Friday, August 25, 2006

A day in the life of the sassy Melbournite

Got inspired by Jaz's blog entry about her day to day activities.

Luckily, my job does not require me to do the same ol' shit every single day. Do I find it exciting? Yes. Boring? Not at all. Unsettling? It can be.

There is no such thing as routine in my job. I could get a phone call or an email in the next 10 minutes telling me to get my arse on the airport pronto because I have a corporate meeting in Sydney in 3 hours time. I could get an urgent request from our global office in Atlanta (State of Georgia, USA) asking me to participate in testing a system upgrade. I could get meetings set up by people from different departments wanting to sit with me for a whole day to plan and document new and existing processes and training matrixes. I could get phone calls from my boss in all hours (even weekends) about - what else? - work. It's a wild, wild world for me wherein I have been uprooted from my relatively stress free position of 5 years past. I have been thrown into a pit where important people in the company want a piece of me, every single day. Do I feel important because of it? Bloody oath. Is it worth it? For a workaholic who takes pride in their work, it definitely is.

It is very hard to summarise what I do in a day to day basis. In a nutshell, it's basically get up from bed in time to get to work (whether that be my office in Melbourne or another site or a flight to another city), make sure I have my trusty mobile phone, pad, pen, and laptop with me, and away I go. I can start at 10:00 in the morning but I can also start at 5:00 am due to early flights. In quite days, I finish at 6:00 pm but can also go onto 9:00. Grad school completely fucks up my schedule but I consider it a "break" from the rat race at work. My friends from school keep me grounded and entertained. I especially enjoy our lengthy debates about everything and anything NOT RELATED TO WORK.

Weekends is something I treasure. I could spend it doing nothing. I feel like I'm starting to become like our National Operations Manager, Karen. She is just so sick of going all over the place (US, Europe, New Zealand, South America, Australia) that whenever she has a break, she just spends it lounging about at home. Well, I guess I'm not that bad. I still like going out, having dinner in nice restaurants with Arnie and my mates, checking out the shops, probably experience some sort of culture (I am yet to see the Picasso exhibit). Arnie is planning to go for a long drive somewhere this weekend, I don't know. We'll see where the wind takes us.

Above all this is trying to divide my time between people I love (Arnie, mum, friends) and Meeko! How can I forget my baby? She, who regardless of the mood I am in, never fails to greet me with a smile, her tail wagging happily, and a soft bark telling me "I miss you, mum."

On that note, have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My Social Life at Hogwarts

Harry Potter fans... go ahead and do this quiz. You know you want to ;)

Social Life at Hogwarts

Everyone, except the Slytherins, like you. You are friendly, nice, and a well-rounded person. Your studies aren't that important, but you pull of decent grades. You live your life with risks and don't think about the consequences. Friends mean a lot to you. Your friends love you because you are always the one who they can talk to.

Harry: He is in love with you. You're the one he wants to be with forever. He's tried to push you away, but you refused to leave him. Despite the danger that comes with being his girlfriend, he's too smitten with you to let you go and is glad you are willing to face the danger to be with him.

Ron: He loves you as a little sister. He admits to having a crush on you before, but has stronger feelings for Hermione. He acts as an older brother to you.

Hermione: She is one of your best gal pals. She always scolds you for not doing the best in your studies, but she is your friend just the same. She's very happy for you and Harry. She secretly has a crush on Ron, but she won't admit it. And neither will he. You're the one who's going to put them together.

Ginny: She secretly hates you. You stole Harry and one of her older brothers too. She knows she's overreacting, but she doesn't care. She hates you and shows it when no one is around. But when someone is around she acts like the sweetest little girl.

Neville: Thinks you are great and has a crush on you, but he's too shy to do anything. Plus, you're with Harry now.

Fred and George: They love you. As a friend though. You're one of the few priviledged people who get to help them with their pranks. They are glad you are with Harry, but sort of wish you ended up with Ron instead.

Oliver Wood: He knows you, but doesn't really talk to you. All he knows is that you are Harry's girlfriend.

Cedric Diggory: Him, like Oliver Wood, knows you, but doesn't talk to you. Or should I say he knew you. That is before he died.

Cho Chang: She is slightly jealous of your relationship with Harry. Cedric died and she was left alone, and her and Harry didn't work out either. She is nice to you, but doesn't really like or hate you.

Lavender Brown: She doesn't like you because she thinks Ron likes you more than a friend. She hates Hermione more than you though, if that helps?

