Sunday, September 09, 2007

Today is the day...

Today is the television debut of High School Musical 2 in Disney Channel. My oldest daughter Sam is very much excited. She have waited long enough for this and today is the culmination of all her sacrifices. Earth movement will stop at our home at around 7:30 in the evening.

Ever since she saw the first High School Musical, she got addicted to it like I was to blogging. She had various school items with High School Musical emblem and patches on it. Pictures of Troy Bolton and Gabriella decorate some of her personal belongings. We had a DVD of the movie as well as the CD and minus one of the songs in the movie. Sam also affected our youngest Nicole about her fascination on the musical hit. Nicole also owns stuff with High School Musical characters on it. We had seen the movie ten times as I can imagine. Sometimes I feel that I was sucked into the set when I hear my daughters sing those beautiful and catchy songs.

Today also is the 9th anniversary of the relationship that started it all. September 9 was regarded as family holiday same as the birthdays of our children, for this day, 9 years ago, my wife Thess accepted the love I had offerred to her.

As Sam is eagerly awaiting for the new songs on the debut of High School Musical tonight, I am also eagerly awaiting the songs I will be singing in my cool ascend to high spirit tonight (musical or not).

This could be the start of something new.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Early to Bed

For three consecutive nights, my children (Sam & Nicole) were not able to comprehend the house rule of going to bed early. For the first two nights my wife was very angry at both of them, making them cry before getting their sleep. On the third night, again, same thing happened, but this time it was my turn to get furious. It was half past nine already and was way beyond their sleeping time when i entered our bedroom and saw my children still watching reruns of Tom and Jerry cartoons. I was not totally mad at them but I thought it is a better opportunity for me to be more authoritative over them. I wanted them to respect and be more cautious and aware over certain house rules.

I turned on the lights and switched off the tv. My children sensing danger hurriedly acted like they were sleeping hours ago. I slowly raised my voice as I overturned them. I was firm and dictator-like that I resemble my previous supervisor. I wanted to use reverse psychology on them so I asked them to stay awake and accompany me to watch tv until the wee hours of the morning. Then they started crying and grasping for their mom who was the ultimate hero in their eyes at that moment.

I took them downstairs including my wife and turned on the tv and allowed them to watch their favorite channel Cartoon Network. To my amazement, Nicole, my youngest stopped crying and actually started watching the show. My reverse psychology took its effect on me. However Sam was feeling guilty on all counts so she continued her silent whimpers and sniffs. Ok, I'll work on Sam first so I thought.

I portrayed power up to the point that I wanted to teach them my point. Then my wife gave the signal, I was able to explain to them the purpose of all this early to bed house rule. Sam started her monotonous apologies while Nicole still watched the TV. I saw the sincerity in Sam's eyes even though it swelled a bit, so I instantly forgave her. When it was all over, I hugged both of my kids and showed them my affection.

After the incident, it was never hard for anybody in the house to get them to sleep during their bed time. Even during Fridays and Saturdays, they are now inclined to sleeping early rather than watching TV late. My kids knew the consequences of such actions and for sure they are not willing to pay for it the second time around.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Speak your mind but let your heart do the talking...


I really don’t know how to start this. It somehow pains me to accept the fact that today is my last working day here and leaving a nice place such as HICAP is truly agonizing. But knowing that there are many talented and honest individuals here than there is in Congress, it somehow makes me feel delighted.

This may come as a surprise for many, because I was not very vocal about this. My apologies for those who have been affected by my decision. I kept my silence as long as I can so as to lessen the hurt of letting go, as I used that much needed silence for myself also.

Having friends like you are good reasons for me to love my job, and working with intelligent and lively colleagues justifies it even further. That is why I am truly honored and grateful to be working with you all. Despite some frustrations and struggles along the way, I’ve learned a lot from all of you and it made me a better person today than I used to be. However, it is sad to note that having great friends here was not enough to make me hold on to my job a little longer. Like everybody else, I too have a breaking point.

As we journey through our lives, we will notice that the talents we have are being used to make a better environment. I have come to believe that I have contributed my talent to HICAP willingly and without hesitations and so do I noticed with some dedicated engineers here. HICAP is composed of talented individuals willing to share their knowledge and expertise for the company, that is why HICAP continues to progress. However I do not see myself being of greater service anymore to HICAP and HDD in particular. I do not see myself being part of those major talents anymore. Thus I seek a better place.

A place where I can contribute more and use my talents efficiently, that place may not be better than HICAP but it may be better for me. It may not be as big as HICAP but it may be big enough for me. The road to this better place might be narrower and darker but I believe at this crossroad, will lead me towards my dream. I just hope most of my friends here will understand this bold step I am taking.

Aside from having my family, HICAP became the next big thing for me. That is why saying goodbyes to all of you, left my heart weeping in sadness. I have learned to love the people around me as I develop friendship and brotherhood in almost all the departments here. I have found happiness, camaraderie and support in all of you – and these make saying goodbye painful than I ever imagined.

