Gino is a Business Systems Analyst and been working in the IT industry for more than 5 years in Cebu City. He loves coffee mocha and sweets, he adores animals and all God's creations. His passion is in art, he believes in magic and fairy tales but not in happy endings; he prefers to be in contact with reality always.
Craving for a lot of things, food that you are not sure of what exactly it is, and what you only know is you want to eat something delicious? I know, I do too crave like that. If you have an extra budget then maybe buffet dining is the answer. In a buffet, your favorite food could be there and satisfying your unknown craving. However, be careful.. Don’t just jump right into it and devour everything right there. That’s not the wisest thing to do. So below are some of my tips in dining at a buffet.
1. Go for small portions of everything – buffet can be very overwhelming, and if you are a slapsoil like me.. food everywhere and eat all you can is such a heavenly experience. However, your belly has limits so if you want to try everything.. go for small portions.. like 1 spoonful only, that small, yes that small.
2. Start with a soup or salad – prep your belly before the fight, salad or especially soup will inform your stomach and the high water content of it makes it easy for your lovely belly to handle the next round.
3. Take a chocolate break – it sounds weird, yep! but chocolate will reset your sense of taste and rebalance your blood sugar after chowing down that savory food you took. This perks you up and gets back you on track in the game.
4.. Avoid fizzy drinks – this is a very common restaurant technique, for their customers to feel full.. though they are an eat-all-you-can buffet and they have expected already the maximum person’s ability to chow down food.. they still prefer to further limit that. And you don’t want to miss your favorite food because you feel full, don’t you?
5. Drink tea after – after you gorging all those food time for post-buffet damage control! Drink tea especially a peppermint tea to aid your digestion and reduce the bloating or nausea.
So, I hope you enjoy your dining experience, Buffet101 is located in City Time Square, Mandaue. If you are not familiar with City Time Square it’s across Parkmall.
Though work-from-home (WFH) sounds really enticing for most employees but let us also consider the employer’s concern regarding the bad effect of WFH. Though these may have solutions or workaround, just keep in mind not to get heart-broken if the company will still stick to the regular work-at-the-office scheme. Below are the probable reasons why companies will stick to the traditional working scheme.
Data is very important and for some companies these data are the bread and butter. Especially BPO and companies in the financial industry. They always make sure that they stick to the standards and comply with the global information protection policy or standard. So if your tasks are critical for them, either they will in-house you or not let you work-from-home in any way.
Humans are social animals, probably for now that there’s a community quarantine or a government mandate to stay home that’s why we are enduring it but perhaps, in the long run, we may not like being alone all the time. We may get bored and feel “boxed” when our routine becomes sleep>work>sleep and interactions become difficult. If we are in the office, even for a small period we laugh with our peers, chitchat during breaks, coffee or eat together and those activities may be insignificant back in the days but surely are impactful in employee’s sanity.
Microsoft Teams, Google Hangout/Google Meet, Zoom, and other communication tools may be helpful in communicating with your peers in the office. However, despite the feature’s accessibility it’s not yet enough. We, humans, are used to communicate in person and there’s something on that connection that is lost in virtual.
Recently, I hosted our town hall and there’s this video presentation where I need to do some live voice-over. For me I’m not satisfied and I feel I did not deliver it well, there are portions that I missed to say because of the lag. It could have been easier to quickly resolve or make an instant workaround if it’s not virtual since facial expressions or gestures as the cue is easier between me and the operator.
Reduced reliability and retention
When you are working remotely, the internet is the only way to connect with your supervisor/boss as well as the team. Some of our applications can be accessed remotely thus the internet is necessary. Because majority of the work relies so much on the internet this has a risk in your productivity as internet sometimes fails us.
Some companies are skeptical about the employee’s reliability. We know that it’s easier to monitor someone’s behavior and attitude when you see them in-person than only in virtual. Some companies don’t just need their employee’s output but for them the relationship is important as well. Losing people because of not being careful is difficult for every organization.
