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The weeks before our official solemnizing ceremony (in layman's terms "wedding"), I managed to squeeze in some time to surf the Net in the hopes of getting some tips on simplifying the process of getting married, sans the the frills that normally come with a wedding -- dresses, flowers, food, etc.

I realized that the Net is swamped with information about the all-frills weddings: designers, flower arrangers, cake makers, photographers, caterers, planners, and other whathaveyou-ers.

Yet there was not a single site that had a complete, concise list of what one actually and really (and legally) needs to get married.

I suppose most people would hire a wedding coordinator to take care of the legal arrangements; or would know of someone who knows someone in this (or that) local government or mayor or whathaveyou to short-cut the process.

With the interest of not having to spend a single centavo more on something that I can do on my own anyway -- I chose to make all the arrangements myself.

It's a bit frustrating working within the absence of a system in our local government -- to think our wedding was officialized in Makati, supposedly the most progressive city in the country already -- yet I found myself having to make repeated and wasted trips to the City Hall months in advance, in preparation for the ceremony. I think excluding the actual day we were there to get married, I had already been there a grand total of 6 times within roughly 6 weeks.

It's not much, unless you count the fact that I could only sneak in one-hour trips on the rare days when I had an hour or two to spare from work.

It was also no surprise that within the Makati government offices, every official and government worker you would ask about what needed to be done, had a different answer and a different knowledge of what the process entailed.

And seriously... if a bride (or groom) wanted to lose some excess pounds in time for the wedding, taking care of the legal arrangements in Makati is a good way to shed those pounds. I've lost count of how many times I've had to go up and down 3-5 flights of stairs repeatedly every time I was in the City Hall (since their elevators also seem to travel at snail's pace).

On the day of our actual wedding, I still wasn't spared from having to go down to have my name corrected on my marriage license before I could get married.

Although thankfully and mercifully, we did manage to get married eventually -- half the time I actually doubted if we'd even get to the point where I can officially change my name; the other half of the time I'd be on the verge of just getting a ticket to las Vegas and just get ourselves married by the officiating priests at Elvis Presley's Church.

So, this blog post is intended for those like me who have little time to waste with inefficient offcials and government bureaucracy, and who just simply want to get married with as less hassle as possible.

--

Step 1: Get All your Documents Together
I think it varies for every local government, so to be sure, just secure a copy of ALL the things the local government could possibly ask from you (all documents pertains to both the bride and groom):

1. Birth Certificates (certified true copy) -- you may get this at www.ecensus.com.ph.
2. CENOMAR (Certificate of No Marriage) -- you may also get this at www.ecensus.com.ph
3. CEDULA -- this one you can just get in your barangay or city hall
4. Barangay Clearance/ Certificate -- you'll need to get this from your barangay hall. Best that when you go to the barangay hall, you have a proof of residence that you live in that barangay.
5. Valid ID

All in all, you can get these documents within 1-3 weeks. The Birth Certificate normally takes about a week, CENOMAR takes 2 weeks (3 weeks at most). The Cedula and Barangay Clearance are normally released on the same day you request for it.



Step 2: Attend the Required Seminars in the City Hall where you plan to get married
For civil marriages, couples usually need to get married in their city of residence. If the bride and groom do not reside in the same city, it should at least be in the resident city of either one of the couple.

In any case, when in the City Hall, you need to find out the schedule of the required seminars, and attend these seminars together.

1. Marriage Counselling (conducted by the DSWD)
2. Family Planning Seminar (conducted by the DOH)

In Makati, you can finish both seminars in one day -- but it normally starts really early in the morning, and you attend these with other couples. There is no need to pre-schedule, just show up on the day you plan to take the seminar.

If you're working, best to keep this whole day free since if you need to sit through the entire duration of the seminars, this will go one beginning at 8 in the morning, til 5 in the afternoon.

When you get to the City hall (if I'm correct in the assumption that other City Halls are like Makati's with no signages or labels on the doors of the offices... and no building directory), ask for the office of the DSWD, since the Marriage Counselling seminar usually comes first.

There is a minimal fee of P100.00 to attend both seminars.

