Sunday, 23 July 2017

Oh Look! Someone Sent Me A Gift

Every once in a while, almost all of us are hoping to have something for free, things that we wish we have but we neither like to get now nor shred a part of our earnings for it. Attempting to get it at such point in time should probably leave one feeling guilty over its course for being the impulsive buyer that we never want us to be.

Sometimes, we may just get lucky. A couple of weeks ago, I received this set of Mont Marte acrylic brushes from a long-time reader of this blog. I have since been meaning to write this post about thanking her for these art tools, and I feel a little bad for not doing it right away.

But I’d like to take this opportunity to say thank you to Ms. Maria, for sending me this wonderful gift and for being a regular reader of this blog. I also appreciate that you specifically wrote my blog’s name on that sticky note. Now it hangs permanently next to my drawing table to remind me of your kindness.

Kind of like "Oh hey! Yeah. I've got these brushes from Maria." reminder. Cheers!

Again, thank you and have a nice day.

Monday, 10 July 2017

Betel Nut, Mustard and Lime

One of the peculiarities of Papua New Guinea is that it’s rather a common thing to see folks chewing buai (betel nut) to pass the time. Back in the Philippines, I’ve known some people who are fond of chewing buai but over the years, the number of my countrymen engaged to this habit had dwindled down. The decline can probably be traced back to the diminishing source of betel nuts and the rise of street foods everywhere.

Remind me to bring home betel nut seeds when I go for holiday so I can marginally contribute to the revival of what was once a favorite pastime of our predecessors.

With permission from these two gentlemen, they let me take a photo of them as they show me the most preferred way to chew daka, which is a bean-like green called mustard.  The small jar the left man was holding had a whitish powder in it which they called kamang or lime. 

The kamang is what’s responsible for turning the mixture of chewed buai and daka in their mouth to red. 


So basically, the whole idea about chewing betel nut encompasses a small jar of lime, a beetle nut with its skin peeled off, and a stick of mustard. I believe there is a certain technique to learn when it comes to trying these the first time; like making sure not to put the lime directly on the gums to avoid having an unpleasant burning sensation.

Certain habits have their dangers. So I’m told.


Our friend Nessy here is gladly showing us what kind of reaction takes place when the mixture of  juices from betel nut and mustard blend in with lime and saliva. The reddish part stain on his teeth is just  the normal chemical reaction.

One important thing to remember when chewing buai is that one needs to spit out the fibrous residue as often as needed. If you happen to have imbibed the juices, you can get mildly euphoric or mildly high. The locals will then refer to you along with the current stimulated effect you’re feeling as, spak man long buai (spark). 

Have a nice week everyone!

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Just Another Day In Papua New Guinea

The intense heat and the sweaty feeling that one experiences during which time the sun is at its peak on a wide arc is probably called, heat intolerance. This usually leads up to heat exhaustion if ignored. Yet I often find it mesmerizing that there are those who can take the heat like a pro and don’t mind getting a sun tan every now and then.

Here in Pinoy In PNG Blog, it can be said that life in Papua New Guinea is not without the abundance of sunlight. Clear skies and sunny days are the usual source of jovial moods that leave a trail of happiness on everyone’s faces. And if there is some kind of a meter with which one can use to measure the amount of work that one can do after gaining such merriment, it’ll tip the scales off, much like how the Scouters break into pieces when a Saiyan attempts to measure Goku's power in Super Saiyan mode.


In some biological lifeforms, like the ants for example, ants may tend to set aside the urge to entertain nonsensical ideas when at work. But we, humans, have the exact opposite of which, and a forklift driver can stop driving it anytime for a cool pose when I'm taking a picture of him.

Like what our friend Rajiv is doing in this picture.


Sometimes, a group of highly jealous cummulonimbus clouds can come and establish dominance over our airspace. Like the ants, no matter how resilient an ant can be, we humans will scamper off into the safety of our homes when faced with a gloomy weather on such atmospheric heights. 


But most of the time, the threat of rain remains just a threat. It ends up being shy that slowly dissipates into oblivion leaving a window of opportunity for the sun to peek through its gaps.  At this point in time, what we can do is sit back and enjoy such spectacular view in the presence of our love ones.

Or in Facebook messenger with our love ones.

Have a nice day everyone!

Monday, 1 May 2017

50th Post

I started this blog in the last quarter of 2014 and I have not stopped posting since then. Albeit the number of times I post are few and far between, I’m pretty much happy that this blog has made it this far. Today, I’m writing for my fiftieth post into Pinoy In Papua New Guinea. For those who are wondering about how long I’m still planning to work in this lovely country, the answer is yet to come.

From a not-so-distant universe, I guess.

But having stayed here for six years, I’m beginning to feel the weight of not being able to experience the things that I used to have or do back home.When things of the present cross path with vague recollections of things in the past, I fantasize sometimes of getting back home.

