Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I am the Advocate

Though I've taken the Myers Briggs Personality Test a number of times, I wasn't able to resist taking it again here: http://www.mypersonality.info/

And these are my results: Fairly accurate I would say.

ENFP - The "Advocate"

Temperament: Visionary

ENFPs are introspective, values-oriented, inspiring, social and extremely expressive. They actively send their thoughts and ideas out into the world as a way to bring attention to what they feel to be important, which often has to do with ethics and current events. ENFPs are natural advocates, attracting people to themselves and their cause with excellent people skills, warmth, energy and positivity. ENFPs are described as creative, resourceful, assertive, spontaneous, life-loving, charismatic, passionate and experimental.

About the ENFP
"They can't bear to miss out on what is going on around them; they must experience, first hand, all the significant social events that affect our lives."

"ENFPs are warm, enthusiastic people, typically very bright and full of potential. They live in the world of possibilities, and can become very passionate and excited about things. Their enthusiasm lends them the ability to inspire and motivate others, more so than we see in other types. They can talk their way in or out of anything. They love life, seeing it as a special gift, and strive to make the most out of it."
- Portrait of an ENFP (The Personality Page)

"Friends are what life is about to ENFPs, moreso even than the other NFs. They hold up their end of the relationship, sometimes being victimized by less caring individuals. ENFPs are energized by being around people. Some have real difficulty being alone, especially on a regular basis."
- ENFP Profile (TypeLogic)

"outgoing, social, disorganized, easily talked into doing silly things, spontaneous, wild and crazy, acts without thinking..."
- ENFP Jung Type Descriptions (similarminds.com)

"ENFPs are energetic and enthusiastic leaders who are likely to take charge when a new endeavor needs a visionary spokesperson. ENFPs are values-oriented people who become champions of causes and services relating to human needs and dreams. Their leadership style is one of soliciting and recognizing others' contributions and of evaluating the personal needs of their followers. ENFPs are often charismatic leaders who are able to help people see the possibilities beyond themselves and their current realities. They function as catalysts."
- ENFP - The Visionary (Lifexplore)

"Ranked 1st of all 16 types in using social and emotional coping resources and 2nd in using cognitive resources. "
- ENFP Facts (discoveryourpersonality.com)

Famous ENFPs

Real ENFP People

  • Lewis Grizzard - humorist
  • Martin Short - Canadian actor, comedian
  • Paul Harvey - radio broadcaster
  • Paul Robeson - actor, athlete, singer, writer, activist
  • Phil Donahue - TV personality
  • Regis Philbin - TV personality
  • Sandra Bullock - actress
  • Sinbad - actor, comedian
  • Upton Sinclair - author, investigative journalist
  • Will Rogers - Comedian

  • Fictional ENFPs (Characters)

    ENFP Career Matches

    ENFPs are often happy with the following jobs which tend to match well with the Advocate/Visionary personality.

    • Accountant/Auditor
    • Actor
    • Art Director
    • Artist
    • Banker/Economist
    • Career Counselor
    • Church Worker
    • Conference Planner
    • Consultant
    • Designer
    • Dietitian/Nutritionist
    • Diplomat
    • Editor
    • Engineer
    • Entrepreneur
    • Homemaker
    • Housing Director
    • Human Resources
    • Journalist
    • Lawyer/Attorney
    • Marketer
    • Massage Therapist
    • Merchandise Planner
    • Musician
    • Newscaster
    • Nurse
    • Occupational Therapist
    • Painter
    • Politician
    • Project Manager
    • Psychologist/Counselor
    • Public Relation
    • Researcher
    • Scientist
    • Senior Manager
    • Social Scientist
    • Social Worker
    • Speech Pathologist
    • Teacher/Professor
    • Technical Specialist
    • Trainer
    • Writer

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    10 Most Amazing Places I’ve Visited

    I’ve been blessed to have the opportunity to travel. And though oftentimes I travel for work and don’t have the time to tour, I do try to grab pockets of time to absorb the culture and just totally enjoy the beauty, the exhilaration of seeing something for the first time. And for those trips that are purely vacations, ahhhh, I’m a great vacationer. I do my research and I make it a point to see something new and interesting. I also love visiting a place alone. So I can totally enjoy the place at my own pace, take as many photos as I desire, take short little appreciation breaks, linger, ponder, meander, without the vacation nazi (aka my husband) breathing down my back so he can beat some imaginary record for the shortest time to get from one place to another. But I digress.

