Monday, December 03, 2012

Hating Myself Right Now

Here I go again...back to the drawing board.

How I keep getting myself into this situation is really getting annoying already.  I just wonder why I haven't learned my lesson yet.  What do I have to do to actually get it?  What do I need in my life right now for things to be right?

To quote Christian Grey, "I'm fifty shades of fucked-up."  That's how I really feel at the moment.  Try as I might to actually attempt to step forward, I find myself going three steps back.  I don't really get myself right now and its really driving me crazy (crazier than my usual crazy).

I hate myself right now.  I really do.  I keep going back and forth on the things that I have done and wonder what I have done to deserve this?  Which deity have I offended that I find myself in oblivion wondering how to get out once more?  The fact that I had gotten out of it before and find myself back inside is the one that really irritating.  It's like I haven't learned anything at all!

Am I feeling sorry for myself?  No, not really.  Because I want to kick myself really hard if I could actually manage it.  What I'm feeling right now is the fact that I don't really deserve any form of sympathy the world has to offer me.  Death wouldn't even be a welcome release.  I don't even feel that I deserve that out.

I see Tonnie Seawolf peeking out her hiding place.  My masochist persona is slowly edging her way into the real world.  Maybe a masochistic approach is more appropriate.  Make me feel the burden of what stupidity that I have done and wear it like a badge to remind myself that I am a stupid idiot who deserved what life has to offer her.  Suffering and pain might be a good welcome right now.  After all, I do deserve it.

Am I really angry with myself.  Dwelling on it maybe a very good lesson for me.  Just to make sure that it's already ingrained in my psyche and that I won't ever make that stupid mistake again!

That decision made, I need to open the door and let Tonnie in.  Give her the reigns at the moment and lets see what she can do for me.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Why I Will Never Work For ABS-CBN

This really isn't the type of blog that I would want to write after 3 months of not having to write anything, but I was really so annoyed yesterday that I have to say my piece...whether or not this is an isolated incident for me or others have also experienced this as well.

But before I go start off with my rant, I just want to clarify that I have nothing against the editor-in-chief who had done her part of the bargain of getting me published.  She was nice and very helpful and she has done a great job.  With that I am very grateful to her and she has nothing to do with this.  Just to be clear.

So, on with my rant and reason why I will never again write for ABS-CBN...

Two months ago, I was asked by a friend to write a piece for her magazine.  She gave me two weeks to do so and I have fulfilled all her requests with a couple of days to spare.  I think about a week or so later, I got confirmation that she was indeed using my piece for the magazine.  So, with the knowledge that I will get published in the next issue, I just waited patiently until it went out.  Once it was out, I asked my friend again on how I will get my pay for the piece.  At first she said that I can just email her an authorization letter with a scanned copy of my ID.  That was a tempting offer but I didn't want to bother her to fall in line on my behalf so I just said that I'll get it myself.  I just need to know how to get it.  She gave me the number of her assistant named Tinee and I was corresponding with her.

At first, this Tinee person gave me a landline number which, when I tried calling just kept on ringing.  I tried calling that number for a week but to no avail.  No one was answering that number.  So, I decided to just keep on coordinating with Tinee via text so that I can actually get my pay for the piece I made.  It was around mid-June when she told me that she already gave my name to Finance and that my pay will be ready by end of the month.

Then came yesterday, July 4, 2012.

End of June came and went so I had assumed that my pay was ready.  I did text Tinee one more time to confirm but this time, she didn't answer me.  Thinking that she was busy to answer my text, I headed for ELJ Tower anyway and told myself to just ask the front desk on how to get my pay.  I live in Las PiƱas, and the ABS-CBN's ELJ Building is located in Quezon Avenue.  It was more or less a two hour commute from my place with the rain coming and going because of the bad weather.

Going there wasn't the problem.  But I got there around 12nn and upon arriving there, they said that check releasing would not resume until 1:30pm.  I had an hour and a half to kill and with nothing better to do, I just waited it out.

When 1:30pm came, I fell in line with the rest of them who was getting checks.  But when I got to the window and gave my ID, the nice lady at the cashier said that my name wasn't there.  She said to just clear it with ABS-CBN Publishing.

This really annoyed me.

I again texted Tinee that my name isn't with the cashier and that I still didn't get my pay.  But until this very moment, Tinee has not answered me.  I tried calling again the land line that she gave me before but still to no avail...the phone kept on ringing.

I don't really want to bother my friend who was kind enough to invite me to write for her...so I just opted to write this piece.

So yes, until today I am still a bit annoyed.  This has never happened to me before.  I had experience working for other publishing companies and they have never made me wait for my pay.  When I was writing for DC Kids magazine, all I needed to do was wait for the magazines to get published and the editor will email the lot of us to meet him in SM Megamall for our pay and complimentary copies of the magazine where we wrote.  With Essays.ph all I needed to do was write for them, hope I don't get any revisions, wait for the others in my group to finish their assignment and the pay will automatically be deposited in our back accounts.

