Travails and Triumphs. Life and Love. A blow by blow account on the daily life of a sales woman and her quest for world domination one purchase order at a time.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Shameless Whining

Sucks being stuck here while The Sister is gallivanting in Oz.

I'm missing all the action!

Oh look! A 'roo scrotum!

Tour Pilipinas Part 2: Ilocos Norte

The following week was equally busy. I had to fly to Laoag for another opening. Being in my lonesome, I quicky made friends with fellow salesmen who were billeted in the same hotel as I was. They were from TCL, makers of LCD TVs and other electronic appliances. Our hotel was called Isabel Suites and is located right smack in the middle of Laoag’s business district (aka Bayan). It was near the provincial capitol and the Sinking Bell Tower.

We decided to go to the famous Java Hotel where Eagle’s Nest is located. The food was divine! We ordered Pinakbet with Bagnet, Crispy Dinuguan, and Salt and Pepper Ribs. We didn’t order though the hilariously named local dish called Puqui-Puqui which was an Ilocano version of an eggplant omelet. But I bet it was good since everything we ate was good. I cannot believe how naughty some of the Ilocano food names are! Puqui-puqui, Cabatiti (patola), Utong (string beans), and Rakatiti (Dried fish). Glad my officemates are not with me or else we would have been joking about it all night long.


During the course of the conversation over dinner I found out that our hotel (Isabel Suites) was a former hospital. That got to me since I can still clearly recall when I was assigned in Pampanga how the ghost in our compound decided to whisper in my ear while I was pee-ing. God that was scary. So I downed a bottle of Vodka Ice just to make sure I was ready to sleep. Upon arriving back, I quickly did my nightly ritual then jumped on to bed with all the lights open, the TV blaring, and me under the covers surfing the internet on my trusty phone (wifi in the room for free!). I felt the TCL dudes were playing with me and decided to ignore the scratching at my door.

Opening day was a success! My new branch is HUGE! And people were flocking at the doors even before it opened. Very similar, if not bigger, to the crowds waiting at the door of stores during Black Friday.

While waiting for the doors to open (even us suppliers are not allowed to enter ahead of the others), I chanced upon a local empanada purveyor and watched her make the empanada in action.






I didn’t buy any because I was still full from breakfast.

The opening ceremony was graced by the Marcoses.


And of course there were celebrities like Dawn Zulueta-Lagdameo, Jay-R (boy, was I wrong to compare someone to Jay-R back in the day. Hands down I was wrong!), and Carla Abellana (our local Rosalinda). Didn’t wait for Karylle though.


I was not able to secure a flight back to Manila since everything was fully booked already. The plan was to take a night trip bound for Manila. Since we had a lot of time to kill, I joined my friends from Monde Nissin to see the sights that Ilocos has to offer.

We went to the Marcoses’ ancestral home in Batac and visited the former President’s mausoleum. Too bad picture taking was not allowed. Anyway, I’d rather not describe the out of this world feeling I had when I entered the mausoleum.

Finally, I had the chance to enjoy the local empanada!


It was good especially if you add a dash of the local vinegar.

Off we went to Paoay Church after our snack. My gulay! If only we had a lot of money we would have our wedding here! I can totally picture it as a Filipiniana inspired wedding. I would ride a calesa (horse-drawn carriage) instead of a bridal car.

Too bad the ceiling of the church is no longer in its original state.


After that, we went to the Malacanang Palace of the North.

I can imagine how opulent and filled with life the place was during the Marcos regime.


And then finally, a quick stop at Fort Ilocandia


We decided to buy pasalubong (take home gifts) of Nana Rosa Chichacorn and local longganisa (sausage).

We returned to Laoag and visited a few stores and were surprised to see how the people were disciplined especially in terms of following the pedestrian rules.

After a quick dinner, we took a deluxe bus bound for Manila.

I will never take a 10-hour bus ride unprepared ever again!

Faye, Sir Ed, and I didn’t have any blankets or thick jacket to protect us from the severe cold inside the bus. I even resorted to stuff my freezing feet inside my backpack! During one of the stops I almost went into an argument with a couple of new passengers because they took the curtain that I tied up to divert the cold blowing air from the vent away from our heads. I gave them a long cold hard GLARE before they understood their mistake and promptly returned the curtain. I was almost falling asleep but those people ruined it when they took the curtain.

The cold was so bad I was tempted to buy Balut in the next stop and stuff it in my backpack to warm my feet. Good thing there was a vendor in the ladies restroom selling shawls and blankets. The blankets were pricey at Php 480 each. Faye and I decided to buy a wool shawl each at Php 170 bucks just to keep us warm. From then on I was able to snooze comfortably.


It was a lovely, but dead tiring, two weeks. I’m really thankful to have the opportunity to travel. Honestly, I wouldn’t be able to do this on my own pocket (because I’m a cheapskate like that, harharhar). During one of our walks in Laoag, Faye and I were imagining, hoping, and wishing that the 2010 openings would include places like Bohol, Dipolog, Boracay, and Palawan. Oh well, we can only dream and hope.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Tour Pilipinas Part 1: Dumaguete, Bacolod, and Cebu


Whew. That sums up my last two weeks. It was a lovely but tiring two weeks of adventure!

