Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Government Owned Building Vs. Leases/Rentals


Can the Gov't Maintain it' Building?

There was a comment made on the Marianas Variety today about government owned building versus leasing of other facilties. I expressed myself writing to this issue as I felt that the person who left his/her comment only looked at one side of the picture whereas, there is more to consider in the leasing of a facility. Some may disagree, but these are my points of how I would look at a faciltiy if and when to lease.

In response to the comments made on the online Marianas Variety edition December 30, 2008 entitled "MVA doesn't comply with procurement rules"

I agree that both concepts about saving is right on track and is needed for the government today, I don't stand and state my comments on the basis of brown nosing, but I would like to point out the very fact that sometimes renting is better than owning. They mainly fall within the reasons of maintenance. The landlord is ultimately responsible for the up-keeping of such facilities inclusive but are limited to; 1. Air conditioning unit(s) 2. Restroom and toiletry supplies 3. Grounds Maintenance 4. In-door maintenance (some exceptions) 5. Major structural repairs in the event of normal wear and tear of the facility through nature oriented atrocities 6. Protection of building/facility from harm 7. Meets all safety standards and fire codes 8. Location usually reasonable for such offices as compared to the Hill I guess, my point is simple, sometimes, renting facilities is a much more economical advantage. Although I sympathize they maybe to an extent, some agreements are truly beneficial to landlords, but that in itself helps the economy overall. Look at CUC, when they moved into La Fiesta, it was not long before they had to abandon the area due to higher cost to maintain their operation on a government owned building. So much to consider and not just the figure seen on the rental contract.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Thirsting for Stability!

"The global economy is in its worst! I don't see how our tourism market share for the island will have us remain profitable as most businesses if not all are geared towards tourism in general!", stated a friend of mine who expressed himself openly. This friend is a CPA and MBA and I look to him for advise as he looks at the overall picture and analyzes them religiously.

As with the rest of the world facing tough economic times, the recession, it is no wonder that we all thirst for stability once again. Take for example our island, Saipan. During the CUC fiasco power outages, we complained, we huffed and puffed, we gave the bad look, the bad public statements, but none attended the forums that would enable the community to be powerful enough to make that change. However, getting back to the point, we had no power for days on intervals, "load shedding" in better terms. During that time, frustration, anger, hatred and everything else that you could muster to criticize the CUC was stated, spoken off and publicized.

Then when the power came back, fuel rates remained high, no one conserved power as the utilities was once again a convenience. Only when the power bills started coming out, we saw yet another tantrum on the rise. Funny that I use this to explain the global economic condition, but I assure its all on the basis of how we think and apply to each circumstance. The power we were so used to recieving is like the economy that poured in from the consumer when things were great. With a cut in consumer support from great economies, its like our power being cut off, when the global recession decides to revamp itself in time through global leadership making the drastic changes to adapt to our everchanging economical status, we too will experience the greatness of economic recovery at a convenience. Today however, despite the recession, people still are spending but on what these days? I am sure on necessities only? Yet, consumer products remain high, jobs in the Commonwelath is scarce, if you have one, keep it and perform to maintain it. We are in for the worst of economic hardship, can we ask for bail out?

I am pleased to hear the US Congress has authorized CIP funds for the CUC generator repairs, but now I am inclined to ask about the "Fuel Farm" idea that will stabilize fuel prices. Based on the economic study from the University of Georgia (if I recall correctly) on the CUC fuel rate implementation.  They are now saying that we 
must defer from the fluctuation of fuel based on the barrel selling price, which we all know jumps sporadically.  They say base it on the average and run it for a period of 6 months at a time, now I feel that the fuel farms are more needed with this attempt to stabilize fuel pricing.

As of last night, pirce for gas is at $2.97 at the pumps, wow, it is nice to see my $20.00 go a long way in the car, whew! What a relief!

Extraordinary Beauty, it's rareness found in women today

What defines beauty? This question is what I spoke off with a friend who in his years has been one of those men who critiques a woman based on looks, posture, public appearances, attitude, etc.  He is someone who will criticize without fully seeing the consequence of what occurs when his tone of voice or his harsh words are heard by the individual he is speaking off if they are not of words of good standing.  In his eyes, looks are more important at first sight.  What defines beauty?

In my view, beauty is a whole package and not just seen from the surface .  It encomapsses the first glance attraction, to the person she is inside. This package is something that is embedded deep within the woman and not just superficial.  I know many of who I can say are beautiful in their own ways and a few that I could say are truly beautiful. I will gloat here for the time being as I am proud to have found a woman who in my eyes is truly beautiful.  Her elegance, her movement as gracious as she is, her persona, her physical appearance, her overall way of life, I am amazed as well intrigued. Boni is a truly beautiful woman!

I for one am a man who believes that a woman makes the man.  Find the right one and you will be happy and content, forget about wealth, but the very notion of maintaining a fruitful life is dependant on whether you are happy or not and you will live in comfort (my opinion).  I tend to boast about the woman in my life as I do to represent my affection for her.  The beauty I see in her is extremely rare. I have known many and for which I can say she tops them all.  I am sure that we men have our different understanding and meaning of what beauty is as defined by us individually, especially when stating the aspects of beauty for your significant other or spouse. In your own words, how would you defne beauty within your significant other or spouse?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

An Overwhelming & Joyous Experience

I cannot get over the feeling that hit me last week.  It was when we brought the Christmas tree out from hiding, we went off the store and purchased new decorations and ornaments.  Truly it was an overwhelming and joyous exerience that I would like to share.

