Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thank you again Exist-QA!

Once again you overwhelmed me with inspiring and encouraging words which is more than I deserve.
I am super blessed to have an accommodating, friendly and loving team just like our QA family.

I couldn't ask for a better group of people.



Thank you Joseph for being a good friend, driver (pede ding slave driver lol) and mentor to me.
Thank you Joan friend for sharing your 'baon' to me, being my BFF, hair-mate, for the effort to make the scrapbook(love it) and for that special poem you made. (Appreciate that)
Thank you Erlyn for your motherly advice not only for me but for the team.
Thank you Chriz for your support during the transition and for that contagious 'giggles' that only you can make.
Thank you Junn for being one of my MRT-mates, for that 'stern' photo-signature I would never forget.
Thank you Yani for being one of the 'kaladkarin' barkada and extending the invites to Alex and for being my MRT-mate as well.
Thank you Rv for sharing your emotions and frustrations to me, for the 'on-time' video, for inviting us to your debut :) i meant family occasion,it's a great privilege to know the other side of you.
Thank you Ram for the candid shots, "di-nagpapahuling mga hirit", "bibo-kid" moments and for being a good welcoming committee.
Thank you Paul for that effortless "Mr. Pogi" look which sweeps Janice off her feet.
Thank you Kat for your bubbly and 'wholesome' mood that drives the team crazy especially 'idol' Vin and James
Thank you Celine for spending time with us and for sharing with us your growly voice. Rock on!
Thank you Derick for that contagious smile and laugh and all the movie-stuff you gladly share to me.
Thank you Myk for being our driver next to Seph, for being one of the 'lakadkarin' barkada, for making my transition and exit as graceful as possible and for all the kindness you've shown to me.
Thank you Vin for your humor and "swak-na-banat, makasagot lang" moments.
Thank you Janice for your sweetness, your all-out smile and our 'coffee-time' together.
Thank you Ann for your simplicity, for sharing your self to us and for the 'dart' moments we've shared.
Thank you James for your openness, for sharing your 'baon' to us, for our food-trips together and for the #first-time experiences like laser tag and archery I got to spend with you.
Thank you QA- Cebu for extending your appreciation to me and for your heartfelt messages.



Thank you QA for all the laughters and memories we've written in the canvass of life. What a masterpiece.

Whoa! We're 17 QAs na pala in the team, compared to the previous less than 10 QA members back in 2010. Made me more confident and at peace to leave because I know I am leaving a reinforced and stable QA who are individually capable and solid as a team.

Now I understand better... Why God let me spend my 5 years here in Exist... Because He wanted me to meet and spend some time with wonderful people like you all. I will be infinitely grateful for this opportunity God gave me.



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Thank you Exist!

I am amazed how the Big Guy brings people together as colleagues, as friends and as family. Exist is no different. Here I met some of the smartest and coolest people I've ever knew.

More than a workplace, this is a second home for me.

Oh yes, we develop. we test. we deliver. On top of these, we enjoy. we party. we care. we value people.

I've always believed in the talent and skill that Exist have. I could vouch for the Quality Assurance team. We have competent and expert Quality Assurance engineers in the team. No doubt. But more than the skills, we have great people who also became our close friends. The statement 'We have the best QA team' is underrated. Truth is 'We have the best QA family ever!'

A mixture of unique and talented QA rockstars who delivers. Who knows how to have fun at the same time. Who cares for each other. Who loves food. Big time!

This definitely is one fateful reason for staying in the team for more than five years. No regrets. More than the software testing competencies that I gained, but for the lasting relationship that we built along the years. The memories we painted in each ones lives. The technology stuff we had fun learning as a team. The secrets we shared and choose to keep. The friendships blossomed and shaped by time. The pick-up lines we throw and jokes we buy. The simple yet scrumptious food because its shared to everyone. The travel places we've conquered. The laughter we shared together.

Priceless.

As I leave I don't want to be remembered as a software tester who did this and did that. Simply someone who became a good friend is enough for me. A person who laughed with you... who inspired you in my own little way... who listened...  For more than position and expertise, relationships stays and lasts longer.

Forever.

Relationship my friend. It's the real deal.
"Don't cry because its over. Smile because it happened." - Dr. Seuss
I will definitely miss the brunchers... our travel escapades... our lunch/dinner out... the 'kaladkarin' barkada... playing darts after brunch... our meryenda chickahan... withdrawing from RCBC in group... buying food from Manong... the random topics we chat in our cubicles... the 'laglagan' topic... the Janice-Paul and Kat-James loveteam... our hair day time together Joan frend... the 'hot seat' moment of new hires with idol Vin... the directive #1 - first blood treat of new hires... the birthday treats... buying and using deal vouchers every now and then... the 'CR' chickahan... the 'adobong patatas' of Erlyn... riding the elevator together...

