Stolen Life

30-September 2009

Last Saturday, just before typhoon “Ondoy” hit the nation, a drunken man stabbed my friend’s brother, Aris. They attempted to save him but it took awhile before they could find a tricycle driver willing to bring them to the hospital. But by the time they arrived at the hospital, it was too late. He was pronounced dead on arrival.

He just graduated from university with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Nursing and was just waiting for the date of his licensure exam. Sadly the notice of exam came in too late as well. His family received the notice of exam on the second day of his interment.

What was this man’s motive for killing him? — After he’s been apprehended by the authorities, he confessed that he overheard him commented on something or someone that stinks and thought he was referring to him. Hence, he stabbed him.

He’s now in jail awaiting his trial, but my friend and her family could no longer bring back the life of Aris. His long-term girlfriend has been inconsolable. We’re all still shocked and furious of how anyone could have so little regard for human life.

I know that all over the world, things like this happen all the time. I’m worried for the people I love and for myself. I’m saddened with the way some people could have so low morals because of their egocentricity.

– Aris Jordan Bobadilla Panesa (1988-2009)


03-September 2009

I like giving presents. I like letting my family and friends know that I’m thinking about them. Sometimes I think it’s almost better than receiving gifts! 😛

On my last (and longest) holiday, I packed my suitcase with more presents than my own stuffs. All throughout the six months that I’ve been in the UK, I’ve always been on the lookout for things that I thought my family and friends would appreciate.

I didn’t mind the excess baggage and actually having to carry my 7.5 kg laptop bag and drag my 11kg hand carrier (I just love British Airways’ no weight restriction policy as long as it’s within their specified size/dimension!). I didn’t mind because I thought it’s a small price to pay to see my love ones smile a bit.

My family loved their pressies. My daughter was absolutely ecstatic with her new “treasures.” The look on my brothers and sisters faces when they opened their new little gadgets, sprayed on their smellies and eaten their sweets were priceless!

I had to ask my mom and sister to bring the rest of my gifts to my friends and former colleagues on the other hand, because I had a bad case of jet lag… Three of them sent me a thank you sms. Another one called me up. As for the rest of them, I don’t even know whether they got it or not.

After about two weeks, I went to see them myself. We chatted and laughed and bantered like we always do. Yet nobody mentioned anything whether they were disappointed or happy with what I gave them.

The same thing happened when a relative asked my mom if he could borrow a bit of money from me for his kids. I told my mom I didn’t have that much but I’m willing to just give him about half of what he needed. I saw him yesterday and not a word was mentioned about it.

So now I’m thinking, whatever happened to the “old custom” of saying thank you when somebody has given you something or does a favor for you? It never even entered my mind when I was buying those gifts and helping out this relative. And yet because they didn’t even mention it, I just feel like they didn’t appreciate it. Either that, or they must think people are just really obligated to do those things for them so that’s just that.

The Catholic church teaches us that when we give something, we’re not suppose to ask or expect anything in return – so maybe I really should not expect them to say thank you at all.


27-August 2009

Having been a Human Resources practitioner for a long time, I know just how valuable psychological exams are to gauge a potential candidate’s aptitude, personality and mental functioning.

Recently, I was scheduled for an exam in a major car company. I was supposed to be there at 8:30 AM and because it will take at least 4 hours to travel, I woke up at 2:30 AM so I’d still have a bit of time to grab myself some breakfast and find where the company is.

I arrived there 35 minutes ahead of time but I still had to wait for almost 2 hours before somebody came in to see me. I was made to take the supervisory aptitude test, and then they left me again for almost an hour.

I have already finished several articles in Reader’s Digest before a woman finally came and talk to me. She told me briefly what the position is all about and then proceeded to tell me the bad news.

She said that based on the result of my aptitude test consisting of 24 questions, it seems that I am too people-oriented hence I am more inclined to side with the employees rather than the management. For this reason, she said she couldn’t continue to process my application anymore as they were looking for someone who’s more pro-management.

I was indignant that they didn’t even give me the chance to expound on my work experiences. I felt like they just scratched away several years of experiences and trainings in similarly reputable companies. I find it ludicrous that just because my leadership style is not autocratic or traditional, they seem to think that I cannot be an effective leader, which is contradictory had they probed deeper on my experiences and previous working relationships.

I admit that I indeed value human relations very highly because I find it easier to work with people with mutual respect for each other, rather than threaten them with my position. Similarly, in all the years that I have been working, I have likewise maintained very good relationships with my superiors and it was never a problem for me either to cascade management direction and implement company policies.

I still think that standardized psychological tests are wonderful tools for HR practitioners in determining the right people for the right job. However, time and time again, it has been proven that a mere high aptitude to perform a particular task, a superior intelligence quotient, or a proclivity towards certain personality types does not always guarantee efficiency and productivity. I reckon a more thorough and holistic approach should be practiced if companies are really keen on getting the right people for the right job.

Had this company at least gave me the benefit of an interview or even made me to take more tests, I wouldn’t have minded at all if in the end, they say that my qualifications did not meet their standards.

Home again…

26-August 2009

I’m back home. I can’t believe that it has been 2 weeks already… Back in the same neighborhood and the humid sticky weather. Without a job to go back to however, after I’ve sorted out our place (mostly the chaos and wall “messages” that my 6-year old daughter has made whilst I was away), I didn’t really have a choice but to further hone my “domestic skills” as I try to patiently wait for job interview schedules and appointments.

Having been accustomed to working full time and being a mom only before and after office hours however, it’s only now that I realized how much more mentally and physically demanding and exhausting motherhood really is.

My daily schedule seems even tighter than before when I was still employed. Without a nanny, I now have to wake up before 5:00 AM so I could prepare her food, give her a bath, help her get dressed and then send her to school before 6:45 AM.

You’d think that anyone could have a leisurely time afterwards, but nooo! As soon as I get back from her school, I have to tidy up, do the washing, ironing, etc. By the time, I’m done with all these, it’s time to pick her up from school, and then goes the same almost frenzied cooking, feeding, cleaning up, getting her dressed in her school uniform once more and then sodding off to school again before 1:00 PM for her afternoon class.

I then spend my afternoon surfing the net for job vacancies and chatting with my significant other who’s still on the other side of the planet. By 3:30 PM, we both have to rush – me to pick up my daughter from school again and him to get ready for work.

Once we’re back home, we now have to tackle assignments and school projects, which by the way, I think is too complicated for 6-year old kids to do, so I usually end up doing most of the sticking and cutting and drawing and painting, etc. while she holds them for me or sometimes, as she gives me “instructions” on how she wants it to look like.

Whew! Even writing about this is tiring me!