Philippines: A View From Outside

Posted by Analyse at 5:57 PM

Saturday, October 27, 2007

I have been bloghopping this weekend and I was caught by SexyMom's entry on Understanding the Bureaucracy - Is There A Way Out and RaqGold's A Call to Unite for RP. Like them, I care a lot for my country too. I want my country to be able to offer and provide opportunities to the Filipinos and to project a good image to the rest of the world.

Working in a central department where major decisions are taken gives me a good view of how potential investors consider the Philippines. Aside from the technical blahblahs, I sometimes work on some economic analysis which provides me better understanding on how such and such products go to such or such country - read: job creation on that chosen country.

Did you know that :

- Electricity is very expensive in the Philippines compared to most of our neighboring countries? Well, we're basically using coal-fired power plants and coals are being bought outside.

- Road infrastructures / Air connections has to be improved if we want to explore other provinces not only for industrial purposes but for tourism as well? There are a lot of islands to be visited in the Philippines but it takes a lot of time, especially for foreigners to organize everything. Travel packages is probably one thing that we have to promote more and more.

- Salary rate starts to be less attractive in the Philippines and Labor Unions scare away these investors too. Other emerging countries like Vietnam are already taking active participation in this new game called globalization. We have to wake up and think on how we could invite more investors and provide jobs to our fellow Filipinos - and better yet, support local entrepreneurs to promote our own products.

- Other countries, Thailand in particular have these big billboards promoting an opening of an industrial park which would certainly catch attention of investors arriving in the country. And comes with it are massive constructions of roads and other facilities to accompany this development.

- It is generally more complicated to establish a business in the Philippines compared to our neighboring countries (at least to the countries where our plants are situated). Admistrative stuffs, taxes, etc... add government stability, corruption.. and we're almost at the bottom of the list.

- Countries like China and India are the investor's haven nowadays. They offer cheap labor and most importantly, they also present as potential markets. With the economic boom they are enjoying right now, buying power is getting stronger by the second. Philippines is 'competitive' in terms of population but buying power is somewhat restricted to a limited percentage of the population.

Me thinks that the government should think about the Philippines for once and find solutions on how we could improve our economy. We could blog all we want but if the government does nothing, nothing will happen. Hey, we couldn't just stay as a Third World country for the rest of humanity. Naman, aren't we tired of being poor? Don't we want to alleviate our situation? Don't we have any politicians out there who have real concern about the Philippines? I mean, somebody who thinks about the Philippines before his own pocket?

Awards, Tags and Whatnots

Posted by Analyse at 10:24 PM

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

During my 3 consecutive blogging years, I have been noticing that the more I keep myself silent, the more I receive fabulous awards from blogger friends. Is that a sign that these friends prefer when I’m not talking about my nonsense life? Or is it to say that even during my absence – read: dealing with my busy life, they still think of me? Uhum, I personally prefer to think of the latter.

Want to know more about the awards? Visit Rachel, Feng and Mitch, my fellow PMN mommies for details!

And oh, MegaMom hinted it right and wanted to see what makes me real busy. She wants evidence that I’m indeed busy and wants a peek of my workplace. Ok. Here it is. No cleaning or arranging whatsoever. See the whiteboard on the left? It has already witnessed a lot of brainstorming and starts to be not-so-white.. board, lol. My laptop is of course, my best buddy. The old telephone (yes, it’s old!) gives me direct access to our plants worldwide. And the heater right next to the not-so-comfortable chair helps me beat this early winter we are experiencing right now (yes, the thermometer already displayed freezing degrees!).

Well, if you’re expecting a stylish office French-style, really sorry to disappoint you guys. But engineers generally do dirty jobs in dirty workplaces. Oppps. That’s not a general rule, by the way. That’s probably just me.

Whatnots. Well, nothing. I’m just.. well, smiling less and less. Hmmm, that’s what Frenchguy told me. And he’s probably right. I don’t know. Probably yes. Ewan. Winter na kasi.

I will be going to Bangkok next month (or later) and he thought a little stop-over in the Philippines would do me good. I could bring Louna with me, ask somebody from my family to do babysitting in Bangkok while I work, then go home with them to the Philippines for a little pre-Christmas holiday. That would be a lot of organization to do but..

Why not? Bibili ako ng maraming smiles sa Pinas, promise. (that is, kung matutuloy ako syempre).

