Thursday, December 31, 2009

Benson the Python... Bored in the Office

He doesn't wear a tie to work... because he looks like one. He ate his best friend Donnie Daga and now they are one. He hates it inside the office because he thinks that it's too cold, so he hangs around the lamp shade. My daughter loves him and my wife hates him.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Raising Miro






Miro, my youngest, is now 5 and turning six this year. He has grown to be a "too" healthy kid, overweight and loves to eat. There isn't a time where I don't debate with my wife about the risk that we are putting him through as if we've not learned from our parenting experience with Mica, my eldest.

I jokingly told her that our kids are not part of her farm (farm ville) that needs fattening up, as they are not livestock that will be slaughtered anytime soon. But that's not the only problem. My wife has this tendency to over-spoil her children to the point that they become too "comfortable", something that we were not as kids.

I guess that a father rarely wins in an argument with regards to raising kids. We will just have to do what needs to be be done when the need arises. And that is what I do these days... I don't argue. Besides, there isn't anyone who can't be fixed when we really want to.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Yellow Cab Service is Terrible!



First and foremost, It'll take a lot to piss me off.

The last time I blogged about bad food service was about Jollibee whose delivery service always gives me the chicken part I hate the most and refuse to eat. I blogged about it after the third time they've done it and I've not eaten anything from Jollibee since.

Being a recent beer returnee because of the MFC Bar, I always order Yellow Cab's New York's Finest but their delivery system has already screwed me up twice. Aside from the wait, they've forgotten to put the condiments under the pizza. My secretary would call them back and they would bring the condiments... by then the pizza would have been sloppy and cold.

In one of the times that I was personally at Yellow Cab in Macapagal Avenue with my family. I told them of the two negative incidents I've had with them and they were quite apologetic.

I honestly love their food, but today I swear that the incident last night would always deter me from patronizing their products.

Last night (past midnight), on our way home, I decided to pass by Yellow Cab Macapagal for a 14" NYF to take out. I asked my daughter to place the order as I waited inside the car. 30 minute passed and I checked on my daughter. The Pizza isn't ready yet. After about ten minutes, there was a commotion inside and one of the service crew ran after a green Pajero but failed to catch it. Apparently, they have given our pizza to them. WTF!

I went in to ask them about our order and they apologized and said that it'll just take 5 minutes to replace it. Another WTF!!! Then why were we waiting more than 30 minutes for our order if it would only take them 5 to make one? (It actually took them 13 minutes)

By the time we got the pizza, I was pissed off as hell.

Yellow Cab products are good... no, actually they're excellent. But unfortunately, your service crews are mostly idiots and that makes the service idiotic. It's a management problem that will ruin what you've built.

I don't even know why I have to waste my day off hours writing this blog about Yellow Cab. I just hope that this post contributes to the betterment of their service. As a rule, Filipinos are not rude... specially to waiters, guards and service crews. Maybe that's why the service standards remains lame.

Note:

I ran across this other blog while I was writing this http://mcallie8.blogspot.com/2009/02/yellow-cab-pizza-your-service-sucks.html

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Benson the python

my pet python "benson" who would much rather sleep than eat and seemed irritated with his dinner... 'guess he's not hungry.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Amazing Show Manila Xmas Party 2009 Pictures








Amazing Show Manila Xmas Party 2009



Amazing Show Cebu Xmas Party 2009

I flew to Cebu last 19th to attend our Christmas Party there where we drank until the wee hours of the morning, had about three hours of sleep of flew back to Manila for our party. It's Xmas Party Season!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Benson

When I was younger, I loved pets but hated the responsibility that came with it. Of course, on the very fortunate side, my father loved them and loved taking care of them. There was a time when we had about fourteen cats until we got a cat I named Satur who became the alpha male of the entire block and he drove every cat away within a 2-kilometer radius. That cat was lovable in a macho kind of way and he stayed with us until my Father's death and a week later also passed away.

Prior to Satur, we also had two American Mongrels that I later sold for a measly sum of Php400 to start my t-shirt printing business. That money went a long way as my business thrived for more than two years until the Binondo businessmen killed the industry in my town.

After I married, my wife was not exactly that keen on pets so we never really had the opportunity to take pets into the house.

Almost two weeks ago, my Security Officer informed me that one maintenance personnel chanced upon a python in the grassy area behind the building so I told him that I would be keeping it for a pet.

The python already took a bite at one of my staff so they had to tape its mouth and I had to carry it around for two days so that he'd get used to my scent. And I named him Benson after a tv sitcom character in the 80's and I've been carrying him around since.




my godson Kyo and myself with Benson at the company Christmas Party

Friday, December 18, 2009

Putting the ENERGY back into Pinoy Rock

I met the first generation of Alamat a couple of years ago in what was supposedly the first Hooters Bar in Macapagal where they played Pinoy Rock and nothing more. I must admit that the band was not that appealing for me... but the bass guitarist, Aris became my sort of friend as he would constantly remain in touch despite us not seeing each other as usual as in the old Hooters days where I'd jam with them once in a while.

