happy ending

i attended my nephew's commencement last friday and among the things that struck me was that two of the graduating students who delivered a speech both reminisced about their early days in the school they were now about to leave.  they even had identical lines:  "i still remember the first time i entered the gates of <the school>..."

the first time i heard it, i was just, 'awww...'

then when i heard it again from the second speaker, i was like, 'whoa!  the same?!'

i am sure they did not copy from each other.  and i was just thinking, when you reach milestones you do tend to look back at the journey that you have taken.

you recall the initial steps, the challenges and difficulties, the times you almost gave up, the tears, oh, yeah, the laughter and smiles, the people, the things, the Almighty that pulled you through.  every single one has made the culmination such a sweet victory to savor.  the pains fade into the background far outshone by the joys of having emerged triumphant.

: )


received e-mail from my bank saying:


then fine print has:

"*Discount does not apply to sale items.  Category and brand exclusions apply."

hmmm...  i understand sale items.  but category and brand exclusions?  that's not at all "ALL," is it?

i think they should just remove the phrase "on all items" in that mailer...  retain the fine print, of course...

memory gap

friend tells me she hasn't been to eastwood...

me:  'huh?!  we were there together...'

friend:  'i haven't been there...'

me:  'you have!  the zorb, the bungee, the live statues...'

friend:  'i don't remember...'

me:  'the gourmet market?  the walk of fame?'

friend looks at me funny:  'i really don't remember...'

well, i sent her *her own* facebook album from almost two years ago with 68 photos at eastwood...

me:  'you said you haven't been to eastwood...  who's this?  your twin?  ; )'


i choked...

me:  'number!'

sister:  '10!  wait, not 10...  let's try something different...'

me:  'huh?!  can you change that?'

me:  'i always give you 10...  let's make it 10,000...'


anyway, 10 is easily J.  10,000, i checked later, is 16  ->  P.

i don't think the first number you blurt out can be changed in the first place (hahaha...  serious, eh?!).  second, i can't think of any P right now but J's, there's more than one.  i guess i'm sticking with J....  ; )


about to leave parking, i asked the guard how much i have to pay.

he said P25.

i handed him P50.  he wrote me a receipt, handed it to me with my change and, before i can even say anything, biked away.

aw...  i had planned to give him a tip for accompanying me to the parking slot.  oh, well...

when i was putting the change in my wallet, however, i saw that he gave me only P21.  a twenty peso bill and a one-peso coin.  hmmm...  dunno whether that was intentional.  the one-peso and five-peso coins are of different colors.  i was planning to give him the P5 if he hadn't left so quickly.  now he ended up with only P4.

not to accuse or anything but i was just thinking, when you impose kindness, you get less than what you would have been voluntarily given.

young and old

mom and colleague talking...

mom:  'how old is <toot>?'

colleague:  '60...'

mom:  'oh...  still young...'

ooops...  hehe...

i suddenly remembered something from way back...  these contractors of ours were talking and contractor 1 asked about the age of someone in the project...

contractor 2:  'oh, he's already old... he's already 24...'

that time i was about 30 and suddenly i felt ancient...  ;"}

logic (or lack of it)

dad wanted me to google missing planes...

me to sister, corny mode on:  'they're missing...  how on earth do i find them?'

sister:  'if it's not missing then why would you search for it?'

1 - 0 in favor of sister...  ; )

doing a buffett

my mom told me that my gains are just on paper because i don't sell.  she, on the other hand, regularly trades in the stock market.

me:  'mom, we're different.  you buy to sell.  i'm here to keep.  you're speculating.  i'm investing.'

as the tagline of baron funds goes:

"It's about the investment.  Not the market."


= = = = =

from the Wealth Wizards gallery by Forbes:

“I had been involved in short sales for a couple years, and the managing partner, a senior trader, called me in. He said ‘Ron, you’re a very good analyst, but you’re wasting your time on short sales; show me the short sellers’ yachts.’”

