Tag Archive christmas

ByAlfred V.

Christmas in Philippines

maligayang-pasko

Maligayang Pasko – Merry Christmas in Philippino

Philippinos are the edge of religious fanatism … though i don’t know on which side :). As the only Christian nation in Asia they have developed strong Catholic identity and Chirstmas is the most important hollyday here. But for someone like me used of thitry + years of snow for Christmas something is just wrong here.

And that is not all – there are no pines or spruces in tropics, so there is no Xmas tree … they just hang lights on any tree available. And – Lord is great – there are no pathetic over-commercialized Santas on every corner. Only shop staff have santa caps.

Anyway Xmas starts here in September! In December everything slows down and at about 15th most things stop, governement office close and traffic runs even slower as usual because of decorators blocking roads and religious processions walking snail-speed on roads – including highways!

Philippinos mostly celebrate Christmas at home, but there are also parties with live bands and fireworks in the cities. Other than some kids throwing firecrackers i must say Christmas was over very quiet and with much less happening as i expected based on months of preparations … maybe they just got enough of it already ;).

xmas-card

It’s hard to find a Christmas motive if you have no snow, pines and Santa in the country … (translation) May each moment of your holydays have a beauty all its own. (Card by Hallmark)

 

 

ByAlfred V.

Commercial red tape

First: Merry Christmas everyone.

Second: Sorry for being MIA for so long.

Third: This is the reason – i didn’t have internet access. Did i have no line? NO. Was it dead? NO. Did we suffer another blackout? NO. I could go this way much longer, but i don’t want to bother you with the obvious reasons for the unavailability of internet.

Two weeks ago (Tuesday) i moved to a new house. It had internet installed, but it didn’t work, so called the landlords and they checked it with the operator and found out the bill was not payed, so they payed it and internet should be working the next day (Thursday).

Of course it wasn’t. So i went to the operators office in the Cebu city (what takes about one hour in days before Christmas) on Friday and they told me i can’t claim service on that account because i need written permission of the legal owner (who is in Europe now). So all i can do is to open a new account with minimum 2 years contract. I wanted to tell them what they could do with such a contract, but i restrained myself and called the landlords again if they can do something about it. They called and since they are Philippinos they didn’t have any problem extending the contract and claiming service.

But internet still didn’t work, so i supposed there must be a technical problem. I went there again on Sunday and waited for 45 minutes to move three places in nine people queue and then decided to quit. I returned on Monday and waited over one hour in four people queue and then it took them another 20 minutes to record that my internet doesn’t work and to schedule a telephone intervention for the next day 10 to 12 am, because they believed i should configure my computer.

Internet power adaptor – it’s aesier to cancel an account and start a new one then to buy a new adapter!

I waited entire Tuesday and Wednesdays mornig and noone called. So i went back to the office at 1 pm and was fairly aggravated by that time. Luckly i was second in the queue so i only waited about 20 minutes. I explained the problem and they checked in their computer (which took them about ten minutes and a trip to the back of the office) to find out that – noone called me! And they scheduled a new service call for 8am next morning.

I got up at 6am on Thursday, prepared everything and waited by the phone – i didn’t even go to the toiled not to miss their call. And then it was 8am. An – as you can expect – noone called. But phone rang at about 9:10am and in a quarter of an hour they figoured out that i don’t thave power adapter for the antena! And to get one i would need:

  • personal ID,
  • signed letter of agreement by the owner of the account (who is in Europe) and
  • legal letter of loss – they told me to get it from a lawyer!

And they refused to tell me the computer settings so i could test it as i get the adapter. Anyway i knew i wont get any letter from the accout owner so i called the landlords again. They said to go and fix the problem and on Friday they texted me that they got the adapter and will bring it over – but as i had to go to town i set the meeting at the mall in Cebu City. And what did they have? An ordinary internet cable! (I was realy angry at this time.) So we went back to the office and waited again. And as we were about to come to srevice the doorman gets some teenagers and moves then to the counter telling the: “You can go here”. Wait minute! why does he give us queue numbers if he then moves people over the line! Afther a week of dealing with this morons i just had about enough of it and told him aloud what i think of him, his attitude and his useless company and then went to the lady that sold cable for power adapter to the landlords. She said that she knows what is power adaptor, but she couldn’t give it to them without mentioned documents so she sold them the cable! (Doesn’t that tell a lot about people?!)

I didn’t even want to deal with them anymore so i told the landlords to just cancel the account and we go to another internet provider. And then the lady said: “Oh, but if you cancel that account (obviously we didn’t need a letter of agreement from the account owner for canceling the account!!!), you can open a new one and we will install new antena and bring the adapter.” I rather don’t comment on this one, because i don’t want to embarrass you. So we canceled the existing account, opened a new one and asked if technitians could only bring new power adapter as all other equipment was already there (of course they said: “NO”) and told us their crew will come in 3 to 5 days to install new internet antena and that tey will call us before.

I treated the landlords with a lunch for their trouble which took us about and hour, and as we finished telephone rang and there were internet technicians waiting in front of the house to install inernet antena! They obviuosly dispatched them right away afther we signed for a new contract and i was still one hour away in the city.

I was affraid they will just leave and it will take another week or more to come back again. Luckily for me Philippinos don’t mind doing nothing so they waited there. And being much more practical then their company they just pluged in the adapter and setup the comp and i had my internet access. (Halellujah!) I wander what happened to that extra antena though :).

I deliberatedly didn’t write the name of the company, because i don’t think that any other is much better, so i would just give you false hope that all will be good if you go somewhere else …

And this is a commercial company! Think about doing admistrative documentation …