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Wednesday, January 15th, 2014
11:45 am - PASKO sa Pinas 2013
A friend stayed with me some days and some nights while I was in Manila.


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Tuesday, January 14th, 2014
2:19 pm - There are days that your humanity catches up with you . . .
You fall in love . . . he doesn't quite feel the same for you, and you go limping away, to gather your broken heart.

This is one of those days.


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Wednesday, January 1st, 2014
11:14 pm - Happy 2014!
Goodbye 2013, now I know I can survive almost anything. When life throws you envious, jealous, scheming people -- dump them all for an adventure.

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Monday, December 2nd, 2013
5:02 pm - tangina!!!
ang olats olats ko!

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Saturday, November 30th, 2013
4:52 pm - 9 na buwan mula nang pumunta ako ng Cambodia . . .
Actually, madali na ang buhay ngayon. 'Ika nga, nagkapag-adjust na.

Parang sa 9 na buwan, kumapit na ang amoy ko sa loob ng opisina (figurative, isipin mo yung mga aso o pusa na umiihi sa paligid nila para malaman ng ibang hayop na territoryo nila yun).

Yung mga tao, sanay na rin sa iyo. Barkada ka na. Kabiruan mo na. Me pa akbay-akbay, chancing-changing (ang 70's) ng term, pero wala pang karelasyon.

Yung siyudad ng Phnom Penh, halos nakakabisa mo na. Alam mo na kung saan ang palengke, ang grocery, ang maliliit na department store, ang mga bar, ang massage parlor, etc. etc. Ang daan dito, pag nasanay ka, kabit-kabit at paikot-ikot lang. Lahat papuntang Riverside, (Mekong River) na para bang iyon na ang pinakamagandang ilog sa mundo.

Yung mga ka-work mong Cambodian, alam mong ayaw ng overtime, ayaw ng 2 o 3 assignment na sabay-sabay. Nai-stress sila. Nagkakasakit. Umaangal. Kapag nag OT isang weekend, mag-aabsent kinabukasan. Alam mo na yun.

Alam ko na by this time na konti lang ang English vocabulary nila so mula empleado hanggang tuktuk driver, common sentence na "I'm busy" kapag ayaw nilang magtrabaho. O sige, kayo na ang busy. Gusto kong sampalin sa mukha at sabihing "ikaw lang ba ang may karapatang maging busy??? I define mo nga sa akin ang busy? Ano ang parameters para masabing busy ang isang tao??? "

Alam ko na rin na medyo hindi mataas ang grade nila sa "abstract reasoning" kaya minsan hindi nila napi-figure out na one thing leads to another. Example : Pilipino ako, hindi ako nakakaintindi ng Khmer, so bakit ako kailangan present sa radio recording na khmer? Sa meeting na puro khmer ang usapan? Another example, kapag me rush na trabaho, at priority, dapat walang ibang trabahong ipapasok. Pero dahil mahina nga sa cause and effect, at abstract reasoning, pasok lang nang pasok ng trabaho tapos magtataka kung bakit hindi natapos on time. Hay naku, maraming example na talagang nakakapikon.

Pero sabi ko nga, nakaka-adjust na ako. Gumigising pa rin ako ng 5am (Philippine Standard Time) na alas 4 ng umaga dito, pero alas 12 na ko ng tanghali (Phnom Penh time) kung kumain na 1:00pm na sa Pinas.

Yung buhok tumigas at balat kong umitim nung mga unang buwan, medyo slightly tanned na lang ang kulay at bumalik na ang lambot ng buhok ko. Kailangan lang alagaan sa panteen conditioner para mareplenish ang keratin.

So ano ang conclusion ko sa lahat ng ito? Para akong damo. Kahit saan lupa mo ako ibato, mabubuhay ako. When was the last time you did something for the first time? Eto yun. First time kong magtrabaho abroad.

Kaya ko. So, panahon para humanap ulit ng bagong adventure.


