Friday, March 27, 2009


It’s my ninth month at work and I am still in euphoria. First of all, I still I can’t believe that I am part of one of the biggest foundations in the country, that is, the Lopez Group Foundation, Incorporated. Second, I still can’t believe that I was able to outdone myself and passed my “6-month working time span”. I should’ve resigned by now. Haha!

Anyway, my entry isn’t as dramatic as its title. LOL. I just wanted to highlight the most intense feeling I’ve had this month. But this post will not concentrate solely on that. I will be sharing special events including my brother’s 2-week vacation here from Singapore, the company’s first wellness forum for 2009 and my signing up for “Earth Hour 2009” campaign. Of course, the monthly walkathon will still be there and I will also tell a little bit of that. Finally, I’ll be sharing the biggest and the best news I’ve received this month. All of that and more at the succeeding segments.

After Nine Long Months: Brother Bryan’s 2-Week Off Work

It’s funny because we hardly notice that nine months had already passed since my two brothers left to work abroad (Byron in Quatar and Bryan in Singapore). When Bryan told us that he’s going to spend a 2-week vacation here, I must admit, I got excited. We were never close when we were kids. In fact, he was my biggest bully. Haha! I can still remember how he would tease me or make fun of me in front of our cousins (hate that!). But as we were maturing, it’s as if we became more caring for each other and for the entire family even without literally telling it. When they were still working here in the Philippines, the family would always look forward to every weekend of bonding and get-together.

It was last April 7 when he arrived. Unfortunately, I missed the grand assembly of Archienoys, which I think wasn’t pursued either. Haha! From the Airport, we dropped by his girlfriend’s house in Bulacan. It was a long, tiring travel. After that, we went home. My brother’s first night at home was restless. He had to entertain a lot of questions from our relatives. The following days, though, went manageable already.

Because of his arrival, I missed our Cagayan De Oro trip that was scheduled the following week. It’s such a sad coincidence that the trip’s date fell on the date of my brother’s departure. My dorm friends got annoyed at me at first but they eventually understood my reason. His departure was as simple as his arrival. We just accompanied them (with his girlfriend again) to the airport and that’s it.

Brain Power & Knowledge Management in Relation to Wellness Forum

Another first for me! Lifelong has been conducting wellness fora since its formal establishment. It was only this month, though, that I was able to experience being part of the organizing team and really became memorable to me.

The topic was on Brain Power & Knowledge Management in Relation to Wellness. Before I go to the forum itself, I would like to share first what I went through preparing for this event.

As organizers of this event, we were supposed to work as a TEAM. Apparently, the team that I was expecting support for wasn’t there when I needed them. It was only me and my other boss who went through all the preparation stage. My female superior was sick and was confined for about a week or two now. My other office mate, who I supposed to be sharing the dirty tasks, went on leave just a day before the forum leaving all tasks to ME! I am just not the type of person who would complain. I’d rather do the tasks than waste my time complaining on things that can be done. Anyway, we were able to do everything by ourselves from coordination to materials.

The day of the forum came and everything went to place. We had two brilliant speakers, Prof. Ed Morato, President of ABS-CBN Bayan Foundation, and Dr. Serafin Talisayon, Director of CCLFI.Philippines.

The two topics discussed were both interesting – brain power and knowledge management in relation to wellness. I’ve learned how powerful the brain is and that it can be divided into segments that can reach up to 32 portions or even more. I’ve also learned that how we respond to things signifies our control over our brain. The more we tend to be impulsive on our initial reaction that means we are not in control of it.

The forum was really very informational. I had fun listening to the speakers. It was also a relief that it went fine and my boss was satisfied with the result (he even commended- and commented- me for the banner design! Haha!).

Let’s Save Energy!

From the success of last year’s Earth Hour campaign comes this year’s edition of it. For the Lopez Group, a memorandum of participation was signed by all employees last March 26, 2009. It was held at the lobby of Benpres building where a big board was staged for employees to sign. Their signatures signify that they will support this campaign. By the way, this campaign is for people to save energy by turning off our lights simultaneously even – at least – for an hour. I felt fortunate to be one of the signatories to this historical board. Hehe.

The Fire Drill

When I was advised that there’s going to be a fire drill that day, I never took it seriously as I was preoccupied by a lot of tasks to finish. However, when the alarm started ringing, I realized it was a serious matter that I should’ve given attention. In spite the busy schedule of the Lopez Group especially the executives in the building, they still took time and participated to the annual fire drill. It was actually a bit rainy that day but thank heavens that the rain didn’t fell on us when we were already outside the building. For me, it was another perfect time to take photos. Hehe.

