Friday, March 28, 2014

What Makes an Influential Leader?

Photo credits here.
Today, I went to a job interview in one of the Metro's reputable hospitals. The HR personnel told me that the interviewer is a Physician by profession who just recently took the administrative role to lead the company's brand development efforts. At first, I thought, Okay, he's a doctor who probably knows much better about human anatomy than sentence structures. I had the confidence that I'll be able to pull this interview off just like past ones I've been invited in.

The interview began and he started talking. He blew me away! He knows what he is looking for and he asked the right questions to test whether I am what he needs or not. Hopefully I measured up to his expectations (fingers crossed). He was really good! Too good that I want to work for him already so that I can become a better writer.

So he put me on the spot and asked me to come up with a tag line for the hospital. It took my Pentium 3 brain quite a while to give him a sloppy one and I knew I completely looked like an inexperienced writer while wracking my head for the right words (trust me, I look like an idiot when I'm thinking--mouth wide open, eyeballs to the ceiling), but he was patient. Then, he let me explain that silly phrase I wrote on his Post-it. He listened to me and accepted everything I said. I was about to be relieved, but then he asked another question. Something I honestly don't know about.

"Tell me the difference between a press release and an advertorial." Wow! I've written numerous PRs and advertorials in my life, but I really did not know what their difference is. I mumbled my own description of a press release and advertorial but never really came close to the right answer. It was obvious that I don't have a clue, but he was forgiving. He picked up the correct points in my description and said, "Okay, so that you'll have your learning for today... the difference is that advertorials are paid while PRs are not." Makes perfect sense! Why didn't I think of that? And then he continued his lecture on PRs and advertorials. I gladly listened.

There goes my story. So why am I so certain that he's an influential leader? First off, I felt his superiority over me, but he did not make me feel inferior in a bad way. He made me feel that it's okay not to know everything and that he is willing to share his knowledge with me. He knows he is good, but he is not proud. He gives honest opinions and constructive criticisms. He acknowledges other people's good traits. Lastly, he made me want the position so badly.

In a short time, I observed all that about him. This first impression inspired me to become someone with an impact like that to people. On one hand, my assessment of him may not be completely accurate but on the other hand, his positive influence on me is a good indication that he truly is a great leader.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training

I used to go to the gym. But now that I'm unemployed and have no money for gym enrollment, I've resolved to working out at home. The downside, of course, are the distractions (laptop with internet, A hard drive full of TV shows and movies to watch, my cozy bed, the TV, the tablet, my lazy sister, food, the couch, etc.) which I easily succumb to. Today, I planned to start a routine and make it a habit to exercise regularly. I'm trying out HIIT or the High Intensity Interval Training.

Just decide on how long you want your exercises.
According to Men's Fitness, it's a kind of workout that involves high intensity exercises with short recovery periods. In my own words, this means heart-pumping exercises without enough time to catch your breath. The High Intensity Interval Training is said to help you burn fat even hours after your workout. When you deprive your body of enough oxygen during hard work, it tends to compensate whatever shortage you experience after the workout. Hence, you still "burn" after your training.

To be honest, I don't really like this kind of workout. I love my resting periods, alright. So much so that I'm no longer tired when I start my next set. But a gym friend told me the workout will not be very effective if I take long resting periods. He told me 15 seconds of rest each set is preferable. Since I like the idea of burning more fats, I've opened up my mind to try this kind of training. It might also help me improve my cardio endurance--something I really have to work on now that I'm back to zero as far as fitness in concerned.

So to start going back to being fit, I searched for exercises that I can use for this training. I usually go to workouts_daily on Instagram for the exercises. Also, I downloaded an interval timer to make sure I have enough time working out and just 15 seconds of rest each set.

With this blogged, may the force be with me! :)

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mr. Win Detergent Promo a scam? Watch out!

This happened to our household not once but TWICE. My mom and I had exactly the same experience. First, it was me last year who got scammed and then just today, my mom. We were "victimized" by this Mr. Win sales representative who goes house to house offering "FREE" detergent powder as a promotion and ending up with P400 in his hands. What's his modus opernadi? Read on.

FIVE boxes of Mr. Win detergent powder for P400. One box and a bar of Champion detergent were FREE.
A sales representative (not in uniform but rather in pambahay clothes) knocked on our gate, handing me one Champion detergent bar and one Mr. Win detergent powder. According to him, it's for free because they are having a promotion. He said they are introducing Mr. Win to the market and that the brand is manufactured by the same company as Champion. Since these were for FREE, I was lured into accepting them. That was my biggest mistake. He asked whether a senior citizen lived with me. When I said yes, he continued to give me more Mr. Win detergent powder and said he'll give me the discount for senior citizens.

The next thing I know is that there were five more Mr. Win detergent powders in my hands and the sales rep won't take it back. He kept insisting that all the soap I have is worth P400 only. I told him I didn't have money but he won't take the products back. Instead, he said that I should hurry and pay up because his supervisor will get mad if the latter finds out about the discount he's given me. With a heavy heart, I went to get P400 in my wallet and handed it to him. And then he left.

