i create. i am a creation.

Archive for the ‘on the job’ Category

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I’ve always been fascinated with the country ever since I was a little kid. I grew up watching Japanese animation, from Voltes V and Daimos to Ranma ni buno ichi (Ranma 1/2). My mom also went to Japan for post-graduate short courses so she brought home toys, clothes and stories from the country that was so alien and yet intriguing.

Then I fell in love with Japanese anime. I binge-watched Fushigi Yuugi, Rurouni Kenshin (all episodes and arcs, including the OAVs), Ghost In the Shell, and a lot more. I am still in love with Studio Ghibli. My favorite movies are still Spirited Away (Chihiro no Sen) and Love Letter (live action) by Shunji Iawai. I picked up a few Nihongo phrases and sentences along the way.

So in 2009, I went with my bestfriend to Kyoto and Nara and stayed there for eight days. Which weren’t enough. I vowed I will come back.

Then I got hooked on Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa) by Makoto Shinkai. I was a goner.

So I came back on 3 May for some work-related stuff (during the Golden Week!!!) but this time alone in Tokyo. I was there for 11 days, which I still find were not enough. I was so bitin. I think I will never get enough of it.

I spent the first 6 days in Yokohama, working like crazy and it was only on my last day I was able to see more of the city on the edge of the Pacific before I headed back to central Tokyo.

So on my first day, after the 1.5 hrs drive from Haneda Airport, I searched for the train station that would take me to the nearest stop to the conference venue. Of course, being me, I got lost. Walked around for 2 hours. I found myself in Yokohama’s Chinatown.

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The street food was yummy, by the way.

And I witnessed a Dragon dance. Which was weird. Dragon Dance during the Golden Week.

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After an hour or so, I finally found the conference center. Hooray. So in the next four days the only scenery I would see is this.

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And this:

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I am now fighting off flu that has been threatening to bog me down since the beginning of this month when I arrived in Japan on 3 May.

After 11 days in Japan, I went back home to be with my girls for 7 days and I was off again to Singapore. Just got back yesterday. Now I’m sick. Been working like crazy for weeks.

I will write about Japan in a few days. Let me get these work-related stuff off my desk.

But first off, I’ll give you a preview of what Japan for me is like this time around (my first visit was in 2009, Kansai region).

Hitachi Seaside Park

Pretty, no?

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No, this is not an issue of “hurt” feelings of one journalist. We are made of sterner stuff, so one f*ck you is just the many f*ck yous we will receive in the course of our professional lives.

This is about how a public official sees and treats people around her, how she belittles people who are not within the same social and economic circle. Makes you wonder if her “concern for the poor” is really genuine or her “passion for the environment” is really true or is just a means to glorify herself. I don’t know the answers—these are real questions of an inquisitive mind.

I’m neither pro nor anti-mining (you can see from my background, who my parents are) but if a public official, an environmental crusader, wants genuine change, she should look inward. Then she should go through the legal and right processes so the directive and department orders that she implements are fool-proof or have legal bases so these won’t just get thwarted by technicalities used by the lawyers of the entities she wants penalized. Because long-lasting institutional change cannot be achieved by shortcuts.

Post-script: And this is what I’ve learned in my short stint in UP Pahinungod. Pahinungod = offering; dedication. Not outreach. Outreach means you come from a different place and will still be in that different place. But offering = dedication means you are not separate from the people you serve…you are one of them.

There lies the difference, Madam Lopez.

Quizzed on mining directive, Gina Lopez vents ire on BW reporter: ‘You’re just a f—ing employee’

By: InterAksyon
April 6, 2017 6:08 PM

MANILA – Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Regina Lopez on Wednesday unleashed a tirade on a reporter of BusinessWorld, whose questions about mining she resented, in the process describing the journalist as “bought by the greed and selfishness.”

Sec. Lopez had earlier on made known her impatience in responding to questions from BusinessWorld reporter Janina Lim, calling her out as she started asking: “You know, you’re just a f—ing employee” and then saying that Lim had “no heart for the poor.”

Lim, however, pressed on with her questions, asking the twice-bypassed secretary to elaborate on her new order for miners to set aside more funds apart from what they are required to contribute to a “Rehabilitation Fund” for formerly mined lands.

Lopez said she wants miners to draw from their profits and pay hard-up farmers “out of the rehab zone”.