Difficulty in Accountability
Because of the risk of attrition and reliability of the remote workers that the company feels. Giving them heavy responsibilities will be difficult for companies. The company needs time to test their remote workers for their trustworthiness before giving it to them. Companies are aware also that it’s easier for remote workers to wash-hands and sometimes gone in the wind when things are going south. Because of this, they rather want their workers to be within their offices as they can monitor as well as nurture them and let the workers feel that they are important. Everyone knows that nothing beats the personal touch.
It’s not the end of it, don’t worry!
For employees and employers, this may be a hindrance for now but with the current situation with COVID that has no vaccine yet as of this writing, we are required to face this. Organizations will surely find ways to resolve the above and then perhaps in the future 70 – 90% will employ remote workers. For sure technology and process engineering will always find a way in resolving these problems. COVID-19 rapidly changes the landscape of how we work and forces companies in all industries to be creative. I believe that this 2020 is the start of a new era in lifestyle and in working.
Last November or December of 2019 a novel coronavirus burst and now known as COVID-19 and companies are implementing a work-from-home scheme for its employees. Now March 2020, the infamous virus is now on the shore of the Philippines islands.
As a way to lower the curve of the said virus, the government is implementing quarantine nationwide and some major cities where confirmed cases were reported are in Enhance Community Quarantine. The Enhance Community Quarantine or ECQ is a 24hour quarantine to all citizens of the said community, however, this is kind of impossible for some because they need to go to work. The government is asking private companies to arrange a work from home scheme to protect the employees at the same time continue the business. Though sad to say for some industries that really require a physical appearance in the field needs to temporarily halt the business.
In our case, we are lucky that our company has the flexibility to have work from home (WFH) schemes. Though I was already working from home since last year I can see the benefits of it if the majority of office work will be done at home. Below are the advantages that I noticed during this time where almost corporate people are now in WFH.
Here in the Philippines a lot of means to commute are plying in the streets of the metro. There are busses, jeepneys, tricycles, motor scooters, and motorbikes, and of course private cars. They are all outside especially during “peak hours” because of one reason either to go to work or go back home. During the quarantine these are all reduced as most people are at their homes. It even looks like a ghost town and I’m not used to it yet because normally it’s very difficult to get a ride starting at 6 AM in my area.
Less Air Pollution
With less car running, there are posts in social media that for the first time the horizon of Metro Manila becomes clearer and it’s like for the first time people are able to see the mountains behind those buildings.
Reduce the Stress in Commute
On the normal day of a corporate slave, we spent our first 1 to 2 hours after we woke up preparing and then next is struggling in the commute. With work-from-home, we have more time to spend on ourselves. Either more time to sleep, prepare meals for kids, or maybe time to send them to school.
As mentioned above with work-from-home 2 hours of our day are now spent on a precious and personally important matter. If both parents are work-from-home they both see their kids and spend a quick time with them. Families are more bonded as they are all eating together during munch times. Most parents, their life now are their kids so spending time with them is enough. For single young professionals, that 2 hours time maybe spends on what they love to do instead of waste it in the commute.
For night shifters like me, it’s always a risk for us to commute during night time. It’s like anytime someone will snatch our bag or maybe hold us up and get our possesions or worst kill us. With WFH, we don’t need to deal with that everyday risk. WFH also spares us from road accidents as we don’t need to go outside and risk ourselves.
Work-from-Home can Save Expense Cost
This perhaps both employees and employers will benefit from. For employees, commuting is part of their budget and depending on the employee’s location and the traffic situation sometimes commute budget is higher than 20% of their monthly salary. While for employers, if the majority of their workforce are work-from-home then they don’t need to rent for a large office space. Also, employers can also save in toiletries, coffee, sugar, electricity, water and other maintenance-related expenses.
This is what I noticed too during the course of my work from home for a year and now. Meetings are direct, small chitchats are compressed and there’s a focus overall. We are able to finish our online meetings on time and at the same time answers the questions or discuss most of the items on the agenda. Meeting online reduces the hassle of booking conference rooms that is always fully booked. Though if you have kids then that part may be a drawback.
Comfortable Working Environment
With WFH you don’t need to dress that itchy uniform or maybe tuck and don that dress clothes that look you stiff. You can literally start your work immediately after you wake up if that’s what you want. You can wear your most comfortable clothes as well as set up your room in the most comfortable mood you prefer.
