My 5th Job in 4.5 Years

After 3 long years of working at night, Im now a normal person, as what they say. I was just surprised that going to work in broad daylight also means an everyday struggle.

my 5th job - morning shift

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As of July 18 of this year, I transferred to another company, again. In the span of 4.5 years, this is already my 5th job. And no, Im not very proud of it, really.

The day after I went home from my SG-Bali trip, I went back to my previous employer and arranged my graceful exit.
June 1 - flew back to Manila
June 2 - I resigned
June 3-8 - Im a stressed bummer (this was the period where all the media people wanted to interview me, re. the Bali trip)
June 9 - start of my job HUNTING! (oh yes, I resigned without a new job that's waiting for me.)

Now you know why all my tv interviews are face-less/unexposed.
I dont want and I cant be famous for that incident, specially when im job hunting!
Hindi ko ikakayaman yan!

Unlike most people who'll turn to jobsdb and jobstreet to look for a job, I asked my friends first if they could refer me to their respective companies. Sayang ang referral bonus! ^_^

Company 1 - the largest foreign bank in the Philippines
Referral Fee: P10,000 (oo, factor to!)
Exam: None
1st Interview: Team Manager
He kept mentioning about the working hours that I might need to render if in case another member in the team calls in sick. Hhmm..

2nd Interview: Regional Director
A Singaporean. I hate phone interviews. Mahina kasi ang pandinig ko! And it's the first time I spoke with a SG'ean. He sounded so monotonous to me. I almost thought I didn't pass the interview.

Background Check: 1 week of waiting for the result
Credit Card Check: go ahead, wala akong credit card! =)
Job Offer: Just right. Basic salary + great benefits are better than my previous company.

Company 2 - an R&D, software+hardware multinational company
Referral Fee: P20,000 on the 6th month + P20,000 on the 1st year (can this afford some cheap Canaries holidays?)
Exam: None For the record, I reviewed the Software Devt Life Cycle and basic Electronics.

1st Interview: Team Manager
Someone entered the room. I thought he was just someone who'll guide me to my interviewer. But I was wrong, he was the manager slash my interviewer. Toinks!
What I remembered most: he said he doesn't believe in exams. The abilities wont be tested in the papers alone. I smiled. So true, kinakalawang na ang utak ko about schematic diagrams. Good thing he didn't make me solve a circuit. Shet, kahit fuse hindi ko na alam ang symbol!

Then he asked me why I did resign without a new job yet. He said jobless people have the slightest chance to negotiate a job offer. Tumaas ng half inch ang kilay ko, but still I smiled. I knew very well that my being jobless wont make me less skilled and less fit for the job.

Most important thing I noticed: this manager also assessed my personality and attitude. He wanted to know if I can fit the team. Aylavet!

2nd Interview: Operations Manager
First thing he asked me was "Tell me something that's not written in your resume." That's tough. I just mentioned that Im a blogger and Im fond of traveling. I knew this isn't work related but this was really the 1st thing I thought of. This conversation went well.
Next, he then said he gives the same points for candidates WITHOUT license and certifications. Im unlicensed btw. He said that those are just 1-time-big-time exams only. Knowledge on the job itself is way better than knowledge by the books. I smiled and agreed.

Another thing I treasured was his treatment to the applicants. He said not all candidates will be considered, not because of the lack of skills, but because he's not just fit and he may not like the job. Very true, it's a waste of time for both ends if that happens.

3rd Interview: Global Manager
I was really surprised to make it to the final stage. He has the final say so I really needed to market myself to him. Hehe Good thing, it turned out well. He said he was very happy with the interview, but I still needed to wait as I was being compared to other applicants.

Job Offer: Above my asking rate. Benefits, not much but as long as it has bonggang life and accident insurance, and HMO for my parents - happy na ko.

