February 29, 2008



Who was the last person you hugged?

The last person I hugged is this Filipina friend I met recently. We went out clubbing last Saturday night and I think she had too much to drink. Actually, it was my fault because I wanted her to try Long Island Iced Tea. I guess it was her first time to try the bastard concoction. She ended up dazed when we got home and was struggling to keep coherent. She managed to make it to the toilet to throw up but then she called out to me because she was really feeling weak. At that point I hugged her and apologized for letting her drink too much that night.


Share a beauty or grooming trick or tip with us.

Whenever using gel or hair wax, always make sure to rub the stuff between your palms as briskly as you can, especially if it's a particularly cold day. The stuff that makes gel and hair wax work is heat activated, meaning it must be heated up first for it to work. Otherwise, when you just slather the stuff on your hair, it ends up just like that, slather on your hair. Rubbing it thoroughly between your palms also ensures consistent application on the hair.


What does the color yellow make you think of?

Uhm... People Power? Cory Aquino? LABAN? Di Ka Nag-Iisa? Sorry, I can't help but feel so "political" lately. I guess I can't understand why people have grown tired of people power. If the Filipino people was able to overthrow two corrupt regimes before, why can't we now, now when we need it more than ever?

Main Course

If you were to make your living as a photographer, what subject would your pictures revolve around?

Anything! I love photography so much and I can't think of anything I wouldn't photograph. Particular scenes that really strike me are those which I can render as old/sepia/monochrome photos for that "antique" look. I'm not exactly sure if there's a market for it but if were to have a different career and it happens to be photography, I would enjoy taking "old" photos. Here's a sample of a photo that I took when I acted as tour guide for some friends. We went to Lucerne.


What was the longest book you ever read?

For casual reading, it's a toss up between James Clavell's Shogun and Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. I haven't had the chance to put the two side by side and compare how thick they are, but I think they're pretty thick. For non-casual reading, even though we weren't required to read everything, I was able to read Reza Abbaschian's Physical Metallurgy Principles from cover to cover. I'm now glad that I did because my current job is now so much related to physical metallurgy, especially steelmaking manufacturing methods. If I weren't as interested at all at this subject, I would've probably acted like a complete idiot here in the office.

February 28, 2008


President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, tell us, the Filipino people, how low can you go? Really? Why is it that whenever a sizeable political rally organized against you is scheduled, your people in the Armed Forces and Philippine National Police are falling over themselves in announcing supposed bomb threats all over the Metro? What are you so afraid of that you have to resort to lies just to keep people from expressing their views?

So please tell us... How low can you go?

February 25, 2008


As a project manager, my job requires me to very good in planning. Good projects are ones that involved very thoughtful planning, so that when it's time to execute, you have everything considered, even the contingencies in case anything goes awry.

I cannot say the same for my personal life. I've stopped planning how I will live out my life the day I buried my father. My dad has this tendency to plan everything. He had everything laid out for us: how many kids he will have, where they will go to school, where the family will have vacations every year, at what age he will retire, where he will retire. All that. But he didn't plan on being told he had cancer and he had only four months to live. Hell, he didn't even know he had four months to live. He just sort of knew it would be coming soon from looking in our eyes everytime he can manage to stay coherent after bouts of chemotherapy. I don't want to go that path.

But somehow, being Switzerland means you have to do some sort of "planning". The whole country is obsessed by it! In a country where the trains arrive and leave on the dot, your daily life depends on good planning. Sometimes, it gets to a point where it is outrageous. We had sort of discussed over lunch about going out one Friday for after-work drinks. Before the day was over, the Swiss guy already had it all planned out: what time we will leave for the office, who's riding with who, where we will go, the bar's drinklist, who the designated drivers are, and the train schedule in case the designated driver forget that they're the designated driver.

So here's a list of something new that I want to do for 2008. I know I've already lost two months, but I think these are makeable, given that we have ten more months to go:

1. Learn a new sport - Switzerland = Swiss Alps = Snow. I have to learn either skiing or snowboarding. Everybody in the office tells me my European experience will not be complete without learning how to ski. Should I ask them if that will include getting the broken ankle as well?

