Friday, March 29, 2013

Good tidings

It's holy week so I thought I should share that are all for good tidings. The first one was born out of a simple corporate social responsibility activity in my former company. I wanted to join but though I love music a lot, I don't think I can share a lot with kids when it comes to making music. So, the idea was to teach lesser fortunate kids in Manila how to play and make music. Now, the team has come up with a full band comprised of the kids they taught. Recently, Joss Stone (yes, Joss Stone) visited the kids and sang with them. I am both grateful and amazed that a person of her stature would come visit Manila, not to sing and earn money from a concert, but to help kids reach for their musical dreams. Now, that's a true artist... Here's a video you can watch...

I am also very fortunate that I'm surrounded with great people. I have a friend who's now living in Hong Kong with her husband and child. She was the perfect girl for me - beautiful, well-off, intelligent and nice. When I first met her in college, I thought she's destined for greatness. On our first job, she was effortlessly cool despite hectic schedules and she still managed to teach! She was a licensure exam topnotcher by the way. After a few years, she went to Tokyo to work and I guess expand her horizons. After a few years, she went to London for graduate school. She also lived in New York for a few months as an exchange student. She and her world are expansive. Now, she ventured into another endeavor - this time, a very noble one. She spearheaded a worldwide scholarship program. She has the power to conquer the world and yes, she is - through selfless, noble intentions. Visit her organization's website and perhaps we can all help too.

So then I remember Joss Stone's song "tell me, what we're gonna do now?" Well, we can all work together for good causes and we can change lives... Advance happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Corporate Chronicles: The science of tenure

So i heard the big boss says "I'm not impressed with the CVs/resumes I am getting. Kids hop from one job to another." Yes, recruiters already terms these employees as "hoppers" and they are not attractive to potential employers. But allow me to digest this issue...

I had a chance to transfer from one company to another after only a year of service... twice! So perhaps I'm on the brink of becoming a "hopper." I had my reasons and I won't divulge it because if I do, it would sound like I'm whining. I don't want to turn this into a grievance outlet. Anyway, employees have various reasons why they 'hop' - extremely rigid company policy, problems with the bosses (overbearing, credit grabber, incompetent etc), extremely low salary, and others.  Yes, there are those that look for a lot of things in the company. I can assure everyone that there's no perfect company but there's a company that's fit for you. You just have to find the one that you really want to belong to because if you like the company you are working for then you will strive hard to be in that company. You can't complain with just about everything. If you do, then there's a deeper concern that needs to be addressed.

Now, there are people who really stay long in a company. They have various reasons too. Some are contented which is good. It's a good indication for the company that they are doing great to retain their employees. Some are just easily contented or indifferent, so long as they have monthly pay. This is dangerous, a company could not just keep people who merely take in whatever. These type of employees would not be able to contribute to the success of the company. You also need people who challenge status quo because there's always room for improvement. Some stay because they simply got nowhere to go. Now, this is even  more dangerous. The company is housing incompetent or stagnant people!

In the end, both the employers and employees have the same amount of responsibilities. For the employees - they have to know what they really want and which company you really want to belong to (not because you don't have a choice). You can't work for money alone (although some people say otherwise). Otherwise,  you will never be happy and contented. Once you are in a company, do your best to contribute to its success. You are paid for to do a job, not to loiter. You also have to care. You don't want to be a machine. You go by procedures. You are smarter and more capable than that. When you care, you are happy with the results... You and your boss will both be happy. When there's something you are dissatisfied of, say it! You can't be mum about it then one day leave because you're not happy... You can't change things if you don't  let people know there's something wrong...

For the companies/employers - your people are your best assets! It should not be a mere core value posted in your walls. You should live it because your people are indeed your best assets. They work their a**es and bend their backs for you. Without them, there's no company. The engine would go running. You have to care for them! You can't just yell and say "you can't be too sensitive. it's just work." Some people are just sensitive, what can we do? You also can't keep only the people  you 'like.' You need a balance. There should be 'yes' people and 'no' people. When you have the balance, there's more chances of success. You don't want to judge employees by what their resumes merely say. There's more into an employee than what the resume says. Sometimes, you have good hires, sometimes, you don't.

Short or long tenure, in the end, its all about relationships. Never say that it's just work. Our co-workers are our second families. In fact, we spent more hours at work than at home so you have to treat each other with care...