Important to note that after the first seminar, you will be given a certificate of having attended the seminars. Make sure that the document is signed - both by the DSWD (after the first seminar); and then the DOH (after the second one).



Step 3: File for your Marriage License
As soon as you've both completed the seminars, there will be a representative of the Civil Registry who will give you a Marriage License Application Form, which you have fill up in triplicates. Some very important things to note:

1. The bride and groom must strictly be the ones to fill in the application form themselves. This means the bride cannot write anything in behalf of the groom, and vice versa.
2. Make sure when you fill in the license application that all pertinent information -- especially your registered names are consistent with the rest of your documents. Meaning, whichever name you put in your marriage license application form has to be exactly the same as the name written on your birth certificate, CENOMAR and barangay certificate. When I say exactly the same, I mean exactly the same down to the last initial and punctuation mark.

Once your marriage license application form has been completely and properly filled out, proceed to the office of the Civil Registrar within the same City Hall. Make sure you have photocopies of all documents you have on hand. You will also need to pay P300.00 for your marriage license.

At the office of the Civil Registrar, they will do a final check if all your documents are complete. By this time, you should have with you the following documents:

1. Birth Certificates
2. CENOMARS
3. CEDULA
4. Barangay Certificate
5. DSWD/ DOH Certificate
6. Marriage License Application Form
7. Photocopy of Valid ID
8. Receipt of Payment for Marriage License

Assuming all documents are complete and correct, you can surrender all of these to the Registrar. They will give you a receipt/claim stub for your Marriage License, which you can get after 10 working days.

Note that this 10 days will be used for the government to post your intent to marry on a public domain, to give time to anyone who may possibly contest your intent to marry before the license is issued.

*Additional Note: Steps 2 and 3 can be done on the same day.



Step 4: Claim your Marriage License and Schedule your Wedding Date
Go back to the City Hall after 10 days, claim your Marriage License from the Office of the Civil Registrar. Some other important things again to note:

1. Check all the pertinent details written on the Marriage License, specifically your names, addresses, etc. Again, it has to be exactly the same as the name indicated in your Birth Certificate, CENOMAR, Marriage License Application, and Marriage License Application. This is very important because whatever name is written on your Marriage License -- will be the name that is written on your Marriage Contract.
2. Note: The Marriage License is already a legal, binding document. Which means that in the event either the bride or groom reneges on pushing through with the final marriage, the aggrieved party can already sue.
3. The Marriage License is valid for a period of 3 months -- which means if the 3 month-period has been exceeded and you still have not married, you need to file for a new one all over again.

Now, assuming everything is in order with your Marriage License, you can now get married wherever you want. This is the same document that either the judge, the priest or minister will ask for when you are married.

Now if you're planning to just get a civil wedding, specifically one in the judge's courtroom, the next steps for you would be to file your papers in the local Office of Special Court Proceedings.

When you locate the office of Special Proceedings, you need to secure another document that states your intent to have a judge perform the "solemnizing ceremonies", aka "marrying the couple". I can't remember the exact name of the document but its sole purpose is basically a "Solemnizing Request" document.

You will need to pay P300.00 again to be given this document.

Normally, you would also surrender your marriage license to the Office of Special Court Proceedings in exchange for the signed "Solemnizing Request". Within the same exchange, you will need to already specify your preferred date and time for the wedding, and a preferred judge (if any, and if applicable). Otherwise, they will be the ones to assign a judge to you.

Once this exchange of information is done, make sure you leave your contact details, and make sure to get their contact details as well.

In our case, since the Makati City Hall is in the habit of "raffling off" judges, I had to leave the City Hall without knowing yet which judge was gonna marry us. Within the same day, I called them back to find out the name and contact number of the judge assigned to us, which they did give that same afternoon.

Within that same afternoon, I already had been able to contact the judge assigned to us, and scheduled our wedding date and time.



