The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Here comes the snow again

December 31, 2006

Guess what? It's New Year's Eve and I'm here at Riverview Health Centre, working from 7:30 a.m. till 9 p.m. tonight.

Last night, snow fell once again. It gave us about 20 cm of snow on the ground. I was also working, until 11:45 p.m. I was lucky, for a fellow health care aide who had a car offered to drop me off, since that she would be passing by where I live. If not, I would have trekked the deep snow unprepared.

This morning I began calling a cab at about 6:30, but all lines were busy. It was already about 9 when I got through. I arrived at work at 9:30. I called the agency beforehand and asked them to inform Riverview that I would be running late.

It was okay, though, for not only me but also a lot of employees got late because of the sudden snowfall.

Work today is relatively easy. But I liked it better when it's busy, for time flies that way. Well, I brought a book so I'll just spend unbusy time reading The Fish Prince and Other Merman Stories.

' be back.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Nothing changes on New Year's Day

December 31, 2006

If I were in the Philippines, I would have been among the thousands of the mall trekkers rushing to complete their final list of things to buy--gifts, new clothes, shoes, equipment, food for New Year's Eve.

But I'm here in Canada, living independently; so instead of being at a mall, I'm here at work, just like a thousand other immigrants who become oblivious of almost every passing occasion, immersed in their jobs. Away from their homes and loved ones and closest peers, they opt to let the holidays pass while focusing on their tasks at work, rather than brood and think of the joys happening at home.

Oh well, nothing changes on New Year's Day anyway. Despite that, mine will still be filled with hopes and wishes. New aspirations and new goals. And this is quite never ending.

See you next year.

Now I'm back to my ward. I'm working.

Christmas is never the same

December 30, 2006

I didn't even notice that Christmas day has passed. I was working on the eve, on that day, and on the next day.

I am yet to send my gifts to my niece and nephews in the Philippines.

For myself, I bought a silver/purple Nike Shox for my work as a health care aide and a pair of silver Doc Martens boots.

For the rest of the days, when I'm not working, I just slept all day.

I'll start saving money. I'll get up earlier so I wouldn't have to run to the bus stop to catch the right trip.

Monday, December 25, 2006

An eLf's Christmas wish

December 25, 2006

Christmas today, but for me, the day feels like just any other day. No much fanfare here. I just spent the whole morning in my room, listening to music and reading articles on the Internet.

New Year's resolution? Nothing much. Just to start saving money so I can fulfill my plans to come home next Christmas.

Personal plans? Now that I finally finished a painstaking project, that is, my debut musical project as haLf man haLf eLf, The Woes of Emong Payaso, I'm set to pursue another difficult task, to finally finish Book One of my book Engkanto: A Bestiary of Philippine Mythical Characters. My being a columnist at a Winnipeg-based newspaper, The Filipino Journal, is beginning to earn me a following. Add to this, the regular airpaly on a local radio station of the songs of my former band Half Life Half Death is again giving me what I achieved back in the old days in the Philippines--that is, popularity and affinity with a few influential people in the Filipino community. And I will use this opportunity to help me publish a book.

It's about time to take my creativity to the next level. In terms of music, I think, I've already accomplished a lot. Now I want finally to be considered an author, to legitimize my being a literary man.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sha la la la la la la...

December 20, 2006

I thought my agency was not assigning any shift to me today. The scheduler gave me a ring around 7 a.m. already! I told her that I would be late. She said that it would be all right. So, here I am, at Riverview Health Centre once again. I took a cab, arrived here at 7:45, not bad.

Work today is busy but quite okay. My coworkers today are friendly and supportive. The residents are also cooperative. The weather is as well fine--minus 2 today. The sun is up and bright.

Okay, got to get back.


Song this morning:
"Shine" - Monaco
"What Do You Want from Me" - Monaco
"I've Got a Feeling" - Monaco
"Selfish" - The Other Two
"Tasty Fish" - The Other Two
"Movin' On" - The Other Two
"Krafty" - New Order
"Regret" - New Order
"Love Vigilantes" - New Order
"Love Will Tear Us Apart" - Joy Division
"Atmosphere" - Joy Division

Monday, December 18, 2006

Don't dream it's over

December 18, 2006

Mukhang napabuti talaga ang pagkaka-resign ko from my job at A&W, kasi mas nakakakuha na ako ng shifts sa work ko as a health care aide. And as I already mentioned in the past, mas malaki ang sweldo ko rito, almost double my salary at A&W, besides, mas nasa linya pa ng nursing profession, which I'm really planning to pursue.

Anyway, I'm here once again at Riverview Health Centre, working the morning shift.