I will miss everything about Exist.

Exist. QA team. You guys will always be in my mind. Forever in my heart.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Mitch Albom: Tuesdays with Morrie

One of the inspirational book that moved me, heart and soul. Crafted beautifully by the mind and hand of now one of my favorite author Mitch Albom. I can't believe I highlighted almost all the lines in the book ;)

I admire the concept presented by the author on death, family, love, culture and aging. Understanding and accepting death. Decision to make a family. Learning to love fully. Creating your own culture. Embracing aging. So you can all the more marvel and enjoy life to the fullest.

Eureka moment.

Below are some, okay all of the lines, phrases and quotes from the book that I loved. Including my favorite Tuesdays sessions.

Photo courtesy of Ram Masinas :)

* * * * * * * *

I didn't want to forget him. Maybe I didn't want him to forget me --Mitch

I seek my identity in toughness -- but it is Morrie's softness that draws me --Mitch

And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn't work, don't buy it. --Morrie

Love wins, love always wins. --Morrie

The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning. --Morrie

First Tuesday: We talked about the World

Maybe death is the great equalizer, the one big thing that can finally make strangers shed a tear for one another. --Morrie

The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in. --Morrie

Second Tuesday: We talked about Feeling Sorry for Yourself

I give myself a good cry if I need it. But then I concentrate on all the good things still in my life. --Morrie

Sometimes you cannot believe what you see, you have to believe what you feel. And if you are ever going to have other people trust you, you must feel that you can trust them too -- even when you're in the dark. Even when you're falling. --Morrie

Third Tuesday: We talked about Regrets

The culture doesn't encourage you to think about such things until you're about to die. --Morrie

We all need teachers in our lives --Mitch

Education is the only antidote to their poverty

Fourth Tuesday: We talked about Death

Yes. But there's a better approach. To know you're going to die, and to be prepared for it at any time... That way you can actually be more involved in your life while you're living. --Morrie

Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live. --Morrie

If you accept that you can die at any time -- then you might not be as ambitious as you are --Morrie

Fifth Tuesday: We talked about Family

Love is so supremely important. As our great poet Auden said, "Love each other or perish." --Morrie

Without love, we are birds with broken wings. --Morrie

Whenever people ask me about having children or not having children, I never tell them what to do... I simply say, 'There is no experience like having children.' That's all. 'There is no no substitute for it.' --Morrie

Detachment doesn't mean you don't let the experience penetrate you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate you  fully. That's how you are able to leave it. --Morrie

Turn on the faucet. Wash yourself with the emotion. It won't hurt you. It will only help. --Morrie

Seventh Tuesday: We talked about the Fear of Aging

We all know how to be a child. It's inside all of us. For me it's just remembering how to enjoy it. --Morrie

Aging is not just decay... It's growth. It's more that the negative that you're going to die, it's also the positive that you understand you're going to die, and that you life a better life because of it. --Morrie

It is impossible for the old not to envy the young. But the issue is to accept who you are and revel in that. --Morrie

Find what's good and true and beautiful in your life as it is now. --Morrie

Eight Tuesday: We talked about Money

You can't substitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for a sense of comradeship. Money is not. --Morrie

If you're trying to show off for people at the top, forget it. They will look down at you anyhow. And if you are trying to show off for people at the bottom, forget it. They will only envy you. Status will get you nowhere. Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone. --Morrie

Do the kinds of things that come from the heart. --Morrie

Each night, when I go to sleep, I die. And the next morning, when I wake up, I am reborn. --Mahatma Gandhi

Eleventh Tuesday: We talked about Culture

People are only mean when they are threatened.,, That's what our economy does. --Morrie

The little things I can obey. But the big things -- how we think, what we value -- those you must choose yourself. You can't let anyone -- or any society -- determine those for you. --Morrie

Invest in the human family. Invest in people. Build a little community of those you love and who love you. --Morrie

In the beginning of life, when we are infants, we need others to survive. And at the end of life, when you get like me, you need others to survive. But here's the secret in between, we need others as well. --Morrie

Don't let go too soon, but don't hang on too long. --Morrie

Getting NBI Clearance @Robinson's Galleria

Been asking friends and reading blogs on where to get NBI in the Philippines and heard from a good friend of mine that they have satellite branches in Robinson's mall. I prefer Robinson's Galleria since its near to our office.

