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August 29, 2011

All About The Law

ricky gervais

"You have the right to be offended, and I have the right to offend you" –Ricky Gervais

That’s another thing that’s on my plate yesterday. I was contemplating on the freedom of expression. Let me put it as #6.

When I attended the mass yesterday at the San Lorenzo Ruiz Parish in San Juan, Taytay, there’s an added prayer at the latter part of the mass. It’s the 2nd time in a row to include a special prayer of forgiveness for the transgression of others to His blessed image. This is in connection with the recent art exhibit held by artist Mideo Cruz.

If you’ve been watching the TV or surfing news sites, you’re probably familiar with what I’m talking about. Mideo Cruz displayed Catholic religious images in a sacrilegious way. For me it’s blasphemy, since I’m Catholic. The thing is, Mideo Cruz is obviously not Catholic. If he is, he’s probably excommunicated the very first hour of the exhibit. Meaning, he’s not covered by our Catholic beliefs and ideals.

The good news is, the Philippine Constitution clearly states that there is a division between Church and State (Article II Section 6). It further says that the State would not endorse any official religion nor prohibit the practice of other religions (Article III Section 5). To add to that, the Philippine Constitution guarantees freedom of expression (Article III Section 4).

So as a Catholic, I pray that God forgives him for his blasphemous exhibit. As a Citizen of the Republic of the Philippines, I say he has the right to display his art (even if it’s offending to us, Catholics.)

(For further reading, I recommend Ed Biado’s article here.)

Too Much On My Plate

I’m falling in love with you, Matteo.

My rest day is almost over and I can’t think of a single topic that I want to blog about. Perhaps, I really have too much on my plate right now. Let me list down some of the the topics that I want to write about but I can’t elaborate more on the subject:

1. The Smurfs in 3D – My Best Friend Forever (BFF) and I watched this fabulous movie yesterday at SM Megamall. The price of the ticket is P300 and there are not much 3D effects in the movie itself. The bonus part was Neil Patrick Harris was there (one of my favorites) because I never saw the trailer. Also, the setting is New York City which I always love to see on film. I’ve always loved The Smurfs since the TV series. I always admire it for introducing the very first gay cartoon character I’ve ever seen – Vanity Smurf! Also, before the famous “diversity” motto that is very popular in the call center industry, there is already the diversity in the Smurfs village. Talk about being first.

2. “Language, Learning, Identity, Privilege" – It’s an article by James Soriano, a student of the Ateneo de Manila University. He’s also a columnist at Manila Bulletin Online where the article was published and later, taken down. You probably heard it on the news or read the whole article. The main point of his article is “For while Filipino may be the language of identity, it is the language of the streets. It might have the capacity to be the language of learning, but it is not the language of the learned.”

Well, there are truths to some of the things he said. Being well-versed in English will give you higher paying jobs (like call centers with foreign clients) that it’s local equivalent (call center with local clients). However, it’s not because Filipino is inferior to English in any way, but because of the difference on how much a foreign client pays than the local client.

Languages, like Human Beings, are born equal. Language comes from God. Remember The Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9)? Who are we to say that one language is superior to the other?

3. Xian Lim, Matteo Guidicelli, “My Binondo Girl” – I’ve seen the trailer a while ago and I wanted to watch it simply because Matteo and Xian were there. I even saw their latest video on Xian’s YouTube channel about the prank they did in Hong Kong. I think I’m deeply falling in love with Matteo. I’m discovering a lot about him through Xian’s channel.

4. My best friend in college has a Tumblr blog – Yup, and I love his blog! I always admire his superior skills in English and I’ve only seen his full potential when I saw his Tumblr blog. It’s simply amazing. I remember him as this loner way back in first year college. I got attracted to his silent-type character, dimples and deep personally. I generally like silent-type guys. He’s tall, skinny, fair and a Kapampangan. He’s fond of watching movies, reading magazines, and music. I remember purchasing my first ever cassette tape with him. It was The Moffatts’ “Chapter 1: A New Beginning”. Too bad that after college, we lost communication and our friendship drifted away. Thank God for Facebook, I was able to communicate with him again. However, the friendship is no longer the same. He seems to be a different person than my Best Friend in college. I swear, I’ve fallen in love with him before.

