Thursday, October 09, 2003

Busy days ahead!

I got two invitations to talk in two scientific conferences. The first conference will be in Tokyo on Nov. 6-7, 2003 and the other one will be on Dec. 16 - 17, 2003 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. I like these things because not only am I presenting my research and interacting with other scientists, I get to go places for free and with an extra allowance to boot. Its not really that bad. :)

So I am leaving for Tokyo on Oct. 26, and staying there for 2 weeks. Ayachi has e-mailed me rejoicing at the news she got from Dr. O of my impending arrival. She told me a story about the stupid adventures of the ever baka T. Its too funny, it made me miss my laboratory in Tokyo. :)

The ticket is being booked Tokyo side, as Dr. O informed me just a while ago via e-mail. :)
Clothes and shoes for the trip have been bought. That was fun! Ahaha.
I now have to prepare for 2 talks, one on the conference itself and another one on our laboratory's regular colloquium. WAH!

I should also not forget that I still have translation jobs galore. Deadlines upon deadlines upon deadlines...

So multi-tasking days have to begin...


Monday, October 06, 2003

It has been a while, ne.

The last 6 months have been the most hectic period in my life. I spent almost 3 months in Tokyo for to measure the seawater samples. I had collected over the Sulu Sea, Celebes Sea, Philippine Sea, and South China Sea for the rare earth elements. To think that there were 120 samples, and the job should have taken 6 months to finish.

While in Tokyo, a professor at the University of the Ryukyus invited me to spend 3 days at the Okinawa. This was a great opportunity for me to visit such a place that well... reminded me of home. I went back to Tokyo driven away by a typhoon, though. That took away time that could have been spent doing some serious shopping at the United Nations Avenue... But still I got to see the Shuri Castle with the Professor, who was really a nice person, albeit talkative. :)

Before leaving Tokyo, my face got bloated due to an allergic reaction to Bufferin. For a few hours there, I had lips that would beat any of the supermodels'. I had to drink more than 20L of Dakkara to flush away the chemical. Thankfully, the fluffiness disappeared the next day, but I looked like I spent the whole night crying.

I left Tokyo, more sure of myself, having learned to let go of my attachment to this city. It was easy in the end. I was free.

I am back here in Cebu. Working two jobs. One that keeps my soul alive and another that pays my shopping bills. Ahaha.

Things are falling into place. I am at the crossroads of my life. And I have never been this happy nor contented.

Monday, March 10, 2003


Today was the first day of the conference. I served as the chairperson, together with Ruchaya, of the series of lectures done from 10:30 ~ 6:00. I am tired after the end of the day. I had Thai food for lunch and dinner. Lunch was at the Chulalongkorn U. cafeteria and dinner was at this restaurant in Siam Square which is sort of a Thai version of Cebu's Cafe Laguna. The food here is delicious. And cheap. :D

I am tired. Will have to rest and then wake up at 5 tomorrow to prepare for my presentation on March 12.

Sushi in Bangkok!

Funny thing. For dinner I ate sushi and I am in Bangkok. :p
I redeemed myself by eating rice noodles again at the restaurant of Sasa International House as soon as I got home from window shopping at Siam Center.

Speaking of window shopping. It is end of season sale here. I saw Sisley, Mango, Benetton tops for less than 1000 Baht. Not bad...
But congratulate me for not buying anything from those shops. Instead, I got two 90 Baht pastel shirts at the sidewalks of Siam Square. nyehehe.
You would be proud of my haggling skills. :D

I also bought the Bangkok Lonely Planet travel guide for 600 B, and got sumptuous red Thai silk shawls for 199 B and 320 B each. I plan to make pillow cases out of them. I got some cute kitchen decorative knickknacks. They were actually tiny replicas of fruits placed inside small vials, covered with corks. I got 12 of them for 300 B. D

More shopping ahead. I am not yet done.

Sunday, March 09, 2003

Bangkok, quite cool.

the view from my room...

I am in Bangkok, man. However, I brought a laptop to be able to do translation work in case a job comes up. Koya, howag magalit. :p In it is also my PPT presentation to the Intercalibration Conference/Workshop I am participating in. I am staying at the Sasa International House of Chulalongkorn University, which is just walking distance to Bangkok's business and shopping district. I like it already. Hehe.

I tasted my first authentic Thai rice noodle soup, which was delicious and cheap at 50 Baht. Mineral water is also cheaper compared to Cebu at 10 Baht. Anyway, I will surely enjoy shopping here. I saw some shirts at 200 Baht here in MBK mall. Quite a bargain. Ahaha.

I will definitely have fun in Bangkok! :D

Saturday, February 08, 2003

When it rains, it really pours...