-  Ron Baron
   Baron Capital

phone banking

uuuhhh.. i called my card company and i could overhear a conversation in the background, i dunno whether between another agent and customer... i wonder whether some other caller can hear my phone banker, too... that's a no-no, huh! you're supposed to safeguard the privacy and confidentiality of data and convrersations specially if you're talking credit card numbers...


received e-mail from an online retailer saying i won in their Thanks-A-Million Giveaway (they've reached 1 million facebook fans).  my prize?  15% off my next purchase...

the message came with another e-mail announcing that they just turned 2 and are having 20% off storewide...

i won so i'm paying 5% more, eh?  nyahaha...  toinks!!!

ei, the anniversary discount applies 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. of march 18 only.

my prize is valid 24/7 until march 24.

still ahead except for two hours...  ; )


i have this shirt that i stained on a mountain years back.  i've washed and worn it, just around the house, a handful of times since then.

the way i wash, i soak my laundry in detergent overnight.  following day, i drain and again soak overnight, this time in water.  day 3, i drain, soak at least an hour in water, rinse and hang.  all the soaking and rinsing i do in the washing machine.  nope, i don't spin; i don't wring; i'd just nudge my clothes here and there to even out the distribution.  uhm, i basically just use the washing machine as a big basin.

my officemate made a remark before how my old clothes still look new, hehe.  (she knew my dress was old because she has seen it from waaaaayyy back.)  i think it's the way i wash that has preserved the clothes (and the dirt?  eeewwww!).

anyway, going back to the stained shirt, i wore it then included it in the pile my mom had for her laundrywoman.  she uses a washing machine (this time as a real washing machine) but she also manually washes and scrubs some parts of the clothes as well.

guess what, when my shirt came back, the stain was no more!  whaaaat???!!!  i was sooo surprised!!!  something that has been stained for years was, in the right hands, suddenly rendered practically spotless again!  wow!!!

it was just a shirt but what happened triggered all these super positive feelings inside me.  i felt so happy and hopeful and blissful and reassured.  i was thinking, that must be how God works in us, he pardons our sins and suddenly we are cleansed...  :")

it's me

me, thinking to myself:  'what again did my mom do, how come this cable would not fit in her cam?'

then i realized it was my phone cable i was trying to insert in the camera...

ooops...  sorry...  mea culpa...  :"}

so well remembered

i asked my mom how many shares she has of this certain stock...

she gave me an exact figure  ->  and it wasn't at all a round one...  whoa!  i was surprised!  i have just a few and i keep on forgetting how many i have of each one...  she has an extensive portfolio and she trades regularly and yet she remembers to that detail?!  (or maybe that is precisely why she remembers?)

hmmm...  God came to mind...  no matter how many we are, no matter how much change happens in our lives, He knows every single detail about us...  :")

hearing things

me:  'what's your best sandwich?'

crew:  'our bestseller, ma'am, is the reuben...'

me:  'a, reuben...  ok...  one more...  what else?  you personally, which of your items do you like best?'

crew:  '<i hear> chu-chu-chu...'

i burst into chuckles:  'what?'

crew:  '<i hear> pikachu...'

me:  'hehe...  sorry...  could you please spell?'

crew:  'chicken, ma'am, and katsu...'

me:  'ahhh...  chi-katsu...'

next time, check the menu...  ; )

when i did later, i found out that it's chuckatsu...

pi day

mom mentions sales...

me:  'oh...  is it pi day today?'

mom:  'yes...'

me:  'did they have items selling for 3.14?'

mom:  'huh?!'

me:  'pi...  3.1416...  it's march 14 today, right?  3...  14...  pi day...'

mom:  'oh...  i thought you said friday...'

me:  'hehe...  i said pi...'

mom:  'well, the sale at SM is a payday sale...'

haha...  pay, pi, fri-...  whatever...  the important thing is there's a sale...  ; )

no lies

lenten season...  friday...  there's mongo on the dining table...

dad could not make sense of what he's eating...  he says it does not quite taste like the mongo dishes he has had before...

mom laughs:  'it's my first time to cook mongo...'

dad:  'oh...  that's why...'

mom:  'i saw paksiw na lechon on the table...  it's friday, so i cooked mongo...'

dad:  'where's the paksiw?'

mom:  'i set it aside...'

dad:  'let me have some...'

mom:  'it's friday...'

me:  'you're exempted...  it's ok...'

mom brings out the paksiw...

sister:  'what grade would you give for her mongo?'

dad chuckles:  'oh...  not now...'

sister:  'first-timer...  you give her a grade...'

dad:  'no...  don't grade...  not yet...'

sister:  'first attempt...  just give her a grade...'

dad:  'no.'

if you have nothing good to say...

