My roomie is sick

1 07 2007

I did not mean that in a medical or mental sense.. although the second meaning comes pretty close (just kidding, guys!) Actually, he is just feeling a little homesick. Well, maybe not a little but really feeling homesick. I must admit that I, too, feel lonely once in awhile but I guess my experience back in high school made me stronger as far as being away from family and loved ones is concerned.

Here’s a pretty cool song that my roomie sent to us. It pretty much described how he feels:

MANILA by Amber Davis

Lyrics from Lyrics Ko ‘To!
(Take me back to the place I love
Take me back to the place I love, uhuh uhuh huh
Take me back to the place I love
Take me back to the place I love, uhuh uhuh)

I remember when were kids
Having barbeques in the bukid
When the brownouts came, we were never alone
We just played in the streets till the lights came on

Six o’clock in the mornin’
Bakery just opened
We can smell the bread, it was cooking from a mile away
Ain’t nothing like a fresh piece to start your day in…

Manila (Manila, Manila)
I’m comin’ back to Manila
(The only place that I call home, home)
I’m comin’ back to…

Manila (Manila, Manila)
I’m comin’ back to Manila
(The only place that I call home, home)

Signal to the jeepney (pick me up)
Take me to the place where (I grew up)
Back to the kids in the park where we played all day
Some had a shed for a home but it was all okay

‘Cause in Manila, we’re all the same
Everybody’s waiting for things to change
In the barrio, that’s how it is
We didn’t care much ’cause we were kids, oh

(Manila, Manila)
I’m comin’ back to Manila
(The only place that I call home, home)
I’m comin’ back to…

Manila (Manila, Manila)
I’m comin’ back to Manila
(The only place that I call home, home)

I’ve been gone for a minute but I’m on the next flight
And the plane man says we can make it by night
Can’t wait to touch down in my old hometown
Had a girl, we used to kick it but I doubt she’s still around, yoh

It’s all good ’cause I’m back in the jungle
Where the girls in bikinis all come in a bundle
And pain and poverty is everywhere
But when the smoke all clears, it’s only love in the air

I’ve been gone too long

Gone too long
I’m comin’ home (comin’ back to the place I love)
Gone too long
I’m comin’ home (comin’ back to the place I love)
I’m comin’ back to Manila

Yo yo yo yo
I say, babalik ako sa Manila, Manila
Babalik ako sa Manila, Manila
Babalik ako sa Manila, Manila
Babalik ako, babalik ako, babalik
Babalik ako sa Manila, Manila
Babalik ako sa Manila, Manila
Babalik ako sa Manila, Manila
Babalik ako, babalik ako, babalik

I’m comin’ home (Manila, Manila, Manila, Manila)
I’m comin’ back to Manila (comin’ back to the place I love)
I’m comin’ back to Manila (Manila, Manila, Manila, Manila)
I’m comin’ back to Manila (comin’ back to the place I love)
(Manila, Manila, Manila, Manila, Manila)
(Comin’ back to the place I love)
Comin’ back to the place I love
Comin’ back to the place I love
Comin’ back to the place I love

I found a copy you can download on Multiply.


All My Bags Are Packed, I’m Ready To Go…

15 06 2007

Yes, sireee! My colleagues and I took a couple of days off and we are heading to L.A., California. Don’t worry, we are not driving this time since we found some really affordable rates on ExpressJet.

Luckily, I was able to convince everyone to pick this weekend as it will allow me to attend the PhD graduation rites of one of my oldest buddies, Pino. I have also made plans to meet up with other friends like Nick, Jamie, Ayn, Ricky, Jhason and a couple of other friends.

If you are near the area, let me know. You can get in touch with me through my colleague’s friend (who was kind enough to play our host) Pedro, at 714-478-9535. (I will be deleting this number after the trip to make sure that he does not get bugged by tele-marketers.) Of course, you can still SMS me through my roaming Philippine number at +63 915 5164868. Please try not to call me though as the roaming charges are insane.

See ya around!!!

