Thursday, April 28, 2011

Scorching Summer

Is this weather killing you or what? I'm starting to think this is not normal at all, like we're being punished or something. It just makes me want to get out of Manila more.

Pint-sized Essentials

On that note, pack your bags boys and girls. We're hitting the beach!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Why Globe Super Sucks

After almost seven weeks, the Globe Super Surf application saga has come to an end---that is of course if there won't be any problem with the activation of the service. But boy am I glad I finally got to claim the sim card yesterday. But only after more stress and time were incurred.

Once the application got approved, I got updates from Mark Palanca who called me numerous times on separate occasions verifying information and arranging the delivery. The sim was supposed to be delivered last week as promised. My uncle waited in the office the whole day for nothing. Globe never reached out to us to let us know what happened so I called them yesterday. As usual, the only thing the agent could do was to make a case which she "will forward to another department, blah, blah, blah". By this time, I already memorized their damn spiel. I asked for a supervisor and spoke to Michelle Solis who was helpful enough to get in touch with the guys that take care of the delivery (Mark). A few minutes later, I spoke to Mark and asked if I could just pick up the sim card since my uncle is not in town and their office is just 10 minutes away. He agreed as long as I could present IDs and a signed authorization letter. With some tricks in the computer, I was able to secure the requirements. You'd think it's smooth sailing from there, but no.

Mark and I met up and he had one of his staff assist me. I was surprised when they brought me to this poorly ventilated stockroom with piles of packages all over the place. They talked to a guy with the dreadlocks wearing a DB Shenker uniform. From what I overheard, the logistics personnel had no idea about the sim card. Rashel, Mark's staff, had to go out to get more documents while her boss went out to smoke. I on the other hand, sat quietly feeling ignored.

I overheard that the delivery didn't push through because logistics noticed the package didn't come with a mobile unit. They didn't realize it was a line-only application, it's not supposed to come with a phone. There was an obvious stupid miscommunication between departments.

About half an hour has passed and they still couldn't find my package. Judging from the way Rashel and 'Dreads' talked to each other, I knew there was a problem. I shot them looks that let them know I was not having it. The entire time none of them bothered to update me about what's going on. Mark never returned from his yosi break.

Miracles later, they finally found the damn envelope.

Up to now, I still don't understand how such a big company can run a business this way. The manner this case was handled was very unprofessional. After I handed the P1,000 cash-out in that stockroom (no counter or glass windows involved), Rashel gave me my change and expected me to leave without a receipt. I had to ask for a photocopy of one of the documents and had her sign it.

So there, Globe sucks. If you happen to know anyone who may be able to help make sure something like this doesn't happen again, feel free to share this entry. We deserve better service.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sunny Skies and Starry Eyes

And we're back! I'm back in Manila, I'm back from my vacation and unfortunately I brought a few extra pounds with me.

My 10-day escape brought me to different places with the company of friends and loved ones. It was great to be able to get away like that. There's really never enough time when you're on vacation.

Gurrrrrrl, yeah bettah werrk those lashes!

Welcome serenade at the airport. There were festivities when I arrived. There really is no place like home.

The location of this religious image boggles me. It's in the middle of restaurants and bars at the new hot spot, Plazuela de Iloilo where I reunited with friends.

Ah, Tagaytay. I finally got to visit my Aunt in Cavite.

First time at Nuvali.

Staring at the sky.

I hope you too are doing very good.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thought Process

Is it aneurysm or vertigo? If it has to be that bad, I hope it's just vertigo. Aside from the fact that it's less fatal, it also sounds better. Plus it's a U2 song. Its vocalist, Bono, is a spokesmodel for Louis Vuitton. How glamorous.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Missing Valuables

I'm about to fucking lose my mind. The other day, I realized I'm missing a shirt. I checked with my mother if I left it at home. Negative. Now, while packing for my trip home, I realized I'm missing another top! It's this white Zara vest that I got on sale last year. Fuck!

The fastest way to ruin my mood is to mess with my wardrobe. I get a panic attack whenever I notice a shirt missing. It fucks up my mind big time. Ask my mom.

You see, I'm no heir to an empire. I don't have the luxury to go shopping as often as I want to. I've hurt my finances because of shopping though so I very much value what I have.  I have trouble letting go of a lot of items in my wardrobe---even the ones which have obviously seen better days. My clothes are very dear to me. My closet is not (yet) teeming with Lanvin, Alexander Wang or Burberry Prorsum but I have a special attachment to many of the pieces in it. It sounds deranged to some but that's that.

I can't stand this. I feel like running to the mall right now to get tops that look and feel the closest to the ones I'm missing.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Warning: Dessert Overload

Unsurprisingly, I braved this gastronomic, calorific event all by myself. I thought it was perfect as I was nursing a hangover and a broken heart. The day before (Friday) was so eventful and emotionally, physically and mentally taxing.

That's Lori herself, the blogger behind, addressing the crowd.

The place was already buzzing when I arrived which was around 2pm. It was a good mix of foodies, bloggers, brand representatives and sponsors.


My first attack was on the unlimited(?) Selecta Hershey's ice cream collection. I only had one cup.

