Earth Hour

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Here Come the Rains 2006

The weather bureau has announced the official end of the summer season in our country. That means it's already the rainy season. In fact, right after that announcement, a typhoon entered our country, bringing strong winds and inches, even feet of rain with it.

I remember I complained about the very hot summer we had last year. It was pretty much the same this year except that I didn'’t get "bungang araw". At its peak, I was inside the comfort of our airconditioned office, refusing to get out until the sun has very much gone below the horizon.

But I am not going to talk about the summer of 2006. I'’d like to do something different and talk about the rains.

When I was younger, our elders would tell us to wait for the first rain in May because it is said to relieve a lot of skin problems. So, with school time still a few weeks away, would often wait for that first rain and run in the streets when it finally comes.

Now, we tell the kids not to go out when its raining for fear that they may get skin diseases. After all, the pollutants that hang in the atmosphere might be incredibly too large in volume after months of no rain to wash it down. So talk about how time has changed!

At first the news of coming rains are welcome. After months of sweating due to the heat, the sight of rains washing dusts off leaves, buildings and other things is a big relief and a beauty to behold.

But after a while, when it's been raining for weeks on end, you begin to wonder when the sun will ever come out of the gray skies.

I always wonder why the rains choose to pour when I am about to leave the house for the office or when it'’s time to go home. I just don't like to go to the office with wet shoes or come home carrying a wet umbrella.

Another thing that makes me wonder is about how our government react everytime the rains come.

We all know that for a good number of months, several typhoons will be visiting our country, bringing with it rains that could destroy properties, create landslides and claim lives. Yet government, or even people who live in places where typhoons usually make landfall, act as if it was the first time that happened in their lives. I couldn'’t believe that these people never learn.

I am resigned to the fact that from now until about November, I would have to contend with rainy mornings and afternoons. I am living in a tropical country after all where rains and typhoons are part of life.

Tomorrow, I will go to the mall and buy me a new umbrella and a new jacket to protect me from the downpours that will come.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Breakout Through to the Other Side

About a month ago, I passed the certification exams for Microsoft Office Word and Excel expert level. This means that Microsoft now recognizes me as someone who knows more about Word and Excel than the average Filipino, no, person in the world.

Please…. I know what you are thinking.

Isn’t this the same person who, only a few months back, has been harping about the superiority of the Mac OS X?

I have a simple explanation for that.

Just like any other Filipino office worker, the machines that surround me are all run by the Bill Gates operating system. I do my report in Word, make spreadsheet in Excel and present them in PowerPoint. But at home, I escape from it all and live in a Mac OS X environment. Indeed, I live a double life.

But I haven’t finished yet.

Before getting the certification exam, I and several of my colleagues needed to go through a training program to equip me with the necessary knowledge to pass the exam. And it was given to us free of charge by Microsoft and our office. Even the certification exam was given to us free when I heard that each exam cost several thousand pesos. But is it really free? Nah….

We need to render several hours of service by training other employees in our agency. Indeed, this guy who has been praising the beauty of a Mac a few months back will now start training other people to be enslaved by Microsoft. Talk about breaking out through to the other side!