5. First Facebook Libel Case in the Philippines – It was between Dr. Vicky Belo and Atty. Argee Guevarra. Thank God, there is still no law about online libel and that Facebook continues to be a place to practice free speech.

Well, there are other things on my plate right now but I guess that would be all for now. I hope I didn’t bore you.

August 23, 2011

Old Pictures of Metro Manila

I stumbled upon this Facebook page that displays old pictures of places in Metro Manila and I felt like I went back in time 100 years ago. It’s fascinating seeing all these old and wonderful images of Metro Manila. No traffic, old cars, famous churches still being constructed, lots of kalesa, and those sorts of things.

I made a slideshow of these amazing pictures using Windows Live Media Player. I hope you like it. Please visit the Old Philippines Facebook page.

Old MM Pictures

August 21, 2011

The Love Yourself Project

Paulo Avelino theROOM

It’s wonderful to witness the birth of an organization that’s dedicated to helping others. One of those amazing Non-Government Organization (NGO) I’ve ever seen is The Love Yourself Project. It’s a collaboration of several personalities (mostly associated with the LGBT community) whose aim is to disseminate knowledge about HIV Testing and Counseling.

One of counselors of The Love Yourself Project is Migs, The Manila Gay Guy. I’ve been a follower of his blog for a few years now. I’m a witness on Migs transformation from a blogger for the LGBT community and his current advocacy. I also have one of his published books, Letters to Migs. He’s been a love doctor, so to speak, to numerous gays having problems with the heart.

His blog also underwent transformation to its current status as one of the best website for AIDS Awareness and Information. I remember Migs saying that if you Google “GAY AIDS”, his blog would appear in the Top 10 Search Results. That’s how popular his blog has become.

I also witnessed how a certain “Monkey Boy” shared his story on Manila Gay Guy. How he started the “No Day But Today” Project on Facebook who’s main purpose is “to keep anyone in the Philippines from facing an HIV diagnosis alone”. Migs has been his companion in testing for HIV. From his story in MGG, I’ve noticed that Migs tackled the issue of HIV and AIDS even more in his blog.

Migs also shared that he got himself tested for HIV as well (it was negative) and that he was certified as an HIV/AIDS Counselor. He also mentioned The Love Yourself Project on his blog and I’ve witnessed its birth as well. Today, The Love Yourself Project has been an active campaigner in promulgating information on HIV/AIDS and conducts free HIV Testing. They have a current project that involves a photo shoot with renowned photographer Ian Felix Alquiros. Proceeds of the said event will go to the funding of The Love Yourself Project (TLYP).

To know more about Migs and his involvement in TLYP, please visit his blog and TLYP website. Knowing is half-winning the problem. With the current sudden rise in the number of HIV Cases in the Philippines, it’s best to know more information about the disease and to get tested.

Photo of Paulo Avelino taken from theROOM. Thank you also JM for suggesting that I blog more about current events.

August 20, 2011

Money, Money, Money

One of the things that I like about Oreo is his hobby of collecting paper bills. I tried to collect paper bills of foreign currency as well but I wasn’t able to maintain it. Oreo on the other hand is patient with his collection and he’s doing it on a regular basis. That’s the essential part of any hobby: the ability to maintain it. Without further ado, here’s my lover’s collection of money, money, money.

185227_258327147520034_100000282534207_1028905_5903877_n196562_205862359433180_100000282534207_770526_8034572_n199466_205862536099829_100000282534207_770528_7124712_n199790_205862666099816_100000282534207_770529_5012682_n199792_205861239433292_100000282534207_770516_8268032_n204714_205861722766577_100000282534207_770522_2270310_o205596_205862056099877_100000282534207_770524_6296591_n206324_205861876099895_100000282534207_770523_7695835_n207157_205865612766188_100000282534207_770590_894528_n207364_205862759433140_100000282534207_770530_2936837_n208097_205862446099838_100000282534207_770527_1997156_n208243_205863019433114_100000282534207_770533_6796136_n

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My Admin Hearings

mallet2

In my almost 2 years of being a kolboy (call center agent) in my current company, I already underwent 4 Admin Hearings. It all happened in 1 Account that I have (for a US Internet Service Provider).

