Six Degrees From Aga Muhlach

Saturday Stories December 9, 2017

I love the cartoon series The Batman, and the Batman films by Christopher Nolan, who also directed The Prestige where there is a scene with Nikola Tesla, who is also featured in The Master Key by Charles Haanel which I'm reading now. 
I love the genius of Tesla and Nolan, and, using this is an example, I love even more how everything is connected.
A friend and I were chatting about it a couple of days ago. I began to write a reply, and it tickled my imagination, so I wrote something else so I'll have more fun with the first draft.
It's about "Six degrees of separation," the idea that a person can be linked to anybody in six steps.
So, I'm only six jumps from my idol Aga Muchlach.
1. My LSS at the moment is Johnny Gill's "Half Crazy."
2. "Half Crazy" was revived by Freestyle.
3. Freestyle also sang "Bakit Ngayon Ka Lang" with Pops Fernandez.
4. Pops was married to Martin Nievera who sang &…

What Happens During VoIP Calls

Saturday Stories December 2, 2017

The work I'm currently doing is about VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol), which basically means phone service using the Internet.
When a call is made, it sends an invite to the recipient, which sends an invite response to confirm a connection and a second invite response once the call is picked up. A final acknowledgment is sent by the caller and the connection is complete. All of this happens in just seconds.
A VoIP call goes out in the form of an IP Packet. It comes from the internal IP address to the outside and to the public IP, and travels through the Internet until it reaches the SIP server.
Then the SIP server creates its own IP Packet as a response.
The router settings, specifically the SIP-ALG (Session Initiation Protocol, Application Layer Gateway), can modify the SIP packets which affects the connection, resulting in various issues such calls dropping, calls getting rejected and loss of audio.
In a training presentation, I had visua…

All My Life

Saturday Stories November 25, 2017

A friend and I saw a Japanese girl in the elevator who was so cute she looked like an anime character. Her features were so delicate she seemed more like a porcelain doll than a living person. We were impressed.
"She's pretty," I told my friend when he teased me about her. "But she's too young for me."
All my life, I've always been attracted to older women, I said to him. Almost all of the relationships I had were with people older than me.
My "type" are women of substance and elegance like Senator Loren Legarda and the actress Pilar Pilapil.
I first had a crush on Loren in the 90s and I always watched "The Inside Story," her awardwinning weekly documentary. That was when there were a lot of intelligent public affairs programs on TV including "Assignment" with Teddy Boy Locsin, "Dong Puno Live" with Dong Puno, and "The World Tonight" with Loren and Angelo Castro Jr.

Unconquerable Souls

Saturday Stories November 18, 2017

I'm forever grateful to the writers who have touched my life. There are books, such as Trevanian's Shibumi and Richard Bach's Jonathan Livingston Seagull, that are now a part of me.
I find great inspiration in poetry, like in Rudyard Kipling's "If" and Max Erhmann's "Desiderata."
And then there is "Invictus" by  William Ernest Henley which is special to me on a deeply personal level.
"Invictus" is also the favorite poem of Nelson Mandela whom I admire for his moral courage.
I still remember where I was while watching the live broadcast of Mandela's death over CNN.
I also remember thinking that it was a privilege to be living in the age of great world leaders like him and Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, Jose Ramos-Horta of East Timor, and our very own Cory Aquino of the Philippines – whom Mandela held in great esteem.
I have such profound respect for people like Nelson Mandela and Benigno "N…

Everyday Magic

Saturday Stories November 11, 2017

Somebody asked me some years back what my favorite word was.
I said "Magic" – and it still is.
I used to think that magic is something extraordinary, like when David Copperfield made the Statue of Liberty disappear.
As time goes by, I began to realize that magic comes in many forms.
There is magic in the simple things we take for granted, like a smile from someone you love, or an act of kindness from a complete stranger.
There is magic in unexpected surprises, like when I found a quiet boardinghouse and a laundromat within walking distance from where I work.
There is magic in finding a job that you enjoy, in a company you where you feel at home, with people you really like.
As I thought about the things I like about where I work, I realize more and more how lucky I am because it is so unlike the other companies I've been in.
I like my team-mates (in photo), the American co-owner, our HR officers, the people from other departments, and of cours…


Saturday Stories November 4, 2017

I found a witch hat in the office the day after the Halloween party last Tuesday. I also found all the food gone but that's a different kind of sorcery.

I tried it on (in photo), waiting if it will say "Gryffindor!" like in the Harry Potter movies. It didn't. But it didn't say "Slytherin" either so that's a good sign. Nothing. Not even "Ravenclaw" or "Hufflepuff."

Then I realized: you don't have to be in Hogwarts to have magic in your life.

Teacher's Digest

Saturday Stories October 28, 2017

I got my TEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) certificate about a week ago. It means I can now teach anywhere they speak something else.
Since I now have more options, it made me realize how much I'm enjoying my life now so I don't want to change anything at the moment. I'm blessed because I don't have the need to make drastic transformations to feel fulfilled.
As I write this, I'm singing "Please, don't tell let this feeling end..."
Although I've handled an entire class when I was with TeleTech in the mid-2010s and really enjoyed it, I prefer a more intimate, one-on-one conversation. Like I told a friend recently, I'd rather be in a coffee shop with one person than in a bar with a crowd.
The first time I taught ESL (English as a Second Language) was in a South Korean school in Quezon City during the early 2000s. In most afternoons, I would always find myself at the Sunken Garden at the nearby U.P. …