Somewhere Down The Road – A Random Act of Kindness Workshop

Waking up randomly one day and thinking of what random acts of kindness I can do for strangers has not been a normal practice for me. Yes, I am not unfamiliar with compassionate love and fortunately have had my fair share in sincerely reaching out to help those in need, but pushing myself to look out specifically to give a random act of kindness is something I have not tried. A fruitful exercise from our local community, aptly named “Somewhere Down The Road” addressed just that.  Continue reading “Somewhere Down The Road – A Random Act of Kindness Workshop”

Ninoy Aquino – A Christian Socialist

The late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” S. Aquino Jr. has been revered as a Filipino National Hero, one of only three to be recognized by the national government. He was also, for decades, been famously known as the arch nemesis of then strongman and dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos who ruled the Philippines for 20 years.  The world watched as the two of the most brilliant minds in Philippine politics go head to head to a collision course that would lead to a momentous revolution, one kind that the world would see for the first time. Ninoy was also labeled, among many things, as the Greatest President the Philippines never had, as famously pronounced by the great statesman Jovito Salonga. Continue reading “Ninoy Aquino – A Christian Socialist”

A Happier Place, O&B’s Smart Move – Orange & Bronze moves in to a new office

Orange & Bronze has always been known (in a manner of speaking, popular) for having a “Happy Place” to work in, not only for its armada of Software Developers, but for all of its also happy and dynamic employees.  O&B has uniquely adapted an unconventional working climate they call a happy place – defying the norms of conventional cubicle confined corporate offices, stiff and uptight working environments, and even stereotype grouchy bosses in suits and ties.  So despite the still inevitable constant stress and tight deadlines, people in O&B manage to keep a cheerful mood and enthusiasm within the work place that makes everything still fun to do.  A distinct flavor as it is a rarity (at least here in the local industry) for a very extensive technical nature of work to simultaneously maintain an element of fun and glee.  O&B managed to do just that and the idea works very efficiently.  Not only does it suit the company’s Agile practices in doing business, it’s also a main factor how O&B maintains a very steady pool of employees since the company’s formation.
Last November of 2008, Orange & Bronze Software labs made their last farewells to Makati Executive Center, their home for more than 2 years, took the last of their equipments and moved in to a new place in CJV Building in Legazpi Village, still in Makati City.  Not only has O&B migrated to a happier and bigger place for its business to deliver greater results, the move is also a symbolic leap from the company’s humble beginnings to its present bigger and firmer status in the industry, paradoxically because they have already been delivering greater results from the beginning.  The move is more than a symbolic measure of the company’s fast expansion, it is a testament of their solid commitment to continue pursuing their unique core values and principles.  An expansion of figurative, symbolic, and literal sense – since their workforce has tremendously grown from a handful of no more than ten (10) since their founding in 2005, to full blown groups presently divided into several teams and projects.  They needed a bigger place to accommodate such growth and still maintain the trademark of having a happy place, and indeed they have: a happier one!
CJV Building, named after Carlos J. Valdez and former Ambassador to Japan, was also the owner and resident of the Penthouse (6th floor) of the said building.  O&B bought the whole penthouse floor sizing at 450 square meters of area, and also the 5th floor of the same area size.  Being a residence housing the former Ambassador, the place was perfect for O&B to emulate a cozier working environment.  Compared to the previous (a bit cramped up) offices in Makati Executive Center where they occupied several separate units in three (3) floors, they now have two (2) whole floors as breeding grounds for their Software Engineers, Project Managers, Business Developers, and Management.  Still, they have to maintain the climate of the home away from home archetype and the new place is just the right thing for them.  Worthy of a Pinoy Big Brother style of living, the office looks and feels more of a home than a working space – just what most software developers really need.  Complete with comfortable stylish  couches for both resting (albeit nap) and working areas, a bar which now serves as a makeshift coffee counter (coffee, almost the literal blood life of O&B’s workforce), a full functioning kitchen and pantry (even free lunch rice for everybody), and a whole open floor for the software developers undivided by office walls and cubicles.   Indeed, Orange & Bronze has lived up to its name as a Software Lab, as the working areas for its Software Developers are reminiscent of school laboratories – united only by long tables for them to work together, serving more rooms for teamwork and knowledge sharing.  Surrounding the entire office are also the ever present shelves of books for the continuous cycle of learning.  The happier place lends also a larger room for play, as the developers’ small prize for the everyday stress of coding.  Playstations and game consoles are available just about anywhere if such a need arises if only to preserve a programmer’s sanity, and a quick doze of entertainment to prevent brain arteries from snapping altogether.  Uncomfortable business suits, corporate attires and campy leathers? O&B people enjoy the freedom of wearing as you are.  They work in colored shirts, walking shorts and flip flop slippers, giving the more free feeling of being at home (heck some even literally goes far as almost living in the new office).  Sounds more like a dorm for teenage school boys and girls? The company however still applies a set of conventional policies and rules that work, after all, no one wants nor expects somebody to report to the office wearing only his underpants and morning breath – normal rules still do apply.  Best and happy working conditions results to best programmers, and in turn produces the best software and makes real profit.  Self discipline is all that’s needed, a handful of push and reminders from the management, a bit of corporal punishments for the naughty ones (kidding!), and there’ll truly be fun in the work place that one would want to go to every day.
Orange & Bronze’s recent move is a smart one.  The building is located at the heart of Greenbelt vicinity, not too far from personal and corporate needs for everyone.  Standing along Aguirre street, the place is not as busy as the New York-style streets of Ayala or Buendia, yet not that remote as it still stands within the Makati Business District.  Convenient stores and Banks are well placed within the area, as well as “Jollijeeps” (those uniformed city-sanctioned boxed up eateries in all corners of Makati) for more affordable alternatives for lunch and snacks.  Comfort and fun are keys to O&B’s successes, and they just managed to expand both further this time around.  A happier place for happy people to work, and a smart move for very smart people to go farther.

