Break.

I was definitely looking for a bigger and better 2011.  I want to start on a clean slate so few days before year 2010 ends, I decided to greet and write long lost friends and try to make peace and say sorry to those I may have hurt.

I started by sending a private message in Facebook to a friend whom I had not been in contact for a year due to some misunderstanding. I said my New Year greeting and wished her the best. I didn’t get a reply back which is ok cos I never expected it anyway but at least I’ve done my part.

Last week, when I went to church I saw another former friend which is in the same circle as the first friend I mentioned. After the mass, I approached her and greeted her. We hugged each other inside the church, she said I am slimmer and look better now than the last time she saw me (obviously because during those times, we always have big eating day…I mean really BIG eating sessions!). I felt light after that brief encounter and had already forgotten what happened in the past.

Lastly, I wrote a letter just before New Year to someone who has been very special to me for many many years. Though we had not been talking for quite a long time (over a year)– since we have many common friends, I usually get news about her from them.

The last time I saw her was May last year when I went back home.  We had dinner and talked. Though the outcome was not as what I had expected, at the back of my mind there was still a little hope of making things better in the future..though I don’t know how long it will take for that future to happen, I still wished silently.

Then the letter…

I got a reply few days after. Upon reading it, I was sent back to the present. I realized I was already living in the future I wished for but it was not reality. The reality is that she decided to give herself a break, moved on with life…without me..

Everyone deserves to be happy…To choose the life they want…In my desire to have a positive outlook in life this year, I was able to encounter what I was trying to avoid. Truth hurts but I have to face it.

Sometimes when someone is broken, we have to experience it and be broken as well so we could piece ourselves together…I just hope I could find the magic glue for myself soon..

Advertisements

Christmas in the Sky

For the 3rd straight year, I am celebrating Christmas away from home. I just came back home for a very brief holiday beginning of December so I am not too emotional not having to spend Christmas with my family. In Facebook, I can read many of my friends working overseas and not spending their holidays at home are posting all those comments about missing their families for Christmas, being alone in a faraway land which makes it more difficult, etc.

The fact of life is that most of us working abroad decided to have this kind of life for our dear families in the Philippines so we just have to make the most out of our situation.

Fortunately for me, 2 of my friends are staying in Bangkok for Christmas. Most decided to fly back or spend the holidays somewhere so the 3 of us decided to experience Christmas the GRAND way.

We booked 2 nights in Lebua Hotel, a 5-Star luxury hotel located near the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok. Because of some connections, I managed to get our room upgraded. We were assigned in a 58th floor Suite with a very spacious living area, a kitchenette, luxurious bathroom with Bulgari toiletries and a balcony overlooking the magnificent river. We felt like a total VIP!



We had dinner in a Pizzeria near the hotel as it’s almost 10 PM and there was also a bit of traffic jam on the riverside area perhaps due to Christmas festivities in the hotels within the vicinity (most of the hotels along the Chao Phraya River are 5-Star International chain hotels). We were deceived by this restaurant because from the outside, it looked quite well and have a good number of selection.

The food served can be forgotten as it is not tasty at all. The Pasta in white sauce I ordered seemed more like a stew because of overflow of sauce that made it tasteless. My friend ordered a glass of Red wine and it was served chilled (which is not the correct way) and tastes like the wine cooler “Spy” than an actual Red Wine. Only thing good was the Caesar’s Salad I ordered but I can’t say it is outstanding. Anyway, for the price that we paid, we can’t complain much (price range almost the same as Pizza Hut)…and we just console ourselves that the highlight of our Christmas Eve celebration is a drink in the signature bar of Lebua- – Sky Bar.

After Dinner, we called home and greeted our families. It is midnight in the Philippines and is quite difficult to call. After few attempts, we managed to speak to our loved ones back home. It was such a good feeling spending time with family over the phone and asking them about their celebration and vice-versa no matter how short the conversation was.

Suddenly, there were fireworks near Shangri-La Hotel which is few minutes away from our hotel. It’s the signal that the world is already welcoming Christmas Day!

After the fireworks, we headed to the 64th floor (roof top) of the hotel to a bar called Sky Bar. Sky Bar during Christmas Eve is teeming with people (foreigners mostly). On the edge of the bar are glass panels which serves as the walls of the bar. Since I am afraid of heights, I am a bit uncomfortable in the beginning especially with cool winds blowing and less space to walk around.

Anyway after getting our cocktail drinks and having a few sips, I felt easy. We took a few snapshots though most of the pictures didn’t come out quite good because we failed to bring any DSLR cameras.