Draco Malfoy: He doesn't like you at all. You seem like a goody-two-shoes to him. He dislikes you even more because you're Potter's girlfriend. All in all, he doesn't talk to you or have any contact with you whatsoever.

Pansy: Doesn't talk to you and hates you. Period.

Crabbe and Goyle: Don't know you.

Dumbledore: He likes you and thinks you are strong-willed and perfect for Harry.

McGonagall: She thinks your an average skilled witch, she doesn't really notice you that much.

Hagrid: He adores you and constantly invites you to help him with his creatures. He loves that you and Harry are together.

Snape: He hates you. Loathes you. Despises you. He thinks you are very poor skilled and dislikes you even more for being Harry's girlfriend. He loves taking points away from you.

Voldemort: You are on his list of people to kill. You make the top 5. Not exactly a good thing, but what'd you expect being Harry's girlfriend and all.

Reputation: Harry's Girlfriend.
Take this quiz!


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Whoa! I'm on Voldemort's top 5 list of people to kill!

Ginny hates me? Oh well...

Harry girlfriend? Well, if he's as good looking as Daniel Radcliffe, I aint' sayin' no!

Hahaha! Lumalabas ang tendency ko for corruption of minors! Bwahahaha!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Today marks the 23rd anniversary of Ninoy's death

Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. was assassinated on this day, 1983, during the dictatorship of then President of the Philippines, the late Ferdinand Marcos.

He was one of the last true patriots. He was one of the last Filipinos who did what he did out of sheer love for the country. That is truly a rarity in Philippine politics nowadays.

A moment's silence for this hero who encouraged real "People Power."


Since mum left for the Philippines last Friday, I am left on my own in our house. Arnie will be staying with me for the next two weeks to keep me company. In short, Arnie and I will be playing house or in Filo-speak, bahay-bahayan - a popular game amongst kids pretending to be a family unit.

Well, in our case, we're playing the role of husband and wife, keeping a clean and well-run household.

I guess this will be good practise for us considering we are planning to do this for real next year and so far, we're doing well.

Yesterday morning, after a long, hard night of partying (i.e. eating, drinking, smoking you-know-what, and painfully singing our hearts out on my PS2 Singstar game) because of our friend Caloi's despedida (he'll be leaving for Manila and is planning to stay for there for a year - we'll miss you, bro), I woke up with a massive hang over and cooked breakfast for Arnie and our friends who slept over. After breakfast, our friends left and we went back to sleep. Arnie woke up to prepare lunch. After lunch, I started ironing my clothes while Arnie cleaned the house. We were working as a team, doing household chores. It was kind of fun.

I spent the rest of the afternoon napping while Arnie played games on the PS2. I woke up in time to prepare dinner while he rested with Meeko next to him. We both went to bed early after a refreshing shower to ready ourselves for the long working week ahead.

So far, so good. I'll be going home tonight to prepare dinner and get my stuff ready for my early flight to Sydney tomorrow. "Married life" is looking quite promising. :)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Mum on a holiday...

Mum is leaving tonight for a two-week short holiday in Manila. Lucky!

I won't be going. With school and my new job, I just can't find the time to go. It's a pity really, considering I haven't been back for 4 years. Arnie and I were actually thinking about spending Christmas there this year so that he can finally meet my family but no cigar. He started a new job and won't be able to take any leave until after 12 months! It sucks!

Aside from family and friends whom I really want to see and spend time with, there is one other thing that I really, really miss in the Philippines...


As much as the food here in Oz is nothing to sneeze at and the variety is rather extensive, there are specific delicacies and specialties that you can find only in the PI. Here's a list of things I want to pig out on:

Maki. Chinese dish that I always ate in Ongpin. My mum can make it but for some reason cannot completely copy the way this dish is cooked in that small hole in the wall restaurant. The thickness of the soup and the tenderness of the pork is heaven!

Machang. Another Chinese dish from the same Ongpin resto. They do sell something similar here in Melbourne, specifically in Box Hill Centro, but it's not the same. Sticky brown rice with tender pork and chicken, smothered in Chinese hot sauce. Yummy!

Ensaymada. Super melt to be precise! Damn! Why can't Australia allow products with dairy into the country? Argh! Will probably convince mum to stuff a couple into her bra... hahahahaha!

Red Ribbon Brownies. I've already asked my mum to buy me a box! Hehehehe!

Tulya. The most simple of dishes. Pour boiling water on it, let the shells open, drain out the water, drizzle some fish sauce and heaps of calamansi juice. Heaven!

Lansones. Just so happens that my mum is going back in time for the season. Lucky!