1. No Documentation -- This incident happened during my first week on the Production Floor. My explanation was that, I'm very new to the tools and I'm still learning it. The HR personnel who conducted the Admin Hearing accepted my explanation.

2. Over Documentation -- My SME instructed me to make extra documentations. I blindly followed her without realizing it would be a big issue on my part. I explained to HR that I just followed an instruction from someone who supposed to teach us the right things. My SME got terminated. I was forgiven by HR.

3. Rudeness in a Chat and Refusal to Escalate -- Yes, that's two terminable offenses in one chat session. What happened was, customer is asking me to replace his power strip (extension)! I apologize and advised him that it's beyond my capabilities. Customer told me to advise my supervisor about his frustration about the issue. I advised him that I did as he said. I print screen his chat session and send it to my supervisor via instant messenger. It was frustrating that the one insisting that I was rude on chat was my Program Manager (the boss of my TL). Fortunately, the HR representative listened to my explanation. I was forgiven.

4. Sleeping While on Chat -- This time, it was another Team Leader who filed a case against me. He insisted that I am sleeping while engaged on a chat session. When the HR representative listened to my explanation, I advised them that I snore if I'm sleeping. I also asked the transcript of the chat sessions (because it has a timestamp) from that TL to show that my responses to my customer’s questions are within the allowable 2 minutes. That TL was not able to present concrete evidence that I was indeed sleeping on the floor so it was his words against mine. In the end, the HR accepted my explanations.

What did I learn from all these Admin Hearings? I learned that it's not enough that a person (a TL or a Program Manager) accuses you of something. It still boils down to presenting evidence during the Admin Hearing. Also, if you suspect that your SME or TL is asking you to do something illegal (like in my Admin Hearing #2), be prepared to screenshot/document everything. It would save your ass in the end. The HR who'll administer the hearing would still listen to your explanation and evidence at hand.

Do you have a similar experience of attending an Administrative Hearing?

August 19, 2011

Happy 23rd Monthsary Hon!

happy anniversary2

Happy 23rd Monthsary Hon! Thank you for being patient with me. Thank you for understanding my shortcomings. Thank you for being my friend. I can’t believe that we’re currently at 23 months of being lovers (including our 3 months cool-off). Wow, it’s a milestone! That’s probably the reason why gay lovers usually celebrates anniversaries in the number of months.

Next month is our 2nd Year Anniversary! In spite of the distance (you being in Saudi and me being in Pasig), we manage to keep in touch through this blog which I made for you. Facebook also helped us a lot in keeping in touch as well as YM and emails.

With these tools in place, any Long Distance Relationship would definitely work. Thank you very much for staying with me for all these months. I love you! I promise to be with you for as long as I shall live.

Being in Class

I'm currently training for accounting software. This is my 7th account in my current company. I feel like I'm being in class again. I have an instructor (trainer) and classmates (wavemates). Right now, I'm in our classroom. We're reviewing yesterday's lesson. We have a recitation and our trainer is asking us questions. He is even using a random name picker -- an online application where all our names are listed and it picks up a name randomly.

By the way, we are 24 in class: 11 girls, 12 boys (of which 4 of us are gays). Out of 24, 7 are regular employees from different accounts (lateral transfer) and the rest are new hires. I'm one of the 7 regular employees. Regarding marital status, I believe 12 are already married. We all have call center experience.

classroom2

Right now, we are discussing the basics of networking. It would be one of our supported issues -- to be able to network 2 or more computers so that the accounting software will be able to access a common file on the server PC. We will support Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) customers. This would be my 1st account that will support such group of customers. I usually support home users. I'm just hoping that SME customers are more logical and more polite than home users.

What I like about being in class is that our lunch and breaks are paid. It's only an 8-hour shift but we are being paid the same as in the Production Floor. Our two 15-minute breaks are also paid so our class is technically 6.5 hours only. The previous weeks, our schedule was from 7 AM to 3 PM. This week, our schedule is from 3 PM to 11 PM.​

Our class last 3 weeks on the training room (we're on our last week) and 2 weeks of nesting. Nesting is the transition period between being in class and being on the production floor (talking calls). Nesting is usually half-day taking calls and the rest of the shift will be used by the trainer to discuss our calls so that we could improve our calls the next day. At the end of the nesting week, we'll have our Quality Assurance (QA) certification. This will serve as our final exam before being endorsed to the Production Team. Nesting period by the way is already a 9-hour shift (lunch is unpaid).

