Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Filipinos have a great sense of humor. We manage to smile despite the numerous natural calamities that strike our country every so often. I remember one meme that says, "You're just a storm. I am a Filipino." 

True. You'd notice right away that Filipinos, compared to other Asians, always have a happy disposition. Not only that, I think we have the funniest signs ever. Here are my Top Ten funny signs I found on the web today:

1. A barber shop
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2. A pet shop and grooming salon
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3. A small town bakery named "Bread Pit"
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4. A pharmacy in Northern Luzon
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5. A shoe repair stand
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6. A laundry shop
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7. A street warning sign. Oh yes. This is definitely true. They are really slow.
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8. Another street warning sign. Haha. 
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9. A huge sign inside the church:
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10. I had no idea there was a nudist beach resort in the Philippines! Haha.
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So those are my Top Ten funny Filipino signs for today. There are a gazillion more. I guess I have to get back to the habit of taking a camera with me every time I go out. Who knows there might be a winner out there?

Peace, Love, and Happiness to all!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Rain and Daydreams

It is raining. Can't go for a walk.

The very first tropical storm of the year in our part of the world.

So I sit here, browse around, wishing the power won't go off. Then I started to daydream. I thought of things I could never ever EVER own in my lifetime. Even if I work 24 hours a day, it would still be impossible, unless of course, I would win the lotto. Fat chance.

Its free to dream, right? Join me on my daydreaming journey!

I have always wanted a nice, big, country style house built on a large sprawling property. Surrounded by lots and lots of fresh air and greenery. I have lived all my life in the city and there is nothing more I would love to do than to live in the country.

Here's my dream house:
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I love earth tones and this is the perfect house for me. Large windows, with a rock, brick and stucco facade. Wood accents and a well maintained front lawn. Perfect!

I have always wanted to have a pool. I love the water and would jump at any chance to go to the beach or take a dip in a pool. If I had my own, I want it to look like this:

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Of course if I had a pool, I would also need to have a patio, with the option of having a hot tub too. It would be nice to have weekend barbeques with the family while enjoying a cool and relaxing time at the pool. My patio should be made of wood, furnished with nice chairs and plush cushions. I can only imagine sitting there at night watching the stars!

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Being Asian, I need to have something unique to my culture. Yes. I want a Zen garden and Koi pond. Sitting beside it, listening to the trickling of the water droplets and watching these beautiful fish swim ever so gracefully is truly relaxing. I can sit there and write a novel! 

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When I was a little girl, I always dreamed of having a tree house. My cousin and I would climb trees and pretend we had a tree house. If I had the ways and means, I would have a tree house built on my dream property. A cute little one with a bridge (instead of a ladder) which connects to the main house. I could use it as a studio where I can take lots of pictures of the views outside, or maybe learn to paint and create masterpieces in there. It could be my own little quiet place. This dream of having a tree house was intensified by watching that TV show, Tree Masters.

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Now that I am done with the exterior, I am starting to complete my dream with the inside of the house. I close my eyes and imagine the perfect living room. 

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My living room has to have large windows offering a great view of the outdoors. I love natural lighting and to have plush furniture off-white color is just perfect. The circular design of the living room set makes for good conversation moments with family and friends. Love the marble flooring and the fixtures that give subdued lighting at night. Dream on!

Then I move on to my most visited place in the house - the kitchen. I would love to have my appliances built in, to avoid clutter and to make everything look more organized. Have I told you how much I love wood? How I wish I could have a kitchen like this!

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Lately, I have seen unique designs for family rooms. I love those sunken couch designs, however, with my husband's balance and mobility issues, I don't think that would work for him. Now, if I owned a house, of course, I'd love to have a media and entertainment room. I'd most probably have it in the basement. This is where me and my family will enjoy countless hours of movie nights with lots and lots of popcorn. My husband and my boys can also enjoy watching their favorite sports on a huge TV. I'd make sure there are surround speakers for a more realistic and pleasurable experience. No movies or sports games to watch? No problem. I'll just sit there and listen to my favorite music.

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My husband and I are both bookworms so we have to have a place in the house where we can sit in comfort with a good book in hand. I'll have a library! As long as the dream is alive, I'll keeping dreaming!