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Thursday, November 28th, 2013
8:58 am - i think . . .
I'm in love. :(

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Thursday, October 24th, 2013
10:22 am - the problem with any foreigner here in Cambodia . . .
including myself, is that we come here, expecting the same level of sophistication we have been accustomed to at home.

Yesterday, another marketing man expects to push the envelope higher with his speed and power product, not realizing that CAmbodian males are not comfortable at showing aggression and that at this point of their lives, they are still on survival phase more than self-actualization or assertion or individualism.

Another lady client speaks so lowly of Cambodians whenever we meet I wonder what makes her think she can improved her marketing situation by antagonizing the local talents.

Yes Cambodia accepts changes, but if they are keeping up with the rest of the world, is still a question. They like good things for themselves, but so far, I have not seen the discipline needed for them to create those good things themselves.

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Monday, September 23rd, 2013
2:43 pm - Do or don't . . .
Don't fall in love with me . . . I will soon be leaving for my own home.
or fall in love with me fast, before i leave.

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Monday, September 16th, 2013
4:08 pm - 10 Things I love about Saigon . . .
Before my visit to Saigon (now known as Ho Chin Min City), the image in my mind was a country with painful scars of war still written all over it's dingy face. I imagined small bodied people, unsmiling, groaning under the weight of communism, with nothing but a fews signs of development and vast tracks of rice-fields. But to my surprise, names (like Saigon) and its related images are all but far from reality. Here are the 10 things I loved about the place :

1. War is over, life is on the upswing. There is no trace of war in the city. Instead, skyscrapers, big department stores and very dynamic trade is what i saw. International brands are displayed on big billboards, similar to those global cities in the world. Saigon Skydeck gives you a 360 degree view of the city, and you can see progress from horizon to horizon!


2. The people are welcoming to foreigners. You would think that they would be limited with their interactions to foreigners, firstly because of language barrier (very little or no english) and secondly because of their violent past, BUT NO. They more than make up for these with their enthusiasm, friendly smiles, and natural flair for salesmanship;


3. The city is clean. Trees are abundant and really tall (not the manicured type gardens of Singapore, but naturally-cared for, matured trees that have their own "personal" space on the sidewalks) The government respect the trees, they are not viewed as causing traffic or being an obstruction to pedestrian like we do in the Philippines.


4. People are more "polished" far from the cheongsam clad girls wearing "salakot" hats or cone-shaped head dress perpetuated by many Hollywood movies. There are people who are fashionistas and can be found in plush malls (like saigon sky deck), generally, people dress good and look good.

5. Everyone is concerned about the welfare of a foreigner. We took out our camera phones, eager to capture those beautiful sights of Saigon streets. Old ladies, well-meaning gentlemen, ladies in motorbike warn us to keep our phones out of sight as there are snatchers. We can only thank these strangers for their concern for strangers like us.

6. English is not a problem. Sign language will do. They so easily adopt and understands us.

7. There is discipline. The streets don't have heaps of garbage like in Manila. Those tables and food carts that come out at night to occupy the sidewalks, they maintain cleanliness and they disappear by daytime. Also, i did not encounter a smoke belcher (either bus or motorbike) which we have a lot, lot, lot in the Philippines.

8. Hygiene in food preparation. I ventured into one lady making salad on the street food cart. I was amazed to see that she changes food gloves for every customer who buys from her. Even if she doesn't understand English, she tells me her food is delicious, and I agree, it is exotically delicious!


9. CAfe Viet, i was wondering what is the big deal about it, but when I tasted it, the Viets know their coffee.

10. Hardworking people. Young and old people, they push their cart into the night market, to make some bucks. Always sprightly when asked and willing to haggle their prices further. They even take time to know Filipinos, saying that "mura na" (cheap already) Not "mahal" or expensive.

and yes, the beautiful Notre Dame Church, the Reunification Palace, the big parks with lots of trees, and the authentic Pho Bac meals, yummy! Life is looking good in Saigon!



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Friday, September 13th, 2013
8:46 am - lonely . . .