I wouldn't do such a thing under normal circumstances, but during that time, I felt obliged to pay him even if I didn't want to. It was as if I was hypnotized or something. Whatever he did to me worked and it's just too bad that the same thing happened to my mom today. My sister was stopping mama from entertaining the guy, but mama just went on listening to him anyway. I was watching a show in our room, so I thought it was just nothing. Had I known, I should've stopped my mom myself.

After realizing what just happened, I felt terrible. It was worse than being robbed. So I Googled Mr. Win and found out that this modus has been going on for a while. Here are links to two articles dated back in 2012, warning the public about the Mr. Win modus operandi happening in Pagadian City. In these reports, the sales rep is offering Tide instead of Champion.

Now I'm wondering if it's just in our place here in North Caloocan or if others have experienced this as well. I just hope this scam comes to an end. Consumers deserve better than this kind of marketing strategy. Anyone who has read this post should be wary of such kind of scam. I hope the DTI and Champion does something about this.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dealing with Migraine

If there is one thing I'd gladly rid myself of in this lifetime, that would be my migraine. It's an unwelcome guest that takes over my system every time it attacks. It incapacitates me every single time, giving me too many helpless and unproductive days.

I can't remember when it started and I can't really identify what causes it, but it got worrisome back in 2012 when I had to ditch a number of work days because of severe pain and vomiting. That time, I was really in deep stress because of a hell-like work environment. I remember my horrible boss giving me a hard time because of my stupid migraine.

My migraine can go up to two to three days without subsiding. It leaves the left side of my head throbbing in pain and my left eye tearing up. It's always the left side. Sometimes, the pain concentrates on my left eye socket; sometimes, it just falls on the top left hemisphere of my head. I usually feel relieved when I've thrown up, but sometimes, the pain just lingers even when I've puked one too many times. At times, I would refuse to eat because my stomach also gets upset during some of my migraine attacks. Even if it's just water that I take in, it finds its way out. I'd throw up a lot to the point that all that goes out is acid--bitter, sour, and painful to the throat and stomach.

Causes of My Migraine
I've gone to different doctors to have this condition treated. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for migraine. My first doctor connected my migraine attacks to urinary tract infection (UTI). He said that migraine could be a symptom of UTI. My upset stomach (plus vomiting and nausea) is also related to the infection as the stomach is close to the urinary tract. This doctor then gave me painkillers for the headache and medicine to treat the UTI. I'm not so sure what to make out of this diagnosis, but I always consider UTI every time I have migraine. (I'll talk about the cause of my frequent UTIs in another post.)

My second doctor pointed out that there are different kinds of headache. He did not relate my migraine to UTI this time, but considered it to be stress and fatigue-related. It was a likely cause because as I've mentioned earlier, I was in a stressful job at that time. So for this visit, the doctor gave me pain killers, vitamin B+ and a red pill for my migraine. (Sorry, I can't remember the medicine names as this was two years ago and I've already lost the prescription.) Somehow, the migraine attacks became less frequent after this consultation.

Other migraine attacks are really random, leaving me clueless on what may have caused them. For example, just yesterday, I woke up at 2am from a 12-hour sleep to a slight headache. I decided to eat (since skipping meals is another cause of my attacks) and then took Biogesic (mefenamic acid) to relieve the pain and went back to sleep. I woke up at 11am with the same slight headache so I had lunch and then took two 250mg mefenamic acid this time. After doing this, came the full-blown migraine attack. I got dizzy and so I forced myself to sleep to "unfeel" the pain. This attack is weird since I don't really feel stressed at the moment (I'm unemployed and I have all the time to rest). Also, I've had enough rest and sleep. Could it be oversleeping that caused the migraine attack?

What I Do to Ease the Pain
The first thing I do is rest. Every time my migraine attacks, I try to sleep in a dark room. I make sure to rest my eyes because I find that watching TV or using my phone aggravates the pain and dizziness. When I sleep, I try to cover my eyes to ensure complete darkness.

I try not to drink pain relievers right away as I'm afraid I'd get dependent to medicine. Also, I noticed that sometimes, taking pain relievers does not help at all, but rather makes the pain and nausea even worse. I just can't figure out why.

I apply cold compress to the left side of my head. I'm not really sure if this is a good practice, but I find it relieving. I also apply topical analgesic (Omega Pain Killer) to the affected part of my head.

Since my migraine attacks are UTI-related, I make sure to drink lots of water to flush the infection away. If I can, I also try to eat. This makes throwing up easier as compared to not having anything in the stomach. The latter is more painful. Also, I find that eating (especially if I skipped meals) also relieves mild headaches.

I find that working out regularly makes the migraine attacks less frequent. As exercise produces happy hormones and natural pain killers, I find that working out every day makes migraine go away.

If I can no longer bear the pain, I drink Advil for Migraine. My dad from the US sent me this pain reliever as he himself is worried about my frequent migraines. Most times, it helps relieve the pain. Weirdly, it also aggravates the headache at times.

