ang paglipad ng kulay ni Mahal sa interbyu (Mahal’s flying colors in a work inteview)


The pic's a little too nice, but the store where Mahal applied looks a little like this.  Thanks to retaildesignblog.net for the pic!

The pic’s a little too nice, but the store where Mahal applied looks a little like this. Thanks to retaildesignblog.net for the pic!

[Note :  Just thought you might want to know how a work interview in NZ is conducted. It’s not mine, hope Mahal doesn’t mind.  🙂  I know “flying colors” implies that Mahal was no less than perfect, but with the last two questions asked below, her interview probably qualifies.]

Mahal’s thoughts provided in parentheses and in the vernacular.  Post-mortem of course.

MATHS, MATHS, maths.  Mostly involving computations of grams and grams of precious stuff, up to the 3rd decimal place.  Hear those numbers crunch.  Crunch, crunch, crunch.

(Bakit bawal ang calcu?  Buti na lang nagpraktis ako, pati singit ko pinapawisan.) (hope that’s still GP content, blogwise.  Apologies to all if not.)

Q & A time, with the manager.  She is friendly and informal.  She is also Mahal’s first interview with a Kiwi.  Ever.

(After cursory, initial questions.)  What’s your experience with gold and precious stones been, R?  I see you’re quite familiar with the four C’s of diamonds.  Could you share those with me?  (nasagot ko yon.  Color, Clarity, Cut at syempre Carat.)  Ok, ok.  (small smile, but no-nonsense pa rin.)

Save your best for last, R, because the owner is here for your interview.  He flew down from Auckland just to see you. 

(Omg, omg.  tutoo na to ‘day.)

***     ***     ***

A well-dressed, well-groomed man with South Asian looks seats himself.  (Mahal is not surprised, as the store is frequented by customers from that region in Asia and the shop hints of South Asian decor, tasteful of course.)  

He states matter-of-factly with a polite smile, “you’re dressed smartly.”  

Flying start for Mahal.  For the record, she is dressed in smart pumps, flare pants, sleeveless blouse topped by blazer. Egyptian style choker (that’s the nearest term I can come up with), and for the occasion, Mahal didn’t pull punches with the gold and jewelry. 

What are the types of gold, and what are their commercial names?  Give me a list of precious stones you’re familiar with.  What’s the gold content of those types of gold you mentioned.?  Mahal enumerates the products with deadpan efficiency only barely disguising her nervousness.  The interviewer, who is now obviously past the first stage of curiosity, has moved on, and has asked his branch manager to give Mahal another battery of tests.

More numbers.  More computations.  Curiously, no more sweating this time.

   ***         ***          ***

15 minutes later, the owner is back with more questions.

This time it’s more probing, less on substance and product knowledge which Mahal’s already established and more on sales experience and technique.  This part of the interview ends with a mock sales presentation of 18k gold necklaces which, true to form, Mahal nails with a loud BANG.

To the most important question, Mahal adlibs with seconds to spare.  

Interviewer asks : I know we advertised for a part-time job, but if you were asked to apply for a full-time contract to include foreign-exchange work (the shop has a money-changer side business), would you accept?

Milliseconds pass…

Absolutely!  I just need to wind up my work and continue token part-time with my employer,while I train my replacement.   They’ve been good to me. 

(Mahal has no idea where she got the answer, but it’s a job she did with flourish back home, and she did not hesitate.)

      ***          ***          ***

So as promised, this is how the interview ended : I know you need to give your (current) boss notice, but can you start training tomorrow?  And can you tell me how soon you can start?  Because instead of a part-time job, I am thinking of giving you a full-time position.

Incidentally, this is how Mahal dreamed the interview would end.  Doesn’t hurt to dream diba?  

Congrats Mahal, and thanks everyone for reading!

hailstones!


[Note : Thanks to Sita Adhikari for the video, this is what it looked like, but the hailstones in Wellington were a bit smaller. ]

IN HINDSIGHT, I should’ve probably followed my gut feel after holding a wet finger up and smelling the air.  I very rarely leave early for work, but the radio said that there would be a short spell of bad weather  in the afternoon, sandwiched by good weather the rest of the day.  Unfortunately Facebook games intervened, and I left as usual around 45 minutes before my shift would start at 3.00 pm.

What followed was like walking into a sucker punch turning into a blind corner. One of the more brutal, coldest and windiest hailstorms pummeled me halfway to work.  Making it worse was the fact that I was on a pushbike, pedalling like it was a summer day.

***     ***     ***

And my bike ride DID start like a summer day, cuz the sun was out, so bright in fact that I even had shades on and only a light sweater on, laughing at all those motorists who had to buy petrol to get to wherever they were going.  Sure I had cold hands and it was hard biking up those bridges and overpasses, but the task at hand for the moment was to focus and get to work on human leg power.