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Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013
5:55 pm - there are just times . . .
when you suddenly feel lonely. :((

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Monday, July 29th, 2013
4:47 pm - Thank you, Lord, thank you, Universe, thank you whatever power there may be . . .

for my 48th Summer.

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Tuesday, June 18th, 2013
7:09 am - Mobile version
Testing. How do you put pics? Hey why do i get vietnamese messages?

Запись сделана с помощью m.livejournal.com.

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Saturday, May 25th, 2013
11:55 pm - One of my deepest fears . . .
Is to grow old.

Yes, am afraid that one day i will look in the mirror and not recognize the face before me.
Because age has finally caught up and not a trace of my original self can be seen.

So i keep ID fotos taken 20 or so years ago. A lot of my photos has been destroyed by flood in my flood-prone hometown of Malabon.

But when i do see my photos 20 or so years ago, i tend to wonder . . . where has that young man in the picture gone? I have always felt that I am ugly eveytime my picture is taken. Ever since I was in my teens, till my 30s, i have always considered myself unattractive. I was always not satisfied with the way I look.

But now, looking back at my young self, I wonder, what have I done to my youth? to my lost youth? Do you think I was ugly when I was young? I honestly did.

Screen Shot 2013-05-25 at 11.21.12 PM
Screen Shot 2013-05-25 at 11.21.24 PM
Screen Shot 2013-05-25 at 11.22.10 PM
dec 2012

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Sunday, May 19th, 2013
8:31 pm - Well, I didn't retire from advertising . . .
but i did changed the setting.

Away from Manila, into some peninsula here in Southeast Asia, where I felt I stepped back in time, something like 30 years or so.

So it is still advertising that's making me alive, keeping me alive. Except that I am now in Phnom Pehn, the capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia. A country inhabited by people so closely resembling my own Filipino brothers, but who is so different in language, religion and culture.

After all the pains of the 2012 - the betrayals, envy, alignment and realignment of so-called "friends" and foes, people who had materially aggrandized themselves through my connections, hardwork and sweat, i finally gave up and left everything up to God and Karma. I believe it will work it's way in the end back to them. Karma finally catching up on them.

My conscience is clear. I had worked as honestly as i could, I earned every money I saved, and invested personal time and energy and so much, much more. The emotional beatings i received from the success-obssessed client, the servitude i need to put on every time I face the Japanese executives, the long hours, lost weekends, cancelled vacations and so on . . . these have no monetary equivalent. I did them because I loved my job. Not the client, not the company who sees me as free lunch (and rent, and bonuses and maintenance) for 3 years, not anyone, but I love me and my career.

Sure, there were emotional pains leaving behind Manila so abruptly. I need to cut ties with my comfortable night life, i have to leave behind my cars and my own condo unit. I had to put on hold, albeit, hopefully, temporarily, any prospect of putting up my own business (I don't have the courage to be a businessman, though, that much I realized. But I know that sooner or later, not too late, i will venture into business eventually).

Life in Phnom Pehn.

LIfe is simple. I am not particularly starting from scratch, but now I know how it feels to be really away from home. i am still part of management team, an account director, but the people i deal with now are diverse, more international.

We have american, british, indian, filipino and khmers in the office. The clients are either Americans, or some other foreign national, aside form the well-placed locals.

While in Manila I own 2 cars and drive from 1-2 hours of traffic just to get to work, here I ride the lowly tuk-tuk as taxi cabs are scarce. But it takes 15-20 mins to reach work.

The sun shines hotter here. Early morning at 7am and the sun is already raging up in the sky. I have grown 5 shades darker here. While in Manila, I enjoy a virtually sunless day, being cooped up in my condo, inside the car, and under an umbrella shade, here the sun just keeps on frying you, lesser trees, open air tuk tuks, and just plain humid, hot wind blowing on your hair and face.

I noticed my hair getting stiffer, too. So i shampoo more and condition more to keep it at least as supple as it can be under these harsh elements.

And body sweat! Oh boy, do I sweat, and smell sweaty, here that I was in Manila.