Finally, a long weekend in Austin…

13 06 2007

Since my colleagues and I were assigned here in Austin, we have missed about a week’s worth of holidays. For those not from Philippines, we have more than 20 National Holidays this year. So, when we realized that Memorial Day was gonna fall on a Monday, we immediately started making plans.

It started out with the idea of heading down south of Texas to Corpus Christi (about two hours away) or maybe South Padre Island (about six hours away). At least that was the plan a couple of weeks before but, as they always do, our plans took a sudden change.

To make a long drive/story short, we ended up driving to Chicago. Yes, Austin to Chicago and back in 3 days. If y’all are not familiar about how far Chicago is, imagine driving from Manila to Davao and back to Manila… twice! That’s a total of almost 2,500 miles. Yes, my dear friends, we were that crazy. In fact, when we were introduced to our office mate’s wife during the outing last weekend, she said, “Oh! So you are the crazy folks from Manila who drove all the way to Chicago for the weekend!” And just last week, when we were introduced to one of the directors, they quipped that “they made there mark by driving to Chicago…” (I have more stories like these but you get the point..)

Yes, it was definitely a crazy trip. Something that I would really think long and hard about doing again. But, at the same time, it was really worth it. Sure the 24hour drives took its toll on our body but the scenery that went with it was really awesome. We even passed through a bridge above the Mississippi river (did I spell that right?).

MJSure we only got to spend a day in Chicago but we enjoyed every minute of it. Our sincerest gratitude goes to Kuya Boloy and his family. They really went all out in taking us all over town. They took us to the United Center (the picture on the right is the primary reason why the long trip was all worth it), the Millennium Park, the Buckingham Fountain and even treated us for all our meals, that Jim’s Polish Sausage was awesome. Christina and Julius were also terrific hosts. Not to mention Ate Ditas who, although at work, was constantly on the phone with Kuya Boloy, very concerned about our tour. Again, thank y’all for making that one day in Chicago a day to remember.

More pictures to follow…

A Special Banquet in Austin

3 04 2007

I read a post by one of my brothers in the SFC family (Nicky) and was humbled that he was able to go ahead with his fasting while I failed miserably.

On what was supposedly going to be my first day, I woke up late and immediately went on my routine of filling a bowl with cereal and drowning it in milk. I then realized my mistake and and tried to make it up by not eating the rest of the day. I simply took in water. Lots and lots of water. I was successful the rest of the working day but again slipped at night because I was simply too hungry having had only water. Not to mention the fact that it was Jeremy’s birthday and he treated us for some TexMex food. And today, I ended up finishing the rest of that TexMex food for lunch since there servings were huge.

texmex-ryan texmex-jeremy texmex-dan

I am not blaming Jeremy. I know that I have no one to blame but myself. I should have known myself better and not underestimated the effort needed to be successful in fasting, especially a water-only fast. But now, I know better and I will try to give it one more go. I’m not going to to do another water-only fast but decided to take it slow this time and try a bread and water/fresh milk fast until Easter Sunday.

To my SFC family, please pray for me that I may have enough strength to get through this.

To my housemates here in Austin, please do not cook any yummy meals, and I hope you can finish off that beef by April 6 all by yourselves.

May God be praised…

For more pictures from Austin, check out Dan’s album.

Austin! Yeah!

25 03 2007

This trip to Austin was not something I was looking forward too albeit it really was unwanted at this point in time. Unwanted b’coz it came a little too soon. Too soon for the proper goodbyes and to soon for the right hellos. Goodbye to Alaine whom I have not been spending much time w/ b’coz of work & Hellos to my family who will be visiting Manila in the next couple of weeks! Family whom I have not seen in years..

Still i pushed through with the trip b’coz the team really needed someone to be there asap. I knew that when I took on this job that there would be sacrifices and this was one of those decisions that I needed to make.

What made the situation worse though was that the HR/Facilities team could not get us decent flights. Instead of going Manila – Narita – Minneapolis – Austin, we had to go through Manila – Nagoya – Detroit – Memphis then Austin. I could not blame them though as, just like Jeremy and myself, they barely had a week to prepare.