When I opened up the MFC Bar, he gave me this hello message and I invited them over for a gig at the MFC. That day I saw a different Alamat... with a new front man and the right chemistry. They may not yet be ripe for the picking, but the two years did them well.

Now, I am producing and engineering their debut demo album, as well as doing some fun music videos with them and I just have this feeling that they would be a name in the future.

To Alamat... may the times be good to you and may you have the fortune in finishing what we've started....






Saturday, December 12, 2009

back to back

Thursday night jam at the MFC Bar...

Another damn good night at the MFC Bar with Black Pipe on stage. Earlier in the night, I had dinner with my marketing department together with Czarina from Jeron Travel with her VIP guests. They made me drink this Chinese venomous drink (and I mean venomous) called "58", I guess named after its alcohol percentage. After, I took my 5th straight bottom's up shot, they told me that I was quite impressive being a Filipino since we allegedly always give up after the 2nd shot. Thank God I'm already a record holder, because I threw up on the sixth and got a massage from Dae Jang Gum manager Mr. Kim.

That was like drinking pure ethyl alcohol. It wasn't actually the alcohol content that bonked me, it was the taste that drew fire straight down to your esophagus...

Rest of the night, I drank coffee and water. Alamat gave me a call that they had a gig at PLM (Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila -- University of Manila) and that they wanted to drop by because they missed me... hehehe.

So I had a back to back night at the MFC with Black Pipe and Alamat. Nice jam, good vibrant grooves and heavy Pinoy rock ruled the night.




Thursday, December 10, 2009

Orocan, Tupperware and plastic balloons…



Apparently, the ill feelings I harbor won’t be going away anytime soon. Yesterday morning, as I approached the fa├žade of the Manila Film Center, I thought of the promise my lighting director made that by Tuesday afternoon, the trussing my batten supervisor installed for the MFC stage would have been fitted with PAR 38s and 64s.

I was at the MFC at eight to pick up my staff and stuff for a golf game. Later in the afternoon as we pulled up at the MFC, I was expecting that by then the lights would have been installed and the band set-up back in its place. – It wasn’t.

So I semi-freaked out and called for the lighting department to explain and apparently, the lighting director was not around. So I asked them to install everything or else…

But this blog entry is not about PARs and stuff. It’s about my growing animosity towards everything that’s wrong with my life and the things and people around me.

It’s about rubbers, plastics and anything synthetic that makes me sick. It’s about the concept of “family” and how fake it all is. It’s all about saying “I care” but I don’t, not really anyway.

Now, I’m sitting in the bar I made… literally. I care much about this bar as much as when we were starting Amazing because I know that this will grow big. But that’s the problem; no one thinks the same, not the other managers anyway. Or they simply don’t care… and why the hell should they?

A management author once said; if you don’t give your employees what they rightfully deserve, then they’ll find a way to steal it back from you in whatever form. It may be in the form of actual theft or simply by neglecting their duties and responsibilities.

I have always heard from the past managers how terrible it is for this company not to give rightful salaries for them, and them meaning Koreans. Now for the light of me, I don’t get the logic in terms of the difference between “their” salaries and the locals’ salaries when no apparent skill is seemingly needed in their positions. Not something anyway that I cannot get here locally for less than half the amount.

Take this bar for example, I’ve managed to start it up on a minimal amount and slowly refurbish it without much expense by simply recycling materials, resources and capital goods. But like most business, the most important of course would be the human element to it… those people directly making it run. Bottom line, this place turns out a profit… small, but profit nonetheless.

And yet, I feel so twisted by the fact that we cannot put resources into it -- real resources. And yet, we’ve spent millions on businesses that churned out nothing but headaches and losses - businesses that never went through the tedious process of preparing proposals and studies. And while this bar’s original scale was in the neighborhood of Fiamma and the Embassy, the proposal was lost in interpretation (that’s a simple story that I would not want to expound today) and so I am left with no choice but to start it up on a measly amount and almost on my own.

And as it is taking off, I feel that very soon, this will be stolen from me. Or at the least, it will be put down one way or the other. That wouldn’t be too bad if they’d make it better but the way I see it, no one would want to care about the nitty-gritty details of the business, much like my employees not wanting to discuss with them the details of problems since it might well be lost in interpretation.

Besides, I know the difficulty involved in convincing someone who cannot understand or is uninterested. – “hell, it’s just a job… I’m just supposed to look smarter than the rest, pretend to be interested in this shit and flare up in anger from time to time because I can – I’m the manager!”