Then to perk me up, I got an iced latte at the Boyds Coffee station where coffee was free-flowing.

Dulcelin's Pork buns with Kurabota Pork cooked sous-vide humba-style, Red Rice with Lettuce & Shrimp and Mango Torte.

Once Lori officially announced the start of the feast, I decided to munch on the few meat dishes that I spotted as I haven't had lunch yet.

Ma Chicken Mami House's Special Mami & Honey-BBQ Siopao.

This has to be one of my favorites, Tina Raines' Cheese Steak Pie.

By the time I was done with the "main course" I was already full. But of course I had to make the most out of this experience not only because I won the invite and I paid P500 but because every good meal is not good enough without dessert.

Sweet Bella wins Best in Presentation or Most Photogenic in my book.

Even before the eating started, everybody seemed drawn to Sweet Bella's booth. Everything was just so pretty. I love that the cake, Strawberry Charlotte I believe, was generously adorned with strawberries! It was so good. I'm not sure what that other one I had is called but it's this rich chocolate cake that was so moist it was almost overwhelming. Sweet Bella really filled me up.

Kitchen’s Best had four pastries to offer; Mango Sansrival, White Chocolate-Macadamia Brittle Cheesecake, Plaisir Sucré, Purple Yam Cake.

I liked Kitchen's Best's cheesecake but I'm not really a fan of their purple yam cake or purple yam in general.

Simply Pie's Spinach, Feta & Sun-Dried Tomato Quiche

I just have to say, the lovely people at Starbucks were very nice and attentive. I didn't get coffee from them as I can always get that anywhere but they did provide me with a good supply of much needed water and a packet of their VIA Ready Brew.

Karen's Kitchen's Sticky Toffee Pudding, Craisin Bread, Chicken Cotton Wheat Bread 

Uhm, the ice cream is all over the plate.

The sticky toffee pudding by Karen's Kitchen was good but it's the only one I liked on that plate. I wish they skipped the vanilla ice cream.

By the time I reached my 7th baker (there were 11 bakers plus sponsors), I could barely breathe---and it's not just the skinny jeans. But it's a good thing I didn't stop just yet.

Paisley Pastry's baked goods and “Bekon” which is ultra-crispy bacon eaten dipped in chocolate. I know.

Paisley Pastry takes the cake for creativity. Who would have thought bacon can be dessert? It was really good too. Gina Lopez, the baker herself, gave me my share. What a nice, accommodating lady.

When the raffle, where I unfortunately didn't win anything, ended, I decided to leave since friends were waiting for me at a Starbucks nearby. I still had three bakers to go so I decided to just bring the food with me.

Carla & Elaine's goodies that my friends enjoyed.

Jill Sandique's Pistachio Sans Rival and Pili Sans Rival, Jam Thumbprints, Sesame Spice Cookies and Chocolate Chubbies, also enjoyed with friends.

Lastly, check out Ann Puno's Choc Nut cupakes and cakes. Oh. My. Goodness.

In the middle of stuffing myself with these sinful yet delicious treats, I wondered why there were no medics present. I, for one, needed some medical help at some point because I could barely breathe. I didn't have anything else the rest of that day save for a cup of tea.

Though it would have been so much fun had I attended this event with a friend or two, I'm glad I still came. It's one thing to salivate over Lori's blog posts in the middle of the night and another to actually feast on such mouth-watering delights like it's nobody's business, diet be damned.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Surviving Statistics

Finally, some good news.

Thank you God for letting me pass this horrid course. I only wanted to pass but you gave me more.

Many thanks as well to my awesome friends in school who are very helpful---especially Ron, our resident Stat guru.

There's another course I need to pass but the grades for that one are not released yet. After all the sleepless nights and money spent for meetings (Coffee Bean and Qoola I'm looking at you) and the presentation itself, we better damn get good grades.

I'm set to go home this weekend and I'm glad I'm doing it with less worries. Now if only this fever and overall feeling of being sick would go away.

Friday, April 08, 2011

Coming To a Halt

I am no morning person. I'm in the worst mood within the first 2 hours of waking up. So imagine what it's like to wake up to news so devastating you can barely see because of all the tears.

Maybe this is for the better. I don't know. There is freedom in it but I'm not sure if it's going to do me any good. It's good having someone ask you sometimes to do things differently. Besides my own sadness and loss however, I also worry about how he's going to handle this. I wonder who he runs to this time.

It's all too messy, just like this post.

I've thought about how we tend to disappoint each other. It can could have continued forever. But isn't it crazy how we still went on and got this far? I don't think I have to tell you how much you mean to me. You should know that very well by now.- Buba

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Wherever You May Be

It may be the worst time for such drama since it's finals week but I can't help it. The moment I wake up, before I sleep, and each minute in between, you're constantly in my thoughts.

I'll see you real soon, right?

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Why Globe Sucks

First of all, let me tell you that I have been with Globe and have had the same mobile number for over 10 years now. Yes, that's over a decade of keeping the same phone number. By now, I should have a fucking loyalty award.

Also, I was in customer service for 3 years so I have a very good idea of what it's like being on other end of the line.

