Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Little Big Girl - Kyla's 7th Birthday

Birthday Girl renders a Song Number from "Camp Rock"

When I asked Kyla if she wanted a Birthday Party or a Disneyland Trip for her 7th birthday, she immediately answered without batting an eyelash "Birthday party, so that I can invite my friends!"  I thought it was a good choice because these are childhood memories that she can tuck for a lifetime. Of course, it was only a matter of five minutes when she returned to me and muttered, "sa summer na lang yung Disneyland..." !

True to her love for upbeat music, the theme had to be Camp Rock. We actually picked Hannah Montana theme as first choice but I thought of the poor boys who would likely cringe over a too-girly-theme so Camp Rock is a logical bet. Besides, Kyla and Kevin love Camp Rock and their music so I am sure this is something they will both enjoy. We picked a rock princess costume for Kyla after scouring the mall for hours!

For fun, we also chosed to set up a Kiddie Salon for the girls (and boys too!). Bigshot4Events' photo booth was a hit among the young and old! I'm glad that most kids were game to come in their best rock star/pop star outfits- it was so competitive I had to at least pick 5-6 Best Costume Winners for the girls and boys' category. Even Kuya Kevin gamely agreed to don his pop star outfit with matching color spray do! We are so proud of him and this earned him one of the Best Costume awards too! There were about 40 kids and more than half of her classmates attended the party, which is a testimony of the friends she has made.

Of course a party will not be complete without a Magic show, the Ventriloquist and the usual loads of games for all. Our surprise for Kyla was the AVR presentation of Kyla's Growing Up years which she love! Kyla also gave a suprise number from her favorite song "This is Me" from Camp Rock!

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Our special thanks to our family/relatives, our friends and colleagues, Kyla's classmates past and present, Kyla and Kevin's teachers- who made her birthday an affair to remember!

My gratitude to our partners and suppliers who helped me and Alvin made this a less-stressful event:
Paseo Premiere Hotel for their great party package, BigShots4Events, Set You a Party, Ninang Ninnie for the Themed Cake and Cupcakes, Kyla's 7+1 Well-Wishers: Teacher Edison, Teacher Weng, Ninang Ninnie, Ella, Arwen, Chami and Andree.

In her first seven years, there is nothing more that I can ask for from a daughter-- Kyla grew up to be a brave and strong girl, wise for her years, loving the simple joys of life, intelligent and witty, and unconditional in her love especially to her Kuya Kevin. We love you Kyla!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Singapore Haze

It’s my fourth week at the Red Dot.  All over the news is the Singapore haze covering the skyline.

I knew that the time will come when I will start asking myself “Why am I doing this?” My friend and mentor reminded me that when these moments come to haunt me, I should look back at the reasons that propelled me to move forward. And while I knew she was right, while I knew that those reasons were rooted down to Faith, I fought very hard not to lose my own faith to the forces that brought me here.

I blamed it to the many late nights of sleep I had even before I landed in SG.
I blamed it to the sudden loss of appetite way into my second week which left me seven pounds lighter.
I blamed it to the flu and sore throat that weighed me down for weeks that doesn’t seem to end.
I blamed it to the apparent lack of work-life balance that will be looming over me for the next three years.
And the rest of it is simply homesickness.

If my family were here, it would have been bearable. I would draw energy from their laughter. I would take shelter in the warmth of their embraces. But for now, their electronic memories and virtual chats are my only comfort.
Some office folks were kind enough to ask how I am doing. How is my family and are they coming anytime soon? There will always be a lump at my throat and I had to fight back the tears. I am not embarrassed by the tears but I have to stop them or else there might be no end to it.

My husband has been very loving and supportive, giving me something to hold on to even while we are apart. He brings to me the cheerful smiles of our kids, the loving words from Kyla and keeping them focused and secure in my absence.

My sister has been very helpful, keeping me company during my sick days and keeping me sane during those times when I needed someone to talk to.

It was great to have seen some old friends. Even for a while, I was back to my old self.

