Back home

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*clicks slippers three times*There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.

Onshore Luck

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Inside joke that for every Christmas raffle in the company, it is the resources who are assigned onshore who gets a better chance of winning. I have been with the company for more than 4 years and I haven’t won anything.

Until this year. Since I am onshore, Lady Luck must have been drunk since she smiled at my direction. I won a consolation price, a GC for an artistic franchise. There are four of us here who won, with Tina getting a minor prize (iPod Shuffle). I am currently in negotiation with Lance Boy if she want to exchange her Department store GC with mine. 🙂


Ayam who ayam…

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Sometimes I cannot help being analytical which, tongue-in-cheek, means I am being anal most of those times. Its the drawback of having the following factors: being able to analyze trivial things, having a twisted sense of humor, and lack of necessary tact.

Nobody is perfect, but some are more imperfect than others. 🙂


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The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality.

Max DePree, in The Art of Leadership

State of mind

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Everything is a state of mind. Happiness, sadness, anger, love. These can be controlled, or if not at least channeled. Some can even suppress them but that can be dangerous in the long run.

My state of mind is not perfect. I can still feel, but I can mask and to some degree dissipate the feelings through rationalization and passiveness. There would be times wherein feelings can overcome the rational mind but that is normal. The important thing is even during these times of high emotional stress (positive or negative), the rational mind retains a degree of consciousness.

I am crazy. 



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Some of the stuff we ate last night..

Appetizer: Fish balls . Barbequed pork strips in thin skewers. Spring roll dipped in a spicy sauce

Soup: Seafood stock with basil and other herbs with two drops of chili oil.

Chicken and seafood in green curry with fried beets on the side. Together with scallops with herbs and orchid petals.

Braised pork in fresh pumpkin brulee. Pad thai missing the main ingredient which is noodles(!?!?!) witha small shrimp cake with peanuts and mild chili oil.

Main dish: Lightly prepared duck in red curry served with fresh broccoli and jasmine rice. The dish is complimented by a spring-roll composed of a filling of duck leg marinated and spiced then left to ferment for four days, then enclosed in a freshly made rice wrapper.

Dessert: Mango sorbet with peach/passion fruit jelly.

Breath freshener: Mint paste with pop sugar rocks.

Last dessert: Baked coconut meat and banana with salted ice cream.

Nice presentation, but I was still hungry after.

Click here for the full serving

A very social dinner

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The good thing about being part of a large company is that you usually get more than one Christmas party. There usually is a company-level party, sometimes there is another for the department level, then there is the project level party that is mandatory to hold. Sometimes members of the various teams conduct an unofficial celebration.

On December 12, the onsite TopD team had a project celebration as it’s monthly social event (aka team building). The party was held at a Thai restaurant named Kinkin. The celebration coincides with the Client’s own Christmas celebration so we were able to go home early (if you can say that 6PM is still early).

After arriving in the place, the seating arrangement was already decided by the social committee. They distributed the pinoys to 2-3 per table, I guess in line with the maximize the networking possibility. They know that Filipinos have a tendency to clump together. 🙂

I was seated in the farthermost table with Harold and Penpen. Harold had to leave for a while due to a prior church engagement but he was able to come back after 30 minutes. We barely finished the first course when arrived so he didn’t miss much. He started the ball rolling in heckling Nana though, which lasted through the night. 😀

The food was very, uhhmm, presentable. Fine dining is intended for human interaction with food and wine as highlights. Unfortunately I have a very healthy appetite so I was skeptical on how my tummy will fare during the dinner. I think Girlie and Francis will skin me alive if I didn’t come so that also contributes a lot in the decision to go. One thing that is not lacking in the menu was the wine. Each course have its own accompanying wine but I can’t remember which ones were which since I know next to nothing when it comes to wines. All I know is that some of are really fancy sounding, and one even came in an artistic vessel:

The menu we had was composed of the following (as I remember them):

For appetizers (aside from the assorted finger foods we found in the table that we had fun in christening weird names to Nana’s discomfort) we had fish balls, pork strips in skewers (barbecue?) and spring rolls dipped in spicy sauce.

