Sunday, February 26, 2012

11 THINGS MEME

Because it’s a Sunday and I’ve got nothing else to do but blog hopping (I was supposed to go to the park and run/cycle but the weather isn’t that nice), I visited Diane’s blog and saw that she tagged me to make this entry. It’s been years since I wrote something out of this “tagging game” so I’m quite thrilled to do it today. Smile

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1. Do you have any favorite recipe? Which one?
If recipe here pertains to dish, like Diane, I’d have very long list. But to name a few, here are some of my favorite food..

I like Japanese cuisine especially maki/sushi and ebi tempura.

I also love seafood (I’m allergic to it but the effects are not that severe), particularly halabos na hipon, calamari, cereal prawns (to die for here in SG). I don’t eat fish soup (sinigang and the likes) though.

Another favorite is vegetable. I love vegetable dishes like: saluyot with labong (plus inihaw na bangus), kare-kare, ginisang ampalaya and a lot more.

Other favorites are cream/mushroom based such as: carbonara, alfredo and all those meat dishes with mushroom sauce. Open-mouthed smile

2. How many blogs do you follow?
I religiously read less than 10 blogs everyday. But on weekends I read even those that I don’t follow. Whatever catches my attention online.

3. If you could be any character in a book or movie who would you be?
My friends often tease me that I’m like Claudine Barretto in Got 2 Believe. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the movie but yeah, it somehow resembles some facts about me. As some of you know, I used to be an events/wedding coordinator back in the Philippines. Another character would be Jess of New Girl (see related post HERE). For the book, as much as I want to be Maria of Eleven Minutes (Paulo Coelho) coz I love her character, I wouldn’t want to be tagged as a prostitute.. hehe. Open-mouthed smile

4. What's your dream travel destination?
Greece, Switzerland, Amsterdam, Italy, Paris, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Maldives, South Korea, Japan. Hopefully I can visit even one of these this year. Smile

5. Do you have pets? Do you talk to them?
I don’t have pets. I often go to the zoo to see the animals but never really got interested in getting one.

6. If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
Writer. When I graduated from college I was offered a writing job but I didn’t accept it due to my odd way of thinking then. I was so young (I graduated from college at 19) and didn’t know yet what I wanted to do with my life. Until now I regret not getting that job.
Architect. I was supposed to take up Architecture but I realized that I hate Math and getting into that major entails taking a lot of Math classes. So I ditched the idea of being an Architect someday.
Painter. I love drawing, sketching and I often represented our class/school in poster making contests but I fell short in the area of colors. I so wanted to take painting classes and be a painter someday.
Social Worker. Apart from being a job, it's fulfilling to be an advocate of non-profit organizations and to help less fortunate people.

7. Is there any food that you wouldn't eat no matter what?
Vinegar/paksiw, sisiw ng balut, and buro/balao balao as well.

8. 3 items you would take with you if you were left alone in a deserted island.
ipod, camera (but they’ll run out of battery.. haha!) and a knife (panghiwa ng prutas.. hahaha!)

9. Have you ever pretended to be someone else?
Nope. I hate people doing that.

10. What's your dream item to find in a thrift store?
A vintage camera.

11. Food: Mexican, Italian or Japanese
Japanese.

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So there, I’m done with my list. I won’t pass on the tag anymore coz Diane is the only active blogger that I am currently following. My other friends aren’t updating their blogs anymore. Smile

Saturday, February 25, 2012

THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER

4327066
The Perks of Being a Wallflower tells the story of a 15-year-old High School student named Charlie who suffers from depression triggered by some kind of abuse when he was a child. He regularly sends letters to an unidentified recipient; talks about his everyday life, the challenges he faces as a young adult, the pain, happiness and everything else that a typical adolescent experiences.

I liked this book coz it’s a real story. Not that it’s based on a real person’s life, but because what Chbosky wrote has actually happened to most of us, especially when we were in our teenage years. It depicts the challenges faced by an adolescent as he comes to age; like socializing, making friends and finding your space in this world.