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The tattoo love story

Tattoo is roughly defined as ink in your skin. I'm no tattoo expert but I know a little history. Back in the days, chieftains and warlords have tattoos. They are marks of bravery and chivalry. They are marks of successful warriors. They tell a story... In the Philippines, back in the days and even until now, people still raise their eyebrows to some tattooed people. Some people say it's dirty while some people say it's scary. You ask me? Tattoos are nothing but wonderful. It's an expression. It's art. It's depth. It's memory.

A lot of girls dig tattooed men. There's a reason why they appeal to the ladies. It gives a very manly image to men. So allow me to share to you my top 5 most beautiful tattooed (famous) men...

5. Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp is probably the man with the least number of tattoos in this list. But boy isn't he just handsome? He has skull and crossbones tattoo on his right inner upper arm. He also has as simple as "3" between his index and thumb. Apparently, Johnny finds "3" magical. He has a swallow and Jack. The swallow signifies the his Pirates of the Caribbean character, Captain Jack Sparrow, and "Jack" is the name of his son. Reason behind? According to Johnny, the swallow flies towards him because "he should always fly back to you." My most favorite because it's a little bizarre is "Wino forever." When he was younger, the tattoo was made for his then girlfriend (or fiancee I'm not sure) Winona Ryder. It was then written as "Winona forever." However, when they split, he changed it to "Wino forever." Clever isn't it? That made it appealing to me. He is creative and his tattoos has depth.

4. Anthony Kiedis

Rockstars are mostly the ones with tattoos. This makes Anthony Kiedis a bona fide rockstar. Anthony has a heart wrapped around his left arm. Two chiefs are on both biceps. What's cool? Anthony reportedly got some of his tattoos including his iconic back tattoo (I'll describe in a bit) from an artist in Amsterdam. Anthony has a tiger which reportedly represents his Chinese birth sign and Thai tradition of tigers bringing longevity and protection to the wearer. One of my favorites is the asterisk in his right wrist. Asterisk is his band's (Red Hot Chili Peppers) logo. My second favorite is the symmetrical Celtic daggers on both his arms (shown in picture to the left). I love daggers and I especially like vintage daggers. I find it very manly on Anthony. My most favorite? His iconic back tattoo - an Inca/Aztec (a Mexican ethnic group) falcon but some people claim it is a Haida thunder bird.

3. Adam Levine

Another rockstar - Adam Levine! This man is hot!!!If  you've been following his band, Maroon 5 since the beginning, you should remember that he has a "clean" body before but now, he has turned into this seductive, artful inked man. So let's count it down. Adam has roses, wings and guitar all over his left arm. Cherry blossoms were also made as a remembrance of 9/11. On his right is a beautiful but dangerous (just like the man) tiger and a heart made for his mom. Cute! Right below his chest is an eagle while a shark is drawn in his ribcage. On his back is a pinup girl - what can we do? We love bad boys who love girls! Adam paid tribute to his hometown, Los Angeles by having it inked in his right shoulder. On his back is one of my favorites - a paw print with Frankie girl underneath. Frankie is reportedly the name of his golden retriever. Another favorite of mine is the script on his left chest. Reports say that it says "Maroon 5" in either Hindi or Sanskrit. Another favorite is the tattoo on his right chest which I can't describe but looks cool anyway... I also like 222 which is believed to be the door number of the very first studio where Maroon 5 recorded.

2. David Beckham

 So, Beck! There's a saying "bend it like Beckham." I say "tattoo it like Beckham." Both his arms are covered with tattoos. On his right wrist are roman numerals representing May 8, 2006. The date is said to be significant to the Beckhams. He also has a roman numeral 7 in his arm. 7 is the number of David's famous jersey. At the bottom of 7 is a Latin phrase "Perfectio in Spiritu" which means spiritual perfection. Perfect isn't it? On his right arm to his shoulder is an angel which he reportedly got after infidelity issues back in the days. I love scripts so one of my favorites is a Hebrew tattoo which means "I am my beloved." He has lots of script phrases. One reads "let them hate as long as they fear" while the other "pray for me" in English letters.

He also got roses, cupid and Psyche, and swallows. He also has "Love" on his left hand. What I love most in his tattoos - his expression of love for his family. He's got sexy Victoria, his wife, tattooed in his left arm. He also has Victoria in script. At his back is "Brooklyn," "Rocco," and "Cruz," his boys' names. on his left collar bone is "Harper," his daughter's name. My most favorite is the Chinese characters in his left ribcage which means "Death and life have determined appointments. Riches and honour depend upon heaven." Heavenly and meaningful, don't you think?

