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.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

What's up ketchup?

Short run down of the last few days:

1. Got my plaque! Now all they need to do is engrave my name on it.


2. Enjoyed our soccer-themed event. The jacket is so cute! Gotten a lot of compliments from my friends over Facebook. I wonder who the guy behind me is though?

3. Finished 6 novels. That's 6% of my target for 2010. I'm on track.

4. Went to our invitation supplier. I have never seen so many paper types to choose from! I was buried under various paper colors, gsm, paper styles, and ink varieties. I didn't think choosing your invitation was that complicated! Picked Conqueror White Wove in 220 GSM for our inserts. Prestige Zanzibar Bronze for the envelopes (of which I am changing after talking to the calligrapher, see #5).

5.  Talked to 5 calligraphers who all recommended that dark envelopes will not make the calligraphy ink register correctly. The use of gel pen for me is a no-no.

6. Hotel ocular is a horror! How come Quezon City doesn't have a decent hotel? Seriously, why would I pay good money for hotels whose carpets are smelly and the tiles are dirty? I expected them to put their best foot forward during the ocular, but they didn't. Some hotels even have the audacity to charge for pictorials during the wedding preps! My Mom and I were disappointed. We scratched out Quezon City hotels for wedding prep venues. Our recommendation: RENOVATE! MAINTAIN YOUR FACILITIES! We went to Ortigas. It was awesome! Big rooms, very clean, and we were even treated to a free lunch care of the hotel's account executive. I even got a very good rate. About 36% discount from the room rates!

7. Talked to a flower supplier. It seems the bouquet  (see below) I want costs an arm and a leg because they're all imported and must be ordered outside the country. Figures. Got my flower inspiration from an English  autumn wedding. Will settle then on local flowers but with the same scheme but at a friendlier cost. Will do an ocular inspection of the flower supplier's assembly office before we make the final decision. I have to make sure they don't use a lot of fillers!


8. Felt like a million bucks when I went to Una Rosa to check out their End of Season sale. The salesladies were fawning all over me. Ended up buying 2 blouses that will be great for office wear and even in jeans and a dress. I guess that makes me a sucker for compliments no? But I did resist buying the boyfriend blazers. It was nice though.

9. Wanted these shoes badly as my "something blue" for the wedding. I did a double take when I saw it at Stella Luna. I knew it was THE shoes because I wanted something blue and something that I use over and over again after the wedding. But the price was rather prohibitive at 6k a pop. I have to manage our budget wisely since not only am I paying for my share of the wedding but I'm also paying for the house my sister and I are building for my Mom and Dad. And so I turned my back around. Sob. Settled for something much more affordable. If circumstances were different, I'd buy it the moment I tried it on my feet.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wonderful News

First off, forgive me for being out for the past few days. I've been busy with a lot of things and I can't seem to devote ample time on each of the tasks I need to do.

Secondly, more updates in the coming days once I get settled on my work load.

And finally, the good news.

After one year of service, I'm happy to note that during our recent National Sales Conference I was able to bag the Best in DSO (Days Sales Outstanding) award for Modern Trade for 2009.

It's an award given to the account manager who is able to maintain the lowest days in which receivables are unpaid as well as having the least amount of hanging balance (unidentified deductions). In short, I manage my account's receivables well.

I am happy. Next stop, Key Account Manager of the year. Not to brag, but my Distributor Manager of the year award at home is getting lonely. He needs a shelf companion soon.

It will happen!

Monday, January 11, 2010


WOW Philippines Travel Agency, Inc. is celebrating it's 5th year in business during July of 2010, and we would like you to have a chance to celebrate with us, so we have decided to give-away a FREE Boracay Package complete with 5 Star accommodations at the luxurious Le Soleil de Boracay Hotel on Boracay Island. The lucky winner will win the following Boracay vacation package.
Vacation Package Inclusions:
- 5 Days / 4 Nights Luxury 5 Star Accommodations at the Le Soleil de Boracay Hotel

- Flights to Boracay from Manila to Caticlan Airport on Philippine Airlines

- Island Transfers - Door-to-Door from Manila to the resort and back to Manila Domestic Airport

- Three (3) Meals each day, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

- Boracay Activities - Horseback Riding, Island Hopping, Glass Bottom Boat

- PLUS - 5,000 peso Spending Cash

For more information, please visit:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Gee...What am I in this list?

