All Saints Day

I spent the entire All Saint’s Day at home. I don’t usually go cemetery-hopping to honor and pray for the dead, since I don’t have a relative’s grave nearby to go to in the first place!

My dad, a fighter pilot, was presumed to have died at sea in the vicinity of the Palawan Islands. This was were his plane was assumed to have crashed on March 16th of 1983. After a few years of searching, the government wasn’t really able to pinpoint where his plane went. And so his “Missing-in-Action” status was finally changed to “Presumed Dead” five years after that fateful day.

We would have loved to have given him a proper burial. And I understand and empathize with people who cry barrels-full of tears at funerals, especially coming from the departed’s next of kin. Well, at least they get to see their dad finally rested. And I guess this is why, for so many years, I hated going to cemeteries and “envied” people who partake of the yearly tradition.

It’s a good thing Conne and CJ were able to keep me company at home. I had them all to myself. Oh well, I can always try the graveyard rounds next year. This year is for praying at home.

How to plan effective IT strategies and get funding

An Information Technology department is often associated with being a cost center due to the nature of its operations. IT departments are, as a result, often delegated as support or service units to the company’s economic drivers, the business units. For this reason, most IT managers and executives often find themselves hard pressed when it comes to seeking funding for IT projects or initiatives. If you’re an IT manager, you can expect the usual barrage of questions from top management on matters such as Return on Investment (ROI), cost benefit analysis, or anything that has to do with the company’s bottom-line.

One long-term plan that an IT manager can build a strategy on is how to drive the gradual transformation of an IT department from a cost center to a profit center. A lot of planning needs to be done for this to be successful.

An effective IT strategy plan includes: setting goals, analyzing all of the risks involved (Risk Management), knowing your team and your plan’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities for improvement, and identifying all the threats to reaching a desired goal or objective.

I’ll tackle some of the goals that an IT manager can focus on to help facilitate this transformation in my future blogs.

Momsie and Popsie

We had a great family reunion in Subic over the weekend. We finally had the chance to meet my mom’s fiance, Dan, or as the kids call him, Popsie. Dan arrived from the US Friday evening of the 20th. It’s too bad we weren’t able to bring out the welcome banners and ticker tape parade for his arrival. But we also knew that my mom would have wanted some privacy. 🙂 The brothers four, Jojo, Bong, Ding, and yours truly (with our respective families, of course) joined the couple last Sunday, the 22nd. The day started with a solemn mass. Most of our relatives were there to show their support. Among those present were my grandparents and some of my uncles and aunts from mom’s side. Dan had to do the formal “pamamanhikan” Filipino tradition and it was interesting to see my grandparents give their daughter away again, haha! 🙂

I’m so happy and excited for my mom. And I wish her and “Popsie” all the best. I’m glad that she’ll finally marry again after all these years, and to someone who we feel is perfect for her.

She’ll be leaving for the States soon to marry him. And hopefully we’ll come visit her there afterwards.

On another note, CJ had an absolutely great time especially with his cousins around. He kept shouting and playing with grownups and kids alike. And what made the day more special for us was that CJ was also 11th months old that day! We’re gearing up for his first birthday next month and we’ve been busy preparing for this as well.

Zimmie life

I really missed blogging. It’s mainly because I’ve been kept busy with my new job.

So how is it? Well, here’s a story I would like to share. I was driving home with Conne one night after a long day’s work. We were both toxic-silent the first few minutes of the ride when all of a sudden I blurted out: “You know what, I really love my job!” To be able to blurt the words out without giving it much thought meant that I really love what I’m doing right now. Even though the job functions, compared to my previous jobs, were a bit the same, the new work environment really helped me look at my job in a different light. The DirectWithHotels culture, aka Zimmie culture, was just what the doctor ordered. I remember an old adage that goes, “If you love your work, then you’ll never work a single day for the rest of your life.” Well, amen to that!

And so, this Zimmie promoter says: “Full steam ahead!”

Squabble time

My scheduled traffic court hearing got canceled today apparently due to the current political situation over at Makati City Hall, where the adjudication office is located. It’s too bad because I was really eager to get the whole thing over with.

As a side note, Makati Mayor Binay is in a lot of heat, which to me and to most people I know, is what was to be expected because of his affiliation with the current Philippine government’s opposition group. I personally think that Mayor Binay and company are doing a great job running the city. My traffic ticket woes might have been because of the overly strict “Republic of Makati” ordinances, but then again, I’d rather be caught here in Makati instead of anywhere else. It isn’t his fault that some of these MAPSA traffic guys are just not that competent enough in fulfilling their roles (the majority are competent, mind you, I wouldn’t want to incur their wrath, would I? Ha!). Oh well, at least they’re a whole lot better than most of the MMDA traffic aides out there.

I wonder where our country is headed. With our leaders squabbling non-stop, what hope is there for us? I guess we’ll just have to continually strive to be good citizens, and to pray.

I would want to live by the maxim: Leadership, Friendship and Service. I just hope our leaders do the same.