Emotional Recovery

One of the reasons why I jumped into this job, even if it does offer a little less than what I was making in Manila, was that I need to recover. Being betrayed and trying to sweep the angry feeling under, or cover it with a smile, is stressful. The distance between me and the characters who stabbed me in the back is so short, so minimal, i can bumped into them unintentionally on weekends, on malls and even in my professional circle.

Being away from the country will help me focus more on my own welfare instead of the pain they caused me. Being away means they cannot track me down, call my number, or do small talk with them. Sure they can talk about me, invent stories (they already did) to cover up their own inadequacies, but am so far away that it is foolish to do so.

When I saw the new materials, I was angry. They did not even have the decency to formally end our 7 year relationship politely. I was angry that I always have to say a silent prayer to nip those anger in the bud. I hate to be an angry person again. I was angry young man. I grew up being angry with a lot of people. It is not a good emotion but it certainly is a powerful one, it fueled me through all those difficult fights I had in my life.

But now, I am no longer a young man. And i no longer want to be angry. Sure, i am still capable to hurling back hurting words, of throwing catty remarks, of subtly putting down someone who has done me wrong. I am even more capable of inflicting physical pain. But let me reserve that for more worthy opponents.

These ones, I want to drive them down their knees with prayers. I want destiny and karma to take up the fight for me. I have seen this happen before, and i trust it will happen again.

Meanwhile, I am slowly but surely being healed here.

Last night, somebody sent me a message that says she saw the new tvc materials so often, they must have had a big budget this year. I read it and just went back to sleep. I was trying to feel if there was a tinge of anger in my heart. There was none. I drifted back to peaceful night's sleep.

I think my healing has started.




current mood: calm

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Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013
4:26 pm - i want to . . .

Somewhere where there are greens, sunshine, sea and fresh air.


Somewhere i don't have to brave the early morning and early evening traffic. Where i would be awaken by roosters crowing, and not alarm clock blaring.


Somewhere where plants, poultry and livestock are organically grown. Where money is not a problem.

from advertising.

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Friday, January 4th, 2013
9:38 am - And so I did not thank 2012 nor welcomed 2013 till now.
2012 was a bag of mix nuts. Good nuts on some months but mostly bad nuts all the way through.

It was a time when all enemies align to bring me down. It was a time to fend off character attacks. A time to thresh false friends from real enemies. A time to fight for one's principles.

In simple language, I lost a big account that is feeding the mouths of big people in a small (very small) ad agency.

I gained a big account with a miniscule budget and an equally enormous (marketing decision-making) problems.

I gained old enemies (literally old people) who wants to make more money out of me. C'mon jess and ernie, I sustained your agency for 3 years, working like your and client's slave.

The good book says "if someone wants your coat, offer them your tunic as well." I guess these bible-quoting, religion-practicing old men truly take that to heart, except they are more the taker than the giver. I offered them an account that can sustain their operation, they wanted the account for themselves!

So at the strike of 12 midnight, January 1, 2013, my relationship with this small ad agency came to an end.

Is that a good omen or a bad karma? Only time will tell. What I do with my life in 2013 is truly my call.

In the meantime, I need an emotional detox from these poisonous emotions.

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Sunday, October 14th, 2012
5:04 pm - sick feeling
okay, this is the safest place to post my feelings . . . am having anxiety attack due to this stupid project am doing. grrrrrr

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Thursday, October 11th, 2012
3:15 pm - i want to go on a sabbatical leave.
no amount of massage. no amount of medicine. no amount of prayers can make my stress go away.

I really want to go on a long vacation. How long? 2 months at least. A time when i will get bored with boredom itself. Promise, tatapusin ko lang ang project na ito. Collected or not ang fees for this project, i wll pack my bags and hie-off to oblivion.

am sick in the heart, mind and spirit.

i want to say goodbye to advertising for a while.

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Sunday, September 30th, 2012
7:59 pm - i am wounded emotionally . . .
like an animal i must retreat to safety.

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

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