Friday, October 29, 2010

Baby steps, Daddy steps

Just this morning, my youngest Sophia (11-months old by Monday, 11/1) crawled from the living room to the dining room. Amy and I were having lunch when Sophia suddenly grabbed one of the legs of my chair, stood up, held my small finger and led me around the dining room and the living room. heart folded and melted and and the rest of me followed!

Sophia could already stand-up and has started to take 1 or 2 steps. She's starting to get her balance but still needs a month more or two to be able to walk steadily. This, however, is something that I don't wish to come along quickly.

While she took me for that quick short stroll around the house, I was touched with the thought that Sophia yearns so much for my attention. Even at a tender young age, much like her Ate Samantha, Sophia absolutely loves it when I play with her - even some rough-housing every once in a while. My thoughts also flashed-forward 40 or 50 years from now when Sophia and Samantha will be the ones holding my hands, leading my old and feeble arse around malls, parks and the village.

The thought of my kids growing up so fast is both exciting and scary to me. Right now I'm enjoying their youth, their dependency on me. But before I know it, they'd be out in the world on their own. Their daddy will miss THESE good old days.

The "Terrible-Two" stage may be tiring and even scary, but I just know that it will be one of the stages in my life that I will miss so much. As Amy would frequently remind me, I should enjoy our daughters as much as I can and as young as they are because they will not be babies for long. She's right, of course, but deep in my heart, even though they will be babies only for this short period of time, they will always and forever be MY babies in MY eyes and in MY heart...

...and I thank HIM for these precious gifts.

"As son is a son till he makes him a wife; a daughter is a daughter all her life." --> Irish saying

"Certain is it that there is no kind of affection so purely angelic as of a father to a daughter. In love to our wives there is desire; to our sons, ambition; but to our daughters there is something which there are no words to express." -->Joseph Addison

"Watching your daughter being collected by her date feels like handing over a million dollar Stradivarius to a gorilla. " --> Jim Bishop, American journalist and author

Monday, October 25, 2010

You can still have it all ...

I came across this nice article at late in the evening:

It basically talked about Daphne Osena-Paez - how she came about having her career on TV and how she managed to balance her personal with her professional life.

I smiled at myself for choosing this article out of the blue because of three things:

#1 - The Uncanny Resemblance

Daphne Osena-Paez is the splitting image of my wife, Amy Antonio-Tabunar. Check out the picture from the link above and compare it to the picture of my lovely wife!

#2 - The Inspiring Story

I wasn't aware that Daphne was such a hands-on in both aspects of her life - at home and at work. With hard-work and perseverance, she was able to climb the ladder of success rung-by-rung but was willing to give it all up for motherhood. But despite her focus on her family, she was still able to pursue her dreams of having an active role in show business. With the love and support of her family, she is now able to live the life that she wants, but at the same time strive for continuous improvement in her craft.

#3 - Can you spell C-O-I-N-C-I-D-E-N-C-E?

My wife and I were having a similar discussion the other night. Amy was poised to climb the corporate ladder, but gave it all up for the sake of her two little angels. She misses the corporate world, but would not want to go back to it if it means spending much less time with the kids. This is both understandable and admirable of her, but I constantly remind her that we as a family are not blockades to her dreams. As a matter of fact, as a husband, I encourage her to pursue her dreams and the kids and myself will be with her every step of the way.

Samantha will be turning 3 years old in less than three months' time, while Sophia will be a year-old in a little more than a month. With a new year just around the corner, it is almost time to look back and take stock of what has transpired the previous year, and what to do for the new year.

Honey, follow your heart. Whether you choose to go back to the corporate world, go back to learning a new skill or open your own food business - the kids and I will always be here to support you. Every one in our families will have their own opinion about how we choose to live our lives, but the important thing is that we are all together in the decisions that we make and that we support each other. This is what I promise to you. For as long we do this for our success and His; for as long as we pray to God for thanks and support in our future endeavors, what ever other people will say will not matter. We SHALL succeed.

A couple of quotable quotes to remember:

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world." --> Harriet Tubman

"Reach high, for stars lie hidden in your soul. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal." --> Pamela Vaul Starr

"All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible." --> T.E. Lawrence

I love you Honey. Reach for the skies, reach for the stars ... for I will be here to help lift you high!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Busy, Rainy, Family day

Amy and I have formed this habit of checking our emails, profiles and some news bits before hitting-the-hay. Tonight though, I decided to browse through to scope out cars that are for sale - both brand new and second hand. As I was browsing, I asked my wife if she thinks that if we had a good chance of buying a car next year, even if it were just a second hand car. She said that it would depend on the status of our finances - in other words, if we have eliminated most of our debts.

...wake-up call!!!

Between paying the monthly debts to our loan in Pag-ibig, monthly payments for our insurance policies, educational plans, loans/debts with banks and family members - there's hardly anything left for our basic needs ... but I'm proud to say that despite the financial set backs that we've been having, the four of us still manage to have fun and enjoy the simplest things in life.

