Entries for September, 2008

31 August 2008

I arrived at the Suvarnabhum Airport at around 4:30, an hour earlier than Philippine time. Met with a Malaysian colleague, Kamala and rode a hotel taxi to Amari Atrium in New Petchburi Road Bangkok. Kamala was excited about shopping, I was worried about how to go back to the hotel if ever we get to go around. I’m not so much of a shopping gal. I love to look around but I usually don’t buy if it’s not somehow a necessity. I am more agog about gadgets than with girly things. Strange but I think I got it from my Dad who is a techie guy as well.

Anyway, we decided to fix our stuff for an hour and hit the road going to MBK, a famous mall here in Bangkok. It was a big mall alright but its more like the shopping mall in Singapore where Filipinos hang around during weekends (I forgot the name…memory gap…sigh) Thailand is more like the Philippines. They have terrible traffic jams too. Only their environment is a bit cleaner than ours. Their natives look more Chinese than Malays.

Here they have various means of transportation – taxi, bus (they even have the double-decked ones around), a taxi motorbike (a bigger tricycle), underground trains, LRT and a boat. Yup there’s this boat than goes around the Cana river (I think that’s what its called) and you can even go to the malls using the boat. Sounds exciting. I haven’t tried it yet, but I want to ride one of these days.

One constant site you will find around are the altars their establishments have right in front of their buildings. Its like a Buddha with animals in front adorned with flowers (orchids mostly as this seems to be their national flower) I also heard there are live elephants around that cross the streets as they are being taken cared of just like any other household pets we have back home. I have yet to see one though.

Thailand is also known for their great massage places. I wish I could have one but I can’t having undergone surgery and all. I know I’m missing a lot. Maybe I can come back for it some other time. Food is great as well. A little bit more on the spicy stuff but you can always choose not to put on the chili. I had Padthai for my first meal here. I had to ask them not to put on sugar as Kamala warned me that they love sugar on their noodles. I really have to watch the food I eat and take care of the one kidney that is left of me.

Thai people are very warm and humble. I love how they greet you with a bow, their hands put together with their thumbs pointing at their hearts. Meaning a warm welcome coming from the heart. Sweet! I am liking it here. But I still like the Philippines more. There is no place like home really.

Currently listening to: tell her I love her-jessie mcartney
Currently feeling: curious
Posted by princess_bride on September 2, 2008 at 02:47 PM | dance with me

01 September 2008

Apart from the political protests ongoing here in BKK, there is one more glitch we have to deal with in this trip. Just like any other audit undertaking, there will always be resistance. Some people are just not comfortable having their work strictly scrutinized for any deviation from policy. It is how our first morning at the Thailand office was welcomed. We were warned beforehand by the testing manager that we should prepare for the resistance. Not only because of the scrutiny but because we are having the testing parallel to the kickoff of an integration project. The key people involved in our testing will be busy with another critical activity.

This morning we were told that these people cannot come to our scheduled opening meeting. And it was tough going through the control points without the testee’s around. We had to make do with the available resources. So what I did with my testing buddy was to identify the required reports where we will extract our samples and communicate this thru email to the responsible people. It was a headache going through the controls, it’s my first SOX testing experience and I had to refer to previous testing done to be able to somehow come up with something tomorrow.

The documentation tool is another story altogether. It’s good that I was exposed to this during the recently concluded FICUS project so going through the previous data was a breeze. The only problem is if we could get feedback from these people tomorrow and be able to start on the documentation in the tool. Oh well, we’ll just take things as they come. I preferred to test the Customer Team controls as I needed the exposure to be able to replicate this in the Phils. but was also asked by the Asst. Regional Controller to assist her in the Country Finance & Control testing. Which I find an equally challenging opportunity. Although my exposure as an accountant for the Philippines has somehow made me a bit adept to the F&C controls.

I was told that there will be more SOX testings done by November this year or May next year and I can participate as long as I have my Boss’ go signal. I could even try the other regions not only in Asia Pacific since most of the time they are short of SOX testers. Well, right now I have to focus on learning as much as I can and being able to apply this to my role as the Phils Sox Coordinator. I know much is expected of me and I wouldn’t want to fall short of that expectation.

Currently listening to: always be my baby - david cook
Currently feeling: stressed
Posted by princess_bride on September 2, 2008 at 02:50 PM | dance with me

'Sawasdee'- Thai for "Good morning, afternoon or evening"

I haven't really visited the historical places here in Thailand. We were really busy at work and usually leave the office at 7pm at the earliest. However, managed to go to Suan Lum night market and to went back to the MBK mall to do some shopping. Traffic can be terrible going around. The only difference with traffic in Manila is that there is not much horn blowing here. Grabe ang tahimik sa daan. Thai's must be very patient people to withstand long hours stuck in a traffic jam.

On work, the testing is taking longer than usual. Today we should be able to come up with the audit summary and submit the report to the global team. However, with all the things going on in the local TH organization I don't think we can really expect participation from some of the people responsible also for another critical project. And I was hoping that the global office will understand this predicament. I mean we can't just push them around if they are attending another workshop.

I'm flying back to Manila tomorrow morning. I hope I can still have breakfast before leaving the hotel. Didn't have to adjust much on the food. You can always choose not to put on the chili. Anyway, hotel food is pretty much international. You can have Indian, American and Thai food altogether. I even had salted eggs and dilis this morning. Asia is really an interesting place to be in. The culture is so rich and the environment so colorful. I am actually impressed how our European colleague have adapted on Asian clothing. They find it very comfortable and cool.