Last March 11, my uncle, who happens to be my boss, asked me to apply for Globe's SuperSurf (line only) plan for his Samsung Galaxy. I did it over the phone with a very attentive agent named Tom Ramirez. He was able to initiate the application fully knowing it was me he was talking to and not the applicant himself. That same day, I sent the necessary documents and was advised to receive feedback within the next 24-48 hours.

They called my uncle the following day (Saturday) but he was not able to pick it up so I called Globe the following Monday. I was told they were trying to do character verification and was asked to send the documents again which I did. After that, we no longer heard from Globe and each time I called, I was told to wait 24-48 hours. Nothing happened within the said period. Frustrated, I demanded to talk to a supervisor. I was given one named Scott San Jose who was very helpful. He personally called me on my phone and said they didn't receive the documents and asked me to resend everything through multiple emails which should be less than 2MB each. I did so on that day, March 21, 2011. I was told he would personally follow up on the case and I will receive feedback within, again, 24-48 hours. I didn't.

Naturally, I called again. I don't even remember anymore how many times I called. I called so many times I talked to this agent, Benny Lopez, twice on separate occasions.

Unfortunately, I didn't get the help I needed until I, again, asked for a supervisor. This time, Ryan Reyes helped me. He looked into the case and confirmed that they already have the documents but the bank statement was not valid since it has the company's name and not my uncle's. It apparently didn't matter that I submitted such document along with others like a copy of the SEC registration certificate, etc. indicating that my uncle is one of the incorporators or stockholders and that he has control of the funds and has the capability of paying Globe at least Php999.00 monthly. It also irks me that they had to wait for me to call them until they inform us that we needed to submit more documents.

That was March 28, 2011 when both my uncle and I were able to talk to Ryan Reyes who never pointed out a deadline whatsoever of the submission of a different bank statement (one that's under my uncle's name). My uncle, being a busy businessman who lives outside Manila and is rarely in the office, didn't give me a copy of the statement until this Monday which I sent immediately via email.

This morning, I called to check on the progress of the application only to find out that it has been cancelled last April 2 due to "insufficient documents". Mariel, the agent I spoke to, advised that at this point, we should just re-apply but my uncle has to do it. They apparently need the applicant himself to call them and initiate the application since they do not honor representatives. This boggled me since I certainly had no problems doing it on his behalf last March 11. She kept telling me to have my uncle call them to start a new application but I refused to give up on the original one and I was certainly not going to start all over again. I asked for a supervisor and was able to talk to David who did nothing but reiterate what the agent already said. He apologized repeatedly but was not really doing anything to resolve the problem. I asked for a manager.

After a few minutes of waiting, I spoke to Jay who had this air of arrogance that I sensed immediately upon hearing him talk. I admit that I was very frustrated. In fact, I was shaking with anger. I was seething. I cut him off a few times and I would pepper my statements with sarcasm. It surprised me when he returned the favor. A customer service team manager was cutting me off and was being very sarcastic. It was appalling. At one point, he insensitively asked, "Is that all?" when I was obviously not satisfied with the options he was giving.

"No, I'm not done with you and your ignorance," I said. I really meant to say 'sarcasm' instead of 'ignorance' but I think that somehow put him in his proper place since he was less sarcastic after that statement.

Anyway, he kept telling me that it is their policy that applications can only be done under the name of the caller. "Then why did Tom Ramirez do it? He knew very well that I wasn't the applicant," I rebutted. Aside from pointing out that Ryan Reyes never mentioned I had to submit the bank statement before April 2, I also brought to his attention that Globe repeatedly failed to inform us about any discrepancy or errors in the documents and we didn't receive feedback when it was promised. He then put me on hold for a moment. When he came back on the line, he said they will do it for the first and last time, which is wrong since it's obviously not the first time, and will initiate a new application even without my uncle on the line. He asked to resend the documents to a different email address and provided me with a new reference number just before of course asking me to wait 24-48 hours for feedback.

Just when I thought this saga is over, an agent named Mina and a supervisor named Mark called a few minutes ago to clarify a few information and advised that the bank statement, while showing enough funds, does not indicate monthly deposits of at least Php10,000 therefore it is invalid. Great. Now we're being asked to submit a copy of uncle's credit card. We have until Saturday.

How frustrating is this? This has been going on for far too long. It's very disappointing of Globe to be giving such dissatisfying service. I tried to raise my concerns through their official Twitter account but I never received any response. And don't even get me started with those agents who hung up on me. The incompetence is blowing me away. This experience really got me thinking, that after over a decade of loyalty, it may be time to switch.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Back to the Kitchen

For a few weeks, I took a break from cooking partly because I ran out of recipes but mainly because I haven't had the time. Last night, I was back in the kitchen and to mark my return to cooking, I made potato salad with pan-grilled chicken.

School is not totally over yet so I'm not sure how often I'll be able to whip up my own dinner. Hopefully I'd have more time as well as ideas by next week. For now though, I have this simple yet comforting dish to enjoy.


Spot the Viktor & Rolf.

With the dystopian, futuristic theme, I can't help but be reminded of the 'Born This Way' video. Nonetheless, I have to say Katy Perry is getting more and more likable.