I am getting translation jobs left and right and so the next days will be hectic. I reckon 4 hour of sleep per day and it will be a while until the next post. See you next week and wish me luck with my deadlines.

Gambaru zou!

Thursday, February 06, 2003

Not Too Busy to Shop

It has been awhile as I have been very busy. The deadline for the midterm grades is tomorrow so I have been concentrating on checking papers and grading my students. I only have one more set of exams to check and that is a relief. :D

I also have my translation career to allot my time to. I just got a document to be translated from Japanese to English. There is no problem with beating the deadline as it is on Tuesday yet. I am also grateful that the client has given me a glossary of words to be used for the translation, which helps a lot in saving time to research for the proper terminology to use.

On the shopping front, I got me these gorgeous 4 inch-heel red and beige sandals. "Killer heels" they are. Haha.

Friday, January 31, 2003

I had my schedule worked out to be able to go to Bangkok. My boss also gave his permission for me to go. I sent the title of my talk to Prof. M. two days ago.

So, I guess I will be going to Bangkok... :D

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Bangkok, very hot...

I just received an e-mail from Prof. MU of my institute in Tokyo regarding an invitation for me to talk in an international conference from March 10 - 14 in Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. Its not even an invitation anymore since as seen from the conference schedule, my name has already been added to the list of speakers for the "Hot Topics of Pollution of Hazardous Chemicals in the Asian Regions". The conference is sponsored by the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), so there is no problem with money. I just have to show up and do my thing, wow them all. HAHA.

However, this is way out of my schedule and classes in my school ends March 23, 2003, yet. This would mean make-up classes for the week I will be away from class. Oh well, I am already used to this kind of life. And, I so need to go to Bangkok. :D

Monday, January 27, 2003

Black Ferragamo Bag

Well, I had to shop.

The last time I shopped was in Tokyo about 3 weeks ago. I got myself these very comfortable walking shoes in black, 4 Japanese mangas, 2 Japanese fiction books, and Japanese fashion magazines.

So forgive me if I got myself my regular supply of Dior skin care products (I had to replenish them!) and this classic, beautiful black Ferragamo bag (They were on sale!) at Rustan's.

Nice, no?

I had a bloody weekend.

On Saturday, I had back to back classes in the morning and afternoon, both of which are make-up classes. The 3-hour morning class was an undergraduate Organic Chemistry lecture on the chemistry of carboxylic acid derivatives. It was scheduled due to my absence because of the this sudden trip to Tokyo to attend my professor's wake and cremation. In the afternoon, I had to lecture for 4 hours on molecular orbitals for a masteral class on Theoretical Organic Chemistry. The extended lecture was to compensate for the failure of classes last week due to the Sinulog festival.

It was a good thing that I had a scheduled home-service massage waiting for me at home, or else I would have suffered from a killer tension headache again.

Sunday was spent checking papers and preparing for my classes for today. I also had to help Japoy with his post-doctoral application to NOAA by editing the English research proposal he sent via e-mail.

Thursday, January 23, 2003

The translations for China were sent 1am today, well before the set deadline of 12 noon. I sent the invoice at around 10am.

Yesterday, the 15USD check for a 1 word translation job arrived. Ain't that grand? :D

Translations. I love.

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

I was not able to blog yesterday as I was swamped with work that needed to be done. Everything was done on time and I am proud of that. :D

I got a new translation job from China last night. There were some hitches early this morning since I was not able to open the rtf files properly with MS Word. Thanks to Koya and J for the tips, and my Project Manager for the e-mails. Without them, I would still be a frustrated mess by this hour. HAHA.

So, I get to start on the project. Deadline is tomorrow noon, but I have to send portions of it tonight so that the client can have a look-see at it.

OK. Work starts this minute.

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Darn it! I have the most painful tension headache from doing too much today and yesterday.

I accomplished all that I was supposed to do yesterday. Of course, to do all that I was only able to sleep at 2:30 am. I woke up at 6:41am like I had a nightmare since my class was at 7:30am! Everything was a blurr for 20 minutes as I rushed off to take a shower, dress, and do my make-up. I was out of my house by 7am. That was a record! HAHAHA. I got to my class on time, thank goodness!

After the lecture and laboratory classes in the morning, I had my lunch (1.5 cups rice, pork in sweet sauce, vegetable and beef soup), filled up my health insurance policy, and my request slips for make-up classes.

Since I was free the rest of the afternoon, I ran off to the post office to get the registered mail containing the check coming from Vietnam. It was an HSBC check drafted to a New York branch and my worries of it not getting encashed vanished... :D

Then, I was off to get the package of my Japanese colleague from the agent who handled our research vessel when it docked in Cebu. The size of the thing pissed me off. Not only will it cost thousands of pesos to send it back to Japan, I will have to send it in increment because I could not go to the Post Office carrying the whole stuff by myself. I could kill him for giving me this problem when my schedule alone is already tight. GRRRRRRR.