She Said Goodbye to Daytime Diapers

Posted by Analyse at 7:22 PM

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Oh yes ! The trick is, we have to remove her diapers at daytime for her to tell us it’s time to do the potty. When she’s with her diapers, most of the time, she won’t even bother to inform us that it’s poo time. So here are the tricks which worked for us:

- Encouragement. Kids love to be applauded and praised – and know what, this doesn’t cost a thing. Louna is just so proud when she does it. There was one afternoon when she wanted to keep her potty because Papa hadn’t seen it yet. And Papa was still at work! So I tried to negotiate to keep the potty chair inside the toilet, without 'flushing’ the content, but she wanted it to be near her inside her playroom. She doesn’t trust Maman when it comes to potty matters. Imagine the odor propagating everywhere inside the house! Panic! I called up her Papa and explained the situation. They talked over the phone and Papa said Bravo Louna. After then, she took her potty chair and headed to the toilet. It was ok to flush her business. Whew.

Continue reading.

If Only..

Posted by Analyse at 6:26 PM

Monday, October 15, 2007

…all toddlers, at a worldwide level, would be raised in a pro-environment attitude, little by little, at a sure pace, even mother Earth could breath fresh air. The world would be a better place to live in.

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day
It’s hard to teach old dogs new tricks so aside from worldwide global warming awareness programs already available, we should equally give focus to these kids who will be the main players of the future. Imagine if parents inculcate this value to the core of their being at their very young age, protecting environment would become a worldwide culture and tradition which could surpass religion, race, nationality, skin color, beliefs or anything categorizing an individual to a group. Environment protection would be as natural as breathing air.. and since it will be a part of the future generation’s core values, it would cross generations to generations. Wouldn’t it be great?

Kids generally imitate what they observe from adults. And the best way to teach them is to show them examples. So you see, teaching kids is a circular logic. Everybody benefits from the process.

Think about this.
- What if, at the age of 2, with the help of their parents, all of these kids don’t allow water from the faucet running while they brush their teeth? Imagine the volume of water saved?

- What if at the age of 2, none of these kids throw anything anywhere anymore but instead, put the garbage in Mommy’s bag when there’s no garbage can around? These kids will surely grow up with the good habit.

- What if, at the age of 2, instead of allowing them to watch hours of tv or dvd, parents set a limit and spend saved hours in playing building blocks or any activity toys to develop their skills? Or why not spend the hours outside smelling the flowers or observing ants? Not only we save hours of electricity but we allow our kids to be closer to nature.

Tiny little gestures, when multiplied a million times become a huge contribution in preserving nature. The list is endless on how we could start our toddlers to be environment friendly. Start now.

Picture from this site.

It’s My Big Day Today

Posted by Analyse at 3:48 PM

Friday, October 12, 2007

31 years. Wow. When I was still a student, I envisioned my 30th year with a lot of material successes. That’s typical, right? We want to finish our studies and have financial independence the earliest time possible. I dreamt about having my own car, my own house and a debit/credit card which I could swipe anytime without worrying for overdrafts. Know what? I have all of that now.

But real happiness for me is when my daughter asks me when she wants to go potty and does it, when she wipes the table and gathers food crumbles with her tiny little hands, when she requests for nose-to-nose and when she says av-you (I love you) during bedtime.

And now that I’m 31, and to be more honest, I’m happy with what I have, who wouldn’t? But I would be much happier if these freaking pimples stop popping out of my 31-year-old-freaking-face each time I lack sleep because my freaking job stresses me out! Hay buhay.

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day And oh, by the way. Now that I’m 31, and a responsible citizen at that, I’ve just registered My Hideaway at the Blog Action Day site. You know, I hardly am a member of any web organizations. Or if so, it’s because they really capture my interest. I am a member of PMN for parenting, and now Blog Action Day because I’m concerned with the environment.

So if you want to make me happier today because it’s my birthday, go click Blog Action Day and give it a thought.

Project Management

Posted by Analyse at 6:18 PM

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Evolution in a workplace is a continual process which slowly but surely changes company culture and traditions in a given entity. Current technical and economic pressures drive industries to an increasingly competitive environment which pushes them to restructure and reorganize their work methods to increase productivity.

Downsizing is a famous product of this evolution. The challenge is then to manage existing workload with less people. Competence development within an organization has been industries’ response to attaining this goal – multi-skilling in a high performance workplace. Functional flexibility has somewhat became the standard.

