Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Kids Fight Like in a Telenovela

I haven’t spent time with my two nieces for longer than two hours for more than a year now. It was my off-day, had nothing to do—or just too lazy to do it, and it was oven-hot in my room. So I went to my cousin’s house, just a couple of blocks away and only my nieces, and a relative, were there. Eventually we decided to have a snack or rather a ‘merienda’.

The older one, is in second year high school and her sister is in the fourth grade. So they went to the kitchen to get leftover spaghetti and had it reheated.

After eating ‘merienda’, I felt like I was watching a LIVE TELENOVELA with a spontaneous script and I even had the best seat in the house. So here’s what happened: 

Setting: We ate at the sala, and the plates, glasses and Coke bottle were on the center table.

No one was standing up to clean, including me—bad uncle, haha!.


The younger one stood and was about to bring her glass to the sink.

Elder niece: paki-sabay mo naman yung plato (Danielle, please bring the plates with you too.)
Younger niece: Ako na naman! Ako mas bata, ako pa kikilos! (Me again! I’m the younger one and I’m the one doing chores!)
E: Eh isasabay mo lang naman yung plato, papunta ka naman dun, hindi mo magawa. (You’re already going to the sink, why is bringing the plates with you so big of a deal)
Y: Lagi naman ako eh! Ako din nagpapakain ng aso! (Because it’s always me! I’m even the one who’s always feeding the dog.)
E: Sayo naman yung aso na yun ah! Ikaw may responsibilidad dun. (Well, you own that dog. You have the responsibility for it)
Y: Hindi ko naman pinagdadamot. Nilalaro mo rin naman ah masama ba’ng alagaan mo din. (I’m not being selfish. You even play with it, is it bad if you pet it too.)
E: Ako kaya nagpaligo dun nung isang araw. Napakahirap ba isabay ang pinagkainan namin diyan sa baso mo?!? (I’m even the one who gave it bath the other day. Is it so hard to bring the plates we’ve eaten on with that glass?)
Y: Ikaw naman kasi kumilos ka din, kasi sa’ting dalawa ako na lang lagi, eh ikaw ang ate! (You should also do chores, because between the both of us, I’m always the one doing stuff, an you’re the elder sister!)
E: Bakit, ‘pag may utos, sino ba kumikilos hah! Mas marami akong papel dito! (And why is that? When there are errands, who does those errands? I have a bigger role here!)
I was trying so hard not to disturb their exchange. I tried so hard to make it appear like I was so fascinated by the flower vase just to prevent notice that I was enjoying myself. But humor was up to my brim and I accidentally let out a snort. Catching the two off-guard, both of them suddenly realized how dramatic their lines were and they ended up laughing as well. That’s when I pointed out that as sisters, they shouldn’t be fighting on petty matters. I also told them, or rather an attempt to talk in between giggles, that they were fighting like characters in a telenovela and advised them to reduce time watching drama series.

And both of them brought the plates and glasses to the sink, laughing together. I didn’t know that hanging out with them is this much fun.

photo courtesy http://joemer.blogetery.com


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Why I Won't Vote Noynoy

Why should I vote in the first place?
This democratic process, or so-called “election”, has long been tainted with deceit and disgustingly blatant lies that seemingly swindled the voice of God—Vox Populi, Vox Dei (The voice of the people is the voice of God). A scandal that rocked the very foundation of the republic, removing whatever guise of austerity left in casting votes.

At that time, with discord and habitual protests, it felt like an indefinite strength was amassing, and the Philippines would be known once more as a country asserting liberation from underhanded oppression of rights. But it didn’t, the gathering fire was doused. Anger, borne from distrust, turned dormant, domesticated. Nausea, borne from ingeniously rumored corruption, turned to insignificant burps, minute disorganized rallies easily dissolved by hose water.

Doubt in the system leads to decay, eventual sickening tolerance and acceptance of the unacceptable—as if we’ve started swallowing the bitter truth, our tongues silenced by fear of being included in the list of people never heard from again, our stomachs immaculately ablated, hampering our chance to vomit in disgust, and our eyes dried out, no more tears to shed for impoverished countrymen.
Moreover, who should I vote?
President-wannabes seem to have the audacity to showcase the contents of their pockets with time-consuming advertisements, unafraid of audit, they splash their resumés across TV screens. Just this year, the ratings of political and government ads combined could seemingly trump the ratings of the two titan TV stations. Miriam Defensor was right in taunting these undeniable attempts to hoard votes. It’s amazing how financially problematic the country would appear, but still capable of churning out costly dismal promotions.
Perhaps the new Richard Gutierrez or Gerald Anderson would be the face and owner of a premature presidential ad campaign—without the desirability of the two actors’ physical features.