Obviously, I selected the 2nd company. Not just because of the salary and job description (im somehow back to hardware field again, woohoo!) but because of the people who I will work with. The 3 interviewers are accomplished, smart, and successful people yet they were all very humble. It's one of the lessons I learned in my past: that it's easy to find a job, but finding good teammates is not. In short, swertihan. I know I'll be spending more time with my workmates than my family, so I really need to make sure I'll be comfortable with the people I'll work with. Im very confident that the interviewers I met had hired the best people with nice attitudes too.

with the pioneers of Hardware team
inuman agad sa Friday? ^_^

So far so good. Hirap na hirap na hirap lang ako talaga sa morning shift. Riding the LRT + MRT is an everyday struggle. Survival of the fittest! =)

..last year ko pa goal tong new job. finally, nacross out ko na sya sa To-Do-List!

The Beaches in Bali

Since the previous day was already temples-overloaded, Dyanie and I allotted our last full day in Bali to check out their beaches and stroll the shopping area in Kuta.

As I mentioned in my previous post, Teba House in Ubud was the (almost) perfect accommodation we're looking for. This traditional family-run guesthouse is everything but Balinese. Well maintained and cheap.

these flowers are everywhere

every room has its own veranda

a Balinese shrine in the middle of the rooms

mini pond with a deity
(absent ako siguro nung tinuro yan sa school kaya di ko siya kilala)

room rate is P1,670, this includes free breakfast for 2 and fairly decent wifi connection

Could have been the perfect accommodation only if this is located somewhere in Kuta or Legian areas. Fyi, Ubud is an hour drive from the airport. To be fair, we appreciated the quietness of the neighborhood, but staying here gave us less shopping and eating options.

Teba House

Moving on..
Our driver Nyoman picked us up again and drove us to to the famous warung of Babi Guling. But since we're too early, he offered us to check out the Temple of the King first.

Temple of the King
only the invited guests (royalties) are the only ones allowed to enter

the colors of the clothes have meanings

Finally, Ibu Oka was opened to serve its guests. This specific restaurant is famous for its Babi Guling. Just like Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice which we tasted in Singapore, Ibu Oka was also recommended by none other than the food critic Anthony Bourdain.

Nasi + Babi Guling Special for me

Babi Guling = roasted pork with stuffed herbs and spices

low tables with flat pillows as chair @ Ibu Oka

spicy meal - pork's skin, meat, intestine, and other unrecognizable body parts. ^_^
tastes ok (and spicy!) but not outstanding. it's just like our lechon

After we had our lunch, we decided to stroll the market place in Ubud. Others say you can find the cheapest products here.

javanese dolls, shadow puppets, and masks

balinese art with decorative frames

And of course, we bought some Bali singlets in red, pink, black, blue, violet, and so on! It's just Rp20.000! Mind you, this is not a wholesale price. Dyanie and I were just very aggressive to buy these singlets at this price.

for the record, Bintang is the best selling brand of beer in Indonesia

did you really think i designed this BINTANG-ero singlet myself? ^_^

Nusa Dua
This beach is a 2-hour drive from Ubud. Based on reviews, this place is less crowded compared to Kuta and Legian beaches.

a lot of 5-star resorts are located here

Nusa Dua beach

the tide is very low at mid afternoon yet the waves are strong.

disregarding the traumatic incident in the hands of the arrogant and unprofessional custom officers in the airport, i find this beach uhmm - let's just say Bali's main attractions are temples, not beaches ^_^

Beach near Uluwatu Temple

Since Dyanie and I we're not so satisfied on the 1st beach, our driver brought us here.

the statue in the bridge

looks better than Nusa Dua's, but still not good enough to impress me and Dyan

plus, there were monkeys on the trees. scary!

We planned to watch tha famous Kecak dance as the sunsets in this temple. But here's the thing, fierce monkeys were all over the area! Monkeys are sacred for Hindus. We were almost convinced that everything would be in control. But as we're about to wear a sarong, a monkey near the entrance gate started to scream and it acted wild! So in short, we ended up choosing not to watch the performance.

Uluwatu with wild monkeys - No, thanks!

Jimbaran Beach
This beach front is famous for it's sunset dinner in the shore. It was about to rain when we arrived so we waited for the sky to clear first.

it's starting to rain

The sky finally cleared and the bunch of restaurants along the beach started setting up their tables. We picked a table nearest to the beach. We ordered chicken and squid, instead of lobsters and prawns. According to the forums Ive read, seafood are very pricey.

chicken satay + calamares + fried noodles
good enough, but not outstanding. the highlight was not the food, but the view and location.

no sunset at Jimbaran

good thing, there's another attraction to see - a dance performance @7pm.

