Wednesday, April 23, 2014

In Sickness and in Health

I am always prone to tonsillitis. At least twice a year, I would be stricken by this virus that would make my throat sore, my nose run and my body succumb to fever. I would drown myself in water and oral antiseptics and drink vitamin C twice a day to combat the darn sickness. I am seriously considering to have a tonsillectomy. However, medical literature that I have perused only recommends the procedure if one suffers from throat infection for at least 7x/year. My case is not yet that acute--I hope.

So for now, I would let this virus run its course and hopefully, I'll be well enough to return to work tomorrow. This had to happen when I'm close to a deadline.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Pre-Eval Summer Outing

I created a committee at work whose sole function is to come up with employee-engagement activities. For the past 2 years, we always prepare for 2 important events -- the department Christmas Party and the department Summer Outing.

This year, the committee exceeded my expectations once again. We went to this place in Pansol, Laguna--a place famous for its hot springs--called Villa Ana. We found it by accident while scouting for a venue a few months ago. It was quite pricey which is not surprising considering it's peak season but it was worth it considering we had a headcount of 41 and we had the whole house to ourselves.

the culprit
I was glad that it was an overnight as it gave me an excuse to drink. Whenever there's an occasion to drink, I couldn't imbibe on too much alcohol as I usually drive myself home. I prepared for the drinking session with my staff by buying a bottle of my beloved Bailey's (too bad the store did not have caramel flavor) and a couple of bottles of Bacardi Gold. I also bought Coke and Sprite for chasers.

My staff also came prepared by bringing what looks like a 5 gallon bottle of lambanog (although I'm not sure if it was 5 gallons but it came in a big-ass bottle). The place also had an awesome videoke machine which made the drinking session more fun. They gave me a couple of shots and I polished off probably 1/4 of the Bailey's bottle. I later on realized how strong Bacardi can be as after drinking a glass of Bacardi with Coke, I felt woozy. And to think I only a glass. I let the rest of the staff finish the other bottle because if I continue to drink, I think I'll pass out.

I did not want to go to sleep drunk as I'm scared I might vomit in my sleep. I continued on singing and chatting it up with my colleagues until I began to feel my face again which grew numb from the drunkenness.

I tried to go to sleep at around 3AM but was unsuccessful as somebody did not want to leave the videoke machine alone. Not to mention the aircon vent was pointed at me and the place was not equipped with blankets (it had beddings and pillows but no blankets. Make sure to bring your own if you decide to go there). Probably after an hour or two of fitful sleep, I gave up and went out to join some of my staff who were still up and about. I went back to bed at around 5AM and got up at around 630AM. By then, I felt awful due to lack of sleep (I was up at 4AM the day before) and couldn't have a decent conversation with those who were up.

post-boodle fight
I felt better afterwards when I had breakfast and frolicked in the pool with the team. I stopped being conscious about my fat body as I started to enjoy the water sports. It's been awhile but I'm glad my swimming and diving skills came back to me. It somehow redeemed my hideous physique. I suddenly wished I'm buff enough to wear a bikini or at least a decent Speedo. I had to wear this swimsuit with a skirt to hide my thunder thighs and bulging stomach but is not meant for swimming due to the additional drag. At least, I was able to win the coin-retrieval race.

For lunch, we had a boodle fight which was basically putting all the food on banana leaves and spreading the rice around. It was my first boodle fight and will certainly not be my last. It was so fun especially we were eating with our hands. We had fried tilapia, inihaw na liempo, boiled vegetables (eggplant, okra, kamote tops) with bagoong and salted egg and tomatoes. It was the most delicious meal I ever had.

We rested a bit in the afternoon and I left at 3PM as I still had errands to run. I am really blessed to head a department with such fun and talented people. It somehow made my work more bearable during the difficult times.

I sung the song below during one of our drunken videoke moments. It had everyone dancing and jumping and singing along with me. It was definitely the theme of the night.

Added Postscript:

When I came to work on Monday, I learned that I did some stuff which I really can't remember doing. I think it happened during the Bacardi-induced black-out period. According to them, I rapped the Rihanna-Eminem song (which I really cannot for the life of me remember doing) and swam in the pool (good thing I was still on my bathing suit, but why did I end up in the water?). They even had to wake me up as I almost fell asleep on the side of the pool. At least I did not do anything embarrassing. One thing's for sure, that drink will not be a staple in my future drinking sprees with my staff. Even if it's cheaper than the other spirits.

Drink Tally: 2 shots of Lambanog, 1 glass of Bailey's, 1/4 glass of Bacardi gold mixed with 3/4 Coke = black-out drunk 

Sunday, April 06, 2014

The Taxed Teacher

I used to never worry about my taxes. Since I get my salary monthly, my employer deducts my income tax and files them for me with the BIR. All I have to do is to check whether the correct amount was deducted and to sign my W2s.

My tax woes started when I was officially hired as part-time teacher in the school where I am teaching. Since I am officially employed by the College (although at a part-time basis), I have to consolidate the income that I earn there with my regular income. When I did this early this year, I was shocked when I learned that I still have a tax deficit which I have to settle before the April 15 deadline.

It took some time for me to understand it and I had to confer with my Accountant friends to figure it out. Apparently, my regular job taxes me the max at 32%. Since I am only earning a pittance as a teacher, I am taxed only with the basic rate. So when I consolidated the two together, the tax rate that was applied with my regular job was also applied to my teaching rate. Ergo, the tax deficit.

Also, according to my Accountant friends, if I do not want to have a repeat of the tax deficit, I have to inform the school that the salary that I draw from teaching should also be taxed at 32% moving forward. That was devastating news as if that happens, my net pay won't even be enough to cover for my weekly transportation expenses going to school. Teaching is something that I am beginning to love and since I love this, it's beginning to love me back (I deduce this based on the high grades that I got on my teacher's evaluation).

I sent a formal letter to our dean to change my status from part-time to consultant. If that happens, I will no longer be included in the school's alpha list. Moreover, SSS will no longer be deducted (that is also my other concern. The school is deducting SSS from my wages when my regular job is already deducting the max amount. SSS owes me a refund which I can only claim if I write a letter etc etc. Not worth the hassle). And I believe only VAT will be deducted from my fees. Hopefully, my request will be granted so I can continue teaching. Otherwise, I will be forced to resign to look for a teaching position nearer my place of residence.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

April Fool's

And just that, the first quarter of 2014 is over. The second quarter has now begun.

One word I can use to describe the previous quarter is "hectic". It was chaotic, frenetic and frenzied. I literally hit the ground running when the year started. There were days when I barely had time to comb my hair or brush my teeth after lunch.

Summer has also officially begun and it's vacation mode from school. I relish having my Saturdays back and spending it with my family. Just this morning, we were up and early at the mall so Basti can play bowling. It was heaven for my bowling-crazy son. I don't know why he's so hooked into this. He has been fascinated with the sport ever since he got his first set of plastic bowling pins. In fact, he has this favorite youtube video of a young boy playing bowling that he watched over and over again.

At first, he was contented with playing bowling at Timezone but ever since he was exposed to the real bowling alley, he insisted that we always bring him there. Not good for our wallets though. We don't know how long we can keep this up. One game itself is cheap but my son insists playing a minimum of 5 games. Well, you do the math. And he has not stopped bugging us to return within the week. Oh dear.