Readers by Author by Lauren Leto

Stereotyping People by Their Favorite Author
(by the way – I respect every author on here, kind of)
J.D. Salinger
Kids who don’t fit in (duh).
Stephenie Meyer
People who type like this: OMG. Mah fAvvv <3 <3.
J.K. Rowling
Smart geeks.
Jack Kerouac
Umphrey’s McGee fans.
Jeffrey Eugenides
Girls who didn’t get enough drama when they were younger.
Lauren Weisberger
Girls who can’t read. Or think.
Jonathan Safran Foer
30somethings who were cool when they were 20something.
Jodi Picoult
Your mom when she’s at her time of the month.
Chuck Klosterman
Boys who don’t read.
Chuck Palahniuk
Boys who can’t read.
Christopher Hitchens
People I would love to hang out with.
Leo Tolstoy
Guys I want to date.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
Guys I want to sleep with. (The difference between the two Russian authors lies in the fact that I think the Underground Man is sexier than Pierre Buzukhov).
Christopher Buckley (or William F. Buckley)
People who love excess verbiage.
Ayn Rand
Workaholics seeking validation.
David Foster Wallace
Confirmed 90’s literati.
Jane Austen (or Bronte Sisters)
Girls who made out with other girls in college when they were going through a “phase”.
Haruki Murakami
People who like good music.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
People who can start a fire.
Nathaniel Hawthorne
People who used to sleep so heavy that they would pee their pants.
Charles Dickens
Ninth graders who think they’re going to be authors someday but end up in marketing.
William Shakespeare
People who like bondage.
Mark Twain
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
People who drink scotch.
Joseph Conrad
People who drink old fashioneds.
Dominick Dunne
People who get their class from Vanity Fair.
Anne Rice
People who don’t use conditioner in their hair.
Edgar Allan Poe
Men who live in their mother’s basements. Or goth seventh graders.
Michael Crichton
Doctors who went to third-tier medical schools.
John Grisham
Doctors who went to medical schools in the Dominican Republic.
Dan Brown
People who used to get lost in supermarkets when they were kids.
Dave Eggers
Guys who are in the third coolest frat of a private college.
Emily Giffin
Women who give their boyfriend marriage ultimatums.
Richard Russo
People whose favorite day in elementary school was “Grandparent’s Day”.
Anais Nin
Margaret Atwood
Women whose favorite color is hunter green.
William Faulkner
People who are good at crosswords.
Jackie Collins
Your drunk stepmother.
Nicholas Sparks
Women who are usually constipated.
James Patterson
Men who score a 153 on their LSAT exam.
Sylvia Plath
Girls who keep journals (too easy).
George Orwell
Conspiracy theorists (too easy).
Aldous Huxley
People who are bigger conspiracy theorists than Orwell fans.
Harper Lee
People who have read only one book in their life and it was To Kill A Mockingbird (and it was their assigned reading in the ninth grade).
Nick Hornby
Guys who wear skinny jeans and the girls that love them.
Ernest Hemingway
Men who own cottages.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
People who get adjustable-rate mortgages.
Vladimir Nabokov
Men who use words like ‘dubious’ and ‘tenacity’.
Friedrich Nietzsche
Bret Easton Ellis
Foo Fighters’ fans.
Hunter S Thompson
That kid in your philosophy class with the stupid tattoo.
Cormac McCarthy
Men who don’t eat cream cheese.
Thomas Aquinas
Premature ejaculators.
Pearl S. Buck
Women whose favorite president was Harry S. Truman.
Toni Morrison
Female high-school English professors who only have an undergraduate degree.
Thomas Pynchon
People who used to be fans of J.D. Salinger.
Elizabeth Gilbert
Women who liked the movie “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” but didn’t read the book.
Rebecca Wells
Women on the East coast who wish they were from the South.
Tama Janowitz
Cougars who went to an urban college in the 80s.
Alice Sebold
People who liked Gilmore Girls – even in the first season.
Michael Swanwick
Men who argue Neil Gaiman is overrated.
