Saturday, February 22, 2014

Not Again!

view from the back
I've only been in a car accident before once. It also involved the car that I'm using now but back then, my husband was driving and I was seated at the back with my son. I posted about it here. However, in the accident that I got into today, I was by my lonesome.

I finished class at around noon so from St. Scho, I drove to South Supermarket at Alabang to have lunch before going home. I was able to park in front of Teriyaki Boy but I did not get down first as I was checking messages on my phone. Next thing I knew, there was a loud crunching sound and lo and behold, the white Toyota van on my left was turning right which was against the traffic flow. I was surprised as he should not have been able to hit me as vehicles exiting the parking lot should only turn left.

I could only sit there and stare at disbelief at what happened. I initially thought that my vehicle moved to must have hit the van like that but my handbrake was firmly engaged. I turned off the engine and gingerly stepped out of the car. The owner of the car who was apparently waiting for the driver quickly approached me and apologized profusely. I actually admire her as if that was any other person, she would've been cursing the driver to high heavens but she held her tongue and spoke with me calmly and with the right dash of humility. They readily admitted that they were at fault and all the witnesses and security guards said that I was innocent of any wrongdoing.

view from the front
I quickly called my husband and asked what I should do. He initially gave me instructions but after a few minutes, he changed his mind and said he'll just go to where I was. Fortunately, the supermarket is just 10 minutes away from the house.

The guards wanted the driver to move the van as he was blocking the traffic going inside the supermarket parking lot. The bystanders in Teriyaki Boy quickly signaled that I should take pictures and I nodded saying that I already have.

Security then said that they have already contacted the local police precinct and somebody is on the way to take pictures and do our police report. True enough, a man on a motorcycle came over in less than 15 minutes. He took pictures and interviewed us as well as the supermarket security. He told us that we have to go the traffic enforcement office as we have to give our statements. Good thing that it was just under the Alabang viaduct as I do not relish facing the traffic going to Muntinlupa proper.

When we got to the office, I saw some cars that were obviously from an accident in the lot--there was even a Benz and an Audi! I wondered why the owners were not claiming them. Probably the repair costs are astronomical so they just left it there. Anyway, we went inside the office where I sat down to write my statement. I'm ashamed to admit that I struggled with it as the whole form was in Filipino. Filipino is supposedly by first language but I was suddenly at a loss on how to convey what happened. In the end, I wrote something like this: "Naka-park lang ako sa parking ng South Supermarket nang lumabas ang puting van sa kaliwa ko ng pakanan." (I was parked at the parking lot of South Supermarket when the van on my left moved out going towards the right). Not very eloquent but at least it's straight to the point.

the damage
The officer on duty asked me to step outside so he can see the damage. He also asked me what I wanted to happen. I was surprised as I thought I was there for the police report only. Apparently, I have the option to press charges as I was the aggrieved party and they were obviously at fault. I conveyed that all I wanted was the police report so I can go  home and most importantly, have lunch!

I then paid P250 for the police report (supposedly for pictures and filing but I somehow find this unbelievable, especially when I saw the receipt. I did not complain anymore as I just wanted to get out of there) and was out of the precinct in 20 minutes or so.

After the precinct, my husband and I proceeded to Honda Cars Alabang which was where I have my car regularly serviced. We asked for an estimate on the cost for repairs as it's one of the documents required for insurance claim. In less than 30 minutes, I was able to get my quote and was able to go home.

The bright side of things, the whole thing, from time of the accident until I got home only took 2 1/2 hours. Not bad considering I was able to file my police report and get an estimate already. However, it's not something that I would want to happen to me for a long time.

So for those who will find themselves unfortunate to be in a car accident, remember to do the following things:

1. Take pictures of the accident -  All angles as much as possible.
2. Keep calm and keep your cool - Getting in a shouting match with the other party will not resolve anything. However, I know this might not always be possible if both of you think you are in the right of way. But try to be calm. Usually, the other driver calms down as well so you can talk like two rational beings so you can get it settled right away.
3. Get a police report - It is usually the most important document for insurance claims. Unfortunately, you have to go to the nearest precinct to have this done.
4. Call-a-friend - If you are driving my your lonesome, try to call for someone to accompany you especially when going to the precinct.
5. Exchange numbers - Get the phone number of the other party. Make sure it works and he or she is not just giving you a bogus number.

