Friday, August 27, 2010


Two days ago I promised myself not to whine about the glaring flaws of the Manila hostage crisis, I haven't been keeping it. Perhaps I need to make the public part of my PAGBABAGO!

There's really nothing surprising that the hostage drama ended tragically. We experience the daily incompetence of our police force - we see them daily waiting under a tree to catch a traffic violator instead of easing the convoluted traffic. Anybody who trusts the police, please raise your right hand? "Anak, magingat sa mga pulis"  di ba? Even P'Noy's inaugural address included the first presidential decree against police wang wang (aka abuse/misuse of power). 

Nothing surprising about pinoys posting happy pictures, gruesome Hong Thai bus at the background, making fun and taking lightly even the most tragic calamity. While some manage to keep souvenirs - Ondoy donations kept at official storage rooms for next election, the silent majority are indifferent/insensitive for as long as it doesn't concern them! We don't keep tab of important things, we forget,  we move on until the next one comes along.. oooh yeah.. 

Nothing surprising with P' Noy either, a Presidential title doesnt change a 50 yr-old uncommited bachelor overnight. No math needed to figure out Malacanang's low batt inaction!  Do we now miss GMA?.. remember her half-day quelling of a coup at Manila Penn, no blood shed and rounding up uncooperative mediamen! Malacanang must look up the meaning of isolated and unimportant, uh oh, their not synonyms.. Sa akin mag umpisa ang pagbabago, kayo ang boss ko!! And 55 days later, P' Noy says he doesn't want to intervene, so God save the Philippines!

Thank God this event was witnessed by the whole wide world because every senator and goverment official and police and lawmaker seem ready to take action to correct the situation. Much like when fiesta comes, everyone does general cleaning, brings out the best linen and china to impress the guests. Day after, back to same old ways. Are we going to be surprised that this will just be one of those same old same old? Much ado, all ado.

It is no surprise that while the  OFWs, Manny, Charice, Venus, Efren, Goldilocks cakes and many, many great Filipinos build, some misfits in the goverment, the police and military, the congress, the judiciary have been bungling our bright future. From their ranks have come most of our real "major, major" problems and embarassment! Let's not leave our fate, our beautiful country, our children's future to these incompetent usual suspects. 

It is neither a surprise that we are a  strong force together- remember Ondoy? Guess who makes much ado in the WWW?  When Filipinos tweet, we set the TREND! We don't need the title to lead, we have the power and we've made it possible hundredth times over. Let's start sweeping not only in our own backyard but in our community too. Unless we are in it TOGETHER, individually we can't keep up with the systemic corruption and consistent inconsistencies of the few misfits. 

No surprises here, but we all need PAGBABAGO! Let's not allow this much ado to come to naught. This isn't a campaign LOLz, it's a clarion call to be "personally and societally" responsible and response-able Pinoy! Sa akin mag umpisa ang pagbabago! 

PS, by the way, are we surprised about the media my dear kapuso and kapamilya? Let's not discuss them, baka tumaas pa rating nila. 

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Silence of Office

Hollywood's Dirtiest Little Secret: Nannies   How do celebrities like Angelina and Julia do it all? With lots (and lots) of help. And they're doing women a huge disservice by hiding these helping hands. (This article appeared in Forbes Woman this week)

While celebrities often promote their stylists or trainers (or they promote themselves), nannies are classified information, locked into strict confidentiality contracts. Yes, occasionally they do break the code of silence and blab, or even sue, as did the nannies of Heather Mills McCartney and Rob Lowe. But a blabbing nanny is an unemployed nanny. 

So why all the secrecy?
In the family services' profession, you will all agree with me, silence of office and discretion are highly valued. Family intimacy and security are utmost especially high profile families like these and they wouldn't want their nanny's faces seen on major dailies and be hounded by papparazzis to milk for scoops or at worse by bad elements. It is not disservice to keep their existence private but  prudent judgement.  Good heavens! we all know they exist. Silence of office is part of professionalism. All the work related information we incidentally find out are not our property and have to be kept as company property and have to be guarded as such. We do not have any right to divulge them outside the confines of our work. Think of how Steve Jobs keeps his latest projects' from competitors and media. It is domestic staff's responsibility to keep family life away from prying and inquisitive public eyes. 
Like any smart business, secondary functions are outsourced so one can focus on his core. Nannies and domestic staff are there to assist moms and afford them the time to fulfill better their role as mother, housewife and professional career women. That's a lot of work and if one can afford hiring good and discreet ones, thank heavens again.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Spring Cleaning

