Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sa Lahat Ng Mga Nagduda....

Sa lahat ng mga nagsabing puro drawing lang ako. Sa lahat ng mga nagduda sa planong ito.

I'm sorry. Tuloy na tuloy na ang Overdrive Italia 2014, kasama ang mga best travelling companions ko!

I still can't believe this. BAKASYON NA AKO!!!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

An Overdose of Historical Tidbits

I discovered Ambeth Ocampo’s books. And I was really overwhelmed by the historical tidbits I read in these books.

I am a history-lover. I don’t care if it’s dry and dense. I can handle that. That’s how I love history. I enjoyed it more when I read Ocampo’s articles about Philippine History. He has an enjoyable way of approaching history and a very amusing perspective of it.

The problem with our history is that it is mostly fabricated to become legendary, to the point of reaching the levels of being biblically supernatural. With Ambeth Ocampo, our history becomes real and candid and even more interesting.

In his book “Rizal Without the Overcoat”, we see more of Rizal’s humanity and understand his way of thinking. What I particularly liked is how Ocampo narrated Rizal’s life as an expatriate. It felt so similar with the plight of most Filipino expatriates like me. It made me appreciate Rizal more than ever. And Makamisa is a must to read if you can't get enough of Noli and El Fili.

It’s approaching Philippine history with an attitude.

The Things I Really Learned While Climbing the Ladder to the Top

I need to be honest, I did all those shit I wrote in my previous entry. Kung may asshole kayo sa workplace niyo, malamang ay kadugo ko yon. Hehehe!

And no, hindi ako nagtatrabaho sa corporate world. Don’t imagine that I’m wearing a suit and tie while staring at the computer the whole day. I’m just an ordinary second-rate citizen working in a fast-food restaurant.

But that’s my testimony- from one who’s flipping burgers all day to becoming one of the slave-drivers of the nation. I’m not saying that I am successful. I’m just lucky to be upgraded in a work that I passionately hate. It pays the freakin’ rent.

Ganon na talaga kahirap sa Italy. May mga katrabaho nga din ako na mga dating architect at mga managers ng iba’t ibang office. They’re all flipping burgers now.

Wala namang masama. It’s just that sometimes people consider our job as a joke. But believe me, in all these years of dealing with people who want to eat burgers, we suddenly realized that even the big-time executives of some big time company can be a complete asshole and utterly stupid when they ask for a simple burger. And that, my friend is one of the many evidences that those who work in a fast-food restaurant are not total losers.

But I’m digressing.

I just want to share what I really learned from all this shit.

To tell you the truth, hindi lahat ng kagaguhan na ikinuwento ko ang nagdala sakin mula sa rank ng mga aliping sagigilid. Sipag at tiyaga lang talaga mga kapatid. Well, at least in my case, it’s all about being patient… because one has no other option. Hindi naman talaga ako masipag. Magaling ako sa petiks.

I served many of those managers and supervisors as if they had the power of life and death over me. They can be real human exploiters. Minsan nagtrabaho pa nga ako para sa kanila ng isang buong araw… free. Hindi nako nag reklamo. Hindi ko na isinumbong sa kahit anong labor union.

You see kapag manager ka at supervisor sa fast-food resto na ito, big time ka talaga. Madaming perks at privileges din.

Hindi ko pinangarap ang umangat sa trabaho ko, pero sabi ko I cannot be a slave for the rest of my life kaya tiniis ko talaga sila at ang kakarampot na sweldo ko.

Ilang beses nagpapalit-palit ng mga director ang branch namin. Yung una ay The Bitch Incarnate. She’s gone now. Ako ang naging scapegoat ng mga galit sa kanya para mapalayas siya. Ok lang naman and I hope she’s burning in hell, hahaha! Sumunod sa kanya ay ang tinawag kong Imperial Vicereine. She’s really smart and capable, but she can sometimes be a real bitch. Wala nga lang talaga makakatalo sa kanya. Na promote na siya ngayon at “business consultant” na siya, overseer ng maraming branches ng fast-food chain. May isang mabait na tawagin na lang natin King of Hearts (here's his story) dahil naging underlying issue ang lovelife niya. Umalis din. Sumunod sa kanya ang Virgin Queen, isang tomboy na hindi mo maintindihan ang timpla ng utak. It was the Virgin Queen who gave me the chance to be promoted. 

Isipin mo, pinaglingkuran ko ang Imperial Vicereine and her company ng walang patid at parang tunay na aliping sagigilid, pero ibang tao ang nagsukli ng kabutihan.