If you are fortunate enough to be accident free, try to be prepared for it by doing the following:

1. Get a dashboard cam - I initially thought that it's just a vanity thing but when you drive by yourself and when you get into accidents, it's your most important witness.
2. Update your insurance - Do not ever let your insurance lapse. Having an expired policy seems to attract accidents.
3. Defensive driving works - I consider myself as a safe driver. I don't feel my pride getting hurt if an asshole-driver cuts into my lane. I usually think that he must badly need to use the bathroom as he's in such a hurry. Nevertheless, it does not make him less of an asshole.
4. Keep a copy of the insurance and OR/CR in the car- You'll never know when you'll need it.
5. Keep a phone charger in the car- No doubt your glove compartment will be full of stuff but there's no harm in adding a phone charger or at least keep your phone charged. You will need it to call for help.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

Even though my husband was out of the country this Valentine's Day, I still went to work quite excited. Not for me, but for the love that will surely be demonstrated throughout the day in the office.

I had an officer who gave the girls some plastic flowers and it was quite a touching gesture. We also held a "Cheesiest Line" contest at my department. Had lunch at SM Aura with my colleague and we were surprised to see that the parking was almost full. That has never happened before when we would have lunch there.

There were kilig moments wherein one staff was courting another one of my staff. He left her love notes, balloons and flowers. Kicker was when he had a teddy bear strapped on a remote control car delivered to her and he personally handed a bouquet of roses. That really made the rest of the department scream with delight. I had my own thrill when I went around the room and personally interviewed those who received flowers. It was a perverse kind of thrill knowing that I made them squirm by putting them on the hot-seat. :)

When I got home, my son greeted me with his own Valentine's Card. Even though I know it was a school initiated project, I still felt touched and proud.

For all its worth, Belated Happy Hearts Day everyone.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Two Years!

Last Thursday, Feb. 6, marked my two years with my current employer. I celebrated it by treating two of my colleagues to lunch at Banapple. I don't know if it's something worth celebrating when I'm having mixed feelings with my job now but the point that I lasted this long is worth noting.

This is my fourth employer already in my 15 years of working. I'm not perfectly happy with what I do but then, there is no such thing as a perfect job. Maybe there is one but I have yet to find it.

Like what I've been telling my friends and students, happiness is a decision and it should come from within. Probably happiness is not the right term with what I'm looking for but job satisfaction. One thing's for sure, I enjoy teaching but unfortunately, it's not enough to let me pay the growing bills so as of now, I have to keep it at part-time and let my day-job fund my passion.

On that note, I'm also marking my second year in teaching. I started on January 2012 as a substitute teacher. I'm still at it two years after and enjoying every minute of it.

Just earlier, I was teaching my students cost behavior. I found certain satisfaction when I saw their faces light up with understanding when I taught them the difference between variable and fixed cost and how to price their products. Now I know why some teachers are extending their lecture time because they're in the zone.

I don't know where my career path will take me but wherever it is, here's to more successful years ahead. Cheers!

Picture taken from


I'm quite happy with our Department of Tourism. I guess the President got it right when he got an Ad-man (Mon Jimenez) to market the Philippines to the other countries. The video above is two-prong (which I found in Rappler): It shows us thanking the international community for their help in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan and on the other hand, it shows us as happy people with scenic sites as backdrop.

Here are other It's More Fun in the Philippines videos:

This video was the first one released showcasing the Philippines and if I may say, it's quite brilliant.

I think this one is relatively new and it brought tears to my eyes.

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Thankful - Feb 5

My blessings for today:

1. My office laptop - For the fact that I can work from home. By 530PM today, I still actually had a lot of work to finish. Since I had to help my son with his Kumon assignment, I hurried home and had enough time to help him with his homework. Fortunately, he finished early so I was able to continue my reports.

2. My team leaders - I lead a department of 58 employees. It's not easy to keep tabs on everyone. So I have my ever-dependable team leaders that helps me do this. We had our monthly meeting earlier and though some of it involved some sermon, I still appreciate the work that they do. I don't know where our department will be without them.

3. My Kindle - I actually have two e-readers: a Nook which I bought in 2011 when we were in the US, and a Kindle Fire which my bought bought for me as thank you gift when she visited in 2012 (she actually came home to bury her mom and I did all the leg-work involved). Nook has a longer battery life and I cannot buy any books, but I can load ebooks into it. As for the Kindle, buying books is as easy as pressing a button. For a person who's very passionate about books, this is such a wonderful blessing!