Terry Goodkind
People who have never been dungeons master but still play D&D.
Stephen King
11th graders who peed their pants while watching the movie It.
H.P. Lovecraft
People who can quote the Comic Book Guy from Simpsons.
Brothers Grimm
Only children with Oedipal complexes.
Lewis Carroll
People who move to Thailand after high school for the drug scene.
C.S. Lewis
Youth group leaders who picked their nose in the 4th grade.
Elmore Leonard
People who know how to perform a “Michigan left”.
Shel Silverstein
Girls who can’t spell “leheim”.
Douglas Adams
People who bought the first generation Amazon Kindle.
Tucker Max
Guys who haven’t convinced their girlfriends to try anal yet.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Political theory and constitutional democracy majors.
Tom Clancy
People who skipped school by hiding out in the gym.
Herman Hesse
People who own one straw chair in their house.
Phillippa Gregory
Women who have repressed their desire to go to Renaissance Festivals
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Men who can’t lie but will instead be silent if they know you don’t want to hear the truth.
Susan Wiggs
Older women who are surprisingly loud during sex.
Nicole Krauss
Girls who intern at Nylon but end up moving back to the Midwest for their real job.
Mitch Albom
People who didn’t go to college but do well on crossword puzzles.
Stieg Larsson
Girls who are too frightened to go skydiving.
Sue Grafton
Women who have an email address.
Seth Grahame-Smith
People who own a smart phone which requires a stylus to use it.
David Baldacci
No one. Even the police say Clancy before they’ll say Baldacci.
Michael Pollan
The girl who just turned vegan to cover up her eating disorder.
Andrew Ross Sorkin
People who refer to themselves as “playing devil’s advocate”.
O. Henry
Men who have names like Earl or Cliff and were really close with their paternal grandfather.
Virginia Woolf
Female high-school French teachers who have their master’s degree.
Michael Chabon
People who  hate Ayelet Waldman.
Ray Bradbury
People who own golf head covers.
Joseph Heller
People who love buying drinks for their friends. See also, people who cringe when they see their bar tab.
David Mitchell
Women who live in any area of Brooklyn other than Park Slope, but may end up there someday and if that day comes, they will switch to Barbara Kingsolver fans.
Max Barry
People who don’t mind the color orange.
Dean Koontz
People who would never dream of owning any type of “toy” breed dog.
John Irving
People whose parents are divorced.
Richard Dawkins
People who have their significant other grab them under the table in order to shut them up whenever someone else at a dinner says something absolutely ridiculous and wrong.
Salman Rushdie
People who google image search Padma Lakshmi late at night.
Albert Camus
People who went to art school after “trying it out” at a public university.
Kurt Vonnegut
People who played Creep by Radiohead while having sex or smoking pot.
James Joyce
People who do not like John Cusack movies.
Charlaine Harris
Elementary school teacher’s aids.
Jorge Luis Borges
People who took care of their dying grandparents.
Terry Pratchett
People who really like monkeys.
Oscar Wilde
People who can’t resist anything. See also, people who claim they’re going to change but never do.
Truman Capote
People who would never dream of owning anything that could be classified as a “knick-knack”.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


And so my decade goes like this...

2000: As a non-tibak student of UP Diliman, I spend my days being a GC
girl (grade conscious girl) that were remnants of my high school life.
I aced Math 100 after just passing Math 17 the previous semester. This
is also where I discovered the power of PREROG and experienced
pestering a professor and following him ( oh but he was gay!) in the
restroom just to ask him if he could fit me in his popular class. This
is also the year where I officially discovered my Circle of
Entrepreneurs family.