Then came the soup which is clear soup stock with basil and other herbs that I didn’t catch. The servers gave us some chili oil to spice things up. Maybe it is because the stock, while aromatic, basically tastes like weakly flavoured water?

Next came the first course which was served in a classic Danish-designed plate. The course was composed of chicken and seafood in green curry with fried beets on the side. The course was served with some scallops lightly seasoned with herbs, and some fried orchids.

I was so hungry that I finished the plate first in our table. The orchid was alright although the small serving is not enough to allow me to really give a good judgment of how it tastes like. It helps in keeping my grumbling stomach at bay and that is enough for me. I think I am so hungry that I am seeing red when the meal comes with green curry. Checking the pictures restored some sanity as the curry is indeed red in color. Note to self, if I get hungry again I only need to pick some grass and put some herbs and vinaigrette on it. 😛

After that course came something more substantial: braised pork on top of some swirls of fresh pumpkin brulee. It was accompanied with what is described as “pad thai that is missing the main ingredient which is the noodles.” Hmmn, this itself warrants a comment that I learned was the same across all tables. If a dish is missing its main ingredient, does it still have enough credibility to be called as the original dish?

Nice dish but this is also a runner-up for the Nicolas Cage movie: Gone in 60 seconds. 🙂

Next came the piece d’ resistance of the whole dinner: duck on duck. The main dish is a lightly prepared duck in red curry served with fresh broccoli and jasmine rice. The dish is complimented by a spring-roll composed of a filling of duck leg marinated and spiced then left to ferment for four days, then enclosed in a freshly made rice wrapper. Yummy although the serving size still leaves something to be desired. Nana didn’t even touch her plate but I was beaten to the punch in asking to finish her plate. 😐

The dessert actually came in waves. The first wave was a mango sorbet accented with a peach/passion jelly. This came with a “dessert wine” which I find very sour but the rest of the gang said that the wine was too sweet. I think I may have picked up the wrong glass. 😀

After finishing the mango sorbet we were given some mint breath freshener which I thought ended the dinner but then they served us some baked coconut meat with salted ice cream. The last time I tasted salted ice cream was when the salt in the ice surrounding the sorbetes (or dirty ice cream in street parlance) gets accidentally sprinkled inside the container. The taste was uhm, interesting unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to take a snapshot.

During meal intervals the party committee had some intermission numbers consisting mainly of each table doing an interpretative rendition of some Christmas songs. Our table did the Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer song and we expected to land at the last place since we had a terrible presentation. It came out that having one of the judges hatching the idea (and probably going in last which means the judges have the most alcohol during our presentation) is enough to make us win the contest. I think another factor was that we have Harold in the team, and Harold effortlessly brings cheers and happy thoughts just by being Harold. Amazing!

The best surprise of all was when we opened the give-away. Harold was quipping that it is an iPod and we were surprised when it was indeed an iPod shuffle meant for everybody. Coolness factor x 10. 😀

The party ended at around 12am and we were at the apartment at around 1am. I was already bone-tired but I was hungry so I ended up munching some crackers while being half-asleep. Social dinners are fine but I don’t think I will really enjoy one unless the multi-course menu have super sized portions. 😀

Pictures of the event can be viewed here, hosted by Picasa Google Photos of course. 🙂


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It is not a question of how well each process works, the question is how well they all work together.

Lloyd Dobens and Clare Crawford

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When will the hurting stop?

Caveman Bill (“Eek the Cat: The Terrible ThunderLizards”)

Corporate Christmas Party


All of the onshore assignees were invited to the Corporate Christmas party which was held in a museum. The theme of the party was “Classic Christmas” with instructions that the theme is open for interpretation. We asked around and the consensus is that the acceptable outfit for “Classic Christmas” is anything except jeans. The pinoy contingent decided that suit and tie is the safe bet for men. Only Brian and Alvin will come without a suit because Alvin was not able to bring one, and buying one here in Denmark is not practical. Brian had no plans of attending since he will be going on a long vacation to Italy but he was “encouraged” by Girlie to attend.