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Isn't this lovely? Wood parquet floors, wooden bookshelves. brick wall, cozy couch, and scented candles! Truly a book lover's paradise. 

What if we had to babysit for the grandchildren? We would need a place in the house where they can do as they please - play with toys, draw, paint, read books or watch cartoons. A kids' playroom would be nice to have. Something just like this:

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I'd throw in a daybed or some bean bags. Kids need to rest too!

So now comes the time in my dream that I have to rest. What would our master's bedroom look like? I hope I do not sound too redundant, but of course, my preferences would be natural light, large windows, earth tones, and wood. A large bed, chairs, a desk, and walk in closets too! 

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Of course, there would be two other bedrooms, one for each of our sons. There will also be two spacious bedrooms, for my two daughters who are now married and have families of their own. I know they'd love to come and visit and they are more than welcome every time. I'll have two more spare bedrooms for relatives or guests who would want to stay overnight.

Oh my goodness! In my dream, I am the owner of a huge 7 bedroom house with a pool, patio, tree house, zen garden and koi pond! I have a huge properly surrounded by evergreens and fruit bearing trees. I have a well maintained front lawn and a three car garage where my dream vehicle is parked. My very very own Ford F150 Raptor 2016 Edition!

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I know there is no chance for me to have any of these, however, it just felt nice to be able to imagine how it is to live a life of luxury. 

Now the rain has stopped. Maybe now I can go for a walk and get back to reality. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

We are proud grandparents of two beautiful children, Alfonso Miguel and Laina Marie. 

Last June 6th, our grandson turned 6 months! He's starting on solid food and has quite an appetite! He loves mashed potatoes and carrots and broccoli. We give him a little bit of cereal mixed in with the veggies. No complaint from him. He loves his meals. 

He went swimming last week and enjoyed the water. Michael Phelps in the making? Hope so.

Yesterday, our granddaughter turned 6 years old. Our pretty little Laina is growing up to be a very beautiful little lady. She'll be in first grade this coming school year and is excited to be in "big girl" school. Laina loves swimming too! She's taking lessons and is getting to be very good at it.

These two angels make our hearts full of joy, our lives complete. 

To hear those little voices calling us "Grammi" and "Pappy" is enough to make us love being grandparents! 

Sunday, June 5, 2016

A trip to a museum always guarantees a great time. It gives us the opportunity to travel back in time or marvel at the creative genius of the artists.

In Quezon City, Philippines, there is a museum that is a fun place to visit. The place is called Art In Island, a 3D museum that houses 50 murals created by Korean artists. These murals show depth when photographed at certain angles, and visitors can have a great time using these murals as backdrops for their selfie photos. It would seem like you are actually in the mural itself.

Art In Island is different from other museums because it is interactive and touching/photographing the murals are allowed and even encouraged by the museum staff. 

My sister and her daughter, together with some friends visited this unique museum recently. I wished I was able to go with them. It would have been so much fun!

Anyway, I am sharing some of the photos they took while they were there. 

My sister Rochelle and her mommy friends

So cool!

My 10 year old niece Tyra

She's naturally shy, but not today! Hahaha.

Amazing backdrops = Awesome photos!

Art in Island Museum is located at 175 15th Avenue, Baranggay Socorro, Quezon City. They are open Tuesdays to Sundays, and Holidays, from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm. Entrance fees are Php 500 (US$ 10.81) for adults, and Php 400 (US$ 8.65) for students. Children below 3 feet tall get free entrance. They also offer special discounts for senior citizens and persons with disabilities. 

If you are anywhere near the area, make sure to drop by for a one of a kind experience!

Check out their Facebook page too - https://www.facebook.com/artinisland/ and feel free to upload your photos!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Reading is a good habit for children to learn at an early age. From the first few months after birth, babies greatly benefit when their parents read to them. As the child goes into the toddler stage, they learn to appreciate a storybook. The habit of reading has been proven to help increase a child's academic aptitude.

However, what if you notice your child struggling with reading and comprehension? They may not openly admit, but their report cards would show it. If the parents find this frustrating, it is even more frustrating for the child.

As parents, we only want the best for our children. Helping them to reach their dreams is our penultimate goal. 

Where do we start?

Start at the core - help them improve their reading and comprehension skills. Once this has been achieved, the child will have more confidence in themselves and excel in other academic subjects too. 