Tikoy. Okay, so my Chinese side is screaming. There is tikoy here, but not in the same way the PI sell it. Big, chunky, and cheap! I'll try and get mum to buy me a box... hehehe!

My Lola's fried chicken and Kare-kare. Nothing beats my lola's home cooking. Nothing at all.

Luk Yuen's Halo-Halo Congee. My God, just thinking about this dish is making me very hungry!

Jolibee Palabok and Spaghetti. Hahaha! Miss ko na yung Filipino-style spag :)

Hen Lin's siomai and Samurai balls. Halata bang maller back home akish? :p

Anything Icebergs. Halo-Halo, Parfait, Banana Split, Mais Con Yelo... the memories of people I went with to that little nook in Greenhills is enough to make me smile.

The little Taco stand in Greehills Shopping Center. I don't know if this place still exists, but when I was a young high school student in OBMC my friends and I used to visit this place and pay a measly P15 for a yummy taco treat! I liked mine with heaps of cheese and hot sauce and then guzzle down a large glass of chinese gulaman juice from one of the many stalls that sell it in the center. Yum!

That little carinderia next to DLSU Gokongwei building. Fellow LaSallians, you probably remember their Sisig? OMG! Sarap!

Saisaki. Probably not the best Japanese restaurant around, but where else can you get eat-all-you-can buffet including California Maki for a measly $10? And instead of putting Avocado like how they serve it in Oz, it's PI Mangoes! Yum!

Auntie Anne's. Bakit wala nito sa Oz? Isn't this an International Franchise? I miss their pretzels!

Balut and Taho. Being sold in the streets, sometimes directly to your home. Yummy!

It's a wonder I'm not terribly obese considering how much I love my food.

Oh well mum, i-kain mo na lang ako.

Ingats sa biyahe.

PS. Pardon the "taglish" delivery of my post. Considering I am not a big fan of this method, I really shouldn't use it. I do not plan to make a habit of this, it's just that I'm feeling rather lazy today. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Who ever said romance is dead?

Something short and sweet...

I slept over Arnie's place last night because I was going to Dandenong for work in the morning.

He left for work early.

When I woke up, he left the heater on and a pot of hot steaming coffee brewing on the machine.

And a small note by the front door...

Love you.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

From Karenkristie...

'What will your obituary say?' at
Oh me, Oh my...
Hmmm, Jennie... is there something you're not telling us? Hmmm...

Monday, August 14, 2006

Super cultured weekend!

This past weekend was probably the best one I had in ages. I didn't laze about doing nothing, I actually went out and enjoyed a couple of days of pure cultured entertainment!

Last Saturday, I went out with my bessie Mig and his older brother Jet. The Melbourne International Film Festival was on so we decided to go and see the only Filipino film entry - Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros.

This movie was awarded three times in the recent Berlin Film Festival and received rave reviews and nominations in the popular Sundance Film Festival. It was a joy to watch. Maxi, played by newcomer Nathan Lopez, is a 12-year old lady-boy who lives in poverty with his crook father and brothers. His family loves him dearly and treat him like the "mother" of the family. He then meets a cop whom he falls in love with and made him question the life his family leads.

This is an independent film, made by newcomer Aureaus Solito. The imagery and the story was enough to make you enjoy this film immensely. I was extremely pleased to find the cinema packed with mostly Australians supporting the festival. At the end of the film, people clapped in appreciation.

It made me proud of being a Filipino for once. At last, the Filipinos are learning what real movie-making is all about.

Yesterday night was a dream. Arnie and I went to see The Boy From Oz, a musical about the Australian music legend that is Peter Allen, played enthusiastically by no other than Wolverine himself, Hugh Jackman.


Hugh was an absolute joy to watch! He engaged the audience, he performed fantastically, he gave 110% of himself to make the role his, and boy can he sing!

We were seated 6 rows from the stage... yep, we were THAT close. Hugh is an extremely handsome man with a fantastic physique. I'll choose him over any other actor anyday :)

I was pleasantly surprised throughout the whole show. There were songs that I didn't even know were written by Peter Allen, such as I'd Rather Leave While I'm In Love by Rita Coolidge, Don' Cry Out Loud by Melissa Manchester, and (Arthur's Theme) Best That You Can Do by Christopher Cross.

Do you guys remember Chrissy Amphlett? She was the lead singer of the Divinyls, famous for such hits as Pleasure and Pain and I Touch Myself. She played Judy Garland and boy, was she good!

