It’s been a long time since I last updated my blog. It seems a lot happened that made me busy. Actually, there’s a lot of surreal experiences to start the 2011.
I’m really fortunate for all the blessings given to me. For the second time in my life, I was given a chance to go to the USA for another seminar but now with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in Virginia.
As you can see, I was able to experience snow for the first time in my life. I got one picture where I really went into the snow storm just to experience snow.
Unlike the first time, I did no t walk around the Washington DC area because of time constraint. So this time I made sure I’ll do.
Along with my wife, we walked around the Smithsonian place. Behind us is the Washington Memorial. Around that area are different museums including the Museum of American History where the movie Night of the Museum was shot. We also went inside the Air and Space Museum which is pretty cool.
The history of air flight can be seen there. From the simple plane made by the Wright Brothers to the rockets that fly around the moon. You can also hear there the audio recording of Neil Armstrong as his team landed the moon.
But the most unforgetable experience I have in Washington is watching the Washington Wizards play at the Verizon center alone. My wife and co-workers are still in the Philippines during that time and I got nothing to do one evening. So I decided to go to the Verizon Center and watched the game.
Being a basketball enthusiast that I am, It is my dream to watch a live NBA game regardless of what teams are playing. I am not a big fan of the Wizard and the Nuggets but seeing players like John Wall and Carmelo Anthony play in the flesh is really something that made me excited.
After my two-week seminar, went to New Jersey and New York. Though it is my second time in New York, I still got chills (literally and figuretively) going to the place especiall with the song of Alicia Keys titled Empire State of Mind playing on the Iphone.
We walked around the famous Time Square. My eyes still opened up excitedly as I saw the bright lights. There are not much people like the first time I was there on a summer. Nevertheless, despite the cold weather, tourists still have a fun time seeing the place.
Because of the cold weather, I was not able to bring my wife to Liberty Island so we just walk around the park where the statue of Liberty can be viewed from the side of New Jersey. By the way, New York and New Jersey is just connected by a tunnel called Hudson.
The whole park is covered with snow. You can play snow balls. We caught tourist taking pictures of their jump. After they left, we also did our own.
Later in the afternoon, we walked around the famous Wall Street and had a picture in front of the New York stock exchange where you could see the giant tarpolin for the Super Bowl.
Near that building is the Building where the first president of the USA sworn to office.
There is one thing that I was not able to do in New York the first time I was there. I was not able to take picture with the Bull, which I first saw in my favorite movie Hitch.
I really put the Bull in our itinerary. In the movie Hitch, this is where Eva Mendes kicked the balls of Jeffrey Donovan of Burn Notice.
Overall, the east coast is really a nice place. If not for the snow and cold weather we could have done a lot. Nevertheless, It was really fun touring around the states especially with my wife. I also appreciate the people who played as our tour guides in Washington, New Jersey and New York. There is also one who adopted us for one night in New Jersey. They all treated us in different restos and brought us in different discount stores where we had our shopping sprees. We really admire the efforts they made even to the point that they have to take leaves from work which is not easy to do on a short notice. Again thank you very much to all of you!
Ordinary day, opened my lotus note, “Congratulations! the Governor approved your foreign travel to the US of A”. Ayuzz! I was just recommended as an alternate for a seminar in the US but the Governor decided to approve us all.
I admit that I want to go the USA but I’m not really that avid about it and yet it was given to me. I could not explain how it always happens to me but it does especially when I’m just relax and don’t pressure myself and let it go just like blowing my prayers into the air. I also could not explain how I felt upon learning it. All I know is its so cool just like what I felt when I won a car because everything is free! What can I say? Life is good. Life is definitely good and I deserve it!
The seminar is about anti-money laundering and terrorism and was conducted in Washington, D.C. at the Office of the Comptroller of Currency. I have a great experience talking with my fellow attendees who came from different countries such as Australia, Turkey, Indonesia, Korea, New Zealand and China, among others. We were able to share information about our jobs as central bankers and about our respective countries. Buti na lang di ako naubusan ng ingles, I brought a lot of ammunition! but honestly I’m also surprised that I was able to talk them straight english. Kaya pala!
I tried to be active in the seminar by either reporting for my group or responding to the lecturer. To be honest, seminars bore me so i have to do something that both the lecturer and I will benefit. But what I’m so proud is that despite the fact that most of my fellow participants are holding management position, I’m the one who was able to present well with ideas and of course I was able to make the class laugh. I believe our lecturers love me and of course I love them coz I think they’re tough breed of examiners.
Other than the fact that the content of the seminar is very helpful and informative, I also enjoyed the meriendas, the free brewed coffees, the soda and cola and most especially the ice cream that were served to us.
Unlike other seminars provided by other federal institutions in the US that my co-workers have attended, this one is really different and complete. I really felt lucky attending this one. This is really “world-class”!
I guess my stay in Washington would never be as memorable as it was without the help of my friend, Mr. Joseph Cortez. Actually, when we are in high school, we are not in good terms. May mga time pa nga na nagsusuntukan kami sa labas ng school, kung fu style, Yaahhh! But sometimes its true that time heals. When he learned about my stay in Wash, he accommodated me along with my four co-workers as if we’re best of friends.
Yap, that’s us inside his apartment pero di naman kami nakitira sa kanya but we ate dinner there after we came from a shopping spree at Potomac where a lot of stores offer discounts. At first I tried to convert prices to pesos but after my first purchase no more conversion, buy whatever there that delighted me especially perfumes and clothes for my kids.
I stayed in a suite at Marriott Hotel, which I think the best hotel I’ve been. Nakakahiya lang kasi when I checked I paid with in cash with loose coins to the final centavos considering that citizens there pay thru credit or debit cards. Anyways, breakfast is free but it’s all the same everyday. Lunch is at the OCC and dinner either at the hotel or with JOseph.