I do not see the reason why I have to pass through the eye of a needle to get a measly 500bucks for an article that has been out for almost a month already and I don't even get a complimentary copy. (For an article that's 800words long, I'm pegging that my pay for that piece would be at least around 500bucks...hoping more but I highly doubt.)  Now for 500bucks, some people would just laugh at me and wonder why I'm making such a big deal out of this.  Let's just say it's the principle of the thing.  I have done a job and it was good enough so I expect to get compensated for it.  I do deserve it for crying out loud!  I'm trying to make a decent living here and them not giving me what's rightfully mine is really infuriating.  What irks me is not the long commute that I had done that day but the money I had spent just to go there and come out empty handed!  I mean, if you tell someone it will be ready by end of the month it should be there already!

Is ABS-CBN hard on money right now that the pay of freelance writers like me takes a back seat?  Or does other writers have the same experience as me and they just decide not to get the money that they deserve thinking that it's only 500bucks?  Either way, it's really bad form for ABS-CBN Publishing.  How hard is it to flip through the pages of their magazine to see the name of the people who wrote there so that they can write a check for the job that was done?

Now, I'm just thinking of counting it as a loss on my part.  Since this Tinee person has already ignored my texts, I will be assuming that she's ignoring me permanently.  And the phone number that she gave me still keeps on ringing with no one answering.  So I'll just stop now and just peg it as a loss.  I don't want to give myself the headache of not getting my pay even if I really need the money right now.  I do not want to go through the motion of going all the way to that office again and come up empty handed once more.

I just have to remember that this will be the first and last time I will write for ABS-CBN Publishing and any future articles that my friend would want to request for me to do, I'll just politely decline.

Friday, April 13, 2012

I Just Have To Say May Piece

I heard a cousin of mine will be hosting a radio show.  The very first discussion that he will be dealing with is the issue of transgenders joining the Ms. Universe pageant.

When I voiced out my opinion that he should have been more concern of the pine tree cutting incident in Baguio, he answered "Environment concern has been tops in Albay for seveal years already. We have made measures in order to lessen the impact of climate change. We are tops on that department. Also, Baguio City is too far from bikol such that their concern is not much felt by the people in Albay."

Now, here's my opinion about that.  Just because it's far away from your Region it doesn't mean that it will not affect it.  Climate change is a global phenomenon and just because the damage is concentrated in one area doesn't mean that it will not affect the planet as a whole.  The ozone layer is thinning in Antarctica (correct me if I'm wrong about the location) but the effects of it is felt world wide.  Polar icecaps are melting there as well and we are feeling the effects of it by the drastic changes of the weather.

To say that it is not a concern very much just because it's far away is just wrong.  Granted that Albay has the environment on top priority doesn't really mean that they shouldn't be concern with the issue.  It should be a constant reminder to everyone that our planet is dying and that we should really be aware of it.  Do you have to wait for Henry Sy to actually build an SM Mall in Albay and cut down hundred year old trees for it to be a concern?  It shouldn't, right?  It should be a constant reminder to everyone that our planet is dying and that we have to be always aware that we need to save it even with the littlest things that we do.  Why should the issue of transgenders in the Ms. Universe pageant be a priority?  Would it save the environment if we voice out our opinions with it?  Would it really affect everyone that a man won a beauty pageant?  It's good for discussion, a worthy topic for a debate even, but after that, then what?  Did it really help the world in general?

So, I have said my piece.  I will want no further argument or discussion after I post this.  I know that come May 5 (since I will see them then), I will get it from my cousins and being good lawyers that they are, I will not be able to argue my way out of this hole that I dug myself in.

But on a good note, I do wish my cousin good luck and hope there will be good discussions on his radio show tomorrow, even if to me, tomorrow's discussion is just superficial.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

The Mitchie Chronicles: The Road Home

I am now back in Manila.  I have actually arrived around noon today but I wasn't able to do anything except unpacking and trying to get my room organized the way I like it once more.  It's taking a bit longer than I've anticipated since I'm not done yet.

Anyway, I had thought that the trip home would be uneventful.  But then again, most of the things that I have thought usually turn out wrong...like this one.

The short trip from Helsinki to Amsterdam was pretty uneventful, except for two parts where the plane was a bit delayed to take off because they needed to melt the ice on the runway and then when it was about time to land.  Apparently, there's a storm in Amsterdam that it took a hell of a lot piloting skills for the pilots to land the plan.  I felt like I was in a roller coaster ride that time.  One time I was up, then feeling that I'm going down, next left then up again, then right then up again, then down...and it went on for a couple of minutes until finally the plane landed safely.

And now the little incident in Amsterdam...