Vacation time is clean up time! I spent entire week doing spring cleaning preparing for the arrival of the home owners.  This past three weeks consisted of repainting, minor repairs and deep cleaning while my clients are out and enjoying their summer vacation. 
I prefer manual dusting of
Persian Rugs to preserve pile
Use soft cleaning brush
for grooves

Prior to vacation (at least 2-3 weeks) all the works must be coordinated - inspection  to identify needed repairs, schedule restorative cleaning, schedule vacation of the staff, empty the pantry, call service providers (repairmen, cleaners, pest control), foresee upcoming events.  These works can only be done while the family is away. 
Spring cleaning means dusting ceiling and coves, cleaning lamps and chandeliers, shampooing uphoslteries and rugs, cleaning bookshelves, walk in closets, shoe shelves, cupboards, scrubbing toilets and kitchens, sending bedcovers for dry cleaning, thorough vacuuming including matresses, cleaning roll up blinds  and wooden shutters, scrubbing/polishing floors, cutting overgrown tree branches and plants, list go on and on, it really depends on each case.
Make sure you make a checklist for each staff to help them organize their cleaning and to make sure everything is done on time without sacrificing their rest and health. Happy Cleaning!

Charity in Truth

I am reading the encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI "Charity in Truth". yes sir!  Are encyclicals included in a home manager's reading materials? (mine at least), actually anybody for that matter. Don't ask me for a cerebral analysis of this material (Im not even done yet)..,  but it discusses the very interesting topic of true development.
In this era of amazing opportuntities in taking advantage of economic and technological advancement, genuine human development finds it foundation and is cemented in the home, within the confines of family life where I am me on equal footing with the rest with respect to rights and responsibilities, where my service is appreciated for what I can give, I am loved and defended as I am without need of compromise nor without need of titles. It is in the home where I am free and loved and respected being me.  From genuine families come responsible members of society.
What a privileged job it is to serve and nurture a home. The work of home managers and domestic staff is a catalyst to genuine sustainable human progress..

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pico de Loro - Hamilo Coast

Thats the word that comes to mind when I think of my Pico de Loro experience this month, inspite of the typhoon and rains. Our trip was delayed because of Typhoon Basyang. We tried the following week and inspite of the damage caused by the typhoon, we had a fun and restful day. The great tasting food,the pleasant place that is ethnic-modern fusion, the pool which I liked a lot...and the ever smiling and helpful Filipino staff made our day. Pico de Loro is worth a 3.5 hours trip from Manila include a private beach cove along the coast of Nasugbu, several pools, a beach clubhouse and a country clubhouse which has a great fine dining resto Lagoa, a Gym, badminton and tennis courts, squash courts, function rooms and a Library. Yes they also have rooms for a few days stay..


Monday, June 28, 2010

Vietnamese Cooking..

Saigon, I was there!!
I'm learning to enjoy my trips. I travelled to Ho Chi Min on the first week of June for some work errands and made it a point to make my trip more educational too so I included learning a bit of vietnamese cuisine. I searched the web and found Saigon Culinary Arts Center. They offer short cooking courses, so I got into one of their half day course (VN 650,000 or US35.00). We started class at 9:00AM and ended with lunch at 12:00 noon. A Vitenamese Chef and an interpreter taught us to make a three course menu:
Tomato Soup (so refreshing) made from fresh tomatoes and chicken stock garnished with strips of spring onions and egg.
Vietnamese spring rolls (Cha Gio) made from shrimps, crab meat, taro which gave it a nice texture and wrapped in rice paper. The native tray serves as measuring guide while you wrap your rolls on rice paper, the grid makes the rolls of the same size. The rolls are deep fried in oil until golden brown. Tip: cook in low fire to make sure ingredients cook well. Serve with lettuce leaves, rice noodles and mint leaves - way to eat the rolls - wrap your fried roll onto a lettuce leaf together with some noodles and some mint leaves and serve with sweet sour sauce.

And the Caramelized Catfish cooked in Claypot (so good), pictures say it all. 

And here's me and my diploma!