2. A European car - When in Rome... And this may be the only chance I will ever afford a BMW or a Benz.

3. A new language - I have to learn High German. This is the universally accepted German language in this part of Europe. There's also such a thing as Swiss German, but the Germans tell me that even they would take years to be able to decipher it. Besides, it would be nice to go to a coiffure not worrying if I will end up looking like a poodle rather than Pitt.

4. Playstation 3 - Not really high on the list, considering that my wife and I plan to spend more time outside of the house and doing some travelling, rather than staying in for the weekend.

5. A baby - We'll see... Hahaha!

February 22, 2008



Have you ever played a practical joke on anyone? If so, what did you do and who was your victim?

That would be a yes. There were four of us who were really good friends way back from highschool. Glenn is in Manila, working as a Project Manager for a top tech company; Oliver is a doctor who's now practicing in Australia; and Eusebio is also a doctor but he's now living in Chicago. Anyway, back when we were still studying in Pisay, we went to this Science Fair sponsored by the French Embassy. All four of us, for one reason or another, decided to go to the restroom together. Being the shy one (back then), Glenn used the cubicle instead of the urinals. The remaining three of us locked Glenn inside the cubicle and we pressed against the door preventing him from going out. We didn't know Glenn was claustrophobic! So he was really struggling to get out and finally he kicked the door and the hinges came off. We ended up running away from the restroom as fast as we could fearing if we got caught, we would have to pay for the damages and the school will find out and we'd all end up in trouble. Had we known Glenn was claustrophobic, we wouldn't have probably done that.


What do your salt and pepper shakers look like?

The salt shaker I have at home is the one I stole off from the temporary apartment I lived in two months ago. It looks suspiciously like the salt shaker we use in the company cafeteria. Hahaha... The pepper shaker, on the other hand, is the I buy from the supermarket everytime I run out of pepper. For some reason, the groceries here don't sell cracked pepper in pouches that you can use to refill the glass shakers. Sometimes, their concept of recycling and waste management here in Switzerland baffles me.


Where is the next place you plan to visit (on vacation or business)?

I will be travelling to Thionville, France next week. I'm joining a three day audit of one of our steel forging suppliers who's been having some quality issues lately. Thionville is right smack in that area of France where it borders Germany, Luxembourg, and Belgium.

Main Course

What kind of lotion or cream do you use to keep your hands from getting too dry?

Actually I don't use lotion or cream to keep my skin from drying out. I really should, considering how easily the cold and dry winter air is making my skin so dry that I shed off skin. Eww....


Make up a dessert, tell us its ingredients, and give it a name

Swiss Bora - a warm, rich chocolate cake with moist, almost runny, pure chocolate in the middle, generously topped with diced mango and swirled with cold mango puree/sauce all over.

February 15, 2008


It's another boring Friday afternoon in the office and I'm just waiting until it's time to go home. Let's jumpstart the weekend by answering thirty nonsense questions...

1. Today is:

2. I should be:

3. The last text message I received
was from:
my mom.

4. And it said:
thank you for the Valentine flowers.

5. I am currently pissed off because:
my officemate is making unsolicited actions on my project.

6. My cellphone rings and the song that's playing is:
one of the those boring, system-installed ringtones.

7. I would love to see:
GMA thrown off from Malacanang.

8. If I could change my last name, it would be:

9. After class, I love to:
smoke and get pissed.

10. My favorite subject is:

11. I liked yesterday because:
it was Valentine's day.

12. But I still sort of didn't because:
I didn't have anyone to celebrate it with.

13. My favorite song/s right now would have to be:
Chemical Romance's I'm Not Okay.

14. I sometimes forget to:
zip my pants after peeing.

15. I currently have a crush on:
Katherine Heigl

16. My favorite number/s would have to be:

17. When I'm in a bad mood, it's better to just:
give me a pint of ice cream.

18. I really can't stand:
liars and backstabbers.

19. I'd break up with my boyfriend/girl friend right away if?
she's a liar and a backstabber.

20. If I were to get stuck in an elevator with someone, it would have to be:
Lindsay Lohan.

21. I'd really like to improve my grades on:
Skiing 101.

22 . The last thing that wasn't good that I bought with my own money is:
stinky cheese.