4. My son - We've always wanted another child and I posted about our TTC journey here. But for some reason, I can't seem to get pregnant and to think we duplicated the treatment that we had prior my first pregnancy. I think I've already accepted the fact that my son will only be an only child and even if we will not be blessed with another offspring, my son is already an abundance of blessings.

5. Food - Since I'm in a "tipid" mode as I have to fork out cash at the tollway (my ePass is broken), I make it a point to bring my lunch to work. As I was looking for food to bring, I spied the Christmas gift of preserved bangus that my friend gave me. After ensuring that it's not yet expired (March 2015!), I tasted it and was pleasantly surprised to find it delicious. It's now my lunch for tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Thankful - Feb 4

My blessings for today:

1. My safe travel to and from the office - I left the house extra early today. Good thing I did as after entering the highway through Filinvest, traffic came to a stand-still and I saw this plume of smoke in front of me. There were also no cars at the southbound lane. I knew then without looking at Waze or the news that there must be an accident down the road. Fortunately, traffic started moving and a kilometer before the Skyway entry ramp, a bus was at the southbound lane still smoldering. Apparently, the tire of the bus caught fire and it exploded. Good thing nobody was fatally wounded by the incident. It did, however, cause heavy traffic.

2. Helping my son with his Kumon assignment - it's a blessing that he was cooperative the whole time and he did not complain. He also used to pitch a fit if I would erase his answers because I wanted him to correct it. Tonight, he just wrote the right answers and finished his homework in less than 30 minutes. Now, if i can just teach him not to rush his work to lessen his mistakes.

3. My seatmates at work - I am blessed to have my cubicle seated between two wonderful people. My good friend and lunchmate is seated on the cubicle on my left and we sometimes talk to each other through the thin walls. People would look at us oddly whenever we would have our "through-the-wall" conversations as it looks like as if we're talking to ourselves. As to my right, I'm sharing my cubicle with another colleague who's quite financial savvy and keeps his own blog here. He's my soundboard, translator and thesaurus all in one. And he gives sound financial advise too!

4. Done Quiz for CIC - I finished my quiz for Saturday in early this week. Usually, I would be cramming it on the day before. Actually, I forced myself to finish it early as I requested my husband to have the print-out reproduced at the nearby copy center. I did not want to print the test papers on my home printer as I have more students in Cost and Internal Control (22) than in Risk Management (15).

5. My blog - This blog is a blessing for me as it helps me remember things and lets me exercise my creative writing. I also realized that my site celebrated its 10th year last year yet I did not even have a big celebration like other sites (on that note, my blog is one year older than Facebook. FB turns 10 today!). I've ignored blogging for almost 3 years and I intend to be more active in posting this year. I blame Facebook and my penchant for buying pretty notebooks which I use as journals. Sometimes, I get too lazy to post as I'll just be repeating whatever I wrote on my journal.

Party in the U.S.A.

I'm not a Miley Cyrus fan. I just posted the video as there's a very big chance that we're going to the US of A this May.

Last time we were there was 3 years ago and it was just my husband and I (see our itinerary at the side bar). This time around, we're bringing our 5 year old son with us. I'm quite excited about it and at the same time, quite scared. Basti already rode the plane when we went to Bohol a couple of years ago so he should be fine. It's just that the travel time to Newark is quite long. The shortest travel time that I found was 19 hours. That's a big difference compared to the 1 hour flight to Tagbilaran.

I'm already racking my brains on how to keep him occupied for the whole flight. Cathay Pacific, which has the cheapest fares so far, leaves in the morning. Two hour layover at HK and then the 15 hour flight to Newark. Hopefully, he'll conk out during the long-haul flight. I don't know how I'll be as the last time we went there, I barely slept on the plane (I so envied my seatmate then as she was asleep the whole flight--only to wake up during meal times). I'm praying that Basti will cooperate and will not sorely test our patience.