The speed, at which reality strikes us, is faster than a blink of an eye. It’s always ahead of the fantasies that we create in our daydreams. What I mean is that, we adults consider it more important to think about our current responsibilities than anything else. And at the end of the day, we all need to put some food on the table so anything that I missed doing back in the 'ol Philippines can wait.


Sometimes, I find it tempting to ask if the point of living is to grow up fast so we can fulfill our imminent destinies to work our lives off until eventually, we pipe down to an old rocking chair as we become too old for anything other than be a witness to the flickering flame of our own dying candle light. But such question is not worth asking for, because we, at Pinoy in Papua New Guinea do not worry about the things we are not in control of.

While I’m not sure about what tomorrow may bring us, I hope to go on with what I have started in this blog. As long as you continue to find delight in what I share, you’ll definitely see more of it posted here in the future.

Cheers!

Saturday, 29 April 2017

A Glimpse of What We Do In Papua New Guinea

There’s a saying that says, “An opportunity only knocks once.” And then it’s up to us to decide in which way it’s better greeted up.

My older cousin, kuya Jun, has invented a series of object classes in a programming language called Visual Foxpro. These classes are mostly an enhanced version of the usual controls that we normally see on desktop computers being run by Windows OS.  To help you imagine what an object class is, you can think of the browser’s title bar as an example where at the rightmost corner of which you can find three inseparable buttons: the Minimize, Maximize and Close button. His classes include a title bar class, and what it does is that it gives other software developers the chance to change the title bars’ appearance during run time and make them look more pleasing to the eye.

A benefit that one gains from such feat, aside from the money that pours in from subscriptions, is a surprising increase in the number of followers that recognize your invaluable contributions to VFP communities.

While I, myself, have been contributing for years in my own leisure, they're just an infinitesimal dot in the cyberspace of history. I wish not be perceived as being cocky, but if someone likes to see the stuffs that I gave away for free, please visit these two links: the Polyclock class and the Number To Word function.

Anyway, the reason being that I have come up with the quote above is because this post is mildly related to that. As kuya Jun’s class increased in popularity, so does the frequency of deposits made to his Paypal’s virtual wallet. The emerging problem thereafter is about finding the way to make use of it because his Paypal account has no link to his other personal bank account. He thought it better to spend them on buy and sell items; like order an item from Ebay with Paypal and sell it locally.

I am one of the few “local” buyers.

A few months ago, I ordered a 120-set of Faber-Castell Polychromos color pencils from him. I got it for less than 20% of the price in the retail market. The delivery was prompt, which did not take more than two months. Before the novelty wears out, I thought it appropriate to take the opportunity of making a drawing with it. That’s my hand in the picture. I’m kind of wearing a crude smudge guard which I made from a recycled glove mitten.
If you’re wondering who it is that I’m drawing, she’s Julia Gillard, one of Australia’s former prime ministers. 


In the office, I continue to be busy on anything I can work on with. The scope, in which the whole weight of my responsibility falls into, is a bit large. While surrounding circumstances make me prioritize software development, I also put myself in charge of our company's digital arts, computers and networking maintenance, and inventory management. An apparent visible cue to having as much work is the agglomeration of various things on my desk.

Although a cluttered desk may receive an immediate impression of being a disorganized old chap, I beg to disagree.  A few mitigating factors involved in having such is my reluctance to dispose of remnants of the finished works, simply for the reason that I find delight in savoring the fruits of labor.


















But any of which you see on my desk is regarded with equal importance. Hence, a puncher and a calculator are as indispensable as that of the three-screen display that I have. Working on multiple screen is fun and it can increase productivity to a certain point by reducing the time spent on shifting through open apps. 

In the picture above, on the left screen, is the CinchPro Payroll System that I’m creating for the company that I’m working with. In the middle is the source code editor and the screen on the right is for viewing SQL queries.


















Before I knew about the existence of Acrylic paints in tubes, I was using watercolors. The A4 size artwork above is of the cartoon Thomas and Johnny and is what I painted with Mont Marte watercolors. The advantage of using acrylic paints over watercolors is that the former doesn’t fade after it dries out, but the latter doesn’t dry as fast on the palettes. I’ll post some of my artworks using acrylics in the near future if time permits.


Here in Papua New Guinea, we spend most of our times in the office or in the city proper. I find it that there’s not much an opportunity to be out and about and be in one with nature at one's whims. But one such opportunity arises during when I accompany my friends to a morning mass held during Sundays somewhere in Waigani. Even though I just usually wait for them and sit the time entirely in this parking lot that resembles a nature themed park, the experience is worth taking on.

That’s all for this week. Have a nice Sunday everyone.


Friday, 21 April 2017

The Making of TWS Banner

One thing that I have developed over the years since the reign of Banner Mania is an affinity for composing graphic arts. The motivating factor behind is fun. While I find it not so hard to do, I don’t claim that I’m good in this niche. But on a scale of 1 to 10, it’s fairly reasonable to say that I’m somewhat comfortable being sited in one’s judicious perception of what the average skill is.