Step 5: The Ceremony Itself (What to Expect and Prepare For)

1. It doesn't mean that because it's not a church wedding, wedding rings aren't needed. Wedding rings are mandatory after all.
2. Give the complete names of your witnesses before the wedding day itself so they can input this in the marriage contract ahead of time.
3. What to Wear: I highly suggest staying away from anything too dressy or formal for the ceremony. The ceremony transpires in a high-traffic, busy area of the city so it's hardly the best place to be really dressed up. Just dress smart enough to look good on pictures while still being appropriate for a courtroom set-up.
4. The marriage contracts are signed before the actual solemnizing ceremonies take place. Which means all contract signatories really do have to be at the venue on time.
5. The ceremony itself transpires in the judge's courtroom. Our ceremony took roughly 20 minutes only, which is composed of a brief sermon/talk from the judge. Afterwhich, a very brief abridged version of the rite of marriage in a Church, including the "did you come here of your own free will?" question; and the exchange of rings and the court's version of wedding vows.
6. After the ceremony itself, make sure that the clerks in the judge's office give you a copy of the marriage contract/ certificate. Although this is still not the final official document, you may need this as well to claim your final marriage certificate.



Step 6: Post-Wedding, and all the paperwork that needs to be filed
This one I'm still learning as I go along. Again, I searched far and wide in the Internet for an Idiot's Guide to all the necessary things you need do after the wedding, but can't find a concise list. So give me some time to build this up as time goes by.

For now, these are the things I can list down:

1. The Marriage Certificate will be made available 15 working days after the ceremony from the Civil Registrar. You need this to file all the necessary paperwork to change your Marital Status.
2. As an employee, you will need to fill up documents (SSS, Pag-ibig, PhilHealth, Medical Insurance, etc.) stating your change in status. I don't know yet the exact repercussions of being moved to another bracket for taxes and insurance benefits.
3. For women changing their names, you will immediately need a valid ID with your married name, especially if you intend to eventually change your name on all your records.


It can be quick, easy and painless if you knew what to do. You can finish all the preparations needed with just 2 trips to the City Hall; and you can get married within just one month.


---

Well, there it is. Hopefully this helps even just one bride get by easier, simpler and more efficient as she makes all the preparations for that day which officially marks the beginning of the rest of her life as someone's wife.
 
 
gen
26 January 2009 @ 03:15 am
When I used to handle "Advil" back in TBWA, one of our campaigns was about something called techno-stress. In it, we postulate that because technology makes everything and everyone so easily accessible, then there's no escaping anything or anyone anymore.

I could so relate to that before. But moreso now.

Take today, for instance.

I've waited for this leave for the last four months. I wanted just two days off after I finally launched the Drink Coke Wear a Smile Promo (plugging). I felt it was a well-deserved 2 days of rest and relaxation after the four months of losing any distinction between night and day.

More than even physical rest (which in my case is usually easily recoverable, except for the unexpected bacterial infection in the form of a carbuncle I seem to have contracted a week ago that's persisting until now), I kind of needed this now to recover mentally, prevent myself from getting into a full and complete burnout phase, nip it in the bud before I start getting all angsty and emo again.

More than anything, I just missed having a day or two to completely get mind wiped about work. To not have to take phone calls. Make follow-ups at work. Clear materials before being sent to Client. Follow-through on deadlines.

Sure, I may be working in the comforts of home, reclined on my couch while doing it -- but heck, this is the exact place I've been stuck in for the last 4 months when I find myself working nights and weekends!

I've started watching a DVD I bought months ago today called "Women's Murder Club".

The same first episode has played 3 times since lunch time today while I was attempting to multi-task... and until now I have yet to even really watch it! I don't even know yet which actress is which character!!!

It's such a small thing, I know... miniscule and insignificant compared to the much bigger catastrophes in the world.

It's just that... this is what I've missed since the work on the promo began, and Trinka left, and Yettie left....  I took it all in stride that gradually, my leisure time would be the first to go with such a hectic life -- with the responsibilities, obligations both at work and at home.

I didn't mind back then cause I was looking forward to these two days of peace and quiet. And with Jude at work, I have the house completely to myself. Do anything I want without having to attend to someone else's needs and wants for a few precious hours... I wanted to watch my DVDs in peace; read my books in peace, take a nap in the middle of the day in peace...

But since I got out of bed this morning at 9am... the phone has been incessantly bugging me. Have you seen this? Are you attending this? When are you sending this? What's the status of this? Have you sent this? Where are you? Arrrghhh!!!!!