Anyway, we'll finalize our plans after our son's "interview" at the US embassy at the end of this month.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Thankful - Feb 3

Things to be thankful for today:

1. My son celebrating his 5th birthday in school - It has become a tradition for us to celebrate his birthdays in whatever school he's attending at that time. It started on his 2nd birthday when we had it with his Kindermusik classmates. When he started toddler school, we celebrated his 3rd and 4th birthdays there. Since he'll be going to DLSZ next year, this is the only time that he'll be celebrating it at TLC. I hope I can make a better collage of his birthdays in the future. I'm also proud and thankful that he's now blowing the candles on his cake. For the past four years, he was so scared of blowing them (something to do with his fear of fireworks) so when he blew the candles earlier, I was so proud.

2. Lunch with a good friend - Had lunch with my friend Eu today. It was rather a spur of the moment thing as I found myself free the rest of the day. I called her up and we met up at Pasto in Paseo. I really treasure her friendship and I miss her everyday. Though our work places are relatively near, it's still a big pain going from one city to the other (she's in Makati while I'm in Taguig) as traffic can be quite unpredictable. She's my best sounding board. Whenever I have something that's troubling me, she's the first person that I immediately go to and she doesn't judge. She's a great listener and I'm 100% sure that whatever I tell her will stay with her.

3. Ice cream time with my son - when I got home in the afternoon, I brought Basti to the playground where we bought ice cream and snacks at Rustan's. Unfortunately, I had some pressing things that was waiting for my response so we only stayed for less than an hour. At least he's able to eat his Magnum and Cracklings (what a combination!).

4. Conversation with Basti's teacher - we were in school today to bring food to Basti's classmates and watched them sing to Happy Birthday. While the kids were eating, the teacher and I spoke about my son. It's great that she validated my observation that Basti's quite a bright young child. He actually has the capacity to perfect his exams but since he's always in a hurry, he tends to mis-read the directions and thus his mistakes. He's also quite behaved in school (quite opposite of his behavior here at home where he will not think twice of throwing a tantrum) and is learning to be more responsible. I am so proud.

5. Reserved for Basti's Kinder DLSZ enrollment - We learned last Thursday that my son passed the entrance exam of DLSZ. The first thing we had to do to confirm the enrollment was pay the rather hefty development fee. As we were adamant that our son would have a La Sallian education (my husband is a true-green blooded La Sallian from Prep to MBA. I only went to La Salle for College and MBA), we hurriedly paid the fee this morning (installment, of course). I'm thankful that we had the funds to make this happen and to ensure that our offspring would have the best education that we can afford. Enrollment will be on the 18th and I'm already dreading to see how much his tuition would be.

Comforting with Grace

Since we're in the subject of death, last Saturday, one of my colleagues told me that his grandmother passed away last Wednesday. I quickly conveyed my condolences and mentioned that it's never easy to lose a loved one.

This morning, I dug out my copy of Rita Avila's 8 Ways to Comfort with Grace with I wrote about here. With a lot of people passing away, I'm sometimes at a loss on how to comfort them. Though I've read her book before, I tend to forget.

Probably the best advise she gave was: "offer any little help that you can give". I've been losing relatives 2 years in a row (my last grandparent in 2012 and my paternal uncle in 2013). I couldn't offer much consolation for my mom as she's in the US at that time but I helped out the only way that I can to ease their grief--which was to arrange for my grandmother's burial here in the country (it's not easy and entails a lot of coordination. Although big kudos to St. Peter's for a job well done on that). When my uncle died last year, I also did what my dad asked me with minimal fuss. They mentioned that I was a big help to them in comforting them but I did not understand why. I guess now, I do.

As for my colleague, I already conveyed my condolences through text last Saturday. I'm glad though that I asked him about it and that I learned it directly from him. When I get back to work tomorrow, I'll probably just say a few more words and ask him if he would need further time-off.

R.I.P Philip Seymour Hoffman

Philip Seymour Hoffman
(July 23, 1967 – February 2, 2014)
I woke up to the news of his death this morning and I was shocked. I just saw him in Catching Fire the other week. I suddenly remembered his other movies and how much he entertained me.

I first saw him The Talented Mr. Ripley with Matt Damon and Jude Law and I just remembered him. And there's also him as a slimey reporter in Red Dragon and his award-winning performance in Capote.

According to reports, he died due to drug overdose. That's rather disturbing (well, a lot of well-known personalities have passed away due to overdose--there's Cory Monteith and Heath Ledger), but could he be that talented because of the drugs? What would he be without them?

