Monday, February 22, 2010

The Longest 4Minutes of my life

It's been awhile since the last time I dragged myself into some nerve-stimulating action. A self-confessed acrophobic (someone with a fear of heights or high places), I decided to try out the rides at Crown Regency Hotel Towers for a taste of fear and excitement. What did it for me was their massive marketing strategy to entice adrenaline junkies like yours truly, ranging from publishing the rides on local magazines, to featuring it on sports show and tv comic stints, to simply word of mouth and mere curiosity.

They say curiosity kills the cat, and in this case, I fell into the trap. After months of discussing plans with some friends we get on board on our first leg of adventure this year. And because I suck at story telling, I opted to incorporate pictures to make the tale easier. So ride on and feel the adrenaline rush.

At around 11 o'clock on a Sunday morning we arrived at the Crown Regency Hotel, one of Cebu's prominent skyscraper claiming to be the country's tallest hotel tower. A busy receiving area full of travelers seated on the couch with handful luggage greeted us as we ushered our way to the elevator. The reception is not as classy and large as I presumed, it had a simple huge sofa, rounding stairs, chandeliers and quite expensive paintings on the wall. We went up to the 19th floor of Tower 2 to pay for our tickets. Since it's almost lunch time, we proceeded to a restaurant that serves authentic Chinese cuisine. It's a buffet style so you can pretty much eat whatever you want. We settled on a table for three at the corner and headed on. The food is well, OK. Alright, delicious but not the mouthwatering kind. Most of the dishes were dry and fried, some looked familiar like the lumpia shanghai, pancit, fried chicken. There were only a couple vegetable dish and what the hell is a century egg by the way? I also have to re-read the tag when I came across with the word "jellyfish"? I didn't know it was edible so to satisfy my ignorance I put a spoonful serving on my plate.

The restaurant had a terrace for you to take on the view of Cebu City while enjoying the cool breeze of the wind making it nearly perfect for an afternoon nap. I bet the place is romantic at night with the city lights combined by the small fountain on the center and the small temple-like structures placed around the handrail with light bulbs on it.

Next stop was the Prana Medispa for my first ever diamond peel. We also tried the 4D theater which was really fun! I've gone to watch movies in 3D but I tell you, you can hardly tell the diference between a regular movie and a 3D (except that the screen becomes closer). But with 4D, movie-going has never been this good.

We still have time to kill before getting on the rides so we explored around the hotel checking out the pool and other areas of interest before finally going up to the sky observatory deck on the 38th floor. There you can see a closer view of Cebu landmarks using a coin operated binocular. When dusk began to settle down, we started moving in for the kill - that is to ride the edge coaster. The thought of getting on that ride moving around the outer rim of the building brings shiver to my spine. Since its already dusky I won't be able to see the busy streets of Jones Avenue right under my nose, where my brains would definitely scatter if God forbids the cable will snap and I will be staring down at death in no time. Oh well the management assured safety is 100% guaranteed. Yet who knows if I'm the most ill-fated person on this planet. Geezz, I'm having morbid thoughts again. Well, I've always been brave even on circumstances when I knew I should have backed out. So with a dauntless mind, which of course is just a facade, I took a seat on the coaster, safely and tightly fastened. Note: the edge coaster will revolve around the 38th floor literally on the edge of the building for approximately 4 minutes. A normal, functioning person would say, oh just 4 minutes? Easy... But mind you, that ought to be the longest 4 minutes of my life.

Here are some pics during the heart stopping ride.

As the coaster began to tilt downward it felt like I'm flying and falling from my seat. I should have intoxicated myself with alcohol so I won't be clinching my hand to the side like a fool trying to hold on for dear life. I wanted to punch the crew right on his face and curse him when he tilted it to 55 degrees. Some thrill seekers might actually love it, looking from the top enjoying Cebu's spectacular panoramic view at dusk time. But in my case, so much for this bravado coz I'm really scared and wanted to cry right there and then. After the ride we were given a certificate for completing the adventure.