2001: I'm officially called "Aji". Don't ask. It just happened without
me knowing. And I accepted my new name. Became a Chairwoman for the
Operations Department of my org (UPCE). Popoy Lagman was killed and
that evening I went out on a date. Lol. Academic-wise, never reached
University Scholar as I discovered that Accounting was not
for me. I semi settled for College Scholar. I officially changed my
mind about moving from BA to BAA. Went to my first (and last) rally
against Erap during Edsa Dos. Met and got together with my first beau
who was seriously WAY older than me (15 years! Beat that!) but I was
blind, I was in love, you know the drill.

2002: The year I Majored in School Organizations. Discovered the magic
that is Registration Volunteer Corps. Yay! No more lining up for this
girl to register! And then there was the UP College of Business
Administration-School of Economics Career Assistance Program.
Discovered the joy in pestering various companies to sponsor the
wonderful program of UP CBA-SE CAP and broaden my future corporate
network. Organized my first IT Exposition. Organized my first young
entrepreneurs convention. Became an Opinion Leader with International
Flavors and Fragrances. Managed to snag the Business Manager post for
our College Magazine (my group, lead by my "brother" Joey Castillo,
turned the Guilder Newsletter into an actual magazine in color!) as
well a director for the editorial board. Became the Assistant VP for
Operations for my family org, UP CE. Finally, I was able to lead
projects for the college student council. Had my internship at UCPB
where I was in the Legal Services Department and I assist in evicting
people. There were days when I would sob like hell in my appointed
cubicle because just reading the appeal letters just breaks my heart.
But I guess I earned a sorta-of "techie" label because I have been
known to help out some of the legal services staff with their computer
problems (mostly spreadsheet issues they can't figure out).

Ran and lost for the VP for Operations post. But it turned out to be a
blessing because I decided to cut back on org stuff since I wanted to
graduate with honors. Had to give up Registration Volunteer Corps (I
was a senior by this time and I figured I still have some subject
privileges left based on "seniority"). I maintained Career Assistance
Program because it would really help with my career and with
networking, student council stuff, Guilder Magazine (but did not
attempt to join Guilder Yearbook Annual) but I decided to move
departments and stick with the Publicity Committee where I became Web
Head (How the heck I ended up getting that post is still beyond me.
People actually think I'm techie but hard core web designer I'm not).
Organized my second I.T. Expo and got a few minutes of TV airtime on
Studio 23's defunct IT show Digital Tour (where they showed me hosting
the IT expo program and I was still waif-thin). This was the year
where I found my PG Society Family. We had our share of ups and downs,
bickering, door slamming, cursing, and loving. Our group rocked and
still rocks until to this day, seriously.

2003: This is the year I graduated Cum Laude, regretted that I missed
getting Magna Cum Laude because I spread myself too thin on org stuff
the previous years and didn't concentrate on my accounting subjects.
This was also the year our group, Module Creatives Inc., won first
place at a contest sponsored by the Phil Chamber of Commerce and the
PJ Lhuillier Foundation. The sweet taste of winning was in our tongue
and the delight of building my first corporation made my eyes gleam
with hope.

But being one of the most financially-challenged in our group, I opted
to juggle real work with building a company. This was the year that I
got my first real taste of money. This was also the year where I was
working and budgetted only spending money of a thousand bucks for a
whole month. I saved the rest. I was on top of my bank training class.
This was also the year I discovered I hated my job, absolutely
detested it. My work consisted of knocking on people's doors, asking
their finance departments if they're interested in availing of the
bank's services. If you ever saw a girl in canary yellow blouse (part
of our uniform) with a golf umbrella walking along West Avenue and
certain sections of EDSA near SM North, that would be moi. And If you
saw the same uniformed girl riding a motorcycle while holding huge
bags of money, that was also me picking up money from my clients for

This was also the year I got an award from my high school. Alumni
Award for Excellence in Achievement. Too bad they omitted my April and
only put the Lou. In short, my father got an unexpected award instead
of me.