Which is probably close to 5.


This is my design for the banner that we’re planning to temporarily put up in our display room. TWS stands for Total Workplace Supplies and it’s pretty much an emerging company in Papua New Guinea. The initial aim for the banner is to provide our visitors with an instant way of knowing what we’re dealing of. The man sanitizing his hand with what has come out of a Purell sanitizer on the wall is a subtle hint for children that the clear liquid in the bottle is not meant for drinking.  

Actually, I’m just kidding.

A more subtle hint is that when you see a smiling man happily sanitizing his hand before a liquid dispenser, it's probably tempting to say, "Wait, it's not lunch yet?"



I borrowed this photo from the Gojo website. I’m hoping that they won’t mind because we’re actually trying to promote their interesting range of products, which you are most likely to see being used in the office premises and in the lavatories of hotel rooms. 


I have also borrowed one photo from a Google search result, this is what I used for the background.


I was actually browsing for some royalty free photos online but our staff has voluntarily offered that we use his photo instead. So here, we made our own little photo-session in the office. 

He looks more than happy for getting this much attention, I reckon. 


Out of those eight photos, we have chosen this. All of the photos are actually nice but the angle and shades in this photo just fell on the right places. What remains of the other photos is immediately perceived of as the casualty of a propitious photo-shoot.

Oh, by the way, the guy’s name is Stanley.


Here, I’m trying to work out a Photoshop magic. The picture of the office is slightly tilted to the left and is applied with Gaussian Blur of 38.3 pixels. The purpose of which is to create an illusion of depth once in place behind Stanley’s photo.


Next, we’ll remove the background from this photo to prepare it for compositing. I used the Adobe Photoshop’s pen tool to manually trace over an imaginary line around Stanley. The Bezier curve with points above Stanley's hand is an example of how I control the flow of the curves with a pen tool.

A few notable settings that I use when cutting off the background are the following:

Feather = 1
Smoothing = 3
Selection Expand or Contract = 5


Here’s the final image after compositing. I played around and made some changes in Hues and Saturation, Color Balance, Levels and Curves to create an impression that the three different images are of the same photo. The last adjustment I made to this banner was a Warming Photo Filter (85) with a density of 6%.


Printing banners on the canvass is not much of a problem in Port Moresby. The major players in this field are the Colour Boys, Theodist, Moores Printing, Creative Arts and Tiger Signage. The photo above is in the workplace of Tiger Signage.

Have a good day everyone!

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Halo-halo and Ukay-ukay

Long ago, a group of Filipino sailors sailed together with Spaniard soldiers for a trade mission to Australia. Within the woody confines of a Spanish Galleon, off they went from the Philippines and into the vastness of the southern ocean. 

They carry with them: buffalo milk, sugar, various kinds of beans like mongo and the other types that look like the modern beans. They also brought eggs and purple yams.

In the midst of their journey, somewhere in the northeast of Papua New Guinea, there happened to be a huge storm billowing over the horizon. Without an Island on sight, the captain of the ship ordered a full speed ahead towards the southern hemisphere. Despite knowing the utmost danger of the harsh waters in the Pacific, the Filipinos obliged.

But the storm had gathered in speed and size much sooner than everyone expected and it was not long until it found the Galleon floating like a sitting duck with her crews scrambling around trying to fix her bearing amidst the strong waves and howling winds.

By then, darkness has already engulfed the ocean and even the wind-proof lamps could not compensate for the diminishing visibility brought about by the mixture of a heavy rain and hales. 

Hale. That was something scarier than one’s average source of fright. For it can punch holes through the brittle hulls of the Galleon and can knock anyone out to a deep slumber. Truly, they were a devastating force for their impact alone had broken off the mast of the ship, rendering it incapacitated. Without the sails, the crew knew they are bound to a gloomy desolation. With the storm this big, all they can do is pray and wait it out to pass. 

The next morning, everything was calm. The storm has passed by. But they couldn’t believe that the strong draught had pushed them all the way down the icy part of the world—the Antarctica! And to make it even worse, their ship has run aground on a big ice shelf.  

Feeling joyful somehow for having survived the storm, they all went down to set foot on the icy continent. That’s when the captain of the ship told the men a quote that had since put up on the annals of the history of men:

“Bring forth the beans, the buffalo milk, the sugar, the eggs and the purple yams for today, we will celebrate! We shall celebrate the day that we have lived when we’re supposed to have been in the hands of death.”

And so, the Filipino men, prepared a fire and cooked the beans. They also made a leche flan out of the buffalo milk and the eggs.  Our Filipino ancestors knew some archaic recipes about purple yams so the crew made halaya out of it.

When everything was done, they set all of the foods on the table. The captain once again spoke, “What seems to be missing? We have beans, sugar, milk, leche flan and halaya?”

