Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Intel Philippines closes its Cavite site

Holy crap...I cannot believe it.

I have been reading so much about the recession and the economic downturn and how so many people have lost jobs and how businesses have closed up shop in countries like China and USA, but still it surprised me when I read that Intel is shutting down it operations in the Philippines...

I searched my mind trying to think of friends or acquaintances who worked for Intel but couldn't pin one down. Still, it's too close to home to not be worried.

Intel is the world's largest semicon company and has had operations in the Philippines for 20 years. Their Cavite facility handles flash memory manufacturing.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the big chip maker has not reported a net loss since 1986. But CEO Paul Otellini, in an internal Webcast to the company's employees said the first quarter was too close to call, as far as Intel remaining profitable. And then on Wednesday (Jan 21), local counterpart Intel Philippines sent an email to its 1,800 remaining employees about the close down. Intel is said to be also closing down plants in other countries due to a weakened demand brought about by the current global economic downturn.

So far we Filipinos have been relaxed about the whole recession, despite hearing an occasional story about so and so's brother or auntie coming back from Australia or Singapore because their company folded. I mean, who would have guessed, what with all the new SM malls and the endless traffic in Manila, that we could get affected by this recession? We don't see the economic downturn so we think it's only happening in the economic giants like Germany or England (or because we have no economy to begin with? aha!).

But now it's here. If a huge international company like Intel chooses to close its operations in the Philippines (even with our country having one of the cheapest labor costs in the world), and with so many other multinational companies having the same recession woes, will there be more layoffs and more closures to come?

I sure hope not.

One thing is certain, the recession has arrived on Philippine shores.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The UPCAT Results are out!


*updated 20-Jan-09 5:30PM

WOW! WOW! The UPCAT results are out!
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the UPCAT results are now online. :p During my time you had to really go to UP to check the results.

I distinctly remember that day when our batch's UPCAT results came out... It was a weekday, the day before the JS prom and we were all in Pisay, but some of the parents were already at UP searching for our names in that really short list they put up on boards near the Registrar's Office.

There were no cellphones then so I had to call by payphone to my house. There was a line at the phone booth already! When it was my turn, my mom told me that my sister had called her earlier (also by payphone) that my name was there!

Oh! The exhiliration of learning that you didn't mess up the exam...Haha! After worrying and worrying that you might have shaded those little circles too lightly, or that you missed a page or 2 of the questionnaire, it's all over now, and you are sure that things will be OK.

I almost tripped over myself when, on my way home from school I passed by UP to see for myself that my sister (who was also in UP at the time) didn't just imagine my name on that board...

And there it was.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Free Lasik screening!

Yesterday I went to the Lasik Surgery Center (LSC) at the Megaclinic in Megamall to claim my free Lasik surgery screening. Yes, it's free! Why, you ask?

I joined a promo by Business World and Lasik Surgery Clinic where all you need to do... is tell them how lasik surgery can change your life, and for a mere 50 words and 5 minutes of your time, you get a free Lasik screening and 20% off on the actual Lasik procedure package! The prize of course is a free Lasik procedure, and only those who are good candidates for Lasik can qualify for the contest.

I was really planning to get my eyes corrected this year or next year, but since the opportunity presented itself, I thought, why not? It was Batangas Fiesta yesterday so we were on Holiday, so I got myself an appointment at LSC and went.

It was quite interesting really, aside from the usual test like reading the letters and looking at that red house in the distance, they made me take other tests like looking through a tunnel and another where I had to stare at a fuzzy red light. Another interesting test was when they literally touched my eyes with a probe thingy after the dropped an anesthetic on them, and when the doctor peered into my eyeballs after the dilated my pupils.

They also showed me a video presentation of how the actual procedure will happen, and a one on one discussion to clear any doubts and answer any questions I had.

I am really hoping to win this contest (I'll post my entry only if I win) so I can get that free Lasik! That would be awesome! Pray for me aight.

(Photo taken from

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Beginning of an Addiction: Coffee

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional nor have I have taken any tests that prove that I am suffering from any psychological disorders.

This post is in response to a really cool website featured a few days ago on "Blogs of Note" called Coffee Messiah. It was all about, :D

I started drinking coffee about 9 years ago. My first cup of espresso was on the dinner table of the Pizzocherro house in Cascine San Pietro, Italy. I didn't like the strong bitter flavor at first so the next time they offered I took some cappucino instead. Italians love their coffee almost as much as their wine, so every meal we had ended with a "Cafe?" from Mama Ornella...

By the time we were to leave Italy I was hooked. To Manila I brought home a Moka (espresso maker) and bags of Italian coffee. After I've gone through those I went for Starbucks. :p When Starbucks began giving those planners for Christmas, I would usually get at least 2 - and that translates to how much coffee I've consumed!

In the years that have passed though, my coffe addiction has waned. I've had lesser and lesser coffee for health reasons (acid!), as well as financial reasons (recession!). Starbucks isn't getting cheaper.

So I've kicked the habit, save for a few months ago when I "rediscovered" coffee and learned to enjoy it in a different way (pressed coffee!). My dad, also a coffee drinker, wants to buy a coffee press now.

But coffee, like shampoo or underwear, will always be a part of my life. I probably will be drinking coffee until the acid burns a hole in my stomach and I can't drink it anymore, then I'd have to take it intravenously. xp

Read my old post about Coffee addiction on Xanga waaay back in 2006 here.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Pagudpud, Vigan and other related adventures

As mentioned in my last post, me and my family, my girlfriend, my sister's boyfriend, and my grandmom all went to Pagudpud for the long holiday. Pagudpud can be found at the northernmost tip of the Philippines' biggest island, Luzon. Click here for some more info about Pagudpud.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Obama, Dureza, AI, and the end of my 11-day Holiday

Obama will be US President on January 20, 2009. The question now becomes: can he live up to all the hype? I sure hope so.

But in any case, we Filipinos shouldn't worry. Sec. Dureza says, we are, along with China, the 2 most resilient economies in the East. I suppose it's just a fluke that the equity funds I own are now almost half the value. Hehehe...

AI is coming too! That's American Idol. On the 15th! (Or is the 16th?) And again, I'll be hawking away at youtube, trying to find the clips before it gets taken down.

My 11-day vacation is over.
It was actually too long I almost forgot I even work. Haha.

My family & I, with my lola, my gf and my sister's bf, drove 2 cars up north to the white sandy beaches of Pagudpud. We were not disappointed, the beach was great! We had so much fun "fighting" the waves and losing, and rolling around on the sand. Haha.

We also took photos of the windmills. Awesome clean energy!
We had lunch at Vigan. Passed the Patapat Bridge. Jumped off the northernmost tip of Luzon. (Don't worry, I'll post pictures of this!) And visited relatives in Cagayan.

Kudos! NLEX and SCTEX rock! lol.

It's great to spend time with your loved ones. :D I highly recommend it.