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Thursday, July 31, 2008

...laptops, Australian Red Cross

It’s quite loaded today as I deployed the Lenovo laptops to the staff, donated blood and fixed issues. I’m just glad everything went fine as things were falling into its places.

The laptops were fine. The users were pretty much happy with their new toy and it’s about time for them to play with it. The other group would still be waiting until next week as the MacBooks has just arrived this morning. As much as I would want them to have it, the prescribe image was not yet ready for installation.

I also went to the city with some students in the afternoon to donate blood at Australian Red Cross. It was great as it was my first time and never had some weird feeling during and after the event. I just went hungry as the refreshments at Australian Red Cross were not enough for me. The facilities were great as it was systematic. I could still remember the time where I almost had my blood donated through Philippine Red Cross. The venue was packed with donors as they ran out of bags. Everything was pretty much done on limited supply. Constricting bands were used instead of the pump I had on my arms and electronic devices were even used in indicating iron, etc. The convertible chair was also comfortable compared to the folding bed being used back home.

Well, it was a great experience as our blood will be used for people who need most. We can go back in 3 months time as people can technically donate blood every 3 months provided that they are healthy.

Hmmm…I hope to be back soon.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

...still high

It has been a week since Athens and I parted ways. I have somewhat come back to what I was before World Youth Day and I should say, I still have the “after taste” to our Sydney adventure.

It was hard. The last seven days was a struggle to get back on track. A morsel of silence would equate to loneliness. I tried so hard to get things on the roll but sometimes, the emptiness just needs to be filled.

Well, I’ve been trying to device some tasks along the way. I lazily bike on my way back home and listen to some angst driven tunes. I also tried smiling to whoever I might go past through and talk to them on random. In a way, it has helped me in lifting my spirits up.

Anyway, I just have to prepare myself for tomorrow as I will be donating blood through Australian Red Cross. I don’t know what would it be but in Philippine Red Cross, they serve hard boiled eggs and beer after donating. Hmmmm…Fish and Chips? hehe

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

...work, R.I.P. iPod

This week has started busy and I know the following days would again be very, very busy. I’m somewhat loaded with so much stuff and I’m getting confused to what has to be done first. Anyway, doing things reactively tend to do some order so I guess; I just have to stick to this plan.

With so many things to do, I haven’t fixed my room yet. Everything has been sitting everywhere and it’s a bit hard looking for some things. I hope to get the feel of arranging tonight as I just have to do it for order’s sake.

And after 4 years of playing with my iPod, it has finally run out of battery and charging it won’t bring itself to life. I understand that it would run on certain charging cycles and I think it’s about time for it to retire. I just miss every tune that goes with it and I just have to resurrect my old iPod shuffle that has been my storage tool for years. Anyway, my iPhone will be arriving in the next few days so, I just have to deal with the substitute on my way to work and back.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

...trying to be normal

I just can’t bear this loneliness. The cold and frosty days and being away from “home” just makes everything more complicated. There are times that I cried and there are times that I want to cry but can’t.

And to get away from those drama moments, I just make myself busy or go out with some friends, doing whatever that can help me forget. And sometimes, I just pop my tunes and listen to our songs.

One of the songs that Athens and I love is “Vibrant Days” from the band Popsicle. This just fit as we try to become normal despite the distance. Anyway, here are the words of song and playing on the background is its tune.

Popsicle – Vibrant Days

Let’s go out tonight
Let’s scrape together what we've got left
Let's waste our time and money buy some drinks just keep on coming on home

Ain't no place for you and me
Let's close the door and hide the keys
Leave our fears behind and run to where they'll never find us

And when we're gone
We'll find out how to ease the pain

Let it fall
Let it rain
We'll be somewhere far away
Where the world can't reach us
And nothing left to teach us

Anyway, let it hail
Let it snow alone exactly where to go
Call it what you want
You got to stand in front of me
Please make me believe in what I say

Time to check into the haste
We're on the road to vibrant days
Tonight we're serious we're aiming at delirium and then
In that dream a chance to sleep tomorrow morning
We'll be even if we never made it the beauty now will all be faded

Please don't remind me if we wake up
Please don't mock my hope for words
I will love you still when all our prayers go unheard.