Sunday, January 19, 2003

It is a holiday over here since its after Sinulog. I am staying home but it is still a busy day for me. I have two make 3 exams, finish and submit a translation sample, correct a thesis proposal, and then prepare for class tomorrow. There are also examination papers that need the touch of my red ballpen.

I already sent the translation/copywriting job to Vietnam early dawn, and have re-sent the necessary revisions concerning font sizes this morning.

Hmmm, I better start the day with a heavy brunch.

Cebu Mango

I had this for dessert at dinnertime. yum yum. Definitely, Cebu mangoes are the juiciest, most delicious in the world.

Saturday, January 18, 2003

Slept very late yesterday finishing the translation/copywriting job. Also read the collection of manga and japanese fashion magazines I bought home from my recent trip to Tokyo.

These must have been the reason I had the weirdest dream last night...:

In it I was on some sort of trip with my sister, cousin V, and some others to the north of Cebu. We were on a mission to find something at the peak of a hill. Whatever it was, I don't remember... Anyway, we started knocking on the houses along the route to ask for directions but could not proceed to the top because it started to snow! (he he... in tropical Cebu ha.) With that, we just decided to go back to the rented bus and go home. Sayang, as the view up there was awesome...

So we arrived at the bus to find our tour guide informing everybody that going back to Cebu City would be difficult because we are passing through NPA rebel infested towns, and they might try to rob us and burn our bus. Everybody was warned. True enough, just 50 meters along the way (was that fast!), we were stopped by men and a woman in black face hoods. A man and the woman proceeded to open our bags and get our money. When they finished, the woman rebel (robber?) had the gall to tell me, "Uy, yen imong kuwarta." (hey, your money is in yen."). Hmph.

For some reasons, the rebels left the woman on board the bus. As she was alone, a man, who i think was my highschool classmate, George, kicked her out of the bus. We shouted at the driver to speed off and never stop the bus as there were still some rebels (they were wearing those heavy afghanistan costumes... in tropical Cebu, ha! hehe) along the route trying to stop us... I then shouted at my companions to start calling from their cellphones any general, judges, and government officials they know. HAHA.

I called my mother. HAHA. Well, she works at the court house. She counts. :p

Then I woke up.

Friday, January 17, 2003

Sinulog NA! Adto TA!

Every 3rd weekend of January

There are two hotels that I know which is on the route of the Sinulog dance parade: the Cebu Midtown Hotel and Garwood Hotel, both located at Osmena Boulevard. It might be too late to book there, though...

If not, try to get a ticket to the Abellana Stadium on sunday. Be sure to get there before 8am to get really good seats. This is where the parade starts, and the contestants get to show the best of their routine on this stage.

You can also position yourself on the streets. But this is not so advisable if you are alone or not that tall since a LOT of people are also there. It helps that specially made elevated sitting areas are placed at strategic points in the route. Again, you have to be early to arrive at those places since they do get occupied in no time at all.

There is also a procession of the Sto. nino at Colon Street on Saturday in the afternoon. This is more of a religious event with devotees of the Sto. nino from all over the philippines and the world joining in.

A fluvial parade at the Mactan Channel is also traditionally done on Saturday morning at 7am. You would get a great view from the 2 Mactan bridges. I just don't know if people are allowed to watch from there...

Remember these: wear comfortable clothes, preferably a dark shirt and jeans on sneakers. Do not bring any valuables with you as petty criminals are on the loose what with so many people on the streets. Be ready to walk walk walk since the festival in on the streets. Public and private transportation can not be had for kilometers. Bring lots of bottled water. A hat. A face towel. Candies...

But also HAVE FUN!!!

The office told me that it is the discretion of the teacher if classes are held today. Since I (and my students) don't want to be stranded and walk 15 kilometers home, I cancelled my class. Make-up class next Saturday. Classes will be from 1-6pm. HA!
Yay! Vietnam sent the files finally. Good thing that the deadline for the job was set to Monday. I also got a decent price for it. Hehe.

Off to the university for my masteral class, then. Though, i wonder if there is supposed to be a class. It is the Sinulog Festival over here. Will have to call the office to verify...
Good morning. hmmm... Lets see. I am supposed to have a masteral class from 1 to 4pm. And this pending translation cum copywriter job, the files for which will be sent this morning from Vietnam. Deadline they said is this afternoon. I hope they can send the file asap because then I can work on it in the morning with little stress, and so I can focus on the class in the afternoon. If they don't, balancing act galore ensues. Gah!

I quoted a high price for the job since it entails squeezing my creative juices. I hope they bite on my offer.