And here comes Noynoy Aquino, an instant political celebrity from the death of his mother, icon of democracy, Cory Aquino. This brings the Philippines in a state of déjà vu, and this clamor for another Aquino president may have been brought by Filipinos’ love of melodrama or ‘ala-telenovela’ storyline.

Cory’s ascension to power was brought by a controversial and political death of his husband and supposed-to-be president Ninoy Aquino. Noynoy Aquino on the other hand was found by the spotlight due to the innocent death of her mother Cory Aquino. Ninoy’s death called Filipinos to unite for democracy, Cory’s burial reminded Filipinos of what was achieved by unity and the democracy she fought for. Cory ran under the LABAN party opposing Marcos, under the Liberal Party, Noynoy is the current torch-bearer of the Liberal Party. And Cory fought an operational dictatorial government, while Noynoy would run to repair a malfunctioning democratic system.
But why not Noynoy?
I won’t vote for Noynoy just because he’s the son of Cory and Ninoy Aquino, his blood may have the genetics to fight for democracy but it won’t suffice the brim of reason to bring him to Malacañang. I won’t vote for him just because of his track record as a congressman and senator, the president’s job is different—on so many levels. I won’t vote for him just because he appears to be a reluctant candidate, also exhibited by Cory before. I certainly won’t vote for him just because Mar Roxas made a “supreme sacrifice” and passed the chance to run for president. I won’t vote for him just because everyone else is asking, requesting for him to run. And I certainly won’t vote for Noynoy for the sole reason that, the most revered Cory Aquino, died—ultimately reminding us about a hard-earned democracy. For this, I would exercise my right to vote no matter how dubious the election is.

I would vote Noynoy, because among the surfacing presidential candidates, only Noynoy Aquino has the capacity to reunite, the divided and subdivided, Filipinos.

What the country needs now is not an economist, not a journalist, not a soldier, not even a housewife, nor a dancing politician, certainly not an actor, and most certainly not a dictator, but a president—a president who can effortlessly rally Filipinos towards a united goal.
That’s why I will vote Noynoy.