Somewhere halfway to my workplace something abruptly went wrong, as the clouds started moving so fast it reminded me of those scary movies where since the scary parts only happen at night, daytime goes by in fast motion, and the wind started to chill every exposed part of my face.  Having been biking to work a handful of years, this didn’t faze me too much, but the next thing did.

It was starting to rain, but the raindrops were starting to pinch my face and nick my nose, almost like the drops were trying to squeeze (in fast time) oil out of my blackheads.  NOW I was starting to worry.  Against my better judgment I slowed down to check around me despite the fact that every second I was away from shelter was going to be crucial, and sure enough rain was falling down on the asphalt, except that I could see the rain, and it was in the form of white peas and grains.  The road remained dry, but was turning white fast.  And my face was hurting.

When I got to Port Road, supposed to be only a few minutes away from work in normal time, I might as well have been an hour away as the wind and hail was pushing me back.  My helmet was torn away from my head, I was completely drenched (the hailstones were melting of course), and the brutal wind chill factor had pulled the temperature down a few degrees, which was already in single digits to begin with.

It was at this point that I realized that for the first time in a long time, I would not get to work on time.

With the wind, hail and abnormal cold (even for winter) pushing me back, I walked around 100 meters in around 10 minutes, every step a challenge.  I saw that even the cars passing me by were having a hard time, and I wondered if there was anyone as stupid as me out in this ungodly weather.  There was none.  I had begun to fear being blown out to the nearby sea, and considered seeking shelter.  There was none.

It was at this point I realized that I didn’t care about being on time anymore, and just wanted to get to work at a reasonable time.

My face and hands were numb, so numb that I couldn’t even use my phone.  Thankfully, the hailstones and wind had gone down a bit so it was OK to bike, but it was still very cold.  I was bundled up, but inside was drenched.  In my six years in Wellington I had experienced bitter cold, even snow and torrential rain, but never winds and hail.  And certainly not at the same time.

It was at this point that I realized that I didn’t care about getting to work anymore, and just wanted to survive.

          ***         ***          ***

When I finally got to the factory, after what seemed an eternity (actually around 20 minutes only) my workmates couldn’t believe that I had ridden through that kind of weather.  The superflash bundy clock that required my fingerprint (at presumably body temperature) wasn’t accepting my finger, because the latter was icy cold, as was the rest of my body. An electrician on top of the silos had to come down because it was too dangerous, and wheat containers from the port were most likely to stop coming as the port was closed down temporarily.  It was THAT kind of a day, so unruly that even urgent work had to be halted.

My bisor told me that if this incident still wasn’t going to stop me from biking to work in inclement weather, nothing would.

I said that we would have to wait and see. 🙂  After all, I DID go through the worst, and was still ready for work, after a hot cup of kapeng barako.

Thanks for reading!

Mork, Patch Adams, Mrs Doubtfire, and once a Pinay’s hubby: how could you not love and mourn for Robin Williams?


YOU WOULD have to be a cold-hearted Scrooge and Sad Sack not to appreciate the humor of Robin Williams.  Not only was Mork and Mindy a part of my weekends for so long growing up, his astounding body of work produced trailblazing, off-the-wall and side-splitting comedy that captured the hearts and minds of people the world over.

This was why a great sense of emptiness and sadness overcame me when Mahal greeted me good morning with the simple news : “Robin Williams is dead.”  A whirlwind of memories rushed through me, but no single moment stood out.

This is because Robin Williams has sustained his comedic brilliance almost throughout his career, starting from stand-up to his big break on TV, and his outstanding movies where his skills were brought to the fore : improvisational, drawing from the unlikeliest sources, and imitating accents, voices and mannerisms with intense accuracy.

The funny thing is I can visualize the specific pleasure of laughing at Robin Williams but I can’t picture in my mind a single film where he outdid himself.  Patch Adams, Mrs Doubtfire, Hook,  all consistently churning out the brand that is the genuis and improv of Robin Williams.

Admittedly he appeared in some lemons in recent years, but this never diminished my respect for him as a serious actor, which he hammered into our collective psyches with Dead Poets Society, What Dreams May Come, Good Will Hunting, and so many more.

The world lost a great man today.

PS.  And there’s the inevitable Pinoy connection too.  He was once upon a time married to a Pinay.  How could you not love and mourn for him?

guess who’s coming to dinner (with pinoys)?


Chris and Lauren our Wellingtonian neighbors are on the left.  Mielko the friendly Slavic cabdriver is on the right.  The lovely host is in the middle.  Somebody had to take the pic, so Your Loyal Blogger is nowhere to be found :(

Chris and Lauren our Wellingtonian neighbors are on the left. Mielko the friendly Slavic cabdriver is on the right. The lovely host is in the middle. Somebody had to take the pic, so Your Loyal Blogger is nowhere to be found 😦

THERE IS a delicate dance between neighbors that seems awkward at first but later becomes second nature on both sides of the fence.

You want to ask about the goings-on of your next-door bestie, but you don’t want to be perceived as too nosy lest they think you’re a busybody (actually you are), so you strike a balance.

