Friday, December 21, 2007

Historic $2.4B Aid Increase Passes House!

I thought the Christmas Greeting was going to be my last entry for the year but I guess this good news is something I cannot let pass without saying something about it.

Last night the US House voted to pass the Senate’s version of the fiscal year 2008 omnibus spending bill. The legislation includes a historic $2.4 billion increase for global poverty programs - money that will literally save thousands of lives.

This was something that organizations like ONE and World Vision have been lobbying for. Now another work begins....for the people to be vigilant and make sure the funds go to the people who should benefit most from it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2007 Christmas Greeting....

My very best wishes to everyone this Holiday Season...



Saturday, December 15, 2007

Start of the Aguinaldo Masses...

Tomorrow December 16, is the start of the Aguinaldo Mass. Last year I completed the 9 days of Aguinaldo Masses. I wish I could complete it the traditional way this time with early morning masses. But with the kids still going to school next week, I will have to attend the anticipated masses at night on the first week.

They say when you complete the 9 days, your wish comes true. Mine did last year. I'm hoping for something more but I guess I won't wish for that...I will leave to God the rest. He will know best. And what will be will be...

I'll just wish for something else...not for myself, but for the people I love.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I have a reason to smile...

I have a reason to smile more today. The Sector Head just announced promotions for the group. All the four people I recommended for my Division got promoted. That's more than the 5% alloted for the whole group of over 60 people in the plantilla.

No one from the other two divisions got promoted though they had recommendations. I'm aware of course that with the promotion of my people, there were others from the whole Sector that were taken off the list to meet the maximum quota. And of course not all of my people can be satisfied. There were others who expected to be promoted and I had to deal with that too. But all in all, things are good.

I thanked the Sector Head for his support and he replied, "they deserve it!" I forwarded that to the four who got promoted. My people are happy and that's good enough for me... :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Week's Meal...

Ironic that just the other day I posted a restaurant that serves very big servings of food. Today, I received an e-mail of how much different families spend in a week for food. It makes me think of how many blessings I should really be thankful for, especially that my family can enjoy a full meal three times a day, and even a bit more this Christmas...

SLIDE 1: Italy: The Manzo family of Sicily - Food expenditure for one week: 214.36 Euros or $260.11

SLIDE 2: Germany: The Melander family of Bargteheide - Food expenditure for one week: 375.39 Euros or $500.07

SLIDE 3: United States: The Revis family of North Carolina -Food expenditure for one week $341.98

SLIDE 4: Mexico: The Casales family of Cuernavaca - Food expenditure for one week: 1,862.78 Mexican Pesos or $189.09

SLIDE 5: Poland: The Sobczynscy family of Konstancin-Jeziorna - Food expenditure for one week: 582.48 Zlotys or $151.27

SLIDE 6: Egypt: The Ahmed family of Cairo - Food expenditure for one week: 387.85 Egyptian Pounds or $68.53

SLIDE 7: Ecuador: The Ayme family of Tingo - Food expenditure for one week: $31.55

SLIDE 8: Bhutan: The Namgay family of Shingkhey Village - Food expenditure for one week: 224.93 ngultrum or $5.03

SLIDE 9: Chad: The Aboubakar family of Breidjing Camp - Food expenditure for one week: 685 CFA Francs or $1.23

Sunday, December 09, 2007

People Really Eat Here???

This is a restaurant called Waldgeist in Hofheim. They will serve you the biggest Schnitzel you will ever see. The plates in the following pictures are huge! This all for very affordable prices. Every table has rolls of alu-foil, ready to be used. Those that have to use the alu-foil are considered cowards. Drinks are, unless otherwise ordered, served in 2-litre glasses and their bestseller is “Der Bembel des Todes” a 5-litre glass filled with Bacardi and Coke for only 35 Euros.

Hmmm, I can take the challenge on that long as it's Diet Coke

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Our Stories’ project: Children around the world share and connect online

On December 7 in New York, UNICEF, One Laptop per Child (OLPC) and Google announced the launch of ‘Our Stories website – an initiative that will collect, preserve and share stories from young people around the world.

Leading figures have already lent their voices to the project: Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Queen of Jordan and UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children, and Ishmael Beah, UNICEF Advocate for Children Affected by War and best-selling author of A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier, have all recorded messages welcoming users to the site and encouraging them to share their stories.

The website was launched with stories from Brazil, Ghana, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Argentina, Ethiopia and Nigeria. And to widen the area of coverage and reach out to more youths, translations of the site into eight languages are underway and coming out soon.

Quite soon, ‘Our Stories’ website will also have the functionality for recording stories on mobile phones and land lines. This is indeed good news...more youth will be able to participate and get connected with other young voices worldwide.

As former child soldier Ishmael Beah put it, "One of the most significant changes in my life has been the ability to tell my story for the benefit of others.”

” Our Stories" website is a great avenue for sharing the youth's life experiences.

Friday, December 07, 2007


I never thought I'd lose my temper and get quite loud at the office last Thursday. But knowing that such a report reaches the Sector Head and after reading the status report that I had one of my unit heads handle and monitor, I just couldn't help it. I was far from smiling when I got to read the details. More so when I asked if he'd send that to the Sector Head and he gave a confident yes answer.

The report is supposed to indicate the issues, action taken and target completion date. It was simple. What I read in the Issues and Action Taken columns were excerpts from e-mail exchanges and the report appeared like people were talking to each other...just like in the e-mail. He said that was how he tracked the status. That really threw me off. It was far from what I expected from a Senior Manager's work output. I expected him to summarize the action taken and not copy paste the e-mail exchanges to the status report.

I'm letting off steam here but maybe portions from the "status report" will explain why:

Action Taken:

* "Email of xxxxx: May we refer to you attached screenshots....Per SOA the bal. of account is not OD but during printing the balance printed is OD.Pls. check."

* next line: " Email of xxxxxx to xxxxxx: The issue was fixed on july 18. We have corrected the bal for the ff: accnts.(listed in the email.)"

* next line: "Pls. monitor the new updates and let us know immediately, if the problem recurs. Also, pls. confirm the formatting issue."

Oh this one beats them all:

* "Now you just told me right here in your e-mail that we can do it via GLM01. Thank you. Now I would just like to ask if this procedure can only be done because of our adjustments now, or we can always do this..."

Looking back now though, I can agree with my friend that it was funny and even quite comic when you read it...but certainly not at the time when I first got to read it.