Deal with IT
Everyone of us has individual differences, so everything I wrote down in this post may or may not be the same with other migraine sufferers. The most important thing about having this condition is to consult the doctor and to take care of yourself well--always get enough rest and sleep, exercise, take vitamins and supplements, do not strain your eyes too much, stay healthy and happy.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Red Dawn 2012

RATING: ïïïïïïï (7 suns) 

Red Dawn is an American war movie that depicts patriotism in spite of fear and vulnerability. It's about choosing to fight despite lack of experience and the inevitability of losing. It's the story of a bunch of kids who fought for the freedom of their home against a North Korean invasion.

Jed (Chris Hemsworth), a US Marine spending two weeks home, led a group of high school kids in defying the occupants' regime. Going to war is nothing new to him, but it's is a very unfamiliar undertaking for a bunch of inexperienced high school kids, his brother Matt (Josh Peck) included. They trained, they planned, they strategized, and they went to war against the North Koreans. They became terrorists in the eyes of the invaders. They were later on known as the "Wolverines." They had makeshift weapons while their enemy had advanced killing machines. They lost some good men, but in the end, they were able to keep the fire to redeem their home burning.

Peeta Mellark is in Red Dawn! And he looked very young (Well, according to Wikipedia, the movie was filmed in 2008 and was shelved because of budget troubles). Josh Hutcherson plays Robert, a friend of Matt. At first, he was reluctant about fighting. He didn't have the guts to kill, much more fire a gun. But his love for his country made him courageous enough to kick some North Korean asses.

Chris Hemsworth is so hot! He died in the end, though. Oops! Spoiler alert.

Isabel Lucas who played as Matt's girlfriend is nothing as hot as her character in Transformers Revenge of the Fallen.

"I love you both, I hope you know that. What I'm gonna ask you to do may be very difficult, but I want you boys to do what I would do. I want you to go to war and stop this piece of shit. Or die trying." (Tom Eckart, the dad who was then shot in the head after saying those brave words. Oopsie, spoiler alert.)

"I'm going to fight. Now this is easier for me because I'm used to it. But the rest of you are going to have a tougher choice. Look, I don't want to sell it to you, it's too ugly for that. It's ugly and it's hard. But when you're fighting in your own backyard, and you're fighting for your family, it all hurts a little less and it makes a little more sense. And for them, this is just some place. But for us, this is our home." (Jed Eckart)

"You messed with the wrong family." (Jed Eckart)


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Creamy Tuna Pesto Pasta

I'm taking baby steps as far as honing my cooking skills is concerned. For now, I think it's safer to start with pasta dishes as they are the easier ones to cook. So for dinner, I made Creamy Tuna Pesto Pasta. It's really easy to cook. All I had to do was mix all the ingredients in the pan.

As you can see in the photo, I used the following ingredients:

1. Clara Ole Cheesy Pesto Pasta Sauce
2. Nestle All Purpose Cream
3. A can of sliced mushrooms
4. Century tuna in vegetable oil
5. Grated cheese
6. Penne pasta - 450 grams (not in photo)
7. Chopped onions and garlic (not in photo)

So here's how I made my version of the Creamy Tuna Pesto Pasta.

1. Cook pasta in boiling water. Remember to add a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of oil into the water before boiling it. Refer to the pasta's packaging for the cooking time.

2. Drain water and set pasta aside.

3. Put two tablespoons of oil in a pan, then saute the chopped onions and garlic. Don't let the garlic turn brown and crispy.

4. Add the tuna and mushroom. Cook for about a minute or two.

5. Pour the all purpose cream, followed by the cheesy pesto sauce. Bring to boil.

6. Add the grated cheese; season with Maggi Magic Sarap. Wait until cheese has melted.

7. Mix pasta with the sauce.

8. Serve while hot :)

There you go. I had two servings of this Creamy Tuna Pesto Pasta for dinner. My mama seemed to enjoy it as well. Yehey!


Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I know that 2014 is a good time to start anew, move on, and all that, but i will always miss 2013 and even 2012 for that matter. Well, almost two years of good times and hoping for a happy ending is not something you can just turn your back to. Regardless of what people said, say, will say ... everything in that two years was real and worth cherishing.

Ngayong 2014, wala na akong mayayaya kumain ng kebab after gym. Wala ng mag-aalaga sakin when I've drank too much. Wala ng susundo at maghahatid sa akin sa akin sa bahay. Wala na akong maririnig na maingay na makina ng kotse at wala na akong masasakyang race car. Wala ng mang-aalaska sa ilong ko. Wala ng warm hugs and passionate kisses. Wala na akong gym buddy at WeChat buddy. Wala na akong number fan at supporter sa lahat ng bagay na pasukin ko. Wala na akong confidante and adviser. Wala na akong itetext ng good night at i love you bago matulog. Wala ng partner in kalokohan. Wala ng bestfriend na makikinig sa lahat ng rant ko sa mundo. Wala ng mekanikong susubukang ayusin ang lahat para lang sumaya ako.

Pero kahit wala na sya, I wish him well. I hope he's happy because that will make me happy.