Surely the coronavirus scares us all but it also opens possibilities and some benefits. Companies that are afraid or not considering the Work-From-Home have an actual “demo” of how WFH will benefit or not benefit them. Though still there are reasons that companies might not totally consider this kind of work scheme, and I’ll post another blog about it. But as a corporate professional, it is nice to learn that the company that we work for also cares for us in times like. Going the extra mile just to balance the business and the welfare of their employees; and I think that is the most important factor to consider.
Sunscreen is very important nowadays, not just because it’s summer or if you live in a tropical country like me where it’s always “summer” whole year round but because we don’t want premature skin aging or the worst scenario: skin cancer. There are so many sunscreen products over the counter or displayed on the shelf, but what exactly should you buy?
There are 2 types of sunscreen, physical and chemical sunscreen. Physical sunscreen or mineral sunscreen protects you by reflecting back on the UV rays. Physical sunscreens that you should look in the ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Chemical sunscreen, on the other hand, absorbs the UV rays and then once full it either turns to another chemical or heat that may harm the environment or your self, though there is no scientific evidence or claim about the danger of the chemical reaction yet. Ingredients that you need to look in chemical sunscreen are oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate. Sometimes companies make a complex/simplified variation of it to intensify, keep it long-lasting, or to complement other ingredients so those above mentioned may not that obvious so watch for ingredients that have “-oxy-” or “-ox-“, “-oz-” or “-zo-“, “-oc-“, “-one” as they are chemical compound that has trioxygen or ozone ( O3 ) an example is Butyl Methoxydibenzoylmethane ( C20H22O3 ) also known as Avobenzone.
Before we dive in, let us take a little skim in the memory lane of sunscreen and thank the people behind this product that we are using today.
The founder of L’Oreal, Eugene Schueller, a chemist, developed a sunscreen formula.
First sunscreen with SPF rating
The first big sunscreen product that had a sun protection factor (SPF) of two was invented in 1938 by Australian chemist Franz Greiter and it was called “Gletscher Crème” or “Glacier Cream”.
Franz Greiter also invented the SPF rating in 1962.
Companies were starting to develop water-resistant sunscreen. Focus on longer-lasting protection as well as broader spectrum.
US FDA adopted the SPF rating
U.S. Food and Drug Administration adopted the SPF calculation in 1978
First UVA/UVB sunscreen
In 1980, Coppertone developed the first UVA/UVB sunscreen, which protects skin from both long- and short-wave UV rays.
Citation for the above timeline: Bellis, Mary. “A History of Sunscreen.” ThoughtCo, Nov. 23, 2019, thoughtco.com/suncreen-history-1992440.
What is SPF?
SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, a rating or measurement of the sunscreen’s ability to protect the skin from UVB rays. By multiplying the SPF factor by the length of time it takes for the person to suffer a burn without sunscreen. So, if you buy a sunscreen with SPF 10 and you know that it takes 10minutes for your skin to get a sunburn if you don’t have sunscreen applied thus the sunscreen you bought can extend your protection up to 100 minutes before you get a sunburn (assuming you don’t sweat or you don’t wipe the lotion off your skin).
10minutes X 10SPF =100 minutes protection
The SPF is only a rough estimate because it still depends on your skin types, sunlight intensity, and amount of sunscreen applied. Applying the proper amount of 2mg/cm2 of the skin or about one ounce (6 teaspoons) for full-body coverage and reapply every 2 hours. If you under-apply sunscreens, for example, ¼ to ½ the amount required then a half application of an SPF 30 sunscreen only provides the square root of the SPF thus it only provides an effective SPF of 5.5!
SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays while SPF 30 blocks 97% and SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays. Therefore the high SPF does not really offer significant protection than SPF 30.
What is PA followed by plus signs?
PA+ and more + means Protection grade against UVA rays. PA is a Japanese ranking for sun protection which is now widely used. This is based on Persistent Pigment Darkening reaction reading at 2 to 4 hours of sun exposure.
