Of Random Thoughts & Musings http://berna.chitgoks.com ...from acceptable to unacceptable, conventional to unconventional, but ideas nonetheless Sun, 23 Aug 2009 14:14:38 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.1 en hourly 1 The Luzon Adventure http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/08/21/the-luzon-adventure/ http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/08/21/the-luzon-adventure/#comments Sat, 22 Aug 2009 05:30:19 +0000 berna http://berna.chitgoks.com/?p=144 dolphinsI am someone who embodies the phrase: dayuhan sa sariling bayan. It’s because I’ve never really gotten the chance to tour the Philppines. My trips are concentrated in the islands of Cebu, Bohol and Mindanao. Other than those places, I have no clear picture of the beauty of the Philippines.

So on my birthday, I decided to have that Luzon trip. It was my first time in Luzon – it was my first time in the northern part of the country. Although I didn’t go to the famous Manila, I had an equally grand time in Central Luzon, namely in Pampanga, Olongapo City and Subic Bay.

What’s more interesting about the trip is the fact that I have to see a “long-lost-classmate” of mine. We have never seen each other for over 12 years now – so going to Pampanga and meeting him there after such a long time was already an adventure in itself. I was not sure if he will meet me in the airport, or if he would be as nice as I remembered him to be.

True enough, my friend and classmate remained nice, thoughtful and fun. It was my first time to meet his family – but they were so nice and warm to me. There was no awkward moment around them. I can be myself and not worry about what they would think of me. Therefore, our birthday (his birthday is a day before mine) was a blast. It was about getting-to-know-you-again – well maybe just getting-to-know-you as I never got the chance to really know him back during our elementary years. As one of my classmates once told me: finding each other again is next to a miracle. Miracles, so befitting of birthdays.

On my birthday, we went to Ocean Adventure and stayed there for an entire day – enjoying the dolphins and the sea lions. The day was also full of meaningful conversation – we had so much to talk about considering the time that we were “apart.” There was so much catching up to do. Time was not so much on our side then, because we really ran out of it. Of course, time travels so fast when you are enjoying every minute of it.

The next day was allocated for rest. Both of us love sleeping so we need to get some as the last two nights were about late nights. And when it was time for me to go back to Cebu, there were no tears shed. It was not a bittersweet parting. It was just right.

Deep in our hearts, we know that it wouldn’t be the last time that we will see each other – we are just not sure if the next time we meet would be after 12 days or another 12 years.

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The Many Variations of My Nickname http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/08/03/the-many-variations-of-my-nickname/ http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/08/03/the-many-variations-of-my-nickname/#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2009 07:28:03 +0000 berna http://berna.chitgoks.com/?p=135 Just like everyone else, I am called by different names. Because I feel so happy today, I will share these nicknames to you:

1. Berna – my default nickname
2. Burna – used by some of my college classmates
3. Bern – used by my elementary/high school classmates
4. Burn – just another spelling of #3
5. Burnz – my name on my volleyball jersey in college
6. Bernz – only my friend Laurice uses this spelling
7. Berns – just another version of #5, the more common version
8. Argen (baliktad of Negra) – used by ex-Bigfoot HR friends; I guess it was my friend JP who “coined this terms”
9. Lapad (as in “wide”) – used by family members; my uncle says I was so fat when I was a kid
10. Berna del Pilar – my ex-officemates used to tease me to someone who looks liek Gregorio del Pilar – so they combined the hero’s name and mine and came up with this… cute, right? :D
11. Bernadal – my favorite – Berna + Nadal (the man of my dreams.. and a dream he will always be)

So, there you have it.. how would you like to call me? =)

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A Choice Between being Assertive and Being Nice http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/02/03/a-choice-between-being-assertive-and-being-nice/ http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/02/03/a-choice-between-being-assertive-and-being-nice/#comments Tue, 03 Feb 2009 07:39:56 +0000 berna http://berna.chitgoks.com/?p=123 This morning, on my way to my 9am meeting, I hailed a cab. The bad news is, the cab smelled like vomit and it’s somewhat dirty. Surely, not the kind of cab I want to be in early in the morning.

I noticed such “state” the moment I sat down. Then I asked myself: “should I tell the driver I want to get out because his cab does not smell good?” But looking at the driver, I saw that he’s in his early fifty’s, I guess, and he has this gentleness in his face. He displays a friendly countenance that reminded me of my late grandfather.

So, as we travelled the busy street going to the office, I just covered my nose with my hankerchief and hoped that the ride will be short. On the average, I would travel 20 minutes.

But he was such a “slow” driver. Very careful. He never overtakes and he keeps a safe distance from other cars.

Then he talks to me about the weather and he informs me that there will be an upcoming typhoon in Cebu. Even if I was striving for breath, I managed to make a comment on what he said.