This was also the year I got three marriage proposals but not from my
beau. 2 were from some scrawny kid under 10 years old who loiters near
my branch, and the other one from a guy in a market stall near one of
my client's office. Proposal# 4 never happened because the moldy
architect who would've attempted didn't have the chance because before
the year ended I discovered that I got accepted to United Laboratories
Inc and I decided that come 2004 I will leave my post.

2004: My acceptance to Unilab met some obstacles. The Chairman who
will sign my contract approval has yet to sign. But I still decided to
leave my bank post and decided to spend a month training in graphics
design in a school where I obtained a scholarship. Didn't learn much
though except changing the color of my skin and removing pimples and
red eyes on my photos. But I still managed to finish the course on top
of the class. God knows how I managed that.

Unilab hemmed and hawed to a point where I was a bum from March to
June. Talk about nerve wracking! I opted to attend interviews with
companies like Johnson & Johnson as a fall back in case Unilab backs
out on my acceptance. Fortunately, I officially joined Unilab come
July (thanks Mr. Chairman for signing my papers!). Unfortunately, I
was assigned in Mindanao. First it was supposed to be Cagayan De Oro,
then it changed to Davao, then Butuan, then finally Davao.

Beau# 1 cheated on me for the third time in our four-year
relationship. I have had about enough. I planned on ending it soon but
didn't have the guts and was being hindered by the years we already
spent together. But I knew it was going nowhere. It had no future. But
I lingered.

It was my first time to be away from my family. The first couple of
weeks I was a cry-baby. Thank God for people like Chuchu and the rest
of the Inguillo family for taking me under their wing while I was in
Davao. I had a great adventure there.

This was also the year when a guy named F.F. attempted to have his way
with me while a bunch of us Unilab peeps were out on a night of fun. I
accepted his offer for a ride during the gimmick because my car was in
the shop and we both live in the same district. It was the scariest
moment of my life back then. I thought I was toast for sure. I had the
courage to threaten him never to come near me again or else.

This was the year I chanced upon an "old" friend via email. Things
started to get really fun and eventually I realized I could no longer
be with the first beau. Broke it off with huge amounts of drama. I
wanted to be with someone else. I jumped with my eyes closed and
decided I wanted to be with Beau #2. I felt like I was in heaven.
Christmas was different for me that year because 1. I was in heaven
with Beau #2 and 2. Ex # 1 showed his true crazy self and attempted to
cross dress just to win me back.

2005: Had my first public dramatic show with Beau #2. He was
accompanying me to the company shuttle where I would be taken to
Pampanga for a conference and eventually fly back to Mindanao after. I
found it romantic actually. It was also the first time I was described
as someone's kryptonite. Wonder Woman was Superman's Kryptonite. It's
the stuff made for cheesy romantic movies. Girl will go to a far away
place, guy accompanies girl to the bus. Guy and girl exchange mushy
stares and exchange equally mushy words and see-you-soons. Guy gives
girl his ball cap, girl covers her eyes so guy couldn't see her tears.
Girl rides the bus, looks at the window while guy walks away head
bowed down. Girl cries the entire trip and hoping guy will not cry
over her but had a feeling he already did. Found out indeed that the
guy was distraught from the guy's blog. Girl loved Guy all the more
that she decided to skip going back to Mindanao for a day and decide
to be with him for even just one more day.

Word got out that FF harassed me. My boss, apologized profusely
because he didn't believe me when I told him about it. And got some
more apologies from other people who were friends with FF who didn't
believe me as there were no witnesses according to them. Still, my
company had the nerve to transfer me to General Santos where FF was
based. Decided to leave Unilab finally after the harassment incident,
and few close calls with bombs in my area. Plus, I wanted to be with
Beau #2. Being far away didn't exactly help in building and exploring
the wonders of our blooming relationship. I decided to risk it.