My 2-day training in Paris two weeks ago was in fact an introduction to the ins and outs of project management.

Project management, as described in the Free Management Library is a carefully planned and organized effort to accomplish a specific (and usually) one-time effort, for example, construct a building or implement a new computer system. Project management includes developing a project plan, which includes defining project goals and objectives, specifying tasks or how goals will be achieved, what resources are needed, and associating budgets and timelines for completion. It also includes implementing the project plan, along with careful controls to stay on the "critical path", that is, to ensure the plan is being managed according to plan. Project management usually follows major phases (with various titles for these phases), including feasibility study, project planning, implementation, evaluation and support/maintenance.

Aside from my normal tasks, the big bosses had this brilliant idea of naming me as a Project Manager (PM) to validate a new machine loaded with new technology from a new supplier – without the salary increase, bien sûr - and before I had the training. At first, I didn’t really give it a budge. I will have a dual role on this subject, as a technical resource and a PM. Easy. I started working on the process conception taking into account the complexity of the new machine - thinking I would restart working on the subject once the machine is installed (I was still thinking like a technical resource and not at all as a PM). Wrong.

Now, aside from my usual monthly report,
- I have to do a specific report on this subject too.
- I have to attend to a lot of meetings – talking about Civil and Electrical Engineering (building conception phase) but never Chemical Engineering which is my line – and worst, write the meeting minutes at the end of the session.
- I have to take major decisions impacting quality, cost and delay – or negotiate everything with the big bosses – and take every blow imaginable.
- I have to monitor that we don’t exceed the 1M€ mark.
- I have to kick butts to get information from different actors of the project.
- and lastly, I have to work for myself because, not to forget, I’m a technical resource on this project too.

This new task is draining the whole of me. I’m a newbie and I’ve always been conscientious on whatever I do. Frenchguy’s out for business travel for 2 long weeks now and handling an active toddler after a long day of work is sometimes more difficult than talking technical matters with experienced men (*$¤#! Just wondering what these big bosses had in mind when they named a Filipina Mom to handle the job? – I mean, I’m the only girl in the team! And a foreigner at that!).

Next week, I will be somewhere around Germany with a supplier followed by Italy before the end of the month - again with a supplier. Then probably, just probably, to Thailand mid-November.

Now, how in the world would my immediate boss think that I’m not loaded? I can’t even blog, lol.

Blog and Earn

Posted by Analyse at 10:45 PM

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I have been seeing a lot of PayPerPost proud members roaming the blogosphere and honestly, I had this growing curiosity on the question Do they really earn something from blogging? How in the world would somebody pay someone for blogging on topics this someone loves? Is there any logic on that?

I started indexing the PPP site on my favourites a few months back. I was always blocked by the fact that I might not have the time. A good friend of mine who is a PPP member, what else, assured me that I could manage my time, no pressure. Then I had this urge to browse the site last week – lazy browsing, you know. That lazy browsing ended up with me signing up, registering my blog.. and some 3 working days checking my emails for a possible good news.

When I saw the subject Your blog has been approved, I excitedly logged in and checked for some opps. Wow, there are just a lot of opportunities waiting to be grabbed and reviewed. And since with PayPerPost, members are encouraged to talk about the things they love, I don’t think there are better ways to motivate and inspire these members to write with gusto.

So what are you waiting for? Get paid to blog. Click on the site and see for yourselves.

Les Bleus vs All Blacks

Posted by Analyse at 11:02 PM

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Allez les bleus! The French Rugby Team has just been qualified for the Rugby World Cup semi-finals, 20-18. They will be defending the title next week against England at St. Denis, France. Whew, that was a steal considering that New Zealand's All Blacks Team had always been crowd's favorite. I have always been fascinated by the All Blacks Haka craze which they perform before every match. Watch the video here.

The French President and the Prime Minister were present during the match. What a way to give support to the French Team. I'm sure everybody's proud to go home with the trophy. I could still hear noises outside, people celebrating this victory.

Here's a video of the winning dive which gave way to France's 18th point. Galing!

Check for more action here:

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Share Photos - Free Video Hosting

Well, if you think these rugbymen look trash and push like bulls, check their 2008 calendar here and think again.


Posted by Analyse at 6:39 PM

Thursday, October 04, 2007

If you're wondering what I do at work (or at least know my job description), click on the image for a bigger view then discover.