Kahit yung nauna sa kanya, nagpasa din pala noon ng recommendation para sa aking promotion. Pero etong mga pinaglingkuran ko eh wala. They had a favourite (here's another story). At hindi ako yon.

Sa totoo lang naman kasi, hindi ako masipag o magaling sa trabaho, pero kung anong sabihin nila, gagawin ko.

Na realize ko na totoo din pala talaga ang sinasabi ng matatanda- ang may tiyaga, may nilaga. Gumawa ka ng mabuti at magtiyaga ka dahil isang araw may magsusukli sayo ng kabutihan din. Patience is a virtue. Good things come to those who wait.

In some ways, nakabuti din yung mga kagaguhan kong ipinayo sa previous post ko. Pero naisip ko na it is important talaga na you have a set of ethics, and that you have a positive outlook in your job anuman yang trabaho na nakuha mo, because one way or another, promotion will come.

Kaya magsipag at magtiyaga lang kayo!

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Some Tips for Aspiring Suck-ups

Sawa ka na ba sa status mo sa trabaho bilang number one target ng mga power-trippers sa trabaho? You’re not happy anymore with your shitty salary? Do you want more in life? Do you dream of being the next power-tripper in your workplace?

A year ago, I said “Yes” to all these questions. And here I am- promoted and working like an a-hole in our workplace.

What’s the secret? Well, isang bagay ang meron kang impressive educational background. Hindi education o college degree ang secret ko. At dahil sa hindi ako nakatungtong sa kahit anong pamantasan eh wala talaga ako maipagmamalaki.

This post is for all the mediocre folks out there like me who are struggling to get ahead and reach the top. I’m gonna tell you the secrets of ass-kissing your way to the top. Oo, you have to kiss the asses of those in power.

1.      Be the Official Favorite Pet- Ihatid mo. Sunduin mo. Go shopping together. Sabay kayo kumain lunch or dinner. Host a party for her or him. Inuman session kung mahilig kang uminom. Alila lang ang peg sa simula, kapag lumambot na ang puso ng slave-driver mong boss, he will eventually make you his/her personal pet. You’ll get better treatment, but no promotion. But in case somebody picks up a fight with you or badgers you at work, you can be sure that the boss will always take care of his pet.
2.      Learn the art of flattering-This is a weapon that is silent but deadly. Alamin mo ang kiliti ng mga nakatataas. Slave-drivers and power-trippers are self-centered bitches/assholes. Make sure to tirelessly praise them for their work or their hairdo or outfit or even their fart. But be soave and subtle so as not to seem exaggerated or cause suspicions. Sometimes, the best flattery is copying. Make his hobbies your hobbies. If he drinks black coffee, then drink one and bring some for your boss too. She’s a passionate Samsung user, then throw your Apple gadgets and adopt Samsung gadgets!
3.      In the advent of a conflict, stand in the eye of the storm- Bosses from hell are in constant conflict with other people, whether their subordinate or superior. Don’t be too quick to take sides. Stand in the eye of the storm where it is clearer and calmer. Be quick to divert any discussion about a certain conflict so you won’t be obliged or tempted to express an opinion about the matter. Observe and see who’s winning the battle. And once the battle is over, kiss the ass of the victor.
4.      Never say things that has never been said before- When your boss wants to backstab his enemy by dishing out his enemies dirt with you, be careful to not to add anything. Put your pokerface and try to look as if you’re interested. Contribute to the conversation by asking questions or expressing innocent remarks but never an opinion on the matter or adding information that you’re boss do not know. This is to protect you from any accusation of being a back-stabber.
5.      Make them believe that you are exclusively dependent on them- power-trippers and slave-drivers are immensely full of themselves. They believe that the whole universe revolves around them. Make them believe that you are learning everything from them. This will please them and consider you not anymore a pet or his page or her lady-in-waiting. You will become the apprentice, the crown prince, the dauphin.
6.      Understand the trend among the higher ranking superiors- Try to gain information on which manager is highly favoured by the highest ranking boss of the company. This will help you to be able to pledge your allegiance not only the right powers but it will perfectly align you in the presence and knowledge of the highest ruler of the company.
7.      Consider that everything is personal- power-trippers and slave-drivers are drama queens of their own soap opera. Work is about how they felt that day, or how he feels about a certain dilemma. Pretend always that his enemies are your enemies too. Expect that many things will be unethical. If you keep in mind that everything is personal, then you will be able to prevent yourself from being caught up in unethical situations.
8.      Be everybody’s friend- you must make them believe that you are his friend, that you are her best friend, that you are the trustworthy confidant. A friend of everyone is a friend of none.

