Things I Miss from My Previous Job

Six months after I resigned from PAGCOR, allow me to walk down the memory lane and cherish my Top 10 reasons why I should miss my previous job.  Not that I don’t/ didn’t miss it, but I was awed by the smooth transition that I went through from one job to the next.  I didn’t experience separation anxiety at all- no wrong turn on the road leading to Manila instead of Makati, no wrong greetings on the phone, no wrong office phone number when I give it out.  I was surprised at myself! 

Thinking about it, I’ve been with PAGCOR for almost 8 years yet there was uh, nothing.  Again, this is not to say that I did not love or enjoy my previous job.  I did.  At times.

So here it is, the Top 10 list that my former colleagues may hopefully find instructive when they find themselves on the crossroads.

10.  Alleah’s

Alleah’s is the corporate office’s longest serving concessionaire owned by husband and wife team Al and Leah.  They serve your everyday lutong bahay (home cooked) meals, not anything fancy except on some very special occasions.  I can say that Alleah’s nourished my body for some four years, from liemposilog merienda to sizzling sisig lunch.  Lea would sometimes cook up something special for me during one of those hungry days.  Plus I always get a birthday special and a Christmas goodie.  Although Alleah’s meals can sometimes become boring and tasteless (oops, sorry Lea), I still miss my cafeteria dining experience, not to mention the IOU arangement that oftentimes reaches 2 full pages of unpaid meals.

9.  Eye-Ris 

One thing I may not be able to live without is a nice and friendly optometrist and an accessible optical shop that sells inexpensive eye necessities.  Since I am half-blind without my eyeglasses or contact lenses, Eye-Ris Optical Shop is a convenient friend that I go to everytime I feel uncomfortable, or when I am in need of that tender loving optical care.  Located right behind PAGCOR corporate office in Padre Faura, Eye-Ris is ably run by its lady proprietess, Dr. Erlyn Go who have been very kind to me for some 7 years.  Unlike optical shops in malls, Eye-Ris offers personalized service, call-in and delivery service, and most especially, pay you later arrangement (only for selected customers though).

8.  Solidaridad

A bookshop owned by National Artist F. Sionil Jose in Padre Faura, Manila, (La) Solidaridad had been my favorite hangout after lunch.  I will take a short walk to the bookstore and just stay there browsing every book, smelling the scent of old printed papers, searching for a good rare find, wishing I have this, and I have that.  The place makes me alive, reminiscent of my days in UP where I stay at the NCPAG library during my breaks, not necessarily reading anything.

7.  Manila Bay Sunset

Certainly, a thing to behold.  I miss watching the sunset from a place called Jurassic Park.  It is that pocket garden line that separates Roxas Boulevard from the Service Road.  Manila Bay sunset is magnificent.  It calms down a stressful day.  It promises a new morning.  And of course, it signals the end of a workshift (and probably announces that beer time is near).  Sunsets are best consumed with cigarettes and fishballs perhaps.

6.  Doc

Doc is our Jack of all trades.  He prepares my coffee in the morning and another cup in the afternoon.  Not that I feel entitled to a coffee on my desk each time I arrive at the office.  I wouldn’t mind preparing my own cup.  But I believe that Doc does this not out of obligation but of affection.  Doc would slighly scold me if he catches me making my own coffee.  That I guess is a job’s most rewarding experience, when people you are working with genuinely cares for your being.   Thanks Doc for every cup of coffee made perfectly for me.

5.  Free Parking

Self explanatory. 

4.  ADO, CDO and Travel Time

Accumulated Day Off in PAGCOR parlance.  ADO, or its little brother, CDO for Change Day Off is a luxury nowadays.  We don’t have ADO but we have DIL for Days in Lieu.  Same concept of swapping your day off for work and work day for a day off.  But it is kind of more difficult to file a DIL.  Oh well, it is just the workaholic in me.  Another thing that I really miss is Travel Time.  We don’t have Travel time because everybody seems to be Flying In Flying Out (FIFO) regularly.  Gensan and Manila is just a short ride, it is a normal occurence, part of the job.  Who needs travel time?  (I do!)