I came in at 7:20AM and lined up in front of the mall entrance with more than 100 people. The line started to move at 9:00AM when they initially distributed the forms and the number. I got number 129 for coming at 7:20AM not bad huh! I'm guessing one factor why there are only few people today is because of the recent weather disturbance in the metro caused by Habagat. 

When the mall opens at 10:00AM, they let people in including all NBI applicants. We rushed to the ground floor east side of the mall where NBI Clearance Center Lingkod Pinoy is located.

First 100 applicants are allowed to enter the waiting room, the rest of us who already have numbers are asked to sit in the right portion of the stairs while applicants who does not have numbers yet seated on the left part.

Here's the steps by step thing that we followed in the processing area.


1st batch   (1 - 100)       10:00am - 12:30pm
2nd batch  (101-200)    12:30pm -  onwards

My number was called at 12:50pm. Finally, after more than 5 hours of queuing and no less than 20 minutes of the actual processing step 1 to step 4, I got my NBI clearance at 1:15pm. Yey! 



Overall, the processing was fluid it's the waiting time  that's hostile.

Some tips:
1. Bring two valid ID, any of the following
PRC ID, 
Driver’s license, 
NSO, 
company ID, 
Passport, 
postal ID, 
SSS, 
TIN
2. Bring your own pen. There are no pens in the NBI clearance center
3. Make sure to bring something to cheer you up while waiting. (e.g a book to read)
4. Bring food and water :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Habagat Ravages Manila

Metropolis has been pounded by the non-stop rain and wind for the past few days. A glimpse from one of the darkest moment we wish to forget. Class suspended across all levels, traffic jams, stranded commuters, flood all over the streets, millions of property damaged, thousands of families in evacuation centers, children getting sick and worst of all precious lives taken. Heart breaking.


Image taken from http://www.hollywoodinvasian.com
When will the rain grew tired of wrecking havoc to our country? Who should be blamed? Where does it lead us?

Tumana area in Marikina
If there's one good thing this national crisis did to us. It bonds us together as one nation working collectively to get back up from this defiant tragedy. Rich or poor, celebrity or ordinary people, military or civilian. Establishments and individuals donate and share for the affected families. Government and the military go beyond rescuing but are willing to risk their lives to save others. Adults, youth and kids volunteer to pack and distribute relief goods. Private offices extends assistance to their employees. Neighbors open their doors to residents whose houses are submerged by the flood.

Generosity is pouring in. Heroes are unleash within each Filipino.

Hand in hand, we can certainly do it. Again.


Images taken from http://diversityhuman.com
Be alert and stay safe friends.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Rainy Days and Sundays

When it rains, it pours! Just like the shape of the weather last Sunday, I could feel that the Big Guy is pouring His encouragement, blessings and miracles to me. I couldn't thank Him enough! Simply because I don't know where to start. In one day alone, I muster 7 things to be grateful. Just like the rain that waters the plants to grow. It feeds my inner me.

1. Sooo thankful I made it on time(which means 7 minutes before 8am) to our Large group activity in CCF's Sunday school although [1] I woke up late(which means 6:50am)  and [2] the roads are wet and there's so much traffic due to weather. Unfortunately few blocks away from home I realize I left my mobile phone but because I'm running late already, I didn't made an effort to go back, what's on top of my mind that time is to be able to reach CCF before the service starts. 

2. I am inspired with our lesson in Sunday school. Big time! I knew it's meant for the preschool kids but hey I realize that it also works for adults who are young at heart. Its as if I traveled through the time warp back when I was a 6 year-old little girl who loves bible stories. In our lesson, children heard the story of how God led Moses and the Israelites out of Egypt, how they were able to flee from the bad Pharaoh and miraculously crossed the Red Sea. At the end of the large group session, children learned that God can do anything. For He is all-powerful. He is indeed.

From the motion picture "Prince of Egypt"
My favorite part in the movie, when the Israelites led by Moses crossed the Red Sea holding fire torches with large whale on the background. Goosebumps.

3. The preschool kids!!! Oh how cute and sweet these little angels. You could always turn to then when you need a hug, and they would hug you with all their hearts. I never get disappointed, everytime I tell them, 'Hey, Teacher needs a hug.' Watch out cause they'll come running. All out! Little hands but big heart. I had fun dancing with them with our praise and worship song "Wherever You Go." I enjoyed watching them move their tiny hands and feet to imitate the action. To give you an idea how cool the lyrics and the action of this song, here's a video from "Kids Church." 


Kids are indeed one of the most practical and effective antioxidants. They make you feel young again.