Just like Charlie, I was once a wallflower. Contrary to what I portray (being this carefree and fun loving) now that I am in my late 20s, I was shy when I was a kid. While all the girls in the class joined cheerleading for the sports fest in their skirts, I was in my baggy shorts and DMs. I was not pretty, I wasn’t even popular. I always felt awkward whenever I would talk to the boys in the class, all the more when someone tries to get close to me. I can still remember an incident when I was sent to the principal’s office when I was in Grade School coz I ‘stabbed’ 2 guy classmates (in their arms) using my pen. They tried to hug me (and kiss me on the cheeks), so I taught them a lesson not to bully a helpless, fragile little girl. I may look delicate at that time, but believe me, I can be as violent when harassed.

I like how Chbosky wrote this on a different style. The inclusion of letters written by Charlie to an unidentified person kept me wondering ‘til the end about who that recipient is. Anyway, it’s just as if I am not only reading a book, I’m also playing with my imagination by trying to create my own end of the story.

The plot may be a little melodramatic for those who do not appreciate sappy stories. The lines were heartbreaking and left me in tears. There were more distressing incidents than happy ones, but I guess that’s just how the author would like to depict the character of a disturbed young man.

It’s a good read for those who love fiction yet realistic books, but not for those who prefer to smile while reading.

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower was written by Stephen Chbosky. I heard the movie adaptation has been filmed but I’m not sure if it’s already shown. Cast includes Emma Watson (Hermione Granger of Harry Potter).



Wednesday, February 22, 2012

NOW HIRING


My job is a lot like finding someone to share my life with. I spend time looking for the perfect candidate, someone who possesses all the qualities that I'm looking for. No matter how many hopefuls apply, it won't guarantee that I will find the right one. Worse, they would just waste my time trying to make me believe that a programmer can support a server. But the job doesn't end in finding the right candidate. In fact, it's just the start of another mission -- that is to make him "fall" for my requirement. What if he is not interested? What if he doesn't like the terms? What if he would just leave after a month or two coz he's not happy anymore? There will always be this fear of being left behind... and I'll start all over again to look for a replacement...  Oh well, such a neverending quest for someone who will stay. 

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Just a random thought this morning when I almost gave up on a certain requirement. Hehehe

Saturday, February 18, 2012

WICKED


Though it's never a practice to celebrate the love month with a significant other, my single friends and I were still able to celebrate love in a different way -- our love for bonding, music and great shows. A day after Valentine's we watched the Singapore run of Wicked, a Broadway Musical at the Marina Bay Sands.

Wicked is based on the novel Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire, a parallel novel of the Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Wicked tells the story of Elphaba, the emerald-skinned girl and the unlikely friendship (and rivalry) that developed between her and Glinda, the beautiful, ambitious blonde girl before they grew to become the Wicked Witch of the West (Elphaba) and the Good Witch of the North (Glinda). It also tells how Elphaba fell prey brought about by twisted stories and public misconception.

Wicked has so many things to like about, from stage design, costume, effects, the plot as well as the cast (Glinda, by the way, reminds me of Elle Woods of Legally Blonde). I was deeply moved by the scenes that left my heart pounding, especially Elphaba & Glinda's Defying Gravity. It's a wonderful song with a wonderful message on fighting and reaching for the top even when something's pulling you down. Such a powerful, inspiring song.

The show is definitely worth watching. So for those of you who are based in Singapore (or nearby countries), grab your tickets now and watch it. The final run will be in April 2012. :)

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On a different note: I was with 4 teachers and 1 nurse so they were excited to raid each other's closet and plan on their outfit days before the show. It was actually one of the few moments that they were able to dress up (they're always in uniform). Hahaha! :P

wicked
The Wicked Witches of Monarchy :)

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I'll leave you guys with a video of my favorite scene, Defying Gravity grabbed from youtube (not the exact one I saw, of course) :)


Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!

It's time to try
Defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you can't pull me down!


I'm through accepting limits
''cause someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I'll never know!
Too long I've been afraid of
Losing love I guess I've lost
Well, if that's love
It comes at much too high a cost!
I'd sooner buy
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I'm defying gravity
And you can't pull me down.