Friday, July 25, 2008

...somewhat normal

I’m somewhat normal and I am practically back to what I was before World Youth Day in Sydney. Of course, I still miss my girlfriend and everything that we have left in Sydney. But at least, I can now go with my tasks without feeling blue. I guess, I ran out of tears since the day we parted ways.

I should say, both of us are very lucky. Aside from being each other’s fallback, we have our friends who are always ready to listen and comfort us. Gail, whom I only met twice, was such a nice friend. She never forgets to check me if I am doing fine and tries to rationalize things between Athens and me. Juan, Rica, Nix and Yubz were also there, trying their best to cheer us up.

As of the moment, we are trying to live our lives, the roles that people expect from us. We are on track and picking some speed. I know it’s a bit hard but we are very positive to how things would end up.

Well, I’m still having the WYD Sydney fever and I can’t help but reminisce all the days that we have spent together. I still look at the pictures before going to bed and read her letters like she’s whispering.

And, I just like what she did with the Davao City map as she marked the places we have spent our “vibrant days”. She’s such a sweetheart.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

...slowly getting back

The weather’s been cold, just like what it was since I arrived last Tuesday. The deafening silence, the foggy path to work and the unbearable cold just makes everything so sad.

Work has been good to me. I can forget the good times that I shared with Athens, auntie, uncle and my cousins in Sydney. But as soon as I get a morsel of time alone with myself, I can’t help but get teary-eyed. I just miss everybody.

I don’t know how it would be in the next few days, months or years. I’m still coping and trying to be ok. I’m fighting to brush off this emptiness and it’s such a struggle especially when I’m stuck inside my room, thinking of all the happy thoughts we have shared.

We have talked last night. We were trying to hide each other’s sadness but our eyes didn’t lie. It was such a relief, being each other’s fallback. In a way, we have settled down and getting back on track, trying to be what it was before World Youth Day in Sydney.

I know it would take some time to be back to each other and we are still hoping for the best. As of the moment, I just can’t bear the loneliness.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My road to World Youth Day Sydney '08

I just arrived from Sydney and it was such a wonderful experience getting everything on short notice; becoming a World Youth Day Volunteer and of course, meeting my girlfriend. Though we had plans of seeing each other this year which was put on hold for some unforeseen reasons months ago, we never thought that we could end up sooner plus on a far greater event.

Before moving here in Oz, I told myself not to get into a relationship as it would be hard dealing with everything. The distance and all the struggle that comes with it just makes a story fit for drama. But with fate or whatever people might call it, we met each other, 4 months before I migrated here.

The 4 months that we have spent was natural. It’s like we’ve known each other for years, even with the age gap between us. We complement each other. Athens, whom still was trying to explore the world as she was graduating from uni, would be “radical” but “idealistic”. I, who have far more experience dealing with life than her (I’m not perfect and still struggling to become relevant with life), would defuse her urge against life’s imperfections. We just end up half way and try to become civil with what life has in front of us. We took things lightly and enjoyed everything as we go. We love spending time with our friends at the beach, eat out, watch movies or a simple walk around Davao. The 4 months that we had was very special as our friends have seen us grow from our used to be directionless journey to life to “tomorrow’s-a-good-day-to-spend-my-life-with-you”.

What thought to be a fairy tale was cut short in my moving to Oz. I was doing my thing in supporting my family back home in Davao while Athens was finishing her studies. Internet really helped us a lot as we try to make up with lost times. It was hard but we just went with the flow, prayed harder and trust each other.