I wish I could have went around and took more pictures. I'd like to ride a boat in the river. And also ride around a tuk-tuk (a very nice taxi tricycle) Maybe next time. Its a nice place to visit again and hopefully I can have more time for pleasure. =)

Currently listening to: Anja's typing
Currently feeling: sleepy
Posted by princess_bride on September 5, 2008 at 10:34 AM | dance with me

'khob khun' - thai for thank you

i'm back and really there's no place like home. i missed my kids so much they were all over me when i got home. hahaha. time flies so fast. and i'm looking forward to my next trip. this is my first trip alone without my boss or any colleagues from home and i enjoyed it. learning so much from the testing experience not only about the organization but about a lot of things - history, culture of different nationalities to name a few. now i am beginning to appreciate the advantage of getting to travel. i never thought it was anything more than work. i was wrong - it was much more. the friendship i have nurtured during the week that i was there was simply amazing. it was just overwhelming for them to ask me to come back and hopefully next time to enjoy and not to do so much work. hehehe i wish.

at the end of every trip, i always keep in mind to be grateful for the experience. especially for the blessing for being given this opportunity. as soon as the plane hit philppine soil, i uttered a simple prayer of thanks. to the One up above who makes things possible - Khob Khun!  

Currently listening to: my heart will go on - new found glory
Currently reading: the secret - byrne
Currently feeling: grateful
Posted by princess_bride on September 7, 2008 at 09:41 AM | dance with me

Lt. James Gordon: "Because he's the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now...and so we'll hunt him, because he can take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a silent guardian, a watchful protector...a dark knight."

that's what i get for watching the dark knight today with my son on dvd. i am just so amazed at how good heath ledger was as the infamous "joker". its just sad that he can't share his talent anymore to the world. he must have internalized his character so much...sobrang dark talaga and he must've imbibed it in him kaya ganon nangyari. of course i can just assume. and christian bale....ooohhhh the yummy batman. hahahah

i don't get to watch movies outside anymore. i'd rather curl up in my bed and watch on dvd. but sometimes it is also good to go out once in awhile. i should do it with friends sometimes. am just so lazy this weekend to do anything. all i did was watch and listen to music. yesterday was into new wave, tonight i got to listen to jazz while organizing my closet. another movie i watched was step up 2 - gorgeous lead stars there as well. i'm not so much of a dancer but i like watching people dance. i remember i used to join dance performances when i was in elementary but i guess i grew out of it.

hmmm i remember the last time i danced like crazy was during the despedida of a friend at bagaberde. side a and mymp was playing that night and i was crazy drunk. mixed drinks can really drive me nuts. i was dancing the night away and was bumping into nap gutierrez (whom i was told was giving me the bad look already) who was seated beside me. malay ko ba and care ko, all i know was we were having fun. well, its not like i do this everyday. but i promised i won't do it again without hubby around. especially with one kidney, bad for the health. hehehe


Currently reading: the secret
Currently feeling: relaxed
Posted by princess_bride on September 14, 2008 at 10:23 PM | dance with me

i (with my youngest daughter) had the chance to watch my kids perform last saturday for an interpretative dance (for my son) and chorale competition (for my eldest daughter). it was a christian living activity that they prepared for two weeks in advance. i was freaking out the night before due to the costume that my eldest daughter was not prepared for. actually it was just the shoes, had i been told earlier we would've went out to shop for them. she's a half size bigger than me its just good that i had something that would do. these are the things that get on my nerves - i hate getting rushed and left with no choice. OC talaga ako pagdating sa ganyan. ayoko ng last minute sinasabi kse lalo ako nasestress. kids...sigh!

anyway, i watched like any proud parent. nakakatuwa to see them active in extracurricular activities. for me its a good chance to develop their social skills (among others). my son is not really a dancer, but he loves dancing and he really makes a lot of effort to learn. somehow feeling ko kakapractice natuto din. my daughter on the other hand is a natural singer, but she's shy and doesn't want to sing in front of a big crowd. hahaha nagmana sa akin. may stage fright din kse ako. but she was able to pull it off. i was surprised that she joined the group. and i'm glad that she's bit by bit getting out of her shell. if given time and opportunity i'd like to enroll her in a school that can harness her singing abilities.

the best thing about saturday was both of them won first prize in their respective performances. naiyak talaga ako kse they were so happy. and i'm so proud of their accomplishment. i guess i was just overwhelmed. imagine both of them winning in separate categories. the smiles on their faces were priceless! and my youngest daughter was rooting for both of them. hahaha at 7 yrs old it seems like she knows a lot about knowing which group was doing well or which group did bad. she was teasing me when she saw me teary-eyed. maloko talaga.

while we were walking home, my youngest daughter asked me if i was happy - i said YES. and she asked why, i said because they won and they are both happy. she replied - ako din! =) indeed, the best things in life are free.    

Currently listening to: round round - sugababes
Currently feeling: proud mom
Posted by princess_bride on September 24, 2008 at 01:52 PM | dance with me

Someone once asked a fortune teller, "can we change our destiny even if its written in the stars?" The fortune teller replied, "yes you can change your future, you can even change your past, not what happend, but the effect it has on you."

Currently listening to: crushcrush - paramore
Currently feeling: tired
Posted by princess_bride on September 29, 2008 at 10:51 PM | 1 danced with me
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