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

Friday, July 12, 2013

Kian Turns 4

The first week of July is one of those very special moments in my life, for we get to celebrate every year the birth of a little souped up energizer devil named John Konstantine. There isn't a dull moment with him; although I keep saying that at times he is stubborn, you cant just get mad at him because of his witty responses that makes you laugh.

One day on the way home from school, I told him not to make a mess when eating inside the car or else I will have him clean the whole car. His reply to this..."Eh di mag car wash ka." (Then go to the car wash.)

Whenever I tell him not to disturb me because I'm about to sleep, if he catches me playing with my Galaxy Tab, he would say..."Kala ko ba sleep ka na, patayin mo yan." (I though you're sleeping already, turn that off.)

I can't believe this was really coming out of a 4-year old.

You've grown so much, my Mini-Me. Before I know it, I wouldn't have the back or the shoulders to carry you around when we go to malls anymore. So I will cherish every minute, every moment that I can spare, and make a promise to you that I will live by your side and walk you through your growing years.
Happy 4th Birthday Kian!!

Having a simple Sunday Celebration with the family

Celebrating his 4th in school.
Of course, the little princess, Kian's sidekick.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

When Things Go Wrong – blame Murphy’s Law

“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”
Don’t you just hate it when things happen when least expected. When you don’t see things coming your way and you're caught off-guard, and frustration kicks in because you have to start all over again. Understand that no matter how perfectly planned things are, sooner or later, something will go wrong.
I couldn’t really find an accurate validation as to whoever Murphy’s Law is attributed to. I tried researching it on the Net, and it had various associations to different individuals. But the common ground is that these folks had their own experiences of things going badly.
In my job in Human Resources, I keep reminding myself of Murphy’s Law. Especially when things seem so calm, I am never complacent that nothing wrong will happen. Because I condition my mind that everyday, something wrong is going to happen. And I am not being a pessimist; its not like I view things negatively, but more of me doing mental exercises of the probabilities of the different types of errors and what contingencies or preventive measures I should employ.
Being an HR practitioner we would like to keep a good record under our belts on having no or low counts of labor cases. But just recently I received a call from my previous employer asking about a particular case I handled, where the employee was terminated and we had it well documented and he was proven liable for it. But three years later, the employee filed a case. So what went wrong? I never even expected that this person would still pursue this after 3 years.
When dealing with employees, you really have to take into account their behaviour and current disposition. Which can be highly subjective, but nevertheless you have to put those into the equation if you are to anticipate what intentions these employees have down the line.
I’d also like to believe that in handling a particular situation, there are several ways of doing it to achieve the same results, the variance would be the number of errors that I will encounter, and that I must foresee and manage my expectations that no matter how small the chances of this error happening to mess things up, I should still be prepared for it. It doesn’t even matter if it’s caused by something that is not of this world, it can still contribute to things that may eventually go wrong.
So is this something inevitable? That there is no way of not committing an error? 
Take for example a commercial airline where we the consumers would expect that it is 100% safe. But in reality, their Six Sigma confidence level is at 99.99967%, which means there is still a 0.0000163% probability that something bad can happen. (Let’s hope not) But even they expect with a fraction of a chance that something can still go wrong. In other words, when somebody asks us, are we 100% sure, we say 99.99967% sure. 
We just have to accept the fact that we don’t live in a perfect world. That anything and everything may go wrong. It’s probably just a matter of time as to when will it go wrong. It may be a daily test for us, on how we react and deal with the situations. 
For me, Perfection is an illusion;
and in Michael J. Fox’s words…”Perfection is God’s business.” 
So when things go wrong, don’t blame God…blame Murphy’s Law.

Monday, May 6, 2013

The Return to Balik Bukid

These impromptu mini getaways are becoming a habit...and I love it. This is our second time to go Balik Bukid in Sta.Elena.

Aside from the whole day festivities, Balik Bukid showcases eco-friendly items for sale in their bazaar, and of course the food tripping. Although we were not complete and we just planned to be there for half a day (Due to the expected hot summer weather that noon, we didn't want to get a heat stroke.) , the kids were still having fun.
Balik Bukid added several other mini-events in the early evening, like a band, but since we didn't stay that long, it may be something we can look forward to in our next trip.

