Now Playing at the Music Bar below:

Selfish (Chillout Version) - Sunset Daze

Don't Fear the Reaper (Cover) - The Beautiful South

Clarity (Neon Sky Remix) - Zedd ft. Foxes

Alive in Paradise - Tiesto & Dyro feat. Krewella

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Turning Two

Teddy bears and seas of blue, Smiling in honor of you
An infant, not long ago, Now, two candles are aglow
You are growing up so fast, How quickly time has passed
You are special, sweet, and wise, A present before our eyes.

For two years, I've watched you shine, An angel I can call mine
Sent from Heaven, just for me, Filled with hope and dignity
A blessing, now and always, You brighten all of my days
Precious child, I love you so, More than anyone could know.

Baby's breath and sun-filled skies, Ladybugs and lullabies
Starry nights and bright moonbeams, Tender hearts and lasting dreams
Each, a gift within your view, During this time, made for you
May only good things come your way, On this, your 2nd birthday.

Smile Kian, you're turning two!!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

First Pacific HR Congress – Day 2 Teambuilding

The highlight for Day 2 was the teambuilding activity. I don’t know with the other congress members if they got the memo, but on my end, I was never told on what was going to happen. My mistake was that I had too much to eat for breakfast.

The theme was sort of an Amazing Race / Survivor challenge; and there were several stations set up for the teams, across a 10-acre compound. Initially, our team, Purok 8 – Yellow team, had the least members, we started with just 5. When the facilitator asked who wants to transfer teams, no one was actually volunteering, which prompted us to say that, it doesn’t matter, we will show everyone what productivity is. (Putting into play the talk given by one of our speakers during the 1st day, that being productive doesn’t mean having more workers) Eventually our team grew to 9 members. (The late comers were our new members)

Each team was given a map and score sheet where it was indicated on what the next challenge was and which station to run to. May I repeat myself, we had to RUN to the next station. And behold, the first challenge was to eat a stick of "banana-que", 2 pieces of “puto” and 2 quail eggs...without using your hands! After that you had to take a shot of “lambanog”. And it was 9:00 in the morning!!! Not only that, you were pressured to consume all of these within a few minutes! What a way to start the day.

2nd station; we had to fill an empty pail at the end of the road (A distance of about 30 feet) with water. But the challenge was, the water was fetched by using a “palayok” and putting it on top of your head and walking towards the pail. Simple enough, but wet all over afterwards.

3rd station; we had to paint our own masks and follow the dance steps of the Ati-Atihan Festival shown on the projector screen.

4th station; five members of the team had to jump rope five full rotations in order to complete the challenge. Timing was crucial, but we managed to clear the course in about 5 minutes.

5th station; I don’t really know how to describe this challenge, but 5 members of the team had to step onto two planks of wood with ropes on them, where the team had to synchronously lift the plank that we were stepping on and walk towards the end line. It took quite some time for us to reach the goal. But we felt that we were still doing well.

6th station; It was fairly easy; two team members just had to be blindfolded and hit the piƱata with a 2x2. After enduring all that, guess whose team was crowned with the most stars…. Purok 8, the Yellow team. (The number of stars depended on how well the group showed camaraderie, teamwork and of course completing the challenge) I'm pretty sure all the others who had a chance to join our team earlier is feeling it.

So this ends the 2-day HR Congress, and I am looking forward to the next.

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. ~Henry Ford

check out: First Pacific HR Congress - Day 1 for insights on HR Discussion

First Pacific HR Congress – Funny and Funky

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look once in awhile, you could miss it." Ferris Bueller's Day Off, 1986

Thanks to the First Pacific HR Congress, I had the chance not only to pause and have a better understanding of my HR purpose, but to unwind. After the lectures and discussions, we had dinner at The Pavilion in MMLDC. (Meralco) The night started with the introduction of our host, stand up comedian and singer, Dax Martin.

He was hilarious. In a stand up comedy routine, the style is not to sit way up in front or too far back, because the comedians tend to grill those who think they are not afraid to be grilled and those who shy away from the spotlight. Unfortunately for our table, we were smacked right in front of the stage. (because there were no other tables available.)

After that we experienced an interactive comedy hosted by SPIT.

