Thursday, April 30, 2009

GTV interview pictures

some pictures of the GTV interview last tuesday. the team is currently covering the Philippines for four of their episodes to be shown in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia and some other countries. the Department of Toursim team Asia Pacific recommended the Amazing Show as one of the featured tourist attraction of the country...

Letting Go...

My father-in-law has been in intensive care for the past ten days… his vitals stabilizing, then failing, stabilizing… much like a roller coaster ride in slow motion. He had to be rushed a week ago the same day my mother-in-law was supposedly to start her chemo treatment for a cancer earlier detected.

As mentioned in my earlier blog post, I am not as much affected by the event in an emotional way. Maybe because I do not consider a man’s passing as a tragedy if he has lived a full life and has witnessed enough beautiful memories to carry with him wherever it is we go to when we pass on.

Yesterday, after an almost successful attempt to allow him the opportunity to breath on his own by setting him free from the dreaded tube, his body gave way once more and the oxygen level drops rapidly prompting medical personnel to re-attach the tubes. It’s a fight I honestly think is not worth picking…

What I honestly feel now is a bit of envy and elation because my parents who passed on did not have the same fighting chance as my father-in-law. I did not have the resources to keep them in intensive care units and prolong their lives or in another perspective, their suffering because the doctors knew what I could and could not afford. I was already in debt with the hospital for the previous several confinements of my mom, so they only gave me options which were viable given the circumstances… just allow nature to take its course.

My father who died of aneurism would have lived to this day if only I was given the option to have him undergo a surgical procedure but that option was never given to me. Not because the doctors were incompetent but simply because they knew the financial cost was out of my reach. (It wasn’t until way later that I learned that the condition was correctible if you can afford such a procedure)

The very same medical practitioners have seen me struggle for my mom’s life the previous years before it was my dad’s turn… they have accepted so many promissory notes from me and have given me so much discounts on charges that I still feel grateful to them up to now.

So I do feel a bit envious that my wife is not in the same boat. There are three of them in the first place who can make decisions unlike me who was alone. There isn’t much financial consideration to affect the decisions unlike me who was broke. The age to which is the primary measure of one’s life span is ripe unlike my mom who passed away at 56 and my dad who followed at 63.

Elated I feel because at least I was young and naive at the time and that the choices given me were not only limited but it was simply a pep talk on acceptance of my parents’ fate. I think that I would have been overwhelmed by the choices had I been presented with such.

My father-in-law had lived a full life. Perhaps he did not accomplish all that he wanted or neither did he witness all that he wanted to see, but it is nevertheless a full life. If he sits up in bed any day soon then I would be as happy as I would ever be… but then again, the odds are quite slim… and then again, sometimes we have to let go…

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Golf Day @ the Navy Club 2

I thought that it would be some sort of revenge day for me at the Navy Club by beating my old score of 106... 'guess not.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

the more i learn...

the more stupid i become?
I'm talking about golf. The sport that I love to hate and hate to love. True to the fact... the more concept, ideas, and what not I get, the worse I play. I am so frustrated... but then again, maybe I just need time.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A time for rethinking…

I’ve had a hell of a Monday… We had earlier scheduled that my mother-in-law who was recently diagnosed with cancer was to begin her chemotherapy and cobalt treatment so that the possible healing process begins. I’ve not had a day off for more than a month now because of business problems we have to address as well as the scholarship program we’ve started for the new breed of tourist industry workers we’ve planned and waited for the longest time.

I don’t have complaints about that. But yesterday was like a topsy-turvy day since the schedule was all mixed up given the Monday traffic situation. On the way to another hospital, my wife received a call from my father-in-law that he finds it hard breathing. He had to be rushed to the hospital and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit so all attention was turned on him.

I must admit that I am already quite accustomed to situations like these because of earlier experiences I’ve had with my folks. Well, if I may say, my in-laws are quite lucky that they’ve ripened enough to witness their children lead their own lives and of course see their grandchildren.

As always, I’ve to liken this to a parallel situation I’m now undergoing through with my organization. I’ve always likened the Manila Film Center as a home… a castle, a symbol… I’ve always thought of this building as my own but as Hegel would say; “that the only constant thing in this world is change itself”.