Yes, they made a little better by providing us complimentary passes to the NorthWest World Club lounge but it was still a long trip. Besides, these lounges did not have hot meals so we had to be content w/ cookies, biscuits, mini carrots & the like for lunch. I ended up feasting on the canned fruit drinks instead.

NWA World Club Ryan at NWA World Club
Wine and cookies Ryan @ NWA World Club

Anyway, the trip lasted more than 24hours. I left our house around 3am (Mar 24, MNL) and did not arrive until 1030pm (Mar 24, AUS) in the apartment which would be 1130am (Mar 25, MNL). Whew!

Don’t worry, this rant will end soon.. And not b’coz I’m getting tired but b’coz I will soon be raving. Yup, raving b’coz of the wonderful welcome that we got when we stepped into our Apartment.

Living Room Dining Table
Living Room Dining Table
Some Snacks My Room
“Some Snacks” My Room
(with background music)

Maryam did tell me that she would prepare some snacks but this was really a wonderful surprise. Yes, I was still tired from the trip (I slept until 5pm the next day), I still want to see my nephews & nieces and I still miss Alaine.. But this sure made me feel welcome & wanted, & pumped up for work!Ü

Note: Jeremy and I did NOT finish all those snacks in one sitting.

1st Company Outing

26 04 2006

The recent company outing was nothing compared to last year’s when the whole company flocked the shores of Boracay. Still, it was good enough for me since it was my first time in Puerto Galera. I know, I know.. pathetic, huh!!!

In my opinion, the outing was not as well organized as I would have liked. The dining area did not have enough cover for everyone so some people had to eat their meals under the sun. Talk about a hot meal. The there was the over-extended presentations by the resort staff. Ok, they had really good dancers and some talented bartenders but it was not spectacular. If they were celebrities, it would have been ok but since they were not, we were more excited to see our officemates jamming and dancing away. And, oh, a fuse blew up causing further delay. Grrr…

With all these mishaps and more, one could not imagine that I would actually end up having a great time, but I really did. Somehow I managed to have a good time. Thanks to the following:

  • The banana boat ride, after which nobody wanted to ride with me again. (I will be uploading pix on this soon)
  • A teammate who became an instant superstar thanks to his drunken master moves.
  • Simply hanging out with the teammates

I have posted the pictures I took on my site. Check them out!
Note: If the slideshow does not run, please place the cursor on your browser’s address bar and press TAB until a message displays on the upper-left instructing you to press SPACEBAR or ENTER.

No Worries, Mate!!!

17 03 2006

I had heaps of fun last October when I went on my first mission trip out of the country. I am no stranger to mission trips, as I have been on two such activities during my YFC days when we went to Zambales and Burias Island to spread the word about our community, but this was certainly something new for me. I was actually going to fly off to another country, meet new people from a different culture and spread the word with a team that I have barely gotten to know. I was really excited!!!

That excitement suddenly turned to anxiety when, a week before the trip, I was asked to lead one-half of the mission team. It turned out that we had booked separate flights, one half going to Melbourne while the other (that’s us) would be flying to Sydney. Back then, I really don’t know why I was chosen to lead that team, apart from the fact that I was the one who gave all these suggestions and kept blabbing. I gotta learn to shut my trap! 🙂 Everyone in that team was far more experienced than myself. Then again, who was I to say no to a blessing.

I do not want to get into each detail since it was such a full trip that one single blog entry would not do justice to it. Looking back, it was amazing how God worked during the whole trip. The team leader of the whole OZ team told us during our pre-mission training that we should prepare ourselves yet be flexible enough to God’s call because He is still in control. True enough, He led the way all throughout the trip.

He found a way for a mission team (that’s us!) to reach Canberra on a weekend because that’s when the SFC members are free. He made us go back to Sydney, even if we wanted to visit Melbourne, because we had a job to do their. We were to bring back the excitement into SFC Sydney and prepare them for the teachings that the second team was to bring.

We were sad that we had to leave Sydney because everyone there were so good to us, but still we are happy because we know that we had accomplished the mission that God wanted us to do.

To end this post, I would just like to thank some very special people who made our stay a truly memorable one. My hats off to Ian, Tristan, Jorge, Coy and Che. We will see each other some day. I love you all..