Lopez told Lim: “All I am asking is to give 2 million pesos to every farmer of a farm that’s out of the Rehab Zone. What’s wrong with that? They’re disadvantaged, it’s out of the rehab zone. Who’s gonna take care of it? Why don’t you have a heart, you know? All I am asking is to put money for a farmer who has been disadvantaged by the mining, what’s wrong with that?”

Told by Lim that miners have appealed to the Office of the President questioning the “additional requirement” and sought for her reaction, Lopez cut her short: “What questioning? They disadvantaged all the farm lands, they should f—ing take care of it. What’s wrong with that? They’re making so much money from the stock pile. Don’t you think, they should take care of the farmers that they disadvantage? You in your heart, don’t you think they should? Who’s gonna take care of the farmers? It’s out of rehab zone. Who’s gonna take care of it? The money that they have for rehab doesn’t take care of the farmers out of the rehab zone. Who’s gonna take care of it?”

Read the rest of the story here.

Gina Lopez recorded telling reporter: You’re just a f—ing employee

Published April 6, 2017 10:07pm
Updated April 7, 2017 1:17am

…Sought for comment, Lopez said it was “tabloidish” for Business World to publish her “private conversation” with the reporter.

– See more at: http://www.gmanetwork.com/…/gina-lopez-recorded-telling..

Sidenote: It was an ambush interview with five reporters that time. It was not a private conversation and she is fully aware that there were recorders.

DENR’s Lopez defends new mining directive as she accuses BW reporter of ‘being bought’

In the process of defending the proposal — which is being questioned by miners — however, Ms. Lopez lost her composure and suggested that reporters covering the matter had been “bought.”

The Environment secretary told BusinessWorld reporter Janina C. Lim: “You’re just a fucking employee,” Ms. Lopez blurted out the line as she was stopped by Ms. Lim and another reporter on the landing of the second floor of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) office in Quezon City.

At that time, Ms. Lopez was taking the stairs on the way up to her office on the fourth floor.

The exchange between the official and the reporter took place minutes after several DENR employees supposedly called off a rally against the secretary that was set for nine that morning. Just a few days before the incident, Ms. Lim filed an exclusive report, saying that the Civil Service Commission rejected the temporary appointment of Mr. Philip G. Camarra, who was appointed by Ms. Lopez as DENR undersecretary.

The incident on Thursday morning began when Ms. Lim, who has been covering the environment and agriculture beats since January last year, asked the secretary whether she was attending a meeting of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council that afternoon at the National Economic and Development Authority office in Pasig City.

Read rest of the story here.

[Statement] No excuse for Sec. Lopez’s treatment of Businessworld reporter

Statement
April 7, 2017

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines condemns Environment Secretary Gina Lopez’s totally unjustified behavior toward Businessworld reporter Janina Lim, who she cursed and maligned Thursday for simply doing her job.

It is doubly unfortunate that Ms. Lopez, the scion of a family intimately involved in media, should justify her boorishness toward Ms. Lim by blaming one of the qualities indispensable to being a journalist – persistence.

A recording of Ms. Lopez’s tirade captured her berating Lim of being “just a f—ing employee” and asking the reporter why she did not have a “heart for the poor.”

Ms. Lim was simply asking Ms. Lopez to elaborate on her order for miners to set aside more funds apart from what they are required to contribute to a “rehabilitation fund” for formerly mined lands but the DENR secretary berated Lim and another colleague, telling them: “You know, you guys should do your work, but why don’t you have a heart for the poor? Where’s your heart?”

When Ms. Lim tried to follow up, Ms. Lopez turned on her and said: “You know you are so young and you’re already bought by the greed and selfishness.”

It was at this point that Ms. Lim finally answered Ms. Lopez squarely, saying: “I was not bought, Ma’am. I was not bought. Thank you. Thank you.”

Ms. Lopez subsequently sent a message to Businessworld attempting to explain her side. If anything, however, she only helped indict herself even more.

She claimed she was late and rushing to a TV interview when accosted by Lim in a stairway and was piqued because she had “often been irritated” by the “line of questioning” of the “young and persistent reporter.”

“She was not the best person to meet while rushing for an appointment. So I lost my cool with her,” Ms. Lopez said in her message to Businessworld.

She also attempted to blame Lim for recording “a repartee that took place in a stairway” that, she claimed, should have been “left in the privacy for which it is meant,” even hinting the whole incident seemed to be “like looking for some kind of hole to punch.”