23. The name of the street where I live is:

24. I have never rode on:
a horse.

25. If I won the lottery, the first thing I would buy is/are:
a plane ticket back to Manila.

26. One bad habit of mine is:

27. I go to school in:
Quezon City.

28. I study there because:
they felt I was good enough to get a full scholarship.

29. my friend/s who is/are not from my college/school is/are:
all of my friends are not from my school.

30. I am currently stressed because:
I had lousy sex last night.

February 13, 2008


As it turned out, I didn't just go to France yesterday, but I was also in Germany! It's just too bad that I was inside a moving car all that time and that the total time spent in Germany amounts to a grand total of 30 minutes. Hahaha. I love the way the countries in Europe are connected to each other. In the scope of eight hours, I was able to go from one country to another and another, and back to my "home country" in time for dinner.

So I finally experienced first hand how driving in the German Autobahn is like. I didn't really drive, it was my manager driving, but I was seated in the back. The minute we entered Germany, he just pushed the throttle and we were gone. 180kph. Whew. I can't wait to get my driver's licence and start being a road maniac around Germany. We travelled through the Schwarzwalder (Black Forest) and went on to France using the highway that goes all the way from Belfort to France. That part of France we were in was beautiful, with its rolling hills and low hills. Belfort, as I had learned from a French colleague, gets its name from the fact that the city is surrounded by the walls of a fortress that was put up during one of the wars with Germany. The region is not really known for its cuisine, owning to the fact that its an industrial region by nature, but he did say something about the fine sausages that they have. I really should stay in Belfort for a couple of nights sometime soon, so I can get a taste of those sausages!

On another note, it was not a good day in the office. I'm pissed off at three people. First is a colleague from Poland. Instead of referring to me, he called my officemate to discuss some problems regarding a project I'm managing. We recently rolled out a new database in Lotus Notes and it so happens that it only works on Release 6 of Lotus Notes. Unfortunately for some officemates in Poland, they still haven't received the upgrades, so that means the database encounters some errors when they try to access it. So this guy in Poland decided to call my colleague to discuss the problem. Second person I'm pissed at is my officemate. He proposed to the Polish guy to just sit back on the problem for a while until the Lotus Notes upgrades get rolled out and until the office in Poland gets trained on the details of the new database. I know he means well but still, it's my project and I feel I should be the one making decisions. I don't know about you but it borders on being unprofessional when you dip into someone's work affairs, make decisions, and then tell the affected person about it after-the-fact. Lastly, I'm pissed off at myself. I suppose the base reason why the Polish guy talked to my officemate was that he's uncomfortable talking to me in English and he's better at using German. I really should get German lessons and at least try to have some German conversation skills. I hope things start to get better in the office tomorrow. I can feel burnout beginning to set in.

February 11, 2008

France, Here I Come

A couple of weeks ago, I was finally able to receive my Schengen visa. Actually, this is my second one. For some unexplainable reason, the French Consulate in Zurich doesn't want to give me a long term visa. One that will last me until Switzerland joins the Schengen Treaty this coming October. This even after I have given them a letter from the HR Director from my company that I need a long term visa, not these one month visas that they keep giving me. And yes, I am complaining, because the lack of a proper Schengen visa is keeping me from doing my job properly.

Anyway, I will finally get to visit our factory in Belfort tomorrow. It's about 135 kilometers away from my apartment, a 1 hour and 30 minute drive by car. Fortunately, the whole group is coming with me and I will be riding with my manager. Unlike our factory in Switzerland, which only produces the rotor part of a generator, the factory in Belfort produces some of the biggest turbogenerators manufactured in the world, including those that goes into the biggest nuclear power plants. I can't wait. I actually want to see how these things really look like. Too bad I can't take pictures. Too bad as well that this is only going to be an in and out thing and that my first time in France will take a glorious ten hours in all.