Friday, December 31, 2010

Ending 2010. Bland lacking in stimulation

How am I ending 2010 memorably? By all indications, it would end bland, lacking in stimulation.

The last Christmas party I attended was for another company function where the invitation came accidentally by chance in a short street chat with the leader hours before the party. It was a typical field office activity done in a warehouse under dim fluorescent light on the 30th. Highlights of the night were meals, karaoke bar and an exchange gift for 30 plus personnel that may have taken 2 hours to complete the rounds.

In between the program, I dropped by the warehouse office where I spotted 2 RTM engineers drafting an email of their report to their manager. They have been recently recruited 2 months ago for a new position that is technical in nature. They went through a rigid recruitment specified by no less than the Chief Executive. They are young, technically competent with an open and fertile mind, polite, articulate and inquisitive.

It started with a simple probing question, “Have you created the model output?” It took a while before they could answer “Yes” or “No” indicating they were processing the question until they said, “Not yet.” That led to more disclosures on the struggles they had to live with which tempted me to introduce spontaneously a mini module on Input-Process-Output and roles each one of us play-me, them, their internal suppliers and ultimate internal customers included. A high performing organization at the minimum requires that each player does their role well, very well.

Eagerly listening, approving and appreciating, they valued the short lecture giving them more resources on how faster they can deliver the model output. By the glow in their eyes, the 15 minute conversation must have unlocked fresh resource on how they will face their tasks the coming years.

The manner  they said “Thank you! Can we have more ? Will you give us an orientation?” has more than compensated the appreciation I received from hours of facilitation I handled this 2010. It was as if in a casual, spontaneous, unplanned moment, "Here comes a face (me)  bearing gift making us novice realize that we have untapped resources that can fill in the gaps and expedite the fulfillment of our task."
What they may have not realized is equally, I got affirmed that evening. I am seen as effective because of knowledge and confidence that is not threatening, sincere but provocative, assertive and sensitive. It was not only an affirmation for the moment but for the work that I have done in the past 12 months.

Noel, Clark and Carmela may have spotted greater hope that they can face their challenges in 2011. What they may have not seen is because of this conversation, I advanced the seed of my task for 2011 my personal mission which is "to inspire, enable and make the other party I converse with see the abundant possibilities."

This incidence summarized to me how my 2010 was. It gave me a foundation on how I should look at 2011 created just in a party that I was invited in and in a session that just transpired by chance.

Here's to a better year for all of us!

Posted at picked up at the Notes of FBook.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Brokenness . Shattered Dreams. Trapped Mindset. These are not appropriate recurring thoughts this holiday season but they keep on coming back especially at work.
  • I lost my voice for 2 days after Christmas.
  • There’s a spiking throb in my right foot that is getting to be bothersome.
  • There are the dreaded projects.
  • The 320 GB desktop keeps on rebooting in cycle.
  • The auto lock of the sedan has stopped fastening the locks.
I am a firm believer of the season of hope.

  • The company doctor says "it’s viral." Your resistance is strong. At an instance, the spray and a mucolytic powder started to bring back my talking voice without any medication.
  • The spiking pain would cease with the change of footwear.
  • Associates pledge full support to keep projects going.
  • Desktop and auto lock are now operational, in better conditions.
An uplifting moment on the day of Christmas is shopping for a hosted lunch at home. At the last minute, I decided to add additional fares and beverages to the set menu. Supermarkets which had operations that day open only at noon time leaving little time for preparation.
Shopwise in Araneta Center however opened an hour before the announced schedule which I accidentally spotted while at the parking lot. Shopper's traffic was light unlike the chaotic condition a day before as captured by the news coverage on TV. A seafood staff attended to my requests from selection to packing and weighing. As a walk in shopper, he would not even allow me to touch the crabs and the shrimps until he secured a cart for convenience.  Seafood and beverages were prepared ahead of the guests’ arrival. Their additional to the fare was surprisingly much appreciated as they were rated as fresh, sweet and “meaty.” Story on how they landed on the table for the feast was never disclosed until now.

I recall one Easter Sunday where Fr. Danny Huang, a Jesuit made a homily at the Cenacle Convert many years ago. I paraphrase, “Man is broken. It is inevitable as he committed sin and separated himself from God. Yet on Easter Sunday, the chance of redemption was completed which started from His birth on Christmas day."

Broken things get fixed in due time. Shattered dreams can be reconstructed. Trapped mindset is work in progress.

For the coming new year full of hopes and aspirations, Sacred space reminds me of the 1 January message, “I exist in a web of relationships - links to nature, people, God. I trace out these links, giving thanks for the life that flows through them. Some links are twisted or broken: I may feel regret, anger, disappointment. I pray for the gift of acceptance and forgiveness.” 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Simbang Gabi 2010. Say Yes!