We decided to sit in a corner of the bar and while me and my friends are talking, we were able to witness an actual marriage proposal at the Sky Bar. The couple are just few meters away from our spot and we realized it was a proposal when the 2 just started kissing each other and the lady was so happy and they are looking at the ring just worn in the hands of the wife-to-be. It was such a romantic venue to do a proposal.

Only thing that is unappealing are the huge crowd in the bar at that time which makes the place very noisy. Nevertheless, it is the thought of asking someone to marry him and on the other way around her replying on the affirmative that matters most.

We headed back to our Suite almost 3AM, tired but full (of food and drinks) and satisfied. Next day we enjoyed a buffet breakfast feast in the Hotel’s coffee shop and headed to the mall to do some Christmas shopping. Later at dinner, we went to Narai Hotel to try Buffet in their Thai Restaurant wherein the food was superb! It really compensated for the lousy dinner we had on Christmas Eve.

It was such an enjoyable and unforgettable Christmas in the Sky with friends.

What about you, what is your Christmas Story?

How to lose your Ex in 10 days?

You saw it right..my topic is about “How to lose your Ex in 10 Days”.

It may sound redundant and absurd because how can you lose someone who is already considered your Ex?

Earlier I was talking to a friend over Yahoo. The conversation is like this (I just translated in English)

Friend: I hate myself.
Kikomatching: (In jest) If you hate yourself, there will be no one to love you so please love yourself first.
Friend: I want to be happy again.
Kikomatching: Why, aren’t you happy nowadays?
Friend: No..especially whenever I see my ex.
Kikomatching: Where?
Friend: In Facebook
Kikomatching: So why are you still checking his profile if it pains you? Are you an addict?
Friend: I know..That’s why I’m hating myself for it.
Kikomatching: Well, you really must hate yourself then. Lol.
Kikomatching: Better read my blog than view his profile. It’s more entertaining than him. Lol.
Friend: I want to distance myself from him.
Kikomatching: So why don’t you do it?
Friend: So should I block him?
Kikomatching: Of course! Why not? If you’ll just hate yourself more..Then why should you swallow a bitter pill?
Kikomatching: Look at me. I’m inhibiting myself. And now our lives are peaceful.
Friend: Ohh..Ok.
Kikomatching: You’re actually giving me a good blog topic: “How to lose your ex in 10 days”. Lol.
Friend: Ha ha ha! Can you make it 6 years?
Kikomatching: Why 6 years if you can do it in 10 days?
Friend: Ok fine! (Silent for a while). I blocked him now!
Kikomatching: Congratulations!

It seem I may not show empathy to my friend’s misery but I believe each couple who has recently broken up will go through this stage anyway. But the thing is, my friend and her ex has broken up for quite sometime and she doesn’t seem to accept moving on. For now at least.

So really, how could we lose our Ex in 10 days if it is actually possible?

It always feels painful after a break up because by coming out of a relationship, we are losing not only a partner but the memories and dreams that goes along with it.

Many people try different ways to move on.

Some eat or drink out of depression. Some have a new hairstyle or hair color. Others shop or travel until their cards are maxed out. However, all of these are just temporarily relief from the grief.

So what are the expert’s advise in dealing with this situation?

1.) Give yourself a break- allow yourself to “heal”. Don’t force yourself into too much work just to forget your misery. It’s alright to perform less than your optimal level for a certain period of time. If you push yourself to the limit, it will give you more stress.

2.) See the light at the end of the tunnel- Your goal is to move forward. Don’t over analyze the situation and keep the anger, bitterness and resentment. Life is good with or without your ex. Dwelling on the past will make you stuck and can’t even do small steps to recovery. Always see the positive side of the situation.

3.) Spend time with people who uplift your spirits and value you as a person-This could be your family, well-meaning friends or a professional counselor. It is important for you to be surrounded by people who gives you positivity.

4.) There are still happy endings in this world- It may sound too surreal but surely there are great relationships which are similar to “And they live happily ever after”. It may not be happening this time, but it will come.

5.) Go out and try to build new friendship (and eventually relationship)- If your last relationship went sour, it doesn’t mean all relationships are doomed. If you feel you have lost your friends or social activities before, it’s time to catch up or build a new network. Do activities that interests you. Who knows, your better half may just be around the corner.

It’s no guarantee that you will lose your Ex in 10 days following the tips above. But if you have the drive, surely you’ll go a long mile.

To my friend (she who-must-not-be-named here), I hope you read this post and take my piece of advice.. Good luck.

The Power of Writing

Last Sunday Night, I got the chance to watch Boy Abunda’s TV programme in ABS-CBN called “The Bottomline” via video streaming in Pinoy Channel.TV. It was my first time to watch this episode and actually am not aware of such program till that night. The Bottomline is interesting, trending if not fearless. Boy is his usual self, a good TV Host. It goes to prove that he is not only a veteran show business entertainment host but can also tackle various controversial topics.

