Monthly Archives

June 2011

Thursday at Bingo’s Place: On-Leave

By | Outsourcing: an original view, Philippines

When I woke up this morning, the first thing that got into my mind is how the smell of cigarette smoke will fill my 8 hours in the office. The thought of coughing all day is just unbearable so I decided not to go.

I went to Daniel a.k.a Bingo, because they have free WIFI internet. I spent my day downloading applications from the apple store and playing them over and over again. I had to re-charge my phone twice. That wasn’t really an exciting way to spend your vacation leave but I did enjoy it a lot. If only I got paid for playing these games, it would be perfect. If only I had a job on-line then I wouldn’t have to endure another day in the death zone. So let me list down some of the benefits about working at home:

  1. You can choose your own hours. Working online offers a flexible time for you to do a certain job. You are able to choose how much of your time you can commit to get the job done. Others do it part-time, while others prefer to make it their fulltime job.
  2. A more relaxed cosy atmosphere. Of course, it is where you are most comfortable. You don’t need to power dress for a corporate suit and tie. You can log-in in your Pyjamas and not too much worry about looking good or smelling fresh all day.
  3. No actual boss to breathe on your neck. Having a boss somewhere halfway around the world is different from having a boss who will physically harass you with deadlines. Working at home provides for you to own your job and be your own “boss” at certain level.
  4. No traffic. Driving around in traffic or commuting to work daily is stressful. At the comfort of your own office at home the only thing you will probably need navigating is your mouse. You will definitely save up on your fuel expenses.
  5. Balance. Being confined in an office cubicle for 40 hours a week somehow takes you away from the real life. For those who have a family with kids, working at home is definitely a good alternative to a regular job in the office since it will give them the time to take care of their children at play with them. Sometimes work gets in the way in personal relationships, too. Especially when a job demands so much time that it robs you of the opportunity to maintain human relationships.

I am sure there are tons of reasons why people choose to work at home. But before really going into it, I guess it is important to know what you can offer. I wish I had expertise on computer programming, web design, computer animation and the likes of it. These jobs are paid really well on- line. For the meantime, writing, like I am doing now, is one fun way of passing my time. Who knows where my writing will lead me.

This is the last article in a series of 7. I am crossing my fingers for more. 🙂

Tuesday Blues: Thinking of Business Opportunities

By | Outsourcing: an original view, Philippines

This is one of those days when I’m feeling blue. Despite being my favourite color, being blue has been associated with a general feeling of depression or simply being sad and low. Why? Because career-wise I am just lost. My friends in college are doing well in their respective jobs. Most of them are working abroad in countries like London, Dubai, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, USA, Singapore, Oman and practically everywhere else. They are employed in Companies like Ernst & Young and Deloitte. While I am back here in the Philippines for some reason I could no longer regret so I am thinking of business opportunities to put me right on the track to success.

My latest fascination is the Fish Spa. We will need the help of the Doctor Fish, also known as Garra Rufa-a tiny toothless Turkish fish, naturally nibbling your dead skin cells, leaving you with silky smooth hands and feet. Many people also believe that this fish therapy can cure skin problems like psoriasis. This is beginning to be a popular, ticklish option to clean your feet or hands or for those who can bare it, the entire body. It would a great business venture. It is something new, and people will definitely give it a try.

An internet shop is probably one of the most common business ideas where many people have made a modest success. 5 years ago this enterprise has been most in demand. Today, the selling price for an internet hour gets cheaper as the cost of electricity and other fixed overhead get ridiculously higher. If you do the math, you’re looking at a great risk of losing. Internet is now considered to be a commodity of the masses. More and more people have access to it from the office, at home and even their cellular phones. So I doubt if I still want to take a shot at this.

Since I like music and one of a good way to start a business is to do something that you like, I am also looking into starting up a karaoke bar. Filipinos are sing-along fans. There wouldn’t be a celebration without having karaoke machine to light up the mood and keep the party going. It is sort of a bonding activity for friends and family. The only problem I have with this idea is how alcohol gets into the picture. My parents have an issue against business selling booze and cigar or anything along that line. And people sing better under the influence of alcohol. Generally, they sing at their best or at least shamelessly, when are intoxicated.