I understand that we need to make a living and run a household, which leaves not enough time for us to sit down and help a child improve his reading ability. An option is to hire a tutor. But that would burn a big hole in the budget. We can also check downloadable apps to encourage a child to read, however, most of them are not interactive, which makes the child lose interest.

Have you heard of Reading Buddy Software™? If not, then read on.

"Reading Buddy Software™ is advanced speech recognition technology that listens, responds, and teaches as your child reads. It’s like having a tutor in your computer"

How does it work? Watch this:

Amazing, huh?

Reading Buddy Software™ improves reading fluency through repetition. It listens and responds when your child reads. It is user friendly and highly interactive. A child can navigate through the program and earn "prizes" for a job well done.

The stories are fun and engaging, making it easy for the child to be eager and interested to keep on reading. Their reading and comprehension skills will definitely show marked improvement in as little as three months!

This summer, give your child a gift that would give them a brighter future. Purchase the Reading Buddy Software™ today and take advantage of a 50% discount by clicking the link below:

Note: This post contains affiliate links.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

It is Mother's day once again. 

One special day to honor to the women who unselfishly dedicate their lives to raise a family. Mother's day has a special significance for me, because I gave birth to my youngest son on Mother's day in 1993.

Just a few days ago, I was sitting in my home office, typing away, trying to complete an essay when I suddenly remembered my grandmother. A woman of strength, definitely. She was widowed at the age of 32. She was pregnant with her fifth child when my grandfather died. She alone raised all her five daughters. With her hard work, she was able to send all of them through college. All by herself.

This is a picture of my grandmother and grandfather with my two older aunts.

My grandmother, "Lola Piday," passed away years ago. She lived a full life, leaving this world at a ripe old age of 92. My only regret was that I was not able to say "Thank you" for raising my mom and my aunts. Thank you, Lola Piday, because if it wasn't for you, I would not have a wonderful mom who raised me, nurtured and loved me just the way you did when my mom was growing up. My mom has taught us values and life lessons about perseverance, patience, and faith in God. Lessons passed on from my beloved grandmother. 

This year, I was given the opportunity to join the Thank a Mom Movement campaign of Century City Mall. How timely! My mom is now 77 years old, hard of hearing (because of her diabetes) but is still unbelievably active and strong. I have been thinking of a special gift for her this Mother's day, and the days are going by so fast I have not yet decided on what to get for her.

I know my mom appreciates every little token, but I would try something different this year. I will write her a Thank You note. Many times we take our mothers for granted. In her twilight years, I will give her something that I should have done every day, every year. I will say, 

"Thank You, Mama. For everything. I am what I am now because you loved me and you believed in me."

I will treat her to a beauty spa treatment. She can have her hair and nails done, get a spa massage, and a little gift. She loves anything in red! Maybe a nice little red leather pouch bag would make her happy. I'll treat her to dinner at a restaurant she chooses. I can do all of these in one place - at the Century City Mall in Makati. 

I joined the Thank A Mom Movement at Century City Mall. By doing so, I can share with others that I am thankful for having a great mother! Registering and leaving a note qualified me for freebies I can claim at the Century City Mall. I also have the chance to win prizes for the most wonderful woman in my life - my Mama. 

Click here to get started! (https://www.facebook.com/CenturyCityMall/app/269862423359705/) I did and I almost immediately got a reply in my email inbox. They sent me a voucher code to present at the Thank A Mom booth to claim my free gifts! Amazing. I'm heading over there tomorrow with my Mama. 

Don't forget to like their Facebook page and get updates on discounts, gastronomic adventures, and upcoming sales. Follow them on Instagram and Twitter too!

It is only four more days till Mother's day...

Have you thanked your Mother yet?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Have you ever wondered how external noise is eliminated when recording a song? The sound engineers' work has limitations, so, the need to have a microphone isolator is must in every recording studio.

Browse Musicians Friend Microphone isolation shield choices. They offer an array of products from well known manufacturers that guarantee the best results. Made from only the best foam materials to decrease external noise, giving excellent quality recording. 

Now you know the purpose of those "accordion-looking" things in front of a microphone in a recording studio. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Search The Web and Earn With Qmee!