; )

double check

i withdrew money from this branch...  put it in an envelope right at the counter...  walked to the car...  drove to this bank...  parked right in front...  entered...  went to the kiosk to make an online appointment (uhm, that's how i 'legitimately' jump the queue...  :"} )...  sat down...  called as the third customer...  handed the envelope to the teller...

teller puts bills in the money counter...  whoa!  it was short by a thousand!

me:  'that's only N?!  it's supposed to be N+1...'

teller retries the money counter...  this time it registered N+1...

me:  'whew!  i thought there was a missing thousand...'

teller:  'you did turn red, ma'am...'

me:  'that came straight from the bank...  i didn't do anything...'

teller:  'you didn't count, ma'am?'

me:  'no...  they had that (money counter) as well so i didn't anymore...'

lesson learned:

machines are not infallible...  do count your money before leaving the counter...

brighten someone's day

i gassed up this afternoon and there was a newbie gasoline boy at the station...  someone was teaching him the ropes and my car was the training vehicle, hehe...

so this guy was teaching him how to open the hood...  how to close it...  how to check the oil, etc...  ok...  quite easily done...

then he cleaned my windshield, again under supervision...  whoa!  this one was a big surprise...  i'm so used to these gasoline boys cleaning my windshield and they made it look so easy, as in, just one pass per area, and here was a newbie who had to make several passes to remove the soap and water completely...  the supervisor was telling him his wrist should be like this...  he should hold the squeegee a certain way...  blah, blah, blah...  wow!  i haven't tried it myself but i didn't know 'squeegeeing' the windshield was a skill...

then he put air in my tires...  wahaha...  instead of inflating one, he was deflating it!  the supervisor was not at all happy and looked really stern...  the newbie seemed really nervous...  through it all, i tried to put on my friendliest and most understanding face...

when he was done, i jokingly asked him, 'you sure my tires are ok?  i'm not gonna go flat?'

he replied, 'no, ma'am...'  ->  without conviction, wahehe...

well, i gave him a generous tip...

he suddenly broke out into a really happy smile!



i transferred funds from my savings account to my BPI Trade Account yesterday, march 10, 2014, 10:33 a.m.  (BPI Trade is the online stock trading platform of BPI Securities Corporation.)  up to now the amount is not yet reflected in my BPI Trade Account.

when you try to place an order, there is a pop-up as well saying, "BPI Trade order entry is currently unavailable."

i call the number in the pop-up (89-100, the BPI Express Phone hotline).  the one who picked up transferred me to another phone banker.

the second phone banker tells me i dialed the wrong number.

i tell her i didn't dial anything, my call was just transferred to her.

she tries to assist me and gives me the numbers of BPI Securities.

i call BPI Securities.  i was told that there is ongoing system maintenance.  hmmm...  system maintenance during trading hours???  (i called at 9:38 a.m.)

i asked whether that means i could not trade.

the answer was yes.

i asked what the alternative was.

the reply i got was, 'there is no alternative.'

me:  'no alternative???'

BPI Securities:  'there is system maintenance so none.'

me:  'are you sure?'

BPI Securities:  'yes...  because there is system maintenane.'

me:  'i was IT so i know what system maintenance is...  i mean, don't you have a workaround or manual procedure?  don't tell me once you're down you'll stop trading...  a big company like you should have offline procedures in place...'

BPI Securities:  'we have manual but i'll still have to check with compliance...  i'll call you once we're up...'

hmmm...   he didn't get my number but i did tell him my name...  let's see whether i'll get that call...

happy giver

i gave my cousin a shower head like mine...  when i brought it to their house, her daughter said to me:  'aw, she likes that...  she's been checking it out in the store a long time...  did she tell you?'

me:  'oh?  no...  i just thought of giving her that because i like it very much...'

i like to give gifts that
1.  i myself like
2.  i know the recipients like but won't buy for themselves

i thought this fell under the first...  turns out it's under both...  i am doubly happy...  : ))


mom doing facebook... both of us watching 'the biggest loser pinoy edition doubles'... she turns to me to say something... she was taken aback and let out a chuckle: 'what's with you???'