Over the years, Christmas was always a fun-filled event for family.  The raising of the tree, the colourful  garlands, the shiny trinkets, the colors that represents Christmas, the joy expressed with anticipated excitement for what will be placed underneath the tree as days come before Christmas...  Pure enjoyment, pure love, pure happiness.

This year's Christmas brought back many memories.  My happiness filled my heart with love that I could not hold in.  My eyes filled with tears of joy as the Christmas music played on.  I see the children enjoying the decorating of the raised tree with colors and shiny trinkets.  I thought back and saw my past, my children, how I wished they were all together to share the experience, but then again I thought of my future wife's children too and how we all enjoyed the experience together.  Who was I to hold back what could be the best Christmas this year, I looked around the house and saw the spirit and as I did my share, tears of joy from my happiness rolled down the side of my face.  As if in a slow motion, I sensed the tears run every inch until leaving my face. I did not want to share my facial expressions to the young ones as they might think I am sad, but in fact, I was so happy. As I write this post, I am sensing what was felt then, that evening.  It's a wonderful feeling.

I am grateful for the fact that our children will all be together this Christmas holiday.  We are all excited to share our warmth, our love, our joy, our laughter, our smiles, our hugs and kisses, our hearts with one another. This is my dream of Christmas, my family, a happy family all together.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Lessons From Dad

I recall several occasions that I truly am grateful for. The times in my childhood that I recall made me who I am today in so many ways, it's values, core values that withstood all the atrocities we have faced as a family over the years. These are my memories that withstood the test of time.

Growing up with Dad was not always the best childhood experience, but I give him all the credit for building me this way; one who will work relentlessly for the better of others and self. With this, I learned to care, love and cherish those around me and in particular, my wife and children. He has taught me that much indirectly over the years.

My first memory I would like to point out is the time when we raised animals in Susupe. PIGS, a lot of pigs. As I recall, we had a total of 22 at one point. My memory takes me back to one early morning awakening. Dad says "wake up! we need to clip the teeth of the piglets as they come out!", I did not understand until that very morning, we were out there in the pen, clipping the new born piglets teeth with a wire cutter. He explains, "it is necessary so that the mama pig does not have any discomfort when feeding the piglets", some piglets teeth were so sharp and pointy, I saw the point. It was nice, because it was just dad and I with a lamp bulb emanating light in the dark.

Another memory is when dad came home from fishing for Atulai, buckets and buckets of fish were waiting to be cleaned, gutted, and stored. At first, I looked at these buckets of fish and wondered, how will I clean all this by myself? But as I progressed, the amount became smaller and smaller and after completing, I felt a sense of accomplishment knowing that the household family would enjoy what I've done,the labor intensity of fish gutting and cleaning made sense to me.

Of course, how can I leave out the real stickler of experiences? It was my birthday, I was about 11-12 at the time. Our neighbor was selling his used BB gun. Oh how did I want that so much.."$25.00 and you can have it!" our neighbor says... Well, it was my birthday and thinking how special this day was for me, I rushed home to ask dad for the $25.00 to buy the gun. Low and behold, his comments were, "you have to earn it!!", sounds just like dad... Anyways, he says, clean the lawn, feed the pigs, rake the grass, burn the trash and he will consider... did he buy it? Yes, but after hours of grueling labor work outside, but don't you see, it taught me so much.

Dad, you did teach me things that you probably don't realize you had. I am a person who learns by experience. I know I've caused you more trouble in the past, but that's because of how I learned for myself. I am forever grateful and with this, time stands still in my memory.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Horns of Some .....

Evil..Evil..EVIL!!!  

It is so stressful when you try to be a person who only wants what's in best interest for everyone and then you have those who have their best interest in themeselves and will stop at nothing to achieve that, even if it means stepping all over people to get there. I say they are evil.  The horns of some people that are never really seen, and aren't always invisible. 

I am sure everyone has had their fair share of circumstantial events of such evilness. Sometimes, you get tired that it drains so much energy in you when trying to make the bad to good from others.  Being so manipulative that it seems hoepless and pointless to even argue because of their personal interest in the matter.   

My personal view on malevolent people are of total disgust.  Most consider themselves the "high almighty" and everyone else around them is subject to their pleasing, but in all due respect, it is those that firmly believe that fairness is the always best option will always come out on top, despite the challenges.   

Interesting that I write this post.. I refer this to a person who over the past months has thought of himself the righteous one.  Today, I am exhausted of this non-sense and omitted myself of anymore events that are seriously not worth it.  What are your comments on the wicked, evil, and malicious people. Share your views of how they tend to run others to the ground while they reap instant rewards, and what are your dislikes.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Is Saipan Safe?

I was asked about the safeness of our islands recently.  What do you say after all the recent tragic fatalities that have stormed headlines these days.  The murder of the MHS guard Ballestros, the fatal accident of drunken driving in two recent occasions, the stabbing of a courtesy ride to a hitchhiker. My son says, "Is Saipan safe?"