Luckily, the moment I stepped off the plane back to Manila, officially
unemployed once more, offers poured in. Two stood out. One from
Universal Robina Corporation to work in Trade Marketing. The other
with Southeast Asia Food Inc-UFC (now known as NutriAsia Inc).
SAFI-UFC being owned by the enigmatic Jose Campos Jr (former Mr.
Chairman of Unilab). It was an easy decision to make really. I was to
be assigned in Angeles.

Too bad a few days when I started with my new work Beau # 2 decided to
drop a huge bomb on me. He said he couldn't be anyone's boyfriend at
that point in time. Had my second public dramatic show with Beau # 2.
Me in crying fits of heartbreak in the middle of Shaw Boulevard
Crossing's food court. No clear reason for dumping me. It was a
devastating sight. It was the first time ever that my family really
didn't know what to do with me. I was that broken.

I decided then to immerse myself in work. Gained a really true friend
in Sir Wesley during that time. I found myself in a painstakingly slow
recovery process. But worked healed me and I got my mojo back.

2006: I got award for my exemplary work performance. Distributor
Manager of the Year. It was the sweetest win ever. I felt vindicated.
This was also the year I got transferred back to Manila and got into a
major vehicular accident that changed my life. It was then I met my
future hubby, M.

At first I found M to be a jerk. Eventually, things changed and magic
happened. And I officially became a regular church-goer after being
astray for several years.

2007: This was the year when I lost 32 lbs because of my gym
addiction. Career-wise it was steady but gradually becoming rote and
monotonous. My relationship with M went into the next phase, getting
introduced to the parents who came back from the US.

2008: The year I felt bored out of my wits in my work. I felt like I
was being undermined by my own company despite stellar recommendations
from my accounts (they even personally endorsed me to bigger
multinational companies like Colgate and Unilever). This was also the
year when getting passed over for promotions became frequent. I
decided to entertain other companies by then. The biggest blow of my
career also happened in 2008. I was supposed to be promoted to a long
overdue and well deserved post but 10 minutes prior to announcement, I
was told my promotion will not push thru without further explanation
as to why it happened. Instead, I got a consolation prize of a salary
increase. Other people may find that an additional salary to be good
already, but I find it an insult to my character and competency. I
decided to jump ship and move somewhere else where I would be greatly
appreciated for my work ethic, my performance, and my competency
instead of being evaluated for career progress based on how willing I
was to drink every night, endure crass and sexist comments from
supposed leaders of my company, and following blindly and being
controlled like a puppet and not think intelligently for myself.

2009: It was a sweet but challenging year for me. New company and
people to prove myself. I experienced setbacks but in the end I was
able to deliver. It was also the year M popped the question and of
course you know we're getting hitched soon. It was also the year I
started to travel again for work, and I love every exhausting minute
of it. I also finished reading 90 books this year! And yeah, I won a
certain contest but I'm keeping it a secret which contest it is (and
no, it's not the lotto darn it!). And this is the year my sister and I
started paying for a house.

For 2010, I am keeping my sight on the prize and try to keep things
positive.Looking back at this short version of the last 10 years of my
life, I should never forget that I am an achiever and I should not
keep my eyes off my goals. I have gained and lost a lot (both weight
and non-weight related) but in the end I still manage to come through
unscathed and triumphant.

In 10 years I had 2 ex bfs and now I am engaged, got to travel major
destinations in the Philippines, lived on my own in 3 different
provinces without any financial assistance from my family, achieved
awards I never thought I would get (but of course I still want more!),
worked through 4 companies (including the one where I had my
internship) and now I am hoping I'll stay put with the current one,
gained new real friends and got to keep old ones that were genuine,
went through 4 different cars before now settling on Genesis, and
paying for a house that we would eventually own and no longer live
under someone else's property. What a decade! I know things will
become better and better with God's grace.
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