Lately, the burden of the financial crisis has caught up with us and our business. This potentially means that we are risking a lot out of our hopes that the storm could be weathered. Well, I do hope so… but I’ve learned so many times before, that hoping is never enough.

These days are days of rethinking… rethinking that nothing is permanent. The same way that lives are not constant. Keeping the Manila Film Center gives us a semblance of success and prominence. A castle representing an empire that might soon crumble is the only action taken is that of hoping. And that very same symbol of our prominence is the very thing that is keeping this business and this family at risk.

The overhead expenditure for this building has proven too much of a burden that we must now rethink our position in the industry and humble ourselves to the fact that keeping this size may not be as sustainable as we think.

Last year’s sales has proven that the global crisis has dawned upon us and that fact was reinforced by the dismal sales figures we’ve had for the 1st quarter of this year… the future is indeed grim. Taking time to observe may not be in our best interest as an organization. My position earlier into the crisis that spending will be the key to our survival has proven that it is not enough compounded by the fact that a lot of the expenditures meant a lot of activities and therefore a lot of blunders, the effects of which may be felt later than expected or wished for.

If I wanted to gripe about it, then I’d say that I hate the fact that we’ve lost a great opportunity three years back when we had the financial capability to develop this property into something that we can be proud of. But then again, past is past, and it would be fruitless to point fingers at anyone. The present situation has presented us with a fresh challenge and that is what we have to take on at the moment. Like I always say, life is made up of moments… that is all.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Golf @ the Navy Club

Embarassing! that's the word for that particular game. Although I must admit that my score wasn't all that bad compared to my previous games, fact is, I get rattled with good players. And being "rattled" in golf means you're destined to get screwed really bad.

Two of my Korean staff not only frequents the driving range, they also has made a career in messing up their hands really bad. Boil-like swelling of some parts of the palm is supposedly an indicator of your grip accuracy... hell, I wouldn't want to mess up a hand that sketches, play the guitar and piano and most importantly... never mind.

But i do agree that I should go back to the driving range if only to refresh my muscle memory before a game. Anyway, all golf games for me is fun... and half serious. Ain't nothing wrong with that I think. No way I'll be in PGA anyway : )

Kristine, Alex and Cyrus... thanks for the very nice game.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

JolliStupid, I want to wipe the smirk off Jollibee's face

...and why shouldn't I?

Every time I'm busy and holed up in my 4th floor office, I end up asking my secretary to order a Jollibee meal so that I won't have to go six flights down to where the canteen is or four flights down to where the restaurants are. I got accustomed already to working while eating, besides, eating Korean food everyday can sometimes be a burden. But I am a creature of habit, most of my friends know that, so bear with me as I tell my story.

So why am I blogging about what I'm eating? It's because for the 4th time, Jollibee has managed to mess up my work meal by delivering chicken joy breast when they were at all incidents specifically instructed that I want a thigh and not a breast. For the 4th time, i ate my spaghetti and ate parts of the chicken joy that was acceptable for me, the crispy chicken skin and that's it.

So today, pissed off with finality, I asked my secretary to call in my complaint. 30 minutes later, Jollibee calls and gave me lame excuses and an apology and offers to give free of charge a new product. So I said, talk to my secretary.

30 minutes later, the two delivery guys who were here earlier came in and gave two ice crazed desserts... I said, guess what? I'm diabetic.

Well, at least my two secretaries were happy.

Filipinos Learning Korean

The Korean Cultural Center at the Manila Film center has started a pilot scholarship program for Filipinos working in the tourism industry to better enable them to service their market. This capability-building program aims to develop tourism sector stakeholders to be equipped with basic conversational Korean, reading and writing Hangul to better promote tourism development in the country. They had a commencement exercise this afternoon and will hopefully pursue further their currently acquired Korean language skills

the opening of the scholarship programme

the opening of the scholarship programme was graced by Department of Tourism National Capital Region Director Reynato Chua and OIC, sales and marketing department Ms. Aileen Tumaob representing Ms. Lydia Cosuco, deputy General Manager of the Philippine Tourism Authority.