I have bigger dreams like having my own commercial building or hotel. I would also love to have my own beach resort and a nationwide chain of restaurants. The more I think about it, the bluer I get.

I guess the key to a happy life is being content. There is no room for everyone at the top. When you look at a pyramid, the biggest and strongest part is its foundation. For now, I lost at the bottom.

A week in California

By | work from home

Monday in Cali: Is Being a Full-Time Mommy a Career?

It was a Monday and two months had passed since my baby was born. I was left with a huge decision: Should I go back to work or not? Before he was born, I was confident that I would return. I had a promotion and a raise waiting for me. My job was turning into a career and I was finally making strides towards reaching my professional goals. Well, my son changed things drastically. As much as people tell you this, it never really sinks until you hold your baby for the first time.

After much deliberation, I made the decision to stay at home. I never pegged myself as a “housewife” or “stay at home mommy.” In my mind, I was going somewhere—somewhere important. I mean, that is the whole reason I went to college. I didn’t waste my time studying, staying up late, and stressing over classes just to stay at home and care for a baby. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a noble and extremely difficult responsibility, but it just wasn’t a part of my original plan.

Rather than sulk, I wanted to find ways where I could be a mother and a working professional at the same time. I spent a lot of time praying for God to open opportunities for me to do both. Family and friends have been telling me to try and find something online. Supposedly, it’s all the rage and it’s easy. Well, it’s not. Finding a credible online job is like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. So many offers are clouded by outrageous claims or sketchy application forms.

As a mom, being able to work from home is the ideal. While it is difficult to juggle both, I know that at the end of the day I am caring for my son and that will always be my first priority. These are just a few tips that have helped me beat the dreadful search of finding the right online job.

1. Be patient. More than likely, you will not find the right fit immediately.
2. Network. Find out if any of your friends have worked online before. If so, ask for their recommendations.
3. Build Your Profile. Take time to invest into your profile, resume or whatever else the company is looking for to hire you.
4. Be Willing to Start Small. Don’t expect to make the “big bucks” right away. Most of the time companies offer feedback so be willing to take the small jobs until you build your credibility. This will lead to bigger jobs down the line.
5. Be Selective. When describing your skills, work history, certifications, etc. include those that are relevant to what they are looking for. It is not always helpful to flood your profile with every bit of information about you.

Tuesday Cali: The Unexpected Side of California

Most of the world pegs California as it is depicted in the latest reality T.V. shows. However, if you travel upstate a few hours you will find your ideas about California to be untrue. Just North of L.A. you will climb what is known as the “Grape Vine.” This huge hill is like a metaphorical separation of two worlds. L.A. is fast-paced and the place everyone wants to be and full of people they want to become, but on the other side of that hill are acres and acres of farm land. This is where I now live.

My daily drive consists of passing miles of corn fields, grape vines, citrus orchards—you name it. I use to think this would be boring, but instead it has become de-stressing and downright inspirational. My mind is not preoccupied with the day’s tasks as I drive down the road. Rather, I frequently find myself trying to figure out what crop is growing and thinking about what it would be like to take a nap in the shade casted by the acre of walnut trees. Today was just like that.

Around 10am I got in the car to run a quick errand. Rather than worry about being in a rush or plagued by the days endless tasks, I looked forward to driving and getting to daydream a bit. When I got home, I was refreshed by day’s sights and sat down at my computer at home. It was time to work and I just knew it was going to be a great work day. There was no writer’s block. No stumbling through the Thesaurus trying to find the right word. Just the day’s inspiration flowing from my fingertips.

It is amazing what your environment can do for you. I never realized how much it had an impact on me till I moved. I love what I never knew about California until now. I have been out-of-touch and inundated by a consumer-mentality. It’s re-energizing to be able to enjoy a day without doing much but just listening and watching. Before, I would find myself trapped by T.V., facebook, or surfing the internet. Being willing to make a few lifestyle changes has provided me with a whole new perspective that motivates me to be work harder. Today was just an ordinary Tuesday. I can’t wait to discover more ways to be inspired by the beauty of Central California.