When does being “irritated” by a “persistent reporter” give a public official or anyone else for that matter the right to verbally abuse them?

If, indeed, Ms. Lim had consistently and persistently shown objectionable or offensive behavior in the course of her work, Ms. Lopez could easily have communicated this with the reporter’s superiors and asked that the situation be rectified.

And no, Ms. Lopez, what happened was not “repartee.” It was a legitimate attempt by a journalist to interview you on an issue related to your work and, thus, of public interest.

If you were, as you claim, in a hurry because you were late for an interview, you could have simply said so or even ignored the question. Instead, you actually took the time to stop and insult Ms. Lim and, worse, belittled her for being “just a f—ing employee,” as if honest toil were something to be ashamed of.

Ms. Lopez, your zeal for the causes close to your heart can never justify your despicable treatment of Ms. Lim. If anything, such a mindset, which brooks no questioning or dissent, is anathema to democracy.

We demand that you apologize to Ms. Lim and pledge to be more open to questioning. This is the least you can do.

Reference:
Ryan Rosauro, chairperson
NUJP Hotline 09175155991

This is where I stay for more than 8 hours a day, at least once a week.

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I need to buy a comfortable chair. My back is killing me.

 

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photo courtesy of lunarland.com

I’ve been having this work-related conversation with a friend who is having a hard time motivating himself after not getting the expected rewards for hard work the past year. I told him that I remember my older sister telling me this: in the workplace (this particular workplace that I was supposed to go to) bawal maging bibo (don’t show you’re smart). Why? Either they will 1) dump more work on you; 2) idiots will feel threatened by you and sabotage your work and reputation; or 3) completely ignore you and not reward you for your hardwork and sacrifices. Better just as do what is expected of you; nothing less, nothing more.

I know it’s really a bad principle to adopt but it really makes a lot of sense. That is the reality and have seen it several times in my career. It’s idealistic to expect that the company will value you as you think it should but that is not always (or never) the case. It’s normally how you project yourself (face value/packaging), connections, and how thick your skin is that gets you the prize. Sadly, I’ve seen that several times over the 16 years of my professional life.

So what did I tell my friend? You can seethe and rant all you want and your only recourse now is to resign OR scale back on the work load and take it easy. Perform and do what is expected of you but don’t overdo it again. Save your hide. No point in giving your soul. (Another friend ranted to me one time “Ano pa ba ang gusto nila eh nakuha na nila kaluluwa ko?!” But that friend had a happier ending than this first friend of mine since he got a high double-digit raise.)

So why did I say “changing tides?” Well, I heard a number of people in the company where my friend works are now looking for other jobs. One even had four job interviews in one week. That’s how bad things are, how badly managed the company is. They don’t know how to value people.

I’ve read an article somewhere that people leave because of bad managers. True. I stayed with a job before despite the crappy pay and all because I had a good boss/mentor. In the case of my stark raving mad friend, the company is badly managing people and is rewarding the wrong people (the deadwoods).

If the Facebook memes are to be believed, it was Sir Richard Branson who said that companies should value its workers first before customers. Pay attention to your own people before chasing the profits. Sadly, only a few do. (On a related note, read “Can Small Businesses Afford To Adopt Sir Richard Branson’s Approach to Employee Benefits?”)

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So what are we to do? We should work for ourselves then. But that route is not for everybody.

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I exhausted myself to death for three days for only two stories. Tiny stories. Why I do this, I dunno. It’s just there’s this tiny force inside me that keeps me doing what I do.

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Had been in Singapore for 8 days now. Flying back to Manila tonight. I didn’t plan on blogging too soon but the horrible chicken rice somewhere in ION Food Centre (or whatever it’s called) has prompted me to say something about it.

I had been spoiled by good food for a week now, mainly courtesy of hawkers centres or those hole-in-the-wall restaurants near the business district where no white guys dare go. A co-worker brought us to Maxwell Hawkers Centre one day for white chicken rice since I had been hankering for it for days. SGD25 for 5 of us was not bad at all.

Then came the white chicken rice at the mall that I just had earlier today for SGD7++…It had my blood boiling. What a rip off! Tasted like—nothing! It was just like chicken boiled in water and I had to drown it with that gooey dark sauce, some chili oil and lots of garlic paste just to make it palatable. For the life of me I can no longer remember the name of the vendor but I’m sure I will not be coming back. I was just too hungry at that time to go searching for something nice to eat so I had to settle for mall food. Should’ve known better. *sigh*