Week 1 in Manila

Friday- I arrive at Manila at around 7 PM (a tad late from the 4 Pm originally promised by Super Ferry). I was fetched by my uncle (who owned a taxi) and my brother. We immediately went to the house wherein I was going to stay. I got to meet my uncle and cousin (who lived nearby). They were friendly and accommodating. When I arrived at my room, I found a double deck bed, sink, a comfort room, and a shelf. I was thankful that the place was livable. My cousin brought along a fan and a pillow with him (which made my first night at my new residence a bit comfortable).

Saturday- When I woke up, I had a terrible backache because I didn't have a mattress yet. I thought about buying food but I was so scared to go outside. At around 11 Am, I gathered the courage to go outside and thankfully I was able to find a carinderia. Then at 2 PM, my uncle came over since he was going to show me around. We first went to SM North. I was about to buy some supplies but my uncle told me that it would be expensive and so we went to Grand central. At Grand Central, the whole building was shaking because the LRT passed by at the top. I was a bit disappointed with SM because I thought that it would look a bit high end (with a nice atrium, fountains, open spaces, and classy shops).

Sunday- I called a friend from my website and asked for her help. I was beginning to get worried because I still didn't have a mattress. I also still didn't have drinkable water since I was told that the water coming from the faucet here is not drinkable. I bought a gallon of mineral water at 30 php and it was the first time in my life that I appreciate water.

In the afternoon, my friend and I met at SM North. It was my first time to commute by myself. in Manila. My friend brought me to Munoz Market and I was able to buy a basin, pillow, iron board, and mattress. I must say that the transport system here in Manila is very very complex.

Monday- I went to HTMT to apply for a job. The first test was a phone interview. I was told that I would be assigned to a tech account (Sony). The basic pay would be 14 000. Basic pay plus benefits would amount to 20+ K. I was then asked to take the data entry, listening, grammar, and analytical test. I passed all those and I was scheduled for a call simulation at 9 PM. The call simulation to say the least was very difficult. We were asked to take a call and trouble shoot. We were given only a few minutes to study the manual of a Sony digital camera. To make matters worst, the caller was irate. At the end of the call, I was told that I didn't make an effort to neutralize my accent and I was terrible at giving instructions. I was really bombed out by those two comments because it was really difficult to neutralize my accent when I was doing troubleshooting. It was also hard to give instructions since I didn't have a good grasp of the camera. I didn't even see the actual product. All we were given was a gray scaled illustration of the camera. Other call centers wouldn't even give such an exam because you usually have the accent training and the product specification training to prepare you for taking such calls. Even my co-examinees who were experienced call center agents said that the call cimulation was difficult. Anyway, the examiner asked me to give instructions on how to cook a certain dish. Later I was asked questions such as, why should we consider you? I really hated the fact that I was made to 'beg'. So anyway, she told me that I passed but I rejected the offer because I don't think I'll be happy there.

Tuesday- I went to S Cube. At first I thought that S Cube was a call center but it turned out to be a head hunter ( like a recruitment agency). The receptionist at S Cube was a Zamboanguena and she told me that she would help me in finding a job. S Cube is located at Makati and I had to take the LRT to get there. I finally saw the Ayala Avenue which is like the New York of the Philippines because all tall and gleaming skyscrapers can be found there. S Cube endorsed me to Sutherland. At Sutherland, I took the analytical, and grammar test, Then I was interviewed by three people. Then I was asked to take the typing exam The account they gave me was Paypal (a non voice, financial account). I was already asked to take a medical exam. Then they texted me and said that they don't accept applicants from S Cube. How weird is that? Anyway, it was back to square one for me.

Wednesday- I did my laundry for the first time in my life.

Thursday- I slept the entire day because I felt so depressed.

Friday- I went to Sykes in Quezon Avenue. My friend's sister referred me to the company. I was interviewed and I was scheduled to take the written exams on Monday. Hopefully, I would be able get this job.

By now, I am already able to get around Manila on my own if given directions. Usually, I would phone my friend from Pinoy Penster Community ***NOW DEFUNCT*** (Rachelle Carpiso) for instructions on how to get to certain places. Rachelle Carpiso is a guidance counsellor with an MA. Last night, I was able to talk to Arsenia Joaquin (another online friend) on the phone. Apparently, she already has a publisher for her books.

Anyway, I am hoping to make it in this new world that I discovered.

Wish me luck!