Kuta Square
For our last night in Bali, we decided to stay in Kuta area. It is a short 15-20mins drive to the airport by the way. Since we didn't have any accommodation yet, Dyanie and I looked for a cheap but decent place to stay for the night. We ended up at Kodja Beach Inn.

Kodja Beach Inn, centrally located in the heart of Kuta square

room with aircon and bathroom for Rp200.000 (P1,000)
clean but very creepy room

Best thing about staying in Kodja Inn, this place is situated in the heart of Kuta.

Kuta Square

Billabong and Surf outlets - on sale!
very limited items though

Starbucks is just around

May 31, 2011 - a few hours before our flight (my birthday! )
Dyanie and I were so paranoid about going to the airport again. We ended up checking our things one by one, over and over again, just to check if there were no "drugs" inserted or planted inside our bags. We even threw away our belongings that may bring us to checking (black plastic bags, sponge, etc) Praning and traumatized.

We were very nervous as we stepped inside the airport. Nervous to see those Custom Officials again. Nervous to be a random suspect again. And I guess my instinct was right. The security officer PUT A STICKER on my luggage. It says something like it needed to be checked for security. Tangina this! Ano ba talaga nakikita nyo sa scanner?

at Denpasar airport
for the last time

I still lined up in the check in counter as if I didnt have a "For Security Check" sticker in my luggage. Thank goodness, the agent disregarded it. Whew. That was close. Im not singled out anymore! Hallelujah!

my birthday meal

All I wished was to fly out of Bali, immediately.

the 1st and the last time I'll be seeing you

The goodness of the sites in Bali cant really erased the traumatic incident we experienced. Just so you know, 2 of my airfare tickets got forfeited because I dont want to go to any airport anytime soon. That incident also changed me, Im not the brave solo traveler anymore. I suddenly dont consider going to India and other 3rd world countries. I'd rather save hard for some cheap holidays to New York.

Here are some lessons I learned:
○ aside from checking out the best attractions in your target destination abroad, also take time to read other people's bad experiences in that place. fyi, there's no such thing as "unique case". everything is possible to happen again.
○ take note of the Philippine Embassy's contact number, in case something happened, you know where to seek help.
○ and most of all -- i need to stop traveling on my birthday! for 2 straight years, I've been in hysteria while celebrating my birthday outside our house. I swear to stay home next year. =)

My 7 Links | Precious Blog Posts

The Hippie Mum, Gay of Pinay Travel Junkie tagged me to participate in My 7 Links Project. Its goal is to unite bloggers (from all sectors) in a joint endeavor to share lessons learned and create a bank of long but not forgotten blog posts that deserve to see the light of day again.

Here goes mine...

Most Beautiful Post

An overwhelming birthday experience in a town where I unexpectedly traveled solo - with insufficient money and no cellphone on hand. It's indeed Glück im Unglück. The German Translation for "a blessing in disguise".

Most Popular Post and Most Controversial Post

My Traumatic Experience as an Alleged Durg Trafficker in Bali
All I wanted is to write my traumatic experience, and to warn my co-Pinoy travelers, specially those who travel solo, that they could be the next "random suspect". It never crossed my mind that this incident would reach the media and the government.

06/01/2011-07/16-2011, in a span of 45 days, this post already had 46,544 views (and counting), with 578 posted comments (deleted ones not counted). I've already closed the comment section for this post.

Most Helpful Post

My 45-Hour Coron Getaway
A weekend trip in Coron with a very limited time, but still seeing the best spots in the island. Packed with (underwater) pictures and detailed expense report.

A Post Whose Success Surprised You

Well yeah, Im surprised that this All-About-Me post belongs to the Top 10 Most Viewed Entries. Im amazed that the readers are interested to know what's my day job, what school did I graduate from, and what's the camera Im using.

A Post You Feel Didn’t Get the Attention it Deserved

Enchanting Countdown
A countdown using the rides and attractions at Enchanted Kingdom. My own original idea. ^_^

The Post That You Are Most Proud Of

Photo + Walk (literal na photowalk)
Im not the emotional type that's why Im proud of myself to create this original idea. And I quote my close friend "..I know you struggled just to come up with these words! This is brilliant!"