In fact, the whole cast was good. It was pure unadulterated entertainment for 2 hours and we all danced, sang along, and clapped in appreciation. We also spotted a few stars in the crowd: Rove McManus, Belinda Emmett, and Debra Hutton.

It was a fun-filled night I surely won't forget for ages. Nothing like a bit of culture to keep me going :)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Australia, 'racist, sexist, deeply flawed'

An article of the same title was published in The Age today. The columnist is a woman whom, stemming from Mel Gibson's drunken raving and Dean Jones' terrorist gaffe, made a weak argument on how Sydney is a city where you can "forget about popping out to the corner shop and coming back with a feast of Polish bread, Turkish cheese and Indian vegetables."

Hmmm... It makes me wonder how a person can make a strong statement like that considering that in her own admission, she had only been to Sydney once five years ago with an ex-boyfriend on a business. After a few days, she began to formulate her opinions.

I don't know. I mean, I myself do not like Sydney so much. Being a Melbournite, I guess that comes with the territory. Sure, the Cronulla riots were a clear indication that racism is still alive in some way. But, Miss Pool (the columnist who wrote the article) fails to acknowledge that every country has its own type of prejudice. The Philippines has prejudice against the destitute, South Africa has prejudice against Caucasian South Africans, Japan has prejudice against non-Japanese, and North Korea has prejudice against the West. Germaine Greer, writer and feminist extraordinaire, said "Australian racism derives from the same bottomless source as British racism - from universal ignorance and working-class frustration, reinforced by an unshakeable conviction of British superiority over all other nations on earth, especially the swarthy ones."

Do I think Australia is racist? In my personal opinion, not as much as people believe it to be. I mean, I live in a city where multiculturalism is encouraged and embraced so I may not feel it as much as people who live in remote areas or the like. Segregation is not practised, there is a massive amount of migrants who come into the country every year, and equal opportunity exists for everyone.

I guess Sydney is not so bad. Like every other big city, it has its flaws. But, Miss Pool cannot be viewed as a reliable writer if she bases her opinions from staying in the city inside a hotel for a few days. Don't you have to live or explore the city to have a real taste of what it has to off? Her opinions are nothing more than uneducate, ignorant dribble.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Jennie aka Storm?!?

I'm still here in Sydney. At present, I am sitting in the board room with my co-worker and boss. Ours is a small team of three. We haven't started our meeting yet so we're all just sitting around fiddling with our laptops and doing some work... not! Like in my case, I'm blogging. My boss is replying to a gazillion emails, Harris is looking up something in the system, and I'm multi-tasking - reading up on Standard Operating Procedures and blogging.

My flight was a nightmare. It was raining hard. We boarded the plane and ten minutes before departing, we were asked to disembark because the wipers won't work - some faulty engineering problem crap. We then boarded another plane and left the tarmac an hour after supposed departure time and got to Sydney around 11:10, which is only 40 minutes later than my original arrival time. We then headed to the baggage claim area where everyone in my original flight had to wait 1 hour for our baggage to turn up! Turns out that our baggage came in another plane and not the one we boarded!

What a waste of freaking time! I ended up being really late for my 11:30 meeting. I got to work at 2:00! Argh!

The weather was fantastic though. We had a nice late lunch at the local pub outside which was a real treat since us Melbournites can't do that at present because of the cold weather. As soon as we got back into the office, it started raining. The team has been joking around and telling me I brought the rains to Sydney. Hahaha.

I stayed at the Stamford Plaza. They upgraded me to the deluxe suite on the topmost floor... fabulous! Dinner was very nice. We went to this small, quaint Thai restaurant in Beverly Hills. Lovely meal.

Had a nice bath but after downing three screwdrivers, hot water and alcohol are not very good combined. Nuh-uh.

Woke up this morning, had a big hearty breakfast of Ham and Cheese Omelette, Sausages, Hash Browns, English Breakfast Tea, and an Apple Juice. Took a shower, checked out of the hotel. Hailed a cab. Lovely, it's raining cats and dogs - I did bring the storms to Sydney!

As a result, I was 15 minutes late which my boss understood perfectly. Sydney traffic and the rain is not a good combination. So now, I'm here blogging away...

My flight back home is at 4:45 pm. I'll be leaving work to head to the airport at 3:00.

Then, back to work in Melbourne on Monday.

Oh, how I love my life...

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Off to Sydney...

Hi guys. I'm flying off to Sydney tomorrow morning for work. Will try to take some pics to post here, if I can manage to squeeze that in my already busy work schedule for the next couple of days.

Till then :)