Things went harder as her plans of moving to New York seem to pick up speed as the hopes of getting together was slowly slipping away. I, for some reason, have tried losing some focus on that only hope. And again, praying harder and asking for more strength in holding the line was one of our everyday prayers.

But what used to be impossible had become within our reach. The World Youth Day celebration in Sydney has become our chance of getting back into each other’s arms. Months before the event, Athens applied as event volunteer and got her Australian visa days after the application. It was an instant hit and everything just flowed easily for us. And of course, to get things on a parallel, I also applied on the same role and got the accreditation few days after I signed in.

I guess, it’s all God’s blessing as I’ve heard some people who applied like months ago didn’t even get a slot for the job. This is one of the best things in our life. Not only did we serve the Lord, we have refreshed our relationship and made it stronger with Him and with each other. Thank you Lord.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Urinating at Darling Harbour


Feels so good. hehehe

Friday, July 11, 2008

Ready to Roll

This is it. Few hours to go and I’ll be flying to Sydney. I have finally packed my things plus a few more like my external drive, my iPod, all the chargers, camera, ticket and identifications on my messenger bag tomorrow morning.

I’ll be fetched by Uncle Rey by 12:30 pm and getting the flight at around 1:30 pm. My cousin Ricky and Athens will be picking me up at the airport and the party will be starting.

I just can feel it. As, Nicole has been saying, “its Coelho mode”. The universe is conspiring.

Thank you Lord.

...delaying the iPhone

Oh! Its iPhone launch today. Though I got a slot to get it, I chose not to secure this “Jesus Phone”.

First, the iPhone is too pricey when bundled with call and data plans. With me on the Optus network, I just want to buy it outright, as I am practically around WiFi zones. I’ve been using the Zoo services on my Motorola L6 and not much to cover when I am mobile.

You can actually get at least the A$19 cap plan and have monthly payments for the phone. What I really wanted is to pay the monthly cap and purchase the phone outright. What Optus is doing is trying to do is cash in on installments. Imagine, getting it outright would cost like A$729 for 8 GB and A$849 for 16GB. How’s that with US$199 for 8 GB as Steve Jobs promised? It’s like A$207 when converted. Should there be a way to just get the phone? Anyway, I already got my Optus SIM and all I need is to have that inserted on that toy.

The hype just makes everything cloudy.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

...slowly getting there

I just can’t believe it. The World Youth Day 2008 had called me this morning as 2 more volunteer slots were available, one for catering and one for crowd marshall. Since my girlfriend is a crowd marshall for the event, I got the same slot to get things on the roll. I never thought they would get me as I’ve been calling them since last week and their hotline was disconnected. hmmmmm

Well, this is it. Things are falling into places and I’m happy with its outcome. I don’t know what God’s plans for us as I also have something in mind in coming to Sydney. I guess, I just have to get to the flow. Athens already got her uniform this afternoon and its like the volunteer pack is packed with so much stuff.

Anyway, things are overwhelming as I come to ignore the drizzle and the strong wind. I was practically blown in some areas and it’s a bit alarming, especially when going down the hill. I hope, things will be ok tomorrow as I’ll be very busy in preparing my things.

So, 2 more days.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Cold as ice.

I woke up freezing this morning. The cold weather is getting worse and it hurts like a razor especially when the cold wind hits my face. The fog also made its return that I just have to pedal, slow enough to see things from a far. I also had to turn on my indicators to be visible from other motorist. I guess, I only have like 100 meter visibility this morning. I hope, tomorrow would be fine but hell with it. Just bring it on.

It surprised me this afternoon as I tried to park my bike behind our office without chaining it. My officemate told me to have it inside until I go out. That I just have to remember that this is Australia; and even if my bike is the ugliest amongst the ugly, it would still be stolen.

Well, that was the shocker for the day as I was dumbfounded having heard that from an Aussie. As cold as ice.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

...few days to go

It’s freezing and getting to work on bike just makes things harder for me. I practically can’t feel my pinkies and shaking it off doesn’t do much justice. The cold wind and drizzle also did the whole experience worst.

