You were Juelly and I was Jules. We went to the same high school, albeit 30 years apart. We had the same corny sense of humor. We both liked Wendy’s Chocolate Frosties. It was not coincidence. It was fate. We were meant to cross paths and I am forever grateful that we did.

I had the pleasure of working for you from January of 2006 to July of 2007. A mere calendar year in time but it laid the foundation for who I am today, for who I will become. In my year as your assistant, I learned to type, file, organize, shred and encode. More than that, I learned attention to detail, how to forge relationships with people, humility and the value of hard work. No one worked harder than you though. You were so dedicated to that little office and so sincere in your desire to help others. “Hayyy Buhay, Parang Life” is what you’d always say when we had particularly tiring days. There were a lot of those days, but it didn’t matter, in a show of incredible strength, you dug deep and persevered through it all. It was your family who kept you going. John, Thomas and Jeffrey were your everything. I can still see the way your face beams with pride and love as you spoke of them and their accomplishments.

You were a mom to everyone, including me. I couldn’t take a sick leave without you calling to remind  me to take medicine. You were so involved and updated in my life, my school work and my love life. My favorite memories of working with you were the light days when we could chismis and laugh over a coffee or Wendy’s Frosty. We had the same corny sense of humor and the simplest of things could make us laugh. One of our running jokes was your ridiculously cluttered desk. Your desk is like a time capsule, I swear there’s stuff there from 1988. One fateful day, I couldn’t take it anymore so after you left, I organized your desk and cleaned it. You were so surprised the next day and I’ll never forget how thrilled you were. It always made me happy to see you happy.

Even when my time as your assistant came to an end and long after I moved out of NYC we would always keep in touch. My trips to New York were never complete without stopping by the old office and a lunch at Rosa Mexicano (you knew this was my favorite). We would chismis like old times and you would send me home armed with Fordham giveaways and more Post-Its than I knew what to do with. While I am extremely thankful we saw each other this year, I wish I knew it was going to be the last. Our lunch was not long enough. Our hug was not tight enough. I would never have said good bye.

You were my constant in NYC, as timeless as the city’s skyline. I am beyond heartbroken that you are gone. Things will never be the same. Like many of the people whose lives you graced with your laughter and kindness, I will miss you very much.

Rest in Peace.

 

I wouldn’t usually do this but I’m trying to raise funds to pay off some debt. I cleaned out our liquor cabinet and I’m selling some of our Japanese Whiskey.

2 Bottles Yamazaki 12 – Php 7,000

Hibiki 17 – Php 14,000

2 Bottles Hibiki 21 – Php 20,000

Macallan 25 – Php 60,000

Please email me iamjulienneblog@gmail.com if interested. Cash only.
Pickup in Greenhills, San Juan.

Thank you!

 

Mosaic by the Creek is a special, special place run by wonderful people. We made reservations for a pre-Valentine’s day date and were treated to a fun evening of good food and mosaic-making. It’s not just a cafe.

The mosaic workshop: P880. The very nice lady of the house will give you a quick “how-to” and off you go. All the tiles and glue are at your disposal. It took me two hours to craft my masterpiece (a jewelry box in the shape of a bird). It was a calming, therapeutic experience which enabled creativity I didn’t know I had.

Mosaic by the Creek

I chose a bird for my mom. She’s been into Chickens, Quail, Turkeys and other Fowl so I figured she might like this.

Mosaic by the Creek

Mosaic by the Creek

Here are some photos of me trying to figure out my bird. I wanted to make it blues and whites to give it to my mom. I guess no matter how old we get, we’ll always try to give our handicrafts to our moms. Maybe because we know only they will be the one to appreciate it. Hehe.

Mosaic by the Creek

Mosaic by the CreekMosaic by the Creek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s Derrick with his Masterpiece. He Chose a Tray which is nice and functional.
Mosaic by the Creek

Finished Product! Tada!

Mosaic by the Creek
Mosaic by the CreekMosaic by the Creek

Here is a photo with the Grout(the stuff that fills the gaps). Derrick’s came out much nicer I think because he chose more vivid colors that really stood out against the grout.
Mosaic by the Creek

Picture with Tita, who taught us how to Mosaic!

