Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lechon (from Surigao) Party

My 36th birthday celebration is contingent to the good weather in Surigao.

I kept saying this to my friends and officemates. This was due to the fact that my birthday won't realize until the lechon (roasted pig) from Surigao arrives. Thus, I called it a lechon party. And it was threatened by the rainy weather in Surigao that day. The daily flight to Surigao by Airphil Express is known to have been canceled these past days since December 2011. And thank God, despite the rains in my homeland, the plane was able to land and fly back to Manila with the lechon. The roasted pig was the promised birthday gift from my parents, Papa Tantong and Mama Dulcing. The flight however was delayed for about 2 hours.

Nevertheless, the party went on.

The Go family, Jun and Ruth, voluntered to provide car to pick up the lechon cargo from Airphil Express cargo station at the Domestic Airport to my apartment in Commonwealth, Quezon City. My current officemates and former colleagues and my college friends and classmates arrived at my place right after I settled everything on the table. The menu included grilled bangus and tilapia, miki-bihon guisado, macaroni salad, garden salad, baked spaghetti, and of course, lechon. Some of them brought in gift in food and beverage items: rhum, red wine, cake, cupcakes. My boyfriend gave me a heart-shaped throw pillow, colored pink.

Fortunately, my apartment held on despite its minimal space where my around 30 visitors squeezed in. In fact some of my young officemates ate their foods in standing position; I was not able to prepare chairs for this crowd. And the party ended with drinking session with drinking visitor left behind until past 10 o'clock in the evening. See evidence through pictures...

My parents' gift indeed has made my party a blast!

KC Team Building

The venue is historical; it is where Juday and Ryan held their wedding reception, the facilitator declared. The Estrella de Mendoza Aplaya Resort has become the place where all consultants and staffs of KALAHI-CIDSS congregrate for a team building workshop which will last for 4 full days.

We taxied the south luzon expressway (SLEX) in the afternoon of January 11 and the trip lasted for more or less 4 hours to reach the Barangay Laiya Ibabao where the abovementioned resort is situated. My impression was a 3- to 4-star hotel along the beach. I initially thought that the fine sanded beach is long-stretched, but it's not; it is simply concentrated in the hotel area. The seabed never appealed to me, it looks grim and dangerous. True enough, one of my financial analysts got injured during their night-swimming that weekend.

The kick-off activity was conducted that night with getting to know everyone through expectation setting and some kind of game. We settled around a roundtable with plenty of varied materials on top, such as seashells, cards, stuffed toys, candle, crayons, pentelpens, et cetera. We translated the hard objects into words or phrases then form them into one symbol or object altogether to define our group expectation. We were then ushered to the so-called playroom for more team-building activities. The facilitator regrouped the 74 participants into 3 particular class, such as birthmonth, sibling positioning and birthplace.

The following day come with serious topics. Sir Tomi, the Deputy National Project Manager for KC-MCC, presented the A-B-S-P of the workshop; it stands for Ano (What), Bakit (Why), Sino (Who) and Paano (How). We grouped ourselves according to our unit and I belonged to the Finance. During the morning activity, we were asked to described our feelings of the day and we wrote FULLYLOADED. Formal sessions followed, particularly defining the acronym: LAUGH which stands for listen/learn, active part/accept/agree to disagree agreeably, understand others, get involved/give help or feedback, and Hara (heart and mind). This was the time that I learned to rename the word problem(s) with GIFT(S). That afternoon, Assistant Secretary Camilo Gudmalin delivered the KC Story, its pilot tests, its evolutions, its secret ingredients, and its survival strategies.

The closing activity of the day was very entertaining, the Sand Crafting. We were regrouped into new teams and was called IDEA Teams - it refers to Identification, Definition, Education and Application Teams. We were tasked to describe our image of KC success through sandcrafting; my team created a journey of CDD communities represented by a Ship, a Lighthouse, an obstacle course using our slippers, and a berthing station. Other teams also showcased their creativity through various sandcrafts.

On Friday the 13th, we started our session by identifying colors that correspond to our feelings that day. I positioned myself on the yellow group which describes the feeling of relaxed, contented and sunny. Sir Egay, the Project National Manager, presented the Strategy Map and its evolving landscape. This was when I learned that the KC Project is now under the Office of the Program Management Bureau together with the other 2 Foreign-assisted Projects: 4Ps and SEAC-K. The workshop of the day was about putting into words and diagrams our image of KC success we sandcrafted the previous afternoon. My IDEA group called our image a HAPPY COMMUNITY.

I cut the sessions that friday afternoon. I departed at the time Secretary Dinky entered the session hall. I asked permission to leave from Manager Egay who declined to give me permission. But of course, I went off and it was my call. I knew I miss lots of inputs and fun but I cannot as well abandon my weekend duties as Volunteer Nurse, which I just started.