3.  Emerald, Manukan and Razon’s Halohalo

Working in Manila area is a bliss for foodies on a budget.  I long to take my lunch in Emerald’s Garden and savor once again its sweet and succulent patatim, the delicious yang chow fried rice, its mouth watering salt and pepper ribs, the jumbo siopao and a lot more.  I miss the nights out with the boys in Manukan for their best tasting chicken ass barbeque and ice cold beer.  Of course, as summer heat reaches all-time high at 38 degrees, I long for Razon’s halohalo.  These things I terribly miss.

2.  Trainings R Us

I miss the activities inherent to a training function- from conceptualization, to preparation, to designing training aides and paraphernalia, to T-Day and beyond.  There have been too much brainstroming that would sometimes rival the fury of typhoon Ondoy.  There have too much creativity too, I must say, from the people I’ve worked with.  Designing a training program is an art; it makes you paint a picture of what you want to happen.  Conducting a training is another art, like sculpting, molding people’s mind and hopefully it touches their souls.  Lately, I’ve been enjoying my part on the other side of a training room, as an eager participant if not a difficult one, and as an observer, comparing what we have done before and wishing we could have done some more.

I also treasure the wacky days I had with the assortment of characters from our BTC.  I have so much respect for these people, whom I’d learn to admire for their unique sensibilities, heroic loyalty and a great sense of duty.  I’ll be missing much our semi-annual conferences, and that of the Protocol Committee, too.

1.  The TDU Team

Ah, if I were given a chance to work again with these people, I wouldn’t think twice. (I sounded like a blockbuster film director there).  Anyway, working has never been fun and fulfilling with these people around.  There may be bad feelings once in a while, but that is quite natural.  In the end, what really matters is how we delivered as a team.  I value both process and results.  But what I treasure most is everyone’s input in the production process.  Thankfully, I must say that these people are not short in inputs, they have enjoyed the process and ultimately, we have had outstanding results not only as peers in the workplace, but most importantly, as friends that will bind us for life.


Why I left my glamorous job

Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain   

Call it the 7-year itch because in a month’s time, I will be saying goodbye to my 7-year old career as corporate training officer for a public corporation.  I may have what most people would consider an enviable job given the perks that goes with it– generous paycheck, quarterly bonuses, car plan, housing plan, a dedicated parking slot, clothing allowance, top-of-line healthcare plan, and bonuses of up to 1xth month pay.  It was no surprise then that when I told some people about my jumping ship, they considered me a fool.  Who in his right mind would want to give up a life in Utopia?

What are you willing to give up to go up?

I was never your Average Joe.  I hate being average or normal or pedestrian for that matter.  I am always stubborn and arrogant.  I am restless. I am ambitious.  I know that I am destined to be great, and that I can never personify or achieve such greatness while trapped in my own Utopia, comfortably sitting on my executive chair in an air-conditioned office facing my flat screen monitor inside my well-appointed cubicle.  These are my faults and I am proud to have these virtues running in my veins.  To go up, to achieve greatness, I must give up the things that although provides for my own instant gratification, would in the long run become the very hindrance to my own self actualization.


Life is a cycle.  If I will not leave now, I will miss the next one.

And if I do not leave now, I am afraid that I would not have the capacity to find any reason or courage in the future to leave.  I will rot and I will die.  If I am no longer learning any thing  new, or does not push myself to the wall with exciting, challenging, never-done-before endeavors, then I am not growing anymore.  Life is too short, I shall not waste it.

I am giving up stability over uncertainty.  I am giving up security over my own freedom.  Freedom to chart my own destiny, freedom to allow myself the full benefits of the mysteries that surround life in general.  Freedom to learn and to unlearn.  Freedom to become what I wanted to be.  Security on the other hand, and quite paradoxically is constricting, suffocating and stymying.  It secures your body but imprisons your spirit.  It kills your ability to dream big dreams.  It annihilates the greatness in us.