With 5 hours to waiting time before we board a plane from Amsterdam to Manila, my parents and I were doing some window shopping...pretty much just trying to waste time until we checked in.  We've decided not to go around Amsterdam itself mainly because we left all our winter clothes in Helsinki and also because of the storm raging outside the airport.  It might look okay on the inside but the winds were very strong outside.  So we just went around the airport, going through one souvenir shop after another, just to prevent from getting bored while waiting.

About an hour before our boarding, we already headed to the gate.  My parents being as they are always wanted to be early so that if something happens, it would be easy to adjust.  Well, adjust we did.

When we got there, there were about more than 20 people already waiting at the gate.  My dad struck a conversation with some of them while my mom and I dozed off.  We then found out that our ETD became 25 minutes late.  What was once 2:45pm became 3:10pm and we didn't know the reason why.  We initially thought that it was because of the storm but we eventually found out it was something else.  I had been expecting it since I have been hearing boarding times being delayed and gates being changed.  There were even some flights that were cancelled.  So when I heard that the we were delayed, I just told myself to just sleep on it and patiently wait to be boarded...there was nothing else to do anyway.  Around 2pm GMT +1 an airport attendant went to our gate to tell us that our gate has changed from E22 to F2...something about the tires of the plane needed changing.  So, we gathered our stuff and proceeded to walk all the way to the designated gate which was on the other side of the airport.  To me, I didn't mind.  Schipol airport was pretty big and we haven't really explored every inch of the place yet. (My parents are retirees already, so the 5 hours isn't really enough to time to explore everything).  So, we walked towards F2, me lagging behind my parents making sure they're alright while I looked around on our walk.  We got there eventually with my parents finding good seats and we began to wait once more.  About 20 minutes later, another airport attendant came and told us that our gate was moved once more because the ground crew could not fix the tires of the plane in that gate.  So we moved once more from Gate F2 to E8.

Again, we got there and found a spot to sit and wait once more.  At that time, E8 was currently being used for boarding people who were going to Dubai.  So, there was a bit of a confusion between the passengers, the ground crew and even the flight attendants and pilots of the plane.  Some passengers (who didn't really read the sign) did not know that the current gate was being used for another flight so the ground crew kept repeating to arriving passengers that the flight was going to Dubai and not Manila.  The ground crew were patient enough and continuously apologetic to us.  The flight attendants and pilots were also confused.  Some of them also started to go inside the gate but then found out that that wasn't their flight as well.  They have to wait like the rest of us until the boarding was done.  And while everybody was starting to become a bit edgy and frustrated because of the situation, I was there smiling because it was like watching that Bio Channel series about Airports.  I was actually having the time of my life while everyone was very miserable.

Finally it was our turn at the security check-in.  The flight to Dubai was already closed and waiting to fly out, and so we finally were able to get inside the gate and finally wait to board.  I already saw the plane being pulled towards our gate when I was through with my check in.  But then, they started to pull it away from our gate again and the security check-in suddenly stopped.  I then heard that we might need to change gates once more because they still could not fix the tires of the plane.  For us who were already through with the checks were ask to sit and relax, while the others who were still outside were asked to move again from Gate E8 to E7...then they changed their minds one final time to go back to E8.  The technicians the mechanics outside eventually decided to fix the tires of the plane right by our gate.  So, the other guys who were outside, finally made it through their security checks and were with us waiting for our plane to be fixed.  For our trouble, the ground crew gave us drinks and chocolates for snacks.

Finally, the plane was fixed so we boarded our plane.  Since the plane was delayed already, I'm guessing that they didn't do the usual checks to call on late passengers for boarding because once the people were already seated down, the flight attendants did their usual rounds, the captain already made the announcement that the doors were closed already and that they were waiting for the go signal to start their engines.

We were taxing around 15 minutes later and was on the air.

The rest of the flight was uneventful...but if it was I really didn't bother anymore because I was asleep most of the time only waking up to eat.

So, now I'm safely back in Manila. Back to the traffic.  Back to the heat.  Back to the undisciplined drivers and commuters...sigh...more or less back to real life.

So, this is the last chapter of the Mitchie Chronicles...until such a time that I would be having another "first" moment in my life...what that might be...we'll just wait and see.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Mitchie Chronicles: IKEA, My hatred of boats, Tallin, Stockholm, Snow and the McDonald's Incident

So, it's been 8 days since my last entry.  There wasn't really much any happening after the 27th.  We just stayed at home, went to the nearby grocery and then IKEA.

My impression of IKEA is a mall in itself where you can buy almost anything: furniture, food, clothing, cooking stuff...you name it they have it.  They usually place an IKEA store in the outskirts of cities mainly because the complex needs a huge area, especially their parking.  The store was like just three stories with the showrooms and their cafeteria are on the top most floor, the store itself where you buy the stuff on the second floor and the warehouse area where you get the furniture you've chosen in the showroom, and the cashiers and the mini-grocery is on the first floor.  I like the way they segregated the place.  It made shopping there really easy.