Poor Kian, this is his 2nd visit and yet he has not caught any of the little fishes.
And the poor little rabbits, trying to evade the carrot bombs of Julia.
How time flies so fast, I was so happy to see Kian ride the horse by himself, he has grown so much already.
It is never complete without the usual food trip.
Aha! We meet again you juicy grass-fed burger!!
And what better way to beat the heat, by capping it off with some Paletas Para Ti fruit infused ice drops and Isobel's creamy ice cream sandwich.
And that is one half-day trip I will surely make a habit of.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The Art of Timing - Redux

Back in 2010, I shared my thoughts about the Art of Timing.

Just recently that good friend of mine who told me that it's all about timing, finally opened the floor for a debate on her take on the said art. A typical He Said She Said environment, and I would like to share this with you, and leave it up to you as to how you would interpret it. (To my dear friend, I hope you don't mind me posting the verbatims.)
She Said...
"I believe in the fact that we shape our own future...that everything that we do today, no matter how minuscule it is, has the power to change our tomorrow. Everything happens for a reason. Not all reasons can be justified, most of them though, can be explained. There are a few, that is, well... absolute."
He Said...
"Everything does happen for a reason. But I will disagree with you that you cannot justify it, because you can. Enter the theory of Occam’s Razor. That the simplest explanation or reason to an event can actually be it. Human beings will never accept things being absolute. We will always find a higher degree of explanation or reasoning."
She Said...
"So, where does timing come into the picture?"
"Timing directly corresponds with time. And time, among those other few things, is absolute and universal. It is an endless continuum that we can't control. It won't wait nor speed up things for us. It's just there, a dormant but very powerful ticking background of life that can significantly make a lot of difference to our future."
He Said...
"I agree, that time can’t be controlled in such a way that you can’t go back in time, you can’t predict the future, and indeed I can’t slow it down nor speed things up. I am no rocket scientist but I do know that the rules of time are governed by something, and just like any rule, it too can be bent."
"Bent in such a way that you yourself mentioned, we shape our own future, and the time spent shaping that future, we can control. Not time itself but the actions that we take during those times are what matters. Thus no matter what the situation may be, one’s actions can actually turn the tide."
She Said...
"We experience many things as we go through life but we all think differently. Learning, realizing, accepting, adapting, and forgiving come in varying and complicated degrees that only time can tell when we can finally get that long-awaited epiphany so we can all move forward and have peace of mind, maybe even live happily ever after. Not all people can achieve this, some can, but not all."
He Said...
"I will agree with you that each individual has a different level of attaining knowledge and achieving a higher state of consciousness. Remember the book, the 10th Insight by James Redfield, it is actually quite a challenge to get to that level. Reaching this state gives the individual a whole new universal perspective of things."
She Said...
"Timing falls in between the lines. It does not shape our future so much as turn our lives into oblivion. Timing heavily clings to the consequences of all our actions that can make or break our relationships to other people, actions that we've done at a certain period of time. That is why there's a right or wrong timing. It all depends on how we affect other people at a particular time."
He Said...
"The consequences of our actions. That is why it’s called consequences; that some people are willing to risk in order to achieve a certain goal. Through determination and persistence, even in failure, one can still achieve success. Ok, there are certain decisions in life that we can no longer amend or reverse, and no matter how persistent one can be, there is no going back to it. I will give you that."
She Said...
"Do I believe in serendipity? Yes, I do. I would like to think that we can be lucky sometimes. Like winning a lotto. I can't explain it and I don't think I would ever want to. It will always be a magical mystery."
He Said...
"I don’t believe in luck. Your example, the lotto, it can be won if you bet on all combinations. Point being, we all take a gamble in life; it’s just a matter of finding the right combination. You fail, you try a different combination or you increase your probability of success which is something that you can control."
She Said...
"As for destiny or fate....the future of a predetermined past...I don't believe in it."
But I believe in perfect timing.... by not forcing and fighting time. This will only result in a premature realization with half-baked learnings and full of misconceptions."
He Said...
"Yes, there is what we call perfect timing, but again, not to force it or fight it, but there is a way to use time to be on your side. Just like the art of Combat Aikido. You use the force of your opponent against them and to your advantage, creating the perfect opportunity to immobilize your enemy.
Isn’t timing about this as well? Finding the right moment, the right opportunity, with the least effort possibly, which one can actually control by means of his or her actions."
"I believe most of our actions are pre-meditated, because we anticipate things, we do forecasts, create contingencies, dream of the impossible and fantasize the outcome. This is the cause. The effect is what we then perceive as the perfect moment, the right timing when these actions are executed as planned."
She Said...
"It all boils down to this: After everything that we've done, to the individuals that we've hurt along the way, does the end really justifies the means? Is it really worth it? After all, we all have to live with our choices. If we can honestly answer yes, without a shadow of a doubt, a tinge of regret, or without having a hyperactive conscience that will forever bug us, then... we've done the right thing."
He Said...
"The end never justifies the means; if the means were done in bad faith. There is a thin line there, because there are situations that call for actions we don’t want and are done because it is the right thing to do. Sometimes life even makes us choose from two of lesser evils. It may haunt us, but deep within us we have to accept that it was the right choice to make."
"And some choices are really worth that damn much."