PA+ means the sunscreen has some UVA protection while PA++ provides moderate protection, and PA+++ has high UVA protection, then the PA ++++ provides extremely high UVA protection. PA rating is still not the gold-standard and still inconsistent due to our skin’s differences. Some people get darker fast while others take longer to tan. PA rating is not related to time unlike SPF therefore no one knows how long a sunscreen with PA rating can protect you from UVA.
UVB and UVA, what are they?
UVA, UVB, and UVC are electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength from 10 nm to 400 nm from sun rays that affect the health of our skin. Only UVA and UVB penetrate to Earth’s surface while most UVC is absorbed by the ozone layer.
UVA wavelength is 315 to 400nm and this ultraviolet beside burning can cause skin aging to skin cancer as it penetrates the skin cells. UVA is an invisible ray of the sun which accounts for 95% of UV radiation reaching the Earth and maintains the same level of strength during daylight hours. Because it has a high wavelength it can penetrate windows and clouds. This is the cause of tanning in your skin.
UVB wavelength is 280 to 315nm and this ultraviolet is the main cause of sunburn and blistering. Unlike UVA the UVB’s intensity fluctuates, the strongest and poses the highest risk starts from 9 AM to 4 PM here in the Philippines. UVB is also intense in high altitudes or on reflective surfaces like snow or ice. UVB is the visible light that can be blocked by your sunscreen’s SPF or glass.
Just a disclaimer, I am not an expert but based on the above research what I could recommend for a sunscreen that you would choose is the Physical sunscreen. Physical sunscreen protects you for both UVA and UVB rays as it reflects the radiation and somehow longer-lasting. Choose the sunscreen with a minimum of SPF of 30 and PA ++++ rating for broad protection and at the same time economically acceptable. The only caveat for physical sunscreen is it leaves a white cast on your skin which is very unpleasant to look at especially if you are naturally brown. Physical sunscreen is perfect if you are at the beach or doing activities that require long exposure outside.
Chemical sunscreen can be your everyday sunscreen provided that you don’t stay more than 30 minutes of exposure. This is perfect for everyday use because it does not leave you an intense white cast on your skin and can be easily concealed by powder, foundation, or CC cream. Just make sure to reapply every 2 hours and apply as long as you’re exposed to light (sunlight is not the only source of light).
Personally, I have a sunscreen for my face and another for my body. For my face, I use L’Oreal UV Perfect or Bioré UV Aqua Rich while for my body I use Nivea Extra White Serum. During summer I use either GT Papaya Lotion or Banana Boat.
L’Oreal UV Perfect has SPF50 and PA++++ and claims to have advance 12hours UV protection. It has Ecamsule (tradename Mexoryl) known for its excellent photostability. Sunscreens containing ecamsule are exclusive to L’Oréal and its brands. L’Oreal UV Perfect is both chemical and physical sunscreen.
Because L’Oreal UV Perfect is expensive (30ml is around Php550) and difficult to find here in Cebu so an alternative is Bioré UV Aqua Rich. A Japanese sunscreen made by Kao Corporation that has an SPF of 50 and PA++++. I like this one because it’s light and similar consistency with L’Oreal’s. By the way, both leave a little white cast and oily feeling and look though manageable by applying powder.
For daily body sunscreen, I use Nivea Extra White Serum because it has SPF33 and PA+++ rating. It is also light to the skin and does not leave a white cast. For the 200ml tube, it cost around Php300 in Watsons pharmacy.
GT Papaya Lotion is a budget-friendly sunscreen and made in the Philippines. This sunscreen is a physical sunscreen with SPF 40. Even it does not have a PA rating, as mentioned above in my recommendation that physical sunscreen is the best as it reflects rays instead of absorbing it. Since I have a fair complexion this also complements me and creates a brightening effect on my skin (because again it reflects light).
If the activity requires dipping in water then the Banana Boat that has SPF50 and PA++++ is what I use because it is water-resistant. This is a chemical sunscreen so I apply this 20minutes prior to sun exposure and despite its water-resistant feature I still need to reapply after swimming or towel since the activity might wipe off the sunscreen.
Mostly when we look at classified ad sites such as jobstreet.com, mynimo.com, and linked.com the companies’ job posts usually highlight the hard skills that applicants must-have. There’s nothing wrong with it of course because that’s the way to be specific. However, some companies are too attached to it that they miss the high-value jewel because they are busy looking for a specific stone.