Nevertheless, it's still a big loss and he will be sorely missed. May his soul rest in peace.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Thankful - Feb 2

Some things to be thankful for today:

1. Tried out a new restaurant - we tried out Project Pie today. They opened a branch here down South. Their selling proposition is that you can design your own pizza and they make it in front of you. Waiting time for it to bake doesn't take too long too. The picture on the right is one of the pies that we tried--Banana Nutella. Funny that my son didn't like this considering it's chocolate. He must not be a fan of cinnamon. He loved his classic pizza though.

2. Was able to hear mass today - Today is the feast of Candelaria. Unfortunately, we were not able to have any candles blessed but being able to hear mass is a blessing. Moreover, the priest who said mass was one of the "good" ones. He even quoted lines from one of my favorite songs:

I think I'll follow the voice that calls within
Dance to the silent song it sings
I hope to find my place
So my life will fall in place
I know in time I'll find my place
In the greater scheme of things

Here's a video of the song sung by Hangad -- one of my favorite choirs.

3. Finished Burger Queen - kinda shallow as it concerns an iphone game app. However, I've been playing the game for the longest time so I'm quite thankful that I'm able to finish it--and that seldom happens.

4. Cleaned up my blog - one of my resolutions this year is to write more blog posts. It seems I have surpassed my posts for 2013 just with January alone. Hopefully, 2014 will be banner year in terms of posts. My highest ever was 163. In terms of hits, I don't get that much traffic as I don't advertise my blog. Besides, I'm still a bit shy about my writing as I have had no practice in creative writing for the longest time. So if anybody would stumble on my blog and like it, then I hope they would leave a comment or two.

5. For waking up at 430AM - at least I am able to wake up today. That itself is a big blessing.

The Walking Dead Season 4 (Mid-Season)

Walking Dead has been on TV for four years now and their ratings are off the charts!

I've always been deathly scared of zombies but I think this show numbed me towards these things. I can now watch Walking Dead anytime of the day without worrying whether I'll be dreaming of zombies that night. I can't wait for next week when the mid-season episode premiers (Monday morning, Philippine time). Good thing Fox decided to show the new episode on the same day it premiers in the US. No more waiting until Saturday or looking for good online copies.

The storyline is so gripping. I can't wait to find out what happens to the survivors--whether they will all meet up again. After killing Hershel in the last episode, I think we're due for a treat or at least a better ending where Judith is concerned.

This so reminds me of Game of Thrones where they killed off the lead actor before the first season even ended. But then if you're a fan of the books, it would've been very expected.

The last episode made me think who I would want to be stuck with in case everyone disperses separately. I would definitely want to escape with Daryl. He's so bad-ass although I hope he gets a better weapon. It's so hard to reload a cross-bow. He just looks so awesome whenever he fires it. No wonder I always create characters with bows as her weapon of choice when I play D&D.

Can't wait til Monday!

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Thankful - Feb 1

Let me see, what are the 5 things that I'm thankful for today?

1. Alarm clock woke me up - for this past week, I've been waking up at 430AM regardless of what time I slept. To think my alarm is set at 5:15 in the morning. So when my alarm woke me up earlier, it felt great as it means I was able to get the amount of sleep that I wanted.

2. Road trip yesterday with my staff - I set out to Pansol, Laguna yesterday with three of my staff to look at possible places for our summer outing. It wasn't easy for them as I requested that they come to Alabangfrom Quezon City. It was a nice experience for me as I was able to bond and chat with as I am not able to do as much while we're in the office. I was also able to tour them around my neck of the woods as a couple of them have not been here before.

3. Relatively easy day in school - I have such great students. I'm glad that they listen to me and teaching them is not hard. I was also able to give them their midterm grades without any fuss or violent reactions at all.

4. Unavailability of my epass replacement - My ePass is relatively new. We got it on November 2011 that's why I was quite surprised when it suddenly did not want to work anymore. When I went to the ePass office after school earlier, they mentioned that it's already defective and I should get a new one. However, they further mentioned that they're out of stock so I have to return to get the new unit. Though it's a big hassle for me, I consider it as a blessing as it's a way to teach me patience as the lines at the tollway can be a test to one's patience.

5. The Internet - the internet is a wonderful thing. I was able to look for answers for my lecture today over the net. Students have it easy nowadays. Information is readily available at the tap of a finger while before, we would have to make library trips just to find what we need.

Thank you, Lord!