Saturday, July 17, 2010


My prayer today:

"..dear God, You have closed a window so that i may see things from bigger and better doors. please grant me the wisdom and discernment to know which door would lead me and Zion to happiness and a brighter tomorrow..."

Hoping and praying that the right door opens up. Hoping and praying that God will give me a sign if it is indeed the right door for me and my son. :-)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Value of Vigilance

Due to typhoon Basyang, classes were suspended today in the elementary and high school levels. Unfortunately, not all the universities and colleges in the metro were able to announce right away whether or not they will continue with their daily schedule today. My brother's school (I won't mention it in this blog) was one of those schools.

Since my brother will be having a major exam today, he woke up early and got dressed despite the blackout. He was already having trouble because the LRT Line2 was not operational due to the massive blackout. There were not much FX's either, so he had to take the long route via the EDSA buses. On his way to school, a classmate sent him an SMS message informing him that classes had been suspended. He was at the vicinity of my Dad's office when the text message came in, so he decided to drop by and stay for a few hours in my Dad's office. After an hour or two, he decided to leave the office and head back home. My Dad's messenger accompanied him to where the buses usually passed so that he could take the one that was heading to Cubao. From Cubao, he could take a jeep to reach home.

According to my brother the trip to Cubao was a fast and smooth one. There was not much traffic, since the usual 7am-9am rush hour had already passed. It was almost 10AM when he got off the bus at Farmer's Plaza in Cubao. There was not much people in the said area during that time, and my brother had only a few pesos left in his pocket so he decided to withdraw from a nearby ATM (the one alongside the Eurotel Hotel, just across Farmer's Plaza, and Araneta Coliseum). My brother withdrew 800pesos from the nearby Bancnet ATM. As soon as the money came out from the machine, my brother felt a poke near his right rib. He heard a voice telling him to hand-in the money he withdrew if he wishes to save himself from much trouble. It was a good thing that my brother was smart enough this time not to use his taekwondo skills during that time. He just handed the 800 bucks to the guy instead of attempting to fight back. He got home still in a state of shock. It was obvious that he feels duped and irritated after being robbed of 800 pesos, but he was still thankful that the holdup man did not took his cellphone, his wallet, and his mp3 player. He was also thankful that the man did not hurt him.

After this incident, I think he learned his lesson. He would always be aware of people in his surroundings. He would not use his earphones while commuting (yes, he had his earphones plugged causing him to be less focused on his surroundings... *sigh*). He would not withdraw from ATM machines located in not-so-safe areas.

I also wrote this blog entry to warn other commuters like my brother and I. Let us always be vigilant of our surroundings. Unscrupulous people abound in different areas, not only in Cubao. It is up to the lowly-commuter to protect himself from these people. And to these unscrupulous people, shame on you!! Mahiya naman kayo sa mga katulad namin na kumakayod sa marangal na paraan para mabuhay... Mahiya naman kayo sa mga anak at sa pamilya ninyo... Mahiya naman kayo sa sarili nyo...

Monday, July 12, 2010

Avon: Additional Income Generating Opportunity

Ever since I got retrenched from work a couple of weeks ago, I tried to find alternate sources of income. I took up a short desktop publishing course to start my desktop publishing career. In addition, I signed up to be a franchise dealer (FD) for Avon products.

I was on my way home from one of my job interviews. The job interview didn't turn out well. The interviewer was an arrogant guy who told me, straight to my face, that I have already forgotten my mainframe skills. I really had to answer back. I just couldn't let him step on me that way. I told him I was honest enough to inform their blasted HR company that my last mainframe stint was back in 2004. Why the heck did they even consider me for the position, when they knew from my resume and from my honest statement that my mainframe knowledge had already slipped throughout the 6 years I've never used mainframe?!?

Anyway, on my way home from that God-forsaken interview, I rode the MRT and got off at the Cubao station. I went to Gateway Mall to pass time (and to let go of some steam). I loitered around the mall for a few minutes, afterwhich I finally decided to ride the LRT line2 on my way to Kamuning. As I entered the train station, I noticed a small kiosk along the side that was packed with people. There were 2 ladies who were giving away flyers. I thought they were preachers for some religious sect, trying to recruit new members. I tried to evade one of them, but the lady caught up on me, and handed me one of her flyers. It was for Avon. It was inviting new members to sign up, at a minimal fee of thirty-five pesos (Php 35). I ignored it at first, thinking it was just a stroke to get people's attention - that there was a hidden agenda behind the Php 35.00 sign-up fee. But, perhaps due to my frustration with job-hunting and that hellish interview, I went back to the kiosk and asked the lady about the promo. The lady was friendly enough to introduce me to her Sales Leader, who was also accommodating enough to discuss the details. Knowing how things operated in Cubao, I was not easily swayed by their sweet-talk. I asked a ton of questions, such as, do I need to recruit other members in the future or do I need to purchase something every month, and so on. The sales leader was still friendly and accommodating, as she answered each of my questions. I was surprised that she was not irked by my cocky tone and all of my questioning. After about an hour or two of discussing and clarifying things, I finally decided to sign-up. I thought, I was able to throw and gamble Php100 (in taxi fare) to attend that blasted job-interview, then what is Php35 to sign-up for something that I knew would allow me to buy products (even for myself) in Avon. Product-wise, I did not have hesitations in signing-up for Avon. I used to order Avon undergarments and toiletries from former officemates. So I know the quality and the products' value-for-money.

At home, I informed my Mom, my cousin, and my son's nanny that I have signed-up for Avon. To my surprise, they were all excited about it, and asked if I already have a catalog. It was a good thing I already bought one. My mom and cousin had already listed the items they wanted to buy. While my son's nanny, had informed me that she was willing to market the product to her fellow nannies in my son's school. I agreed to it, and promised Yaya (how I call my son's nanny) that she would receive commission from orders she got at Zion's school. The next day, after Zion and Yaya went home from school, Yaya already has a list of "orders" - from her fellow nannies, from the school guard, and even from my son's homeroom teacher!! I was excited and happy about it. I went to the Avon outlet in Cubao to buy the orders. The lady who handed me the flyers back in the MRT station was there to give me a brief orientation, and afterwhich, it was shopping time for the orders. I was like doing my weekend grocery. It was not really an easy task because I had to go over several stacks and shelves, to get the ordered items. But thinking of the commission I can get from it, makes the shopping a little less tiring, and a little more enticing. After getting home from my Avon shopping, I prepared an excel file to list and arrange the orders. I just had to create an excel spreadsheet for it, so that tracking orders and Yaya's commission (and my personal income) would be much easier.

I know I just started and there is still a long way to go. I know that doing solely Avon selling may not yet be sufficient to support my 4-year old son, that I still need to find a stable job. But I do think and believe, that this endeavor with Avon is one of the best sign-ups that I've made. The income I make from it now may not be that big yet, but it is surely one good way to generate some additional income for someone like me. :-)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Photoshop Attempt3 - The Sunflower Effect

I was playing around yesterday with Photoshop, trying to review the lessons I had in Desktop Publishing. I tried practicing my Photoshop extraction skills, as well as the other tricks I learned in the short course. I experimented on the sunflower pictures I took during our trip to Baguio last May (2010). Here's the result of my photoshop experiment:

Perhaps next time I could try playing around with someone's face or photo... That would sound more fun... Tee hee!!! :-D