Friday, May 31, 2013

A Night with Beautiful Empowered Women and Good Company

Wacoal sponsored Mrs. Philippines-Globe, a pageant whose goal is to empower married women an single mothers. It's refreshing to see that the pageant does not discriminate against unmarried women, giving them an equal right to join such activities.

Even if I am single, I was inspired by these women to chase my dreams. I got to know them a little bit more during my interview with the candidates and their stories were not only inspiring, but touching as well.

Attending the pageant night was indeed worth my time and effort. The women had the poise, grace and attitude to walk the runway. Let's just take note that activities like these can serve as an avenue for women to be empowered. But even without joining pageants and other socio-civic organizations, women should realize that our own power lies within ourselves.

My purple and blue dinner at Sofitel

Criteria for judging

The ladies in their swimwear by Danny Oboc

The ladies in their cocktail wear by Arnold Galang

Gowns by Ronald Enrico, Pablo Cabahug, Edwin Uy, and Jonti Martinez 
The winners: (L-R): 3rd runner-up Jessica Eribal, 2nd runner-up Rachel Anne Felix, Mrs. Philippines-Globe 2013 Ruby Jane Lehmann,
Woman of Substance Rizza Padilla-Singson, 1st runner-up Madelle Paltu-ob
Last year's winners
Wacoal Career Woman of the Year, Madelle Paltu-ob was also Best in Talent and 1st Runner-Up 
The winners with the Wacoal representatives: Arlene Abello, Michelle Diaz (me) and Concel Pangilinan
With my colleague, Concel

Sunday, May 19, 2013

My Plight with Zest Air

Last week, I had my long-awaited vacation with friends. After grueling months of work, I needed a break from everything. Little did I know that my vacation would start with a ruckus. 

The ticket we bought from Zest Air was the 7:40AM flight. We bought it a couple of months in advance since it was a promo. People actually warned me about this airline but I thought what the heck, I've flown about three times with Zest Air and in cases where my flight was delayed, it was only a few minutes to an hour. I've experienced more delayed flights with Cebu Pacific.

Upon leaving the house at around 5 in the morning, I received a text that Zest Air experienced some problems and our flight was moved to 9 AM. Ok, fine, it's still ok to leave early since we did not want to mess with the morning rush hour. By 9 AM, we were informed that the flight was moved to 10 AM. By 10 AM, people were really anxious already. I was one of the people asking why the delay is so long already. Several flights have already left and we've been stuck in the airport for hours and we should have boarded half an hour ago. The staff were saying that there's still no plane, the plane is just leaving this certain place blah blah blah. They then told us that we will leave by 11 AM and they will give us the next plane to arrive. Apparently, our original aircraft had a problem and they had no backup planes. They said they would also give us compensation and meals for our inconvenience. Every so often, someone would stand up and complain, etc and the staff just continued giving excuses. We were even asking for the manager and the supervisor but no one would come out and face the concerns of the people. Our day was already wasting away when we could have been to Boracay already. Plus, we were also panicking since a couple of our friends who were already in Boracay said that there's a liquor ban by 12 noon and they cannot buy all the alcohol we need that would last us for three days.

By 11 AM, there's still no plane. They told us to line up in front of gate 4 (which is far away from the customer assistance desk where the Zest Air staff were staying). So by 11 AM, passengers were already lined up but still no plane. People continuously complained and demanded as time passed by. We also requested for a change in our return flight and they said they would give it to us without any fees and penalties. By the time we boarded the plane it was already past 12, we were hungry and cranky already. The plane left Manila  by 1 PM after the manager, Raphael Lopez, apologized and said blah blah blah for a couple of minutes. And guess what? While we were already on air, the flight attendants announced that there were about 130 passengers but the meal loaded was only for 90 people so they will just distribute the meal upon landing. WTH?! Imagine our frustration and anger on this. But fine, we'll just sleep it off. Upon landing, our meals were given. Tada! It wasn't worth all the time and effort we wasted.

I vow that I will never ride Zest Air again unless I have no other choice. Yes, it's a budget airline but how they went about the situation was just not right. They shouldn't have given hope that we could leave soon every hour and they shouldn't have lied to us. They may be trained not to tell the passengers the real deal but the passengers deserve a right to know what time the flight will be really able to leave. Their customer service just sucks. And when we went to rebook our ticket, the staff in their ticketing office was condescending and it turned out that the accommodation of return flights to be rebooked was not well coordinated so we wasted another hour in their office.

My advice to travelers, don't be a thrift freak too much. Sometimes, when you think that you are saving, you are actually wasting not just money, but time as well.

Note: We were also told that Zest Air was bought by Air Asia. I'm not sure if this is a rebranding strategy because the name Zest Air is already sullied or what. Still, I will not risk another vacation by booking a flight with Zest Air or Air Asia. And oh, I just remembered, a colleague who booked with Air Aisa in Clark also had a delayed flight, I think it was a day of delay or something like that.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


I never really classified myself as a workaholic. But I realized that I am. Even when I was working as an event planner, I used to dream about table cloths and table settings. And now as a marketer, my mind is forever churning out ideas. I still dream about work (this time about merchandise and collaborations and creatives and a whole lot of other stuff) and even on vacation, I can't help but check out some work stuff. And boy oh boy, troubleshooting on weekends is neck-breaking but a girl's gotta do what she has gotta do.

It's not that I'm complaining that I got loads to do, I was just a bit shocked that work indeed has become ingrained in me so much that I get antsy when I just relax and do nothing (even on weekends). But come to think of it, because of this affliction, I was able to rise up the ranks in less than three short years. I'm no hot shot in the corporate world and hey, I started as a rank and file employee but I'm pretty proud of my accomplishments. I may have skipped a couple of night outs and I can no longer drink til I drop but I'm still generally happy with where I am right now. Even though I did not start as a management trainee, I wouldn't be where I am right now if I did not make the decisions I had then.

Money. I admit it. I was a bit perplexed before since I felt like I was doing a great job and I was not well-compensated. All the other people around me were making double or thrice than I did and I felt like a failure. But let me tell you this, a person's salary is not the only measure of a person's success. I've been hearing that it's natural that you start with a small salary and eventually, after some years, it will get bigger, blah blah blah. And I was like "What?! Why not start now?". But believe me, it is indeed true. Yes, some people land great jobs right after college but most people, as the bell curve shows, will get an average job and their worth will get bigger if they perform at their best over time. Now with three years of experience under my belt and three promotions, it's kind of nice to know that my hard work has paid off. And oh, I'm not yet done with the hard work, it's something that will be forever with me I guess. Other opportunities have sprouted along my path and I can't wait what the future holds.

So I guess it's not that bad to be a workaholic. I'm happy with my career, I still see my friends from time to time and I still get to spend time with my family and be a wonderful "mommy" to my spoiled little Shakti.

Now, back to work. :)