Saturday, August 3, 2013

Wondrous India – Part 1: The Dream

India (officially the Republic of India) is a country in South Asia and the 7th largest in the world by area. It is the second most populous country with now over 1.2 billion* people.With its cultural history spanning over 4,500 years*, and being a country with notable religious diversity, one needs to list this country to his/her bucketlist of places to visit in a lifetime. [*Data presented from Wikipedia, August 2013.]

It all started way back 2008 when I started having Indian friends. Of course, when you got friends not of the same race as you, you tend to share some insights about your culture and your place of origin. Everytime they talked about India, I am always so amazed. The dream then on setting my foot to the mentioned country never died down.

I could not travel to India spending my own funds, because the airfare alone might be very costly. But working in a global company kept that dream alive (I experienced working in Australia and Singapore because of this). And hola, an opportunity to stay for 6 weeks in Bangalore, India, came my way mid of 2013. I needed to be there as a Subject Matter Expert for a pilot conduct of a global course. And what can you expect from me? I immediately grabbed it without hesitation.

Let’s do a shortcut: multiple entry visa has been granted, ticket has been purchased, accommodation has been reserved.
On 3:00 am of June 12, 2013, I posted a message on FB greeting my fellow Filipinos a Happy Independence Day – and the location where that message was posted from? You guessed it right. India!
FB Post on 7/12
Let me just go back to some story prior my arrival in India. I took a Cathay Pacific flight from Cebu to Hong Kong (2+ hrs), had about 6 hrs layover in the Hong Kong International Airport, then boarded Dragon Air (regional carrier of Cathay Pacific) to Bangalore. ‘twas a bumpy ride. After more than 6 hours from HK to Bangalore (14+ hrs overall: Cebu - HK - Bangalore), I safely reached Bengaluru International Airport.
The drive from the airport to the hotel took an hour. Tiring wasn’t it? But it was my first glimpse of India. I never felt sleepy in the car (the hotel generously offered an airport pick-up) as I took that moment to savor India’s after-midnight atmosphere. The impression? Less people in the city streets if you compare it in the Philippines during that same time!
 I stayed in Aloft Bengaluru Whitefield, a 4-star hotel, a member of Starwood Hotel Chains, and the most accessible hotel from the office where I would be reporting to. The hotel is really decent with the most courteous and helpful staff I ever met.
L-R Clockwise: (1) Study; (2) King-Sized Bed; (3) Lavatory-Toilet-Shower; (4) Mini-bar; (5) Hallway; (6) 42" TV; (6) Aloft Room Card
I slept for a few hours, and reported to the office where i would be meeting the faculties of the training... But that is another story in this blog series.

Just watch out for Part 2: The People.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Urejiak's Shades of Black...Reactivated!

It has been 3 long years since this blog got a new post. Taking inspiration from Roldan C. Jugan who has been very active on blogging, I found myself checking my own blog, and typing this entry. Well, I guess it is now a high time to 'reactivate' this one!

The succeeding blog posts will be more about India - the culture, places, people, and religion. Watch-out for it!

'til then!



Thursday, November 25, 2010

Leyte Adventures of 2010

The idea of going to Leyte came out of nowhere after typhoon Juan, which ravaged parts of Luzon, exited the Philippines. Since the semester had ended, plus Khijel was on his “multiple choice” (Ababarians know what this means) days, timing was no less than perfect. On Tuesday night, the 19th of October 2010, they disregarded the slight rains, and went onboard Gloria 2, which would later bring them to Hilongos.

First Day at Hilongos

The morning of the 20th of October, 2:00 AM, they reached Hilongos after a very smooth sea travel. They were warmly welcomed by the Dianon family who served as their host. A quick ‘painit’ was served, and they then went to their respective rooms to rest – to preserve the remaining energy for the day ahead.

Excited, they were up as early as 7:00 AM. Without even taking a bath, they went to the town center where Khijel had his first taste of ‘puto monggos’. They strolled around the area – wet market, municipal hall, the ruins, and the church.

Strolling around the town proper was enjoyable. One can notice the cleanliness of the place. People were generally nice. But they noticed that they badly need to take a bath. LOL.
The group went back to the wet market to buy some food to cook and immediately went home to have a rest (and take a bath!) and let Dulrich’s father took charge on cooking what they bought from the market.

Canigao Island

At Matalom, Leyte, there’s an island a couple of meters away from the mainland. It’s Canigao.

The group had the boat all by themselves to transport them to the island. Instead of taking a dip, they opted to go around the island first to bond with Mother Nature. The natural beauty of the island never failed to amaze them. 'twas truly wondrous.

After an hour of completing the point to point tour, the three (Peewee, Dulrich, and Oliver) took a dip on the cool water. Khijel stayed on the shore and waited for them. In about a quarter of an hour, they were done, and they headed back to the mainland since it was getting dark. Fortunately, the boat crew waited for them.

They learned that they could spend their night in the island, but they chose not to – not because they didn’t have money, but because dinner was already prepared for them back in the house where they were staying.

Canigao – for sure they will be back bringing more friends – and on that time – they’ll stay for at least a night!

Bontoc Caves


Still full of zest after a day of activities, the group was on their way to Bontoc – the destination which made them most excited on their trip to the island.

Amazed. Again. Since that was Khijel's first time on the place, he appreciated the grandiose beauty of nature. They explored the caves (not one, but almost ten!), and took pictures. The last one they explored was the Cathedral Cave - the biggest of all. Not contented, they found a way to climb to the very top of the cave. 'twas an experience of a lifetime.

Leyte - Ababarians will be back for sure!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Where is Khijel? My Microsoft Global UAT Team Farewell

After six months of working with the Microsoft Global UAT Team, it has finally come to an end. Saddened by the fact that I am leaving the 'best team that i ever had', I am also excited for my next adventures. Below is the farewell email that i sent them:
With the team this great, who would be happy to leave?
Hi guys!