Anyway, everything went fine as the heater at the training room was good. Felt better as my hands were thawing. Hehehe. I could see my hands were slowly turning red from blue. So next time, I should bring my gloves.

I’m also getting excited as Saturday is getting soon. I have already asked for my leave and booked my flight. I’ll be out for 11 days to be in Sydney with my girlfriend, auntie, uncle and cousins. This would be a blast as all of them are dear to me. Yeehaa!!!

So, lights out for now.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Happy Anniversary to ME!!!

Yup! It’s officially my 1st year here in Australia. I could still remember the day when I arrived at Melbourne. It was 6 AM of July 6, 2007; Very cold and very gloomy. My first Aussie breakfast at Tullamarine Airport was just ok. Not much of a change. I just had a bottle of orange juice. hehehe

The drive going to Geelong was a “crash course” to Australia. The roads, the driving culture, the houses, the people and the community were just like I imagined. As soon as I arrived “home”, the cold weather just went through my bones. It was 3˚C, the coldest for Geelong in 3 years.

My room was ok. It has a heater; the floors got carpet, a small refrigerator, a very comfortable bed and a cabinet enough for my clothes and things. I know its way better than what I had back in Davao but I still prefer my old room.

My first few nights were horrible as I really missed my family and friends. I sometimes wake up on cold nights, crying as I have lost a lot. But my uncle and auntie were kind enough to lend me a spare PC and allowed me to configure their broadband connection to be shared among the computer users at home. That way, I have come to communicate with family and friends and minimized the loneliness.

Food was also a big leap as I tried to eat whatever they would have on their table. My first month was crazy as I had lamb on almost every meal. Lamb on sandwiches, lamb on every dinner and the kitchen smells like lamb. Uncle has just this farmer friend who supplied us with heaps of lamb that practically occupied their 6 foot freezer. Rice was also minimized as it was substituted with chips or spuds.

Job hunting was crazy. Though I got substantial amount of experience and legible to work anywhere in Oz, employers were just too “technical”, that I should have at least a “local” experience. It was discouraging but with patience, luck and blessings from the Lord, I got the job that’s fit for me.

It was a good learning experience for me with their English which was way different from my “American influenced English”. Aussies just had their way of pronouncing words; like they omit or replace some letters when they say some common words. Example: Ever will become “Evah”, No will sound like “Nowr” and What will sound like “Wha”. They also have unique way of making nicknames. Usually, they get the first syllable of the word and add “A” or an “O”. Example: Richardson will become “Richo”. Registration will become “Rego”. McDonald’s will become “Macca”.

Spelling is not much of an issue here as long as you can be understood. They also have some weird way of naming things. Things like bicycle is named as “Push bike” (I pedal with it, not pushing it hehe) and toilet for “differently-abled” persons is named as “Disabled Toilet” (I’m still waiting for that to be “Enabled” so it can be used)

Cultural diversity in Australia has also helped me in understanding diverse cultures and the respect each culture deserves. Though there are minimal cases of racism, I never felt much different as my uncle has told me that 5% of each race has rednecks. I guess, people who happen to experience this happen to be in the wrong time and in the wrong place.

I’m still learning and I’m still trying to cope up with the changes here. I hope next year would be better as signs of having a good life are slowly showing within the small gaps. I hope and I pray to get things on a roll without so much hiccups.

...discriminated

Being different is a struggle and having something different is a different story.

Though discrimination has mellowed out in years here in Oz, there are a few who also remained in the past. They were so light years behind as they try to bully people like me with their perception that they are better than we do. That having their skin makes them feel superior to any race in this planet.