Without saying a word, a Filipino crew stood up, walked over to where some pile of snow hasn’t solidified yet and scooped a handful. He came back to the table and asked the other crews to fill their cups with beans and sugar. He then stuffed the cup with snow. One of the crews put a slice of leche flan and a spoonful of halaya on the mixture. 

Seeing that what they are about to make there is something of a novelty invention, the Captain poured the milk over the mixture, thinking that if it’s going to be a success, then it’s worth contributing something even with just a miniscule effort. Alas! They have made something that no one has ever done before.

And that was how, my friend, the halo-halo was invented.

But I was just kidding. I just made that story up. In Papua New Guinea, however, there is a similar kind of halo-halo being sold for less than K10 (Kina) at Kopitiam restaurant. The Malaysian chef there calls it “Ice Ka-chang.” 

One can probably just ignore the tiny differences between halo-halo and the ice-kachang. The reason being for wanting to indulge on sweets like this is perhaps to alleviate what we are experiencing from the heat of global warming. 


Contrary to my made-up story, the ice in the Ice-kachang didn’t come from the Antarctic, but instead it came from the belly of that cute ice grinder sitting next to nanay Ada in this picture. I’m not sure why it looked like a mascot, but with my tendency to over-speculate; I’d probably think that its primal reason for the disguise was to lure curious children into coming closer so it could gobble them up.

Just kidding.

Perhaps, it’s all part of the marketing strategy. Cute things tend to attract more.


Actually, before we went to Kopitiam, me and nanay Ada had spent an hour going through the displays in one of the second hand shops in Port Moresby. This shop is somewhere around the Gordons area, near the Nesa Foam. 


The Kopitiam is somewhere around the Waigani area. The shop is behind these inanimate figures. It’s also near the “tunnel,” and when we mention the tunnel, almost everyone knows where it is.  But the tunnel is somewhat a misnomer, because it’s actually a short gap under a skyway called Poreporena highway. 

Have a nice day everyone! 

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

How to Write a Letter of Donation

Quite a few days ago, I was urgently asked by a colleague to help her write a letter of donation to a person who was previously working with us. Unfortunately, that person is unable to work at the time being, or may not be able to work at all, due to a vehicular accident.

I love to claim that I am not an expert in writing letters simply because it's the truth. And the internet has a veritable stockpiles of various letter examples, all that one needs to do is google through them.

But I guess, our friendly Google can also come back empty-handed especially if the topic being looked up is atypical. Sometimes, it treats us instead to a generous serving of hits that have a little significance to what is being asked for. I'd like to think that it's due to its search-algorithm going haywire and deviating from the given task while pretending to be in possession of an intelligence that is akin to a 6 year old kid.



The closest thing that we can probably think of in comparison is the autonomous robot called AMEE in the movie Red Planet. Amee is designed to provide a mechanical support to the astronauts involved in a mission to Mars. A small accident has caused Amee's behavioral shift, and it became a contumacious robot that hunted down all of the accompanying astronauts to death.

Anyway, with the very little time given to do more searches, I am only left with the option to compose my own. So, here's the basic letter of donation that I wrote. I believe that it may help you jumpstart your "idea-machinery" and have you working on your own style in no time.


-oOo-


Dear Employee Name,

We are deeply saddened by the news of your accident. It is unfortunate that despite all of our efforts to stay clear of troubles, nature is habitually unpredictable and oftentimes random in disseminating misfortunes to any of us.

We believe that no human being deserves to suffer from the debilitating effect of a vehicular accident, let alone the unbearable pain that it leaves behind.

Therefore, to assist you with your medical expenses, the company has decided to give you a K500 donation.  We humbly believe that, no matter how trivial this amount may be, it will be of assistance to your medical needs.

We wish you a speedy recovery. We hope that this small token of appreciation will merit a little smile from you.

Thanking you for your service to us.


Yours Truly,

Your Name

Thursday, 6 April 2017

The King of All Corned Beef

How does one make a review of a certain brand of corned beef?

This question has had me mildly stumped for a while, and for once, I found myself stretched out in between the two opposing sides of whether I should write about it or not. But my inquisitive instinct has got the better of me and I thought that, maybe, a short, but a straightforward write up of my own observation would suffice.

Back in the Philippines, Filipino families of all means are blessed with an equally comfortable opportunity of buying canned foods in the consumer market. And having experienced life both being in the poor sector and in the middle class,  I don’t quite remember of having known a particular brand of tin food, like corned beef, for instance, being produced for the upper-class alone.

But perhaps, there exists a brand that is virtually accessible only to the rich ones and such closely guarded existence that has eluded my awareness for years may allude to a possibility that being unaware of it all my life is a proof that it does exist.

I’m probably watching too much movies.



Anyway, in Papua New Guinea, there is a locally produced brand of corned beef that is really nice. The brand is Ox & Palm. It’s so nice that I now consider calling it, the “King of all Corned Beef.”