Every minute of the day, people are online searching for stuff they need, discounts and coupons, services they wish to avail of, or even search for a job. And yet there are others who simply pass their time away browsing the web.

Whether you are online for a purpose or just browsing through, wouldn't it be cool to make some money without much effort? I have found a way to do that! Some extra cash in your pocket would be nice, right? Maybe you are saving towards a nice summer vacation, a new outfit or that dream bag. Maybe you'd want to take the kids out or get them some new clothes but you really have a tight budget.

Look no further. The answer is right here!

Qmee is an free app you can download on your browser. It works with search engines such as Google, Amazon, EBay, Yahoo and Bing. Whenever you search online, Qmee will also show similar and relevant search results alongside your screen. The amount you will earn once you click on the results are also shown to you. If you are interested in the search provided by Qmee, and click on it, you earn and collect the reward! Simple and easy! 

The cash rewards you earn are kept in a virtual piggy bank which you can easily manage by logging into your account. There is no minimum withdrawal amount, and your earning will be deposited into your Paypal account. Whenever you want to avail of your balance is up to you. Cool. Not only that. You are also provided with an option to donate your earnings to a worthy charity.     

Go ahead and sign up for Qmee. There is no limit as to how much you can earn by doing simple searches over the web. Make Qmee your new companion in saving money!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Every year, on the first Sunday of May, we honor the woman who nurtured, cared, and loved us from the time we were conceived in her womb. Her love and sacrifice cannot be replaced by anything else in the world. This is why we dedicate a special day for her every year.

As a child, I made my own Mothers Day card to give my mom. I secretly bought art materials and worked on my "masterpiece" when mom was busy doing the laundry or cooking supper. I can vividly remember how her face lit up with joy when I gave the card to her. 

I draw strength and inspiration from my mom. She was widowed at the age of 53. My brother was only 14 years old when my dad passed away. With some savings in the bank, my mom was able to find means to start a small business. It was tough for her to do things on her own, as she has never known how to live without my dad. But my mom did it. She was determined to succeed. She was able to support me and my three siblings through college. 

My mom is now 72 years old. Still strong and energetic, she attends exercise classes for senior citizens, does the grocery shopping by herself, and squeezes in some tea time or mall time with her friends.

Now I am a mom (and grandma) too, I still continue to surprise her with a small token of appreciation for love for me and my siblings. Last year, on Mother's Day, I got her a pair of sneakers with red trim. She wears them every time she attends her exercise class.

My mom is also fond of jewelry. My dad showered her with expensive jewelry when he was still with us. Now, mom keeps her heirloom pieces locked away in a safety deposit box in the bank. She said those things are not just jewelry. They are memories.

This year, I wanted to give her something she can wear for special occasions. A charm bracelet would be the perfect gift. And I know exactly where to get it.

At Glamulet, I found exquisite pieces that would make any mom happy. Their Mothers Day collection showcases beautiful charms that can be set on a sterling silver bangle. 

The craftsmanship is superb! Glamulet designs, manufactures and markets hand-finished and modern jewelry made from genuine materials at affordable prices. I love the heart designs and the ones with the inscription "Mom" and "I love Mom." It will be a constant reminder of my love and appreciation for mom.

As a token of appreciation for all mothers, Glamulet is offering a 15% discount! Simply type in the code BB-MOM at check out. This code is available for orders $70 and up and valid until May 9th, 2016.

Here's one more bonus. Simply share any of Glamulet's pieces on your social media pages and you get to be entered automatically in a sweepstakes to win a Glamulet bracelet worth $200! Head on over to http://www.glamulet.com/share-to-win-a-free-bracelets and start sharing!

Do you agree that this is the perfect gift for mom? I do.

I love you Mom. Happy Mothers Day.

Note: This is a sponsored post for Glamulet powered by Brandbacker. I have received discounts to purchase these special Mothers Day charms.


Today you donned your graduation robe and mortarboard. I was the happiest person on the planet. Probably happier than you. 

Today was the culmination of your four years of hard work. You have earned your Bachelor's degree in Hotel Management. Congratulations, Mickey!

My second college graduate. My youngest child. You are now a grown man, equipped with skills to make your mark in your chosen field.