Elements Bits: Super 8


Joel Courtney – Joe Lamb
Ella Fanning – Alice Dainard

In a small and peaceful town in Ohio, Joe and his friends were filming a movie at the train station one evening, then suddenly the train went head on with a pick-up truck driven by Dr. Woodward, who was a professor from the university. When they approach the wreckage, they notice several rubix-cube like objects all over, and before they could get any information from the professor, the army arrives.

The next morning, everything is cleaned up as if nothing happened at the train station. But then a gas station was attacked by what seems to be a huge beast. Stranger things would happen after that; car engines are missing, dogs are missing, generators and microwaves inside houses were missing.

Joe and his friends decide to investigate further on what Dr. Woodward was supposed to tell them, and when they got the film developed from their video camera, they were in for the shock of their lives.

Elements Bits number 1:

Are we better off not knowing if there is really any intelligent life other than humans? Is it something that we are prepared for? Curiosity levels vary. And for some it reaches to a point that they have this undying quest to seek answers to their celestial questions. They spend their whole lives searching for E.T.

Although I have a belief that we are not alone, but to a certain curiosity level, I don’t go beyond to seek further validation. Because I would rather spend this lifetime on something else and I just tease my belief with conspiracy theories and UFO TV shows such as Roswell.

Memorable Quote:

Alice: "What is this?? What are you doing here?"
Joe: "I'm just doing the best I can to save you."

Thursday, April 4, 2013

CSI Lessons: Cardiomyopathy

It’s not all the time that you pick up something interesting or good in whatever you are watching on the tube. Conservative and traditional parents would often say that watching too much television is not good for you; it corrupts the mind and pollutes it with nonsense and violence.
I admit I have been watching way too much CSI, but I did pick up a couple of “learnings”in some of its episodes; which for me is not nonsense at all. Thus, I would like to share with you…

Based on its medical definition found on the internet, Cardiomyopathy is generally what we call a heart failure. But I am more curious with a certain type which is called “Takotsubo” Cardiomyopathy. Takotsubo in Japan means “octopus pot”, which is actually an octopus trap, and it’s shape is how the heart looks like when it has ballooned due to the said illness.

And what’s really interesting would be one of the reasons why it is triggered. Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy or also known as stress cardiomyopathy, is when the muscles of the heart are weakened which is caused by emotional stress.

And to top things off, women are more prone to acquiring this illness.

Where am I going with this? It’s simple:

Heartbroken + Woman = Emotional Stress

Emotional Stress = Cardiac Arrest
Bottom Line:
A woman’s heart should be well-taken cared of.

(I just gave women a reason to tell their men how they should not break their hearts, or else they die…literally have a heart attack.)

Monday, April 1, 2013

2013 Holy Week: Seconda Parte

Easter Sunday
This year we wanted the kids to have a great experience for Easter; We booked ourselves a reservation at the 14FourCafe.
Complete with a dinner and dessert buffet, the kids' attraction were the Easter Egg hunt, cookie decoration activity, and some colored chicks.