APTOPIX Germany Athletics Worlds

I am a big fish in a small pond, not anymore.  I’m taking one step backward only to gain a momentum for the big jump into the big pond.

Hitting the Glass Ceiling

A glass ceiling is an invisible boundary for career advancement.  Once you’ve hit it, you can never get any higher.  It is called glass ceiling because it is transparent; you can see the top but you can never reach it.  Some may have successfully shaterred his or her own glass ceiling but it took time, centuries maybe.


The right of suffrage was a glass ceiling for women before.  They were not allowed to vote until the glass ceiling was broken in the early 20th century.

African- Americans were also not given the right to vote but that glass ceiling was broken through after a long and arduous battle.  Today, we have a black American occupying the presidency, considered before as a glass ceiling to many black politicians.  If Hillary Clnton was elected president instead of Barack Obama, the glass ceiling for lady executives could have been completely eliminated.

I may have hit my very own career glass ceiling.  For seven years, I have seen no movement in my career.  If I am not moving, then I don’t even have a career to speak of in the first place.  I feel stuck already and I hate how it feels.  A prisoner would have felt better knowing that his sentence is finite.  As for me, I cannot cross out the dates on the calendar counting down my eventual release.

I need to re-invent myself or to plan a jailbreak.  If the glass can’t be broken, getting out could just be a better option. 


Else, I’ll die old and grumpy like the others who have come and gone before me.

r u E S or B I?

I’ve been reading a lot of Robert Kiyosaki these days and I feel enlightened. Like a child in his first Aha! moment, I was surprised by the profundity and power of this book and at the same time, annoyed at myself for not having read Kiyosaki’s books sooner.

51ohfre8lgl__bo2204203200_pisitb-sticker-arrow-clicktopright35-76_aa240_sh20_ou01_1I spent almost four years in B-school but not one of my professors there ever mentioned or made Kiyosaki a required reading.  In fact, these types of books were classified as self-help and students were told to shy away from, like the plague, because self-helps, we were told, are just commercial ploys intended to capture the single-minded non-readers.

They were right about the single-minds but wrong about Kiyosaki.

The book’s power lies in its simplicity, honesty, matter-of-fact discussions, and use of stories, or allegories to drive home a point.  I was not at all bothered by those who criticizes Kiyosaki for the seemingly fictional characterization of his Rich Dad (no one can locate him and Kiyosaki is mum about his whereabouts) because, I guess the use of Rich Dad is a literally license.

Rich Dad Poor Dad, like his other books, is for those who want to be wealthy.  The first step to creating wealth is to find out where you are right now.  Kiyosaki thus introduces the Cashflow Quadrants:  the E for employment, S for small business and self-employment, B for big business and I for investments. 

He said that most people were/ are educated to become good employees who pay their taxes religiously (since income taxes are automatically deducted in company’s payroll), and eventually retire upon reaching the age of 65, hoping that their pension plans can pay for their lifestyle after retirement.  People in this quadrant are POOR.

The other poor people are those who have small businesses, the kind where owner is also the sole employee.  Poor people have one thing in common:  they lack passive income and they thrive in fear (fear of losing their jobs, fear of investing their money).

The other two quadrants are where the rich people are:  big business owners and investors.  Rich people are risk takers because they understand what they are doing.  They are not only educated in the traditional school sense but they have, most importantly invested much time in their financial education.  While poor people work for money, rich people let their money work for them. 

Unfortunately, our formal education system does not teach us these things.  Is there a grand conspiracy somewhere to make people stay poor?  I won’t allow myself to be a victim of that. In fact, I have given up my Saturday mornings for my financial education.  I’ve been attending the Cashflow games in Ortigas Center organized by the Create Abundance 2020 Business Community Continue reading