Pancit Palabok of Persimon

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Food in the City… Cagayan de Oro City that is! I have been exploring good spots to eat and this is the best Palabok I have tasted here in CDOC!

Here is my little review of this place:

1. Food Quality – 4.5 out of 5
2. Service – 3 out of 5
3. Cleanliness – 3.5 out of 5
4. Ambience – 3 out of 5

 

Aside from the Palabok, their bake siopao is also to die for! It is soft and warm. The crust is a bit crisp. It has excellent fillings! You can choose from beef asado, pork bola bola and the house specialty chicken bola bola.

 

I really love food; I will continue my hunt for the best eats here in CAGAGAYN DE ORO!

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Jumping Into The Abyss

Change is the on the only constant thing in this world as the cliche’ goes. Change can be very drastic and painful. But it can also be good and refreshing. Change can either wound us or mold us; it is but up to us to live with it. Change is like jumping into an abyss. We just just have to take a leap of faith.

I has vocal cord cyst. That news scared me at the same time I felt really calm about it. Yes those two don’t go together but when the doctor told me about my cyst, those two feelings intertwined in my heart. I felt scared because my work, my source of income involved talking; answering calls at that. I felt calm too; somehow I felt relieved to be able to rest from all that stressful technical support stuff. The news felt somewhat serendipitous. Maybe it was time for me to move on and follow my dreams; maybe it is time to stop settling.

The operation went smoothly I has to stay at home for a month since I can not go back to work because I can not speak yet. The days at home felt good. It felt like a release. I wasn’t really worried about going back to work. I had time to relax and think things over.

Since I loved the company that I was working for, I decided to go back to work. I missed the grind. I longed for the independence that my monthly income provided. As they say, money makes the makes the world go round. I also felt hesitant to go back. My voice did not sound the same. I felt pain in my throat all the time. The first day of work was a nightmare. I wanted to cry and go home. But I had to tough it out; I needed money.

Two weeks at work passed. My boss was very patient with me. He allowed me to rest or be late if my throat was acting up. But all good things must come to an end. My team got dissolved. I was to be transferred to another Team Manager. He was not like my former boss. He was a good person alright, but he wasn’t my friend.

Then I got sick; again. I contracted a viral infection from one of my friends that affected my throat again. On the first day it got really hot and felt prickly. I did not want to be absent since I did not want to lose money from being absent. I did not go to the doctor. I thought that my rest day and my absence will allow me to recuperate. But this was not the case it got worse. I had to be on total voice reset for ten days. My new boss was not very happy about this but he could not do anything but just to allow me to comply with the doctor’s orders.

On the first few days of my home confinement I felt lax. I knew I could get back to work. Everyday I contemplated if that was the day to cut the home stay and go back to the office. But my condition was getting worse. My throat felt OK at one time but ached like crazy another. I felt agitated and confused. I wanted to go back to work. I needed money. I also wanted to resign because I felt that I continue doing this, I will end up losing my voice permanently. I decided that all this was not worth going mute for the rest of my life. I had to leave.

The next question was what do I do after resigning. My husband and I first thought about putting up a printing shop. We found the right spot for it. But God had other plans for us. My mom suddenly offered for us to move to the province with them. There would be no rent; there is less worries to make the ends meet. So we decided to go.

It took some deliberation to pick stuff we are going to keep and ship to Cagayan de Oro. We decided to bring three Balik Bayan boxes, one computer table, an exercise bike and one wardrobe. All my money went to pay for the things we needed to move.

We booked a flight on 8th of August, 2013. It was a smooth flight. The sun was out and shining. But things changed when we were about to land. The captain had already announced that we were about to decend on Lagindingan Airport. After a few minutes of circling the runway, the captain said that we are not to land because of security reasons. He decided to then go to Mactan to wait out if the tower in Lagindingan will now allow us to land. Alas! The airport in Cagayan de Oro does not have night lights so we had to go back to Manila.

After about five hours inside the plane, we touched down on Manila Domestic Airport. There was a bomb scare in CDO that was why we were made to go back. Since this was not the fault of the carrier, we were not given any accommodations. We had to sleep on the airport floor.

Finally at 5:30 in the morning our plane was on it’s way again to Cagayan de Oro again. I was so happy when we landed. I place was so bright and sunny. The early morning breeze smelled wonderful.