I know it's probably my fault. I did say that I'm reachable, and that I can work from home if needed. I guess I never expected that when you drop that line, most people would assume that it's perfectly fine to call you or text you.

And it doesn't help that I have Internet at home.

And so at the end of this long diatribe... I blame technology.

Geez. In the past, you weren't at work, there was no easy way to reach you so people you left behind had to make do without you.

Now, there's just no escape. 

Oh sure, I could always turn off my phone. But then what kind of accountable leader am I if there are some things that require my time and attention? If there are things that no one else in the office can give a proper answer to? The last thing I want is to get the agency in trouble... and get myself in trouble consequently.

Because everyone knows that nowadays there's just no more excuse to be unreachable... then sadly, a person in desperate need of quiet alone time... probably has to go all the way up to Sagada (where there's purpotedly no cellphone signal) to find that much sought after peace and quiet.

Oh, don't mind me. I'm just bitching.

 
 
gen
21 January 2009 @ 02:09 am
Living the modern urban and cosmopolitan lifestyle which today is no longer any different from the legendary fast-paced, breakneck speed, cutthroat New Yorker lifestyle has slowly made me into a person who has less and less patience with the non-essentials, the mundane and the superficial.

Nowadays I seem to have less tolerance for idle chitchat and gossip. Moreso when I become the subject and topic of gossip and chitchat... I've developed a massive distaste for it, especially when unbidden thoughts enter my mind that as it is, sleeping the full 6-8 hours a night nowadays has been upgraded to a luxury reserved for approximately only half the week... whereas it seems that others seem to have so much of spare time to indulge in... well, yeah. Gossip. Chitchat.

---

A few days ago, I told a friend -- "I wish things were simpler."

Life's complicated enough as it is... when people ask me for my wish in 2009, I could just easily say -- I just want to simplify my life. Spend time and energy, exhaust attention for only the things that really matter. Strip it down to nothing but the real bare essentials. 

But then, simplifying is only easy when you have control over everything in life that affects you... which basically redounds to... I guess I should just accept that life won't be as simple as I want it to be. Especially not when on a daily basis, you work with, live with, function with and survive with human beings... who were never created to be simple in the first place.

Me... I just want to earn my bi-monthly paycheck while having reasonable work hours; set enough money aside for savings; spend peaceful evenings and nights with Jude; have enough time left to see my family and friends on a regular basis; and have just enough leisure time to read, watch my DVDs, play my video games and basically sit back and relax.

And I just long for the day when taking a bath, brushing my teeth, and all those daily things we do for basic hygiene.... don't feel like stupid chores that eats away whatever little time I have left to rest, relax or sleep.

Sounds so simple and basic... but why does it still feel so elusive?

(and no, I wouldn't even blame just work anymore)

 
 
gen
15 January 2009 @ 01:16 pm
It's 1:46am, I'm sitting Indian-style on our living room rug typing away at this blog entry (with a flicker of hope that my normally articulate brain will come back to life after months with absolute nothingness coming out of my right brain). My hubby has fallen into exhausted slumber in the bedroom; as I sneak in a little bit of "me" time after a long (but admittedly rewarding) day at work while I wait for my hair to dry.

Since I've basically been keeping ungodly hours for the last 4 months, this time of day has since then become my favorite time of day (or night). Although I've spent roughly 50% of those nights working, I still like the peace and quiet when most of the world has gone to bed. 

At 2 in the morning, my phone doesn't ring nor make any sound. The neighborly sounds of laughter, footsteps, running, shouting and whatnot have subsided. The train has ceased blowing its horn. And with most people sound asleep, I can also surmise that whispers on dark corners have temporarily taken a breather as well. And for just a few hours, I'm free of my daily responsibilities, obligations and deadlines.

Perhaps it's the chaos of a fast-paced, cut-throat daytime lifestyle that makes me long for the solitude and temporary isolation that only nighttime can afford me.

I love the peace and quiet, and I often wish that life as it really were -- were always this peaceful. 