Friday, February 17, 2012

SINGAPOREAN DREAM, Part 2: HOW MUCH?


For the past weeks I've been bombarded with questions from fellow Pinoys wanting to work here in Singapore. The most annoying I got so far is, "How much is the salary for IT Manager like me?" (some even say, "Magkano offer?" or "Magkano bigayan?" like I have already shortlisted them). Like I said in my first entry about working here, I don't really care about your title, even the companies don't. As most of you know, I am a Headhunter and not just your regular internal HR practitioner, not that I underestimate the capacity of an internal Recruiter. I don't. It's just that we have different sets of responsibilities, contrary to popular belief among people outside of the corporate world. Normally, HR Generalist of small companies do the end to end recruitment, while those HR working for bigger companies process shortlisted candidates coming from headhunters (I know what most internal HR say, that the quality of candidates from external recruiters isn't there.. like we are only after the number of profiles endorsed.. well, please do not GENERALIZE. :))

HR of small companies (or big end user environment) are usually the ones hiring generalist positions here in Singapore (do not seek help from headhunters much to minimize recruitment cost). System integrators/big companies/MNCs have specialized positions such as Project Managers (Applications or Infrastructure), Service Delivery Managers, Network Engineers/Administrators, System Engineers/Administrators, Storage Administrators and a lot more. Since I am a Headhunter, I am usually working on positions for big companies, hence, focusing more on specialized skills. I am not really looking for all around IT Managers like most Pinoys approaching me lately. I can only accommodate an IT Manager's profile, if he has SOLID experience in a specific area (coz like I said, sometimes the title doesn't speak much for one's skill/experience). Let me just help you in finding an internal Recruiter who does recruitment for IT Manager and the likes.

Now going back to the main point of  this entry, honestly I hate hearing that question. I am a Recruiter, I practice end to end slash full cycle recruitment process (requirements gathering, sourcing via traditional and non traditional methods, screening, shortlisting, job matching/profiling, negotiating, job offers up to closing the requirements). I do not just jump to the end part which is naming your price. Nonetheless, do you know the simplest (and most sensible) thing you can do to make me answer your question (without me having to go through the whole process of recruitment, if you're not really my official candidate)?

- Send me your resume.
- Talk to me like I am interviewing you.
- Highlight your skills/experience.

And I'll name your price... well, just a range. Hahaha. Jooooke. :P

Seriously speaking, everytime I talk to candidates and they ask me how much the salary is, I ask them in return, "How much are you expecting?". I don't usually disclose my client's budget, it is for the candidate to sell himself and give an idea of how much he is worth. But of course, if I feel that he's asking too much for his experience (and beyond the client's budget), that's when I tell the figures and the truth. After all, I hate wasting time if I am certain an application would go nowhere.

Please take note as well that a good candidate for me expresses his expectations (including the salary) so I can help him further negotiate, even more if I know he deserves it. On the other hand, a not-so-good candidate for me says, "How much is the maximum budget for this?" (like he is worth the highest salary for the post). Always be reminded that too much confidence can turn off a Hiring Manager. Be confident, but not boastful.

Regardless if you're my candidate or not, please always keep in mind that you cannot just ask like that. Coz I wouldn't be able to give you a good answer. I'm not good in telling a lie as well, if you're not worth my time I will definitely say it. In a veracious but composed manner, of course. After all, honesty is the best policy, right? :P



Tuesday, February 14, 2012

MY FUNNY VALENTINE

Celebrating Valentine’s Day for me is like singing in front of a large crowd – I will never ever do it. Not that I’m bitter or apathetic, it’s just that it’s not my personality to go on romantic dates on a day that’s celebrated by a million other couples. I have my own way of showing my affection to my significant other, not only on Valentine's Day.

Valentine’s for me and my then boyfriend(s) is just another ordinary day. The farthest I can go to 'celebrate' is by going out with friends to party. A group date indeed (like we often did when we were younger). Despite being the ‘stiff’ lady though, I had my share of funny valentines in my teenage years.

