Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Today, I feel like I'm the only person in the office. It is so eerily quiet - the copying room is dead, the fax machine is asleep, and I could only hear my fingers typing on the keyboard. When I took the train this morning, it was uncomfortable to see seats empty. The usual line to the coffee shop was non-existent, as I walked straight to the cashier to pay for my favorite cup of Morning Blend. On the morning before Thanksgiving Eve, DC felt uncrowded, and as someone who deals with this city's hustle and bustle, I felt a sense of freedom and relief. There are times that this city could be so unkind and unfriendly. Countless times I've thought of moving out and finding a job somewhere, but something seems to keep drawing me to stay. It's probably because most of my college friends are working in the area, and that I've gotten comfortable to the culture here. Whatever it is, I have to admit that DC has its own charms.

As I type this blog entry, I'm still wearing my sneakers instead of my work shoes. I actually neglected to dress up for work today. Why? We're only working for four hours. I just thought that my boss is so considerate, that he's decided to close the office at 1 PM giving my other coworkers ample time for their drive out-of-state. I guess that's another thing I have to be thankful for. Also, I still have my job, while other companies are laying off their workers, my company is still intact and standing firm. It is not my intention to gloat; I am just thankful that we're surviving the storm. As my boss stated on our last staff meeting, "We will get through this." His words inspired me, and that's all I needed to hear.

As I think about last year's Thanksgiving, it will be different this year. Just like the past six years, last year's Thanksgiving was big and noisy with the ex's family. This year, Thanksgiving will be small and quiet, as I'll be spending it with my Mom. Mom and I are picking up groceries this afternoon, and that we'll be bringing some food and visiting my sick aunt who lives on the other side of Maryland tomorrow. This year's Thanksgiving feels so different. Is it because there's a big change of people involved? Or is it because I have started to embrace the change that was felt forced upon me a year ago? I prefer to think of it as maturity and coping with the challenges of life. Whatever the change or changes maybe, I like it because it's on a personal level.

Lastly, I could not have survived the storms in my life without my family and friends - this includes YOU, my blogger friends. My family's been so supportive and so patient with me. I still remember calling my sister, who'd stop what she's doing just to listen to me sob my heart out on the phone. My parents who took off from work, fly ten hours just to come see me and make sure I'm okay. For the countless phone calls I received from my friends encouraging and pushing me to get up and get through the day. For the inspiring comments from my blogger friends, who have truly lighten my load when it was too heavy to carry on.

To all of you, I am so ever grateful. Your generosity has humbled me, and that my world has been a better place because of you. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Quick Thought on Thanksgiving

Today, I had lunch with my office mates at Elephant and Castle, a British pub/restaurant in the area. It was our early Thanksgiving lunch, as everyone seems to be going home to their respective states this afternoon. Like me, most of my coworkers are also transplants in the DC area, so when the holidays arrive, almost everyone seems to be planning their flight or train trip home. As for me, I'll be spending Thanksgiving here with my Mom. Mom was supposed to fly home to Hawaii two weeks ago, but she decided to spend Thanksgiving with me instead. Thank you, Mom.

Mom and I haven't decided how we'll celebrate Thanksgiving yet. As Filipino-Americans, we prefer chicken to turkey. Instead of stuffings and mashed potatoes, we cook pansit or macaroni salad. We Filipinize Thanksgiving. But Thanksgiving is not about the food; it is more than that. I've observed that as time goes by, people are forgetting the meaning of Thanksgiving. It isn't about how perfect the turkey is or how abundant food is on the table. It is about giving thanks to God, family, friends, and welcoming new acquaintances to your home. I do hope that as families dine together this Thanksgiving, they'd remember the true history of America, the Native Americans, the Pilgrims, and most of all, that different cultures can co-exist harmoniously.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy at 54

I went to my bimonthly check-up today, so I was three hours late showing up for work. As usual, the needles, the blood, and the checking of lymph nodes were routinely done. After about five minutes, my results came in. The platelets are up at 54. To someone who's been dealing with Thrombocytopenia and whose last platelet count was at 35, I was so happy they're currently at 54. I actually didn't know what caused them to go up, but for the past few weeks, I've been eating more fruits and vegetables. So, I'll definitely try to increase more my fruit and vegetable intake. My next goal is to get my platelet count at a normal level of 150.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Christmas Tree