But how does one arrive at such hasty conclusion, you ask?

I think that a good corned beef is like the product of a good marriage. The perfect balance in the marital mixture of soft beef, salt and sweet produces a unique taste that only Ox & Palm, at the time being, can deliver.

I’ll probably buy a couple and bring it with me to the Philippines so my relatives could try as well.


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

A Filipino Dish

Papua New Guinea has hundreds of acres of viable soil well suited for cultivating vegetable farms, but in the conurbations like Port Moresby, modernization has caught on to it like an emblazoning fire slowly sweeping across a vast dry land, much to the delight of everyone who finds modernization as a welcome excuse to turn everything into glistening concrete pavements.


While a modernization could sometimes mean goodbye to green scenery, that's not necessarily the case for Port Moresby and I would like to take this opportunity to express my admiration to the NCDC, the governor and the Prime Minister for putting up these tree boxes in the middle of most highways around the city. These trees are superbly helpful to the people who loves to go out on foot. 


A better way to make use of an old and rusting metal drum that has seen better days is to turn it into a plant box. A few months ago, a co-manager of mine has planted sweet potatoes (kaukau) in it and this is what it looked like now. She even put up a mesh grill to keep our housedog from burying chicken bones into the potting soil.



I have been asking our local staffs if they know that Kau-kau sprouts are an edible part of the plant besides the root, and the widespread reply is that they had only been consuming the fleshy roots, all the while ignoring the leaves. Just to be on the safe side, what we're actually picking off the stems are the young leaves growing at the endmost part of the stalks. 

The leaves that have gone bigger kind of leaves an aftertaste in the mouth. 



Last Sunday, we thought it was about time to harvest leaf sprouts for breakfast. I snipped off some of the leaves and a lady co-manager provided the perfect recipe for it. Another recipe that has withstood the test of time is to simply put these leaves in a boiling water for a few minutes. 




As what the picture suggests, sweet potato leaves are best served with anchovies (bagoong).
And if you try and add fried Matang-baka (Eye scad fish), fried Okra (ladies finger), fried Ampalaya (bitter gourd), a few slices of mango and rice, like what we’re having for this breakfast, you are about to experience one of the typical dishes that, we Filipinos, have come to love in ages.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Okra

One of the few things being in the bilum bags of the few elder people who come to visit our place of work on some random days to peddle various home-grown vegetables is okra. Surprisingly, when I asked for okra's local name from the two of our staffs on separate occasions, none of them knew because neither of whom had tried it yet, which seemed odd to me because there was always an okra on the market stalls anywhere here.

The street sellers who come over here to sell call this the lady finger. Wikipedia, on the other hand says that most English-speaking countries call it the ladies' finger. One can probably surmise that naming it after a lady's phalanges is unquestionably deliberate because of its shape.

But an okra can also grow longer than 4 inches, and with such length, one cannot help but think of a movie character with which we can imagine of having such a humongous finger. My imagination has led me to think of Neytiri of the Na’vis from the movie, Avatar.

The okras in the picture are what I bought today from a persistent but polite street seller. They only cost K1.00 a bundle and by some Papua New Guinean standards, 1 kina is neither expensive or cheap, but is rather affordable. I bought five bundles, not because it was my favorite number, but because a K5 note was the only money left in my wallet.

While I’m not an expert on nutrition, I can cite out some of its benefits that I've read from Wikipedia. But why Wikipedia, you say? Because that website is pretty cool! 

Just kidding! 

It's probably tempting to discuss about the advantages of trusting Wikipedia but i'll make my reason simple for now. Contrary to other informative websites of the same category, Wiki has many anonymous contributors  and the articles are always updated to the current events. These contributors mainly consist of professional editors and amateur writers and they write collaboratively  within the boundaries of Wikipedia's Five Pillars by which it operates.

Not sure if I'm clear enough.

Anyway,  let's go back to our topic. According to "them," okra is rich in essential things that our body needs to keep it in good health, having 20% more of the daily value in dietary fibre, vitamin C and vitamin K.

Another source on the internet also talks about okra’s wonderful benefits, saying it is good for preventing and improving constipation, lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk for developing some forms of cancer like the colorectal cancer and improving energy levels due to its high carbohydrates and vitamin contents.

One must also learn to keep in mind that okra is a functional food. That is, it's a disease-preventing food. In Papua New Guinea, when we buy an okra from street sellers, we are not only supporting the local communities but we are also packing in some good stuffs to our own health once we eat it. 

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Coffee, Anyone?

When one's life finds itself in a similar ride like that of a roller coaster rides, the constant vicissitudes are wearing.

But the wearing does not always result to exposing the boundaries within, sometimes and probably most of the time, what ensues is a lesson learnt. Therefore, the person bearing that life may mystically morph into something else in the end like a determined butterfly emerging from its deep slumber in a claustrophobical cocoon.