I wanted to extend my heartfelt thanks to the following people who made my stay here comfortable and memorable…

… to the true-blooded Server people (Sir Erwin, Sir Rio, Sir Sam and all those under them in one way or another). You guys are the greatest thing that ever happened to me here. I may not have reached what I accomplished without the help of each and every one of you. I developed not only friends but family here; I gained not only supporters but allies. As I am the last original Server production engineer to leave HICAP, I kept my heart where I wanted it to be - Server to the very end. I am grateful I have known each one of you.

… to my WRC family, you kept me floating when I was drowning, you kept me warm when I was chilling… I have shown you what I am and what I am capable of doing and you made me special for that. You made me cry at times, you also made me laugh always and one thing I will never forget, you made me a better person. Because of this, you occupy a soft spot inside of me that makes me hard to let go. You have shown me the value of unity and team spirit, when a chain is weak, everything else is affected. This department of just a few people made me realize that we should never underestimate the power of a dedicated few. God bless you all.

… to my HDD friends, a department full of dedicated individuals, I wanted to say thank you for all the favors, the chats, the emails, the laughs, the meetings and everything else in between all of them. I’ve got hundreds of thousands of memories that I will bring and most of it is with you guys. From the staffs, clerks, line leaders, operators, technicians, engineers and supervisors, I have gained much confidence in myself because of dealing with people like you. You have been a part of me and forever will be.

… to my Contamination Team, I simply take my hats off to you guys. You are one hell of a group of geeky and colorful individuals. I have great memories with you especially those who have seen my hilarious and entertaining newsletters. You always kept on asking for more. Thanks for appreciating it. More power and good luck to all of you guys!

… to my Bowling Team-mates, being part of this group of very athletic individuals made me realize that life is not all about work and family, need to play once in a while also. Being with you made me discover that I can be the best in what I wanted to do if I put my heart into it. Good luck in your next tournaments, remember, work hard but play harder. Bring home the bacon!

… to my blogging friends, I may forget how you look like but I will never forget how you made me feel proud about my writing skills (if there is, hehe). My passion for writing will make me keep in touch with you. Like you, I write not to impress but to express… let our minds speak but allow our hearts do the talking.

… to my fellow basketball addicts, I will surely miss those little leagues we have and that wonderful bonding we developed. I have made friends here that I never thought of having, I have gained respect here that I never realized I would earn. Keep on dribbling guys and remember life is like a basketball game… need to have the vision to see what is going on and the agility to act and counteract on these unpredictable situations. For the love of the game!

… to my classmates in Sucat and Alabang shuttles, you were my inspiration when I took on the frantic essay on Sleepless in Shuttle. For all those comedy scenes that I have witnessed, it made me realize that laughter is still the best medicine.

… to my airsoft friends, sorry I was not able to buy those Armored Personnel Carriers that I was suppose to buy to match your armaments, maybe next time… hehehe. Beng-beng!

… to my six sigma buddies, I am grateful for my manager for introducing me this wonderful concept of six sigma and eventually gaining friends like you in the process. Sir Zaldy already left us a week ago but the lessons we gained will be treasured and nurtured for a long time. I hope to see you holding that certificates of being the 1st batch of HICAP greenbelts.

… to my ISO family, what can I say that is greater than thank you. Uhmm, I know – GREATEST THAN THANK YOU! HAHAHA!!! You guys were superb!

… to my classmates in blood donation, you guys are the real heroes. You are more than willing to give something without expecting anything in return. It really is fulfilling to know that a little sacrifice meant a lot to a total stranger. Continue to donate blood my friends and more power to HOP.

… to my friends in other departments, you know who you are, hehehe. Being my friend is one thing and being your friend is another. I am glad you gave me the opportunity to show you who I am. You may have doubted me before but it’s ok with me, the important thing is you have received this mail thus I consider you as one of the influential persons here in HICAP.

Though I am still looking for the good in goodbye, I just come to believed that I will have friends situated far away that I will always treasure for being part of what I am right now. As Henry Thoreau would put it, “Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes.”

Finally I have a confession to make – that I found satisfaction and happiness in my work here. My life would be half empty if I would neglect HICAP in my whole existence. Truly, no one can compare this family to another. Thank you for keeping me and nurturing me. Now, it is time for me to move on.

May God bless and keep us and our love ones.



Monday, August 06, 2007

The 'S' Note

Two weeks ago, Sam underwent a terrible exam week. It was a test after a test after a test. These tests were given before Quarterly Periodical Exams much like the Prelims in College. Teachers called it Mastery Exam Week, I called it nightmare.

Since my wife was not on a regular office work right now, she took the job of reviewing Sam for her ‘nightmare week’. As for me, my job was to render overtime at work to compensate for the lack of resources we currently have. It was hard for me to check on Sam’s lectures and monitor her academic performance due to my work schedule. The least I could do was to give her continuous support and fatherly advice.