The guest that night is investigative journalist cum author, Marites Vitug. When you see Marites, she doesn’t look intimidating or outspoken compared to other Journalists/broadcaster like Jessica Soho, Che Che Lazaro, Maria Ressa, etc. She seems dimunitive, timid and unassuming. I guess the saying “Don’t judge the book by it’s cover” fits her to a T since she is now one of the best selling authors in the country what with her latest book “Shadow of Doubt: Probing the Supreme Court” becoming a critical and commercial success so to speak.

I have not read the controversial book yet so I can’t say much about it at this stage. However, what I like to point out in this blog post is the sheer power of writing.

History has proven that a writing can change the course of the future be it an individual, or even a nation. Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippines’ National Hero used his various literary works to open the minds of the Filipinos and to fight for their rights during the Spanish era. These writings became the inspiration of the Katipuneros which eventually led to a full-blown revolution.

Anne Frank, the young girl originally from Frankfurt became a worldwide figure because of the publication of her diary (which was translated into many languages) detailing their life in hiding during World War II. Time Magazine eventually named her in 1999 as one of “The Most important People of the Century”.

And who would’ve think that J.K. Rowling who was literally an unknown figure before the year 1997 will gain international prominence and become a billionaire just by writing and publishing series of books about a young wizard named Harry Potter?

Nora Daza who has written and modified/ invented many Philippine recipes is considered an icon of Philippine cuisine and one of the respected cook book author.

I remembered working in a hotel group earlier- – part of their PR activity is inviting 2 or 3 well known blogger, house and dine them in the hotels for free and as an exchange, these bloggers have to write blog posts or articles about their travel experience and stay in the hotel. This goes to show how powerful their writings are in convincing would-be guests of these hotels.

Last year during the onslaught of Typhoon Ondoy, there was one shoutout in Facebook made by a Filipina based in Dubai. The exact words were  “Buti na lang am here in Dubai! Maybe so many sinners back there! So yeah deserving what happened!”. This remark is very strong and really got through the nerves of many Facebook users the fact that the calamity brought vast devastation in many parts of Luzon and it was very unexpected and the country has yet to recover from the tragedy when the remark was made. The post spread in the net like wildfire and the succeeding comments and invectives hurled at her are really so bad that you can’t take it as person though I can’t blame them for doing so because her remark is truly inconsiderate and uncalled for.

Truly, writing is a very powerful tool and good way to communicate.  Writing is a common task as we do it almost everyday. Yet no matter how common it is, there is always something new to write.

The people I mentioned above has definitely caught our attention if not touched our lives in some ways and many of them has made writing their source of income.  Some people who earn a living out of writing don’t mind destroying one’s reputation if they feel it’s worth millions of bucks without considering if the person they are writing about will be terribly affected.

At the end, can they call themselves prolific writers? I guess the key to effective writing is to do it wisely, morally and objectively and try to communicate with your target audience.

I believe by right, I am a writer too (though I literally type it in my computer and post online) which I share through my blogs. With my posts, I am giving my views and opinions on certain topics or issues as well as just conveying my random thoughts and wisdom about life in general.

I am a sentimental person. I would keep letters, cards and notes from family, friends and loved ones. Maybe because I don’t receive too many so I still have the mood and time to keep it.

On the second thought, I just love reading them over and over again. I feel good after reading the personal message they’ve specially written for me.

One of the simplest yet most powerful and touching letter I received in my lifetime comes from my niece during my recent trip back home. She handed me the letter with drawing she personally did upon learning my short vacation. I am sharing to all of you.

Keep on inspiring through your writings… so others will enjoy reading…

Ask me anything…

My friends posted something in their Facebook giving their friends the opportunity to ask them anything random either anonymous or their profile known (if they are registered). The website providing this service is called Formspring.

I got curious and find it amusing to be able to ask someone anything. In addition, you get to know them more with the way they answer questions..usual questions I see are from funny or cute to personal or naughty questions and even question about politics or business..the list goes on and on..

So anyone out there…I’m giving you the opportunity to ask me questions…I will try to answer as boldly as possible (if it is not damaging to my so-called reputation..lol).

Here is the link to my formspring: http://www.formspring.me/kikomatching

Ask me anything…

I am my own BRAND

Many aspects of our lives is all about brands. We buy signature clothes to make us feel more confident and look  better. Surely there are many cheap but comfortable and nice looking clothes but in terms of durability, I still go for the branded ones. I am definitely a Lacoste and Nike fan. I’ve already spent thousands in shoes and shirts bearing these brands and I don’t have any regret cos the items are not only nice and trendy looking but lasts long and do not go out of style. I am not too much into the latest gadget but if I do buy one, I also go for a good brand. I have my iPod Touch now for almost 2 years and it served me very well especially during gym workouts and long travels. I am sure had I bought a lower kind of player, it is broken now (prior to my iPod, I had a China-made mp3 player which I was only able to use for few months which is also not too cheap if I may say).