Before I got into the hotel on the first day, I rode thru the subway train from the airport. I learned that train lines in Washington are complicated unlike the simple one we have in the Philippines. I studied the train routes and chose a train station which is luckily the right one.
I enjoyed Wash and I really loved going back there if there is a chance. But a former colleague of mine invited us to go to his place in Rhode Island so after the seminar I, along with my friend, went there. But we have to go to New York first to ride the AMTrack to Rhode Island. Again, my man, Joseph helped us to go there using his car. But before I end this, I leave you with the shot I made of the Washington Memorial.
I’ll post part 2 of 3 of my US trip before this week ends. Thank you for reading!
Last 8 May 2010, my friends in the office, my wife and I went to Anawangin Cove in San Antonio, Zambales
As you can see from the picture (courtesy of Boy Patis Lover Boy George K), Anawangin is really a cool place to go especially if you are a nature and beach lover like my wife. We went there for photo shoots , the camping experience, the discomfort of the summer and the heavy sands that made me feel walking with weights.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed the beach. I enjoyed it until one camper let his dog swim. No matter how clean the dog looks, there’s no way this dog should swim with us. Swimming was cut short. We went to shower using “tabo” and if you have cool friends, taking a shower could be fun.
Remember I said we came here for the discomfort of summer? I did not appreciate the warm breeze at night. Sleeping inside the tent is not a good idea especially after a drinking session.
This one is the culprit of my involuntary puking which I never did in the last 5 years. But first rewind, the drinking session started slow after dinner. There’s the Bar, the Sprite and the Spam. The combination of 3 plus eraserheads from the Ipod and fun talks about co-workers made the warm night cooler. The night got deeper and deeper and so are the shots to my head.
I was talking loud and they were laughing. I took a look down and next thing I knew, my head got heavy and I felt puking. I struggled to get near a coconut tree and there I howled.
Despite what happened, I still woke up with my lovely wife looking in a very nice scenery. I longed for the Beach to remove my heavy head. Nevertheless, the experience is fun and memorable and the place is great. I might come back since I never really have it photographed myself and I never really made a whole tour of the island. But one thing I prayed, I hope its raining the next time.
Some people just don’t see how you see yourself!
I am a funny guy. You mostly see me having fun with my peers. You would hear me laugh if you’re within 50 feet from where I am. I love to play around, tease and poke friends. I usually give funny comments and double meanings which are mostly green. I’m loud and proud.
You might ask so what is the problem with that? In the past, I usually joke too much that I got some friends offended. But nowadays that would not be a problem because I can control it. What got my attention lately is a comment from a friend after she saw and heard me speech wittily in front of my bosses and my fellow participants of a prestigious office training which I topped. She said that she is not proud of me being his friend before but her impression of me changed after the speech. I don’t know what to say! I was insulted!
You don’t have to dig deeper to understand what she means. It’s a straight in the face jab! I began to think what impression I made to people. It is not because you see me crack jokes everywhere means I am loser. You want to hear another lousy comment? Here’s another one given to me just two days ago. I was telling two co-workers about things I learned in the previous seminar in speed reading. Then one of them said, “finally you said something that made sense!” WTF! I just smiled.
Initially I was asking what are this people thinking but the most profound question I asked myself is “What am I projecting to them?”. Image is important to me but fun living is also my way of life. At first glance, you might not see me as I guy that don’t take life seriously but the truth is I do, but not in a serious way. I remember a friend of mine telling me when I passed the board exam that she didn’t see me as a man who can accomplish such things because in school it seems I’m just a boy who love to laugh.
I was disappointed with the impression I left to people but it opened my eyes. There might be other factors but one thing is very apparent. For them I am just a funny guy! May be it’s time to grow up or change image or ways of talking. But let me say this, I was able to accomplish a lot in my life being who I am and there is now way I would completely change it. Borrowing a line from one of my favorites songs of Beatles titled “Across the Universe”, I would like to end this by saying “Nothing’s gonna change my world”.
Medyo late na tong post ko na’to. The latest MIzuno Run happened last 11 April 2010. I felt ready for the 10-k race when I woke up that morning. Di ko na maalala kung anong preparation ko before the run but what I remembered is that I ran around UP campus friday before the run. From March up to the race day, I am practicing for the BSP sportsfest kaya medyo dapat ready yung katawan ko for the run but hindi ganun ang nangyari.
Unlike my two previous runs, I came early at the Fort. I did some stretching. I am wearing nga pala a jacket, basketball shorts, high socks and running shoes. The race started and I started on a slow pace until I saw a runner doing fast stride. Naiingit ako, kaya ginaya ko. It felt good although nakaramdam ako ng hingal. Everything was fine until I hit the fly over . . Wow grabe . . Napagod agad ako . . sumakit yung mga hita ko . .naramdaman ko yung init lalo na nakajacket ako. After reaching the 5k mark. ayun na! Naglakad ako to grab water. Di ko alam na after that mawawala na ang will ko tumakbo. Literally I just walked toward the flyover and walked while on the fly over . . I just lose my motivation to run. I just watched the sun rising . . ang ganda . . I remembered a scene in the movie Forest Gump. I just enjoyed the sites than the run. Tuwing may kakilala akong aabutan ako niyaya nila akong tumakbo . . sabi ko “Sige pre takbo na kayo, ok lan ako” he he.
I reached the finish line running siyempre para runner pa rin ang dating. Kinuha ko na yung finisher’s shirt and other give aways. Picture taking and breakfast. Ayun na yun!
My official time is 1 h and 12 minutes . . . just 2 minutes later than my last time at Unilab Run for Wellness of 1 h and 10 minutes . . so ano ba to? Mabagal lang ako tumakbo o mabilis lang ako maglakad?