Thursday, August 20, 2009

The tale of the broken …

Today is another one of those uneventful days where I find myself lulling in sick thoughts and contemplating on making my life as simple as possible.

I had a drink the other night with some employees, one of the benefits of having a bar in the building, and it gave them the opportunity of discussing shop matters with me. My Korean friend and golf pro was telling everyone to change topic since he saw me the other night turn ugly when the talk turned shop and I threw a couple of beer bottles for stress relief.

But the night was entirely different, since I felt that it would give me the opportunity to explain my side to the people most relevant in this organization – the employees.

And explain I finally did. It felt good and gave me a bit more motivation to hang on and serve my time. Time that may never come, but I will nevertheless wait.

things I hate …

When someone says “you know my style”… I want to honestly say, “yes, it’s called the stupid style”

When a manager refuses to follow the rules and regulations… simply because they haven’t read it yet – they should be reminded that ignorance of the rule excuses no one, especially managers. Ignorance equals stupidity

When people don’t keep their word

When someone says, “I made this”, as if they really did

When someone says, “I know how you feel”, as if they do

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Setting things right…

IRAC, meaning the Independent Republic of Amazing Cebu, was what I have christened Amazing Show’s Cebu branch last night while having beer at the MFC bar with some of my staff. And why not? It seems apt that they adapt that name since they seem to be, in their minds, an independent entity from the Manila office.

I’ve not set foot in the Cebu branch since the day my counterpart VP said that I won’t need to visit as often as the Chairman made me promise to everyone. And for this, I hope that the Cebu employees understand the situation and that it is not to my liking, but as always, I will confine myself to headquarters to prevent any more tension. Or until I see them washed away…

It is rather hilarious as I see, that as an analogy, flies who has stood on top of the carabao’s head for too long tend to think that they are taller than the carabao.

Several weeks ago, I prodded my production director to finalize the list of those people who are entitled to increases and recognition based on the evaluations. I have reviewed the people on the list and decided to omit only one name. It took this company several weeks to finalize the memorandum because no one wanted to break the report to the Chairman and it took my very simple prodding to everyone that it is not the employees’ fault that we are hard pressed these days so give them what is due them.

So why is everyone in a state of flux? Because they should be, we all should be. Stability can only be achieved by an organization if we possess a strong leadership system that will allow people to move forward well supported and endorsed by our leader. But there is none.

I am not ignorant… neither am I secured. I should be the most insecured being in this organization, but I am not. If a man has nothing to look forward to then the insecurities stop. Hell, what’s anyone looking forward to these days anyway?

Several days ago, I asked my admin director to prepare evaluation reports on senior managers so that I may right what is wrong before I call off this dead-end career of mine. I’ve just about had it with everything as my patience has thinned out faster than my hair. If I ever stay in this fight, then it would be for the wrong reason, I swear.

As to the words of one of my directors, “they only know how to complain but they don’t have the skill or the intelligence to do anything”.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Happy Anniversary!!!

Eight years ago, two Korean investors and visionaries decided to put up what would be the Philippines' Premiere Theatrical Family Show... the AMAZING SHOW.

Happy 8th year company anniversary to the men and women of the Amazing Show Family!

Friday, August 14, 2009

my de la salle buddies

I had a blast last night with my former co faculty members from the Political Science Department of De la Salle University. We had dinner at our Korean restaurant and some mild drinking at the coffee shop. It was good reminiscing all those years where De la Salle gave some of my best and worst experiences in life that shaped me into what I am now.

I specially missed Virgie, our very loyal department admin assistant who I must say has helped me through a lot of things. Kiko Magno who was my professor and my friend is the guy who never seems to age. Louie was there and so was a German girl named Joanna.

Afterwards, I drank with some Korean friends with two guys from Hanjin. It was unfortunate that after some talk turns shop, my mood changed towards the negative given the ill-sentiments I've been hoarding all this time.

with the Amazing performers at the lobby

play time, amazing style

with Korean drinking buddies

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


"There are three ways of dealing with difference: domination, compromise, and integration. By domination only one side gets what it wants; by compromise neither side gets what it wants; by integration we find a way by which both sides may get what they wish."

Mary Parker Follett

I had a face to face with the Chairman last week after not having seen him for ages. I looked at his face and saw that familiar uneasiness and unresolved expression of helplessness. So I sat there quiet, occasionally asking questions of little relevance to what I wanted to express.

It is called sensitivity…

Friday, August 7, 2009

A day in my life…

I started the day today miserably with a phone call from my executive director informing me about a miscommunication issue that happened between a test product we were suppose to put in the coffee shop. I kind of sensed that the rest of the day would be rather bad for me. I was on the phone all the way to the office to settle some issues and iron out the miscommunication bit and as I approached the entrance of the building, I had a big grin on my face seeing that the signage has finally been completed after the longest wait. I settled in and waited or my staff to explain the mini fiasco that made us appear foolish earlier.

So we finally had the chance to discuss matters and clear expectations with regards to our clear and present dangerous situation. We have a non-scheduled major rehabilitation project on our electricity lines that’ll cost us Php3.8M, we have an impending problem with the sound system that would set us back about Php130,000 and of course the everyday problem of keeping the inside of this building dry.