You want to drop in or at least make an appearance every weekend so you don’t come across as suplado (haughty), but you don’t want to be too visible cuz your neighbor might think you’ve got too much time on your hands, so you’re both ever-present and invisible, if that can be possible.

You want your neighbor to know enough about you so that they can convince themselves you’re normal, but you don’t want too much of yourself exposed because that’s when your weirdness starts to show, inaykupo.

I know I’m beginning to sound OCD-paranoid, but such has been the reality of living as a neighbor in highly urbanized New Zealand, at least for as long as I’ve been a migrant.

Mahal and I have been lucky in our present incarnation as laid-back, Asian and eager-to-please semi-detached neighbors.  We have equally laid-back and almost eager to please semi-detached neighbors, just that they are not Asian, and obviously aware of our migrant status or at least not being here for too long, have been quite welcoming of us both as neighbors and as New Zealanders.

Not only did we exchange the obligatory hellos and wassups whenever we chanced across each other on the driveway, but we also inquired about our weekends, our jobs, and what we did with our vacation leaves (they went to the Gold Coast, while we slept through our long weekends), what we did on our respective holidays (they went to Auckland, while we stayed at home pretending we were back in the Philippines celebrating a Pinoy Christmas), and our respective hobbies (the guy is a rugby fan, what a big surprise, while I usually sleep weekend afternoons or play Candy Crush Saga).  Before long, we acted like tight buddies (put your index and middle fingers together) and it was just a matter of time before we invited each other to dinners at our respective home.

Our other next-door was an Eastern European migrant married to an Korean, what a match right?  Turned out they, having been relatively newer to the compound than the rest of us, were ultrafriendly and invited us over every chance they got.  So it would’ve been poor form not to reciprocate and invite them ourselves.  (Plus, they had gorgeous Eurasian kids that inherited only their best features, think straight noses, high cheekbones and chinito / chinita eyes.)

Except that by the time we were able to invite both couples to our munting dampa, the first couple was already moving out, to a bigger home and obviously with a view to enlarging their brood.  We had only one chance to invite them to dinner as neighbors, and that was two Wednesdays ago.

Mahal made exceptional use of the occasion, selecting three classic Pinoy dishes that (she thought) would bring out the best of our salty-sour-sweet cuisine : adobo, kaldereta and pancit bihon, which the guests surprisingly took second and third servings.  (She was also going to be able to show off her new warmer-server she bought for a song at a K-Mart sale, which you might be able to spot if there’s a photo above… yes, there it is. 🙂 )

During and after the repast, a funny thing happened : Chris and Lauren (the Kiwi couple) and Mahal and I knew each other a bit longer, so we expected to bond and chat a bit more freely, but it was our Eastern European neighbor Mielko who would be more gregarious and easy with conversation, stealing the show from right under our noses.

Maybe it was the libation he brought but while we were careful about tripping over our newly-minted Kiwi English accent, and the Kiwis were thinking of anecdotes to show how they loved their Asian friends and Asian takeaway (as if naman Pinoys invented takeaway), Mielko was regaling us with his day motoring his passengers around town in his Japanese hybrid.  A taxicab driver, he says, meets all sorts of people, but sadly the fares he remembers best are the drunks, the quarrelsome and those who refuse to pay.  Of course, we were transfixed by his vignettes on the seediest examples of everyday human behavior.

Before long, as with all dinners where participants come from different cultures, we had run out of things to talk about.  Truthfully, our only common denominator was that we had once upon a time shared a driveway and parking area, and that we had the same rubbish collection day and perhaps the same lawn mower.  But because we made the effort to become sometime friends, it made our little corner of the world a better place to live in.  And long after we’re no longer neighbors, at least there’s still Facebook!  Mabuhay to friendly neighbors and thanks for reading!

Sen. Miriam Santiago Jokes: The Unofficial Collection


brilliant! 🙂

Para sa mga naaaliw sa mga banat at patawa ni Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, narito ang collection ng mga jokes, pick-up lines, banat sa mga politicians (kagaya niya) at ilang mga quotes ng Senadora na hinango mula sa iba’t ibang sulok ng internet.

senator miriam santiago quotes

RANDOM JOKES

Anong blood type ang pwedeng motto? B-positive.

—oOo—
Matalinong babae + Matalinong lalaki = Romance
Matalinong lalaki + Bobong babae = Affair
Matalinong babae + Bobong lalaki = Kasal
Bobong lalaki + Bobong babae = Sexually Transmitted Disease

—oOo—
Gusto mo bang trabaho?

  • Meron sa PLDT, 10,000 pesos per day. Ikaw yung dialtone.
  • Meron sa DPWH, 10, 000 pesos per day. Ikaw yung speedbump.
  • Meron sa post office, 10,000 pesos per day. Didilaan mo lahat ng stamps.

—oOo—
A young boy asked his Dad, what is the difference between confident and confidential?

The father said, you’re my son. Confident ako doon. Yung best friend mo…

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