Tip for the job applicants: online classified ads include company profile, this is where you can see the soft skills they are looking for. Check their vision and mission statement or the description of their company culture.
Some companies already are aware of the diamonds in the rough benefits of focusing on soft skills but there are still others that are missing it. That makes recruitment difficult for them, especially if the job post is difficult to source. In the outsourcing business, companies need a pool of people ready to take the roles needed by their clients. When they pitch there sale, the availability of workers is a must but if the Human Resource department is struggling to get one that is where the doomsday starts. A loss of a potential client, or costly venture if they will pursue with the client (as they need to outsource from another vendor), or risk in the reputation (relying on another vendor removes the company’s control in quality) is what will be the next path if it’s not mitigated or resolved immediately.
In the outsourcing business, most of their people must be in-house so that there’s a control over the quality and cost. It gives them confidence that their valuable resources are learning the same curriculum that they provided, aware of the policies and limitations, knowledgeable of the metrics needed, and are all on the same page and same goal.
In the previous company that I was with, their tribes or teams are not really all IT and programmers, some are nurses, physical therapists, chemical engineers, and other college graduate people that are not really or totally not align with their current role. This company hires as much as they can and train them according to their assigned role. They don’t necessarily look at the hard skills of their applicants but to their soft skills. Let’s just say that they are hoarding the valuable asset of every company. This company believes that hard skills may change as technology evolves, as industry requirements change, as market demands shift. They invest in training their people with the demanded technology and focus as well on developing the leadership skills of their people.
I have a friend who shared their struggle with her colleague before that so arrogant and lazy. She said that he was hired because he posses the hard skills that their company believes to help them. But this lad did not help the company, instead, he resigned after receiving the bonus and left them scuffling. The codes he left are good but difficult to maintain. They were frequently late too to their schedule and the company keeps paying the penalty. She can say that hiring that person was really a mistake.
So those are just a few that I can think of why soft skills are the best gauge in hiring an applicant. Soft skills are the driver of a person’s career to help the company grow.
Highlighting and nurturing soft skills on resources/employees assured the company that their invaluable assets are adaptable and flexible to whatever challenges they are facing as a whole.
To easily immerse and experience a country that you are visiting, trying their food is the quickest and one of the enjoyable ways. When we went to Seoul, South Korea below are the foods we tried that are not available yet here in Cebu (that I’m aware of). As we all know Samgyeopsal is already here in the Philippines and almost every Millenials love and tried it already so we stay away from it and look for foods that are not yet in the Philippines or Cebu.
Hotteok or hoddeok is one of the popular street food in South Korea. It has a similarity to our own Piyaya because it has a sweet filling and good to eat when it’s still warm. Unlike Piyaya that is flat Hotteok is more of a bread-ish pancake kind and fillings may differ from vendor to vendor but based on my observation red bead is the most common filling.
Well, this is a toasted bread sandwich in which the fillings are eggs with cabbages and carrots that are formed as “patty”, a sprinkle of sugar, and a little spread of ketchup. The “grandma” part is some sort of branding I guess, though it could be because the cook is an old woman. Grandma’s Toast is perfect as breakfast food though this can be a whole day food actually. We tried one in Namdaemun.
This one is interesting, it’s a cake-like or muffin-ish bun with an egg inside. At first, I thought the sunny-side-up egg was on top but the egg is actually a boiled one that is sitting at the center of the bun while the tip is showing on top exposing the yolk.
Taffa-ta rae or Korean court cake is a desert of the royals and guests. The fillings either chocolate or candied nuts (taste like Cebu’s Masi in Liloan) are covered by a thread-like dough of up to16,000 strands. If you eat it cold or frozen the thread dough will become fragile and powdery and not sticky anymore (though it’s not really that sticky – a dough kind of stickiness).
Tom’s Farm flavored nuts
I think it’s their famous snack as of now because I see this everywhere. I think the most famous one is walnut coated with honey butter cause they have this boutique in Myeongdong that carries the Honey Butter Walnut flavor (I assume this is their flagship flavor) though they have many flavors available.
Below are other street foods while exploring Myeongdong.