But at the end of the day, there was still this haze. Like a dark cloud enveloping my heart.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

“All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time…”  - From Mitch Albom’s The Five People You Meet in Heaven

A new chapter of my life – and my entire family’s life is about to begin.

The last 10 years in Cabuyao has truly been an exciting ride. I would like to thank all the great friends, colleagues and acquaintances that had been a part of my memories of Cabuyao…
To my Cabuyao leaders:  Fanny and Sam, THANK YOU for putting your trust and belief in me. Thank you for your boundless support, for inspiring me to see what I can become and for holding my hand along the way. You have taught me what leadership is all about.

To my first mentor ever, Jas:  Thank you for all your words of wisdom, the advices through the years, for your moral support to me and to my family ever since the start of our journey, I will never forget those.

To my previous managers in Cabuyao PS: Rohan, Butch B., Boss Danny V., Jazz, Jas, Mike and Nilo, thank you for the wisdom and learnings that you have passed on to me along the way. I have always believed that we learn different things from different leaders and I’ve strived to be the reflection of the best in all of you while not lose my own identity.

To the CLT past and present: Thank you for sharing 6 great years! Cabuyao will continue to be great organization because of you.

To Adi for always sharing all sorts of advices in career and in life, the lessons on political savvy and for reading my blogs J

To all my Cabuyao direct reports from the start: Knel, Vernon, Jojo S., Dylan, Dan, Schellie, Garry, Pong, Henry, Ric, Greg, Louie, Andrew, Mike E., Jhawe, Franz, Roncap, Kenneth, Ramil, Mike P. and the DLP LT from 2008-2010. I have become a better leader through all of you amidst the better and the tougher times. Thank you for standing alongside with me for making our vision a reality!

To the MPO and the DLP Supply System:  It is through all of you that I have learned to dream – Making possible what was previously unimaginable – was forged because of you!

To the WPI Pillar Team through the Years: There is no better time for WPI than today! It’s not the monthly reviews, the board updates, the LE Tracking review, the measures (and training materials) that keep on changing or the Blitz events that I shall miss most—I will miss the camaraderie and bonding we created. I will continue to cheer for you from a thousand miles away!
To my women network friends: Jas, Ninnie, MJ, Zarah, Bevs, Maty:  Thank you for laughing and crying with me, for celebrating with me and being part of my milestones, for putting up with me during the days when I was weird, whiny or just plain annoying you in your work pods when I’m tired.

Thanks to “Mommy Joyce” for everything that I cannot possibly enumerate in this email!

To my mentees, this is not goodbye. I am just a call away and will be there for you. Drop by when you happen to be in SG!

To the guys who made me laugh: Sean, Pong, Garry, Robbot, Ron, Pol, Virg, Dennis M., KC, Greg, Tito, Mike E. : being serious as I am, it’s quite a feat! I will probably miss you the most J

To my laundry and liquids days partner in crime (metaphor) Dwight:  Will miss all the chit-chats and coffee break discussions over life, work, career, your hobbies that we talk about for one week and latest finds and our talks about the oh-no-were-doomed-days (this is probably IT). I am with you in wishing for better days are up ahead for Laundry (volume-wise). The kingdom -- and our shared printer, cabinet, in/out tray, pentel pens, glue, paper, the shared kwh with the disputable split, the blowers that used to break down J the electric fan that always breaks down, etc --  are now all yours!

To my BFF Ninnie: we used to wonder how it will end. Well, here we are now. Our lives are parallel as always. Thank you for your enduring friendship, for giving that needed pat/hug/cheers all these years when we thought we couldn’t go on, for listening to all my musings (and my non-sense).

To the DLP LT and WPI team, for Ramil and MJ who led  for an unforgettable farewell parties, I am simply humbled and grateful.

To all the other countless names I couldn’t possibly enumerate anymore, thank you for touching my life one way or another. I hoped that I have made a difference in yours too.

Wherever my destiny takes me next, I shall always look back at my time in Cabuyao as one of the best times in my P&G life!