Now, here are the bloggers I want to nominate:
Grace of Bahay ni KG
Doc Gelo of Beyond Toxicity
Gilbert of Gillboard Grows Up
Kebler of Sunny Toast
Jamie of Jamie's Corner

Island of the Balinese - Bali, Indonesia

May 28, 2011. The fateful day Dyanie and I flew to Bali.

Dyanie and I focused more on researching about this Bali trip more than we did in Singapore's leg. Who wouldn't be excited to see the most raved island in south east Asia? Of course, we're not after the beaches. We perfectly knew our beaches in the Philippines are way better. What we wanted to experience is the world famous Balinese culture.

So just imagine how our hearts broke when the Custom Officials in Denpasar airport made us feel we were un-welcomed guests. How could we willingly spend our hard earned money and enjoy this much awaited vacation after those officials treated us unfairly? We were expecting to simply walk though customs like any other passengers, maybe killing time with some airport food and a game of foxybingo, but this was certainly not the case. We lose our excitement. We gained a trauma. What a welcome!

If we had a choice, we could have choose to go home right away. We'd rather spend the money somewhere else. Anywhere except in Bali.

That's what we exactly felt on that fateful evening. And I cant erase the fact that the traumatic incident happened.

May 29, 2011. It's a brand new day!
Im so thankful to God Im an indifferent person! I care very little and I can easily let go. (i know this is a bad trait, but see, sometimes being indifferent has its own advantage. *winks*) And just so you know, I internalized hard so I can write that traumatic blog entry with feelings. LOL

Dyanie and I stayed in Hotel Sorga on our 1st night. This is located in Kuta. A deluxe room with breakfast + free airport pickup costs us Rp.295.000. It's around P1,487 when converted.

Balinese shrine at Hotel Sorga

the rooms

twin room with ensuite bathroom
the room is just right. clean and okay. but the creepy feel is a must-mentioning.

dining area

very basic breakfast of your choice

breakfast is so-so.
ganda, parang walang naganap na eksena kagabi! =)

and yes, this hotel has a pool

Hotel Sorga - Kuta /

Not before we finished our breakfast, our tour guide driver arrived. His name is Nyoman. This is very interesting. I noticed in the "recommended tour guides forum" that almost everyone has the same names. Here's what our driver Nyoman told us:

Basically the Balinese only have four first names. The first child is Wayan or Putu, the second child is Made or Kadek, the third is Nyoman or Komang and the fourth is Ketut. The fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth will be another Wayan, Made, Nyoman, Ketut and Wayan again. --- Im amazed! So in Bali, my name would have been Made (pronounced as mah-day).

Anyway, Nyoman charged us Rp350.000 (P1,764) for the 10-hour tour around Bali. This includes the petrol and parking fees. Entrance fees in the temples are to be shouldered by the guests.

Nyoman / 081.239.97709

First thing we asked our driver is to bring us to an authorized money changer shop.

and I quote Nyoman "our money has many zeroes but it's worth nothing"
Rp100.000 = P505

Like most of the time, I always settle with a tourguide who approves the itinerary I made. There are lots of places to go to with so little time. I just compared the photos online and encircled the more interesting ones.

click this Bali Tourist Attraction Map for bigger version

Tanah Lot
Entrance fee is Rp10.000 (P50)
Pura Tanah Lot is a temple that sits on a large offshore rock which has been shaped continuously over the years by the ocean tide. Nyoman said they pray here for protection and balance of life.

Tanah Lot

Tanal Lot, other side
our guide said it gets more crowded in the afternoon to sunset time

the temple up close

Aside from the breath taking temples nestled upon the rock formations, this one really caught my attention.

whoa, a surfer rides the big waves!

Pura Taman Ayun
Entrance fee is Rp3.000 (P15)

In Hindu beliefs, this basket offering with rice and flowers is basically a ritual of giving back what has been given by the Gods. It is a sharing that is not based upon fear, but on gratitude to the richness of life.

It is a duty and an honor at the same time. They do these offering 3x a day.

basket offerings with leaf, flower, fruit, and incense stick

Pura Taman Ayun
Its Balinese name Pura Taman Ayun literally means ‘Garden Temple in the Water’. The entire complex was designed to symbolize the mythological home of the gods, Mount Meru, floating in the sea of eternity.