1. Brandon Boyd

Brandon Boyd, Incubus frontman, to me, is the most beautiful tattooed man. Why? His tattoos just like the rest of the men in this list have meaning and depth. The difference? Brandon's tattoos are carefully and strategically crafted in his body. His tattoos are scattered and do not crowd any of his body part. He has a tattoo of the Eye of Hours on his right ankle. My favorites include the tattoos of the names of his parents on his forearms. It's always nice to hear a man as successful as he is pay tribute to his parents. He also has an owl on his back and a picture inspired by Aubrey Beardsley's famous art "the peacock skirt" on his left arm. Another favorite of mine are the teardrop tattoos on both his index fingers. It's simple but meaningful and the index fingers are just perfect to house them.

One of my most favorite tattoo (of anyone) is Brandon's back tattoo - all seeing-eye embedded in a pyramid. It was reportedly inked after the release of Incubus' album "A crow left of the murder." I just love the all-seeing eye and how the tattoo spreads in his upper back. On his right arm also is a Tibetan mantra and a koi fish designed by his bandmate Jose Pasillas, Incubus' drummer. My most favorite tattoo of anyone is again one of Brandon's - that red script beautifully written on his right arm. The red script is reportedly a Buddhist mantra "Om mani padme hum" which means something like "hail the jewel in the lotus" but refers to the qualities of generosity, ethics, patience, diligence, renunciation and wisdom. Exactly my mantra! Talking about depth and design.

I love tattoos and I love tattooed people. I find them deep, sensible, and deceptively intellectual. My man has Brandon's Buddhist mantra tattoo - also in red. I can definitely say I fell in love with tattoos and I fell in love with a tattooed man. Who can't?

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Food and Exercise: The balance

I love eating (a lot)! I am not a skinny girl. I embrace my fat body. But I also want to live healthy. So I've been trying to find a way not to really reduce on my food intake but stay fit and healthy. Let me start with food intake. In school, we were taught to have a balance of go, grow, and glow foods. I’m not sure how it’s taught these days but that’s how I learned it. Therefore, I don’t believe that you have to be a vegetarian. Yes, green, leafy vegetables are good but you can’t live and you won’t have all the nutrients your body needs with vegetables alone. What I do is to eat what I like!

Pork and other meat – hell yes but perhaps for a day and in moderation. Rice – definitely. Our bodies need carbs. Again, it should be in moderation. My aunt is diabetic and her doctor advised her to minimize her rice intake. Other options include eating brown or red rice. I tried it and I’m continually eating regular and brown rice interchangeably. We need green, leafy vegetables hence, we need to eat vegetables during the week.
It’s also in the cooking method. We need to do away with fatty foods hence, less of fried foods with do us good. I am blessed to be a Filipino since we have lots of dishes and viands that are not cooked through frying. We also need to stray away from processed foods. A lot of studies already proved that eating processed foods bring us closer to chances of having cancer later on in our lives.

We also need dairy products. I love milk when I was young but I stopped drinking after that fateful childhood experience. I just drank milk again when I was diagnosed with scoliosis. I know a lot of people who are lactose intolerant but guys, we need milk products. I suggest you eat cheese if you’re lactose intolerant. There’s also yogurt. A lot of stores offer yogurt products with a twist making them enjoyable. I personally like Red Mango, and Tutti Frutti. You can try it. I don’t dig yogurts before but I enjoyed what these stores offer.

Ultimately, we all need to exercise to keep fats away and stay healthy. I know a good yoga place in Bonifacio Global City – it’s called Yoga+ located at 11/F Fort Legend Tower. I also recommend Muay Thai, the Thai martial arts with kickboxing. I did this before although I stopped. I want to do it again. Trust me I am not even close to being athletic but I did Muay Thai. I sweat like a pig even just doing the warm up exercises – yes, way before the jab and the kicking haha. You can try it. I know of a place in Pasong Tamo Makati offering Muay Thai for Php 200/session. The gym is quite old but hey, you’re there to sweat anyway! haha.

If you want free, then you can drop by Bonifacio Global City. A number of people jog around the area. I even see youngsters do skateboarding in the area.  CCP is also still good for people who love to jog, bike and even aerobics! You can even do exercises at home. You can simply buy a punching bag, or a treadmill or even cheaper alternatives like hula hoops and jumping ropes. It’s all about the passion to stay fit and healthy. Even going up and down your stairs can do you good. Just remember you have to have a balance - your food needs to provide you with all the nutrients your body needs and your physical activities should be enough to burn the food and turn them into useful nutrients, and make your bodies fully functioning and healthy.