jesus Christ, I was drowned in a line-up of thoughts that somehow made my days truly worth recalling.


Friday, April 6, 2012

PERFORMANCE EVALUATION ON MARCH


I was so busy with the month of March. Not only I was so naghahabol to submit my research proposal for a potential supervisor for my PhD, but I was also engrossed completing my self-made 30-Day Fitness challenge.

Meanwhile, I was also busy with looking for a beach where my family and I can stay on my vacation in May. Positively, I already found one. I need to get another one as to maximize my weekend on my 3-weeks vacation in the Philippines.

There's nothing special that happened this month except for the fact that I lost 13.2 pounds. Isn't that great? Well, thanks to my focus and dedication that I'm able to survive my fitness challenge.

Now, join me as I evaluate the different aspects of my life for the month of March.


Read on.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

DAY 30: THE BIG REVEAL (30-DAY FITNESS CHALLENGE)

Finally, I'm on the last day of my 30-day Fitness Challenge and I'm so overwhelmed with the results. Indeed, with proper exercise and diet, I lost weight. As I was saying to everyone, I already lost (drum roll) 6 Kilos or 13.2 Pounds. 

So now that I'm done, some of you, especially my friends, are asking on what program I had to achieve a "flat tummy" and obviously loose some taba. Since I believe that sharing is caring, I am sharing my program here in my blog. Just bear in mind that the program is self-made, ako ang gumawa, and if you want to try it, you can. But just monitor your body reactions as you won't get sick during the challenge.

As of writing, I realized, I need to take a rest as well and reward myself, pero siempre healthy eating pa rin.

So if you're ready to check out my fitness program, read on!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

DAY 29: 30-DAY FITNESS CHALLENGE

Yesterday ay ang aking 29th day with my 30-day Fitness Challenge. And as of writing, I'm on my 30th. So today is the last day.

Maybe you're wondering what made me jump into this 30-Day Fitness Challenge. The answer is very clear; I want to be healthy and fit.

For the past months, I observed na mejo lumakas ang kain ko and I was enjoying nang bongga ang pagkain ng sweets like pearl milk tea. Sinabayan pa ito ng pagkain ko sa labas sa kadahilanang ang microwave sa office ay sira. Ni wala man lang pakialam ang boss ko. Kainis lang. Anyways, that's a different story.

There are pictures that made me realize that I'm getting bigger and bigger and bigger. Wanna see the whole picture? Read on.

Monday, April 2, 2012

DAY 28: 30-DAY FITNESS CHALLENGE

I'm almost there. Yan ang nasa isip ko while I was working out yesterday afternoon. With all the maagang pagising to do Taichi, ang pagdi-diet and all the exercising in the afternoon for the past 28 days, totoo ngang matatapos ko na ang aking 30-Day Fitness Challenge. Positively, I can see and feel the difference since day 1.

Yesterday ay ang aking 28th day. Nothing special happened or wala namang bonggang kainan na naganap. But what I would like to share in this entry is the changes that I've started to feel sa aking katawan at isipan.

Wanna know more about this? Read on.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

DAY 26-27: 30-DAY FITNESS CHALLENGE

Eat in small portions. Yan ang naging motto ko over the weekend especially when I was invited by my friends to eat out for lunch and dinner.

My weekend was sobrang exciting dahil hindi lang nakasama ko ang aking mga kaibigan over kainan, nakapag-swimming din kami on a Sunday night habang bumubuhos ang ulan. Thanks to Ma'am Betsy, nakapagswimming kami sa Pangsa Mar'azmala, which was followed by a light and healthy dinner.

Wala na talaga akong masabi sa ipinayat ko. So magbuhat ba ng bangko? As I was enjoying in the swimming pool last night, I felt that my body has become lighter and I had good breathing underwater.

Read on to know more about my "eating in small portions" sojourn.


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