As if the edge-hanging ride wasn't good enough, we were itching to try out the skywalk. The skywalk is located at the 37th floor where skywalkers are to wear jumpsuits attached to harnesses and get to walk around the building on metal flooring (there's a glass portion though) which is about half a meter wide. Here's the catch : the flooring is also at the outer rim of the building, no walls or handrails to hold plus the fact that you can't go walk hand in hand with your companion as they won't allow it and should maintain a one arm distance from the person on your front. You've got nothing to hold on to but your scared self. If you're extremely afraid of heights I suggest you skip on this one coz if I were to compare the fear factor of the skywalk and edge coaster, the former has more on it.

To tell you frankly I was more scared on this. The moment I stepped on the flooring my knees went wobbling, I felt dizzy and nauseated. Whenever I try to look down it would feel like an unforeseen force is trying to pull me. We have guides and were very helpful in giving instructions and precautions. The only fun part is the picture taking which is done on designated areas. By the way, bringing of digital cameras are prohibited so we have no choice but to hire the service of their photographer just for a keepsake of this fear conquering stint. If you noticed our stunts - it's all their ideas or should I say those are standard poses. The part where you have to stand one leg at the edge with arms raised, hell, I couldn't bring myself to that. And when we acted like skydiving, I didn't bother to look down (hahaha too afraid).

Anyhow, that was one hella experience. It's worth a try and worth the money in your pocket. If you're gonna ask me if I'd still gonna do it? I think I wanna save my ass to live longer. Besides, I don't wanna end up bones breaking and skull cracking.ΓΌ

Friday, February 19, 2010

Misadventures on my job hunting

Four years ago, I thought to myself this will be the last company I'd join in. My mother has been complaining about my constant job hopping, resigning from one company to another and she's threatening me to better move my ass back to Butuan if this fad continues. I'm nearly convinced I found the niche to my retirement when I was hired in... ooppsss! sorry, I'm not gonna mention the company's name. Besides, I've grown tired answering questions like how do you see yourself five years from now, what are your strengths and weaknesses, tell me about yourself which I'd most certainly want to answer : "read my resume for god's sake it's all in there!" Now, after four years, the boredom syndrome is beginning to resurface. The need to detach from my current work and the urge to settle for another employment becomes imminent. I'm back in the job hunting game again.

Last week I started sending out resume' to a prospect. Fortunately I was called in, no, they texted me actually to come for an exam and interview. I was also told to bring an updated copy of my resume'. I figured the copy I have sent is already updated and if I'm going to bring another copy with me it will be just the same with the one I emailed, so why bother?

I arrived early at the venue together with my colleague who is also on the brink of ditching his job. And just like me, he didn't also bring with him his resume'. We were given the exam and to my surprise it's not the usual abstract reasoning, mind-boggling test that requires your mathematical prowess to be in action. I am to write an essay or letter to a client answering his query about the company's product and services. And since I'm not familiar with their service, or more appropriately what the company is all about, I made assumptions and wrote whatever comes to mind haha!

Now the misadventure starts here.

The interviewer would not let us without our resume'. So off we went looking for a nearby internet cafe and we found one not too faraway from the building. Apparently the joke was on us. Their printer is not functioning. We went outside the IT Park walking under the heat of the sun hoping to stumble yet another internet cafe with a cooperative printer. Thankfully there was one just a few blocks away but there's no vacancy and no printer at the same time. What the heck! So people don't need printers nowadays huh? When asked the incharge if he can recommend another functioning and fully equipped cafe without me fainting before I'm able to get there, he replied that it's about three blocks from their place. Now I'm beginning to suspect that my lying of the real reason why I'm absent is causing the jinx and this printer hunting activity.

Anyway we were able to print our resume' and proceeded with the interview. I actually consider myself to be a veteran on job interviews what with all the countless interviews I've had but I can say on this one I s-u-c-k! Really. Apparently they're looking for someone who has an advanced knowledge in excel. The position requires a lot of generating of reports with the help of the demon of all softwares. Alright, excel! Well, it's not that I don't know how to use it but it's not also like I'm using it everyday. (Unless we're talking about SQL here..geezzz.) Sure I know some conditional formatting but I cannot say I'm on the "advanced" level. Though I kinda had the underdog feeling I was able to finish the interview without my defenses crumbling. I will not be keeping my hopes high on this. I just hope they will consider me for the final interview.

Leasons learned :

Always follow what's on the SMS. If it says bring 20 copies of your resume', so be it. It won't hurt anyway, but going around for like 30 minutes really does.