I went to a university that is known to hold a week-long fair that falls on the Valentine’s week. Most of the fraternities/sororities/clubs/organizations have their distinct activities and one of them is this flower delivery (plus chocolates, toys and other stuff) fraternity. The flowers are delivered by fratmen to the ladies being wooed by their customers. They can even request that their ladies be serenaded by the boys. I was one (un)lucky girl who received flowers and chocolates more than I can hold.

When I was in my freshman year I had my fair share of suitors (modesty aside… haha!). I even had a ‘stalker’ in school. I considered him one coz he would often send me messages without introducing himself. I can still remember how he scared the hell out of me whenever he says (via SMS), “You’re the one in blue at McDo, right?” or this particular day when I was wearing gray top and black pants and he said, “You look pretty in gray and black.” The ‘stalking’ went on for months that I got really scared. I even tried to trace who he was through the number he was using by asking around. I failed.

He stopped probably because he felt I was on my way to finding who that stalker is.

One Valentine’s Day, on my way to my Math class, I saw a couple of fratmen waiting in front of my Math classroom’s door, holding a bouquet of white roses and a bar of Toblerone. Then came my Math professor who asked them to just go away coz they’re messing in the class. He even banged the door and said, “mga istorbo!”

He told the class, “Dapat di nila ginagawa yon e, baka lokohin nyo pa yung kaklase nyong bibigyan nila ng bulaklak e maistorbo pa klase natin.”


On my way out after the class, the group of guys approached me and asked, “Ikaw ba si Annacel?” (that’s what they called me in school, by the way). When I said yes, they handed me the flowers and chocolates.
While walking en route to my next class, my phone beeped. Mr. Stalker resurrected. His message says, “Kawawang naman mga yon, ang babata pa ang labo na ng mata.. akalain mong ikaw pa binigyan ng bulaklak. Haha!” Since then I had a hunch that Mr. Stalker is actually my Math professor. As much as I wanted to debunk my own idea (coz it was really impossible that he would send me personal messages), that particular incident somehow revealed Mr. Stalker’s identity.

From that day on I started to observe his actions during our class. I noticed that everytime we have exercises he would call me to answer the problem on the board. Sometimes when we do our seatwork, he would stand behind my back and silently watch me solve the problems. It was kinda uncomfortable, at the same time made my young heart skip some beats. Hahaha!

I just shrugged it off knowing that he could possibly be Mr. Professor. After all, I knew that he's a good person and won't harm me. Perhaps he was just making fun of me.. or wanted to court me. Hahahaha! Feeeeeling! :P Anyway, the semester was about to end soon at that time so I would be seeing less of him in school. So I just concentrated on my remaining exams.

After our pre-finals week I already went home to the province. I scored high in all the exams so that means I won't be taking the final exams. To my dismay, he contacted me and told me I should take the final exams. At first I argued with him, confident that I really should not take the final exams. But I had no choice but to go back and take the finals. So there, we saw each other again.

What really surprised me is that I got a grade of 2.0 in that Math class. In UP, if you take the finals exams you will either get a 3.0 or 5.0.. so why the hell did I get a 2.0? That led me to a conclusion that he just wanted to see me again. (Oo na, ako na feelingera hahah!)

To help me confirm, I asked my classmate to text and call Mr. Stalker’s number. She found it it was really our professor. By the way, Mr. Math Professor isn’t the usual old guy professor, he was just in his late 20s then. He’s young, cute.. and funny. If he were just my classmate I’d probably date him. Hahaha!

Oh well, nothing special was born out of those 'stalking' moments. We did not get the chance to know each other more. After all, I was a student and he was my professor. It's just not right.

Our story ended as the semester completed.

The following year, on the same month (the LOVE month) I had my first real boyfriend -- one of those flower delivery boys. He did not give me flowers though, he gave me 3 years of love, care, attention... and heartache. :)


Saturday, February 11, 2012

IT’S MORE FUN IN BATAM!

Batam, Indonesia is a favorite destination for Singapore residents not because they find the place beautiful but because of cheap stuff to buy. It’s too near you can reach the island from Singapore for about 40minutes via ferry. I’ve heard a lot of stories of dissatisfaction from friends who have already been to the place, they even said it’s not worth it. Some even say Batam is awful, dirty and the people are uncivilized. I didn’t mind them though, I just wanted to see it for myself.