Yesterday, I got to organize all my unpaid invoices using Excel and so realized that I have quite a substantial amount of money still owed me. Good thing that the check from Vietnam arrived via registered mail. I will have to go to the post office on Tuesday to get it. I will also drop by the amway building, since it is near the post office, to get my Japanese colleague's package from this shipping company. He sent a package to the research vessel when it was docked in Cebu during the research cruise i talked about in the previous post, but unfortunately the package arrived after the ship has left. Now i have to get the damn package and send it back to Tokyo. hmph!

I do hope the Vietnam check is drafted on a bank in the USA, or is a Citibank or HSBC check. Otherwise i can't clear it and so will have to send it back to them. such hassle...

Thursday, January 16, 2003

The Last 6 Months

Lets see how we have been busy the last 6 months of last year...

I finished renovating my room and bathroom late October, and this was started late July. Then, I left for Tokyo October 30, stayed for 9 days (to shop! and actually prepare for the cruise. Hehe.), and went on to participate in an international research cruise to the Philippine Deep, Celebes Sea, and the Sulu Sea for 3 weeks. I arrived in Cebu late November with 30 Japanese Scientists, who of course I had to tour arround not only Cebu but also Bohol. We went to see the tarsiers and Chocolate Hills. They also got to enjoy Plantation Bay in Cebu, and all the other fine and not so fine eating and shopping places in my town.

They left Dec. 2, and so I finally settled back to my classes. I, of course, was on leave of absence from the university and had so many make up classes to focus on. The usual christmas shopping ensued 2 weeks later. I barely survived Christmas since I got tonsilitis. Haha. Serves me right for eating damn melted chocolates. And, oh I started renovating my kitchen and utility room Dec. 23. Haha. For New year I cooked Media Noche.

Was getting ready for school January 6 when Bang! Someone, who later turned out to be Aya-chan, sent me this cryptic e-mail from a mobile phone that my beloved professor, my masteral and doctoral degree supervisor passed away Jan. 4 at 6pm. wahhhhhhh! The shock of my life. He was only 56, and although he had his first attack some 6 years ago in Brisbane, someone that GREAT should not die that early. Mottainai yo, sensei!

So, of course I had to get an emergency visa from the Cebu consulate office of the Japanese Embassy. On Sunday, January 5, 2003, I gathered all the e-mails I got of the sad news, prepared my travel papers, and had a 10-minute visa photo taken at Ayala Center. Early the next day, I received the official fax announcement of his death from the research institute and ran off to the consulate office for the visa. Fortunately, they gave me one the next day, Tuesday. (I am special like that. hehe.). So, off I was to wintry tokyo, Wednesday at 8am. Got to Narita at 12:30 Tokyo Time. Aya-chan was late in fetching me, but seeing her almost made me cry. We proceeded to the wake at Chiba, which was an hour and a half from the airport. She was so nice, as she prepared my koden (the money we had to give to the family of the deceased) envelope for me. The wake lasted until 9 pm. The next day was the solemn Buddhist funeral rites and cremation ceremony. It is amazing how many people loved my sensei. Over 400 people attended his wake and funeral rites. Could not help but cry my heart out over his loss. My teacher is gone.

Only a selected few could attend the cremation ceremony. His family and the staff and students in the laboratory went. I was the student who stayed the longest with him at 6.5 years, so of course I went. The burning of his flesh took 1.5 hours. We snacked on Japanese bon bons while waiting. And finally we had to help the family place his bones on the urn. Organic has turned to inorganic. There was closure in that. A great sadness, but I am glad I have said my good byes and gave my last respects.

I stayed in Tokyo for 2 more days, pondering on what will happen to my research now that my sensei has gone. I have to do everything by myself. The road ahead is difficult. But my sensei is somewhere, still guiding me...

Went back home to Cebu on Sunday, January 12, 2003. Am more resolved to be the most that I can be. Life is too short.

Busy, yet...

I have no classes on Fridays and today I am supposed to do sample translations for 3 agencies and prepare for my 3-hour master's class tomorrow afternoon. But, but, I just had to start this blogging thing. Damn.

Adlaw blogs

Finally got the gall to start this thing. Though, I don't really know if i can keep up with this. I am not only a full-time university Assistant Professor and researcher, but am also a translator (Japanese --> English, Tagalog <--> English, Cebuano <--> English) to boot. I travel a lot due to my research. In fact have been to 4 international cruises on board a Japanese research vessel and the same number of Japanese domestic cruises. Will talk about them all later...

I love to shop, too. Shoes, I have 47 pairs and counting! Bags, I have 20, half of which cost me an arm and leg. LV, anyone? I also have a closet overflowing with clothes, and funky necklaces and bracelets. As for make-up, i prefer Shu uemura and Christian Dior.

Adlaw means day. And we are in just for a bit of sun.