Wednesday in Cali: Writing Between Time Zones

It was 6:30 am in the morning when I woke up to the sound of a chattering toddler hoping that someone will bring him milk soon. Once he was settled, I checked my smart phone for any emails I may have received while I was sound asleep. Low and behold, an email from my editor proposing the topics for the upcoming magazine issue. As I read down the list, I quickly began organizing the topics in my head starting with the one that seemed the most interesting and ending with the topic that, in my mind, was the least interesting. I responded back without any hesitation in hopes of getting my first choice.

Within minutes, I received an email back. The editor informed me that while she would love for me tackle my first choice, she may have to give me my second. The reason? Simply because it required that I shop for a particular product that can only be found in that country. Because of my relocation back to my homeland, I could no longer fulfill this requirement. I settled for my second choice and began writing.

When I first hired, I was a contributing writer locally. Thankfully, the company liked me so much that they wanted to keep me as a writer even when I decided to relocate back to my home town, the United States. While outsourcing me as a writer has worked out thus far, I see now that it does propose its own challenges. There are going to be moments that despite your expertise, experience, or education living locally can have its advantage. Rather than allowing this to stifle my opportunities, I have found that the best way to making outsourcing work towards my advantage is to find where I’m most needed and to not worry about the areas I can’t reach. If the company values your contributions they will keep you and find a place where you will be the most effective.

In following two weeks, I plan to dedicate my time crafting an article that is rich in research, relevant and well written. My evenings will be set aside for this. Anyone with a toddler running around knows that you can’t get much done during the day time. So, with that said, my days will be spent being a mom changing diapers, playing in the dirt and cleaning up messes. When night strikes, I know that I can spend my time becoming the best writer I can be.

Thursday Cali: To Grandmother’s House We Go

Today, we get to take the five hour trip to visit Grandma’s house, though it will not be by car, but the reliable train. Most of us would probably say, “Who rides the train anymore?” It’s not very popular anymore, but I have really grown to love it.

My first experience riding the train was between the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece. I was a bit weary at first, but as the train rolled down the railways, I knew it was going to be a fun trip. I love that you can get up and walk around. You are not confined to a small seat and narrow aisles like a plane, and you can move about freely without being buckled into your car seat. It really makes traveling enjoyable. The ride is smooth and typically cuts through country sides that are not scene by the everyday passer buyer. Overall, I would recommend it to anyone.

To pass the time, I sat at a seat with a table, pulled out my computer and began working. With the sun setting on my left, it made for an ideal working environment, except for the fact that the internet went in and out as we passed through towns. I decided to copy and paste what I needed online to a word document so I wouldn’t have to worry about waiting for internet connection. Before I knew it was 11:00pm and we arrived at our destination in Irvine, CA. We were picked up by my brother-in-law who drove us another hour south to reach our final destination.

We arrived around midnight, and Grandma was ready to greet her grandson, who by the way was wide awake and had a case of the giggles. He did nothing but act silly the entire trip. Clearly, he was sleep deprived and all I could think about was what tomorrow was going to be like. Was I going to have to deal with a cranky baby all day? I prayed he would sleep in pass his normal wake time of 6:30am.

Rather than fall asleep right away, I decided to pig out and watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy—-a personal favorite. Before I knew it, it was 1am and I figured I should probably go to sleep soon. Honestly, what was I thinking? My son will be ready to rise and shine at 6:30am no matter how much I had hoped that he would sleep in.

Friday in Cali: What Happened to the Time?

I started the day snuggling my son until 7:30am. It was nice to sleep in for a change. He drank his milk and ate his oatmeal and banana cereal. Once he was taken care of, it was time for me to get ready. My husband has the morning off and I was going to take advantage of the time to get a few errands down without have to carry my son along.

First stop was the Department of Health. I needed to get a TB test for a job I just got hired for last two weeks ago. Even as a child, I dreaded the needle. I didn’t cry hysterically, but I just hated the whole experience. Now, I get through it by turning my head and asking the doctor to tell me when they are going to stick me—-I hate surprises. I was done in about 5minutes, something that would be impossible if I had to tote a toddler with me.