Oops, I need to go back to my ward. Break time is over.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Kahit anu'ng mangyari, tuluy-tuloy ang palabas

December 13, 2006

My last blog entry was relatively quite a while, considering that in the past I write almost thrice a week.

Anyway, here are some significant updates concerning my activities here in Canada.

Finally, I resigned from my job at the A&W Restaurant on at Keewatin and Burrows. Today was my last day. In as much as I would like to stay, I decided to move on. My five months with the company had been fruitful and educational. The best thing that I learned from that job is, I was able to validate my belief that the most formidable weapon any worker could have, to gain the respect of his coworkers--regardless of the race of these fellow workers--are knowledge and hard work. Add these two and you get that quality known as competence. I was surprised by the branch manager, who called me to let me cut the farewell cake. She also gave me a souvenir watch. All of them bade me well, telling me that they would not want me to go.

Some Filipinos that I meet here always tell me to beware of Caucasians at work because they kind of look down on you. Well, they were wrong, as what I thought anyway. As I said, stripped off of their racial or religious affinity, human beings are basically the same. People are people. regardless of race or religion, there'll always be the good and the evil. It's up to you how to deal with them. And usually, people react to you based on how you react to them. Fear them and they intimidate you. Show them that you're competent with what you do, and they'll look up to you. Respect them and their culture, and they respect you. Feel inferior and they'll look down on you.

I have to thank these A&W people for being kind and supportive coworkers; I'd like to believe that, in my short stint at this job, I and they have influenced each other in positive ways:
Celine, Tobey, Joshua, Natalie, Brian, Donna, and Gayle.

I remain a health care aide for the meantime. The good thing is, now that I no longer work at A&W, I will virtually be always available for a healthcare-aide work, which means more earnings and more time to rest and study and a bit to spend on my other important activities like writing and music making.

The past weeks have made me a bit busy. Aside from work, the preparation for the CD release party of my debut album as haLf man haLf eLf ate much of my extra time. I was the one who took care of the CDs' cover and disc designs, had these replicated by a professional, Polar Bear Limited Productions. At last, this musical project that I began with fellow musician Ardie Sarao last December 2005 is now finally finished. And we have also been practicing for Friday's CD release party.

Winnipeg artists Alas and haLf man haLf eLf are holding their CD release party on December 15, Friday, at Howard Johnson Hotel on Ellice Avenue. Tickets at $10 each. Supporting Alas and haLf man haLf eLf are fellow bands Studio 69 and Side F/X.

Alas is releasing its self-titled debut album, which includes the songs "Reason to Live," "Never Let You Down," and "Sigaw ng Puso."

haLf man haLf eLf is unleashing its debut album, The Woes of Emong Payaso, which contains a single, epic song that is comprised by four parts:

"Mahiwagang sapatos ni Emong Payaso"
"Parang karnabal (ganyan ang buhay ng tao)"
"Walang tigil ang palabas sa entablado"
"Sa likod ng bawat tagumpay ay kalbaryo"

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Somewhere in the World There's a Cowboy Smiling

December 2, 2006

Worry that I might get late again for work, like yesterday, I went earlier than usual. I arrived at Riverview Health Centre at 2:30 p.m., and my shift is 3:30 p.m. to 11:45 p.m; better early than late again.

A really chilly, snowy Saturday, most people are perhaps in their homes, comfortably resting or spending time with their families, or maybe watching TV or listening to music. But here I am, working my ass off. That's okay. I find working as a health care aide very fulfilling and easy, considering that I'm really looking forward finally to become a nurse in a matter of months (or at the most, two years).

Finally I decided to give up my job at A&W Restaurant, as I realized that I could have been earning more if I concentrate on my health care aide job. I hope to be able to work every day, morning shift, at the nursing homes, and then spend the rest of the day reviewing and writing and doing other important errands.

I submitted my resignation letter last Thursday, effective on December 13. As much as I'd like to stay, since I also enjoy working at A&W, I have to do that. Besides, I believe that the time to look for better opportunities is ripe once again.

For the meantime, my columns ("Sa Madaling Salita" and the Engkanto series) in The Filipino Journal remain. In fact, I have a deadline to meet. I need to finish today the next articles, due tomorrow. So, while waiting for the start of my shift, I will now begin keying the rough article I began writing last night: "May Sariling Musika Ba ang mga Musikerong Filipino ng Winnipeg?"

Friday, December 01, 2006

Who'll stop the snow from falling

December 1, 2006

What a way for December to greet me! I got late for two hours! My time was 3:30 p.m. As early as 2:30 I already phoned for a cab, anticipating the delay, because snow was blowing hard today. It was already nearly five and the taxi was not yet arriving. I decided to catch the bus instead despite the snow. Luckily an acquaintance saw me at the bus stop, who offered to drop me off at work.

Oops, got to get back to work.