photo courtesy www.wowdavao.com


Saturday, September 12, 2009

Customer Service and Humor

Working in a call center, for the first time, has its own ups and downs. But generally, the experience, and retention, would depend on the account you work for. For example, a financial account would probably handle numerous irate customers due to the nature of their concern, which is money, the usual cause for a teaspoon-sized temper for most people. Though it is relatively easy to sign-up and enlist, it is also easy to lose interest in what you’re doing and leave, either the account, the company or—the job. Who wants to be a stress-ball for customers frustrated with the products or services of the business entity you work for? Agents would. But like I said, it has ups as well, aside from the money, of course a definite up, here are a few call experiences that I’ve heard from other call center agents.
Note that names, accounts and other sensitive information are withheld for confidentiality purposes. And these short dialogues are slightly edited. But the gist is there.
> Airline Customer Service
Agent: Good morning! Thank you for calling “Airlines”. I’m Agent, How can I assist you today?
Customer: Hi there! And good morning to you too Agent. You see I’m travelling with my two sons, for the first time (laughs), which excites them both since it’s their first time to ride a plane. I would like to see if you could get us, you know, Window Seats?
Agent: I’d be happy to assist you with that, let me just check if there are Window Seats available.
(There are two seats beside all Windows. Agent located Window Seats away from the wing, for the two boys, to make them enjoy the flight.)
Agent: I am pleased to inform you Ma’am that I can reserve Window Seats for you, would you like me to do that now?
Customer: Yeah sure, just one more favor Agent. Can you place me between my two boys?
Agent: (dumbfounded silence)
(Thinking: between the two boys, with two Window Seats? So one of her son is outside the plane?!?)
Agent: Sure Ma’am no problem! (Places them all Window Seats, one boy in front of the mother, and one behind her)
> Mobile Phone Technical Support
Agent: Good morning! Thank you for calling “Mobile Phone”. I’m Agent, How can I assist you today?
Customer: Gawd! I was on hold for like ages there! (Agent injects an apology but Customer goes on) Anyway, (sighs in frustration) my Bluetooth isn’t working. I just bought this you know, and it’s not working. I can’t even send a photo to my friend!
(reads that Customer is calling from Oklahoma) (Agent probes)
Agent: Ma’am, when you tried to send the image, where were you and your friend?
Customer: My friend is in Ohio. 
Agent: (stunned silence)
> Laptop Technical Support
Agent: Good morning! Thank you for calling “Laptop”. I’m Agent, How can----
Customer: (Apparently Irate) I’VE BEEN ON HOLD FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF! I’ve CALLED you because this F*@ing machine that costs A LOT OF DOLLARS which I JUST BOUGHT YESTERDAY isn’t working NOW! I turned it ON yesterday and it has been WORKING FINE since. BUT JUST THIS MORNING it suddenly SHUT DOWN while I was watching a movie! PIECE O’CRAP! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH IT NOW HUH!?!
Agent: Sir, is there any light on the power.
Customer: NO! WHAT AM I STUPID? I TOLD YOU, IT SHUT DOWN BY ITSELF. I keep trying to turn it on but NO! It’s not turning on and NO! It doesn’t have a light on the POWER! Stupid *ss.
Agent: Have you checked the connections sir?
Customer: THIS IS A LAPTOP, you idiot, it’s not supposed to have connections.
Agent: Sir, I was just asking if you have it connected to a power socket?
Customer: WHAT? You mean this cable here?
Agent: Yes sir, because you would need to charge it.
> Laptop Technical Support
Agent: Good morning! Thank you for calling “Laptop”. I’m Agent, How can I assist you today?
Customer: Yeah, I have a CD that contains a program I want to install. How do I do that?
Agent: Go to the Drive where you have inserted the CD and right-click on it.
Customer: Hold on. How do I insert it to my laptop?
(Agent sighs on mute)
Agent: At the side of the laptop, there’s a button there. Press it and insert your CDROM
Customer: (trying to locate the eject button) okay let me try that..at the..side.. (presses on the button, and in a very surprised tone) OH! THE CUPHOLDER!?!
Agent: (WHAT?!?) I’m sorry, what was that?
Customer: I use this as my cupholder!
> Mobile Phone Customer Service 
Agent: Good morning! Thank you for calling “Mobile Phone”. I’m Agent, How can I assist you today?
Customer: O hi there! I would like to know my IMEI number. (the physical unit's unique number)
Agent: I’m more than happy to provide you with that. Actually sir, you can also see your IMEI number at the back of your phone when you remove its battery, and---
Sir? ..Hello? Can you hear me sir?
> Customer Service
Agent: Agent: Good morning! Thank you for calling. I’m Agent, How can I assist you today? 
Customer: Your Customer Service is just awful..I mean c’mon, I’ve been on hold for like 2 HOURS AND A HALF. I’ve been transferred from the other department, who doesn’t speak English by the way, saying that you could help me. But Gawd, 2 hours? And you call that Customer Service? That’s not service, that’s customer disservi------

(busy tone..call got disconnected)
Well this is just a few anecdotes that got us laughing. And made us realize why the call center industry is booming. Feel free to share funny calls, just make sure that you don't include sensitive information.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

FEU Advocate writes its history

Reuniting the Advocate alumni to reminisce and relive the publication’s glory

The FEU Advocate is calling for its alumni to come back. Regretfully, the 26-years-gap between the renowned Advocate that joined the battle for democracy and the Revival Advocate, strained a vital alumni connection. For 12 years since its rebirth, it has published current events, stories needed to be known and understood by its readers. And much weight is borne by the publication’s function, thrusting all efforts to attain its purpose year-in and year-out downplayed an equally meaningful undertaking—recognizing the past.

Time is far more than ripe, yet it is never too late to sound the horn that will rally the Tamaraw Advocates again. This time, not a call to arms for press freedom, but a call to reminisce, to relive and to finally write the Advocate that was, for the Advocate that is, and for the Advocate that will be.

We call for your aid. Aid us in exacting and solidifying a volatile history of the publication. A grand Advocate alumni reunion is set to occur on January in celebration of the FEU Advocate’s 75th year of existence, more details regarding this event will be disseminated.

This is a rare occasion that will give you, Advocate alumni, a chance to share what you know and experienced, and to see and witness where the FEU Advocate is now. That the publication that means more to you than anyone else, is still here—existing and calling for your return.

We also call for help from FEU alumni who witnessed the publication’s releases before its shut down in 1972. You can assist us by providing or lending us old copies, photos or other relics related to the FEU Advocate. Contact us and share your stories.

For those who just came upon this call, you can also help by publicizing this project, ultimately expanding our reach to Advocate alumni.

Any assistance is much appreciated. Please contact Aubrey 09277953575 or Edge 09275437732, or email us through advohisto@gmail.com. You can also visit our website at http://advocatehistory.blogspot.com/


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