I scream for Phil

I don’t get why

The poor becomes poorer

The rich becomes richer

Innocent is incarcerated

Contrite is freed

Those who should be crying are laughing

Those who should be laughing are crying

I’ve had enough

I’ve had seen every single thing

Yet for long remained silent and torpid

Now listen to the uproars of my heart

Hear my intentions

Our country has never changed

Only the people that dwells on it

Power has become our God

And money as the ultimate measure of influence

When will we wake up?

To change

To care

To take pride

To love

To fight

I couldn’t do much except to keep asking

I am just a one tiny voice and even when I scream out loud

I still can’t be heard

But

Perhaps, if you scream with me

Someone from above will hear the echoes of our broken hearts.

So, scream.

I love you Phil.

Fix us all and bring back our high hopes to humanity.

There is still time.

I scream.

I scream, I Love you Phil. I smile for I still believe in my countrymen.

Special each moment

I never thought this day would be special

Because I always feel special even though it’s not Valentine’s Day.

Flowers, I get bouquets during heavy rains

Cakes, I get boxes when melancholic

Chocolates, I get tons when ill

Cuddly toys ,I don’t need to say a word.

Prayers, a lot more than you can ever imagine

Understanding, every millisecond

Support, as always

Love, unconditional and no measure

How could it be so perfect?

It is not.

It is seeing perfections in every flaws.

Taking every scrutiny as a compliment

To modestly relinquish despair and embrace confidence

To be just grateful under any circumstance

Life is not perfect

A cliche we all know

Yet, it could be perfect with the way we grasp and understand

Happy Heart’s Day to all fellows closest to my heart.

Today is not just for lovers. It’s a day with God, family, friends, colleagues and even with yourself. Spend it well.

Colossal Dream

Life looks a little different for people with Lupus. Some are able to live a normal life while others have to deal with the outward effects of the disease, depending on the severity.

 I was diagnosed 6 years ago with a disease admittedly I haven’t heard before. It started with a joint pain and a flu-like symptoms to which I thought was just the result of successive overtime at work. Not long after, I was feeling feverish, having rashes all over and getting more joint pain. It didn’t get any better week by week so I started seeking medical attention. 

Lab results confirmed it was Lupus and I began seeing an expert called Rheumatologist. It was frustrating at first since I had difficulty keeping up with my normal pace, and because Lupus is invisible, some people started to doubt the veracity of the illness, telling me it is just all in the head.

Thankfully today, I am in quiescent state, although I feel some discomfort at times. Lupus has greatly influenced my day to day life. I need to carefully listen to my rhythm. I also have to think well before I make any actions and consider how it would impact my body. Fatigue is a big factor so I am always heedful on where I spend my energy. I work 5 days a week so I ensure that I work with serene intensity. Weekends are normally spend as rest days or for excursions. And whenever there’s a chance, I always see new places because it inspires me to fight harder (I’m seeing Baguio and Bangkok next month).

I have learned to live with it daily and you’ll be surprised how I can manage to tick off some of my mind-blowing bucket list activities. Great thanks to my loved ones who immensely understand what I go through. They have been giving me unwavering support since day 1 and they always have my back whenever I fall over and over. I also have a strong connection with my physician so it’s easy to open up all my chagrins and frustrations.

Having Lupus is not the end of a meaningful existence on earth. True, it makes life challenging but it also makes it extra beautiful with stories of pain and survival, of inspirations and aspirations and of self-respect and self-worth.

One of my greatest dreams is to get into the best MBA school in the world. So even at the four walls of this hospice, I manage to skim through my books. I am not letting go of this dream. The runway to MBA stage waits for me.

Love each other or perish

I was unable to write since December 2018 as I was battling from an illness. Soon, this blog will be teemed with articles about my journey and how I was able to survive the challenges that comes with it.  

A great poet once said, “Love each other or perish.” So true, without love we are butterflies with ruptured wings. Love is of cardinal importance and this has been clear to me since I was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) 6 years ago.

