Captivating Cappadocia

When George broke the news that  we were joining a guided tour to Cappadocia, I was ecstatic! God is great! Only eight days in Turkey and we were getting a tour to one of its most beautiful places-for free! Isn’t that amazing?

So we left Ankara at 5:30 in the morning and arrived in Cappadocia after almost four hours of travel through a rented mini bus. Our first stop was at the Pigeon Valley where my eyes feasted on the majesty of human creativity. We were told that early Cappadocian farmers manually carved these pigeon houses on the hills, placed food for the birds, and collected droppings to be used as natural fertilizers. There were sooo many pigeon houses because for the farmers, more poop spelled more farm produce. Unfortunately, the practice stopped when farmers discovered artificial fertilizers. Continue reading

Stranger in Ankara

we stay at one of the six units here

we stay at one of the six units here

It’s been three weeks since we arrived in Ankara and we’re lucky to find a furnished apartment that is a lot more affordable than others of its kind in the area – priced at around $1,000 to $1,200 a month.

The units are surprisingly huge in contrast to what we normally would have in the Philippines. Ours, for example, has 3 bedrooms, 2 toilets, a large living room, and a kitchen.

To my estimate, our unit’s area is larger than our own home back in Legazpi so I am adjusting to the “empty” feeling whenever George, my husband goes to work.

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The Ordeal of Job Orders in the Government

Just recently, I came across this blog of young journalists who write so beautifully about various topics. As I continued reading one post after another, my attention was Now what-caught by the essays they wrote about their employment suit against GMA Network, Inc. Four of them joined a team of 110 brave journalists who decided to cry foul over GMA’s practice of hiring them on long-term and repeated contract basis, which effectively deprived them of employee benefits under the law.

Their suit was big news in the Philippines early last year and gained similarly situated journalists their much needed attention. Good news is, there are many Supreme Court decisions which can be used to their favor such as this one promulgated just this April 20, 2015, involving ABS-CBN Corporation “talents”. Bad news is, their bold move temporarily cost them their jobs. Continue reading

Watch that Price Tag

When I was younger, I used to feel embarrassed whenever I accompanied my father or aunt to the grocery and they’d have little arguments with the sales clerk or supervisor about erroneous pricing. To me then, a matter of one or two pesos was too small to be an issue. But I grew up, started working hard for money, and began paying bills – these changed my outlook. Continue reading

Real-life Tips for Better Leadership

In most organizational settings, the people calling the shots are often identified as the “leaders”, while all others obediently follow. This traditional set-up makes it a lot easier to keep an organization running. The simplicity is much like how a shepherd is to his herd – making sure that each sheep walks only on the trail he has identified.

But leadership is not simple. In fact, companies spend a lot of money to train and educate its existing or potential leaders in the hopes of getting the best out of them. While technical learning is truly helpful, there are times when asking ordinary employees about the subject could be as effective – if not better. In this post, I have summarized into 10 tips the personal observations and years of conversation had with employees who wished their leaders knew what was wrong. Continue reading