Then a thought occured to me: should I be assertive this time and fight for my right to a clean taxi? After all, I’m paying for the ride. Or should I remain silent, suffer in silence and just be kind to an old man? Should I be assertive or kind?

Most of the time, when  I am presented with this road block, I always choose to stay silent, even if my heart wants to shout. Always, I make that choice.  Today, I am presented with the same dilemma. What did I choose?

I gently gave him 70 pesos when I arrived at the office. The driver did not hear any complaint from me. I even said “thank you” as I always do.

Ladies and gentlemen, I made the choice. I chose to be kind.

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The Edge Coaster http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/02/01/the-edge-coaster/ http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/02/01/the-edge-coaster/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2009 16:21:35 +0000 berna http://berna.chitgoks.com/?p=111 Edge Coaster Madness This post came too late as the Edge Coaster adventure happened in December 2008. Yes, I persuaded myself into getting into that edge-of-the-seat ride – literally – just to get a feeling of the spectacle.

True enough, I felt that I was being thrown into nothingness, into the void that every Cebuano knows to be MacDonald’s Jones. My uncle is a member of Club Ultima so the ride was basically free.

Rates include 390 for entrance fee (good for two people, with free snacks) and 500 for the ride itself (good for two people). Basically, you need to spend 500 pesos each for the whole experience.

Prior to the ride, the attendant puts in the safety device (which is basically a T-shaped iron placed in between your legs and meant to hold your abdomen. The rest is free-flowing!! Meaning, you need to hold on to your seat if you don’t trust that safety device. As I am slender (my friend calls me the Skeletal System), I felt that the device was not able to securely hold me in place. So I just have to hold the side of the seat, for added security. Then, you have manual control over the tilt of your seat. You just have to press it forward and backward. Both of you have the said controls. The best part is, there will be an automatic tilt as soon as the ride starts.

So, we’re all set..GO!

Say Hi to Cebu at Night

The tilt! I am afraid of heights so all I could say was “SH@T!” Now, I can feel how water feels when it is being poured out of a pitcher. Worse, I felt that the device that’s meant to hold me in my seat is loose. For what seemed like an eternity, my aunt and I just shouted our hearts out never knowing what to do.

Then it occurred to her, “Day, we can flatten our seat.” And she did.

The rest of the ride was a combination of laughter and tears. I was laughing because of excitement and I was crying because of fright. My 5- and 8-year old cousins kept on calling me and asking me if I was alright.. or if it was scary. All I could say was “very scary.” I think I just died!

The Edge Coaster is only a 4-minute ride. At the Entrance, my aunt and I said: 4 minutes ra? way challenge! But as we rode at the edge of the 38th floor of Club Ultima, we felt as if that was the longest four minutes of our lives!

We only experienced one tilt. The automatic tilt. After that, it was all a flat ride. Come picture taking, the photographer motioned us to make a tilt. I firmly said: wa’y tilt-tilt. Sakto ra ni! My aunt and I just laughed.

As we approached the end of the ride, our heart rates are slowly going back to normal. And the consolation prize after the ride? A certificate that says: I Survived the Edge Coaster.


Photographs have to be bought, of course. It costs us P790 – soft copies of 8 pictures burned in a CD.

Another whew!

Truly, the Edge Coaster brought me to the edge of my seat. It was a fun experience for me and my aunt!

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Another First for No. 1 http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/02/01/another-first-for-no-1/ http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/02/01/another-first-for-no-1/#comments Sun, 01 Feb 2009 15:41:14 +0000 berna http://berna.chitgoks.com/?p=103 Australian Open 2009 Champ Truly, the four-hour-twenty-three-minute finals between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal was a match full of drama. It is full of emotions, especially that Roger is chasing to equal Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slam titles (currently, Roger has 13), and Rafa was wanting to be the first Spanish to win the Australian Open Title on his best ever performance at a hardcourt Grand Slam – yet!

As the clock approaches dawn, the match became increasingly tense, and perhaps, the mental pressure that Nadal has inflicted on the mighty FedEx’s psyche is getting through. With a series of unforced errors from the world No. 2, he gave Nadal his first Australian Open title in a gruelling scoreline of 7-5, 3-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-2.

FedEx in tearsRafa Consoles Roger

Come awarding ceremony, the great and graceful Swiss could only say “God, it’s killing me.” The MC had to take the microphone from him because Roger was out of words, out of breath, and out of energy even for a wry smile. The true gentleman that he was, when it was his turn to make a Championship speech, Rafa went to his good friend Roger, gave him a tap in the shoulder, and seemed to say: it’s okay. Rafa then publicly announced how sorry he was for Roger, that he knows how it feels like, and that surely, the Swiss will break Sampras’ record as he is the greatest player of all time.