Wow, what has our island come to.  We always portray pride in how we love, how we carry ourselves as individuals, and how we wish for people to percieve the very nature of our hospitality.  Where are we headed with these activities.  Sure, the Highway Safety is now conducting more sobriety checks, but in my recent drive to Papago, I was behind yet, low and behold, another drunk driver on the road.  I honked and honked to get his attention and he was with a few others.  They ignored my presence of trying to get there attention.  They speed up and leave me in a cloud of road dust.  Now, what would you do if you were in such a situation?  Call the cops, give your location and hopefully they catch up to them?  I did not have my cel phone then, should I have followed them as they sped or slow down and show that I have no interest so they can drive slower and be more responsible.  

Of course I wanted to follow, I wanted to call, I wanted to ensure that they get off the road as they may hurt others in passing.  But think of it, a stretch of road from San Vicente to Capitol Hill, steep hills, blind spots, turns- lefts and rights, slick when damp or wet, you name the conditions of the road, it is found the
re. I see no Officers!  No traffic personnel looking out for such eventful happenings, no law to put justice, peace and safety during this back road drive experience.  It is pretty scary if you think about.

I know DPS is short handed, but then you have so many on a check point in one area and everyone else is fleeing to use alternative routes to drive.  What do you do?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Memory on My Wall

It is a simple yet elegant item that portrays a memory that I hold dear. A day of the year that is forever in my mind.  A presence of what I have longed for in my years.  A gift of commitment as it was shared then.

This memory is more than just what it seems, it brought me happiness, joy, a new chance of life, and contentment.  Although the great things that this memory provides, a sacrifice on my part is necessary to maintain this glee.  Unequivocally, I need to ensure my sacrifice is seen and appreciated.















Overall, I see this item, this memory on my wall, a token, a symbol of what it is I have today and what I could lose should I not look at things differently and effect change.  

"Nothing so much enhances a good as to make sacrifices for it". 
George Santayana

Monday, November 24, 2008

What's your new past time?

I could be wrong, but since Facebook hit the CNMI and elsewhere, I hardly see new post placed by the avid bloggers around (or at least the ones on my blog roll). I too was taken by this and wanted to figure out how to use it, therefore, much time was spent on navigating the FB.

So now that we have FB and the stories on blogs are not updated, I am sure that we will all have many things to write about on our shared opinions, ideas, etc.


What about Thanksgiving? How's your bird looking? Here is a version I am considering, if Boni will allow it! Uh...donnow??? I am sure Ed, Glenn and maybe Justin just might appreciate something this beautiful, Lol!

I'm not a boy, not yet a Man!

Donovan, is now 14 years old!  November 23, 1994 is his birthday and this past Sunday, marked his day and another year older.  He asked that I take him to several places for a few hours I had with them.  It was a very nice get together and I hope that he enjoyed just as much as I did.

Here are the four, where I wanted a nice photo opportunity! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My AMP Treasures...The memories that are mine are worth more that money cannot buy!

Fuel Price UP-date 2

One week later, the news comes out on lowering prices....hmmm.

Shell's fuel 30 cents cheaper

Due to the continuing decrease in market costs, Shell Marianas Inc. has once again lowered its prices for regular unleaded, V Power and diesel fuel by 30 cents. 

“Shell's average market cost of regular unleaded, V Power and diesel fuel products continued to decline and Shell will pass these savings on to our customers,” company president Eloy Lizama said in a statement yesterday. 

The new prices will go into effect at midnight Tuesday. Shell last cut its prices Nov. 7, also by 30 cents.  There was no immediate word if Mobil Oil Marianas will also lower its prices but the two companies have traditionally mirrored each other’s price movements. Mobil does not usually issue media statements about price adjustments.

Light sweet crude oil was trading for $55.44 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange yesterday.

SHELL’S NEW PRICES

REGULAR
Self-service $3.43
Full service $3.56

V POWER
Self-service $3.60
Full service $3.72

Diesel $4.20

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fuel Prices UP-date

In response to my recent comment on Lil' Hammerhead post on the slight decrease in fuel price here in the CNMI as compared to the rest of the world, I made the attempt to speak to Commerce Secretary Michael Ada.

Issues to be considerate of- Fact or Fiction?

1. Mobil and Shell no longer order fuel together, each company order their fuel on their own and is responsible for overall landed cost to the CNMI.

2. Landed cost in the CNMI before fuel price decrease does not make any significant change due to shipment cost of fuel on old supply, therefore it is passed on to consumers.

3. Adjustments are made at least a week after the price decreases to make up profit margin off the fuel arriving earlier than when it was decreased. (my comment, not Mr. Ada) Is that so?

Basically, we are still at the mercy of tariff imposed on the fuel arriving Saipan, does this not constitute the government interjection? Did we have to see Blockbuster, Carmen Safeway, Ming Palace Restaurant and who knows who else closes their doors on cost of utilities because of the high fuel prices, oops sorry, in better terms "surcharge"? What is the rate pegged now at CUC and at our pumps? I don't recall and it is more sad when I feel it being a norm to me... Oh no!

Mr. Michael Ada shared his comments and I posted them as I heard, well paraphrased to be exact. However, I do admire Mr. Ada as he is a person that is looking beyond his time. I know some would disagree, but I do see him differently, a local boy with an MBA striving to effect change that is needed for the whole CNMI business and community alike.

Illegal Gambling - Cockfighting!

Kudos to Maryann Calvo for standing up at this illegal gambling activity. It is sad to see an appointed member of the cockfight gaming board as well a former politician seen at this activity enjoying and spurring every moment of what he could possibly win, this is Mr. Pedro Castro. I take it there is no trying to run again given the circumstances in today's paper....Only in the Islands...