And though my eyes feel like they're besieged with bricks and are closing themselves without any help from me; and my exhausted body is begging for sleep (knowing it has to be up and about again in just a few hours); and though even my skin craves the unparalleled sensation of slipping under our silky comforter with my head hitting the pillow with my most loved one sleeping soundly beside me -- I need to take the luxury of these few more minutes alone with myself.

And for just that little bit of taste of what life could be like in a better world, it renews my drive to work harder, work faster -- towards that future I want where I can wake up every morning refreshed and excited to face the day with less worries, less anxieties, less deadlines, less obligations. Just another day with my love, with my true friends, with family, seeing the world, experiencing and living life the way it was intended to be experienced and lived.

 
 
gen
12 December 2008 @ 09:29 am
...and aside from the beautifully done Christmas lights along Ayala Avenue (which I've scarcely paid attention to since it was installed last month), and the occasional December night's chill, and a Kris Kringle in the office (where I've been an extremely delinquent mom)... I barely feel Christmas.

Not only have I NOT begun my Christmas shopping... I haven't even made a list yet!

This time last year, I'd already brought out and hung our Christmas stockings on our bedroom wall. This time, I haven't even found the time to rummage through our junk at home to even find the stockings.

The past Christmases, I'd already have our Christmas Eve plans sorted and planned out... all the way down to our Christmas dinner and Noche Buena menu. And there's also our annual Christmas Eve potluck lunch at my mom's that I normally plan out down to its tiniest detail. This year, I have absolutely zero idea what we're even doing, or what I'm even serving for the holidays!

In November, I told Jude that I'm on a quest to find a cute little snowman or reindeer stuffed doll as the centerpiece of our Christmas decor at home for this year (we don't have space for a real tree... so every year's a challenge on how to Christmas-ify our home without eating up more space) -- it's midway through December, and we still don't have a snowman. No reindeers in sight either.

Twice since December started, I played and listened to my selection of Christmas carols (which is admittedly one of my guiltier pleasures in December!)... but haven't done it again cause it just didn't feel as real, or as sincere as it normally does when the Christmas bug hits me.

--

I've just been so swamped both at work, and on other personal things... getting the adequate 8-hours a night sleep lately is a luxury. But it's fine... I'm holding out for the 2 weeks of Christmas and New Year where I can take a 17-day break from work (wooohooooooo!!!!!!).

It's just a bit disappointing though that on the year when I've had a turnaround on my points of view, and its subsequent effects on me being more susceptible to enjoying the spirit of the holidays -- it becomes the year when there's hardly enough time to even enjoy the season.

But... as all things go, that's life. 

There's time yet.

I'm still debating with myself if I'll stress myself out this weekend and try to cram in as much shopping as I can (while battling the thousands of people at the peak of the Christmas rush fever in the malls)... or if I should use this weekend to catch-up on much-needed rest and recreation, and set aside the mad wild Christmas shopping cramming on December 22 and 23.

Common sense tells me to do my shopping now. But I just really really badly want to spend some quality time at home, and in bed.

 
 
 
gen
04 December 2008 @ 10:00 am
I left Harrison Communications almost 2 and a half years ago not because I wasn't happy with the Agency. I left because I was no longer happy being in Account Management. And so I left Harrison, for supposedly greener pastures, and supposedly a job description that gave me less stress, less heartache, less pain.

I did find it... For a while. But as fate would have it, my joy at my newfound job description was short-lived. 

I think God was telling me then that Account Management is my calling... so I ended up back in the job description I ran away from.

And then I learned to start embracing it, accepting it. I grew up. Stopped complaining all the time. Quit thinking I was the most unfortunate person in the universe. Learned to become more empathetic. Learned to look at the people I work with as human beings with genuine feelings, genuine problems, genuine lives, genuine pressures. I stopped boxing in clients as "clients". I started understanding that sometimes people are the way they are because of their own pressures, stresses and problems. I tempered my fears and anxieties of sabits as being the end of the world.

Then I found that slowly I was starting to love what I was doing all over again.

Even on really bad days, I'd rediscovered the thrill of every ad that comes out that I was a part of. I go home fulfilled, most days. Tired, but feeling that I had a full, productive day.

Best of all, it paid me a salary every month.