The commencement ceremony

The certificate program recipients were

Charde Gelito
Nixon Sualog
Leal Gelito
Jonathan Benedicto
Regie Samar
Romano Dalisay
Rudy Sumido
Pat Augustus Montaño
Andy Oroceo
Joeven Tonel

This is a Korean song that they have practiced for a week and was culminated with a recording and a music video.

music by eru

recorded at the amazing show studios
engineered by casie villarosa
video editing by casie villarosa

the band...

grace lee / keyboard
eugene baroña / bass guitar
casie villarosa / drums (dd65 kit) and guitar

kyo lee / voice and song teacher


Friday, April 17, 2009

Pictures of Recent Activities

We were recently inducted into PHILTOA, or the Philippine Tour Operators Association as an allied member of the organization. I had the opportunity to showcase our performer's talent during the event and had the chance to give a product presentation.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Balang Araw

This is a remake of an Emer Lacandazo song the Marginals did way back 1995.

Golf Day @ Sun Valley

Part of the company's benefit I suppose is the privilege to play golf... It's the kind of privilege I most cherish and very much happy to avail of. Last week, we went on an executive golf game at Sun Valley Golf Course. I was initially in love with this place because the design of the course was very challenging and I think it was because it was a rainy/cloudy day. But this particular day, the sun was up and it was damn hot. Nevertheless, everyone still had a good time.

catch up

I'm pretty swamped lately with my schedules that keeping up with my blogspot is becoming a bit tedious. My not so recent post about a bungled up weekend in Cebu ( did not have the benefit of visual aid so here it finally is.

This video is a classic example that leadership is something that one never receives from a silver platter... that's only position and title. True leadership is based on respect, because much like respect, it is earned.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Imelda's Rest House

Last Friday, I played golf with the Chairman, my god son and my administration director. It was a hell of a funny and fun game. On the way to Sun Valley, we sort of got lost and we got there by lunch time teeing off around half past one.

After the game, i had a scheduled invitation to join some of the Center's employees at Los Baños, Laguna, where former First Lady Imelda Marcos' rest house nstled on top of Mount Makiling. It was a sight to behold and as expected, the facility despite it's age shows how well her infrustructures were during her time.

So that day, we traveled from Manila to Antipolo to Los Baños, Laguna then back to Manila the next day. whew!

Monday, I had to go to the office despite the fact that "ve not had a day off for weeks now for my classes at the Korean Cultural Center of the Philippines. someone called my attention to say that there was a brush fire at Macapagal Boulevard so I went to the roof of the building to take this video.

found videos

i was cleaning up the hard disk in my upstairs office since i had to prepare a new logo OBB for the show when i found these two...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

back to school

I have not faced a class for the last 12 or so years except for the occassional invitation to deliver lectures or talks. Since I've had a background on teaching, as well as the fact that I have been working with Koreans for the last seven and a half years, the Chairman decides that I should be the one to handle the Philippine History & Culture classes as well as the Korean Culture Appreciation classes for our scholars.

The nature of this program si to basically empower Filipinos working for the tourism industry over the past several years and who has been aide to Korean tourist guides to be empowered by learning the Korean language. It is to my conviction a noble venture.

This is our thrid attempt at it but it is my first time to personally participate in the program. The earlier programs were dismal failures maybe because they tried running it on their own.

This program will not directly benefit us but it is what I would call a social experiment wherein Filipinos who are already in direct association or contact with Korean tourists can now be the direct guides assuming that they become proficient in the use of the language.

Armed with this, and a new set of perspective and principle in guiding tourists, the program hopes to breed the first batch of Filipino guides that will better present this country to their guests.

It entails a lot of work but it is a challenge worth taking on.

shown here is Kyo Lee teaching them a stanza of a korean song as i watched on. i am amazingly happy that they have already memorized the korean alphabet on the third day and has now exhibited a lot of confidence in reciting korean phrases. i'm keeping my fingers crossed as to the outcome of this program.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


whoooahh! i finally found time to blog. It's been hell week all week and I've not found the time to blog these days. I got to work on the golf videos and I can finally post them.

picture from cebu

just a bunch of pictures my associate director sent me in the mail... thanks tantan.