Here it is, my very own six feet, slim pine Christmas tree which I've been working on since Thursday of last week. I was so happy when I finally got the ornaments and lights together today. There's only 22 real ornaments hanging there and the rest are edible. There are mint candy canes and rounded, hollow milk chocolate ornaments. I decided to use more edible ornaments as it's easier to eat them instead of storing them after the holidays. I know, it's so silly of me. Anyway, I thought it was a cute idea to be able to pluck a chocolate ornament whenever I feel like it or nibble a candy cane after a meal. After all, it's the holiday season.The toys underneath - kissing puppies, gingerbread tin can and penguin - were presents from friends last year. As you can see, I have also started with my list and wrapped a couple of presents. I know that there are a lot of people struggling this year due to the global recession, but I am going to do my best to spread a little cheer to the people around me. I encourage everyone to spread joy and love not just this season but every single day. Let's make our world a better place.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Presidential Inauguration 2009

Four million people are expected to attend President-Elect Obama's Inauguration next year. I can't fathom that many people roaming around DC, and the thought of such a huge crowd is suffocating to me. I've never been a crowd person. Actually, the last time I was caught in a crowd was during the La Notte Bianca (White Night) in Rome. You can read more about La Notte Bianca here. I almost fainted at that time, as the streets of Rome were so crowded you've had to physically push people to get through. Going back to 2009's Presidential Inauguration, all hotels are already fully booked for that week, and DC, MD, and VA residents are renting out their houses and apartments. Some houses are even renting at $5000 per night and some even more. As for me, I've decided to rent out my one-bedroom apartment, as I plan to be out-of-town that week. Either my place will be rented or not, I'll be out-of-town anyway, as I don't plan to battle my way through the crowds. I'll be contented watching the Inauguration on TV - somewhere else. To read more about the Inauguration, click here.

So, if you know anyone planning to attend the inauguration but having a hard time finding a place to stay, I have available for rent, a clean, cozy, one-bedroom apartment, walking distance to the Metro, and 25 minutes to Downtown DC by train.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I really like this award. Thank you, Cheryle.

“This blog invests and believes, in ‘proximity’ [meaning, that blogging makes us 'close' - being close through proxy]. These blogs are all charming and they aim to show the marvels of friendship. Let’s give more attention to them! So with this prize we must deliver it to eight bloggers that in turn must make the same thing and put this text.”

The following blogs have bridged friendships amidst geographical distances. Although at times, I couldn't visit these blogs often, I am and will always be a fan. Congratulations!

I’m passing this blog award to:

* My Little Moments
* Little Miss Firefly
* Wits and Nuts
* Sari-Saring Kulay
* Kumareng Grace
* Anything Goes
* Miskina Ano Na Isip
* Muffled Solitude

Monday, November 17, 2008

A DC Moment

I looked at my monitor; it's barely 5 PM. I gazed through the misty glass windows, and it's still raining outside. It's been raining since I woke up this morning. My thoughts were telling me that rain is typical at this time of year. I walked towards the window and looked 11 floors down. Colorful umbrellas adorned the streets. People were rushing to get home as if they're being chased by raindrops. I planned on leaving in thirty minutes, when at the corner of 14th street I spotted a homeless man, sitting on a bench and eating chips under the rain. My heart sank and was filled with pity. I couldn't stop looking at him.

After a few minutes, I saw the homeless man dumped a bunch of chips on the pavement. I guess I was looking at the man too intently that I failed to notice a number of birds have started to convene around him. My heart sank even more as I was touched by this man's generosity. I was delighted to see that more birds flew in to get closer to him. It was free food after all.

I couldn't see the man's face, but he slowly stood up and reached for his cane. He slowly turned towards the birds and out-of-the blue started whacking his unknowing victims. I was taken aback and was filled with shocked. Oh how my thoughts were wrong. I shook my head, got my things and headed home.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Mr. Kia

Weekends are too short, too short to even get enough rest and relaxation. It's already Sunday afternoon, and I've been fighting this feeling of not wanting to go to work tomorrow. After last week's meeting, I felt drained and couldn't get myself to do anything. If there is such thing as a stress bug, I think I've been bitten not once but ten times.

In my years of working, I've always managed my work load efficiently, but it is dealing with difficult people that really puts a strain on me. Aside from preparing for my meeting's logistics, I had to deal with our firm's "know-it-all" (Kia). Kia drove me insane, as he tried to manipulate his way and overpower my decisions. My head felt like a kettle overflowing with boiling water. It was tough containing my anger but still managed to do so. I was fuming inside, but instead of blowing up and be accused of unprofessionalism, I told him to fulfill his part while I do mine. When it got harder to deal with his behavior, I chose to ignore his antics and proceeded with my meeting as the team has planned. Amidst the challenges that I've dealt with, the meeting was a success.

After all Kia's behavior, I still thanked him for all his help. In this lifetime and wherever I am, I treat the people around me as best as I want to be treated. At work, I respect my coworkers and treat each one with respect and courtesy, but it is a different story when a receptionist who thinks he's the manager tries to manipulate or push me around just to get his way.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Hello All,

I've been very busy preparing for a meeting at work. I think this is the last meeting we're sponsoring for 2008, so hopefully, I'll be able to relax after this.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week. Stay safe and well. I'll be visiting your blogs soon.