On one occasion, before going to work, I took the liberty of fixing Sam’s school bag and lunch box. It has been a while since I made up her bag and ‘merienda’, therefore I was savoring every moment of it. Then, a little thing crossed into my head. You know in those Tom and Jerry cartoons where an idea just suddenly popped into Tom’s head, this tiny lighted bulb suspending itself in mid-air, yes, I did experienced that. Actually, the idea was not new, however I haven’t done that before and so I asked myself, why shouldn’t I try it.

I took a small piece of Post-It note and wrote a tiny message to my daughter.

Dear Ate Sam,

Good luck on your exams, I know you can make it.



There was this mixed feeling of excitement and fear that somebody might spoil my plan. I carefully placed the note inside her lunch box on top of her sandwich. I was then thinking how this simple note would affect my kid during her exam, hopefully in a very positive way. When I finally zipped it up, I made my silent prayer.


I wanted to help my daughter during this time, but I am having some difficulty adjusting my work schedule. This is the least I could do for her. Send your angels to watch over her in class. Please give her a clear mind to think and a good heart to understand, as we lift all glory and honor in your mighty name.


When I went home that night, Sam anxiously but secretly narrated the note she had seen inside her lunch box. She teasingly made me concur that I made it all up, with that matching smile of hers and up and down movement of her eyebrows. She said that she showed the note to her girl buddies and kept it in her wallet.

Last week, the exam results came in. Sam perfected seven out of eight subjects that were at stake. I couldn’t be more satisfied than that. My wife claimed that it was her mentoring that did the job.

However, Sam begged to disagree, “It was the note, Mom!”.

And she secretly winked at me.

Friday, July 27, 2007

On Being Humble

Sixteen years ago, one sunny morning of March, our neighbor who was browsing a morning tabloid, called the attention of my father. My father, who was busy hanging up our wet clothes in the clothes’ line, checked what the rush is all about. Our ecstatic neighbor claimed that he came across my name on the newspaper that he is reading. Perplexed, my father ceased what he is doing and examined the paper.

This is what he saw.

Since I was young, I wanted to see my name written on some part of a daily newspaper. It doesn’t matter where as long as it is not about crimes and obituaries. This started when my brother, jokingly told me to look for his name inside the broadsheet that he handed over to me, with the condition that if I found it, he will treat me to a lunch out. This was the time when he secretly passed the EE Board Exam. He doesn’t want others to know, it was just between the two of us. From that day on, I wanted to be like my Kuya. That very day of March, sixteen years ago was a fulfillment of my simple dream.

I was privileged to be part of the 1991 batch of TOSM awardees. I was lucky enough to get the affirmation of the judges despite my terrible English and horrifying talent. Perhaps, it was my stand on the “fraternity issue” that sealed their confirmation.

Seven years after, my Kuya once again graced the pages of major broadsheets as well as the internet. He was awarded as one of the Outstanding Teachers by Metrobank Foundation. Our family hardly knew about the award except when my Kuya informed my father that they will be going to Malacanang for an occasion. Up to the very last minute, Kuya never informed us.

Full of humility and humbleness, my Kuya never wanted the limelight. He never discussed or boasts about his awards and citations. If he can credit it for someone else, he’ll do it. He never let the recognitions clutter his brain and eventually remove his feet from the ground. Everyday is just another ordinary day for him, always doing what he does best – being humble. A trait I remarkably admire from him.

Until now, Kuya still speaks softly about his accomplishments; yet behind those soft words are character traits worthy for emulation.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Fall

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Standing on SOLID Ground

When I graduated from high school, I had no idea what was in store for me in college. I was just certain that I will be taking up engineering as I wanted to be an engineer like my Kuya.

Needless to say, I was in for the biggest culture shock of my life. College was very different from high school, far more different than what I expected. In high school, demons are wearing disguises, but in college, all hell break loose.

I was really having a hard time during my first two years in the institute. I was exposed to numerous influences in which I seldom fall prey. My grades are dropping faster than my will to learn and worst I lost all my scholarships. In the learning war that I am involved, my only battle cry was ‘HELP!’.

During my 3rd year, my friend Willie introduced me to this student organization called SOLID. It stands for Study Organization that Leads to Integrated EE-ECE-CoE Development. It was just a normal student organization, but little did I know that it was the turning point of my academic life.

I gradually gained various friends in SOLID, from the graduating batch down to the freshmen. As well as everything in between the geeks and the meeks. I also learned a few tricks of the trade and a little ‘diskarte’ on the side. SOLID armed me with few weapons I need to have to power me on my learning war.

Indeed, my friends in SOLID helped me sway with the waves and kept me afloat during high tides. I will be forever grateful to them.

I may not be the greatest, I may not be the best
I may not get 100 percent in all kinds of test
For the whole year long, I may be nuts
But as a SOLID member, I always have the guts.

Thank you guys for being my SOLID ground.