Do these and soon you’ll be in that special office with your name hanging on the door. Soon you will be parking your car in that reserved space for you. And you’ll be fanning those bills of money in your own apartment.

Congrats you bastard!

It's Our Voice

Lyca is the one and true champion of The Voice Philippines Kids Edition. Does she deserve it? Yes. Is my opinion debatable? Yes, it is still debatable because we respect that funny invention of the Greeks called ‘democracy’ and that hilarious thing invented by Westerners called ‘freedom of speech’.

I would like to address the 100,000,000 horny people in that fun-packed archipelago in Asia and tell you this: LYCA IS THE TRUE VOICE OF THE PHILIPPINES.

It is true and non-debatable that Darren is indeed the better singer. He has a formidable technique in singing, good style in music and appearance. His image certifies him as the ideal poster boy for another commercially produced album full of revived hits in the US and no original song. The same goes for the other contestants.

And Lyca? Her voice has an incredible quality but lacks command of it. She’s sometimes flat when she tries to hit high notes. But she is fierce when she sings and I love it. But technically speaking, she is the underdog.

I’m not really fond of reality shows or talent shows such as The Voice, but I got interested when I saw my boss in full campaign mode, encouraging other pinoys here in Florence to vote for Lyca. And I was like, WTF? When I went to look it up in the Internet, the show was already over, Lyca was the grand champion, and Filipinos were already debating who should’ve won and were passionately bashing Sen. Nancy Binay’s hot-air balloon dress.

Let’s admit it. Lyca won because of the drama.

But if you look at what happened closely, there’s more to this drama. It is the reflection of a nation who has a very particular view of what talent is.

Like what Her Universal Potentate Jessica Zafra once said, “We are a nation of drama queens.” From the very beginning it was never about the voice. It was always about the drama, the struggle of an individual to reach the high peak of success and live his dream.

We judge talent according to what our instinct say, or how many buckets of tears came out from our eyes. As a people, objectivity is never our forte, not even common sense. We ignored Charice when she was in the Philippines, but when we saw her exalted in Korea and worshipped by Oprah, we claimed her as one of our stars. We were not even significant in Arnel Pineda’s rise to fame, but when the US discovered his talent, we suddenly hear Pineda’s golden voice enlightening our souls. Why? Because we don’t really see talent, unless it has been blessed by America or some other foreign corporation.

On the other hand Kris Aquino is everywhere- from politics, to showbiz, to venereal diseases, and many other shits, because it is assumed that she’s an icon. And we are practically polishing Anne Curtis to become Philippines’ Celine Dion, and she barely knows how to act.

As for other artists- all white-skinned, Belo-fied, with that annoying English-twang. And we love them for that. We fucking love them that if they had a sex video we will be throwing FAMAS awards at them for their impressive performance and drama while banging on the wall. We would even fuck up the elections and make them senators or President of the Republic.

It is still a relief that sometimes we are still capable of doing something that could really contribute to the progress of humanity. One example is electing Miriam Defensor Santiago as a Philippine senator.

And making Lyca win the competition is perhaps one of the few noble things we did as a people.

Lyca is not fair-skinned. She’s poor. She didn't go to school. She can’t even speak English decently, and could not even understand it. It was really moving to see her mother coaching her in reading the lyrics of a song in English- a genuine second-rate trying-hard Dorina. The street was her life coach. The street taught her how to sing. Poverty managed her career from house-to-house performances up to the honourable entablado of baranggays during fiestas.

She is one of the majority- that large number of people who vote for artistas, venerate Willie Revillame, and belt out novelty songs and hits by Aegis. The kind of people that are, according to Bianca Gonzalez, pampered like a baby by the government.

Her musical prowess and talent will never be appreciated by so-called Filipinos who claim to be proud of pinoy talent and music, but still prefers American music artists. Her victory will never be understood by pseudo-coƱos, feelingeras, colegialas, and the elite and savvy.

I am a hypocrite. I can never ever identify myself with the masa. If I were really in to this reality/talent shows, I would perhaps vote for somebody else other than Lyca

But inside me, I am deeply joyful and happy that Lyca won. I like to see people slowly achieve their dreams. And I like the fact that as a people, Filipinos helped one of their own to reach the top and achieve a better life.

I am happy that Lyca won. God has spoken. The people chose the one. It’s Lyca.