Hopefully, into a wiser person.

To honour those who persevere in the difficulties of life, here is a brittle biscuit and a cup of coffee to cheer you up in a true Filipino fashion of consuming both. Yes, I think you may find it a bit odd that I dip the biscuit into the coffee but I guess that's one of the peculiarities we Filipinos have that can be easily forgiven.

Enjoy your coffee!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Gutpela Dei!

Hello long ol man meri!

Disla dei, mi laik traim long writim wanpela post
long tok pisin.

But tok pisin bilong mi, em no gutpela yet so mi tingim
mi bai writim short post tasol.

Anyway, yupela olgeta husait ridim disla blog,
mi laik toksave long yu na gutpela dei!

Tenk yu tru long ridim!


For all those who may have knitted their eyebrows for trying to understand what I just wrote, it was my another attempt to write a supposed-to-be form of English-Tok Pisin hybrid. But before I posted it here, I had asked Rodney, one of my staffs, to check the Tok Pisin grammar for me. To make things easier, I sent him an English version of my originally written thoughts and told him to translate it in a conversational way.

My original sentences in English:

Hello everyone!

Today, I like to try and write one post using Tok Pisin.

But my Tok Pisin isn't good yet so I will just write a short post.

Anyway, all of you who are reading this blog, I'd like to say good day!

Thanks for reading.



Here's Rodney's own translations:


Gutpela dei long yupla olgeta ridim pos bilong mi.

Tete mi laik raitim wanpela pos long Tok Pisin.

Tasol Tok Pisin bilong mi i no gutpela tumas olsem na mi bai mekim sot.

Gutpela dei long yupela olgeta ridim pos bilong mi.

Tenkiu long ridim.


His translations seem to suggest that Tok Pisin is probably easier to convey in words than in writing. I believe I was able to get some of the words correctly but I still think that my skill in Tok Pisin is still in its infancy.

But learning Tok Pisin is fun and it comes with an ocean of intangible benefits. While majority of  the nationals are known to speak English fluently, some will still uphold the colloquial way of verbal communication by letting Tok Pisin be the language of choice for any given situation. I have once been confined in a situation where a national assumed that I knew the local language very well and spoke to me in pure Tok Pisin without prior hint of hesitation. My immediate reaction was to explain to him in English and in the politest way possible that I didn't know his language yet.

Perhaps by some humanitarian reason, he said, "You should learn Tok Pisin while you're here."

Since then, I realized how important it was to reflect on proverbial things I initially thought I never had the need for, like learning Tok Pisin for example. Adding Tok Pisin to my vocabulary arsenal marked yet an another turning point in my life here in the land of the unexpected.

I have since acquired a considerable number of Tok Pisin words that I am still figuring out how to use effectively in times necessary. As a man of patience, given how patient I am on being patient, I worry not about not getting it right for most of the time. For I believe that there comes the day when one shall reap what one has sown. 

Monday, 20 February 2017

Feel The Love with Christian Bautista

“The only thing better than singing is more singing.”
-- Ella Fitzgerald

In general, this quote holds true in some degree. And while I think that voice quality isn't an issue on premises that singing is for everyone and most of the religions known to men require singing at some point during a congregation, we still prefer to listen to someone who can sing better than what we can do. Someone who can serenade us with soul-soothing love songs, if that's your genre.

For example, I sing like a frog. Even if I try hard and sing better, I'd still sound like a frog--although, it might be a different kind of sort; like a bullfrog or a toad. I'm not sure how many people in this world are a fan of a singing froglet but I reckon there's not so many.

Hence, on 11th of this coming March 2017, FAPNG will bring us singers from the Philippines namely Christian Bautista, Sheng Belmonte and Richard Villanueva, to give us a chance to see them perform live and entertain us with post-valentine love songs at the Dynasty Restaurant, Vision City.


While I’m not particular about who’s coming in to sing, I still appreciate it that Christian Bautista will take his time off to visit Papua New Guinea.  I’ve known in the past that he was kind of well-known in Indonesia for his talent in singing and his cool looks.


One of my favorite songs from one of his albums is Hands To Heaven.


This is the poster that Levi was carrying around this morning and he was supposed to post it outside the shop that we are working with. The smiling woman is one of our staff who happily held the poster up for me.


 As what it says on the poster, part of the proceeds that will come from the show will go to the Tembari Children Care. The picture above is the Center itself. (photo credits to: http://tembari.blogspot.com)



The Tembari Children’s Care is a day care facility at ATS Oro Settlement at 7-Mile, outside the vicinity of Port Moresby. According to Tembari Blog, the facility has taken care of more than 200 former street children in 2015 alone. Taking care of the children means giving them meals at least twice a day and providing them an early education. (photo credits to: http://tembari.blogspot.com)

All of the street children being are comprised of orphans, abandoned and the unfortunate ones.  While the Filipino Association of Papua New Guinea is an avid supporter of the Tembari Children Care, significant assistance in terms of food and money are also coming in from other groups and individuals.