Where did all the years go? It was just yesterday that you were a baby. Always quiet, forever content with a few toy cars and building blocks. You had your share of childhood accidents. That scar on your forehead will always remind you that jumping off a chair was never a good idea.

Did you know how much my heart broke when I left to work abroad? I remember you reached out to hug me before I went in the check in counter at the airport. I pinched your nose and ruffled your hair. I remember saying, "Be a good boy always." How I wished I could have said, "I love you" instead.

Remember the times we used to disagree when you showed lack of interest in your studies? That was when you were in high school. You kept telling me, "I don't want to go to school anymore. My classmates keep teasing me because I can't catch up with the lessons. My teachers keep screaming at me. I'm dumb. I'm not like my siblings. I'm just that. Dumb."

You are not dumb. It was just that time when your siblings were doing very well in school. I did not compare you with them. Each one of you is unique. I never lost hope. I knew we'd find a solution. It took three transfers to different schools before you finally found your confidence. The right school and a pair of prescription glasses and you were back on the right path. 

Another four years after that, here we are, at the Philippine International Convention Center. My heart was full of joy as I watched you get up that stage and accept your diploma. To witness your graduation was enough to forget decades of working the graveyard shift to earn money for your education.

May I ask you for one thing? Just one thing. 

Never forget the people who helped you to get to this day. No, they do not want you to repay them with material things. All they need is a heartfelt "Thank you for believing in me and supporting me through all these years."

Fly high, anak. 

I love you.

Monday, April 4, 2016

I would have never imagined to experience such close to real sound quality in film, TV, and video games. It is definitely a science in itself!

It is just mind boggling to think about how these sound effects were created and now I have an idea of the process. Although my understanding of technology is rather vague, I am still at awe with the creative genius of sound engineers, game developers, and film directors. 
With the aid of computer software, musical scoring and sound effects have really given the industry a boost! A must have tool is gravity scoring. It is more than a modern scoring virtual instrument, it is the top choice for sound quality and for its easy to use interface!

Here are just some of its awesome features:
  • Modern scoring virtual instrument
  • 100 complex pads each with 3 distinct layers
  • 48 intricately crafted hits each with 4 distinct parts
  • 450 unique transitional stings to enhance compositions
  • 72 complex, hybrid risers and 45 orchestral string risers
  • All sounds are completely customizable
  • A must-have tool for film, TV and video game compositions

If you are thinking of establishing a rewarding career as a sound engineer, musical scorer or video game developer, this is the tool you need to propel you towards success!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

When I was a young child, I was thrilled to receive pens and stationery with a company's logo, especially if it was from my favorite cookie and cereal brand. I would beg my mother to buy the same product over and over because I wanted to collect all the pens in different designs and colors.

I believe that promotional merchandise is a great way to advertise. It can be used to bring in more sales to a business; increase awareness for a campaign; or just to make a new company and its product be known to consumers. 

It would also be great to have small personalized tokens to commemorate an occasion, like a college graduation, a quincenara, or a wedding. In addition to that, this election season has flooded the market with campaign give-aways.

These promotional items are usually inexpensive and can come in many forms, such as key chains, pens, coasters, mugs, caps or mouse pads. Wearable items such as shirts, scarves, and totes are also very popular. 

Since promotional items are globally accepted as a form of advertising, there are entrepreneurs who have honed their craft in this industry, and most, if not all are great! However, as consumers, our concerns would always be quality of the product, pricing, and timeliness in delivery. 

Having done my research, I am confident that the promotional printing at PrintGlobe is one of the leaders in the industry. They have a wide selection of products to choose from and the cost of their service is very reasonable. Choose an item, upload your logo and they will work on it ASAP. No logo or design in mind? No problem! They have a great team of graphic designers who will help you with that!

If you are currently working with an advertising agency, or if you are a campaign manager, or if you are simply looking for small personalized give-away items for an upcoming event, consider promotional merchandise. You will be surprised at the power these small items can bring to your brand, company or event.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

I am turning my back on the company I have worked for these past three years. I am giving up my health insurance; I have no back up plan, and very little savings. 

Don't get me wrong. I love my job. Its the management I cannot take. The stress level has taken a big toll on my health and before I suffer from a more serious stress-induced chronic illness, I'd rather stay home and be a housewife, a mother, a part time grandmother and go for my lifelong dream to be a successful blogger/writer.