First off, I flew to Dumaguete for another opening with my boss in tow. It was a rainy morning when we arrived but the sun shined immediately a few minutes later.
View from our Van Pick Up



The opening was a success. My boss and our other companions decided to partake of the local seafood offerings like oysters and scallops. YUM! They were so fresh. The oysters have a natural sweetness in them and the scallops, tender and rich.





The night was lovely and we thought nothing about what would happen the following day.


It was declared signal # 1 due to typhoon Urduja. Unfortunately, our fastcraft trip from Dumaguete going to Cebu got cancelled as well as other sea trips. We attempted to take the bus who will ride a barge, hoping that the bigger sea craft would be allowed. No such luck. All flights were fully booked as well. No luck getting to Cebu.

So off we went and took a land rip via Sir Vic’s car going to Bacolod hoping that we could get a Bacolod-Cebu trip. Again, nada.




So while travelling, we entertained ourselves with the wonderful sights of Negros Occidental.


Being in Bacolod, I cannot miss partaking of the famous Calea cakes which was just across the street from our hotel. It got two thumbs up from my boss for being dense but not cloyingly sweet. It was a sweet ending to a tiring and long day.

We flew back to Manila the following day, in the afternoon, since we had no other options left but to go to Cebu via Manila because all flights were full in Bacolod as well.

The following morning I took an early flight going to Cebu for another opening (my third branch in Cebu). It was a fly in fly out thing because I have a lot of catching up to do with work. Of course, since I was already in Cebu, what else to do but go to Tabo-an to buy danggit!!!


Choy, my Cebu counterpart, and I decided to buy CnT Lechon. Too bad we arrived late and lucked out on the lechon. Choy, who owes me a HUGE favor, took me to Merto’s for lunch. He bought me not one, not two, but THREE huge containers of Dentelles Au Chocolat Belgian Chocolate Lace cookies in three flavors: Mint, Semi-Sweet, and Dark. I was shocked at the price but what the heck… Choy owes me. Hahaha. He happily bought me a thousand bucks worth of cookies! Oh they were super yummy. I love those cookies and always ask Choy to bring me some whenever he goes to Manila for meetings. I hope he owes me more favors soon. Harharhar.

Anyway, off to fly back to Manila come 3pm. I kept wondering why this Indian guy kept sitting beside me and staring at me. He never attempted to make conversation though. I was surprised we were seated beside each other on the plane. He still kept staring. And then it hit me. I freakin’ smelled like danggit! Gah! It clung to my silk blouse! He must be attracted to the scent. Gawd.

When I arrived at Centennial 2, I almost had a heart attack. I saw that the passenger side window behind the driver’s side of my car, Genesis, was covered and taped up with carton boxes! I went white. I thought somebody smashed my windows taking advantage of the few hours I was at Cebu.

I called security to get an explanation or incident report. Turns out I was super sleepy when I flew to Cebu that I left my window open. The guards were kind enough to cover up my window just in case it rained. My God! I cannot believe how lucky I am that NAIA Centennial 2 Security Guards are so wonderful! Too bad I can’t remember their names now since this happened two weeks ago. But thank you! I now feel safer leaving my car at the airport overnight knowing how outstanding the guards in Centennial 2 are at their jobs.




Sunday, November 15, 2009

Review: I-Lash Extension Salon

A few months back, I tried to promote my friend's new eye lash extension salon.

Last November 7, I was attending a wedding of a good friend. It was a good opportunity for me to try out the services of I-Lash. I gladly paid for this service if you must know.


BEFORE


Initially I wanted those extra lush lashes. But apparently they won't work well with my eyes since I have minimal hair and it would look really unnatural. So I picked the mascara type in medium. A bit of ommmph but not too much that I would look like a drag queen. Besides, I was attending a party.

So they prepared my eyes for the application.









They insert the fiber (thus relatively weightless) lashes piece by piece. The process took almost 2 hours since they needed to use up more because I have minimal hair but it varies from person to person.

One tip though, ask your attendant to ensure that the fan is continuously blowing air while they insert the lashes. The glue can make your eyes water until it has dried and set.



AFTER

Yep. Thicker lashes. I attended the wedding later in the day sans any mascara since the lashes itself did all the work.






I think it's nice. Just don't mind my cam-whore pose. By the way, the lashes last for 3-4 weeks depending on how you take care of it. You can have it touched up if you want.

You're not supposed to wash your face/ wet the eye lashes for at least 12 hours, avoiding steam/sauna baths for at least 48 hours (the moist heat will loosen the glue that holds the lashes in your eyelids).

Had a difficult time the first time I washed my face with water the next day (had to use make up cleaner, and lot of swabs to avoid the eye lashes after I got home from the wedding).

But all in all, it was worth it since I have gotten a lot of compliments how my eyes pop-out and seems to look fresh despite lacking sleep.