--

But days like today remind me so tangibly of why I turned my back on Account Management 3 years ago.

I know Creatives' jobs are very very hard. And I would NEVER trade places with a Creative. I should know how hard it is -- I live with a Creative.

But the one thing that an Accounts person goes through almost on a regular, everyday basis that a Creative doesn't --- is become the sponge of everything and everyone. The sounding board. The face to blame. The ear to shout at. The name to discredit.

Days like today remind me of how futile angry retorts and uncontrolled tears of utter frustration are when the world just feels like exploding on someone. Somehow it seems that the most convenient person in the whole advertising circle and cycle to blame for ANYTHING -- is the Accounts person.

Don't even get me to start enumerating how many times we take the fall for things that aren't even remotely close to being our fault.

One day, I bet you -- even weather disturbances will become the fault of the AE.

--

Thing is, I'm kinda used to being the sponge. It's the nature of the job.

The "sponge" part though that unnerves me and hurts me the most is one that comes from inside your own circle, your own team. The people whom you would trust would stand by you no matter what, because you stand by them too. To the end.

After enduring two straight weeks of taking angry phone calls, receiving angry texts late at night, reprimands in person, reprimands over the phone, temper tantrums, and whatever other list of complaints that the world just never ever runs out of on a daily, hourly basis -- the last straw is getting battered and bruised inside your own camp.

It hurts. And today, I just wanted to turn my back on all of it, and all of them, and see how they will cope and manage without me, without us. 

---

I remember my boss and mentor from Harrison before making a joke one night when we were on our way back from a Client meeting. He says "Gen, don't worry. I truly believe all Accounts people are guaranteed a place in heaven."

And I just laughed out loud (with matching snorts).

 
 
gen
28 November 2008 @ 09:15 am
There's a Christmas party on the 12th floor hosted by our media counterparts. It was quite enjoyable though I think what friends have been telling me is coming to be.

I'm becoming a certified genuine manang.

I don't enjoy noisy places anymore. Though i still enjoy my mug of beer... I don't like crowded venues, loud music that still hums in your ear hours after you've left the place, and semi-drunk table mates. And to think this loud music was more to my taste than usual -- rockers and alternative rock singers rock!

And yet, I spent half the time downstairs fighting pangs of sleepiness and wanting to just go straight home and jumping into bed.

Which makes me wonder why I'm excited for our company Christmas party. I'm guessing half of it is dressing up for it and getting ready. The other half is the thought of free booze.

--

The past few days, I've been wondering.

Am I taking the global recession too seriously? When I take a step back and try to see how other people my age and general state of being are reacting to the global crisis, I don't see much difference on how they used to be, and how they are now.

Whereas here I am, worried sick about the possibility of getting laid off sometime in the future... and here I am trying to hold on to every single peso that I can and foregoing the "luxuries" altogether... and here I also am looking for other possible ways to augment our monthly payroll... and here I am too dissing nights out, hangouts and dinners with friends cause it usually means spending unnecessarily...

Most other people go on doing the same things they've been doing.

And worse, I get haunted by the possibility of getting laid off if the economy doesn't improve anytime soon. I find myself pouncing on any bit of news I can get about the global economy. Every now and then, my fears haunt me while I find myself in a state of idleness.

On the other hand, for once in my adult life, I can appreciate what it means when people say "I'm just thankful I still have a job."

But seriously though... they say the Philippines is poised to feel the full effects of the recession next year. But as it is, bits of news have been getting to me already of large multinational companies beginning their lay offs this year.

It's quite worrisome.

 
 
gen
21 November 2008 @ 07:35 am
I don't know how I did it in my younger years.

I could party and go drinking all night til 2-3 in the morning and still wake up early the following morning to make it to work by 8am. And I used to live in Quezon City before, worked in Makati, and commuted everyday.

I would be beset with a bad cold, a fever and general malaise... and still manage to go to school, do all the things I have to do with as much gusto and fervor... and even manage going to work and work til the wee hours of the morning.

I could work continuously for weeks with hardly any sleep and rest... and be completely fine.

Now after 2 weeks of continuous nights of overtime and lack of sleep, my body has given in again. I woke up this morning with a painfully swollen nasal-throat passage, a fever, joint aches and a bad temper.