The next day, we went to Tallin, Estonia.  It was more or less a two-hour boat ride...a boat ride from hell from my point of view though.  I have motion sickness, especially in boats.  I could feel the slightest twitch of the boat whether it would tilt left to right or would make a turn somewhere.  I would feel it when it jumps a wave.  Looking out the window made it worse so the whole ride going there and back I refrained from looking through the window.  Needless to say, I really didn't like the boat-ride there.  The boat was moving a lot and although the seat that we were in was alright by most standards, to me the feeling wasn't really pleasant.  I felt really sick going there.  Unfortunately, the only way to get to Estonia from Finland is via boat.

Safely on land, I fared much better.  After checking in and had a decent lunch, we went to Old Town where to me everything was more or less picturesque.  There were old-school shop signs and people more or less dressed for the cold the old fashion way.  It was really nice to see.  In the town center, there were shops all around.  Although the shops there were of the present day, the hussle and bussle would still remind you of the olden times market day.  Oh...We also saw real reindeers in the Town Center whom we named Rudolf and Olops, the other reindeer. (See pictures here)

We stopped by McDonald's to grab take away dinner and was also hoping that their McCafe was offering cannoli.  Unfortunately, they didn't have cannoli so I just got myself hot chocolate to heat myself up a bit before the walk towards our hotel.  Even though it was take away, nice lady at the counter squirted a lot of whipped cream on my hot chocolate, so I wasn't able to put the cap on it until I mixed up my drink.  So I sat down and started to mix.  When I was about done, there was a guy who was drunk who came to our table and started babbling.  I looked at my sister to see if she understood him but she looked at the guy, shook her head to indicate that we didn't understand him and whatever it was he wanted, we didn't have.  To my surprise, they guy just grabbed my hot chocolate and went his way.  I was shocked to do anything but stare at the open space where my drink had been.  My sister gave me money again to buy a new drink since fighting with a drunk is pretty useless.  On a good note, the hot chocolate was good.  It was very rich and creamy...although I wasn't able to mix the whipped cream properly for fear of the drunken guy coming back and taking it yet again.

The next day we went around New Town.  And to my utter enjoyment, it started to snow.  My face lit up when I saw small snowflakes falling from the sky.  It was complete bliss.

Needless to say, I really couldn't care less where we were going because I was really enjoying every snowflake that fell on me.  I was like a kid with a new toy on Christmas day.

Then it was back in the boat for the two hour ride back to Helsinki.  The weather was calmer but it didn't stop the nausea from coming.  The good thing though was that I wasn't as sick as the voyage going to Estonia.  I said goodbye to the snow which was coming in heaps when we left the city...but despite the boat ride and my McCafe experience, to me the trip to Tallin was a success.

We spent New Year Eve and the morning of New Year back in Helsinki which was pretty much uneventful.  The apartment building where my sister lives was pretty deserted and I think firecrackers aren't allowed in the residential area.  You would need to go to an open space to light up all the fireworks that you have.  We pretty much just had Media Noche and went to bed 30 minutes before it was officially New Year in Helsinki.

The next day, was another boat ride for me since we went to Stockholm, Sweden.  This time, it was a much longer ride - 16 hours- on a much bigger boat - a cruise ship called Silja Serenade.

I pretty much stayed in our cabin for the duration of the trip going to and from Sweden.  Although going there was pretty much very smooth and I barely felt it, the ride back was really nauseating.  It was moving a lot and we were delayed an hour.

Stockholm pretty much look like Estonia and Finland.  We just visited their museums (the Vasa and the Royal Palace).  But it was pretty much uneventful except for the fact that everything closes at 8pm there.  They apparently do not have a night life.

How we found that out was mostly because of a quest to find hot soup and rice since we have been eating nothing but burgers for the passed couple of days.  We left hotel at around 7:45pm and arrived in the city center at around 8:10pm and saw that every restaurant, bars and shops were already closed.  we were actually lucky enough that there was this Korean Restaurant that was still open.  We were lucky to get the soup and rice that we were looking for but we needed to hurry back to the hotel so that our soup wouldn't grow too cold.

Then, here we are again back in Helsinki.  And what have I found on my return to the Laplands?  Snow!  It showed the whole time we were in Stockholm and the snow was about 5 centimeters thick!  The playground and the park was completely white it was a pretty sight to see.  Although, I'm as excited at seeing the snow on the ground.  I rather see it fall down from the sky.  On the ground, it's just ice compiled together.  When it was falling, it has a very beautiful shape.

Tomorrow, starts my journey back to Manila.  My two weeks stay in Europe was pretty much worth it.  It was short but it was really worth going.