For this past weekend, my office mates and I enjoyed perhaps our grandest (non-scenic) team building yet. After the close of operations on Saturday morning, we took a chartered bus to Sitio Lucia Resort in Santa Maria, Bulacan. Of the 50-something total number of heads in the small Trend Micro account, about 40 of us came along ready to leave the worries of work behind and trade those in for a rocking good time.

Sitio Lucia played host to the grand team building event of Trend Micro, where many took delight in swimming to relieve themselves of the intense heat and humidity.

Upon our arrival, we made ourselves comfortable by unloading our stuff in our designated quarters. One light snack later, and it wasn’t long before a wealth of activities from swimming to playing billiards to dozing off and even playing games on the PlayStation3 made the day. That’s right, my office mates Ades hauled his PS3 for a lot of gaming and as fortune had it, all our quarters had TV’s with the matching cable services. The afternoon came and went, and we were soon having dinner before a rather impromptu program. My colleague Jonah and I hosted the event, where we handed out awards to the top performers within the account. Following that, each team performed a set of songs in the so-called “Acoustic Night”, garnering applause and attention from everyone in the audience.

The alcohol had already started flowing just before dinner, and many of us got roaring drunk as the evening wore on. Despite this, I sauntered over to the pool tables to get in a few racks of billiards in as well. With my playing prowess being pathetic at best, owing to both a lack of practice and the rising blood-alcohol level, I decided later on to lend my mates my cue stick and hopped over to the mess hall to down more beer and gin like mad.

It was the first time I tried The Bar, and I loved it. For the first time, this was hard liquor that I could actually drink without desperately seeking a chaser. I soon helped out one of my esteemed peers with one large bottle, and I would call it a night not too long after. However, in my crazy inebriated state, I actually locked the room and fell into an booze-laden sleep.

When I woke up the next morning to banging on the door, I found out I had pissed off my roommates as I had locked the door, forcing them to sleep elsewhere. I took on issuing personal apologies to not a few people, and the jolly mood of the weekend was slightly dampened. This would then lead to breakfast and more swimming for my office mates, and even a few early morning beers.

After hauling our bags out of the rooms and having a hearty lunch later on, we checked out of Sitio Lucia and looked to head back to Manila. As it was Father’s Day, my sisters, niece and nephew went home to celebrate the day with our maternal grandfather (whom we affectionately called Ingkong Ben) and our dad. So I decided to head to Pampanga instead and I arrived at our grandfather’s place in Mexico a few hours later to greet him warmly.

With evening approaching, we packed our things and bid farewell to Ingkong before driving over to our dad’s place in Angeles City. We had a hearty dinner and with everyone else in a relaxed mood, my dad and I decided to head over to a nearby bar to play some billiards, namely The Bavarian Lion.

Although my dad pulled ahead with a string of winning racks later on, he did mention my skills were still impressive and that a little regular practice was all I needed in staying competitive with anyone. I felt that I had indeed played better that night, comparing to my lackluster performance at the team building event the night before.

The brood and I arrived back in Manila past midnight and we soon settled down to our usual patterns.  As predicted, the “epic” weekends continue.

To all dads and dads-to-be out there, belated Happy Father’s Day. Thank you for shining some good light on who real men are. Unquestionably, fatherhood is the biggest role any man can play in this life.

*****

Despite that we are already well into June, the second month of the rainy season has remained largely hot and humid throughout the day with occasional rains in the evening at best. With all the talk of global warming and climate change being induced by human activities a prime focus for so many of us, this may indeed be the sign that the world is changing for the worse.

In addition, this does not bode well for those of us who live the nocturnal life in the BPO (or more simply, call center) industry. Getting sleep during the day is difficult enough, but add high temperatures and humidity to the mix and getting enough shut-eye becomes Herculean by nature.

*****

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant has fun on the court after capturing the 2010 NBA Championship and 2010 NBA Finals MVP awards.

More than a week removed from the epic win of the Los Angeles Lakers’ 16th franchise title at the cost of arch-rivals the Boston Celtics, the euphoria for some remains high. The coaching genius of Phil Jackson and Glenn “Doc” Rivers for the Lakers and Celtics, respectively, combined with the strong talent of starters and supporting players for both squads, made for an exciting series that went down the wire to the dying seconds.

But that isn’t going to change that I am a fan of the Beantown Boys, and my belief that they have a few more title runs left in them still stands. Come to think of it, they still lead the Larry O’Brien trophy count against their West Coast rivals 17-16. And as they say, there’s always next year.

*****

With only less than a week to go before Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo steps down and Noynoy Aquino steps up to the plate as the 15th President of the Republic of the Philippines, the country is in a frantic pace to make sure the transition is as smooth as a baby’s bottom. Although I have my own misgivings about the President-elect, I am hoping (against hope, literally) that he’ll do the country a wealth of good in the next six years.

And while the cameras are on the offspring of democratic icons Ninoy and Cory Aquino, the daughter of the late Diosdado Macapagal will still wield some power behind the scenes as Congresswoman for the Second District of Pampanga. Don’t count “The Mole of Asia” on disappearing like a wart anytime soon.

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