Hopefully next week, our schedule would fall anytime between 10 PM to 6 AM because that is where our night differential comes in. Since I'm a regular employee, I'm entitled to a 20% night differential as compared to most of my new hire (newbie) classmates which only enjoys 10% :)

By the way, our trainer just called my name for our recitation and I was able to answer it with flying rainbow colors.

August 18, 2011

Ragnarok Online: Still #1

ragnarok award

Ragnarok Online, the country’s first Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) is still the country’s Most Popular Online Game. That is after 8 years of existence. Yes, Philippine Ragnarok Online (pRO) is celebrating it’s 8th Year Anniversary this year. It’s been around since 2003.

This is according to Asia Online Game Awards, a Chinese website. I am not surprised about this. If you could visit the servers of Ragnarok, particularly Valkyrie and New Loki, you would be amazed on how many players are still playing this game. This is still Level Up! Games’ flagship game (after 8 years!).

Why do I love Ragnarok Online so much? First, it’s the first online game I’ve ever played (and I’m still playing it up to this time!). Second, I’ve met A LOT of friends through this online game. I have attended several Grande Eye Ball (GEB) with my fellow guild members. Lastly, I have so much fun playing this game that my computer is full of screenshots of our moments in-game. I wish kids today would discover (and rediscover) the joys of playing this Most Popular Online Game in the Philippines.

I hope Oreo would one day play this game with me.

August 17, 2011

DotA 2 is Coming!

Dota 2 is Coming!

A friend of mine posted this video on Facebook. Wow, my 2nd favorite game (after Ragnarok Online) has an upgrade! Yes, it’s the sequel to the popular WarCraft III map called Defense of the Ancients (DotA).

According to it’s YouTube video description, DotA 2 is “the new game coming from Valve for the PC and Mac! DotA 2 promises to take the unique blend of online RTS and RPG action that has made DotA popular with tens of millions of gamers around the world.”

dota2

Valve is the same software company that created the popular Counter-Strike. The lead designer of DotA 2 is also the same person who is responsible for the latest maps, known to the whole DotA community as “IceFrog”. I’m a fan of IceFrog because of his passion and dedication to the DotA map development. I’m expecting a great deal from this upcoming game.

Are you also a DotA fanatic?

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One Week Leave

FF62

I’m terribly sorry for being offline the past few days. I had billing issues with Globelines which explains my one week leave from blogging and the Internet. I spent it watching films that are downloaded ages ago in my computer. These films include:

· Brothers (2009) -- August 9, 2011

· Chasing Liberty – August 10, 2011 – 2nd time to watch it

· Flags of Our Fathers – August 10, 2011 – Ryan Philippe. It made me cry L

· Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride (2005) – August 12, 2011

· Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules – August 13, 2011

· The Hurt Locker – August 13, 2011, about a bomb squad in Baghdad

· Long Time Companion – August 13, 2011, about the start of AIDS in 1981

· My Beautiful Laundrette – August 14, 2011, about two gays setting up a laundry shop

· The Birdcage (1996) – August 14, 2011, a very funny Robbie Williams movie

· Harry and Max (2004) – August 14, 2011, incestuous gay relationship

· Torch Song Trilogy – August 14, 2011, about a drag queen, first love, sweet love, relationship to your mother, being Jewish, a beautiful boy

· Dangerous Living: Coming Out in the Developing World – August 15, 2011, documentary about gay rights around the world.

· Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason – August 15, 2011, very nice movie. It featured Thailand as well

· American Dreamz – a parody of American Idol, deleted August 16, 2011

· Two Weeks Notice – a Hugh Grant – Sandra Bullock film. I love Hugh Grant!

FF6

Other than watching films while I don’t have Internet access, I was busy with my new account. Yes, I have a new account at my current call center. This would be my 7th account in my present company in the span of 1 year and 10 months. I’ve been in training for half of that duration. I could apply for a Trainer, because I’m already a training specialist – so much time spent in training. I am not complaining. Petix-mode eh! (Relax at work).