Next stop was the Sheriff’s Department for fingerprinting. I had an appointment and if I didn’t make it, I would have to come back later. I got there about 30 minutes early. When the office assistant asked to see my Driver’s License, I opened up my wallet and could not find it anywhere. The assistant was not going to budge on the time or give me any grace if I missed my appointment. I decided to rush home and get it where I left it—in the computer scanner. Thankfully my husband was home and he walked out to the car to hand it to me. I got back to the Sheriff’s Department just in time and had my fingerprints done in about 5 minutes.

It was barely 10am and I had two important tasks done. Well, as the day went on, my time started to get away from me. I later stopped by a friend’s house to drop off something a borrowed. What began as a quick trip turned into an hour long stay followed by a two hour phone conversation while our little ones were napping. Though our chatting took much of the better part of the day, it was much needed and worth it. I was happy that I didn’t have to work a 9am-5pm job and could spend time with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while.

Before I knew it, it was dinner time. We ate and enjoyed family time, and then I realized I needed to get to work. It was nearing 9pm and I was just starting to work for the day. I’m glad I have the flexibility to work from home online. I can make time for the unexpected and still help support my family. All in all, it was a good day.

Saturday in Cali: Scorching Summers

Did I read that right? It is supposed to me 105 degrees Fahrenheit. The summer has hit like a sledge hammer and looks like it isn’t going away anytime soon. Guess it is time to pull out the tank tops and keep my hair pulled back—I can’t stand when my hair sticks to the back of my neck. Well, it was barely 9am and it was already in the 80’s. That alone made me weary of the temperature that was to come. I knew it was only going to get worse.

Though today, by anyone’s estimations, is going to be a hot day it is nowhere in comparison to that summer heat and humidity of the Philippines. Having lived abroad there the last three years, I have learned a new definition of hot. Not only is it hot, but you feel like taking shower and changing your clothes at least three times a day. Partly what makes the heat so unbearable is the expense of running air conditioning. So instead, most people, including myself sit in a house that is climbing in the 90’s with what feels like 100% humidity….ugh.

I plan to beat the heat the only way I know how. Thanks to Manila, where there is a mall every 5 miles, many go hang out in Starbucks and sit in the luxury of air conditioning so that is exactly what I am going to go do. I am not much of a coffee drinker so McDonald’s will do just fine. I will sit in the corner with my Strawberry Lemonade and enjoy free WiFi.

It was a perfect opportunity to search for jobs. I hit up the Classifieds in the local newspaper online, craigslist and whatever website that will give me an opportunity to make decent money without working full time. I spent the next two hours filling out applications in hopes of getting an interview in the next couple of days. I left McDonald’s with high hopes and cooled down from the summer heat.

When I got back home it was lunch time. Nothing to heavy or hot was would be on my menu. Maybe a chicken salad and iced tea would do. I pulled out the leftovers from dinner the night before and began making my salad topped with chicken, croutons and some parmesan cheese. I poured a glass of iced tea and sat on the couch to watch an episode of one of my favorite shows on Netflix.

Sunday in Cali: Connected 24/7

Some may say I might be a little late in the game, but I just got my first smart phone about two months ago. I wouldn’t say that I am not old fashioned but I don’t really care if I have the latest phone. Even till now, I don’t search and download apps or probably use the phone to its fullest potential. I know how to make calls, text, going online, take pictures, and my latest skills is using the GPS which has become quite handy.

I appreciated the value of my smart phone the most when we didn’t have internet at the house. Yeah, the screen was a bit small and there would are times that I get frustrated when I easily hit the wrong key, but at least I was connected.

Today, we were getting ready for church. Our family got in the car and found our seats comfortably up front. When the pastor began preaching, I turned to my husband and asked, “Can you show me how to use that online bible app?” He laughed at my naivety, but gladly helped. Good thing we meet in a school so the connection was strong as he quickly searched through the app store to download the application. I was ready to follow along in my Bible in a matter of minutes.

Years past growing up in the church I would have either brought my own Bible or borrowed one from the slot that ran along the back of the pew. Now, all I have to do is pull out my phone. Frankly, it was easier to navigate through the Bible too. Instead of frantically searching through all the pages and trying to keep up, I could find where I was going by clicking the book and chapter on my screen. Today’s passage was out of the book of Matthew.