Year on year, my physical affection becomes stronger than ever. I always long for love and care especially when pain attacks me. At times I become too clingy just because every love drop makes me feel better. I am just blessed that my family is able to give it all to me, always been there in both my stubbornness and sanity. Surely, friends messages or visits me (when in hospice) but it’s not the same as having someone who will not leave or someone who has both eyes on you protecting you the entire time. Perhaps, this is not just love but something of a greater tag – a spiritual security – knowing that your family would always be there watching out for you.

I am fighting well because of this great love. Thank you for sharing this journey with me and for showing me that life could be challenging  but it is always beautiful WITH YOU.

I know it’s you G.

The Mind of an Executive

13 Minutes with the VP for Operations

As a part-time freelance blogger and a full-time corporate employee, I soundly believe that no one goes to work with the hopes of doing a bad job. Everyone wants to unlock an achievement. Everyone wants to go home by the end of the day feeling like they achieved great things without expending their time. Everyone also wants to be promoted, and one day, one generation of leaders will soon be replaced by another, a phenomenon known by everyone since ancient histories.

I am also a docile millennial with tons of questions and fervor to learn. Hence, coming up with this idea to interview Executives from divergent industries to know their thinking and simultaneously preserve their leadership stratagem so the next generation can be well guided. Who knows one day, you and me can be the next generations of Executive too.  

The interview is strictly only for 13 minutes for a lot of people demands the Executives’ time and attention. Questions are spontaneous (or not sent in advance) to keep it real and heartfelt. Here, we are launching our first ever 13-minute interview with one of the Senior Executives from Cebu Landmasters Inc – Jess M. Kabigting. Jess is currently the Vice- President for Operations, who directly works hand-in-hand with the C-Level Executives of the company, and with span of control over Business Development Department, Leasing Department, Property Management, and Construction Group.

One of the poignant statements I always hear from Senior Execs is that they always feel lonely being on top. Is this true? What makes it lonely?

Yes, for 2 reasons. First, a Senior Exec makes decision that will impact people. Some of them are not going to be popular. Quiet often he becomes alienated from people, simply because, he has to make the hard choices for the good of the company.

Second, the Senior Exec doesn’t have the support system which is easily available for rank and file. Our circle of friends are normally the people at our calibre and it’s hard to surround oneself with such people when you’re on top. It is the price you have to pay because you are after friendship and those beneath you simply deal with you out of difference and respect, not friendship.  

Speaking of friendship, do you have friends in the company?

Yes,mostly the ones at my level.

How do you know they are your friends and not someone covertly destroying or competing with you?

To look at friendship in a general term is to basically have good dealings with them, but real friendship is much deeper. It takes time to discover real ones. Friends are those who sympathise with you and your situation. To understand that, you must be in that level. It’s hard to explain to lower management or middle management something they haven’t experienced firsthand.

How about you, are you trying to compete with someone beneath or at your level?

No. Competition is never my goal. As a Senior Exec, the more you focus on contributing to the success of the company and less on competition, the easier the job becomes. You don’t think about competing with anyone. You think about working with them in order to achieve the greater goals of the company. You don’t really think about who gets the merit. The sooner you get that thinking straight, the easier it becomes for you.

How do you keep up and handle everything in your hand?

I pray. I reflect about what is essential, on what are the important things to be done. Then, I just focus on that.

Do you still have a luxury time? What do you do when you get one?

I don’t get that a lot but when I do, I spend it with my family.

How do you handle reproach, especially when you know you are not at fault?

It’s part of the training on how to become a real Exec. Work on the top comprises mainly of making hard decisions and these decisions are both right or wrong. As a leader, it is but to be expected things will not run perfectly and because of this you get a flak every now and then. If you take it personally, then, the problem is not the system. It is you, because you are bringing in your personal emotions to judge the objective reality being conveyed to you.

Your span of control is quite massive, how do you show you trust to your team? Can you share us your strategy in empowering them?