For a Nadal fan like me, I could only take my hats off to this 22-year-old Spaniard, who, despite his career success and age, scrambled for enough English words to console the teary-eyed Federer. Surely, he doesn’t need to say sorry as any match is always like that: there’s a winner and a loser. Unfortunately for Federer, the better man prevailed tonight.

In all fairness to Federer, as he was not able to speak when he was first called to the stand, he managed to summon enough strength to congratulate the winner, as he didn’t want to steal the final words from Rafa. In his speech, he said: that man deserved the final words.

See, despite the sweat and the tears, both lived up to the spirit of true sportsmanship.

Did I mention that that the commentators keep on saying to Rafa: he’s supposed to be tired! He just came from a 5-hour-14-minute semi-final. Roger had two days off!

But the human machine and the bull that Nadal is, physicality was never a problem. It’s surely a weapon. Unfortunately for Roger, his mentally seemed like a ghost that told him: it has always been Rafa who has denied him of another Grand Slam title. Tonight, that mental attitude got in the way and worked for the Bull, the world No 1, the King of Clay, the Olympic Gold Medalist, the young Rafael Nadal! My idol!

Run Rafa Run!!

Vamos Rafa! again and again and again. Keep harvesting those trophies!

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I Just Survived a Heart Attack! http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/01/30/i-just-survived-a-heart-attack/ http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/01/30/i-just-survived-a-heart-attack/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2009 16:52:55 +0000 berna http://berna.chitgoks.com/?p=95 Rafa's Emotional Victory over Compatriot Verdasco Figuratively, yes, I did surive a heart attack. This is after the semi-final match between my Rafa and Fernando Verdasco of Spain (Rafa’s friend and team mate at the Davis Cup). The match lasted 5 hours and 14 minutes! And every minute of it was nerve-racking, heart-pounding and jaw-dropping!

In all fairness to Verdasco, he did everything he could. He had almost 100 winning shots, compared to Rafa’s 52! In the end, experience really mattered. In the 5th set, at 4-5 (Verdasco serving), he double faulted, and Rafa broke him and win the match!

The match came down as one of the historic matches in the Australian Open. It was the longest match, for sure. And it is one match where audience hope that both will be the winner.

The good news is, to all RaFANs, we will see Rafa in his first ever Australian Open Finals. Hopefully, it will be one that will live up to expectations.

I don’t know. I guess my mind is in disarray and I don’t think I am making sense here. This article is full of jumbled thoughts.  But in short, yeah, I’m happy that Rafa got through. And I’m happy that he gave the sport this level of performance.

Vamos Rafa! And due to my happiness of Rafa winning, I dropped by new Sony Ericson G900! Another cause of heart attack.

Then, out of the blue, a long-lost friend sent me an instant message. I told him  I just survived a heart attack. He was concerned but when he found out it was all about Nadal, he did not reply to my IM. LOL! Yes, heart attacks!

Everytime Nadal plays, there’s always a prospect of that, especially to a die hard fan like me.

What more can I say? I love Rafa. For Sunday’s final with Federer, I’d say it once again: VAMOS RAFA!

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It’s Not The Taxi Driver’s Fault http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/01/29/its-not-the-taxi-drivers-fault/ http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/01/29/its-not-the-taxi-drivers-fault/#comments Fri, 30 Jan 2009 03:47:05 +0000 berna http://berna.chitgoks.com/?p=85 taxi I was on my way to my 9am meeting and I was already running late. So, naturally, I took a cab to steal a few minutes, as I need to pass by the office first to get some stuff. At the office, my colleagues (who were supposed to be with me in the meeting) all went to the meeting venue. I realized that I did not inform them that I will be going to the office first, and then together, we will proceed to the venue.

To cut the long story short, I was running late for the meeting and I am bringing the files and other stuff needed for that important meeting. Again, I rode a cab and hope against hope that the driver would drive like crazy and take me to my destination in 10 minutes time. Usually, the trip would last for 20 minutes, at most.

I’d be damned, as he was such a “slow driver” – for the lack of a better term. He is in his 30’s I guess, kinda overweight. He takes his time, follows all traffic rules and does not shoot the other cars with his “horns.” So I told myself: I can never arrive on time. Instead of telling the driver to hurry up, I just took a sip of my coffee and said to myself “it’s not the taxi driver’s fault!”

Truly, it’s not. He had no idea that I’m running late. It’s not his job to know that. It’s his job to take me – and all his passengers – to the destination, in the safest and most efficient way. In fairness to the cabbie, he did that.

This makes me look back to the times when at the V-hire (a passenger van), many passengers will complain at how slow the driver drives, or how long it takes before the van “gets full.” In silence, I tell them that if they are already running late, they should not have been there. They should have taken a cab. Or, they should have been up early, or they should have hastened in preparing themselves. Really, it is not the fault of the driver! Sometimes, drivers can be asses too but I don’t support passengers who get angry at the driver for not hurrying up.