Nothing extravagant for this year, as it should be. Just the simple joys for the kids, as always.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

2013 Holy Week: Uno Parte

In 2012 the family went on a last minute journey to Lucban; 2012 Lucban Highlights. Though I promised to properly plan out things for 2013, I realized that when you are working in the Outsourcing industry, when it comes to your personal life, you simply plan things on the fly.
Maundy Thursday

We spent the morning having a very peaceful breakfast at the Manila Peninsula.
(Using up the vouchers before it gets expired.)

And, at least this year, we were able to complete the Visita Iglesia and went to 7 churches in Quezon City.

 Good Friday
Waking up to a delicious breakfast everyday is just what I need.

 Spinach & Mushroom Omelette, French Toast

I was actually just expecting to stay home and relax, but finally decided to travel to Tagaytay. We first took the kids to Nuvali to feed the fishes and took a quick boat ride.

We then headed for Tagaytay after lunch, but the traffic at the top was too much. So we diverted to Chateau Hestia for some merienda.

On the way down we stopped for the usual Loumar's Buko Pie and Blueberry Cheese tarts, some Mr. Moo's Kesong Puti, pineapples, and a couple of "walis" for the kids so they can clean up their mess at home.

The week ain't done yet, looking forward to celebrating Easter Sunday.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Featured Clips of the Day: Key & Peele Substitute Teachers

I'm glad I never had to sit in one of these classes, but it would have been a blast...
Substitute Teacher #1

Substitute Teacher #2

Monday, March 25, 2013

Kyle's GS Graduation

You are one of the primary reason I strive at work, to provide a good education for the purpose of having the foundation or building blocks into becoming a man for others.
When you set foot upon that stage to receive your diploma for graduating Grade School, you have given me one of my proudest moments in my life. One that I will cherish and reminisce the times of your Boy Scout night, Father and Son night, and many other activities that you and I spent during those growing years.
Congratulations my son.

Monday, February 25, 2013

18th Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

The Hot Air Balloon Event has been running for the 18th time, and I can't imagine why it is only now that I experienced this.

Held at the Clarkfield in Pampanga, we left our home at around 4:00AM to catch the 6:30AM lift off for the hot air balloons. The traffic was crazy, the droves of spectators were the craziest. But all was worth it, the reactions from my kids were priceless.

Kian was definitely amazed and excited when he saw Mr. Sun and his favorite fire truck taking off.
Despite the pain in my shoulders and arms from carrying Kian, as long as he got a good view of the show, i really didn't mind at all.
One of the greater highlights of the fiesta; The Breitling Aerobatics Jet Team. I heard it was their first time to perform in Asia. This is just something I used to watch in Youtube or TV, but now I am just as happy as my kids were to be a witness to this.

Though we left just before noon with a lot still in store in the afternoon, I will really make it a mission to seeing all the attractions next year.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I'm a Tourist: Hong Kong Day 3

Day 3 in Hong Kong and we were still up and about, despite experiencing pain in our legs and feet from all the walking in day 2, we tried suppressing it by all these Chinese liniments that were being sold by the alleys. (Or the fact that I'm just getting old)

On the agenda that morning was the Peak; where the tram was climbing at a very steep slope which felt definitely above a 45 degree angle. (My wife having flashbacks of Space Mountain)
The view from the Peak was a bit breathtaking.
But for me, the main attraction at The Peak was Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.
And yes, I couldn't help it, but I just had to take these foolish photos with these personalities.
@Adolf - "My Furher!"
@David - "Goal"
@Ip Man - "My Kung-Fu is better than yours!"
@T-Woods - "Yep, I think we should go with the tire iron on this one."
@ A.Hepburn - "Thank you for breakfast Holly."
And that pretty much wraps up our morning with the celebrities. We then had late lunch right outside The Peak, where they had a mini-mall, and ate at Mak's Noodle. Which I think is very famous since it had all these clippings featured in several magazines even in Time.
That late afternoon and evening we went shopping for the kids and on our 4th and final day it was simply just waiting for our ride to the airport, but before that, we went on a food trip, the last hurrah to savor what Hong Kong has to offer.
And so, just as the menu above says...relax for a while. And this trip has definitely been just that.
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