When we got home it felt really good. We had some breakfast. For a week or so we spent going to tourist destinations here. It was all very beautiful. But we had to go back to the real world. We needed to work for money again.

After a week of touring we decided to begin our week by going to the nearby call center. My husband was luckily shortlisted for a Team Manager post. The next day he went back for an interview. He wtas then told that the TM post is on hold and if would want to apply as a Quality Assurance Rep since this was the same post he held in Manila. So he said yes. The interview was conducted. He was told that he would be contacted for the exam. We waited for more than a week there was no call. So we went there and the recruitment personnel said that they are still processing his application.

We couldn’t anymore so we tried our luck in another call center. This one is inside a university campus. We found this strange, but we went anyway. We were very disappointed to find out that they will only profile me and even my husband for agent positions only. So we decided to try again with another company. This was very far from our house. Everything was done in one day for my husband’s application. I did not try applying anymore since they were only offering me an agent job. So once my husband finished all the exams and the interviews they told us that they will call him for his final interview.

The day of the final interview came. It was a eight o’clock at night. With bated breath we waited for it to commence. Finally, the Operations Manager called my husband. Everything was going smoothly until she asked she asked him how much he wanted to get paid. My husband was earning about 18,000php when we were in Manila as Quality Analyst. This was a lot lower than the industry standard which was about 24,000php to about 26,000php. He told the manager that he wanted to get paid at about the same rate. She said that this was the province and that they don’t pay as much. So he said he would settle for  16,000php. The manager then said that there are other internal applicants who they are considering. This meant they did not want to pay him that amount. But my husband was still optimistic. He has more experience and he was already working from one of the top BPOs in Manila.

We waited and waited. There was no call from them. Finally we received a call from the first company he applied at. They were offering him a job he did not want. It was a Scheduling and Reports Analyst port. Their ad said they needed someone with an engineering background. My husband was very hesitant. I was able to convince him to try it out anyway. I also applied there as recruitment associate. In the end nothing came out of these applications. Obviously my husband was not suited for the post. On the other hand they said that only wanted male applicants to be placed for the post I was vying for. We were devastated.

Everything felt sad and gloomy. We felt that the change we sought out here in the province was all a failure. We were distraught. We did not know what else to do. I told my husband that maybe we can try applying for home based jobs. We had a Plan B. We applied for a company called RareJob. In a few days my husband got interviewed and passed. It took them about three days after his interview for them to contact me. My husband was well on his way to being an online tutor. He was able to do a teaching demo without any hassle. I helped him with completing his initial quiz. He was already scheduled to begin teaching on September 17. On the other side of the coin however, when it was turn to do the demo the internet decided to die on the very last minute! I was logged in early on Skype to make sure that there will not be any problem. They gave me a test call. It was all good. Unfortunately, when they contacted me for my demo, boom, the internet died.

God had plans for me. A few days before my demo I tried sending an online applications to random companies. One of them replied. This was now my saving grace from that dreadful loss on the supposed to be application for the online English teacher post. All I had to do was compose a long letter that a lot of parameters in it regarding my qualifications for a Recruitment Research Analyst. The letter was great. They then wanted me to do a mock research and a final interview. That sounded all good because it meant they wanted me, but we only had one computer. This was very bad indeed. Our schedules were the same for my husband’s first day and my final interview. We needed another computer.

I felt really frustrated. This was my golden opportunity to have a job that I like and that pays well. My husband saw my frustration and decided that he will use all his savings to buy me a laptop. We first decided to buy a second hand Samsung ATI:V computer for 14,000php. The seller said that he will only do a meet up if we are sure buyers. So we went to the mall to meet him. My dad was with us. When he found out that it was already a second hand computer he decided against it. He said that he will just add some funds to buy a brand new one. Luckily, we already checked out a store which had a sale before.

We went to the store but the HP laptop I wanted was no longer there! That was not good at all. When we were almost about to go back to the second hand, we saw that there was a sale for the same Samsung laptop. So we decided that this is going to be my new “baby”. I named my new laptop Orson Christian Gray or just Orson Gray for short.

Orson and I are now trying to get along. Since he runs on Windows 8, I have to study his quirks. This is no easy feat. I love Orson though, we make a great team.

I just hope that I pass that mock research and the final interview as well I need to make some much needed money. I need to make good on jump I have made; the jump to an opaque abyss. I have to be successful.