Walk the Talk Series

Although this doesn’t seem to be a new activity for me anymore, I am still very excited for this month’s walk that will be held at the La Mesa Watershed in Quezon City. I’ve never been there and I heard it’s a beautiful place. Of course, though, not going home on Friday would be the price that I would have to pay. After a very tiring week, hopefully, a long walk could help me recover my energy and drive. Hehe. I wish!

And the Biggest News…Dandararan…

A very nice news was able to mellow me and made me hopeful – David Archuleta’s concert in Manila! Woohoo!

I’ve already had a thought that the confirmation of the details about this concert was going to happen that day. It was in my horoscope, which said that “something will happen today that will make you save money.” And then when I visited AP, this invitation (a youtube video specifically) from David himself was there. He also confirmed the date and venue, which will be on May 16, 2009 at the Mall of Asia open grounds. This news really made my month! I was actually hoping that the concert will happen in April and thank God it’s May because I still have to save money for that (but I can allot a month’s salary for that! Haha!). It was the news I’ve been waiting for this year and I am so glad it will happen. Yeah!

This concert will also feature David Cook that's why I am really curious about much would the VIP ticket cost. Hehe.

And there it is. My March. Until the next ish! :-)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Music in me
I admit. I love music and I also love singing. I would even consider music as “the half of who I am”. I never enjoyed reading books or going out on gimmicks. I am settled when I have my mp3 player with me all day listening to my favorite songs (besides watching TV, of course). And what would even make me happy is when I could play these songs in full volume at home.

I used to join singing contests when I was still a kid. And without tying to sound like I’m bragging, I would win. As I was growing, I was exposed to an environment where singing wasn’t the thing for boys (especially that I used to sing song with super high notes). That caused me to hide my talent and just consider it as a hobby. When I was in high school, nobody knew that I could sing until we graduated. But for the record, only my closest friends know that I sing. Way back in college, nobody did ever know that. Hehe.

When I reached my age now, I’ve realized so many things in life. One of those things is that life is complex and that you have to try what you want to try while you still can. I mean, just live life the way you want it without worrying about tomorrow.

Eventually, I’ve decided not to hide my ability anymore. Now, I am gradually learning to be confident about singing in public (which was my ultimate weakness before!). I’ve been singing in KTVs now even a lot of people are watching. Of course, the nervousness is still there but it’s becoming manageable. Thanks to God, first, for giving me this talent and second, to my ultimate idol and inspiration, David Archuleta. Don’t get me wrong for my term “inspiration”. Haha!

David Archuleta – Ultimate Idol!
Just a background on how David started and continues to inspire me: since I first saw David sang on American Idol last season (his audition piece was Waiting on the World to Change), it was like I was looking at my own reflection (I am not saying that I’m as good as him, though. Haha!). It’s like I was looking at myself joining in a talent search. Since then, my eyes were only for him during the entire AI season. He was my bet. Every song he sang on idol was phenomenal. And all those songs, I’ve memorized. I even traced him on Youtube so that I’ll know him even better. His personality, his family, and he’s persona is so me. Fine! I over exaggerated it. LOL.

When he lost over Cook, I can’t accept it. He was obviously the better David. He’s more versatile, he’s got better image, and he’s fresh. In the end, there’s nothing that I could do but accept it. After the competition, my hope that he would immediately release an album didn’t stop. Meanwhile, I had to settle for his EP album (compilation of songs he sang over AI released on ITunes). I was so happy when he finally released his debut in November. Although I already have a copy of his album even before it was released in the Philippines, I still purchased the CD and collected every bonus and unreleased track. It’s like it was my obligation to memorize every David song. Haha!

But seriously, David Archuleta has been my ultimate idol to this date. I even stopped watching American Idol after last year’s season and just started focusing on being a member of his fan site here in the Philippines. My being an active member of Archuleta Philippines (AP) even led me to a recording studio last Sunday and recording one of his songs! Yep. I actually did that. Haha!

Save the Day Cover
David’s Asian tour is scheduled on April 2-14 and fortunately, Manila is his and his band’s first stop. This news caused AP so much excitement that a lot of plans were formed. Among those plans is an album featuring David’s songs sung by AP members and the album will be given as a gift to David when he comes here. This project really excited me. So I immediately emailed Alec (the project leader) and told him that I’ll be singing “Save the Day” (David’s bonus track in his debut album released in Japan). Actually, this song is my favorite. I can’t explain the feeling whenever I would listen to this song so I’m glad that I’ll be singing it. Hehe.