(Actually my mood was neutral when I woke up. It was when the repercussions of having no team just came crashing over my head considering my day was wall-to-wall enough as it is -- that the bad temper set in)

And it's no longer easy to go about your normal day when you're feeling under the weather. You can feel every ache and pain when you move, talk or force the gears in your head to work double time.

In my twenties, adrenaline would spur me forward while working, even when I was down with a really bad virus. In my thirties, adrenaline only seems to work in heightening an already explosive temper. It's not easy anymore to come to work when you're sick. Somehow your body slows down and really demands for much needed rest.

I guess this is the perfect manifestation of good ol' wear and tear. 

Can't wait to get home and get into bed.

 
 
gen
17 November 2008 @ 08:06 am
On some level, I've always known I would be the kind of boss who will have a hard time separating my personal thoughts and feelings about my people, from my professional opinion and point-of-view about them.

Which is why I'm quite proud of myself that for the last few years, although I've been accused time and again of being "too nice", I'm glad that nonetheless, I've managed to make the difficult decisions and become first and foremost, a mentor and guide; before becoming a friend to my team.

For the most part.

The past few weeks though, I find myself caught in an internal struggle between doing the right thing in context of what will not get me in trouble at work; and doing the right thing anyway according to what my conscience dictates -- sometimes at my own risk.

Most of the time, I choose to listen to my conscience and my principles -- even if it means getting me in dire straits much later.

Which is why lately, I've come to the realization that as you go higher up the corporate ladder, the notions I used to have about the ills and perils of getting atop that ladder are not unfounded... but to some degree, are actually true.

To survive in the corporate jungle, you need nerves of steel. You need to let go of any emotion and train yourself to let your logical self take precedence. You need to learn to turn a blind eye on things you know are wrong -- at least wrong in the sense of how convention defines justice. You need to make allowances and excuses for the mistakes, failures and often -- the shortages of moral fibre -- that you encounter almost on a daily basis. 

In short, there always has to be a compromise somewhere along the way.

---

The past few weeks I've been faced with more and more instances of plain outright injustice. Some really really minor and mundane. Some with larger repercussions. And some that just make me wonder if I'm just too naive and expect far too much from people.

But I've learned to live with it.

But then earlier this evening, I heard about something really disturbing. And something not too far off from what I myself went through two Novembers ago.

Makes me wonder if it's a prerequisite to become a bigtime Corporate hotshot to lose your heart altogether. I can understand and empathize with really difficult and painful decisions.

But I can never understand how sometimes things are handled so cruelly and heartlessly. How hard is it to deal with painful and difficult decisions in a decent way? How hard is it to look people in the eye and be completely honest with them?

--

Seems I was wrong. I thought I was already immune to the harsh realities that is the corporate world.

Maybe it's good that I get bothered by things like this still.

I don't want to compromise on my principles and values for the sake of protecting my own interests. I would never be able to live with myself that 

 
 
gen
12 November 2008 @ 10:22 am
Closing in very closely to the hour of midnight, all alone in the vast giant jungle that is my office, hunched over my laptop in my office cubicle, attempting (in vain) to finish cleaning up a presentation, alternately munching away on 7-11's "Hotta Rice" microwaveable rice toppings (I got tapa and laing... yum!), nursing horrible dysmenorrhea, experiencing occasional dizzy spells and blurred vision, and wishing pathetically for more hours in the day to finish all my work.

This is the pit of pathetic.

Reminds me of those many nights long ago when I was but a lowly AE, left alone in the office late at night doing all my paperwork after spending the whole work day running from one meeting to another, and finally getting to sit down at my desk to get the other part of my work done at 8:30pm.

At least I know that no matter how old you get, or how high a position you achieve, there are still some things that never change.

I suppose if I force myself to look at it from a brighter and more positive point-of-view, tons of work is better than no work. I have a job, I'm productive, and whatever doesn't kill me will just make me better and stronger. And hey. At least this is another day I can add to my list of "days I will never forget" - by simple virtue of the fact that if I get through this day, this week, I will do some serious rejoicing.