SPIT is a comedy Improv group who has been performing since 2002 and has even represented the Philippines in the Los Angeles Comedy Festival in the USA. To give you a clearer picture of what an Improv group is, they are like the British improv group from the TV hit show “Whose Line is it Anyway” (The one hosted by Drew Carey)

Basically, the audience gives the group the ideas and themes for their next performance or skit. The concept is that it is totally unrehearsed and the participation of the audience makes it funnier.

And the night does not stop there. Next up was SILK.

From the classics of the 70’s, to the new wave and dance hits of the 80’s, and to the party pop hits of the 90’s and 2000, almost everyone was on their feet dancing. (I wasn’t really dancing, I was like Will Smith in the movie Hitch, you just step from side to side and the occasional fist pumping in the air.) There was also this dance instructor, now I don’t know if he was part of the band, but I swear, the dance moves were fun but you will get the momentary laughs because it was so corny and awkward. But it was all good.

And if that was not fun enough for any of the congress members, Day 2 was the teambuilding activity which had an amazing race – survivor type theme.

check out: First Pacific HR Congress (For insights on HR Discussion)

First Pacific HR Congress

Last June 17 and 18, the company I am currently working for joined 15 other subsidiaries under the MVP Group of Companies, in the First Pacific HR Congress at the Meralco Development Center in Antipolo.

As you all know, the President and CEO of this MVP Group is no other than Manny V. Pangilinan, probably the most successful businessman in the whole of Southeast Asia. Parts of his conglomerate are companies such as Meralco, Smart, TV5, Maynilad, PLDT, Makati Medical Center, Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Metro Tollways, to name just half of it, and if you will notice, these companies’ businesses are basic commodities. Can you imagine having control over all these utility giants and medical providers? For MVP, it’s no longer an imagination.

I idolize the man for his work ethic and vision. In a story shared by Mr. Butch Jimenez Jr., who is the SVP and Head for HR for PLDT, every time he walks into the office of MVP, he sees this framed quote saying, “You have all Eternity to rest…when you die.” (Which probably is a reflection of the work ethics of MVP.) Meaning that during this life time, you have to devote, commit, and dedicate all your time and effort in your work and your family, because when you die, you will have all eternity to rest.

Another thing I loved about this HR Congress, are the visions and experiences shared by the other CEOs. We were graced by the presence of Jose Lim – President and CEO Metro Pacific, Augusto Palisoc Jr. – President and CEO MPIC Hospital Group, Ramon Fernandez – President and CEO Metro Pacific Tollways, Ricky Vargas – President and CEO Maynilad, and Oscar Reyes - COO Meralco.

They all agreed that there is only one question that matters to the employees...Are they happy? That is what HR is about, making employees happy with their jobs. They also shared insights on how important it is to focus on strategic and operational issues, succession planning, crisis management, honesty and transparency, how to build a high perfromance credibility and a culture of winning.

But what captured my attention the most, was the motivational-inspirational talk of Mr. Butch Jimenez Jr. on the topic of Current and Future Response to the National Human Resource Agenda. (How we as HR practitioners can contribute to the country; jokingly aside, he said that this is all a bunch of crap and the reason for the HR Congress is so that the HR folks of the MVP Group of Companies can prove that we are not card boards and can party!!) – Which I will share later on, on how we enjoyed the evening and the team-building activities the next day.

In Mr. Jimenez’ talk, for me the focal point of the discussion is the concept of productivity. In the example that he gave; which would be more productive, if a company has 10 workers that can produce one pencil a day for a the price of 100 pesos per worker, or a company who has 5 workers that can produce 2 pencils a day for the price of 200 pesos. The total cost of the salaries paid are the same, the production output is the same, but who do you think is more productive? Thus, it is not the number of workers you have, but the quality of work that they give you, with this, you can put premium on their salaries for their competencies, correct? And to ensure that productivity continues, there are 3 things that you must do; Constant Monitoring, Incentivize and Inspire.

We also had a Breakout session where we were grouped into several committees, to tackle different facets of Human Resources. Our group discussed several aspects of Leadership Development and Succession, which was led by Mr. Ramon Segismundo and Mr. Rufino Rodriguez. We brainstormed on what the best practices were, current and emerging issues, proposed and key solutions, which later on was presented to the rest of the congress members.

Of course, after a full day of lectures and discussions, we had the opportunity to unwind that night in a Funny and Funky way.

check out: First Pacific HR Congress – Funny and Funky
check out: First Pacific HR Congress - Team-Building

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Featured Clips of the Day: Life Comes at You Fast

Don't blink, or you may lose your chance hahaha....


