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!