April 10, 2017

Intensity Six

Photo by wifey. We were taking a break at the resort's
swimming pool (upper right) when the first quake struck
at around 3 pm.
Last April 8, my wife and I experienced the strongest and most destructive earthquake by far.

We were in a resort in Bagalangit, Mabini, Batangas for a weekend get-together with wifey's former officemates. The sun and sea were perfect for kayaking and snorkeling so that's exactly what we did shortly after lunch.

We were taking a break at the resort's swimming pool when the first earthquake struck at 3:07 pm. I was then at the 5-foot deep portion of the pool. The water around me seemed to boil, and my feet couldn't get a grip of the floor. As I was stuck there, I saw a mother move at superhuman speed towards her son in the pool, while wifey rushed to secure another child.

The first earthquake faded, and I was able to get out of the pool. We were gathering our wits when the second, much stronger wave of tremor hit us. Sounds of rocks and broken tiles hitting the concrete floor filled the entire resort. The water from the pool and jacuzzi next to us were overflowing and splashing around us. We ducked under the beach table and waited for the shaking to stop.

We rushed to the hotel as soon as the shaking stopped. The stairs were strewn with broken concrete and decorative rocks that got dislodged from the walls. The employees herded us to the open lawn next to the parking area. They gave us water, monobloc chairs and towels as we waited for the aftershocks.

The third quake was strong enough to shake the lamp posts, prompting us to relocate to another spot. The employees were calling out room numbers, and were escorting the guests to collect their belongings from the room.

The hotel staff accompanied me into our room at the second floor while wifey waited in the open area. She kept urging me to move quickly as we grabbed our personal belongings and stuff them in our bags.

We were halfway done when the fourth quake happened. The staff shouted for us to run outside the room. We met with other employees at the hallway, and waited for the shaking to stop.

After that, the staff must have had a fresh dose of adrenaline. She finished up with all of wifey's belongings in a flash and before I know it, she was out of the room with all our bags. Mercifully, she stopped a good distance away from the group to let me tidy up our unzipped bags, with our assorted underwear dangling in plain view.

The following minutes were spent waiting for the aftershocks to fade, and for news on whether it was already safe to leave.

Our get-together would have to be cut very short; nothing to do but bid everyone safe travels before heading out in a convoy back to Metro Manila.

The fifth and final quake we felt was when we were standstill in traffic leaving Mabini.

Thank goodness no one was seriously hurt.

The fear is something else. It would be a while before we visit this beautiful place again.

August 29, 2015

40!

As my officemates counted down the final seconds to midnight, I was busy murdering Edwin McCain's song:

I'll be your crying shoulder,
I'll be love's suicide
I'll be better when I'm FORTY,
I'll be the greatest fan of your...
I'll be your crying shoulder,
I'll be love's suicide
I'll be better when I'm FORTY,
I'll be the greatest fan of your life.

They say life begins at 40. Well, there must be some truth to it, given that I was the one holding the microphone at the first minute of being, finally, 40 years old -- considering there were at least 10 songs queued in the videoke machine at any given time that night.

Wow. 40. And wifey's on the line listening to the very first song I sing for the year.

Cool ^^

April 04, 2015

New Gen

Last week, as I was briefing the Board on how the mother station is doing on social media, one of the Fellows-Board Members commented, "Facebook is the new religion."

That Fellow of ours is no other than the marketing guru of the Philippines, Lolo Ned.

If there are people who could look at Philippine culture now and summarize it in one sentence, I believe Lolo Ned is one of them.

I'm not so fond of fezbook and other social media sites, but I try to learn as much about them as part of work. Just another task for mother station's "communications guy."

The social media are as fascinating as they are, at times, scary -- just like the new generations called Millennials and Gen Zs.

Now I really sound old.

These youngsters have been entering the workplace in the past five years, and I've been trying to carefully find ways to harness their unique approaches to productivity.

I say carefully, because these youngsters have a completely different set of values when it comes to work, compared to a Gen X like me.

And here's a thought...

It is estimated that by 2016, over half of the voter population in the Philippines would be below 30 years old.

Remember the people who made noise in social media, saying Ferdinand Marcos was the best president ever?

Yep.

They are from this group.

The void quarter

There's a void quarter in my life.

The entire last quarter of 1997,  lost.

Everything -- notes, pictures, journal, files -- both personal and work.

The only proof of my existence at that time were the few entries I made in this blog.

It's just like the void century in One Piece.

I don't like the feeling of losing that much data.

March 31, 2015

Farewell, pRO

Everything I know about MMORPG, I learned from Philippine Ragnarok Online (pRO).

And even with so many new games out there, as far as my gaming experience is concerned, none could ever match RO's pace, excitement, immersive culture, and uhm addiction factor.

Muntik nang masira ang buhay ko dahil sa pRO na ito hehe.

I can't remember the last time I played it, but I remember first playing it sometime July 2002, in an internet cafe near KFC Katipunan.

My very first set of RO characters were named Longshots, Quickstryke, and Ironhands. ^^

I've written fanfics based on this game, as well as doodled some fanpics of my characters.

All great memories for such a simple game.

Today, March 31, 2015, the pRO management said their last goodbye, and finally closed down the servers.

Paalam, pRO.