Anyways, I’m back online and I’m currently checking for the latest news from different websites. I also checked for the latest updates for my installed software using the FileHippo Update Checker. One of the things that I noticed is the update for Firefox and Thunderbird. Both are now at version 6.0. I’m installing these right now. I’m a big fan of the Mozilla Corporation.

How about you my dear readers, what’s new with you?

August 7, 2011

Matteo Guidicelli and Xian Lim

Just a quick post. I can’t help but repost the video of Matteo Guidicelli and Xian Lim singing a medley while waiting for their shoot. Ever since I saw Matteo Guidicelli in person, I became his fan. As for Xian Lim, I noticed him during his “Katorse” days at ABS-CBN. I find him cute back then. Just recently, I saw his YouTube channel and I can’t help but laugh at his videos! The pick-up lines are corny but I love the way he delivered it (specially with the English accent).

Anyways, here’s the latest video of these two cute guys.

They’re both cute :)

August 6, 2011

Level Up! Live 2010 Cosplayers

The annual gaming event conducted by Level Up! Games (LUG) is fast approaching. I always attend this annual 2-day event, which is usually held at the World Trade Center, Pasay City. It’s a gathering of online gamers to watch the finals of LUG’s games like Ragnarok Online, RF Online, Grand Chase, Rohan, among others.

I usually attend Day 2 of this event since it is when the Cosplay competition takes place. Cosplayers dress up to their favorite characters (mostly from Ragnarok and RF) and compete for that Best Cosplayer award. I have here the pictures of last year’s cosplayers. I even have a picture of Jayem Sison (quite blur), a famous cosplayer because of his 6-pack abs.

Level Up! Live 2010 Cosplayers.

IMG_0651 IMG_0660 IMG_0671 IMG_0678 IMG_0681 IMG_0683 IMG_0686 IMG_0708 IMG_0716 IMG_0717 IMG_0718 IMG_0720 IMG_0731 IMG_0744 IMG_0745 lu live2 lu live3 lu live4 lu live5 lu live6 lu live7 lu live8

August 5, 2011

Carl Guevarra by Designer M. Barretto

At one time, I have referred to this blog as “Carl Guevarra’s Fanpage” because of my love for him. Yes, I’m a fan of Mr. Bench Model Carl. When I saw his latest pictures from the Bench website (by designer M. Barretto), I immediately think of a title for the blog post for him.

Ever since I saw him at the Be Bench reality TV, I became a fan of him. He’s one of the reasons why I patronize Bench (Paulo Avelino is the other reason). I always look up to Carl Guevarra as the epitome of the words “Perseverance” and “Willpower”. I always admire him for his dedication to be a model and have proven, through the years, that he got what it takes to be a Bench model.

Enjoy his latest gorgeous pictures!

carl guevarra by m baretto2 carl guevarra by m baretto carl guevarra by m baretto5 carl guevarra by m baretto6 carl guevarra by m baretto7   carl guevarra by m baretto3

August 2, 2011

Ragnarok’s Episode 23: Dewata

ragnarok dewata

Yes, it sounds like the local term for fairy (Diwata). Philippine Ragnarok Online will be launching today it’s latest update to this 8-year-old game. It’s Episode 23: Dewata. It’s a map inspired by the Bali (Indonesia) theme.

The Dewata update (or patch) will feature the following:

  • 3 new quests entitled “Legend”, “Traditional Weapon” and Help Out the Old Man”.
  • 2 new dungeons named “Dewata Cave” and “Karkatau Volcano”.
  • 5 new monsters: Rafflesia Alnoldi, Comodo, Cendrawasih, Banaspaty, and Butoijo.
  • 1 new MVP (Boss or Main Monster) named Leak.
  • 3 new items: Tidung (armor), Jaty Crown (armor) and Caress (dagger)

dewata new weapons

What I’m excited about this new patch (or update) is the Caress (dagger). It’s a weapon that a Soul Linker (a job class) can wield. I have a lot of Soul Linkers in the Valhalla server and I would definitely want to try this dagger.

Please visit the Official Philippine Ragnarok Online Dewata Site here.

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