Pacman survived the “bad weather”

I knew that this moment will drag me back here and write something that I’d love to remember years from now.

As an expat in the little red dot, everyone’s in awe whenever I tell stories of how Pacman turns the busy streets of Manila (and all parts of the Philippines) into ghost town whenever he has a fight. As crazy as it sounds, it’s like an unsaid rule that Filipinos are glued to their screens to watch the great boxer and pray for his “win” each and every fight.

I grew up with this. Haha. And I’ve shared a lot of great memories with my dad while watching the fight and drinking a cold San Miguel beer with his friends. I didn’t even like boxing. It’s violent for me. But a Pacman fight turns every Filipino around the world into a boxing expert everytime. Believe me, from Philippines to US, Middle East, Taiwan or UK, Filipinos are glued to their phones to catch up with families before and after the fight.

Amazing, right? At some point, Iknow Pacman brought heart to the boxing sport and united the Philippines in so many ways.

PROOF OF FILIPINO FANS DEDICATION

No need to go far, my news feed says it all.

(Screengrab from the hardworking businesswoman, Ailette)

(Screengrab from the hardworking businesswoman, Ailette)

(Nakaw photo of List from Perth)

(Nakaw photo of Liszt from Perth)

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(Photo from @unikathija)

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(Nakaw photo from Jopot @melvin_zamora)

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Us earlier. LOL. #OFW Thanks to Kuya Macoy and to Ate Mhely for the live stream. Haha.

CLEVER AD, AS EXPECTED.

Working in the marketing and advertising industry, I know that there’s something clever that’ll come out from great brands in moments like this. This time, McDonald’s got the spotlight.

A couple of days before the big fight, McDonald’s Philippines released a clever ad to show their support to the Filipino champion. It’s very timely and sincere to the point of touching the hearts of every excited and nervous Filipino supporter.

  After the fight, McDonald’s impressed me even more by sending the message that captured what the shocked (somehow sad) Filipino fans would like to say. 

 

CORRECT ME IF I’M WRONG.

Below is the screenshot of my Instagram feed minutes after the fight. 🙂 Photo credit to my IG friends but correct me if I’m wrong, McDonald’s message just blended in. It’s a brand that cares… makes you wanna say “let’s go have some McFlurry kasi mainit ang ulo ko!” Haha.

IG Feed

 

It was just clever.

Pano ba yan? Just like what McDonald’s said, “we’ve always survived the bad weather. We’re very proud of you, Pacman!”

Til next time!

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#TransformationTuesday

Are you a Filipino? Aside from Jollibee, you probably consider “Eat Bulaga,” the longest running noon time show in the Philippines, a part of your memories growing up. I do. And I follow them on Facebook.

And if you’re like me, you should’ve followed (cause it’s just in your newsfeed! Haha) Paolo Ballestero‘s journey to the #MakeUpTransformation stardom. It went viral and was picked up by international prints and websites including the Daily Mail in UK, Cosmopolitan Magazine and even MTV. It reached some celebrities that he copied like Tyra Banks and was shared even by Ashton Kutcher. Go on, Google his name and see the updates!

(photo from Eat Bulaga’s FB page)

Curious, I searched Instagram to see if there are other #makeuptransformation hashtags created from other Asian countries and found very few. How about the Philippines? I guess Filipino netizens enjoyed it the most and Kathrine Bernardo, a Filipino actress, was the most popular subject.

Look what I found via the #makeuptransformationph hashtag:

1. The Alaska Fan“Wala pa ring tatalo sa Alaska..”

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2. Look for your favourite characters.

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3. Family fun!

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4. Favourite pet.

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5. Now, Ted-dy for real.

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6. And my friend turned into a man- donut.

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7. I think it’s only in the Philippines.

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8. Yes, the famous bee.

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And to prove my nationality, I’ve given art direction and volunteered my photography skills for this one. LOL.

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Growing Older.


 “Please go to counter 10 for verification. Please ask counter 4 for the schedule. Counter 1 please…” Imagine you have to do this for more than 5 times, I tell you, it is patience-draining.

Forums about the current situation of the pre-need company, College Assurance Plan (CAP), are everywhere. This shows how many Filipinos was hoping to secure good education and retirement (for some) years ago and my dad was one of them.

Since college, though I lived with my aunt and cousin in Manila, I was doing and learning most of the things on my own (well, this is how my dad raised us). Since my dad worked in a Real-Estate company (before he moved to work independently) and mostly project-based, he hoped to secure my college education through CAP’s College Educational Plan which went down during the time that I was in college. It was so disappointing having that piece of paper on hand but couldn’t do anything to pay my school bills because the pre-need company don’t have funds plus the fact that they would never give back the promised ROI to its plan holders. It was a gamble and my parents need to start over.

I normally have no drive to try and visit the CAP office because I’ve experienced the rude and very slow process for reimbursement but when I was playing around with my phone and thought of calling them, for the first time someone answered their hotline and told me that I have check to collect. But that didn’t entice me that much because the last time I got a check, it was 599 pesos which was almost just what I spent for transportation and time to pick it up. As I go through the old papers, I’ve seen that my parents started thinking about securing my future at the age of 5 and I’ve realized how much money they invested on it especially now that I am working.