**********

I-Lash Extensions Salon
3rd Floor, Unit 312 One Amazing Place
403 NS. Amoranto (Retiro) cor. Speaker Perez St.
La Loma Quezon City
(Above Starbucks)
02-3991272
ilashqc@yahoo.com

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sharing time: From Seth's Blog- What you buy when you buy a lottery ticket


Source: Seth Godin's Blog


What you buy when you buy a lottery ticket


Hint: you don't buy a future of money.
People who win the lottery are almost always unhappy in the long run, and most of them continue to buy lottery tickets.
It's not the destination, it's the journey. Same thing with first dates, blog posts, opening presents and answering a phone call from a stranger.
The thrill of possibility, the chance for recognition, the chemical high of anticipation. That's what people pay for.

Who's the Sales Lady's Comments: 

I couldn't agree more!

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Sharing time: Seth's Blog on Trolls

Source: Seth Godin's Blog


Trolls

Lots of things about work are hard. Dealing with trolls is one of them. Trolls are critics who gain perverse pleasure in relentlessly tearing you and your ideas down. Here's the thing(s):
1. trolls will always be trolling
2. critics rarely create
3. they live in a tiny echo chamber, ignored by everyone except the trolled and the other trolls
4. professionals (that's you) get paid to ignore them. It's part of your job.
"Can't please everyone," isn't just an aphorism, it's the secret of being remarkable.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Down that Old Road

So I was in Mindanao again a couple of weeks back for my new branch opening in General Santos City.

I wasn't really that surprised to see that there were improvements in the city since the last time I was assigned there in early 2005.



But a couple of things haven't changed:

1. It's still hot. The air is dry, which is the way it should be given that it's near the ocean.
2. Security is still the first and foremost issue in everyone's mind. My new branch even installed those full body metal detectors that you see in airports. I just don't know if that's effective in deterring would-be bombers to slip in plastic explosives that cannot be detected by those machines. Oh I forgot, they have bomb sniffing dogs. So my account is pretty much covered in terms of security.



After attending the successful event, we decided to take the 3-hour drive to Davao and fly back to Manila in the morning instead of spending the night in Gen San. Both my boss and I have a few unpleasant memories of being in the city (with yours truly experiencing two actual bomb explosions).

The long drive to Davao excited me. It has been four years since I last drove the roads alone. I remember the mountains and the empty roads.



I drove from Gen San to Davao about twice a week for sales/area meetings. It gave me the opportunity to think about things in my life. Back then it was whether pursuing this particular career was worth it over bomb threats, working alongside an unsavory workmate with "slimy" hands, and not being with people/certain person you love back home (where one was suffering leukemic symptoms then).

It was in these same roads when a decision was formed to give up that lucrative post (sans a back-up job) and come home and be where I know I would be happier and have peace of mind.

Anyway, so as I said, the long drive excited me. I wanted to compare how things have changed since the last time I was here.



The picture above was taken four years ago, passing by roads that were prone to landslides. The short video below (although a bit boring but I like the song) shows the new and improved roads (will improve my editing skills further!)







Of course we didn't pass up the opportunity to buy Mer's special kakanin (Rice cakes) and pure tablea (cocoa tablets) while passing by Digos City. Sorry for the blurred photos. My mobile phone camera sucks!

The road trip to Davao didn't leave me much for musing since I have 2 other travelling companions. But all in all it was great to look back where I used to work.

Deciding to leave and go back home proved to be a good decision in enriching my personal life and my career. Without having to be assigned in Gen San (or Mindanao for that matter) in the first place, I wouldn't be able to use it as leverage in my succeeding positions. It actually gave me a lot of benefits more than I care to admit it to be. Not a lot of female sales person who grew up in a metropolis (Manila) like me can say that I have been covering Pikit, Cotabato and being surrounded by military men. Well, most of my sales counterparts anyway and the recent sales batch that companies deploy. To go up in sales here in the Philippines you have to be thrown where you least wanted to be.


My Lakbayan grade is C+!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!
Created by Eugene Villar.




I earned what moderate sales skills I have via the school of hard knocks. A baptism of fire if you can call it that. That's why I often cite this point in my career. Because it makes the tough times a little bit easier since it was harder back then (will not go into the dirty details). Now in the future, an overseas assignment is next on my list (where I can bring my family of course). Now that's a new challenge and more dirty details to grind on!

In my next trip which is in Dumaguete and Cebu, I will no longer forget to bring my digital camera so I can take proper photos.
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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Quick Update

Well, it is final.

Wyeth is now owned by Pfizer (I know this post is late). This makes Pfizer the biggest biopharmaceutical company in the world.

I'm sure you've heard about it exhaustively.

So what will happen now?

Harmonization will follow suit. I don't know how fast (or slow), will the harmonization process take.

But one thing is for sure. A lot of people are of mixed emotions right now, including yours truly.

I have mentioned in my other blog on something "big" that happened recently,

But I have decided to stick with my personal program and see that the combination of two giants will move seamlessly on my part.

Let's look at things on a positive perspective here! I am excited to see what's in store for us all.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tropical Storm Ondoy's Devastation



SIGH...

I don't think my booth (electronic equipment, sample stocks, and premium items) survived this.

Again...

SIGH...







Thanks to Ramon Prats for the photos.



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