In preparation for this project, I had to search over the Internet a recording studio. I found one in Alabang called Noiseworks. It was very affordable, offering only 220 Php per hour including the mixing and all other arrangements. I asked Jaja, a friend to accompany me there (luckily he did because the studio owner was freaking scary but, in fact, he’s kind).

The Recording Experience
The recording was so much fun and exciting. But I must admit that the first take was nerve-racking. I mean, there was no warm up or anything. After all the equipment was set, we went straight ahead to recording. Unlike what I usually see on TV of a typical recording studio, I didn’t use that big headphone or that filtered microphone. Hehe. I just used a typical microphone connected to a laptop. It had no volume so it became difficult for me to modulate (I think I even shouted at some parts of the song). The music volume was also low that made it like I was singing in acapella (spell check!).

Since there was no official instrumental version of that song, I had to remove David’s vocals myself (sorry, David!) over Audacity. It was fixed by Dondi (the studio owner), though.

I had two takes. I personally like the second one because I had more emotions there and I was more at ease when I was singing it but the first sounded much better when mixed with the music. However, there were parts from the first take that had to be enhanced and some were replaced by those from the second.

After it was done, Dondi let us hear first the finished product. Hearing the song, it felt awkward that I am listening to my own voice. Eewk! Haha! Personally, I was a bit regretful about the product and I even told Jaja that I could’ve done better but he said it was okay. When my mom and sister heard it too, they commented that my voice is just thinner than David’s but they said it’s good. Well, since I’ll just be sending it to AP as a gift, I settled with it. When I got home, I immediately sent the file to Alec plus other requirements that were needed.

I really love the experience and actually, I’m looking forward to doing that on a monthly basis. Haha! Who knows? I may be discovered and become a recording star someday. LOL. But just like what I’ve said, life is complex. You’ll never know what will happen next.

(Here’s the link to my “Save the Day” rendition:

Thursday, March 5, 2009


As February was approaching (and that goes without saying that Valentine’s Day was approaching too), I felt a little nervous that a lot of people would tease me and pressure me to finding someone to spend the occasion with. True – but not that much! Haha! In fact, I was able to “hide” myself from the overwhelming atmosphere of the season. For a while, I became invisible and I did it on purpose.

The Love Month
Well even before February 14 came, a lot of people have been bugging me, pressuring me to prepare something for several people especially in the office. My responses were all the same – a smile! :-)

I don’t know but it didn’t matter to me much that I’ll be facing Heart’s Day (again) that I’m single. I mean, I love being single and just having the time of my life for 23 years now. I love spending my time and my earnings for myself and for me alone (selfish!). I love the fact that I have no commitment to anyone but my friends and family.

I just celebrated this day together with and my family. We went out for a gimmick at the Megamall and we took our baby to the arcade section and we let him play all day.

Bottom line is: I survived the day.

Walk the Talk at Hacienda Escudero
Can I just consider this month as “THE” family month? Haha! Because just right after our gimmick a week ago, there we were at Tiaong Quezon, participating in the Lopez Group’s monthly walkathon activity. That was another fruitful bonding moment for us and I’m glad that they loved the activity.

To sum up what happened, over 600 participants joined the 8-km walk, which I think was cut since it was already approaching noon. The place was okay but much to my expectation of what Hacienda Escudero is, it’s just a huge area of land and trees. Hehe. Well, I enjoyed the clubhouse and the pool but that’s all there was to that place. Truth is, it’s currently being developed.

A Workshop on Blogs
During this month happened my first-ever attendance in a workshop on Social Media and blogs and I would have to say that I learned a lot from that. The experience was fun. I was able to handle things well and I was able to mingle with people who came from PR departments of different Lopez companies.

The workshop featured two experts who talked about blogs and how powerful you can be as a businessman (or woman) if you know how to use these blogs properly. I was surprised to know that the evolution of blogs from a simple “journal” type thing to a semi-website of a particular company or person happened in just a snap. That meant I was outdated. Haha!

Anyway, in my case, I use blogs just to express or share (to people who know me) what I’ve been through, what I saw, what I’ve experienced during the past month. Blogging for me serves as my outlet for stress. Through blogging, I am able to release all the tensions, the problems, and all the things that are bothering me. It’s my way of aligning my thoughts and reflecting on the things that are happening or those that already transpired that concern me. Well, I guess we all have our own purpose for blogging.

On the lighter side of the event, I’ve realized how lucky I am to be in a company where it allows you to grow and gain additional knowledge. I am gradually having that feel of becoming a certified professional. :-)

Til next ish! :-)