Orange & Bronze Software Labs has always been known (in a manner of speaking, popular) for having a “Happy Place” to work in, not only for its armada of Software Developers, but for all of its also happy and dynamic employees.  O&B has uniquely adapted an unconventional working climate they call a happy place – defying the norms of conventional cubicle confined corporate offices, stiff and uptight working environments, and even stereotype grouchy bosses in suits and ties.  So despite the still inevitable constant stress and tight deadlines, people in O&B manage to keep a cheerful mood and enthusiasm within the work place that makes everything still fun to do.  A distinct flavor as it is a rarity (at least here in the local industry) for a very extensive technical nature of work to simultaneously maintain an element of fun and glee.  O&B managed to do just that and the idea works very efficiently.  Not only does it suit the company’s Agile practices in doing business, it’s also a main factor how O&B maintains a very steady pool of employees since the company’s formation. Continue reading “A Happier Place, O&B’s Smart Move – Orange & Bronze moves in to a new office”

Time Travel Made Easy

The best way to time travel with an existing Time Machine

My point of view exactly, in the concept of time travel, is more than its possibility or impossibility…but rather, on how it could be done. Since the beginning of the modern age, man has been fascinated with the concept of time travel. It has been depicted, envisioned, in countless books and movies. Concepts and different interpretations of time machines from microscopic scales to gigantic futuristic machines. Some even visualized time travel through hypnosis, that through the mind, one can physically alternate reality and physiologically alternate time itself. After the ocean and space, time has become man’s final frontier. That remains to be a theory, a dream, a hope. Continue reading “Time Travel Made Easy”

Identity Crisis & The Social Class: The Filipino Problem

The Filipino is worth dying for.

Or is it? Are we? Or more of, is the Filipino still worth living for? Given the kind of stereotypical society we have today, that is more of the relevant question.  Ferdinand E. Marcos himself once said, “if this is life, I’d rather die”. In a nutshell, we have a stagnating government menaced both sides by radical Islamic extremists on one end, and left-wing insurgents on another.  That’s how our current political strata is defined.  To be fairly honest, I think we should just sit down and watch them bleed each other to death. Continue reading “Identity Crisis & The Social Class: The Filipino Problem”

A Rendezvous with Destiny

I chronicled this in 2003 and I just thought of writing it to share it to the world. The girl in the story is my ex-girlfriend, we are no longer together now and are currently living separate lives. Just to emphasize the matter that when this dream took place, and i wrote the piece, we were still together at the time. No connections whatsoever to the events of the present day.

PROLOGUE

When we dream, even how real it may feel sometimes, the feeling disappears after a day or two.  Eventually, we forget the stories of our dreams even how vivid they may be. Continue reading “A Rendezvous with Destiny”

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