Best wishes,

Friday, November 7, 2008

What Are You Thinking?

Dear Readers,

For this recent historical event, the US electing the first African-American President, I would like to know your reactions. I have two sets of questions for Filipinos in the Philippines and Filipinos living abroad. Please read the questions and feel free to leave me a long comment. Your answers are not limited to my questions, so if you think there are questions we should be addressing, do let me know. If you know of other people interested to answer these questions, please let them know of this discussion.
  1. Questions for Filipinos in the Philippines: How did you view this election? Do you think the Obama administration will have an impact on Philippine-US relations? Do you think Philippine-US relations will improve under Obama leadership?
  2. Questions for Filipinos living outside the Philippines including the US: How did you view this election? Was the win for Obama a win for minorities specifically Filipinos in the US?
Comment away!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Politics Overdose

Working in DC during the elections is no walk in the park. Two weeks before the big day, radio and TV stations were constantly and irritatingly airing numerous political ads. People at work were debating, asserting and reasserting the parties they belong to. It is so SICKENING. At home, I've tried to avoid watching TV or reading any materials that ventilate politics; work is a different story. Thankfully, I found this channel that airs old TV shows like "Magnum P.I.," "The A-Team," and "Knight Rider," and they don't show political ads at all. These days, it's the only channel I watch. I think there is such thing as "politics overdose."

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Uber Amazing Blog

Thank you mumsified for this "Amazing Blog" award.

Uber (synonym to Super) Amazing Blog Award is a blog award given to sites who:
~ inspires you
~ makes you smile and laugh
~ or maybe gives amazing information
~ a great read
~ has an amazing design
~ and any other reasons you can think of that makes them uber amazing!

Now, I am passing this award to the following:
  • Artemis - for her amazing travel information
  • Angeli - her intelligent writings and thoughts
  • Cheryle - her inspiring and honest writings about life in Korea
  • Jo - for her creative thoughts and ideas ( I was inspired by the 1001 Letters post)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Weekend Update

Our board meeting concluded last week, and I am so relieved (BIG sigh). I was so exhausted on Friday that when I got home, I slumped on my couch and dozed off. It was 8 PM when I awoke to the knocks of "trick or treaters." Mom told me there were a lot of knocks earlier, and that I should take over answering the door. What a mess! I even forgot to get ready for Halloween. Anyway, I still managed to greet and give the ghosts, goblins and witches some sweets. It was a delight to see the kids in costumes. Too bad I didn't get to scare any of them this year. Well, as they say, there's always next year. Mom and I took to cooking on the morning of Saturday. Mom made a simple sweet rice dish while I cooked my oil splattering lechon kawali.

After Halloween, people start preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it was a delight to visit the mall on Saturday and see Christmas decorations already up and glimmering. Stores are either having their after Halloween sale or pre-Christmas discounts. At this time of year, the kid in me lights up to the sight of tin canned chocolates and cookies, decorations of brightly wrapped presents, the presence of Santa Claus taking photos with the kids, and most of all, the sound of Christmas songs playing in the air. To me, Christmas is the best time of the year.

After prowling at the mall, Mom and I went to our favorite store called "World Market," and boy oh boy, they've got all sorts of sweets and Christmas treats from all over the world. I went a bit crazy (what the heck, I went CRAZY) with the tin canned gingerbread cookies and chocolates. I bought a few of my favorites (photo) , and I'm sending some of those to some friends. It was as if, Christmas came early to my house.
Believe me, the shopping was great, but Mom and I also managed to make it a movie weekend. We watched "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and "Journey to the Center of the Earth." Both movies have the very entertaining factor, which is what I needed when all I've been doing the past few days was sit through hours and hours of meetings. I've always been an Indiana Jones movie fan, but I didn't like the incorporation of superior alien beings with skulls/bones made of pure crystal. Anyhow, I'm just glad to see Harrison Ford back as Indiana Jones. As for "Journey to the Center of the Earth," I thought it was a fascinating idea that there'd be an existing world in a world beneath us. I guess that's the work of fiction, to take your mind off from the present undertakings of your current world and transport you to a world of imagination. I clearly needed to be transported to a different time and space, as my current world is so busy, so stressful, and so full of decisions. I need to get away - even for just a few hours.

Well, this is a quick update of what I've been up to. I have another meeting this afternoon and a planning meeting next week. Perhaps after all these, it will be smooth sailing towards the coming holidays. I am in dire need of a vacation because at the moment my mind is numb and spinning.

Happy Monday everyone!