Given the situation, I decided to take the guys out on an impromptu inspection of a place I saw earlier last month so that we can check the financial and practical viability of a move-out. Of course, the final decision will have to be made with much consideration. On my part, most especially because I have an emotional attachment to this building as this represents mostly blood, sweat, tears and a tub-full of patience.

By night fall, my marketing consultant comes in with four sets of product samples all of which are sweets and has that potentially lethal effect on me. But we had to do some pastry, brownie, cup cake and cake tasting to determine which of the four companies we can accommodate into the building. I ended up downing two tablets of my maintenance drug and a terrible back of the head and nape pain to boot which I had to shake off by perspiring in screen golf.

If I wasn't diabetic, the pastry, cake and sweets part would have been a great part of the day.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Found Pictures

Amazing Show Cebu 5th year anniversary outing and celebration held last year sometime October.

screen golf

Virtual golf is lots of fun... it's not gonna burn you since you're playing in an air-conditioned room with real balls, real clubs on a virtual field in front of a giant screen. Given the rainy season, this is the way to go.

from left; PSSupt. Mar Valerio, Amazing's
Baek isanim and myself

light moments

the MFC bar experiment

Truth is, we're pretty short on resources these days that things get harder to be done, so we strive on experiments and make-do tactics for our survival. The MFC bar is one such experiment... a cozy drinking place at the Manila Film Center where one can relax and unwind after a day's work.

I had most of my stuff brought down from my studio so that we'll some provision for music. I got some old stuff from other places in the building to complete what we needed like the display stands that now act as the bar area. The tables and chairs are from the restaurant we use to operate in Kalibo.

My marketing consultant asked for four parasols from mild seven, additional signage from San Miguel including glasses, ashtrays, etc.

If it catches on, then maybe we'll spend some real money developing the concept.

(upper right) my driver posing at the "temporary" bar, (lower right) my secretary and my security officer at the barbecue cook stand, (lower left) with some Korean colleagues and acquaintances, (upper left) the half completed signage of Amazing Show.

Here is my interpretation of what the bar should look like in a couple of weeks...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

the bet!

I made a bet with the Art Department a month ago that I'd treat them to drinking if they would finish the amazing show signage that I ordered them to complete and mount. The same signage that took my executives a zillion years to decide on simply because they were thinking of having it made by professional signage companies. Of course, that meant spending an arm and a leg so the project went on to become unaccomplished for a long time.

I was in outdoor advertising my early years as a poor struggling musician and teacher and I was taught by one of the best in the industry... Petronillo N. Pepito, Sr. or Mang Pete. I was his apprentice of a kind helping me make ends meet during my time of depression.

The problem was that in making these decisions over the signage, I found the amount to be spent ludicrous given what I know. And as a company, we've been spending more than what has to be spent because we always undermine the capacity of our employees... or perhaps because it was easier to have it done by people outside. And since I did find it silly to spend and given that there was nothing to spend, I decided to have it done in-house... and alas, we spent about a tenth of what we were suppose to.

Most important, I had a blast reliving my past occupation for a day.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Happy 15th Birthday, Mica!

She wanted a violin for her 15th birthday so I got her one last Sunday. I wish I had her dexterity shifting from one instrument to the other... by the end of the same day she was playing twinkle twinkle little star. Enjoy the new instrument, Mica!

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Unnecessary…

Days like these are not that uncommon… days feeling emptiness despite the myriad of headaches and challenges one faces on an everyday basis, days pretending to be normal and happy despite doing what one allegedly likes doing… allegedly…

Most say that there are the essentials and non essentials in life. I just say that classifications are what we make of it.

What is necessary is to be happy…

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Is your pride worth a couple of million?

I get to the office a couple of days ago and was informed that the internet service was down… much like everything else, there always seems to be a parallel occurrence in my house and this office. I’ve been having some bad connections with my DSL and apparently, changing the modem did not help. Here at the office is a more flabbergasting story.

Apparently the President of the company that runs our internet service simply ran away leaving his six employees unattended and at the mercy of their clients. What was apparently a profitable business was heavily mismanaged and is now in debt amounting to Php1.6M.

It really puzzles me as to how a person doing well in business could bungle up something like this. After his employees had an audience with me yesterday, the guy allegedly withdrew what was left in their account, which was about half a million pesos and fled to Korea leaving them with the business by signing over his share to his supervisor. But what do you do with a business that is already in debt?

But that seems to be the trend nowadays, a lot of Koreans who were making good in this country over the last decade are steadily opting to go back home because the market is no longer theirs to control in the first place. But the behavior remains unacceptable. Closing a business is an option, but make sure that it is done properly and with the utmost amount of concern and sensitivity to the people who has worked alongside you all this time.

And that’s the reason I haven’t had the chance to blog lately. Since opening up the bar at the MFC, I’d go home in the early morning and wake up noon time or past that, then back to the office. Today, the internet service is back after one of the Korean owners who knew nothing about the problem reported in to me yesterday night that everything would be back to normal within the day. Hope everything turns out well…