Candi Bentar or split gate of Pura Taman Ayun

behind me is one of the shrines in the complex

Did you know that:

sorry, ladies with menstruation - not allowed
lucky me, it's not the red day!

The eleven-storey meru are replicas of the original sacred sites around Bali.

the inner-most sanctuary, with its merus and bales

a Hindu priest inside the complex
(guests were not allowed to enter this site)

UlunDanu Bratan Temple in Lake Bedugul
Entrace fee is Rp10.000 (P50)
Ulun means heart and danu means lake, the temple dedicated to the Gods of lake or waters. The lake supplies the water to the rice field. It looks that the temple symbolizes the nature of surrounding as the respects of nature greatness, since the location is surrounded by peaks of Bali mountain chain.

statues on the way to the lake

UlunDanu Bratan Temple
people pray here for the protection of the sea and mountains

i forgot what these tall elements are for, but Im sure the direction of these elements matter

a temple dedicated for the gods of the lake

Lunch time!
Nyoman brought us to several buffet restaurants, but unfortunately most of them were full. We ended up here in Pacung Indah. Buffet rate is Rp70.000 (P352).

buffet lunch for P352

i like the satay, fried noodles, fish fillet, and spring rolls.

and by the way, the dining area is overlooking the rice terraces

After our lunch, Nyoman asked us if he could bring us to how-coffees-are-made center. We agreed. We were given free samples of each coffee. Great, Dyanie and I were not coffee drinkers!

free shots of coffee for non-coffee drinkers like us. uhoh..

But as a courtesy, we tasted each and every coffee in these cups. Take turns. It's officially a coffee drinking challenge!

drinking coffee is not that bad after all! ^_^

Tirta Empul
Entrance fee is Rp6.000 (P30)
Tirta Empul or Tampak Siring Temple is a holy spring water temple. The sacred spring is said to have been created by Indra and to have curative properties. Guests are asked to wear a sarong (this will be provided in the gate). Again, ladies with menstruation are not allowed.

Tirta Empul

traditional Balinese split gate along with shrines to Shiva, Vishnu, Braham, Mt. Batur, and Indra

worshipers first make an offering at the temple, then climb into the main pool to bathe and pray.

the water in this sacred spring is believed to have the power to cure

others collect the holy water in bottles to take home

On the other side of the Tirta Emoul complex:

an offering led by the Hindu priest


Also found in the complex are these statues:

if only our tourguide Nyoman came with us, I'll ask him about the weapons and handsigns of every sculpture.



Tirta Empul complex is indeed very picturesque.

one with the locals

the traditional split gate

good memories of Bali

Gunung Kawi
Entrance fee is Rp6.000 (P30)
Gunung Kawi is one of the oldest religious places in Bali which contains ‘candi‘ (pronounced chandi) or tombs built to honor an 11th Century king. It is a peaceful place, surrounded by rushing water and local farmers harvesting terraced rice paddies.

colorful sarongs and masks in the entrance gate

200-step staircase going to Gunung Kawi

traditional split gate

Buddhist Temple Complex is used as a residence and as place for meditation.

royal tombs at Gunung Kawi

There's not much to see inside compared to the previous temples we visited. Maybe there's an interesting stories behind these tombs, too bad there's no one in the whole complex except Dyan and I. Creepy!

temples-overload look
in tagalog - nakakaumay sa dami ng temples!

I guessed we had seen enough temples for that day alone. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the history, customs, and beliefs of the Balinese.

On our 2nd night, we stayed at Teba house, it's a guesthouse in Ubud. A deluxe room costs us Rp325.000 (P1,640). I'll say that this is the perfect room we're looking for. More pictures on my next post.

a spacious and cozy room in Teba House

Wayan, a staff in the guesthouse, recommended a nearby Warung (store) for our dinner. Aside from it's cheaper, the food here tastes better than what we ate in our buffet lunch.

satay with peanut sauce, seafood nasi goreng, spaghetti, and pizza
yummy and cheap home-cooked meals! (P300++ for everything)

next post: beaches in Bali
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