I believe you all know that today is my last day in the office. Six months of excitements: I started with VLCM 1.1 and ends it with VS2010 - I am assuming you know what I mean.

Lots of you are asking how I feel. Just refer to the opening statement of this mail. I would consider myself hyprocrite if I won't admit that. But let me expound more. It's actually mixed emotions. I am sad to leave the team, at the same time, excited for the new adventure that awaits me on my next project.

Well, it is just right for me to move on. I have to accept the fact that this is the type of career i have chosen. Projects here and there - leaving people whom I made great friendship with. Nonetheless, I really appreciate that this is happening - at least I have made connections with the best people of Accenture, different races, different sets of skills, different outlooks in life, but High Performer all together.

This is not goodbye for me - for i am sensing we will work together in the future (whew, i hope my senses are right!). I want to end this email with big THANK YOUs for letting me enjoy the work at the company of friends - yes, you are one of them!

I really hope I'll have another chance to work with all of you again - I'll pray for it. :)

I will still be connected with Accenture so please add in your email contact list and OC However, i will be out for a couple of weeks for vacation - beach, Philippine presidential and local candidates campaign, catching-up with old friends, chill in the province, climb some mountains, and gym! - so I won't be online.

'till then guys, and i know both of us are having exciting days ahead.

See you again,


I will surely miss them. I am reassuring myself that Singapore is just 3 hrs plane ride from Cebu - so not quite bad after all. I can still join them if there's party! Wohoooooo!

I just want to make some notes of my teammates here (in alphabetical order):

My team lead for VLCM. Soft-spoken but very nice to work with.
@Adrian: thank you very much for making me part of that great project. I enjoyed working with you especially on the metrics and TC reviews. I learned a lot - and i admire you for being so calm despite some challenges. Kudos!

The Irish boy. Ooops, here's a good one - Little Irish Boy - coined from Vik on OC (peace Declan!).
@Declan: what can i say... Haha. Thanks again! I just hope Mamta won't get nervous anymore when she speaks to you. She seems to panic everytime. Hehe.

A Filipina. A Singaporean. Both.
@Tin: I know, i know. We always meet on FB. So no more long messages here. Haha. But i just want to thank you for everything - especially for accompanying me everytime i go to the pantry - or even to IT. I hope we can still have the '5PM chat' with the rest. Keep in touch!

On vacation.
@Laurel: When you return, im not in the office anymore. Thanks for giving me the link for the tourist attractions website, and for being so friendly to me, Ate Laurel!

Silent. Loves her Kissy-Kissy
@Mamta: I believe you know everything. Because i tend to rant and share my experiences and stories on our way home. Now, since you will be alone on the train ride goin' home - if you pass Paya Lebar - can you please utter "Paya Lebar Interchange"? Haha. Where is Khijel?

A Filipino. Malibu. + G :P
@Marco: At least here, i am addressing you as Marco. Haha. Keep up the good work, bai! I hope i am in Cebu if you're goin there, and I hope to have a glimpse of your wedding (ooops, did i make it public?). Salamat sa lahat ha. Advices, friendship, company, all! Keep in touch!

Indonesian. And i really thought she was Japanese!
@Marini: I have a lot to thank you for. Basically, you are my mentor from the very start. You shared your knowledge to me more that anyone did. I really appreciate that. It was really a pleasure working with you. I am surely gonna miss the APOC team.

Have plenty of chocolates to give you.
@Nisha: Need I say more? Hehe. I admire your confidence on everything. I hope you can still give me more chocolates and that home-baked cake of yours? :D

Master Feebz. PMO Analyst.
@Phoebe: Phoebe is very good! And where are my $2s? Huh? Haha. Thanks you so much for the laughter Feebz. And i don't hate you. 'twere just jokes - you know it. And oh, can you count how many ribbons you've got? :P

Ito bato, pare!
@Vik: hey man, i won't be surprised that a year from now, we'll be conversing in fluent Tagalog. How do you manage to learn plenty of the languages? Share it man! Pumunta ka sa Pilipinas para ma-ensayo mong mabuti ang pag-ta-Tagalog mo.

Loves her dog. Googled Scrambled Egg. SM Lead.
@Yinn: Thanks Yinn for the support. Remember the discussion that we had? I really appreciate you discussing to me as a friend. Because sometime, a peron needs a friend, and not a lead, to voice out his concerns. I don't know if i could have survived without having that. And yeah, i made public that you google how to cook scrambled eggs! :)
- - -
So basically that's it! And guys, i will never forget those surpises in my lifetime!
Hobey-ho, Everyone!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ako si Ninoy (A Filipino Musicale)

27th of November 2009

Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino Grand Ballroom

"Ako si Ninoy (A Filipino Musicale)" is an eye-breaking play which unfreezes the hero within you. As i pondered on it deeper, it's not just about who Ninoy was, but how an individual in all walks of life can be as heroic - and can be a driver of change - in this seemingly corrupt and inhumane society. A thumbs-up for this! Great work of art!

I even thought at first that the play has some color of politics for the candidacy of Noynoy. But I was wrong. It's just a mere portrayal of how a present-day Filipino can help build (or should i say rebuild?) this country thru actions, and not just words. Yeah, the present-day acts on the play was compared to Ninoy's life back then.

"Sino ba si Ninoy", is an echoing question throughtout the duration of the performance. Ultimately, i hope that the people in the hall realized that there's a Ninoy within them. Not the Ninoy as the person, but the heroic deeds that Ninoy showed. So if i say that there's a Ninoy within me, it should be understood as 'There's a hero within me'.

Sino ba? Sino ba si Ninoy?