Making a leap of faith to something quiet unsure was very hard. It has almost broken me. I am the type of person who craves security. Uncertainty is really not my cup of tea. I had to embrace change though. I did not want it to destroy me. I had to let it mold me. Jumping in to the sea of uncertainty may have been death defying but it is also renewing. I welcome change into my life.

Sore Throat, Kroaking, Beach Day and Staying at Home

Well its been my fourth day to stay at home due to the doctor’s recommendation that I needed voice reset for five days.

English: Diagram of the Human Throat for the T...
English: Diagram of the Human Throat for the Throat article. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This started two weeks ago when my throat hurt a tad bit and I decided to ignore it and just gargle hexetidine (Bactidol) and hoped it will go away… So I went to work and felt a bit uneasy about the throat ache for three days. On the third day I couldn’t take it any more so I went to the office clinic and asked the doctor for some meds and his recommendation. He said “You need to go to an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor).” So I did. I spent about seven hours going back and fourth to the clinic in the mall and my office just to get my check up done. The first verdict? Acute Laryngitis; meaning voice rest. The doctor told me to have five days but I thought I can get better in about three plus I had my days off from work so it would be ok to go back to work the following week. So three days it is.

The following week I went to the office straight through the week. On the first day. My throat felt a bit dry but did not hurt anymore. However my voice sounded weird. This went on for the next five days and my voice kept getting worse and my throat hurting more (I work in a call center so my voice the the thing I need most to work). Finally Saturday came; the last day of the work week; which also happens to be the day of our team building in the beach. 

I was really excited about the team building. I haven’t gone to the beach for four years! So this was gonna be so much fun. I was tasked to cook the food (no choice on this since my boss knew that I graduated from culinary school). This part was really, really stressful; but they loved my food so it was worth it. We got to the resort really late (about nine o’clock). This was bad ‘coz what can you see in a crowded beach late at night? The other thing was, my boss called them to make a reservation but they said for us to just go there. We ended up getting the WORST spot to sleep in. We got two huts which had a bed exactly fit into the hut (as in the end of the mattress hits the corner of the hut). The bathroom was about 20 feet away. (The other team who went there got a villa with a living and dining room and two bedroom: THE WORKS!). To make matters worse we had to share the hut with another guy who snores like two guys combined. This guy is the guy i really abhor from the office. Good thing I had my husband with me.

I slept at about two o’clock in the morning. However when this ugly, maniac, egoistic snorrer went in to sleep I couldn’t sleep anymore. Woke up at five AM. The upside was one of my close guy friends was already up exploring the shore. So I texted him to go back to the hut and fetch me. We walked down the beach. It was really nice and beautiful. I was feeling giddy because everything looked serene. We walked to the edge of the island. The horizon was cyan and pink all at the same time. It was wonderful. The hard part was I can’t really talk all through this since my voice was really gone. I was more like kroaking than talking.

On our way back to Manila, I asked my boss if I can get a leave of absence since I really need to recuperate my voice. So he told me to get a MedCert and just show up in the office the next day and file a leave. I went to the doctor the following day. The first clinic I went to the ENT was not there. So I was checked by a doctor did not want to help me at all and just told me to find an ENT of go back the next day. So I went to other clinic in the same mall. Good thing that there was an ENT there. She was very cool and told me that all I really need is lots of water and voice rest. She also said I’d be needing steroids for my voice to go back. She gave the MedCert I needed.

So I waited till about 10pm and went up to our office (our office is in the same mall). I gave my boss my doctor’s note saying I needed to chill at home and watch TV, I mean rest my throat for five days. The bad part was I still needed to go back by Saturday since they don’t approve leaves on Saturdays (this was not so cool because Saturday is sandwiched between my Mon-Fri voice rest and my Sunday-Monday rest days). 

Its been four days now of staying at home. I’m kinda liking it. Watching TV/DVDs, cleaning the house (not so much!), cooking, reading, writing, facebooking and just plain chillin. If I only had money I would have gone back to the beach and used my voice rest to dig my toes in the sand. I would have gone to the Rice Terraces or go to Singapore perhaps. But staying at home was fun. It has relaxed me and made me appreciate the simple joys in life. If I could only find a fun writing gig or like a home business I would resign right away. I’m tired of serving other people and trying to please other people.

I need a new life adventure. I need it very soon. My body is giving up already. My throat is telling me “Hey girl, seven years has been long enough!”