Car trouble

When it rains, it pours. I had a week’s worth of rotten luck with our car, “Puti”.

Incident 1: Date: Friday, October 6, 7:00PM.
Violation: Blocking the Buendia-Ayala pedestrian lane.
End Result: Traffic Violation Ticket plus my driver’s license got confiscated. I have filed a complaint with the Makati City Adjudication Office and a hearing is scheduled on the 17th.

My thoughts: I was wrongfully charged. It was a little over 7PM when we were driving Eastbound through heavy traffic along Buendia. We were caught between yellow and red traffic signals as we were about to cross the Ayala-Buendia intersection, which naturally forced me to stop. But I couldn’t come to a complete halt immediately because of the cars that were tailgating me. And so I ended up blocking part of the Buendia pedestrian lane and had no way of backing up or moving forward. A traffic enforcer comes up to me, asks for my driver’s license, says some jibberish, doesn’t hear me out, and finally cockily gives me a ticket and says he would’t have given me a ticket if I had just said sorry and didn’t contest the “violation”. Yeah right! I did apologize and I didn’t even lift my voice. I guess some people really have selective hearing. And whatever happened to fighting for what you believe is right? See you in court buddy!

Incident 2: Date: Wednesday, October 11, 5:30PM.
Violation: Illegal Parking. The car was parked facing the wrong way.
End Result: The car got towed.
Damage: Php 1,000.00 towing and impound fee.

My Thoughts: My fault. Sorry. Guilty as charged. Tsk!

Bad weather blues

The recent typhoon that hit the Philippines last September 29th, dubbed Typhoon “Milenyo”, was a learning experience. It was, to recent memory, one of the worst natural disasters that I have experienced, although it still couldn’t compare to my 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption experience.

The weather started out pleasantly on the day the typhoon was supposed to hit the metropolis, and so we thought that it was just one of those weather forecast false alarms. Little did we know that everything would change drastically in such a short span of time. I was at the office when the typhoon started to show some oomph.Management had to take a call and eventually decided to suspend work operations but unfortunately some of us found out that it would be better to stay indoors instead of taking a chance traveling back home. The rain and wind had so much nastiness in it that people wouldn’t dare go outdoors. Trees, poles, signboards, and what-have-you fell. The metropolis never knew what hit it. People were unprepared. It was a disaster alright.

An hour’s worth of fury brought in more than a week’s worth of suffering. At work, our building had no power and we had to rely on generators to power us up. Business email and internet connectivity was disrupted. And in our line of business, uptime for these services was critical.

At home, our block had no electricty and water for a week. Some of our neighbors had power after a couple of days and it turned out that we were tapped into a different powergrid! Bummer.

I just couldn’t stand the sight of CJ crying at night because he couldn’t sleep. And so we had to check in and out of hotels just to get a decent night’s rest. Sigh.I’m glad it’s all over. This ought to be a wakeup call for everyone.

For businesses, this is where a good Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery plan will prove invaluable. And at work, this is what I have to help draft up next.

Tough call? NOT!

I finally did it. I officially tendered my resignation yesterday, which takes effect on October 10th. Two months ought to be enough for a good turnover.

It’s been a hard decision on my part. WIS is a great company, career-wise, but some things are just more important.

Working in Manila means that I’ll be with my family again. No more long drives to and from Clark, and no more Monday sickness and no more yearning for Fridays! I’m coming home!

I’ll soon say goodbye to sleepless nights. I’ll get to see Conne everyday, and I’ll get to see CJ grow up!

I finally have my priorities straight.

Fernwood frolic

We went to Fernwood Gardens in QC for an ocular visit. And we were amazed by the stunning beauty of the place especially at night time.

With a few soon-to-be-fixed legal quirks looming in the horizon, Conne and I have been kept busy these days. We’ve been scouting around for possible venues for our planned wedding which we hope to celebrate by summer next year, God-willing. As a best case scenario, we would have wanted it to be on December 11th this year, our anniversary, but I guess it won’t be so. One of my brothers is to marry this year, and a “sukob” situation doesn’t really suit well for some.

We took some pictures of CJ inside Fernwood’s St. Francis of Assisi chapel. And if plans go through as expected, he’d be our dashing ringbearer come the big day.

We had fun watching him as he was amused by the butterflies that fluttered about inside the chapel hall. The carpeted halls also made walking life easier for him. Being just a little over 8 months old, he can stand up and walk those first few baby steps with little assistance! Some toddlers could barely stand even when they’re a year old. (Here’s one proud daddy for you! Ha!) 🙂

The place was great. There were four rainforest-type garden venues to choose from. The other highlights include the abundance of exotic birds and fishes (we took a photos of some swans), horse carriage ride, a glass dance floor and other amenities. The garden venues are actually indoors, so there won’t be any problems if it rains.

We spent about an hour in the place, and I could really feel the anticipation building up inside me during the visit, and I knew Conne could feel it too. With prayers and faith, I know that everything will turn out right.

Ok, so that’s one item in the checklist. And the search continues……

———————–