Service ended about an hour later. I closed the app and put away my phone. It was nice to not have the Bible on hand without the weight. Carrying my purse, a diaper bag and chasing a toddler around at the same time makes not having to carry around one more thing relieving. After catching up with a few friends, we left and headed home for lunch. It was nearing 1pm and I was starving. I contemplated snatching a piece of my son’s PB & J sandwich, but wanted to make sure he wasn’t as starving as I was. He ended up gobbling the whole thing by the time we got home. My first stop was to bolt to the refrigerator door!

Wednesday Out of the Office : Smoke gets in my eyes

By | Outsourcing: an original view, Philippines

The internet is such a rich resource of information. It is where I find out more about my condition called Allergic Rhinitis or hay fever. I have been diagnosed with this allergic reaction to pollen, dust and other air pollutants back in 2004. While some people have it seasonal I unluckily got the perennial type. I couldn’t research enough on it and if only there is something I could do to breathe easier.

I could wear a mask and filter the air but I would look a bit funny walking around with it. I could stay in the house with an air-filter and never come out. Drink antihistamines and feel like a walking zombie. I have a nasal spray in the morning and evening. Some decongestants may also help. Or I could just stop breathing, drop dead and be free from it.

It isn’t exactly a terminal condition it just makes your life less comfortable. It’s a combination of Post Nasal Drip, Sneezing, recurring cough, regular dose of throat infection and more. Of course the obvious cure is to stay away from the allergens. But how do you exactly do it when you have to go outside and walk in the streets. How do you avoid it when someone smokes consistently beside you?

Based on my research, passive smoking increases the nasal obstruction to those who have allergic rhinitis. Obviously this is true. When she starts smoking, I would start coughing as my post nasal drip is dramatically amplified. By the end of the day I just feel tired and my throat feels torn to the point of bleeding because of the uncontrollable series of coughing. This isn’t exactly a good working condition for anyone who doesn’t enjoy inhaling smoke in the office.

Everyone knows the dangers of smoking and even the packaging says “Smoking Kills”. I respect people who want to discard that health warning and continue with the puffing-spree. I tried smoking for the heck of it and gladly I didn’t find any reason to even start making it a habit. But I have been passively smoking for the last 20 months. Too bad, with my condition, I might end up dead sooner that the actual smoker.

As a sign of protest when the smoke started getting into my eyes and of course my nose, I stepped out of the office and didn’t come back. I now unofficially call the office, the Death Zone. For a change, the air outside the streets seemed clean and fresh.

It would be nice to work at home and not worry about developing lung cancer. I am ending my day with a Facebook post saying “I would rather smell Fart!”.

Monday in Bullets: Who wants to be a VJ “Video Jockey”?

By | Outsourcing: an original view, Philippines

When I was a lot younger than today, I dreamed of becoming a DJ or a radio Disc Jockey. It seemed tobe a pretty cool job. You simply just talk, play music, take calls, laugh at yourself, talk with listeners, giveadvice, play some more music, laugh at people, and get paid for it. Back then people really didn’t requirea pleasing personality to go with a pleasing voice on the air. That’s the beauty of listening to the radio,there’s a sense of mystery to it. But of course people, especially the girls, would get curious on the DJ’slooks that they would visit their studio and sometimes get the shock of their lives.
Then, came MTV! We still got the radio but as they say- seeing is believing! In the Philippines we’ve hadthe MYX channel for 10 years now- the longest running local music television channel. They have goodlooking personalities called VJ’s (Video Jockeys). They do pretty much the same things a DJ does- onlythey look so much better. Maybe because you get to see them, that’s why they need to look good andunique. I don’t watch the music channel as I did when I was in college. Watching it these days only makeme feel lost and old. I could hardly relate to the videos much more identify the artists on it. I’m not thatold yet, I was growing up in the boy band era, where the Backstreet Boys and N’Sync dominated thecharts with the more sober Britney Spears.
So there, I can’t be a DJ because whoever listens to the radio anymore? I can’t be a VJ either becausewhoever will watch me on TV? So here’s how my day went, I decided to put them in bullets this time:

  • I ‘snoozed’ my alarm 8 times in morning. This is a typical symptom of what you commonly callthe “Monday Sickness”.
  • I made myself a cup of coffee with an extra spoon of sugar. It tasted bitter and sweet, so Idrank half and left. I don’t usually take my breakfast because, in our house, at this hour in themorning, there is nothing to eat.
  • I took the local taxi to work because it started to rain. Instead of a jeepney, I rode the tricyclewhich cost me about 6 times in fare. I anticipated the “pueblo” to be soaking wet by the time Igot there; it was cloudy, but no rain.
  • I went to Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) to assist my friend in renewing his expiredlicense. My License will expire 11/11/2012, which is about a month before the so-called end ofthe world on 12/21/2012 from the horrific movie 2012.
  • Eventually my breakfast was a local hot meal called “Satti”. It is basically red hot sauce with beefstrips on sticks. I had additional chicken leg on the side. It’s a regional best seller. A food by ourMuslim brothers and sisters but enjoyed even by Christians and other non-Muslims, too.
  • It’s hard to eat spaghetti with a spoon. That was my lunch. Instead of a fork I got a spoon withmy spaghetti. It’s the city’s famous paradise spaghetti. Any local would include a memory of thisdish and eating it with a spoon will definitely make it to the list.
  • To pass the night away, I played several games on my iphone to drain its battery.

To sum up this day in memory of my DJ slash VJ dream, I am playing the song “Video Killed The RadioStar” by The Buggles. This 1979 hit was also the first music video played on MTV on its launching onAugust 1, 1981. Check it out:

Monday in the University: Online in the Library

By | Outsourcing: an original view, Philippines, work from home

It’s our official first day of classes and here I am, already doing a research for my marketing course. Good thing though is that it’s just basic topic for research for me to finish quickly and still have enough time to write for my online writing job before my next class which, is in an hour and half.

Thinking about it, I can say that I have one of the best jobs in the world and it’s the best job that I have so far. It’s not that my previous jobs were like the worst of jobs, definitely not for I had learned and especially earned to help my studies. But then, the difference with my previous jobs and this online writing job that I have now is that I own my time. I finally own my time, work according to when I am most free, and work wherever I am, thus, not being pressured in order to offer the best that I have. And I think that is every employee’s dream from which employers’ benefit as well. And I’m just so lucky to have the kind of job.
I applied for this job not more than a week ago. Lucky, indeed. It came to me just when I was needing another source of income. And what’s more to it, it’s something I am really comfortable to work for. Writing is really close to my heart, so I literally jumped out of my seat when I have read the email regarding my contract. I even had to check it more than ten times to confirm what I have read. I can’t remember if I was that excited when I got my previous jobs. I was really in cloud nine.

Since I am here in the library, I can’t help but compare my “good fortune” with the current situation of some of my fellow students. Here I am, having a chance to earn for my studies while they cram to get good grades to get a good job after. Of course, I have nothing against of them studying hard. Just like them, I value education as how I value my family. Mother will always tell me that I have to study hard for it’s one treasure one can’t take away from me. That is why, despite financial troubles, I keep on pursuing my studies. I am so thankful that I am living these days where you have a chance to work and study at the same time due to technological advancements. Technological advancements really paved the way for a company or even a simple individual to outsource whatever they need, may it be for business or personal use. And as long as they do outsourcing, people like me will have a chance to continue earning money, pursuing dreams, help others and most especially, continue living.

Sunday in the Philippines: Happy Independence Day!

By | Outsourcing: an original view, Philippines

Today the Philippines is celebrating the 113 years of Philippines Independence. So one of the first things I did in the morning was to write a relevant shout out on my Facebook Account using my phone. The post was “chunky” and meaningful but as I pressed on the send button thin air ate my post. It went a little something like this. “Freedom will never be absolute and it will be fair for all, but we must all be happy for whatever small slice of it we have; like the air that we breathe and the opportunity to be content with our lives. This celebration will make you realize that after 113 years the price paid for the freedom we have today has not yet been paid in full. But thank God for the rain, it’s for everyone. That, I am sure!”