A Halloween party at Samantha's school provided us another view of our daughter's imaginative and playful side among her teachers, classmates and other parents. And as expected, she was just as cheerful, funny and active as she can be. She may be hyper active, but at least she's a happy, healthy and uber sweet angel .... and she's MINE!!! ... well, until her mother says so

Attending a seminar at a hotel in Makati which culminated in an awarding ceremony where Amy was among the top 10 mothers as seen and judged by some local parenting and children's brands. She may not have won the top prize as we all had hoped, but at least she got the chance to meet other moms and make some new friends in the process. Plus, the Php 10k prize in GCs was boost in the ego (and the finances) as well

Treating the kids, as well as their yayas, out to lunch at a local pizza parlor proved to be a great bonding activity for the 6 of us. Pizza, pasta, chicken and taters ... how can you go wrong with that?!

Life may have been throwing us a lot of curve balls, but at least we do get to catch a break from time-to-time. Despite the absence and inability to own luxuries and convenience, at the end of the day, we look at what really matters the most and appreciate what we have. We may not see or realize it always, but from time-to-time we NEED TO REMEMBER that we are better off than most people... and for this, Amy and I thank HIM for the blessings that has been coming along our way, even if some times we tend to over look them. We thank HIM, always.

LIFE, LOVE, LORD ... the 3 Ls to fruitful living.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Return, Recharge, Re-educate

Yesterday had to be one of my stressful days for this month. Just when I thought I had everything planned out well, *Murphy comes creeping along the hallways of IBM. I had no choice but to re-schedule and re-think my strategy thus requiring me to adjust my work schedule a little bit more uncomfortably. Oh well, that's life, right? Not everything will go your way all the time.

While my mind was swimming in the Sea of Stress, my heart was was seeking ways to de-stress and one yearning came to mind: FOOD!!! (go figure!)

I Googled away on my laptop searching for culinary arts schools around the metro, hoping to find schools that offer short courses on culinary arts. I thought that it would be great for Amy and I to take these short courses both as a bonding activity and as an opportunity to further enhance our skills in the kitchen. We both love to cook and we certainly both love to eat, so this activity/mission/endeavor is perfect for us.

A good number of websites caught my attention. Check these out:

Center for Culinary Arts:
Chef Logro's Institute of Culinary and Kitchen Arts:
Click's Culinary Learning Institute:

I've sent emails to a few inquiring about their short courses and tuition fees. We'll see how it goes. I'm keen on taking some classes with my wife. Perhaps later this year or will be part of our new year's resolution for 2011 ;-)

* Murphy's Law - when you think something will go wrong, it will most certainly will happen.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Follow your strengths

This much I now know - if you're in the corporate world such as myself, and you decide to branch out to a totally new role, one that is completely different from what you've been doing for the past years, make sure that the new role that you'll be taking is something that you know you'll enjoy doing. In my case, I should have become a cook, radio DJ or a TV host! Yup, I love to eat, cook and talk.

After eight years of being an IT professional, I've decided to take on a role that is not really unrelated to what I've been doing in IT. It is still project management but the scope of work is bigger - one that encompasses IT since it also tackles HR, recruitment, business controls, etc. Project management is project management, as what my boss says but being a Transition Project Manager is still different, although the role itself is not new to me.

In any case, I gave it a shot. I found my bearing but the biggest challenge for me was navigating internally to find the right team and the right person(s) to work with on my project. The policies and procedures are things that I had to learn on-the-go, but thanks to the generous timelines of the project, I had enough time to learn the ropes. I had a lot of stumbles here and there, but I got up and learned from them. As of this writing, I'm confident to say that if I choose to work on another Transition project, I will definitely make less mistakes and be more efficient at my work. Unfortunately, this is not where my heart is as far as the role is concerned.

I've been so used to working in IT that I suddenly missed it. I remember that whenever I embarked in a new role in IT, I was always expected to hit the ground running and expectations on my performance was high. Fortunately, I would always meet their expectations, if not exceed them. I would always shine in my role in IT. But for the first time in my life, with this new role in IBM, I found myself constantly in the spot light, but not in a good way. Again, expectations of me were high, but I couldn't help but miss some details from time-to-time. I admit that some mistakes could have been avoided but I was still getting used to the role and learning the methodologies as I went along with the project. I never had any orientation or the sort. But alas, enough has already been said and done. I'm proud to say that the project that I've been working for the past 10-months is ready to go-live at any time the client wishes. I was able to place the project 98% ready by the time the soft-go live came last October 1. We became 100% ready the next day.

Now the days are counting down for me once again. My last days with IBM Business Services are numbered and by November 16 I bid my new found friends adieu. By November 17, I once again join the IT world with IBM Daksh and I will once again report to my previous boss and good friend (from AIG Business Processing Services), Ray Austria. This is going to be another interesting chapter in my journey in my professional life, where I will be occupying the role as IT Delivery Project Executive (don't let the name fool you, my transfer is just lateral - no promotions here ... at least not yet). The role will be a mix of IT Account Management, Project Management and Operations - familiar territory for me as these were the same roles I fulfilled when I was working at Accenture.

Looking forward to shining once again.