In my experience, these people tend to look at me like I have leprosy. Sometimes, they just have their smirk as if I am a freak show. They also try to just intimidate me with their funny drunk Aussie accent as if they know so much about everything. And with something that I have, I know my bike (they call it “push” bike as if people push it to travel. Does “pedal” fit better?) is ugly and rusty as they try to make fun out of it while riding on their flashy Euro cars. I just can’t understand how a 5 year old retard was stuck to a 40+ year old body.

I know and I understand. They just need some flashy things (the cars and whatever that would feel good) to neutralize their ugliness.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

This is it!!!

I am going to Sydney next Saturday. My girlfriend would be a volunteer for the World Youth Day celebration and it’s kinda abrupt for me to decide to be one of them too. We never had the luxury of time in getting these choices as she was waiting for her visa to be approved and my schedule of leave, but so far, we are getting on track. Hopefully, I could get a slot as a volunteer so I could book myself early.

I never thought about getting there and it’s nice that things are turning the way we wished for. It has been a year since I have never seen Athens and it would be a blast with the coming event.

Hmmm…how could you spend time together if you are going to attend the event? (My imaginary friend was asking me) I don’t know. As far as I know, we never thought we could be in the situation at the moment. We just knew that things are getting our way and I know that the Lord will still be getting His way for us. It’s just that, things are slowly unfolding between us.

Anyway, I’ll be out and be back tonight.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

...just another day

I never thought I could finish the allotted 2 days of work in just 2 hours. I don’t know how they calculated it but I was able to nail it. I modified the rack so I could squeeze the proposed arrangement of the servers and fixed the wiring behind it (LAN Cable, KVM and power cables). I felt good as the client was extremely happy. The rest of the afternoon was spent on checking the Gaia system as it went dodgy ages ago. I don’t know what went wrong but getting some dummy site on IIS was working fine. I did a backup of the data as I will be trying to uninstall and reinstall the system on the next visit. Hopefully, things will be alright then.

Went home early and was able to get a cheap DVD at Cash Converters. Imagine, 101 classic cartoon episodes for just A$ 6.00. Popeye, Heckle and Jeckle and Felix the Cat are some of the characters being featured. I just love the classic cartoons as it brings back good memories.

Anyway, I’ll be back in the office tomorrow to do some checking on clients’ servers. Have to do the inventory of softwares installed and recheck the system in doing periodic checks on them.

Lights out!!!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

...another day

And it’s my final day for the week at the office as I will be reporting to the school tomorrow and on Friday. I’m in a way relieved as sitting on the chair for the rest of the day is not fun. Though I have made a system for checking and monitoring our clients, there’s so much more in interacting people and knowing that they are happy with what you’ve done to them than just staring at the screen, waiting for some miracle.

Anyway, it’s like few days from now as I will be turning 1 year here in Oz. I could still remember my last week in Davao where everybody was not in the mood of my moving here. Mama was just helping me with my things, my auntie and cousins were just trying to be ok and the thought of uncertainty worried me as it’ll be far from my comfort zone. I was also too busy of preparing my stuff as I barely had 3 weeks to prepare as flight schedules were not as cooperative as I have expected it. It was so fast that trying to remember some details came to a blur.

So far, I still have this honeymoon stage as most of the people around me treat me as “the new kid”. Hmmmm… how soon would that end? I hope not.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Oh Please God help me

I’ve been busy for days and the tasks are piling up. As soon as I get home, I feel so tired and I only got enough time to get online as I have to do some chores. As much as I would like to do the cooking, auntie just wants everything her way and having auntie on anything, she is just the slowest of the slow. How would you want your dinner served at 10 pm? That’s just not right.

Anyway, I’ll make it sure I could be home early tonight so I could do the cooking. I just have to do some coding tonight and have to fix my room. I also want to watch “Spinal Tap” while doing it and sleep early.

I’m still contemplating on some things for some time and I just can’t get myself organized to do it. Things were getting hard when I started this new cycle. I know I can do it but too much time has been allotted to travel. I hope to get things sorted soon.

Oh Please God help me.