wahehe... tears flowing down my face -> copious! elimination -> i was so moved by the goodbyes for the journey-enders, bien and mai... :'(

ugh! songs, movies, whatever, i'm so weepy... :"}

the letter of the law

last night over dinner, my mom reminded us that today being Ash Wednesday, we are supposed to observe fasting and abstinence.


i normally eat only two meals a day, brunch and dinner.  i had planned to have only one meal for today, the breakfast i had before leaving the house.  driving on a hot mid-afternoon, however, i suddenly felt hungry and thirsty.  i wanted to shrug it off but then i thought it wouldn't be good to be on the road feeling like that so i entered a grocery and got a loaf of bread and a liter of chocolate drink.  uhm, i could just have gotten water but then i wanted to meet the minimum requirement for credit card payments, i.e., a one-hundred peso purchase...  : }

i went to pick up my sister and while waiting for her at their office canteen, i ate a bit and drank a lot and the leftover bread and chocolate drink i had wanted to give away to the stall owners having snacks nearby.  i thought, however, that if i did, i'd be contributory to their non-observance of fasting.  i therefore decided to just stash away the bread in my bag while the liter-pack drink i just held in my hands.

from the canteen, i transferred to the office lobby.  it turns out my sister would be working overtime.  my waiting time lengthened therefore.  i was really tempted to offer the bread and drink to the guards.  i was thinking, however, if you can't be good, at least don't take others with you.  so there...  i tried to resist the temptation.

i fiddled with my phone but every now and then my eyes would turn to the liter-pack in front of me and i'd think of giving it away.  look, look away...  look, look away...  look, look away...  until i just found myself asking the guard whether they are allowed to eat at the lobby.

the guard said yes.

upon hearing that i just sort of mechanically gave him my drink and bread.  uh-oh...

then guess what, i heard him offering to share the bread and drink with the other guards!  waaaahhhh!!!  spreading badness!  huhuhu...  i felt really uneasy...

then suddenly i remembered:  it is not what goes into a person's mouth that makes him ritually unclean; rather, what comes out of it makes him unclean.  (Matthew 15:11)

hmmm...  that eased the guilt somehow...

prayers that God will look kindly on me...


picked up a doc this afternoon...

me:  'sir, where's the GMO building?'

guard:  'MGO building, ma'am...  there, the one with red lines...'

me:  'aw, sorry...  thank you...'

i had in mind genetically-modified...  : }

= = = = =

inside the building...

me:  'miss, where do you claim stock certificates?'

receptionist:  '2nd floor, ma'am...  that way...  through the red door...'

me:  'the fire exit?!'

the fire exit indeed!  : }


a few years back, i had this Q&A in formspring (now spring.me):

"If you could be on the cover of any magazine, which would you choose?

sports illustrated swimsuit edition... LOL!"

well, the 50th anniversary sports illustrated swimsuit issue came out the other week and since i couldn't be on the cover (hahahahaha!!!  lolololololsss!!!), i decided to just change my facebook profile pic to a swimsuit pic...  nothing skimpy...  just a tankini...  (i've since changed back to my usual kiddie profile pic...  the swimsuit one was up for only three days...)

well, my mom went to our province over the weekend and when she came back, she was asking me about my swimsuit pic...

me:  'which one?'

mom:  'the one in facebook...'

she says several people there told her about it...

oh...  really???  ahahaha...  whatever for?!?  ; p

hmmm...  my mom is my facebook friend but she is on my restricted list...  and i've turned off display of my activities on her newsfeed...  she freaks out at my tendency to post anything and everything (i trip, i post it...  i make a fool of myself, i post it...)...  and she especially doesn't like it when i post pics of our food...

now she tells me she wants to see the swimsuit pic others have told her about...  my mom is no prude and the pic is not at all lewd but i have a feeling she's not gonna be happy with it...  : }

oh, well...  so much for covers, hiding and exposing...  ; p

when the cat is away

mom leaving for an overnight trip...

mom:  'i left my shopwise card, SM advantage card, rustan's card, laking national card on the table...'

me:  'why?'

mom:  'you might want to use...'

uhm...  we don't dash out on a shopping spree when you're not around, mom...  ; )

three's company

my nephew's lovebirds pecking on a guava... isn't that a hard fruit? anyway, looks so cute... :")

btw, it's not just a pair of lovebirds... there are three of them in the cage... yup, love triangle! and it seems like they're fine with it...

the birds are different from you and me...