Brush up on your excel from time to time.

And most importantly, don't be complacent.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

2010 : What's in it for me?

I'm not much a fan of astrology or zodiacs for that matter but I do read horoscope sometimes whenever a newspaper is present, tempting me to leaf through the style section or movie guide instead of the headlines. Year 2010 is year of the Metal /White Tiger according to Chinese astrology. Not only that I'm surprised to learn there's such a thing as "metal tiger" anyway, I mulled on the reality of what might good or bad this year's gonna offer to someone like me.

The year of the tiger is associated with good fortune, power and royalty. To some, tigers are viewed with both fear and respect. The funny thing was when I tried to look at my zodiac, it said "2010 will be a year of competition for those born in the year of the Rooster. In your career, you will face plenty of competition to get up onto a higher rung of the ladder in the company."

Competition is among the dreaded word that can make or break a person. As for me, it is a venue where you can showcase your edge and work at your advantage. It can mold you to become the person you never thought you were. In my case, career-wise speaking, I would love to have an ounce of competition where it will lead me then to the higher rung of the success ladder. I want to see a dramatic change in my career where I can say I made a better choice of staying where I am right now rather than where I'd wanna be. I want those years of hard work, those insurmountable difficulties and adjustments to finally pay off. I've put off and sacrifed a lot of opportunities that come my way because I'm too afraid and unready to take a stab at it. Now I guess is time for me to call the shots and the wisest thing to do is to stop lurking in my lair and get back to competition.

"I hope 2010 will be kinder to me." - that I wrote on my facebook wall before the breaking dawn of January 1st. I'm talking about the emotionally vulnerable side of me, an optimistic, hopeful, wishful, if not prayerful kind of rumination nearly drawing to skepticism and desperation. I've seen myself going through motions and struggles of everyday life where sometimes I wonder what it's like had things been different. I've been to heartaches, dried my tears and been told million lies. (Homaygawd! I can't believe I'm dishing my own personal love story here!!) I'm the perfect semblance of what laughing-outside-but-hurting-inside means. My past relationships were never good and believe me they're always traumatic in the end. I guess all of us at some point will have our own dose of heartaches that will make you wish them dead! But in my case? Damn, screw them all!

So what's in store for me? There's loads of it actually. If only I would trust myself, learn to forgive my mistakes and move forward. I just need to be positive. Who knows, 2010 might just be good for me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Big Lie at the Big Night

February 13, 2010 : The much awaited Big Night of the PBB Double Up. After 4 months of being a faithful follower of this reality show, here I am anxiously sitting on the living room, knees prop up, eyes glued on the boob tube, waiting for the big event to unfold. Early on I have consumed all efforts to save my bet, my one and only big winner - nope, not the MELASON tandem, but Paul Jake Castillo. Yes! I'm declaring this and it's official, I'm one of his huge supporters.

I was actually planning to join the rest of the Pauljakers at Cebu City Hall right infront of Magellan's cross for the live point. But I figured there'll be throngs of peopele so I backed off at the last minute and conveniently stayed at home. Having been watched almost all of PBB's finale, I knew it would be long before midnight when the winner will be finally announced. Good thing there were only a few production numbers so the results were up at 10:30PM.

First they announced the fifth big placer. I knew it's gonna be Tibo but I'm silently praying Johan's name will be called. I noticed PJ seemed to be preparing to stand up. Does he seriously think he got the least votes among the big five? C'mon PJ, if you only knew how your supporters fought and spent those hard-earned money just to get you to the top spot.

Then came the announcement for the fourth big placer. Not a single doubt in my mind that it's gonna be Johan, and yes, there he goes. Now it's only between Jason, PJ and Melai. I'm nervous, sweating, edgy on my seat like I'm testifying for a sensational court trial. If this is gonna be the worst night as in PJ comes out as third placer, I'm sure as hell that I'm gonna put a bullet on their head. Oh I'm just kidding. I'm no bloody criminal and I don't wanna be on trial contrary to what I said earlier. And they're prolonging my agony. Gosh why do they have to do this??? And... yes! Jason got the third place yeehhheeeyyy!!! I jumped off my seat like some lunatic idiot. Prior to that, I'm seriously thinking about rallying my sentiments if ABS had deliberately manipulated the result.