    Here are my top ten amazing places:

    1. The Louvre, France – This is a place that humbles you. One of the first stops is the Department of Egyptian Antiquities (http://egyptianantiquities.com.au/Journey/Sections/INTRO.CFM). As I gawked at relics of early civilization, I just felt the reality that I am just one inconsequential fraction of a nanospeck in the timeline of the world. The giant paintings at the Medici Hall made me feel small, insignificant, and I realized that whatever talent and skills I had could not possibly match those of the creators of those master pieces. I felt so humbled, yet my soul felt so elated, my eyes so sated, and my heart a little proud to be part of the human race that has created all these beautiful works of art. The one day we spent at the Louvre was hardly enough. One of my dreams is to be able to come back to this place to wander at leisure for days.

    2. Harajuku, Japan – One stop from the Shibuya station in Tokyo, and you leave the train to step into a different planet. Harajuku offers dazzling out-of-this-world spectacles. And it has nothing to do with the architecture, art, or any manmade tourist attraction. It’s the people. Young people. With an aversion for looking like everybody else. Japan’s fashion sub-cultures sporting the strangest, hippest, wildest of fashions taking the streets as their runway. Name a color, and somebody around there has that in his or her hair. It’s been more than a decade since I’ve last been there, so I don’t know if it’s still the same avant-garde young fashion capital of the world. A peek at Wikipedia says parts of it have become mallified. But Japanese youth in Manga, Gothic Lolita (the first time I’ve heard of this fashion genre), hip hop, still swarm in this surrealistic fashion wonderland.

    3. Tsukiji Fish Market, Japan - You have to wake up at dawn to be able to catch the action here. The noise first, and the smell next accost you, wake you up. And then it’s the frenetic activity that wipes out any vestige of sleepiness. Your eyes dart from one spot to the next because there’s something interesting going on wherever you look. Who knew that fish auctions can be that much fun to watch? You look at the organized lines of frozen fish, numbered like marathon runners, most of them longer and bigger than most of the humans there, and you just know that the tuna panga you had in Davao or GenSan is related to some of the headless carcasses lined up on the auction floor. There’s also a market section retailing a dizzying array of seafood from all over the world. Because we were staying in a hotel, we couldn’t really go shopping for our lunch. But then again, I don’t think I would have been able to buy anything, because I would have been too overwhelmed to make a choice. Salmon, cuttlefish, fish I’ve never seen before, the longest clawed crabs. With my scuba dive card forever out of reach, this is the closest I’ll be to being underwater.

    4. Huntington Gardens and Library, California – I’m surprised not a lot of people know about this place. Selfishly, I’m glad not a lot of people know about this place. It’s sort of a secret hideaway only a few minutes from Los Angeles. You pass a posh residential area to get there. The library is a bibliophile’s wet dream. A high ceiling accommodates two levels of rare, leather bound books. My heart ached in envy and desire for my own library to be that awesome. The 2nd print of the Gutenberg Bible, encased in glass, brought out the geek in me, and I almost genuflected, thanking God, and Gutenberg of course, for inventing the printing press. But the library, magnificent as it is, holds your attention only for a few minutes. The gardens, take note of the plural form, beckon. I made the right decision to go alone so I can walk at my own pace, and sit down when I wanted to just rest, read, relax, and wish that I could sketch. Each garden has a theme. The Japanese garden might look familiar to you since it has been used for some supposedly Japan-set Hollywood movies. There is a rose garden, an herb garden, and an English garden they call the Skahespeare Garden. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but from my memory, I liked the desert garden best because I got there by sunset and the giant cacti drew dramatic silhouettes against the orange cast sky. Next time, you’re in LA, check out these secret gardens.

    5. Kiangan, PhilippinesCheck this out. http://islandhopperchronicles.blogspot.com/2009/05/kiangan-flashback.html

    6. Sapa, Vietnam – It was the perfect vacation and we came at the perfect time – during the Tet holiday. It was the first time we’ve taken an overnight train ride. I slept at the upper bunk and my husband took the one below. We slept, and when we woke up, it was dawn. We took a van with a number of people who were on tour. And that’s how this amazing vacation started. Sapa is breathtakingly beautiful especially in the winter, when there is a heavy mist covering the town plaza and the church. Women from different tribes pester and follow you around selling their wares – and at some point you give in and buy something that’s beautiful, and colorful and done with painstaking detail. The vacation is about hikes -- hikes up mountains, hikes down valleys where the tribesfolks live, make indigo dyed fabrics, hikes along cliffs with awesome views. But the highlight of my Sapa adventure was the magical rose plantation. It looked surrealistically beautiful and I felt that I just stepped into the dream scene of a period movie. Even more astonishing was when these local teenagers called us into their cottage to have tea with them. A cottage so simple the floor was of packed earth. Song, our tour guide, helped me to communicate, but mostly it was their facial expressions of innocent wonder that spoke to me. Sadly, I never blogged about the experience, but sappy as it may sound, this scene will forever be etched in my memory.