I’m not a fan of watching concerts but perhaps watching a concert for a cause is something that is worth considering.


Saturday, 4 February 2017

Spread the Red

Lately, the company that I work with has received a request from the Port Moresby General Hospital asking us for volunteers. PMGH has an ongoing program they call “Spread the Red,” and its aim is to encourage the healthy younger generation to donate blood to assist those who are in need of it. The donated blood will go to PMGH Blood Bank where it undergoes a screening before it gets stored. As blood can only be stored for a certain time, the blood bank team is urging blood donors to donate regularly to prevent a dwindling supply of safe blood.

I guess that with more people stepping up to donate blood, the chance of getting the right blood type prior to transfusion increases and the result of which is more lives saved.

This is the roll-up banner that they put in place to easily let anyone know there’s a bloodletting activity going on. If you notice the Brian Bell logo in the banner, it’s because Brian Bell is an active partner for this project and this particular PMGH drive has been receiving a good funding from the Sir Brian Bell Foundation.


Our staffs took turns donating blood with the blood bank team systematically assisting them. The person wearing a blue shirt is our staff, and his blood pressure is being taken. I’m a bit concerned about the fact that some people are scared of needles. And when someone gets your blood readings while you‘re in the middle of imagining things involving a large hypodermic needle puncturing your skin, you may get really nervous and the readings from the sphygmomanometer can make the examiner think you have hypertension.

On the other hand, I have seen children who cried their hearts out in the mere mention of “injection.”


Our staffs seemed not bothered by an impending pain from the sharp tips of hypodermic needles; perhaps they had become more like responsible adults who were able to trade away the sensation from a stingy injection for an ant bite.

People can actually donate up to 350 ml of blood every three months provided that the donor is somewhere around 18 and 60 years old and not physically malnourished.  Within 24 hours, your body replaces the amount of plasma in your blood that you lost during the donation. In case you’re wondering, the plasma is the clear and watery portion of your blood after some quintessential parts are removed, e.g. platelets or the red blood cells.

In about a month or more, the red cells in your blood will have completely recovered in number. Just to be on the safe side, the blood bank team may not allow you to donate again until at least it’s been eight weeks since your last donation.


The company that I work with has assigned a space appropriate enough for the blood bank team to perform their duties like interviewing the donors and physically checking them up. There’s also an allocated space for our staffs to undergo blood extraction and those purple curtains are up there to give them an adequate sense of privacy.

There are many reasons as to why a patient may need a blood transfusion. For example, if someone has had an injury that resulted to severe bleeding, his or her body may not be able to reproduce enough blood to recover the loss in just a short while, especially if it was excessive. Usually, we can lose about 450 ml of blood without an adverse effect but losing 900 ml of blood may flip a switch to compensate for the loss.

At that rate, our brain will know that there's just not enough blood circulating throughout our body. It will then instruct the heart to increase its heartbeat output in an attempt to restore normal blood flow. But again, 900 ml is just too much of a loss and with not enough blood to pump around, most cells in our body will start losing oxygen. To compensate for the oxygen loss, the subconscious part of our brain will command our breathing mechanism to collect more air by speeding up our breathing pattern. During this time, we may appear to be desperately gasping for air from someone's point of view. 

Since oxygen is carried out by the blood, and in which case, it is the blood that we were lacking of in the first place, there would not be enough blood to transport oxygen around. As a result, blood pressure will decrease below the safe levels. All the cells that don't get an ample supply of oxygen will begin to die off, including the organs that they comprise. The organs will be affected and may fail. For example, if the kidneys fail, the body will stop producing urine and if the brain cells fail, the patient may fall into comma. All of which can be alluded as symptoms of shock from losing about 900 ml of blood.

If we lose about 2,300 ml of blood, which is about 9 cups in layman’s term, we could usually die. This is why it’s important for the blood bank to have as many blood donors as they can get to keep a steady supply of blood so that those in need can be attended to immediately rather than wait up for possible donors.



Tuesday, 24 January 2017

It’s 2017, A New Beginning

This coming first of April, I will mark my 6th year anniversary in Port Moresby. It’s still a long way to go but I kind of observe that time flies so fast in Papua New Guinea. Right now, I may be thinking that I’m still young but the next time I bring a topic similar to this; I might be in my 50’s.

Anyway, it’s 2017. So many years have come to pass and with the new contract that I’ve signed on, I’m looking at another three years of endeavor which I am hoping to be, if not as fruitful, as joyful at least. Despite the wonderful experiences, I’m still pondering on the thought that everything here is just temporary and that life back home will pick up again once I decided to go back for good.

But until then, I’ll try and live life to the fullest but as decent as possible and with hopes to continue sharing the experiences that I’m having in this country.