Mosaic by the Creek

It is recommended you do this before dinner. Arrive early if you can, around 5pm to finish in time for dinner. It’s a great activity for adults and kids alike. Very young kids need close supervision however since you are working with small pieces.
Mosaic by the Creek

The Cafe: the perfect way to satiate the appetite you worked up creating mosaics! Mosaic by the Creek

Start with Their fil-mex fries.
Mosaic by the Creek

For mains I recommend their pink salmon farfalle and Carlo’s roasted chicken. A nearby table recommended a curry dish but we didn’t get to try it. We also heard their mechado is one of the best. A reason to return. Mosaic by the Creek
Mosaic by the Creek 

We also ordered Salpicao.

Mosaic by the Creek

Cap off your experience with their dessert and coffee. Their calamansi or tablea cheesecake is recommended.

Mosaic by the CreekMosaic by the Creek

We were lucky enough to meet a few members of the family behind Mosaic. They all have their own areas of expertise. The recipes are all heirloom and have been in their family for years. Tita helms the workshop and decorating, her daughter curates the wine, her son oversees the food. Everything in the cafe is a part of their family which really brings a warmth to the place that I appreciated.

Definitely go check them out and share your experience, when you go :) Happy Valentine’s Day!
Mosaic by the Creek

Mosaic by the Creek
22 Major Dizon Street, Calumpang Marikina
(02) 508 4099
https://www.facebook.com/mosaicbythecreek/

Unofficial (from my memory) Directions: It is not so far. Easiest way to get there driving is via Katipunan NB, after passing blue ridge and the restaurant cluster, we made a right just before the flyover to Ateneo. It’s a winding road. That’s Major Dizon already, just follow that road, Mosaic by the Creek will be on the left.

Disclosure – Our entire experience came to around P2,000+ (my date paid so I’m not sure exactly the total) which included our mosaic workshop + food.

 
Tonight, Steph and I went walking in the Ultra Oval Track. We started at exactly 19:22. Shortly after, a crowd began to gather in one corner, huddling over a man lying on the ground. It wasn’t a commotion and we figured he had just been injured. We kept walking.
 
By the second time we came around, I noticed someone was giving him CPR. Not a good sign. There was someone looking for a stretcher, a guard on his radio. More people gathered, just looking. There seemed to be no panic so while I was alarmed, we just kept walking.
 
By the third time we came around, the crowd had somewhat dispersed. But situation was pretty much the same. Vigorous rounds of CPR, trying to infuse life into this stranger. Despite the noises in the oval (there were a lot of people working out), it was silent in that corner. Athletes, in various states of sweat and exercise, just standing there, looking at this guy. As we walked by a girl, talking loudly into her phone cuts into the “silence” — “Hindi ako makalabas dito, may patay!”
 
First. I went cold all over. In a second the cold was replaced by anger at this girl for declaring this man dead so carelessly, without even giving him a fighting chance. Instinctively I made the sign of the cross and sent up a silent prayer.
 
For some reason we kept walking.
 
By the fourth time, I stopped. I asked Steph if we should offer this guy a car because clearly no ambulance was coming for him. People seemed immobilized. I heard a man talking to the stranger on the ground “Kaya mo pa diba? Aabot ka pa.” As we all watched, I think we clung to the calm authoritativeness of his voice. I called my driver and just as he picked up, a medic and a stretcher came running over. Finally. 19:47.
 
25 minutes before he was lifted out of there and rushed to the hospital that was probably only a kilometer away.
 
I overheard Mr. Calm said that Stranger was from Pampanga but lived in Manila alone. Alone. This guy was all alone. I keep thinking that this was the reason for the crowd’s lack of urgency. Maybe if he had been with a companion or a relative, someone could have taken charge. I can’t shake my feeling of sadness.I did not see him anymore after the ambulance whisked him away. Whoever you are, guy, I hope that you pulled through. You are in my prayers. If anyone has news about him, if you happened to be there tonight also, please do share. I would really like to hear that he was able to make it.Realizations:
— Sports / Fitness Centers should be equipped with first aid equipment.
— I need to learn first aid.
— I should have offered my driver right away.
— Life is short.

