Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Unwind Island

There was no Internet connection in the apartment for the past three days so this post is delayed but I want to give it a space here. Well, I just wanna talk about the team party we had last Friday, July 16. It was a nice and fun get-together of teams for the Singapore Airlines Project at Sapient and one of my fresh experiences in the corporate world. I like the fact that the company does not only care about the effort put by the employees in their jobs day in and day out but it also cares about making the workplace exciting and stress free for each individual. The company ensures that the stay and experience of an employee are always memorable and worthwhile.
Before the aforementioned party which is only exclusive for teams belonging to Singapore Airlines Project, Sapient had also organized another fun activity on the same day - a Sing-Along or more known to us as Videoke. It was very nice only that I was shy to sing a song. Had I joined, it would have been a Charice-like moment for me. Kidding aside, I didn't have the guts to sing a Hindi song and I could not bear the rowdy audience composed mostly of Indians of course. So I just sat down at the back and watched the cheers and applauses roll. I can only remember one song in which I actually sang along. That is Bon Jovi's "Always" among the many Hindi ones. I had hoped for Jai Ho though.

That activity was held at the cafeteria on the 7th floor. We only went there to at least witness the event but I had no intention to join the singing spree whatsoever. After a short while, we went back to our desks. At around 6:00 P.M. we went down to the bus that will take us to the place where the party would be held. It was my first time also to ride a company bus that passed through a different route in the city. Like half an hour later, we all arrived at The Unwind Island. The mood of the place is like a beach resort, if you're a person with good imagination, less the beach itself and the scorching sun. Nevertheless, it was the place to unwind! How I wish I could go back to Boracay. Maybe one of these times when I have money. I always have time I guess. The party was not quite a party as I expected technically speaking. It's because we were dressed in the same work clothes, women didn't have makeup, and men didn't put hairsprays. Everyone who attended just wanted to have fun and to get to know each other. There were even games!

Yes, there were in fact three games. I don't know the exact name given to these games but I could devise something. The first one is a Counting Cirle. One of us was chosen to start the game. That person told us the day he was born, for instance, he was born on the 15th, and then the 15th person from him will go out of the circle and tell something about himself like name, country, among others. He will then reveal the day he was born and from him, the loop begins. It was a good getting to know activity. The second game was called Bono. It's a game in which you pick a paper from the lot and a name of an animal is written on that piece of paper. You will then try to make a sound like that of the animal you have picked. Let's say you picked a cow so you will go "Moooo." Everyone will wear a blindfold and will try to produce that sound and find each other until all are grouped together accordingly. The last game was simply Balloon Bursting. It was nice to play those kinds of games for awhile and to be away from the seriousness and exigency of our jobs.

I really thought it was a typical party. I planned not to attend if it was so. But to my delight, it was not! I don't like typical parties where everyone is so dressed up. It was a kind of party I liked. The things worth memorable for me are the games, the eating, and the drinking. Dinner was served, everyone ate heartily, and went away with a bottle or two of beer or a glass of vodka mixed with fruit juice or soda. Others played beach volleyball presuming there was indeed a beach. And I joined those who walked around for sightseeing. It was truly a rewarding treat for all the hard work everyone has done! As for me, I am very grateful for the four months I have stayed in the company. Fingers crossed for more to come.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Let Go

It's Saturday! Yes! This week wasn't a busy one for us because most work in the office had already been done. There were even a lot of idle time. Now, I'm just counting the days! I'm feeling excited to come home. 20 days to go?! It really feels so difficult to be away from home.

Yeah! Again it's Saturday. It's time for some leisure. Firstly, we planned to go to the Foreigners' Registration Office to inquire about the status of our visa extension and then off we would go for some strolling. Unfortunately, we didn't get results so I was little bit disappointed because we were told to come back the following week because the officer-in-charge for the Philippines wasn't there at that moment. So perhaps we need to take a leave from office work to inquire whether our visa extension has already been approved. If still not, Ellen and I must need to secure an exit clearance. But no worries! Why do we have to worry about that? I believe we can pull it through. After that, we got to go for some malling as usual! We went to Mantri Mall and it was my third time to go to that mall. I'm still hooked by it.