Flashback

Remember the posted article in the papers a couple of years ago about a certain politician, elected leader, trusted community servant, lawmaker, who was off to the Northern Islands on his accord, only to return with illegal poaching of animal species (I cannot fully remember what species or who this person was, but nevertheless) ... Does our elected officials, politicians, trusted community servants, lawmakers, in their own respect and title, have the right to be above the law? Whereas, others who are caught would be punishable by law to it's extreme?

How about this, a former congressman who was pulled over for speeding by an officer of the law a few years back (as it was published in the papers) , his comment was "I am late for house hearing and besides, I make the law, so you cannot give me a ticket!" (Paraphrased to the best of my knowledge)

How does that make you feel? Is it fair to use such power and authority?

Leave your thoughts ....

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wade is 4 today!

                             
Now you see me and I'm 4 years old...My Wade is in this photo enjoying himself at Pizza hut.

Time does fly, birthdays, special events, holidays, a year of 365 days or 525,600 seems like such a large number but that is the breakdown of how many minutes in one year. Time is precious as it cannot ever stand still.

He sings along on his birthday wishing himself a happy birthday!

That afternoon, Boni and I purchased a cake at Herman's Bakery, the oreo cookie cake that is a favorite of the kids. Of course this was all slated for the evening hours when we get home to be with everyone in celebration of Wade's birthday. Following our closure of a hectic Friday workday, Boni proceeds to get some Dreyers ice cream and I got some cream soda for an ice cream float. I know, we know, too much sugar! Well, we had a nice celebration aside from Peyton, Sommer and Tony not around (it would have been nice to have everyone), we sang the borthday song and Wade sang along.

It's hard to be parenting without the children's presence at all times. I am truly adjusting to this new life I chose for myself, one person told me I have a replacement family, I despise that as I have a wonderful family that is larger than most these days. I have no regrets and only look for more loving times with the children altogether. M wife to be, Boni, I am sure sees the differences in this life we live today. Its challenging, but at the same time very rewarding.

Thank you honey for making this simple birthday celebration something to remember. However simple it is, I am forever grateful.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Saipanda - Stay or Go?

The lack of understanding could be very detrimental to such a wonderful campaign that continues to work for the CNMI.  I've heard many comments about the use of Saipanda from a variety of people and rightly so their own opinion in this matter.  I don't judge what people think about the icon used, but let me share with you my opinion to Saipanda.

As most of you would know, I served with MVA for many years and I continue today but in a different capacity.  Most of you know as well that Saipanda is just a play of words to target the Japanese travelers.  However, what you did not know was how this character was admired and enjoyed not only from the Japanese, but Koreans, Chinese, Russian and other guest who see this odd looking panda bear that is unique in its own respect.

You see, the logic behind Saipanda was to lure interest by developing an icon that does not necessarily state representation of the destination as most of you think, but to be used as a hook.  Once the bait and hook is thrown, while reeling it in, the character becomes smaller and placed in  a variety of advertisement images of the destination for recognition.  Saipanda served its purpose and continues to do just that. I've heard why not a coconut crab, or a deer, or a bird, or even a dolphin, an eagle ray.  All great ideas, but not catchy, not odd looking enough, weird, or simply outrageously funny looking.

At first, even myself as I was with the MVA did not understand the concept, but as I learned its uses and its positive functions to build recognition, today it has become the CNMI's most successful campaign stemming since 2000. Remember, this Saipanda was designed and created by one of Japan's largest and most successful advertising firms, how would you say their creativity does not fit the category we are pursuing-Tourism.

I speak of my own voice in this and no one elses's.  You may disagree and that is perfecty fine as I do have my own say in this matter as well.  Saipanda has allowed us to generate sufficient global recognition, it has won awards on a global scale, our $60K marketing scheme beat that of major countries globally at the PATA Gold Awards who have invested hundreds of thousands if not millions in marketing schemes like Saipanda, but yet we won.  How can you say we need to change, or throw out the concept? I think we need to reinvent Saipanda to be  more out there, more presence, and visibility in tandem with destination images, because we are using what is already instilled in the minds.

Its easy to criticize as I do it at times, and when you do,  at least look at the facts.  This marketing scheme is well recognized in Japan and Korea and in some areas of China. Guam looked at our concept and tried their own weird character called barefoot, but failed.  These are marketing gimmicks that stick to one persons head, that means we have SUCCEEDED. Take your head out of thinking its for the islands, its not, its for capturing visibility and recognition on a global scale.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

FRUSTRATED!

I have always been an optimist, I believe people can change no matter what they are today. I believe the CNMI can change for the betterment for everyone, but if there is one thing that needs change, that is the attitude of the government personnel who do not care much for the business community or for that matter new investors.

As most of you know, I came back into the private sector 10 month ago.  During this time, headaches and problematic issues that could have been avoided were not avoided due to indians in the government who do not care as much as leaving a roadkill to rot in its place of death for weeks.  Granted, I am still an optmist, I remain that way as I know there are so many talented people in the Commonwelath that want to effect change, but would rather sit on the sidelines and watch first being cautious.  That is admirable to prevent any confrontations, but at the same time it is a  slow death not for you, but for your offspring and others who are the so called heirs to the land our forefathers leave us to manage, occupy, and develop for prosperity.