 

 

I love being Filipino. I think we are an interesting blend of different cultures and we have some great positive characteristics. However, it can’t be denied that our society has developed some bad habits in the last few years. I will attribute this to factors like the internet, media and a shift away from traditional values. That said, I’ve come up with my short, simple list on what things Filipinos can do to be better people.

1) Clean up after yourself

Practical Applications: In a Food Court, in a Moving Vehicle, In Any Public Space

What does this teach: Responsibility, Accountability and Cleanliness

We are are a service oriented culture. That’s why we make good workers. The flip side of that is we are also always used to others cleaning up after us, opening our doors, picking up after our mess. But here’s the thing. What if no one does? Then our city would be even dirtier than it already is. My take on it is, if you can be clean at home, why not be clean in public?

“This is not my area, it is the government’s job to clean this, there is a cleaner who will take care of this.” Yes, how about you put your trash away so that the cleaner can actually clean?

2) Fall in Line

Practical Applications: public bathrooms, cashiers, ATMs, in Traffic

What does this teach: Discipline and Patience

The proper way to fall in line in public bathrooms is to have one line for all the cubicles and not a single line for EACH cubicle.

The proper way to fall in line for cashiers is to find the end of the line and no matter how far away it is, suck it up and go to the end. If you do not like this then find another cashier with a shorter line.

The proper way to fall in line at ATMs is to form a single line for all the ATMs and not a line per ATM. (same as the bathroom one). Also, don’t stand so close.

Traffic is one big line, maybe you wanna stay in your lane because switching lanes just to get one car ahead makes no sense at all. And is a waste of gas.

3) Communicate Properly (NO to Jeje-speak)

Practical Applications: In all written correspondence (text, emails, facebook comments)

What does this teach: the proper use of language (both English and Tagalog), articulation, vocabulary, grammar and proper communication skills

Communication is one of life’s most critical skills. We form opinions and impressions on people based on the way they communicate – what they say and how they say it.  While some argue that Jejespeak and other newly developed slang such as Bekimon are both forms of language, I feel that people should not forget the formal and proper way of speaking (whether English or Tagalog). Maybe Bekimon and Jejemon can be with your friends but in a professional setting, it is inappropriate and sends the wrong message…literally. Start simple – spell your text messages properly and hopefully the rest will follow. (ex. “aq” or “aku” to Ako)

4) Chill out a little

Practical Applications: Everywhere in Life

What does this teach: Internal Energy Conservation, Zen, Prioritizing more important things

Filipinos are so salty about everything. When anything negative is said about Filipinos (ex. in international Media, TV shows, etc) even in jest, people get all up in arms. Take the Ms. Universe incident for example, we can’t get over how Steve Harvey mixed things up. We just need to brush it off and move on. Filipinos like to dwell. We dwell on every little thing. We get mad about random things and can’t let go.

5) Be curious. (Ask questions, engage others, constantly learn)

Practical Applications: School, Politics (Elections), Workplace, Life

What does this teach (or do): Asking questions gives us knowledge, awareness and enables us to be people that always learn and improve ourselves

Filipinos by nature are generally passive aggressive. My opinion is that we aren’t the curious type. If there’s something that we don’t necessarily understand, we do not let on right away that we don’t get it. We do not question things so much. Take school for example – if the teacher says something, we accept it as fact, we are not taught to challenge (respectfully) our teachers. We are not allowed to engage them in debate otherwise it would be seen as disrespectful. When I went to college in America, I was surprised to find that students were encouraged to engage our teacher and volunteer our own opinions even if they differ as long as we did so respectfully and sincerely.

In the workplace, I noticed here that they will not clarify instructions. Instead they will try to do them on their own and make a ton of mistakes. My first boss encouraged me to ask as many intelligent questions as I needed to get my task done properly. This isn’t done here. If it was though, it would save lots of time and energy.

In politics, we should absolutely 100% be curious about our candidates and future leaders. Listen to and dissect their platforms. Be an informed voter!

So that’s it! that’s my simple-but-not-so-simple list. If you have any good ones to add, leave them in the comments! I would love to hear from you! :)