The good thing when we go out is that we don't plan out anything. I think that if you don't plan out something that is for fun or leisure, it becomes more enjoyable. You don't get frustrated when things go awry. We just did the common and usual things when one goes malling. That includes walking, looking around, eating, window shopping, shopping (1% probability?!), watching movie, etc. Most of the time, we go for eating, window shopping, and watching movie. This time I didn't plan to watch a movie because I didn't find interest in any currently shown movies which makes me contradict my statement above. Truly, I have proved that if you plan out something for fun, sometimes it doesn't turn out to be fun at all. Thanks to peer pressure, I was convinced to watch that movie. If I didn't watch, I would have just gone home alone.

The movie we watched was the The Last Airbender in 3D. My first impression... wasn't it just another kind of kiddy movie? Yes, I was right. But still it was fun to watch. It didn't have superb animation or special effects but surely it was a pleasure to watch. The lesson I got was "Learn to let go of your emotions like the flowing water." (Loosely quoted) I've realized that there were times when I held on for so long to my emotions. Eventually, I couldn't let go of those emotions that's why today I'm kind of an introvert person. But I'm trying to find my old self again, the more energetic and expressive self. I have liked my old self and it seemed to me that that old self was already buried deep inside me. I can say there were events in my life that changed me a lot. Some people may not know it but last year, I had been living with myself. I slept alone in the house. I had no one to talk to. At that time, I got to see my sisters living in my aunt's house and had a chance to talk to them only on weekends.

Well, back to the present, the day ended well for us. I was a little bit tired (perhaps from walking) but I ate too much that my energy was overflowing. Imagine I ate two cups of English Strawberry Ice Cream! That ice cream was really creamy and delicious. I'll surely miss all of these things when I come home. These will all be part of my memories.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Deutschland fails to advance to the Finals

I am sleepy! I slept at 2:00 A.M. and had barely 5 hours of sleep. What did I do? I watched the game of Germany vs Spain in the semifinals of the World Cup. Yet, to my disappointment, my fave team Germany failed to advance to the finals versus the Netherlands. Yay! Still up to the end, I screamed for "Deutschland!" Resurrect Hitler! (Grrrr)

Anyway, the performance of Spain was truly laudable. But the defense of Germany was unshakable! But there was someone missing in their team which, as I can see it, made their play against the Spaniards a little bit tougher. The absence of Thomas Mueller made most spectators doubt Germany's chances to grasp at the coveted cup. The 20-year old midfielder was yellow carded from the previous clash against Argentina when he (accidentally) hit the ball with his left arm. What an error! The poor fellow just watched the whole time at the bench and in the 76th minute of the intense game, the Spaniards luckily scored a goal, leaving the Deutsche desperately scrambling for a counter attack to tie the score! The match finally ended with a score of 1-0 in favor of Spain.

Not to mention, the infamous octopus from Germany, from the very beginning, predicted the result of Germany's every game! Funny to say but based on my readings, that two-year old octopus had a 95% accuracy. How can the octopus tell who's gonna win? Oh well, they just place two boxes with food inside an aquarium, one box with the flag of Germany, and another one with the flag of the opponent country, for instance Spain. They then put the octopus inside that aquarium and let it decide which box it's gonna open. Interestingly, the octopus first landed over the box of Germany but it changed its mind and opened Spain's box instead! Legendary octopus! It could be a traitor but it could not be a hypocrite! I couldn't believe the Germans have that kind of idiosyncrasy. Could that prediction of the bizarre creature have a psychological effect on Germany? Well, I don't think so. Nonetheless, it was a fight well fought! At least they were not pounded and it was a close fight! If Mueller was there, could it have turned things around? Probably yes. I can only assume. For me, Germany is definitely a force to be reckoned with!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

It is a Hat!

As you grow up, the more you don't get to understand things.

That keeps me thinking. I believe it's true. As we get old, our horizons become wider. Everyday, we are exposed to a lot of things, ideas and information. The experience of the so called psychological bombardment becomes a routine. It forms the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Some of those impact us in many positive ways but some give us shaky knees. Tsk. Stop. I sound like a textbook.

As I grow up, my understanding of life is getting somewhat hazy.