4. I am super blessed to be surrounded by people with a soft heart for others and a big heart for God. I praise Him for the opportunity to serve in NextGen(CCF's Sunday school) with Carmen and Aia. I am overwhelmed with Aia's welcoming spirit and Carmen's patience with me ;)) although I have no experience handling preschool, she encouraged me with her tremendous energy and loving heart for the kids. My gratitude overflows with their sincere send-off prayer for me. I really felt that.

5. Pastor's Bong Saquing's preaching entitled "Be Courageous, God is with You." Wow Lord, everything fits perfectly today, from our Sunday school lesson, to our praise and worship song and now with the preaching. How can I ignore your message for me today. How can I not hear you telling me, "Girlie, God can do anything. Be courageous for He will be with you, wherever you go! Trust Him on this one!" Just like what He promised. Thank you for encouraging me consistently. Thank you for being true to Your promises.
Isaiah answered, “This is the Lord’s sign to you that the Lord will do what he has promised" --2 Kings 20:9
6. As I mentioned earlier, I left my mobile phone at home. Friday when I texted my beautiful friend Kat if we could meet at CCF after my Large group activity and attend service together at 2:30pm. It could have been easier and simpler if I had my phone to confirm our meetup. But in a big place like CCF with more or less 2000 people attending each of the 5 services, Geee! It would only be by Your grace if we would see each other. Grace it is! He placed Kat at the right place where I would pass, at the right time I went down the stairs to head home. Hoala! I saw her beaming with smile, all out to me as I approach her and told her about my phone. :) Isn't God good? Of course not! He is the best! 

7. Just like a sweet treat, Kat and I had dinner at Hainanese Delights, Mega Mall and did what all girls love to do - window shopping. I like! 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Few days ago, I found myself nibbling through my 2005 files when I made a learning portfolio featuring one great book as a requirement to my Education 1 subject.

This post is published in memory of late Dr. Stephen R. Covey(1932-2012), an articulate author, businessman, motivational speaker and the beautiful mind behind the #1 Most Influential Business Book of the Twentieth CenturyThe Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. 

I couldn't argue that his book has a special force (in a positive way) that influenced me in my self-evaluation and effectiveness in a holistic way. Thanks Dr. Covey! The world will never forget you and the principles you've shared.

This is my attempt to make an abridge version of my paper.

Habit 1: Be Proactive
The Habit of Personal Vision

All changes start within. Inside out. As Robert H. Schuller said,
"If it's going to be, it's up to me."
If we want change, it starts from us - our beliefs, principles, words and action. We have a choice. We can opt to blame our family, the society, church or the government. We can choose to take action and responsibility of our life. Not tomorrow. Now.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
The Habit of Personal Leadership
"Success has nothing to do with speed but something to do with direction." 
To have a clear vision of our destination in life. Envision your future. Knowing where we are and where we want to go puts us in the advantage. Life may overwhelm us with lots of seemingly rewarding things in the present, jam-packed schedule, active lifestyle. But the real deal is, does these activities draw us closer to our life goals.

Thanks to Walt Disney's vision 70 years ago, family and friends can now enjoy the magical world of Disneyland.

Habit 3: Put First Things First
The Habit of Personal Management
"Time is God's gift to us, what we do with our time is our gift to God."
God gave us all 60 minutes an hour, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year, +1 on a leap year. Equally. It's amazing how other people manage to accomplish significantly.   
"Give me a man who says, 'This one thing I do' and not 'This 50 things, I  dabble in.' " --D.L. Moody
Sometimes it's learning to say "No" to good things, so we can say "Yes" to better and more essential ones.

Habit 4: Think Win-Win
The Habit of Interpersonal Leadership 

A frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human relationships. Seeing life more of a cooperative than a competitive arena. We must stress that life is not about games and competition. Not about winning or losing. 

Life is not always the benefit of me, myself and I. It should be the benefit of we and us.

In every drama, both the hero and the villain complements and adds flavor to the story.

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand and then be Understood
The Habit of Emphatic Communication

The best encouragement we can give to our friends who are going through crucial times is not to give advice but simply be there to listen to them. Listen to feel them. Listen to understand. There are times we just listen, so we can babble our opinion and seemingly expertise in the matter. Emphatic listening is  more than just hearing words and story. Its also understanding the intent and feelings of the person. So we would be able to respond with love and sensibility.

Habit 6: Synergize
The Habit of Creative Cooperation

When two or more people work together to understand something they can create a phenomenon called "synergy."

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
The Habit of Renewal
"When you're through changing, you're through" --Bruce Barton
Sharpening the saw means enhancing the greatest asset that you have - Y-O-U. As a living creature of this  evolving planet, we cannot afford to be left behind, we must learn to grow with it.