There is a strategy in shaping people. In order to train people, you must let them make decisions while at the same time guiding them along the way. A leader cannot be a playing coach. A leader is a mentor. You cannot play the game and at the same time coach effectively. You have to be more of a mentor and a mentor is someone who knows and sees the big picture while not missing the details. A mentor also guides his team towards what needs to be done and his team members are being asked to step and to deliver.

Are you more of a sharer or a keeper of your talents and skills? Are you not afraid that someone might surpass you in the company?

What’s the purpose of keeping knowledge? The executive who feels that people will surpass him is an executive who has stopped learning. The challenge for the executive is not NOT TO SHARE. That is why he is there.

What is the greatest challenge of an Executive?

One of the greatest challenges of an executive is to keep on learning. He has to learn more than the others because as a leader he sets the base for the entire team. It’s not a question of not sharing. You have to share. The people beneath you would always need clarity of vision and direction; and an executive can only give that when he is continuously learning and improving his craft.

Are you open to  ideas from the millennials? How do you handle them when they become annoying?

As a generation X, there is big gap between Xs, Ys and millennials. A Senior Exec just needs to learn how to deal with millennials and accepts their limitations because that is where the future is.

They are raised in a modern environment so they need more time to accept reality to what it is, which the generations X and Y have. So, how do I deal with them? One word – Patience! Millennials are like that because it’s not their fault. Millennials grow in an environment where everything is provided for, where everything is quite easy to get, where everything is technology driven, yet, life is not like that.

Any exhorts to make Monday a little bit more exciting?

Any day of the week is exciting for me when I know that I am about to do something good for people and when I know that I will be challenged to use my skills and talents to the fullest. You should think it that way too. 

As a senior exec in real estate, what is that biggest dream you wanted to achieve still? Or have you achieved it already?

My biggest dream is not the top position of the company. I am not after presidency or being the owner.  My biggest dream and aspiration in real estate industry is TO BUILD and the greatest thing that you can build is a CITY. At a certain point in life, money won’t matter essentially. What drives the person forward is the innate fire – what is that something you want to give. For someone in my industry, we build things from scratch.  When the time comes and I am already building an entire city from scratch, then, you can say that I have accomplished my life goal.

End of 13 minutes yet I felt like asking and hearing more. One hat an Executive wears is GREAT PASSION, and this was seen by the way he lucidly answers all my questions- very candour in everything to his heart’s content. Indeed, with passion at work, one can fashion wonderful things, help others, be productive, be successful, and most of all be genuinely happy with the results. Without passion, one will just simply wither and not grow –sitting in a desk every day, dull and bored and just waiting for the payday. 

Look forward to the next article as we unearth the mind of another executive.

Crazy beautiful ride to Osmena Peak and Kawasan Falls

I was hobbling for few days due to swollen joints. Yet, today, I am sitting on this precipice that is 1042 meters above sea level. It’s early morning so click looks so foggy. You cannot see what’s really down there. I tell you it’s deep and the strong wind sporadically makes you off balance.  Who would’ve thought I could make this journey. 

Osmena Peak. Being our first ever trail trip, my friends and I left Cebu at 12 midnight journeying to Dalaguete where Osmena Peak springs. Osmena Peak is Cebu’s highest summit I describe as having clumped green grotesque hills clutching the shorelines of Badian .A lot of tourist flock to this trail spot to behold the spectacular beauty of Mother Earth.

To enjoy a 360 view, it is best to trail in the afternoon as early morning can be too foggy with zero visibility – – which was not our case! We left too early and started moving from Dalaguete junction to Osmena Peak at 4am (Landmark: Seven Eleven and Julie’s Bakeshop). By the time we reached the peak, the anticipated view was impeded with mist, fog and haze (they’re synonyms so whatever you call it anyway).

Good to note:

At the entranceway to Osmena Peak, you’ll have to sign up at the Osmena Peak Hikers’ Center and pay an entrance fee of 30 pesos. Local guides may also approach you and you pay their service at a courtesy rate. Normally 150-200 pesos per guide will do.

Entranceway to Hikers’ Center. 