There were flag ceremonies all over the country by which freedom dictated a required attendance to it. It’s a holiday, a Sunday, a day-off from work, but workers were required to be in their uniforms to
attend a brief hoisting of the flag. No further comment on that.

Moving on, I went to my friend’s place and luckily they have WIFI. So I went on the apple store and downloaded some useful applications like the HOLY BIBLE and a mobile version of SPEEDTEST.NET. I downloaded a couple of free games and updated my Plants Vs Zombies, they finally added the Zen Garden to it. I immediately put the SPEEDTEST application to the test, the present shared connection was topping at 450kbps. Thank you Daniel.

I went home to get ready for church. I tried to open the HOLY BIBLE and found no content on it. Apparently, I needed to download an offline version. So I used my 3G mobile internet and tried to download the content so I could browse the Bible inside the church. But it was not moving at all. I tested the speed at 0.001mbps! Wow that’s faster than the 54kbps dial-up back in the late 90’s.

Anyway I’m now back at home surfing the cable channels then I came across a show entitled “OUTSOURCED”. I think the show is set in India about a Call Center company with a white guy as their boss. This is supposed to be a comedy show but I will have to do some research on it. Or better yet, catch the next episode. When I was in London, all phone agents in the hotlines I called were Indians (based on the accent, I think you can tell). Of course, I remember that there are a lot of Indians in London, too. And guess what? As I changed the channel I saw a certain brain surgeon being interviewed on the TMZ Channel, His name was Dr. Sanjaya Gupta. I bet this is the same brother my boss, Bharat
Gupta, back in Bermuda was talking so proudly about.

Like India, Philippines is a top destination for outsourcing, basically because we are CHEAP or should I say more cost-effective.

Mabuhay and Good night.

Sunday at home: Most Special Gathering

By | Philippines

It is still the second Sunday of June, but we decided to have an advance Father’s day celebration. Our parents came to our place without any idea what’s about to happen. We didn’t inform even our mother for we know that she can hardly keep it from dad. Prior to this day, me and my siblings had already planned out to the smallest detail to make it a special to tribute the man of the hour, our dear father.

Knowing that our dear parents are simple people, we didn’t plan a very extravagant party. We know that a simple barbecue party will be more than enough for them, and we did so. What really matters most for our family is for us all to be present during special occasions.

The celebration was actually more like a children’s party. Instead of whine or beers, we drank fruit juices. We had spaghetti with meatballs and fried chicken. For a more mature meal, we grilled fresh tuna belly, pork belly and chicken breast. And we had ice cream for dessert.

It was a lot of fun eating on a paper plate and plastic cups. We really felt like we were kids again. And that was what we really our intention. To make not only dad but also mom, to feel like they are the children now, and us will be the ones to take care of them.

We, I can personally say that we have really succeeded in fulfilling our intention for mom later went up to talk to me in private, to tell me how happy dad is and asked me to make dad say something about it in front of us.

You might be wondering why she asked me that. It’s because dad, even how a “responsible, loving, and family man” dad is, he is not the kind of father to show he’s feelings or even speak of it. He never said a single endearment to us. Though we know how he really loves us, there’s still a need for us to hear it once in a while. And this day might be a good start.

So I asked my brothers and sisters to give simple messages for dad in front of us all and I opted to be last so that I could carry out mom’s favor. So as I ended my speech, I asked dad to come in front and give a simple message for our advance father’s day celebration.

All of us were like holding on to our seats, not knowing what to expect or what to hear. Actually, we were somewhat expecting for his speech to be his usual simple speech. But we were more than thrilled to hear when we heard him tell us that he couldn’t thank us enough for planning the event and how much he really loves us. And we were all in tears. Finally, after all these years, we finally heard dad’s heart.

Indeed, it’s our MOST SPECIAL GATHERING SO FAR!

Saturday at Home: Internet Disconnected

By | Outsourcing: an original view, Philippines

I asked my sister to disconnect our internet connection 2 days ago because it wasn’t delivering the minimum speed it promised. I subscribed for a slow connection of up to 512mpbs on the 3G network. The monthly fee is 995 Pesos or about US$25. I intended to get WIMAX (this is supposed to be faster) however service was limited so I had to settle for the older technology to help me connect with the world. The speed did pick up after 6 months at an average of 250kpbs (what a shame!). For simple surfing, chatting and Facebook games, I must say it is acceptable. But I never bothered to do video streaming or on-line gaming because it wasn’t just fast enough.