So it's now down to PJ and Melai. Though I have expected this scene, the jittery feeling is getting worse. Somewhere deep in my recesses knew that Melai will get away with the title but a part of me is still hoping that God will hear my silent prayer. Dear Lord just let it be PJ and I can go peacefully in my slumber. Hearing the result I couldn't be more upset, disappointed and disheartened. Melai indeed won the title. She's the big winner. And my PJ (my??? where did it come from?) was second to her. For a moment I couldn't move, my sight went pass to the television screen, I slumped to my seat feeling weak.

I was in denial. I absolutely can't believe it's happening. When Paul Jake walked through the stage charming as ever donning his killer smile, receiving the huge check, hugging his parents and his girlfriend, thanking his supporters, I couldn't care less. He looked soooo happy and contented. Guess I should learn to accept it and be happy as well. He may not have won the title but he won the hearts of the many who were inspired by him, moved by his passion and unyielding determination. After all, what matters is how you perceive that person when he showcased himself inside the house... and that makes him my one true BIG WINNER.

To PJ, I know you won't be able to read this post. We haven't met (though we're treading on the same ground), you don't know me and I don't know you personally too, but you served as my inspiration. To see you in flesh is probably the most outrageous wish I've ever made.

To the Pauljakers, I've said this already and I'm saying it again, it's a well-fought battle and like the rest of you, I'm proud of PJC!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Here I go again! (I thought I'm over this? or so I thought)

It was seven years ago when I decided to jumpstart my career in Cebu. Initially, I planned to stay for about 3-4 years, gain enough experience then go back to Butuan or try my luck abroad. I didn't know I would have so much emotional attachment in this place. Yes! Cebu has been my second home. And many times in my regular, everyday, humdrum life did I thought of finally settling down here. I found so many friends. Met interesting and promising individual. Opportunities come here and there. The active and always-on-the-go kind of lifestyle suits me. I never thought I'd miss home at one point. But I was wrong.

Last year, I have this funny feeling of wanting to go back home. I've thought of giving up everything I have started. I just want to be home. Start anew. Start fresh (Well, that would probably be the case since there are only a few well-paid jobs in Butuan, as much as I know.) When I went home for the holy week, that's when I knew I missed home terribly. I miss life's simplicity. The simple joys. The comfort of your own room. The peace of mind like no other. In Butuan, you can roam around the streets at midnight without having to fear that someone is stalking behind the dark waiting to lunge their sharp paws and teeth on you. I'm not talking about werewolves and vampires here. Let's leave that to Stephanie Meyer. Butuan is peaceful. Yeah sure there are petty crimes (which city doesn't have though?) But it's not like an everyday occurence that drives every not-so-sane people to think it's normal to kill and hurt each other.

Okay, going back to the main topic...

Sometimes I'd thought heading home is not so much of an ideal decision to make as I have to look into the viability and possibility of me getting the kind of job I want, the perks and the pay - of course! But I want to be with my family more often. I realized I had passed time on them. Even my dog is no longer comfortable with me. She (my dog, Pipper) will soon forget that I was once her master, hmp!

These and a lot more reasons began to cloud in my head. Lately, I became bored with my job. I'm burnt with it. Hellooooo???!! I've been doing this stuff for over 3 years, 3 months and 24 days to be exact! It's routinary, monotonously mind-numbing. I'm beginning to feel sick of it. Many times I had to feign interest and motivation just to prop myself up every waking day of my life. (How poetic!) My consternation in this employment also played a big part in this repugnance. My expectations were not met and the notion that I'm on my way to the dead-end tunnel starts to chill me. One time I posted a comment on my facebook account that drew a huge attention and reaction among friends and colleagues alike. I don't know if they were able to decipher the substance behind the line. But as far as I am concerned, that was exactly what I'm feeling at that moment.

Now I'm still pondering whether to stay or leave? Go or let go? If I'm leaving, then which road shall I take? The one where I used to trudge in? Or the one I'm starting to even out? I'm confused. Bewildered. Baffled. As the song goes, I'm at the crossroad. Every direction poses an opportunity. A decision which sooner or later needs to be acted upon. A direction that would alter the way things are today. Sooner or later I need to embark on a new journey. It's just a matter of when. When I'm braver. When I'm ready. When it's definitely time.

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