Is it because I'm a complicated kind of person? Well, I can say I'm not a happy-go-lucky type. I don't believe in luck either. But I believe in a quote I have read somewhere that luck is a point where preparation and opportunity meet. I strongly believe that if a person works so badly to attain his goals and ambitions in life, despite of lack of skills or wits, nothing and no one can get in his way. Certainly, a grown up kind of thinking. But in the perspective of a child, getting what he wants is desperately not ceasing to cry until he gets to touch a toy he is badly longing for. It is being persistent and insistent. You might think it is a spoiled child's ways but think of it like a grown up. The child is unripe for reasoning and reaching for a toy he wants is beyond his capacity. The only thing he can do is to cry. If he doesn't want a thing so badly, why do you think a child will cry? A child's world is just all about what he wants and what he doesn't want.

It's not that I am stupid enough to simply understand life. But each of us sees life in different angles. What our left eye can see is different from what our right eye can see. We see differently if both of our eyes are open as well. With your two eyes widely open, what can you see with this picture? What do you think it is?

Yes I heard you! It's a HAT! Oh no, you did not read the text. It's actually a boa constrictor that has just swallowed an elephant!

It is so wonderful to know that the great truths and the beauty about things are obviously hidden. I am still a crusader. Indeed, I am one of those people who ride an express train without knowing where I am going to. But I believe that in due time, I will be able to know.

As I was writing this, I have my earphones plugged to my ears listening to Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. Listening to classical music always remains a great mystery to me evoking a deep flowing emotion. It's so beautiful!

Sometimes I want to go back to childhood. Childhood is a stage in your life in which you had once been vulnerable but you knew very well what you want. A child also lives in his simple world and has simple happiness, a piece of candy perhaps.

I take delight in the beauty of things that are yet unseen. Lately, I have found and bought a book entitled The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery. It is definitely my most favorite story of all time. It is a very short story you can read in one sitting but reading it is incomparable to reading a whole encyclopedia. It is full of simple truths about the world - love, friendship, and life.

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Sweet Taste of Home

With this picture at the left, I recall a song of Owl City, Umbrella Beach. I like a part of the lyrics that says, "Home will always be here, unseen, out of sight. Where I disappear and hide." That states my longing to come home! But even for quite a short while, I consider India as my second home. Here I learned to be independent. I have actually become braver and bolder.

Anyway, this picture was taken at the Food Court of Mantri Square, one of the malls in India and the largest mall, they say, in India. Indeed, it was huge with a very classy interior design. I cannot compare it to SM Malls in the Philippines, but this mall is truly fascinating! It is one and a half hours away from Whitefield, the place where we are staying, but the long trip is worth it all!

Well, it was Saturday and a non-working day so we planned to go to this mall to simply unwind! But, mind you, we somehow endured the walking. It's alright since we sit all day five days a week facing our computers. We didn't do something special in this mall. We just went around and looked around a.k.a. window shopping. We entered technology stores, the hypermarket, and anything else we can see. But for me, the best part is our lunch!

If you don't know it, pork and fish are uncommon in India. Their main diet can be classified into two categories: Veg and Non-Veg. Non-Veg is usually chicken or any other meat such as mutton. Of course, veg is a vegetarian diet. Due to that, we don't eat pork or fish here often. I personally miss fish or seafood a lot!

So for lunch, we decided to eat something we haven't eaten for so long, which is either fish or pork! We haven't found any restaurant serving pork but we have found seafood! Heaven! I can't describe the food very well so I'll just put a picture here. I ordered fish fillet, fried rice, french fries, and a chinese sauce which name I forgot! It was very delicious. It's like being at home. I can taste a close resemblance of Filipino food with this meal even though the manner of cooking was more of Chinese. Well, I ate heartily and my stomach was so full! This was the happiest day of my tongue!

Friday, July 2, 2010

I was a Cyclop

Another not so good morning for me. I always feel tired every morning. It's not because of anything but I am really moody during mornings. I don't know why. I don't feel like talking to anyone. Most of all, I feel sleepy and I feel bad because I don't want to wake up and I want to sleep more. I am sleepy not because I had something to do the previous night but because of my own fault. I just stay late doing nothing! I'm staying awake all night without doing anything but to think about a lot of things and do crappy stuffs like surfing the Internet, reading online articles, chatting, etc. Sometimes, I stay late to watch FIFA or read inspirational Christian books or literary books. Well, it depends on my mood! At times, I end up frustrated, startled, confused, or emotional until I can't fall asleep anymore! I try hard to close my eyes but the thoughts keep on coming back. They even haunt me in my dreams. I don't understand it but lately, I have been experiencing a lot of sleeping problems. And this morning is one of its consequences!