I go back to the insolent indians in the government, I speak vaguely of this isue as in every office I visit to take care of matters pertaining to keeping a business alive, our prestigious government indians who are there to serve the community, seem to have or believe they are on top of the world and treat everyone else as secondary to them.  I think its is forgotten that the private pay for the salaries, the private suffer harsh conditions to stay in business, but at the same time provide the necessities to everyone else to live comfortably.  Where is the support?  I guess you can feel my frustration.  

Look at Blockbuster, look at Carmen Safeway...Who's next?  I heard through the grapevine that KFC/Taco Bell may go under as well? look at La Fiesta, a run down dilapadated beautiful structure in ruins, our ghost town.  Look at Ming Palace restaurant, shoots, look at Esco's, all closed.  The real culprits behind all this closure is the power issues, labor requirements and wages, lack of tourist to support the economy, the loss of uncle sam's generous capital improvement funds, the fly-by night business who come for a quick money making non-taxable cash basis scheme, and the list can go on.  Frustrated, yes I am.

"Attitude reflects leadership", if everyone in the public sector aside from educators go into a hospitality training, ethics training on how to deal with business, I can see a change.  a simple smile and follow up in the professional manner could result to improvements and security for businesses in the CNMI.  If our leaders who hold prestigipous titles in their respective departments can take that extra effort to show the indians how to work and lead by example, I can see a shift.  But hey, I am the 7:30-4:30 time card employee who basically puts in about 4 hours of work in the 8 hour day.  Frustrated, yes I am! Although, I remain an optimist...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Audacious People

Audac-ity(ious) has both the good and demeanor meanings of decribing the person and their attitude, their persona.  I for one look at audacity always on the positive side, but with this post, I will state the demeaning aspects of audacious people and their behavior that surround me from time to time.

Has it ever occured to you that no matter how giving, how supportive, how much help you provide to people who need help seem to turn around at the end and screw you?  I was taken aback when a relative of mine, who I have helped considerably gave me a stink eye after I pulled away my support that was provided for over 2 months... I couldn't believe the selfishness she had and yet not even a thank you for helping, giving, and supporting when in need.

Yup, I have been screwed too many times in this life and maybe, just maybe, it's beacuse I cannot say no in most occassions. Is this a bad way to live a life? Is it an expectation for those who have received help and support over time expect to continue receiving without doing anything for themselves?  Almost sounds like the welfare issues on food stamp, liheap (subsidized utility cost), housing  assistance, and more.  These benefits, however great they are to help people get back on their feet have become erroneously abused for the simple fact of laziness, don't you think?

Food stamps for example, they tell the applicant, "you must find a job, but for the meantime, you will receive these stipends to help you survive".  Many don't even bother to look for jobs, they become accustomed to the system and know all full well, they will receive their check each month.  Wow! Now I hear that Guam offers a much more greater benefit to those who qualify, I was told by some people that when living on Guam with all these benefits, you would 
not even have to lift a finger on finding a JOB.  It's all subsidized and you can live like a king or queen. Being spoiled this way will not help the community, we become increasingly dependant on a system, just like those people who take advantage of people like me who are always helping, giving and supporting.  It does not end...

Monday, November 3, 2008

Road Blocks Ahead


Today was not no ordinary day.  It was a day of much not needed stress.  Unfortuntately the brunt of the stress came from wide spectrum, I did not expect.  The road blocks ahead were or may not be as bad as some others would experience today, but it had me questioning is it worth it?  

Road blocks sample;

1. CUC, burdened with the Agrekko, now needs to collect, I just received a call that I was going to get disconnected even after I filed my complaint about ridiculous power rates and faulty meters or unread meters from the meter readers, may I add, this was back in May 2008.  Only last week, I had 9 meters changed and then they call me today to say that if I don't pay, they will disconnect.  The understanding was made earlier on that we will assess the new utility cost over time from that of previous billings I contested with the new meters.  One week is not enough time.  Oh, we did pay for average services each month, but I guess CUC had it and said "Your on the list of disconnection noctices.  Pay up or be cut out", was the comment from one executive at CUC.  I was pissed!

2. Heavy workload in the office attributes to the neverending stress free environment we all wish to have.  Imagine a day of trying to get multiple things done, while your phone continues to ring, the fax goes off, your staff come in unannounced to settle issues and concerns, your disciplining someone for michief and poor conduct, your business partner is needing your immediate attention on grave issues, a government official wants to speak to you for projects being done on the premises and to top it off, you get subpeona from a lwyers office on something you have no recollection of. Whew.. That is exhausting.

However, the day usually works it way out perfectly despite the road blocks.  Do I dare say it was a terrible day?...No, I say it was a productive day.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Feel like you've been CHEATED?

I like the post Ed Propst recently made regarding CUC's tight-lip on the fuel surcharge.  Shell and Mobil took a week before we saw the drop in gas price at the pumps.  It's great to get these extra savings, but what about our infamous CUC, have they come full circle in the fuel pricing agenda?

I remember when CUC announced they will reduce the monthly fuel surcharge based on the changing rates of oil per barrel as indicated to be fair to the people. The "Consumer Rights Act"?  Hmmmm.  I am not sure to be exact, but I do believe that they should be pricing the fuel surcharge similar to how the pumps at the stations convert their pricing when necessary.  Although the pumps still move at a week behind, I still say it's better than CUC moving at a month or two behind, Don't you feel like you've been cheated?