I took a closer look at the marquee outside the Ateneo gate last Sunday 19 Dec to check on the Simbang Gabi schedule this year. As I slowed down driving, it read 8:30 PM 16-23 December.

That information made me plan to attend the Monday mass. Through the years, I’ve always attended masses in the sprawling campus to remind me of the Christian message of Christmas. I usually take particular attention not just to the choir but to the homily said by  the celebrating Jesuit priests.

However, due to a social activity, I failed to catch the mass. Nevertheless, I proceeded even just to genuflect and offer my thanks and requests accepting I failed to listen to the homily. Traditionally, I would also stroll at the mini bazaar for food and memorabilia which I did tonight. I spotted a trekking friend and a social network associate. Casually I asked Edsel R.amirez, “What was the message of today’s mass?”

It was an instance of serendipity as the valuable information I failed to catch was rattled to me extemporaneously and summarized articulately at the football field as if I was listening to the homily for the missed 5 days. I tried recalling the messages without losing its interpretation to reach a wider audience through this written site.

What this instance relayed to me was also what Edsel repeated crediting the priest for the message; “salvation is made possible through invitation.” But one must accept and prepare himself. We are reminded through Joseph that "happiness belongs to the humble and the hopeful.” These are the traits that can better prepare us for salvation. “Mary’s state symbolizes acceptance and faith.” Apply to day to day living, "saying Yes to God every day is a Yes to Mary at the Anunciation."  All these stories build up until Christmas day.

These messages came at the right moment as I continue to be tested with easy to challenging situations at work and other moments in this fast paced life needing reminders like the insights of salvation, invitation, humility, hopefulness, acceptance and faith.

Tonight, I was reminded by this simple yet marvelous incidence that Christmas is a joyous moment. Experiences like these is a testimony to why it is one.

Simbanggabi Homily of Fr. A.N. Dacanay, S.J. (December 15, 2010)

Quote from Ed's Wall:

"In his somewhat pleading voice he said, be reminded ... be reminded always of the meaning of Christmas & of the crib.  It is that act of faith in God (as shown to us by Mary and Joseph).  For it is in that act of faith when we allow an opening for Christ to enter in our lives -- the Christ of compassion, of sacrifice, of humility and of love."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wagyu in Christmas

Christmas this 2010 started with a grand bang.

A generous benefactor treated us to wagyu steak served in a hot stone in Eastwood City. It is a choice premium beef sourced from Australia grilled in stone. Food tasted as claimed, texture as described.

But somehow, food alone does not make an outlet. Restaurants are service institutions. Without extraordinary service, the experience is not fully satisfying.

While the basic services are fairly good, you’d wish that you get the extra ordinary service you are accorded with beyond what other low profile restaurants provide.

Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable relaxing Sunday lunch as the company, food and attention provided that special moment.

Thank you sponsor.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Exploring a Concept Beachfront Complex

Exploring a Concept Beachfront Complex

Work brought me to a spot in South Luzon 4 hours away from Manila, 5 for those who got trapped in the traffic.

It was a place I have not heard of although I have been in the town of Mabini in Batangas several times in the recent years.

Preparing the servings
Armed with a little knowledge from the internet hours before arriving, I looked forward to appreciating Vivere Azure, a view of the sea and the comfortable facilities.

The sojourn surprised me. What I have experienced in my several days’ stay did not match my initial outlook.

Staging to welcome guests
There was service that distracted the main attraction, good food that provided the nutrition desperately needed from the exhausting walks to several facilities.

The staff made sure we, the guests were satisfied, needs taken care of and forthcoming ones anticipated in advance.
Was it because we were the only guests? Or was it because the service orientation has been imbedded in their disposition?

I did not ask Aries, Edison, Ariel, Joven, Rose and the rest of the crew anymore.

It was enough that through their manifested behavior, they were already saying they have a strong ownership to delighting customer.

I just explored a place and discovered a lot more, an attitude.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Adarna in QC

How else do you spice up a Filipino cuisine? Fusion restaurants put in additional ingredients to radically change the taste. Minimalists reduce to extract the core flavor. Adarna, a Filipino cuisine restaurant along Kalayaan Avenue in QC modifies the process.

What you get is the same food flavor but with an enhanced punch. Adobo has a crackling feel as the meat appeared to have been pressurized longer. The green salad had a tangy taste as a result of an unidentified step. Mixed rice had an aroma that is neither Chinese nor Pinoy which is tasty and filing.

Adarna has been rated favorably in and in the book Manila by Day. The setting is an added complement. Food + Setting = Premium. But it is not. That’s what’s spicy about this QC’s kept restaurant of Giney and Beth.