Since my friend is sort of addicted to online deals, she got us package for S$39 each (inclusive of overnight stay in Swiss Inn Hotel with complete meals and RT ferry tickets) then we paid for surcharge and other taxes. Total price I think is more or less S$80 each. It appeared to be reasonable, however, we got some difficulties with the travel agent that was really disappointing. But we did not want to ruin our vacation so we just let it slide (I’ll make a separate post on that delinquent agency next time).

Anyway, it was nice that we were accompanied by my friend’s (Bojel) Indonesian friend (Galih) working Batam (but a native of Palembang). They are both members of couch surfing, a social networking that specializes in travel. If you are a member having plans of going to a certain place/country, you can contact any of the members residing in that place and see if he can accompany (or even accommodate at home) you and tour you around. We only expected that he was going to meet us at the port since we we were a group of 5 and he only knew Bojel so technically it wasn’t his responsibility to accompany us all. He picked us up from the airport, brought us to our hotel to check in and leave our baggage then he toured us around the island. Good thing he is an on-call basis employee (works for a Telco as a Network Engineer) so he was with us for 2 days.

There’s a lot to see and do in Batam aside from the usual mall-hopping and shopping (plus dining at A&W at Megamall.. haha!) that most tourists do. Here is a list of our activities that might help if you have plans of going to the island.

1. FOODTRIP. We went ate at Restoran Kelong, a seafood restaurant that’s more like paluto or dampa in the Philippines.

KELONG

We got crabs (chili and black pepper), cereal prawns, calamari, cap cay (Indonesian chopsuey). This cost us more than a million……… rupiah! Smile with tongue out (that’s about SGD140 or PHP4,700). My remarks on Kelong? Fresh, scrumptious, generous serving. Open-mouthed smile

FOOD

2. VISIT HISTORICAL SITES. We didn’t really stop by all historical sites in Batam, some of them we only saw from inside our car (we were just too lazy to go out.. haha!). We only visited this Buddhist Temple built by the Vietnamese on Galang Island.

temple5

TEMPLE

3. PHOTOSHOOT. We went to a beach a bit far from the town proper (more than an hour drive). The beach is in Barelang Islands, located south of Batam. Barelang, by the way, is consist of 6 islands connected by 6 bridges from the central area.

We stopped by several bridges to take pictures of the nice view.

BRIDGE

BRIDGE2

From those bridges you can see a perfect glimpse of the islands..

ISLANDS

4. PLAYING BY THE BEACH. There are lots of beaches along the shore lines around the 6 islands and there are several resorts too but Galih suggested a quite secluded beach where we can take good photos and just look around. I forgot the name of this specific beach though. Too bad the tide is low so we decided not to swim (it would be too tiring to walk far and find a deep spot to swim.. Smile with tongue out)

BATO.tile

KULIT

JUMP

5. LAZE AROUND. It’s a secluded so we were the only people at the beach that day, hence, we had the chance to waste time just looking around and enjoy the scenery.

ATTITUDE

LAZEAROUND

6. … AND A LOT MORE! (things that we weren’t able to do. eg. shopping, swimming, watersports activities in some private resorts, etc.)


We were really fortunate to have a host who has a car and volunteered to drive us around the city at no cost that’s why we were able to see the spots that are not usually seen by tourists. So for those who would like to visit Batam, I guess it’s best to rent a car and tour around. Gas is even cheaper there, we only spent less than a hundred thousand Indonesian Rupiah (about SGD14 or PHP400) for our 2-day roadtrip within the island.

Batam isn’t that bad, as what most tourists say. In fact, it’s just as beautiful as some of the islands in the Philippines. It’s just a matter of how adventurous and keen you are in knowing more about what to see, what to eat and what to do in a certain place through thorough research.

By the way, here’s our awesome host, Galih. Smile

GALIH

It was just unfortunate that on our last day, his car hit a tree at the parking lot. Sad smile

car

 
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