Yes, our recent house utility bill dropped significantly, from what it was two months back, but whoah...That was a significant drop that actually helped so much,  Should I thank CUC for this? Crazy to think that they have saved me for that time alone, who knows this next billing will not reflect the change in fuel pricing so they are getting the best of me, you, and the whole CNMI utility paying population.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

8 Reasons to Smile!

It is hard not to think about why we wake each morning.  The drive and motivation to push yourself despite the fatigue and body pains experiencing from the day before.  Let us give our eight (8) reasons why we sacrifice everything that we are...

The boys, as cool as they are from left, Tony, Jay and Don...

Beautiful Hope as she poses for herself...

Smiles and funny faces from the little princesses, Peyton and Wayannie...

Little Sommer, should I be a drummer?

Tadah! the youngest of them all Wade...

Simply beautiful, our eight (8) reasons to keep on moving!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Island Life Quotes

Photo by Masataka Ishii/Rota SongSong Village Lookout

I would like to see what are the most inspiring island life quotes any blogger would come up with. On the Harry Blalock morning radio show today, I heard someone say "Listening is Healing". How true is that? However, it did catch my attention.  It made me think of all the confrontations that have passed through me over the years and even to present day.  If this in fact is a virtue that stands true to its words, then I surely would try it more often to see if it will subside any confrontations.

Akthough I mention about confrontations on how I see this virtue at work, it may be more significant than that.  It could be that of something spiritual, something solace and tranquil for oneself.  That I do see the virtue at its best.  Listening to yourself to heal the very worst of your feelings.  These are simply my opinions to the matter and others may have a different view.

What are your inspiring island life quotes you live by?  Share them by placing them on this post.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

My Life Interest!

I am fascinated by a variety of cultures. I enjoy history and the array of wildlife found on this earth. So in order to satisfy my interest, I read about history, whenever a chance abroad - I visit a museum, watch television shows that pertain to culture, historical beliefs and way of life as well the wonders of the wilderness, it's millions of species in the world. Somehow I cannot get enough of it. It is purely entertaining for me, possibly very boring for others.

Photos like this, intrigue me.  My one dream is to find myself immersed in the African wild, or visit the Amazon to see the Pythons...A dream that would fascinate me, but for now, the closest I'll ever get to that is the television... What is your interest and how would you describe it?


Friday, October 17, 2008

A Great Nation

"This great nation was not built on the spending of its wealth....This great nation was built on the creating of it's wealth" as I recall was stated by Republican Presidential hopeful Senator John McCain in a recent rally.

As far as I heard in this morning AP news radio broadcast on FM 103.9, I was caught by that statement.  caught in the reason that I find it to be very true.  Our nation created its strength from the economy of greatness.  The economy driven by innovation and creativity stemming from the brilliance of american men and women.  The statement is true everywhere and can be applied even here if we want to.  If we wish to effect change in the way we live, we must start to think innovatively and creatively. We must all look at what little we can do to effect that change we want.  Voice your concerns, get involved, play a role, etc.  We are a small community and it will not change by itself.  

Change is also inevitable.  We must allow for change, but in respect, most do not conform to the need of change because it seems disruptive in what we are all used to.  "It takes one grain of rice to tilt the scale", are you that grain?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A New Way to Invest!

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Delta Airlines one year ago, you will have $49.00 today. If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG one year ago, you will have $33.00 today.  If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers one year ago, you will have $0.00 today. But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the aluminum cans for recycling refund, you will have received $214.00.  Based on the above, the best current investment plan is to drink heavily and recycle. 

It is called the 401-Keg.

I received this from an email sent to me.  Worth sharing!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fear and Love

I heard a radio broadcast program from the Harry Blalock's morning radio show today.  His guest who I was not able to recognize nor get his name is from Jamaica.  They spoke about the diving industry and how the passion for diving is instilled in the minds of those enthiusiasts who have dove here in our Marianas waters.  I take it from the show that they love it... A plus for the Marianas!
     Dive Photo by Masataka Ishii

Anyways, the thing that got me was the conversation on fear and love and how it is used to drive a persons will or passion for change.  As the program states "it is either of the two that can effect change in your life".  When you think of it, I'd have to agree with the comment.  It is for the sake of love that you work and diligent to provide for yourself and others you hold dear in your life, it is for the sake of fear that you hold back your passion to avoid hurting or in this case suffer the consequences of hardship.  As the program continues, it speaks of majority of the people wish not to move on their passion for the sole purpose of fear, but believe it is love to prevent the hardship. Which is it? What motivates YOU - Fear or Love?

I think to myself, yet another great topic to discuss and ponder on as you develop yourself with each passing day.  I have friends who have lost everything in their lives before they wake up and take all risk to effect change in themselves.  But what if you did not have to lose anything or everything, would you still decide to take that risk? Would you take your fears and move on the path towards your passion?  How far are you willing to go? Would you take your family, husband or wife on this struggle for change,  is fear hindering your movement to progress? How would you define your own fear?


Friday, October 10, 2008

Full of life!

In a blink of an eye, time has it's way of making change.  Here are six of  my eight children. They are growing so fast and before you know it. They will be living their own lives.  Wow!  How time does fly.
In their future, I know they will face many road-blocks in life, but as we continue to support and guide them, I am sure they will be alright.  