The Bride

Child Education

Child's Future

Life has no Shortcuts

Given the choice, of course we would all choose a path that has the simplest route to our goal. The challenge is, not all goals offer such luxury and ease. 

Just recently the NBA Finals was concluded, with the Dallas Mavericks being crowned as champions. Their opponent, probably the most hated team in the NBA, the Miami Heat. And why is that? Because before the season started, the Miami Heat literally formed a super team by getting together Lebron James, the self-proclaimed "King", Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade. For those of you who are not familiar with them, they are pretty much the next generation, top of their prime players right now in the NBA. And they got together because they wanted to win the championship at the quickest time possible by supposedly overwhelming the opposing teams with such superior talent that other players are just petrified with awe.

Well, their planned shortcut did not work. Perseverance, Teamwork and Passion prevailed.

Life does not really offer any easy way out if you ask me.

To reach a certain goal, you really have to put much time and effort. It actually is quicker if you move from point A to point C if you pass through point B, rather than wasting your time thinking of ways to bend space and time to jump from point A directly to point C, skipping point B in the process. (Unless of course you have all the time in the world to spare, putting together the X, Ys and Zs, then I suggest you become an astrophysicist and try figuring out how the universe started.)

You can't go wrong by following a certain process. Sure, some processes have so many steps you would wish that it was just like a race where you can rent a Bugatti Veyron and speed your way through the finish line. But at that speed, you risk of losing control and eventually suffer an accident.

At work, you don't get that sense of fulfillment if you know that you got promoted the easy way just because you rub elbows with the Hiring Manager. Screw fulfillment you say? Sure you got what you wanted, but in the end if you were not fully qualified for the position, let's see how you get yourself out of the hole when problems arise. That should be a hoot. Your hiring manager will bail you out you say? Sure they might, but before you know it, you will be pulling them down that very same hole, and you got yourself a party down there.

In other aspects of Life, you got to face its challenges. You can't simply ignore them or have them outsourced and have somebody else figure things out for you. (Although that's how I feel in doing HR work, every problem and issue is outsourced to HR. Even if HR has nothing to do with it, we actually make it our problem, as long as it has anything to do with a human, it's ours.)

Don't make things more complicated by taking too many shortcuts, you might steer yourself into a dead end. Remember, in Life it's not the destination that counts but the journey towards it that matters.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Featured Clips of the Day: Hard Day at the Office

Don't Work from Home

Work when you have To

A Mid-Year Crisis

The past weeks going into June has really been hectic for me. On the work side of things, the site has been growing and the team has really been stretched to the limit but still holding it's ground.  I admire my team's dedication and commitment to their jobs, despite facing the limited manpower resources, we are still able to cope with the site's demands. Sure, we push back half the time, but we still manage to get the job done.

It's been 8 months since I joined my current company, and there one thing that I love about it; How we value our Operations Agents. It's really all about them. I keep saying they are the front-liners and backbone of our industry. They are the ones grinding it out with the customers, ensuring to be able to provide the quality service that the customers deserve and expect. The partnership between Human Resources and Operations Management has been wonderful, we always meet half way to provide fairness and transparency to the employees.

Although the work demands are high, the returns would definitely be greater.

On the recreational side of things, these past weeks are not what you can call as having the sunshine at the beachfront. Haven't really played basketball lately, the league at our village was ceased after just two games because the money to pay for the referees suddenly got lost, and my other team was not able to join the B6BL tournament. (6-feet and Below Basketball League) So no exercise for the body, and it seems I gained a few pounds already. Hopefully by July or August we would have our company sportsfest and the start of the MPG Ateneo Alumni Invitational.

Call me a child but I'm pissed that up until now I couldn't log into the Playstation Network. When I first had the PS3 I had to register as a resident of Hong Kong, there was no option or region for the Philippines during that time. The PSN has been fully restored in other countries except Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, after it was hacked last April 20 and about 77 million user information was allegedly stolen. And yes, I know you will ask why did I not register as a US resident, I can't really figure that one out myself. Come on Sony!! I hope you get things up and working before Modern Warfare 3 comes out!

So what have I been doing the past weeks? Work work work. (I sound like that Peon in Warcraft.)

But it's still all good.

"Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out." - Anton Chekhov 
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