In my ten year stay in the BPO industry, I have had great leaders and good leaders. However, I have had my share of the worst leaders in the industry. 

Here are seven responses you never ever dreamed to come out of the mouth of a so-called manager. 

1. "I can't tell you."
When I asked my manager why was I given a performance rating of only "Average" when I know I did my job well. She simply said, "I can't tell you." Keeping secrets and being lied to is so unethical and has no place in the corporate world. I am very certain that VISIBILITY is one of the company's core values. 

2. "Management does not need your opinion."
During a meeting, we were informed that we would be moved to a different shift schedule. The change would mean losing our transportation allowance. I said, "I think you should have asked us first how these changes would impact our paycheck before you made the final decision?" 
Her response: "Management does not need your opinion."

3. "You cannot have a copy of the email. It is company property."
I was placed on redeployment status (similar to being temporarily laid-off) because the account I was supporting did not renew its contract with the company. I asked my manager why I was not informed earlier so that I could have requested for transfer to a more stable account. I asked for a copy of the email which stated the reason for the account's pull out. I was the one directly impacted but I was kept in the dark. When I demanded to be copied in the email thread, her response was: "You cannot have a copy of the email. It is company property."

4. "Why can't you stop asking questions?"
I always ask questions. I guess it was part of my upbringing. I was taught never to be afraid to ask questions when things are not clear or beyond my understanding. My mom never grew tired answering my whys and hows. She said being inquisitive was a sign of intelligence. I would say I have an insatiable thirst for learning, so questions were always part of my daily life. 

In the corporate world, asking questions is frowned upon by management. They want employees who are blind followers. People who post questions are labeled as smart asses. I don't know how asking a question for clarification can be so offensive for others. Are they afraid to find out that their subordinates are better than them? Are they scared of losing their ground? During meetings, I try my best to keep mum and act dumb, because I was told, "Why can't you stop asking questions?"

5. "Can't you email the stakeholders yourself?"
I am all for empowerment. However, there are certain tasks that are supposed to be the responsibility of managers. 

To cite an example, there have been numerous times that I lost connection with the remote server. When this happens, I immediately create a ticket for the local I.T. people to determine if it is a site issue. I email my manager and U.S. counterparts informing them of the issue and I include the ticket number for their reference. In most cases, the issue was resolved on site. However, on two to three occasions, the issue was on-shore. Taking into consideration the proper chain of command, emailing an I.T. Supervisor in the U.S. must be done by a manager. Whenever I ask my manager to please email the appropriate contact, she would say,  "Can't you email the stakeholders yourself?"

6. "Why are you so negative?"
I am not a negative person. Anybody who really knows me will say I am a great friend, I am easy to get along with, and a hard worker. 

I am opinionated, I speak my mind, and I am not afraid to tell someone that they are doing things the wrong way. I provide suggestions on how to resolve an issue. I am a "people person," therefore, I always look out for the good of everyone.

If that is negativity, then, I rest my case. 

7. "You have to attend the team building or else it will be taken against your performance rating."
Team building activities are sponsored by the company. Usually, we can expect to dole out a few hundred pesos to add to the fund, usually for food, or to pay for transportation. 

What goes on in this so called "team building" activity? It is usually an overnight or two day weekend affair in a resort. After driving several hours to get to the venue, you are required to participate in parlor games and relays to win small prizes. After that, you eat lunch and then it is "free time." The women do videoke, and the men drink. You have dinner and then go back to videoke and drinking. The following morning, you drive back home.

Why don't I attend team building activities? Because I would rather stay home and spend time with my family than to be in a far away place doing nothing but singing and drinking. That is not my kind of fun. If I would want to drink, I'd do it here. At home. With.My.Family. 

If I will be sanctioned for deciding to spend the weekend with my family instead, then I think their priorities are different from mine.

I have asked God's blessing in this major decision I made in my life. I will hold on to my faith in God and hope that everything will be for the best. I will miss my friends, however, I know they are just a text message or phone call away. 

I'll be keeping my chin up and moving forward. No regrets. No worries. I am setting my priorities straight, and I am sticking to it, no matter what happens.

In His time. In God's Perfect Time.