Sunday, 28 February 2016

Saying Goodbyes

In every three years or so, the managers being in this company will either grow or shrink in numbers. While it has not evolved into a consistent trend yet, I believe that this phenomenal marvel will stay as an observable matter for a few years to come.

To offer a simple explanation as to why such a thing happens uncontrollably, I have devised a list from my lightly expressed yet debatable opinions under the guise of deliberately euphemised statements on a descending scale as follows:

3. The employee is not happy.
An employee may lose all the motivation to work in the absence of happiness. The effect is usually easily reversed by any attempt of an employer to find the source of sorrow and by doing something about it.

2. The employer is not happy.
When an employer becomes unhappy with an employee, it’s quite difficult to win the faith back.
Very little option can be done to reverse the effect and this usually ends with the cessation of contract. But there is still hope.

1. Both the employer and the employee are not happy.
Paper contracts are ripped apart and digital copies are purged. There is no point of finding a fix to mend the broken pieces.

But not all of which actions have ended into separating ways are from the list above. There are other obvious reasons that may spark an interest to switch jobs. Say for example, my friend Malou has decided to move to another company. While it is true that her decision was partly due to her continual pursuit of a greener pasture, quite a few mitigating factors also involved having a fresh start to everything.

Here are my fellow managers preparing foods for Malou’s celebration. We Filipinos have traditions that are jovial and yet quite confusing at times. We prepare foods and invite everyone when an occasion is worth celebrating, say a birthday celebration for an instance. But when someone that has become an acquaintance for quite a time is departing for good, we find such thing worthy of celebration too.  

I guess the fun fact there is that Filipinos welcome any excuse for a celebration even when it's ambiguous to everyone around.

The menu for that night included homemade siomai and some stew. In the Philippines, the elders of long ago have coined a term “Bayanihan” to name an instance when everyone is in voluntary mode while helping each other at times like this. Even in a far away place like Papua New Guinea, bayanihan can be observed among Filipino communities.

My voluntary contribution for that night is to assume quality control by tasting and sampling the cooked meals.

While there was no cooked food to sample yet, I must also assume the role of the photographer which was quite an easy job for the night.

My favorite food to sample is from a fellow manager’s specialty, the cassava cake. She has chosen not to be named but I can say that her cassava cake is unique as the toppings that she uses are from her own recipes.

And here are all the managers joining the celebration that night. The rests are seated on the side not captured by my camera.

This celebration is for Malou and Hernan’s last day on the company premises. Unfortunately, Hernan wasn’t able to join us that night because his plane was set to leave a couple of hours earlier. 

While I’m in no position to know what the future holds for these two perky colleagues, I believe that it is going to be brighter.  I wish you two good luck in your new endeavors. 

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Interesting Places around Port Moresby

Whenever I’m driving, my focus is only about three things: the road, the car that I’m driving and the people who may try a sprint across the road.  The places I pass by have less of my attention. Both eloquent and meaningless conversation carried out by passengers in the car are deliberately ignored, regardless. A passenger told me once that with my traits, I can be a locomotive driver. Seems to me like I have reached a milestone with my career in driving until a close friend of mine had said, “Hey, a train driver is usually alone in a driver’s compartment.”

Hi! My name is Glen Villar.

And this is Rodney. He has been under my supervision since the beginning of my employment in the company that I work with.  He has, at first, started as an encoder for our purchases and has since progressed into performing more challenging duties.

While having preceded this post with this photo may appear irrelevant with regards to the title of this post, the idea behind is to show that even a narrow passageway that is  crammed with a delegate of oversized airconditioners has become a place of interest for both Rodney and I.

I’m thinking that the reason for such is somehow connected to my theory upon which I believe that if someone has been on the same place for a long period of time, his brain may start freeing memories inhabited by his experiences of having been in another places. When he is moved to somewhere else, during which a new scenery is introduced, despite having been there before, his brain will attempt to bring back the freed memories.

But since the brain is known to have a great devotion to its host and its protection, it then decides to stop wasting time trying to bring back what is supposed to be a purged memory to begin with.  Because for the brain, there are other more important things at hand like maintaining a DEFCON 2 alertness for any danger. Such a phenomenon lets you experience any common place as new and interesting.

The guy in the left is Noel and on the right is Rodney. I have both trained these two guys in different areas, with Noel concentrating on dealing with Quotation and Invoices and Rodney in both encoding and hardware troubleshooting.  Some people may not enjoy what these two are doing, but for Rodney, deciphering the mysteries of colour coded wires while seated on a monoblock is as interesting as to what Noel, who is on a cozy office chair, was doing on a computer.

I have taught Rodney about the different configurations of UTP cable.  Like anyone else unfamiliar with networking, he has found it confusing at first. Now Rodney knows how to crimp for a 10-baseT and 100-baseT connection and cross-cable connection with ease.

In search for a greener pasture, Noel has already resigned from this company.

Patience and perseverance is the key to finding the problem in something faulty. Most of the time, a computer may emit beeping sounds in response to its self-integrity checking mechanism triggered off by errors.  But in the absence of these little  telltale  noises, a technician’s job becomes relatively challenging. We can think of the whole picture as a jigzaw puzzle with dozens of tessellating pieces.

Each piece of puzzle is like an individual troubleshooting experience from which the technician draws its solution and deal with the problem at hand in a trial and error fashion. Rodney is now good at this. Nearly as good as me.


This is our little make-shift half-court basketball setup in our front yard. The guy on the left wearing a red short is responsible for coming up with this ingenuity. The hoop is made up of an old and rusty steering wheel which is then mounted on some kind of fixture where a pulley is purposely installed.