Here’s a PABX system that I installed in my bedroom, with PABX being a Personal Alarm w/ Blinking Xmas-like-lights.

Just kidding.

PABX means Private Automatic Branch Exchange. The purpose of which, for example, is to allow people living or taking office in the same house or building to be able to make calls to each other without the need of a telephone company service.

But on top of that, I actually use it as my alarm clock with the help of someone whom I put my trust to ring me in the morning for breakfast.


My PABX can accept three external lines and can have 8 extension numbers. The router-like device at the back is a GSM-modem from Digicel which you can get from any of their offices here in POM. Basically, it can allow an analog phone to make calls if connected to its telephone auxiliary port.

The antenna in the front is for the GSM-modem that's using a BMOBILE SIM. It too, can allow calls under the same idea. Both of these modems and a Telikom landline are connected to the PABX’s three CO lines so we can also receive and make outgoing calls aside from it being just an intercom device.



The area in which I needed to run the UTP cables is with several buildings built next to each other. In PNG, the sun can get really hot and even a limited exposure to the sun may cause minor sunburns. It’s a good thing that I have arranged for the warehouse staffs to come and help.

They say that two heads are better than one; I say that eight arms are more effective than two.



As soon as the telephone cables were laid down, I went on to do the connection. The endpoint to which all of the connections should meet must be in some type of enclosure for protection. Luckily, I found an unused power socket attached to a wall and placed all the convening wires there and had it covered for neatness sake.


And here’s the fruit of labour.  I asked one of the company drivers to get us cold drinks and some bread after. That set me back about K50 kina but it’s worth it.  We finished the job before noon.



While going in one of the busy roads in Port Moresby, we drove past this commotion that was happening on the roadside. I was not able to get a clearer photo but it looked like there was a minor road mishap involving this car.

I believe the problem was quickly settled down and did not cause too much for concern, but I still find it amazing how pedestrians could quickly amass into a big crowd when incidents like this happen in Papua New Guinea.



Last week, a power box belonging to a power company has short-circuited and caused a few shops in the area to lose power for a day. The reason for which is believed to have largely been due to the continuous rainfall this city has received during the last few days. Here, workers from the power company came to clean the box and prepared it for restoration.  The next day, it was all done and the power was restored to the shops around.

Thumbs up for the good work guys.



During our off days, it was nice to go around the city and visit places. If you’re fine with it, you can visit second hand shops and get lucky with finding branded clothing being sold for a fraction of whatever its original price were. This particular shop is called Labels and they got a lot of pretty decent hand-me-down clothing.



Second hand shops also sell almost anything you may ever want. Well, not really everything, but most of the relevant to it. For example, you can find from them branded bags, books, toys and bed covers.

Although I’m not a fan of second hand shops, we do come here whenever there’s a window of opportunity. A few of my bags are bought from here. 



The tall building behind the welcome billboard is the Stanley Hotel. This is one of the newest hotels in Port Moresby. It’s just standing next to RH Vision City and people can actually walk back and forth the two buildings through a special area.


Oh by the way, the gentlemen on the welcome banner are, the Minister for Sports, Hon. Justin Tkatchenko,  the Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and the Governor of NCD, Hon. Powes Parkop.



Here’s what the Stanley Hotel looks like in the night. I’m guessing that the rooms with the lights on are the only ones occupied by the guests.


We came here by way of this small, but pretty neat company car. The parking space in Stanley Hotel is enough to accommodate more than twenty cars on this area alone. I saw some curved entrance near the parking area that led to a basement which was probably another space devoted to the same purpose.



This hotel is really nice in the inside. It sure felt like we were in those big and expensive hotels back in Philippines. They also have these escalators that go up to the second level. Last year, Port Moresby was the chosen location to hold the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Most of the international players from other countries have checked in to this hotel.

I can only imagine how busy these escalators were throughout their stay.






For some reason, I love going to hotels even though I can only count in my fingers the number of times I had actually booked in one. Here’s the hallway after the entrance. There are quite a number of things that are nice to see in Stanley Hotel.

Two of which are a shiny floor and the intricate designs on the walls.


The pillars that stood in the restaurant are gigantic and they seem to dwarf the chairs around.  The restaurant offers a buffet for about K90 but if you're not up for it, you can order your own choice of meal 



The reason being that we went here was just to have a look at the place. Being a practical man that I am, we just ordered this beef burger with ground black beans and chips for less than K60. The potato chips are sliced thinly and when foods are sliced this way, it is for the fact that thin slices get cooked in just a short while.

I don’t really declare things much but I can honestly say that this beef burger is the finest beef burger that I've had in Port Moresby thus far.  In General, beef burgers have a distinctive aromatic scent and to discern whether it's a factor for inducing hunger is up to everyone's personal preference. 

I like it when the scent is not too strong.


And here, once again, is our friendly co-worker, kuya Levi , who gave out a Monaliza smile when I said “cheese!”


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