All Work and No Play


Future planning - I started brainstorming of what do I need to do to get totally back on track with life as I know it today.  I look at all my children, the life I wish to provide for them.  My future wife (Boni),  and how I want to ensure I create and fulfill a wife's desire for comfort living, contentment, and love.

Of course, I already provide myself completely and without doubt, I know she sees it.  I now look at finances.  Hmmm.  I beleive I need to make at least $_00K within the next 9 months to pay off all what I owe and start fresh financilally.  This would ultimately enhance my personal lifestyle with the ones I love and cherish most, my lovable eight...

9 months is the time frame I set for myself... Why 9 months.  I guess I am just setting a goal that I am hoping to reach with hard work, commitment, dedication and more.  Could this be possible. At this point I am looking at every business oppotunity available and will stop at nothing to try and meet my short term goal. Quite lofty if you think about it, but not impossible.

Any business ideas?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Life Experience - Bungee Jumping

Oh My...exhilirating, heart pounding, nervousness, sweat racing down my head.  What was I thinking! Standing 50 meters above ground all suspended by a single bungee cord.  I was atop the structure as shown in the picture below with the guide in my earlier post "still in Bundang".  He says "breathe, is this your first time?" Yes, I replied.  "Ok, take your time, see the coffee house" as he pointed..."When your ready, jump towards that"... I hesitated three times.  Then alas, I said "WTF...I am already here and strapped", I ran and jumped.  As I ran I knew there was no way to turn back, too much velocity to hold my 95K body mass.  What a rush!  leave your worries behind, all is lost but you in mid air for that split second and then whoosh, you feel the cord pull on you to ease your fall and up again.

I'd do it again!  For those of who have experienced bungee jumping, share your experiences. I would like to hear what was going through your mind or what was said out loud.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Is this Real?


Ok Bloggers.  I continue to ponder on this.  The last few post on the "What If's".  I enjoyed Hee Jae Lee's matrix notion, but how about this for a what if... What if there really is a dooms day?  December 21, 2012 as the Mayans calendar states.  

Leave your thoughts on this issue, I want to see your thoughts.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Still in Bundang, Korea

Boni placed a new post of her dinner with the kids at Wol Mi Jung.  Yup great food, great company and always a menu that provides a cure for anyones worst hangovers, thats the Korean culture. Well, I am still in Bundang and had more opportunities to see the growing city.  At almost every apartment compound that I have seen, there is a park that is suited for the neighborhood's dynamics.  Strolling along the sidewalks, you will see vendors making their daily sales with a variety of products being sold, a flea market, but neatly designed to not cause congestion and have people move freely to choose and purchase their likes of any kind.

I was taken to see one of the most popular parks in this area. It is called Yuldong Park. A 4.5 kilometer pathway situated around a lake.  rest stops and restaurants includng a bungee jump facility is in this park.  

Again, I was amazed with its beauty.  Polly, here is a photo I was able to acquire via google, sad but true still no camera with me, but I assure you it looks like this. Wouldn't it be nice to see our Susupe lake transformed into something like this? I know there are plans for its development, but not sure exactly where it stands at this point.


Friday, October 3, 2008

In Bundang, Korea

I am in Korea for the next 6 days.  The hospitality I am receiving from my partners parents is overwhelming. This is my first night as I write this post indicating my surprise of such wonderful people.   

This place, an apartment complex, which I may add is one of the best looking apartments I have ever seen.  A 7-bedroom unit, over 3,000 square foot of space, an immaculate home built for a small family of 4... Wow... so much space, and beautifully designed architecturally.  Now I wished I had my camera. As I arrived at Incheon Airport, it took about 2.5 hours to get to this place called Bundang.  This place is so developed and its size alone is bigger than Saipan.  Over 1 million people reside in this area. Beautifully designed parks, streams running underneath highways, shopping malls conveniently located.. It is said in Korea "Bundang is closest to heaven" for its charm and beauty.  I have to admit, it is a beautiful place.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Update - Most Interesting What If...

What if you were really dreaming about this whole world and you were really in the matrix. What if the economic crisis and the wars are just a glitch in the matrix? These are the thoughts that gets you picked up by a white van and then to the looney bin. Be careful of what you write. Don't you know that we're being watched right now as we blog?

Sent in by Hee-Jae Lee

I have to admit, she got me thinking about that....  Take a look at the other comments from last post.  You be the judge and tell me your favorites.   

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What If's....

I'm curios on who could come up with the best and most debateable "what if" question... I was driving around today and looked around and saw a variety of signs along the road, advertisements trying to lure consumer purchases.  Then passing by Shell fuel station looking at their billboard and then Mobil and I asked myself,

"What if these service stations decided to lower gas price to the $1.50 range  as it was about 20 years ago?"  I thought to myself, wow what a significance that would be for the island.  Jet planes will land more frequently, tourist fuel surcharge on their tickets will not be as high or may not even exist, more cars and other vehicles on the road, more gas powered equipment to be seen all over the island, CUC power bills will be so so affordable.. can you imagine?  I am sure I leave out a lot of other reasons, but I just thought to myslef how nice it would be and then reality struck!  Wishful thinking...arghhh...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Forever I Am!

If you had read my future wife's recent blog post entitled "Forever: Take Two", this is a recapulation of exactly what went on the night before leading up to the proposal night.  Many friends have asked about how and what was done, so let me try to explain and hopefully you will find it as romantic as it can be despite its simplicity.