Playing basketball is fun for the first 100 times, but thereafter its amusement factor declines if you keep on playing with familiar faces every now and then.

This is me on an early Sunday morning at Pacific Adventist University (PAU). Settled behind me are the numerous stall owners selling different kinds of vegetables and foods with beverages. Being one of the few in our company who were allowed to drive the company’s car, I’m getting all sort of requests from fellow managers to bring them to places where I would not normally have a reason to go.

But going to PAU on a Sunday morning is more productive than sleeping it off in my bed. You can spend 1 Kina for each pile of vegetable which I find relatively affordable. And because the vegetables in the picture are hard to come by, I did not think twice about buying them. A few years ago, I learned how to cook Ginisang Munggo by reading about it at Panlasang Pinoy blog and the bitter gourd leaves in my hand is a crucial recipe.

While varying proportions of the PNU campus are divided to school buildings, housing and an open air market, the larger partition of its land is converted to plantation. The picture above shows a vast area where the corn crops and papaya are planted. 

This place is the PNG Gardener. Once in a while, I come here for a visit. There is always something in an aquarium shop that makes me visit it. Although it’s not clear yet, I guess it has something to do with being an aquarium enthusiast myself.

Here’s a shop assistant attempting to scoop out a pair of rainbow fish. Rainbow fish is an ornamental fish naturally found in the habitats of Papua New Guinea. I’ve read somewhere before that it’s quite hard to keep. Luckily though, the pair that I bought are still in good shape after introducing them to a community of Sogeri Kois and swordtails.

This area is near the Centrepoint which is next to our place of work.  Noel and I were aiming to snap a photo of an Australian-duo who were performing before the crowd. They are quite visible if you try and zoom in.

This is what the old Rita Flynn Netball Complex looks like before its renovation. Nowadays, the complex is far better. The players wearing the lighter shade of blue are employees from the company that I’m working with. I know the players by their individual names but as a group, we refer to them simply as The Netball Girls. 

Netball has a striking resemblance to basketball. Like the latter, the mechanics of the game mandate that players from opposing team must try and and outscore each other by bringing the ball into the hoop. A few noticeable differences between the two games are:
  • The ball itself. It seems like they’re using a ball the size of a soccer or volleyball instead of the official basketball.
  • Dribbling.  There is not much dribbling involved throughout the entire game. However, good movement of the ball through passing among team mates is the key to much of the winning.
  • The hoop doesn’t have a backboard like a basketball court does.
  • It seems that netball is more commonly played by girls.

Here’s ate Des and a couple of our co-managers exhibiting some form of moral support by being present in the game and shouting cheers amidst the other cheering crowd. 

That's it for this week. Until next time!

Friday, 5 February 2016

Foods to Eat at POM

What can be a more rhythmic question than asking what is there to eat? It’s possible that while there may be a lot of people like me who don’t bother much about coming up with this question in mind, our kind has only a miniscule part of the entirety to which all human beings are represented.

A little vague, isn’t it? Generally, my thoughts can become aimless and without sense when I’m hungry. As such, I notice that my grammar becomes a bit weird and my statements hold a tendency to digress from my main point.

But going back to my topic, if you have somehow, wondered about the foods we eat here in Port Moresby, here is a photo-list that I prepared for everyone.  I did my best and tried to remember each occurrence in its chronological order as possible. 

In Brumby’s, which is a bakery and a cafeteria at once, one has a freedom to experiment on “pairing up” upon which a brewed coffee of your preference is combined with the bread of your choice. The pair above is a tandem of croissants and a cup of cappuccino which I ordered.

You can find Brumby’s inside the Vision City.

If your taste is accustomed to oriental foods and at some point in your life, it got slightly changed by the introduction of western delicacies, you might want to go and try the restaurant at the Edgewood Hotel.  My friends and I have been here in quite a number of occasions. Our modus operandi for this recurring indulgence is to split the bill among ourselves in varying proportions. 

There is no better place for a bunch of hungry managers to eat and talk freely about the intricacies of politics in the workplace than a geographically well placed hotel-resto.

The Ela Beach Hotel along the Ela Beach is a classy restaurant which is frequented by both expats and locals. Here’s Malou, I and kuya Levi. I’ve only been here for like, twice or so. I like it for the big hamburgers and pizza on its menu.

If you’re in for customized bread, try the Love Bytes Bakery. They can accept custom-made bread to any form and size that fits any occasion. The bread in the photo above is just one fine example.  Its faecal resemblance is done with a sense of purpose and has nothing to do with how it smell.

Mmmmm. Yummy!

Shakers is another bakeshop and cafeteria located at the second floor in Vision City. Although I cannot exactly remember when, we have once dined in here. We just ordered coffee and a few slices of cakes.  

If there is something noteworthy of being mentioned, it is the Claypot in Plaza Inn restaurant which is by far, the greatest-ever kind of claypot that I have ever tasted in my life. Here’s a photo of which the variety of ingredients speak for themselves.  My friends and I have been trying to imitate this recipe but our failures prove that it’s not quite an easy task. Perhaps there is a secret recipe to it.

I wonder what it can be?

Another place where we can buy and eat a really nice cake is in Boroko Foodworld near Gordons. The cake above was what I ordered before. Like everyone else, I seem to have developed a habit of taking a photo of something I’m about to eat… or have partially eaten in this case.

Here’s me in my uniform and this shelf is in RH Hypermart at Vision City.

I love chocolates as much as pregnant women love unripe mangoes. But then not all pregnant women love an unripe mango so I guess the more appropriate analogy would be, “I love chocolates as much as some pregnant mango-loving-women love unripe mangoes.”

Next post, I'll try and write something about a couple of interesting place that I've been in POM. Enjoy your weekend everyone!

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