I woke up on time at a decent 7:30 AM. We usually come out of our rooms to eat breakfast at 8:00 AM. But it wasn't a problem for me. I'm a morning dasher. I do stretching or exercise for 5 minutes. I take a shower for 20 minutes! LOL. Oh, that includes changing clothes and all my personal rudiments. I wasn't really hurrying but as I was putting on the second set of windows of my body (I mean my contact lenses), I dropped one of my contact lenses to the basin! So bad because the faucet was still running and it got flushed by water deep down the pipe and it was gone! Sigh! Now, I only have one left. Despite of that, I still put the other one on my left eye and that makes me a CYCLOP!

Lousy story. My morning was bad as expected. But it couldn't be worse. Anyway, my mind is so easy to adapt to radical changes so it wasn't a big deal for me. In fact, I've just considered it as an additional expense because I have to buy a new set. But it's not a problem after all.

Funny to say and obviously, it is really hard to wear only one contact lens. If ever you'd have a chance to wear contacts, don't ever attempt to do what I did unless the same twist of fate happened to you. One eye has clear vision while the other one is blurred. Technically, I'm not a cyclop because I have two eyes but practically, I am a cyclop at that point because one of my eyes is useless even if it is there. Thus, I considered myself a CYCLOP! How might it feel to be a cyclop? I'd rather be a real cyclop with one eye rather than to be a human with two eyes but the other one is dysfunctional.

I've always loved metaphors and I like to think in terms of metaphors. I think some of us tend to be a cyclop. We may have two eyes but we tend to close one eye to hinder ourselves to see clearly the truth. It always happens in our society. There are many cyclops in our society. They see the obvious and deliberate evils in the society but still they choose not to disclose those. Is it because of fear, ignorance, or security reasons? I am not sure. But for me, it is better to be either wrong or right than to have no stand at all, assuming there is no in between. I always wonder why some people are afraid to commit mistakes. In my part, committing mistakes and accepting them are all part of growing up and of our journey towards maturity. It makes us more human also. I don't abhor them but I don't like people who don't take risks and who are always playing safe.

Literally, I experienced to be a cyclop for about four hours. And I couldn't take it. I went to the mall and bought contact lenses because my head was spinning with only one. I also learned to always try to brighten up my morning because it is the start of the day and the most important part of the day just as the breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I should try to be energetic. That would be my only defense.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What took me so long?

My last post was April 23. Today is the first day of July! Time flew so fast that I didn't even notice it. One month to go and I'll be going back to the Philippines. It has been three months since I came here in India but for me, it seems like years. I'm not just a vocal person but deep inside, I feel longing for my friends and family and of course my country and Bacolod! Nothing compares to home. All your memories and all events in your life, be it good or bad, happened in a place you call home. And it's not just the place but all the people that surround you. I'll never forget everything that happened in my life there and if I was given a chance to change any part of it, I would definitely decline it. I never had regrets in my life because everything was out of my choice. It was my volition! I felt happiness, sadness, disappointments, failures, success, and all sorts of emotions in the past 21 years of my life, but none of them I was ever angry or disgruntled about. I accept God's will for me and whatever decisions I've made, good or bad, I don't blame anyone for it. And for my mistakes, I also humbly accept them and I promise myself to be better. I never got tired of improving myself because I think I'm a kind of person who desires to be better and better everyday. I believe I am NOT perfect but I am a work in PROGRESS.

If you would ask, why did it take me so long to write a blog post once again? Well, I don't know the answer. Really. One factor could be being busy at work but everyone is busy. But now, I think I'm not busy so I was able to take the time to write. Two months of working was tough and we even spend so much time at the office to finish our task so that we will never fail their expectations. But different people have different expectations. And I too have my own expectations. And the expectations of both parties will never meet. But the most important thing is that you never failed your expectations to yourself. You are still happy because you know you have given more than your best shot. I don't know but these past few days, I keep thinking about a lot of things. Maybe, I'm trying to find myself again. I can't point exactly what's wrong with me. I can feel there's something missing inside me but my mind doesn't know what it is. I'm trying to find myself. The questions is, for how long? Indeed, happiness is hard to mine. But then, happiness is a choice and you can only get it if you work hard for it. For now, I hope I could find the real happiness that would lighten up each day of my life. I pray to God to help me.