For Filipinos not belong to the ‘elite’ class and upper management, suits are seen as not natural. Why would it be when our climate is very humid? Suits are made for environments that would be naturally cooler. Try wearing it in the Philippines when you have to walk in the street. That is almost like a death wish by heat stroke. That is the reason why the Barong is the formal wear of choice for Filipinos. 🙂

Finding caucasians in suits seem normal, but seeing your Filipino co-team members in suits? Classic! (pun intended)


Ok, so I don’t look good in a suit. Or in anything at all. But fortunately we have model-hopefuls


I think we were the only ones snapping pictures in the place but the Europeans around us have already tolerated these “snapper-happy” asians. Some even joined the fun by crashing the clicker sessions:

This post is becoming a photoblog so I will just redirect those still interested into the Picasa album where the rest of the picture selection resides.

The party was pretty average in terms of European corporate events. This kind of parties are really venues for networking more than anything else since it allows people from different operating groups to mingle and talk shop as well as anything and everything under the sun. I went with the “early” group with Francis, Harold and Jordan. Even with the early group, we ended up being part of the last batch to arrive. Arrival is announced with blaring trumpeters, something like what would you expect medieval paging systems would work when somebody arrives in a castle gathering. Cute.

We saw a Danish colleague so we followed him to the second floor where all attendees were mingling around and networking. We saw a few more colleagues and we were informed that we should have picked an ornament at the door since that will determine where we would sit. Random seating. Networking. It figures.

I was seated in the same table as our Host Senior Executive, Bent Dalager. Alvin, Tina, Brian and Girlie joined us later since the table with the Pinoy assignees are what we called the “late” table. I was seated in front of Nina, a previous assignee to our project. As the hosts were speaking in Danish, Bent was trying to translate to us whenever possible. I was told that we would be served a classical Danish course complete with burned hay (if I understood Bent correctly). The food service was not that good and I was disappointed when the burnt hay did not make an appearance.

Most of the program was in Danish. There was a standup comedian but we were left clueless on what he was saying. Bent just said that the comedian had a slow start but the end was fairly funny. He also translated a joke about a man coming in with a pig. An old joke but we had to laugh because apparently it is not as old for the Danes. 🙂

Then there was a corporate game wherein each table has to guess a certain high executive based on clues. Again this was in Danish so to break the ice, I made Tina and Alvin play the finger number game (the one followed by two then by three and so on). I ended up extending the game with Nina and Bent. I was really tempted to skip pointing to them the answer even if I was already giving it to them in spades. That is the trick of the game, hiding the answer in plain sight. 😀 While Bent’s attention was captivated by the finger number pattern game, Girlie and the others were hatching a “Black Magic” mind reading trick that went off perfectly, twice. 🙂

After the program proper, the party shifted to disco and open bar mode. A partly drunk Dane joined us in our table initially to share our beer and then went on a discussion with me regarding outsourcing work and religion. The first one is a little bit cumbersome since he is particularly against outsourcing and I am part of the team at the receiving end of outsourcing deals. The second one was more tolerable since he is also partial to non-standard beliefs. This was the point wherein I noticed Girlie left me to fend off this crazy Dane. 🙂

After a few more drinks, I decided to lay low since dancing is really not my cup of tea as most of outdoor social events. I settled to doing what I do best in these situations: I observe and guard. The last one is unnecessary but you will never know when you need to bail a friend out of a potentially sticky situation. At around 1AM, I decided that the party was already tapering off and all of our team was in the dance floor so it is safe to rest. Since I still have a webcall at around 8AM, I took the keys from Francis and decided to sleep in the car. An hour later the group decided to go home. Francis and Harold functioned as a door-to-door service and that concluded the corporate christmas party. 🙂


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