Hikers’ Center is open 24 hours, therefore, you can trek any time you want. By midway of the journey, you will find campsites and cabins. You can bring your own tent and set it up at the campsites or rent a cabin. For cabin reservation, you can contact Manang Willy at 09332887208 or 09226801623. Cabin is good for 2-3 person with water, lights and free use of restroom. 

It is advisable to get support from a stick or pole for the track can be too slippery. You can rent one at the entranceway at 10 pesos per stick or pole.  

The Magic Stick.

You will also meet these captures below making the trip even more entertaining.

Congratulate thyself for reaching the top, and don’t forget to photo-record such success. 

Couldn’t be any prouder. 
He is one of the best tour guides in town. He also takes good care of capturing good angles of me. Those are some bird whistles by the way. 

Dalaguete. On the the way back to Dalaguete proper, make time to pass by Mantalongon Public Market. You will lament if you don’t do so as this is the kernel to finding very affordable fresh goods (such a steal!). I was even surprised that cannon ball cabbages only cost 3 pesos a kilo.

These are same vegetables brought to Carbon Market and to some of our supermarkets. By the time it gets to those stores, prices are already doubled even tripled. 

I bought quiet a lot so I need some reinforcement. A little thank you paper bill will do. Look how stuffed my car is. 

Kawasan Falls. You can also make a side trip to Kawasan Falls, Badian. Kawasan Falls is one of the famous waterfalls in Cebu where you can swim and relax around turquoise-azure waters.

Using a private car, it would take around an hour drive to reach San Vicente Church where you can park your car. From the church, you gait for 20 minutes to reach Kawasan Falls. Entrance Fee is 30 pesos per head and Life Vest rental is at 50 pesos per piece.

Varied food stalls will greet you along the way. I tried everything. 

There are also rooms where you could stay overnight. Room rate ranges from  1500-2500 depending on the amenities. If you choose to stay only for a short while, you can rent table and chairs at 300 per day.

There are more packages to avail from. You can go for canyoneering at 1500 per head, trekking to see all 9 falls (you would need a guide at 200 service fee for 4 hours), or simply just have a free back massage from the surging water. 

I chose the hindmost. 

Ready, set, dive

Molave Milk Station, Barili. En route back to Cebu City via Barili,you can make a pit stop at Milk Station where you can buy fresh cow and goat’s milk. The place looks like a romantic resto go-to for lovers to enjoy a glass of fresh milk . There are also ice cream gelatos and some candies made available for tourist bon vivants.

A trip is never fun without your crazy friends and I’m glad I made this journey with these two long-time love birds. Shall we go for another crazy ride? Yes, crazy indeed because from Dalaguete en route to Osmena Peak (traveling at 2am), environs suddenly became too dark and hazy because of heavy rains. We were all so scared yet we still continued moving. However, when we only need to travel at about 2KM, we unanimously and suddenly decided to turn back due to our eerie imaginations (what if we’ll fall on the cliff; what if terrorist attacks us or a white lady will just appear). By 4am, we went up again and found ourselves laughing at our own foolishness. Crowd of tourist awaits had we chosen to conquer the remaining 2KM travel. Nonetheless, it was a crazy beautiful adventure. Thank you lovies. 🙂

The P.H.A.T of Pho

Pretty Hot and Tasty: They always say ‘look up’ to find answers above. I’m not in quest for answers. I am sincerely asking high heavens to make me belch. Oh, definitely gasping for air and is feeling frozen due to overeating.  How can I spurn Pho’s classic aromatic vegetable and beef broth? Definitely, harder to say NO especially when paired with rice rolls and peanut sauce.

No victual pictures to keep you titillated but only a tease of my satiated face.

You may visit all their branches at:

Cebu

  1. Crossroad Mall, Banilad – +6332 416 2442
  2. Robinson’s Cybergate  – +6332 238 6825
  3. Ayala Terraces, – +6332 410 9687
  4. Skyrise 2, IT Park – +6332 416 2442
  5. SM Northwing
  6. SM Seaside

Manila

  1. Serendra, Bonifacio Global City – +632 843 0820
  2. Power Plant Mall, Rockwell – +632 750 6613