And that’s the main difference between us. I have much preferential treatment for the less fortunate many and that is why they were forced to put me in this position. It is to either make me their friend or their foe. For those who chose the latter, they are all gone now...for those who wish to piss me off… good luck.

No amount of Orocans, Tupperwares and plastic balloons could ever replace real people. Only pity could save you now.

Note:

After completing this blog entry this morning, the Chairman arrives at the MFC with some allegations supposedly reported to him by his minions. The not so long discussion ended with him accusing me of not understanding him and not loving the company. Enough said.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Impressions

This morning, I had to wake up early for a golf tournament we were invited to -- The PMA-PNPA Class '98 Golf Tournament at the Philippine Navy Golf Club. Prior to this, I was already informed by a flight member that he had emergency meetings to attend to. But we went there anyway, so as not to waste the tickets.

I was with two of my staff, a Chinese and a Korean. Since there was a lot of traffic at the fairway, we had to contend with a lot of hanging out as one officer of the Philippine Navy whose flight was ahead of us got into some casual talking with my staff. He asked about their nationalities and firmly mentioned that they were lucky that in the Philippines, they could pay a Pinoy (pointing to my direction) to bring them around so that they could enjoy the Philippines.

I walked past him and said "unbelievable as it may seem, they are my staff and that they work for me".

It is a little frustrating to experience these things in ones own country, but nevertheless these are not unfounded impressions. So I was not really affected much by it. The system is such and it is true that much of Filipino-Foreigner relationships are indeed master and servant.

I hope that someday all this will change.

Monday, December 7, 2009

ALAMAT's Pagdaan...

These days, I do nothing for the business because there is nothing I can do at "my level". I constantly remain in a state of helplessness that I feel insignificant both to myself and my employees but as I've mentioned... I'll sit it out and wait for my time.

So instead of being angry and melancholic all of the time, I will brush up on the skills that I have and tend to the responsibilities more likely to be productive. Because unlike most others, I have to remind myself that I am in this position because I am skilled. That as a manager, I will not sit it out by playing online or offline computer games that won't be remitting a cent or two for future businesses.

So these days, I take care of two promising bands I like... Alamat and Black Pipe. I've been in collaboration with the two bands in producing their respective albums and doing their music videos and documentation.

This is one of the most fun I've had making a music video. it was supposedly a serious mv but unfortunately or fortunately, Alamat's bassist Aris can't help himself. song was written by Ivan Mariano (drums) for Alamat. I produced and engineered the recording sessions and directed this mv. i really like the song the first time i heard it so we all decided to post it so that we could have some feedback mechanism of some kind via youtube. Hope you guys like it.



ALAMAT

dolreich tonolete (vocals)
mc monderin (guitars)
aris gutierez (bass)
ivan scott mariano (drums)

produced / engineered / videographed / edited by
casie villarosa for sunset records limited / amazing records

recorded and shot on location at the Manila Film Center, CCP Complex, Pasay City

You can catch Alamat at the MFC Bar Thursdays from 10pm onwards

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Audience Jam Nights @ the MFC Bar

Here's my driver and our Deputy Security Officer jamming to Halik ni Hudas. It never occurred to me that this was their type of music. I didn't even know the song but it was fun watching them go at it.



Here's our Korean Bar Manager Chaddy Kang doing his rendition of Freddie Aguilar's "Anak".

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Please let me get what I want

Here's a cover of an old morrissey/marr (the smiths) song which I have missed. I used to be this great fan of the Smiths because of of my high school best friend who introduced me to their records. We used to stay in their living room for hours on end listening to this band...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

the Commitment



Another all time favorite movie of mine is the 1991 Allan Parker movie the Commitments. It's a damn fine movie about a band... or more aptly about bands.

In 1990, when the first Club Dredd at Scout Tobias in Timog opened, the SKALAWAGS, the band I belonged to played our last gig and broke up that same night. Six months later, upon my return to the scene with a new group, Chikoy Pura tells me that a band is not a marriage and I knew that he was right.

A little anecdote about being part of a band is, if one of the members misses out, you're all screwed. I've had a lot of experiences in that area -- A bassist who gets a hemorrhoid attack the day of the gig could cost you a career, a drummer who just went missing after fighting with the missus could cost you a recording session opportunity, a drunken guitarist who plays "alone" could f$*@ up your next gig opportunity and a vocalist and front man whose parent is dying could end your band life.

Such is what a band is. Much like any relationship, it may or may not last. But I like bands... watching them, hearing them, seeing the interaction between them... Hell, if I had the time, I'd like to be in one again.

But like all relationships, it will have to be based on a very important word ... COMMITMENT.

The Commitments movie is smart, witty and most specially true.