Over two months now, I have been speaking with my sisters on staging my proposal.  Having considered and heard a variety of other ideas of proposals and how each friend of mine did theirs, it became clear that I needed to be creative and make this a memorable showcase of love and commitment that will be asked for.

Contemplating on an idea that stuck with me for quite some time, but would have cost me a great deal of money as well that would have involved at least 10 people in the process while another 50 or so individuals to witness.  All these were in my mind and yet I was not sold on the idea as it did not constitute a perfect day that I wanted, that I expected.

The day her ring arrived, I believe I was more excited than she was.  I couldn't help it, I needed her to know I had the ring on my palm as I viewed this stunning, elegantly placed rock that reflected light at every angle possible.  I was amazed by its beauty.

So the evening came and I couldn't sleep.  I had just came back from Japan the day before, cleared my office of the work required of me during the day, took a relaxing evening, but yet I couldn't sleep. I pondered on the thought of when shall I propose, where and how.  Ofcourse, I bought myself some time and told Boni that maybe in 4-5 weeks after I will do that and her faced dropped, but again, that was merely buying planning time...LOL.

That day before bed, I asked for my children to spend an evening with me the next day.  I recieved the approval and all along I was thrilled as I will be spending time with all the children, a family, together as one.  The morning came and all I thought of was seeing my children today. I Got ready and off to work to get my day started.  It hit me! I was going to have all the children together, originally I was planning for a Pizza hut outing, but relaizing the opportunity at hand, I changed plans and switched gears. I called friends for helping me stage my proposal with my family altogether.  Prepared a nice dinner, arranged for a bottle of wine, spoke to the children and asked for their permission on my actions for this evening.  They were all in it, they supported the actions and waited anxiously for my cue. Boni was expressing in her blog about our two children laying on the floor, under the table, atop the table, yup, they were busy and having fun.  It was a difficult moment as I tried to gather all my thoughts, distracted by the noise emminating from the young ones. So I just looked at her and blurted out, "this is my perfect day!  I have the family altogether and I want you to be my wife, will you marry me?" It was then I had the ring in my hand and opened for her to see its beauty, a masterpiece in itself.  Boni was stunned and I believe she really did not hear a word I said, but the vieweing of her engagement ring was enough to captivate her and shut out everything around her for that particular moment. "Yes, Yes"..  she replied and stood up for a kiss and hug.  I am the happiest of all and forever I am.

She calls everyone, it spreads like wildfire, I can see her happiness in her eyes, her lifted spirits of knowing that she does have a second chance to love again and be loved.  I love this woman, I too thought I would never find someone merely for the reasons that I have loved completely in my past.  I was wrong, I love more now than ever.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's Finally Here!

Stunning and beautiful, this ring is surely going to turn heads. I am excited!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Turn to Success

Im in Japan, sitting amongst hundreds of Marketing and tourism officials worldwide listening to the make up and recovery of Japans outbound travelers. Interesting enough, there is two sides to this story as to how they will manage to increase Japanese outbound (where the rest of the world will benefit) and how this will impact their economy overall. The basis is simple, tourism is both ways, the movement of people outbound creates such a high demand for countries to look into the country of origin of these tourist and n turn successfully spending high dollars to attract and then theres is the actual tourist themselves spending a pretty penny on their vacation at a destination of their choice and at the very moment, you realize they are Japanese. In one way or another, you will eventually want to see their home in the near future, hence you are now their visitor in return.

On another presentation that had me glued to my seat was the one made by Air Asia.com. This Low Cost carrier Airline embarked a new business model 6 years ago from Malaysia and has redefined what airlines can actually do to make travel affordable, despite the increased in fuel today. Innovation and marketing has turned to success in a time span of 6 years, hats off to them.

When thinking about this, My school LISS is in the same situation, being the pioneer for the CNMIs education-tourism, I am compelled to be innovative and practice uncommon methods to strengthening business, especially in the current economic slump experienced on the island. Air Asia.com, gave me another drive, an inspiration to push harder and be more creative in the outlook of the business. But then again, Airline and Edcuation business, how do they fit? I know how it does, do you?

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hello!




Photos of my sister Geraldine, Mom, cousin Leonard and nephew Joey. All in the mainland US.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Who am I? What am I?

Often times in any given day, your emotions take control of your day...How do you feel today?What is your expected outcome of the day? Well, this is just how I feel today, but what am I? Why do I look and feel this way?  Why do I feel a resemblance to this shot? Who am I today?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Brilliant Earth!


The brilliance of our earth that provides such fine formations that make every woman wish for, a diamond. This engagement ring of 1.02 carrat diamond with setting is a masterpiece in itself. The ideal cut and even the Gemologist I consulted told me the rareness of this stone in its class...
Will she adore this? I want to provide the very best and offer unconditional affection that will be for my lifetime. Yup, I will be engaging myself into a second marriage. Why not? I am a family man and want to be around the children I adore and with the woman that makes me whole. Why not commit myself?
I'll do just that... Stage my proposal, make it real, make her happy. Build a life and commit once again to the covenant of matrimony. This time around, I am certain, the marriage and lifelong commitment I will engage into will not fail. I know she loves me and I do too.

About Me

My photo
Just a simple man who loves and cares for his family. Personal views with life in general, business and challenges in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Sharing what we have through publications BISON Relations push out for everyone to keep abreast of what's happening in our beloved island home, Saipan.