Why am I talking all about Brands? This is in relation to the topic that has caught my interest lately- – Personal branding.

Yesterday, I finished preparing my topic for our in-house Train the Trainer session in the office. I will be talking about what else, “Developing Personal Brand for Supervisors”. My audience are Supervisors from various departments in the office. Well you may ask why I chose this topic. I claim I am not a guru about personal branding however, I find it necessary for the supervisors to find their niche in the organization.

Oftentimes, I feel Supervisors (in general) find it difficult to draw the line between having the management responsibility and being able to jibe with the staff or colleagues. In most cases especially in small or middle sized organization it is still the Manager or the Head of the Department who decides on day to day operation which should not be the case at all times because there are supervisors around. It’s all about empowerment. On the part of the supervisors, they have to evolve and come out of the shadows of their managers.

Personal branding by definition is the public’s expression or projection of an individual’s characteristics, identity, personality, skills and talent. It is how others perceive you  based on various factors. It doesn’t always mean that whatever the perception of others about you is the real you. However, you can always find ways for others to have positive perception about you.

To improve your personal branding, the gurus suggested you improve your profile. Online you can do it by having your own Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or blogsite (WordPress and others). This is where you build your network and in turn can potentially help you in your business or career. It is the fastest way for you to be seen and get well-known. So far, I have all of these accounts but yet sign up with LinkedIn. Will explore very soon. Only thing about these social network is that you have to spend time in updating it to make YOU more interesting. Lately, I am unable to update my blog as I am super busy with my work. My creative juices are all squeezed so I cannot think of an interesting topic lately. To those who regularly visit my blog, I’m sorry for the hiatus. Will try to update it more often.

Developing your Personal brand also entails some investment and improvement in personal appearance. I’m not saying you have to undergo plastic surgery but always try to look good and dress smartly whenever necessary. In order to standout in a big crowd, you have to be visually appealing at the first glance. Despite a lot of work-related stress, you MUST not be seen in public like someone who had just been inside the hurricane’s eye. Even men has to dress up. Don’t be afraid to look in the mirror.

Personal Brand is not only the superficial aspects. You must also work out to improve your skills and talents. Attend seminars and classes that suits your interests. If you are sent by your company to a seminar whether it is a free or paid seminar, maximize the learning and apply it to your work or everyday life whenever you can.

A good brand must also have the right attitude. Positivity must radiate in you at all times. I always love to work with a person with less complications. If I hear more whining than sensible suggestions, I would definitely resent working next time with that person. I guess most of us would feel the same.

In my presentation, I suggested the supervisors to have good attitude towards their colleagues and their superiors. They must learn to respect so they will likewise be respected.

Why does Coca-Cola and Tide survived many generations and stiff competition? Because they are good brands…and they are here to stay…

You can be your own Coke and Tide. You can be your own BRAND.

It’s my Birthday!

Yesterday, February 05 is my birthday. It was the 2nd time that I celebrated my birthday in Bangkok. I started my day thanking God for another year given to me. Surely, there were ups and downs but God has given me so much the past year and I really cannot ask for more.

I then headed to the office cos my birthday is a working day. I got Birthday greetings from a lot of colleagues. After our regular morning meeting, I was surprised with the birthday greetings from my boss and all the managers. On top of that, my boss passed me her gift (a Lacoste cap) and birthday card. While the day has passed there were many greetings from my e-mails and facebook account. At first, I did not expect there were many greetings since I’m not at home but I am just overwhelmed with the number of people who greeted me. I even got a couple more gifts and cards from other friends/colleagues through out the day.

I called home because I purposely told my mom not to call me and I’ll be the one to call them. They greeted me and wished me well for my birthday and beyond.

After office, few of my colleagues/friends treated me to a Sukiyaki buffet which is very delicious with a lot of choices. At the end, I ate a lot and enjoyed the dinner treat. I arrived home almost 10 pm and the greetings in Facebook are still coming.

I feel so blessed because of the gestures showed to me so I posted my shoutout “Thank you Lord for another year…I am so blessed. I feel like a king..just finished dinner with friends and colleagues. This day has been great! I received a lot of greetings and even gifts from well meaning friends, colleagues and loved ones. I am glad I touched their lives and now am receiving your blessings thru them. Amen.”

Tonight I am having a post Birthday celebration with my friends here in Bangkok. We’ll have dinner and may go to Khaosarn Road for few drinks and dance.

Cheers to life!