So, the next time you may be running late, please, don’t blame the driver. It’s not his fault.

If you want to avoid the stress of running late, wake up early…and don’t blame your driver!

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Staying for the Wrong Reasons http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/01/29/staying-for-the-wrong-reasons/ http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/01/29/staying-for-the-wrong-reasons/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2009 15:30:00 +0000 berna http://berna.chitgoks.com/?p=79 If I look at myself and assess what I have been doing with my life, I can say that in everything I do, I stick to it…Sometimes, so much that I continue to be in the same situation for at least three years.

I’m 27 but I only have two employers – average of 3 years per employer. There’s nothing wrong with this, that’s for sure. If I take a peek at the matters of the heart, again, I find myself spending 5 to 6 years of putting that person in the pedestal.

Then I wonder, why do I feel stagnated? Why do I feel I am not moving anywhere? Why do I feel trapped with my own willful choices? Does this mean that I haven’t chosen wisely? Or is it that I have stayed too long… but for the wrong reasons?

I am not someone who doesn’t dream. I do, in fact I see to it that I dream big. But I find myself not doing something that will lead me there. Perhaps, I am too afraid to take a risk.

Good thing though that lately, I did manage to break away from my rules of convention and finally, listened to my mind.

Love is either holding on or letting go. I am a firm believer tof the latter. Lately, I learned that sometimes,  I need to let go. And I did. The great part it, letting go is not as hard as you think it would be. True, tears were shed, for a matter of 2 to 3 days, but after that, I am seeing sunshine again.

Maybe I was just afraid to let go because I am overanalyzing things. That’s why, despite the heartache and difficulty that my situation brings, I found the courage to stay. I know – since time immemorial – that I was not staying for the right reasons.

This time, I promise myself to learn to let go once again – actually, it’s more of chasing a dream. I have whined and cried of not achieving my dreams but I did not try risking my comfort zone. I gave myself until the end of the year to do that. I hope I can finally achieve my career goals – and learn to let go of the wrong reasons. This time, I hope that I will not be beating myself up for staying for the wrong reasons – like I have always done so in the past…

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Rafa’s New Image http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/01/29/rafas-new-image/ http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/01/29/rafas-new-image/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2009 14:47:09 +0000 berna http://berna.chitgoks.com/?p=71 the-new-rafa1The new Rafa is here…and I don’t just mean mightier, fitter, more muscled and better at court. I mean he is here donning a new set of clothes. Yes, that’s correct! If you look at his picture in this blog post, he is in full sleeves, and shorter shorts…unlike his signature sleeveless shirt and pirate shorts.

I like his attire before. It emphasizes his fitness – flaunting his oh-so-yummy biceps and full butt! But as the article in Time Magazine suggested, this year, Rafa’s team is changing his image. – from a kid to a grown-up. And this change has to start with his clothes — too bad for fans like me who like a show of muscle.

Nevertheless, he’s still the aggressive bull at the tennis court that many players respect and fear. He is still the number 1 player in the world and if he continues his great run in the Australian Open, he’ll not be far from getting his first title in Melbourne Park.

So, do you like his new set of clothes?

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The Big New Year http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/01/29/the-big-new-year/ http://berna.chitgoks.com/2009/01/29/the-big-new-year/#comments Thu, 29 Jan 2009 14:17:44 +0000 berna http://berna.chitgoks.com/?p=67 Again, this post may be a little late because January is almost over. But please allow me to record my thoughts…

Last year, I knew that something big was going to happen in my life -  a major change. And it did, although it officially happened in Jaunary 3. Still, as my friend suggested, I could always round it off, and consider it as a milestone for the year 2008.

This year, I feel that something big will again happen, but that will have something to do with my career, and not my heart.

I started 2009 right, that much I can confidently say. I don’t mean to announce my whole life here but I was able to do this with the help of prayer. I am not religious. But I do believe in God and that He gives us the desires of our hearts in His perfect time. While I am already tired of waiting, I managed to keep a cool head and open myself to a number of possibilites – be it regarding the matters of the heart (wow, new lovelife) or the mind (new career?). I so wanted to work as a Researcher but opportunities here in Cebu are rare. So I’m settling for the other thing I do best, HR! =)

Still, I’m hoping that good things will happen to me this year. Not only good things, but those that I truly desire (and i don’t mean  in a lustful manner). As Paulo Coehlo said in The Witch of Portobello: Life has given me so many harsh realities that it doesn’t hurt to dream a little.

But I’m not dreaming a little, I’m dreaming BIG. Someday soon, I’m going to be there…

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