I am exploring the possibility of a new internet service provider. I have these options, 1. Get WIMAX (with speed up to 1mbps), at 995 Pesos or US$ 25 a month, 2. DSL bundled with a home phone (speed from 384kbps to 3mbps) at prices from 995 Pesos or US$25 to 3,499 Pesos or approximately US$85 a month. 3. USB broadband internet using 4G with prices ranging from 500-2,500 (US$ 12-60) pesos with speeds of up to 100mbps (this sounds too good to be true). It would be nice to get the faster connection but that is just above my budget. For now I am settling for a slow-dragging mobile browsing.

I told my sister about Odesk.com and the first job I have. She got excited herself as she is presently stays at home being the good mother and wife. This work-at-home will fit her perfectly! She did try on some freelance companies online before but majority of the sites out there are charging membership fees and/or software installation fees. I’m not aware of any other “free” sites aside from Odesk, yet.

Anyway, I already cleaned my small 900-liter Koi pond. I do this every 10 days to keep them healthy and alive. But I am still looking for a more effective filter so I won’t have to clean it as much. I got some of this carps online. I even found out that one of the sellers of premium koi lives just a block away, literally my neighbour. I get my Koi food from a supplier who lives about 20 minutes away. I also got his contact details online. It makes me miss my internet connection. I am not totally lost, but the internet makes it a lot easier to find things and your way around them. After writing this article my red laptop will sit like an ornament on my table.

So this is my Saturday so far, my Monkey (who is a dog, by the way) is waiting for his weekend bath. I think it’s going to be a pretty boring day, but I would prefer this day that any other day in the office. I will probably get my dose of karaoke later with friends. Get it recorded and send some my samples for people seeking voice talents online.

Friday in Zamboanga City: Got my first Job on Odesk

By | Outsourcing: an original view, Philippines

My day usually starts with me feeding my koi fishes. This morning they look eager to eat but I still ambothered by the white spots on some of them. I should continue on the water treatment this weekend. Ihad a warm coffee talk with my parents so I chose to report to work 30 minutes late. My mom is 55 andmy dad is 68, I love them.

The tardiness paid off as I open my Odesk account and found a contract to work in my notification. Wow!This is my first job ever in this site, so I am thrilled. It’s pretty easy because I am to write about my ownlife in relation to outsourcing. 1 article of at least 400 words a day for 7 days for 7 dollars in total isa pretty good place to start with this online job. My officemate Giselle has made 23 dollars by simplycopying and pasting. I suddenly wanted to play the song “I want to be a Billionaire” just for inspirationbut she started playing Don Moen on her speakers; divine inspiration, Why not?!

I am an accountant (a CPA) by profession. And with that I mean I passed the national board exam forCPAs in the Philippines but I am not exactly a practicing public accountant. I have worked on variouscapacities before with a manufacturing company, a World Bank Funded social services delivery programand now I am with a local government unit. I even worked in an outsourcing company in Makati City wayback in 2006-2007. I was trained in London and came back with a job that I had to do in the Philippines.I did trade swaps reconciliations and some other tasks that I don’t even remember anymore. Eventually Ihad to go out of the country into the remote Island of Bermuda where I stayed for 18 months.

This article is about to end, and I should be writing 6 more on the days to come. I hope that this will onlybe the beginning. I have made several applications from data entry, financial analyst, even voice talent.I have had responses but sometimes when you don’t have equipments such as high-speed internet, orrecording peripherals and other necessary gadgets to help you get an edge it could be challenging or evennext to impossible.

I have my regular job but having an online-job isn’t such a bad idea, too. I am amazed to see how muchother people are able to make by working at home. Well it all depends really on what you can offer. I amquite a well-rounded person so I’m crossing my fingers on this new “career”.

Thanks to Kasper Souren/Souren Consultancy for this opportunity! My yellow shirt today just gotbrighter! 🙂