I went to their office to check the status of my reimbursement and as expected, there was a long line of people hoping to get money from their investment from different parts of the Philippines. It was so sad to see people, mostly old parents, from different regions/provinces endure 5 to 8 hours of bus ride to go back home with nothing. I tried to observe just to let the time pass by. I had long conversation with people, listened to their complains and watched them smile as they start a new friendship to the people they spent almost a day with waiting for the office to give them answers to their questions. But even if it turned to be an easy and happy experience, I still don’t want my parents to experience the long waiting and not-so-nice process. As I looked at the huge room packed of people waiting, I realized that the window serving the educational plan holders was busier than the window serving the pension plan holders. I was fixing my dad papers for his pension and was done in less than 30 minutes while the educational plan reimbursement inquiry was finished after 3 hours (including not having lunch). I’ve seen angry and disappointed faces in the packed window and grasped that Filipinos are not that educated or don’t put much priority on thinking about “retirement.” Filipino parents normally give everything to their children’s education which is very adulating but may or may not be the reason why some parents force their children to support them on their retirement as return. I am a daughter and I care about my parents so much but I’ve seen a lot of Filipino parents putting all the responsibilities to their children after graduation that force them to just think about earning and not do what they want in a long run. I’ve seen parents blame their child of not having a good life after spending so much for the child’s education. I’ve seen corrupted children that seems to stay in where they are for 5 years just because they needed to stay “just earning” monthly just because they are not thinking of the “long-term” and they chose to be blamed.

Every society has a good and bad side and I think this is a part that the Filipino society needs to improve: the education on retirement. I also think that Filipino youth should think more of their long-term plans and the cause and effect of their every action. This is what I like with the Japanese society, they always leave you with the question “How do you see yourself 5 or 10 years from now?” (But I hope there’s back up when the insurance company closed down. Haha.)

Hong Kong & Filipina OFWs

I’ve been asked a lot of times about how I was held in the Philippine immigration for an hour before my flight to Hong Kong last April. When I saw the photos of the trip, I thought of reminiscing about it, hopefully for the last time. Haha.


My flight was around 5am on a Saturday. Since it was so early and I was traveling alone from Manila, I decided not to sleep and just proceed to the airport after a late off from work. I wore jeans, flat shoes and black jacket. I didn’t put on makeup and having no sleep, I looked so tired.

It was my first time going to Hong Kong and when I was asked what was my purpose of going there, the immigration officer scrutinized how I look, looked at me from head to toe then said, “Hay naku ne, andami daming mga Filipina na napapahamak sa Hong Kong ngayon, hindi mo ba nakita sa TV?” (*sigh* young lady, there are so many Filipina that have been in danger in Hong Kong, haven’t you seen them on TV?). Then, I answered, “oo nga po.” I know I look young but I answered as smart as I could so that she could determine that I know what I was doing. Then she asked me to wait and fill in some immigration form. At first, I was patiently waiting for the late immigration officer that was scheduled to question me and the rest of the 15 Filipinos who were going to HK and Singapore but when they started to curse each other saying “son of a b*tch, blah blah” at front of us, I felt bad of how our officers behave. Well, at first I thought, that it’s something that I have to accept but the way they talk to fellow Filipinos who go out of the country may it be for travel or work, I think is unacceptable.


Given that fact that there are really a lot of Filipinos going outside the country illegally to find their luck, which we couldn’t avoid (I even have good friends and cousins who did that and looking at their motives, I think that that determination to get what you want is really good), I started thinking that maybe that’s why they are so rude to the fellow Filipinos but looking at the bigger picture, their attitude is really unacceptable. They’ll say “oist, punta ka don!” “bakit ka pupunta don?” with the rudest intonation I’ve ever heard in the whole Philippines.

I waited for an hour, some waited for 8 hours to be interviewed. Then, when it was my turn, the officer said “your ID is unacceptable.” I told her that it was my real ID and if he thinks there’ll be problem with it, I should tell my employer to change the appearance of the ID. He said that he could think that I just asked someone from Quiapo to replicate it (Quiapo is a place in Manila where you can replicate all important papers and IDs) and I replied, “if that’s the case, what’s the need of having this interview if you can just base your judgement in a person’s ID? Couldn’t you figure out if the person is lying or not?” Then he reasoned out then let me go.

When I went back to the cubicle to finally go (because I was the only passenger that my flight was waiting), the officer said, “If I were your sister, I won’t let you go to Hong Kong just to see your boyfriend. Can’t you be a true-blue Filipina? Be ashamed of yourself!” (I met Taku and HK before he goes to LA for a job assignment. He was from Japan, I came from Manila).

Well, everyone is entitled of his/ her opinion but it’s never right to judge and force someone to believe that your opinion is the right one.

As I arrived alone in HK, I felt so at home having seen a lot of Filipina. They’ve talked with me from the airport, to the bus, showed me around, and helped me explore the city while trying out the trum, MTR and even by walking. I loved the smile and eagerness of storytelling in their faces upon seeing a fellow Filipino. I felt the Filipino hospitality and love for kababayan. I think it was one of the things that made my trip memorable.
When they brought me to the World-Wide Plaza, everything was so familiar: from banks to grocery stores!
where you can find Filipinos in HK during the weekend…
trying not to miss home with these?
And upon seeing the balikbayan boxes and upon listening to their stories how they save and try not to spend their hard-earned money just for their salary to be enough for all the relatives that depend on them, I felt the hardships that each OFW has been going through for years. 

the place when you can send everything back home.
then Filipinos are hoping that what they’ll give is enough… 
Then I started asking myself, is the close family ties still an advantage or is it making Filipinos become dependent to their relatives who are brave enough to gamble?
I had a glimpse of the hardships our Filipina OFWs are facing from the moment they step out of the country up to the “living alone and missing home” feeling in Hong Kong plus the fact that in every corner that there’s a Filipino talking to a family over the phone, she’ll say “Isn’t it enough?” or “He is having a mistress?” then cry or get angry. hay…
what I saw in Hong Kong on a Sunday afternoon- Filipino picnic!
I wish our kababayans well and happy.

these were my beautiful tour guides!
I wish to see them again (I hope I remember their names.)