    7. Hanoi, Vietnam – In the trendy store at Church Street, Tina Sparkles, they sell a beaded bag that says “I was in Hanoi before McDonald’s.” One of my biggest regret is not having bought that bag, which says so much about what Hanoi was, and might soon not be. It is a place that one must see now, before the malls take over. While it still feels like you’re in another place in another time. While the streets are lined with little stores selling the most colorful crafts and art; you get the sense you’re in the Orient’s version of the souk. I only lived there for 7 months, but a part of me will always miss Hanoi with its 7 lakes, Highland Coffee shops, 12-dollar hotel rooms, street food; where getting lost in its littered streets is a game I play; where hopefully no golden arches will ever invade.

    8. Capones Island Lighthouse – Scattered along the coasts of the Philippines are Spanish-era lighthouses badly ravaged by time and neglect. My first lighthouse trip was to the one in Burgos near Pagudpod. I’ve also visited the Bolinao and Calatagan lighthouses. My favorite is the one in Capones Island in Zambales. http://islandhopperchronicles.blogspot.com/2008/11/chasing-lighthouses.html

    9. The waters of Donsol and the Butandings (Whale Sharks) – Butandings are solitary creatures. They do not swim in schools. They are also very shy; you get too close to them, they leave the surface and go down into the depths of the sea. So, they’re a bit hard to find. When I finally got up close and personal with one, I was stupefied, glued to one spot in the water, and with the snorkel in my mouth, I just exclaimed, Oh My God. I was in awe. Laughing too. The butanding we saw was a magnificent creature. It had rows of white dots on its back. It looked more like a whale than a shark. It was amazing being only about 3-4 meters away from the creature. It glided under me and I saw the whole beautiful creature. Awesome.

    10. I struggled to choose the 10th place to put in this list, so I’ll just list down the runner-ups which will share this last slot – Old Town beside Jet D’eau in Geneva, San Francisco’s Halloween night, Little Italy in Boston, Bethlehem Town in Pennsylvania during the Christmas season, New York, Palawan, Bohol and the underwater world of Anilao.

    The other amazing places I still want to visit are: Morocco, Egypt, Greece, Batanes, Borobudur, and Ankor Wat.

    Saturday, April 11, 2009

    My Reading Nook Unveiled

    It's still work in progress. Still have a few more books to shelve. And the rest of the room is still a mess. But I'm loving my reading nook. I pretty much read everywhere else, but this is where I read at night, a few steps away from the bed where my husband snores away. That floor to ceiling shelf filters the light so he does not complain so much now about the light getting in the way of his beauty sleep.

    It is as cozy as it looks. And it is my corner. At least, it's mine until we get cable, and then this lounge chair will double up for TV watching, and the battle for the remote and the comfy chair resumes. In the meantime, this corner is mine.

    I also do my knitting and daydreaming here.

    Thursday, April 9, 2009

    Beppo's Barber Shop: Barbelicious!

    One of the best things about being a missus is accompanying the mister to the barber shop. Barber shops are usually no-nonsense places, awash with brash white lights, devoid of exotic eastern decor. That's why they are not as seductive as spas. Absence of fancy Asian frills notwithstanding, they provide comparable levels of service.

    Men go to the barber shop not for the ambiance but for simple pampering sans zen music and that irritating soundtrack of birds chirping. Given a few minutes, you start appreciating the DOMish music, and even start finding it strangely comforting.

    The good thing about barber shops is that, unlike beauty salons, they are not frequented by gaggles of girls bonding, texting, gossiping. Just men, quiet and serious, intent on only one purpose: to zone out from the world, the work, and the wife. An invisible "Do not disturb" sign hanging around their necks.

    This particular wife tagged along but promised to ignore the husband so she can also zone out. He picked Beppo's Barber Shop at the ground floor of A Venue on Makati Ave. She picked the foot massage from the extensive menu of services.

    She picks well. After several days of hard, physical labor -- moving heavy objects and standing for hours dusting and such -- she feels the soles of her feet are screaming, "Massage us, massage us!"

    *Ending bothersome third person narration here*

    Sheena, my therapist starts with hard, reflexology-like movements from the knees down. She goes easy on the oil, just enough to make it pleasurable, and not too much to make me feel like I'm being prepped for roasting. As I focus on Wuthering Heights, Sheena focuses on providing comfort to my tired feet and her deft fingers do not miss a spot, rubbing away my pains. After the thorough kneading, which I think is glorious enough, she brings out this scary contraption that she straps to her hand. When her fingers touch my flesh, I discover that one thing missing from my life until now, well, two things actually -- Sheena and her wonderful, vibrating machine.

    Nirvana. I am not fond of using eastern religious terms, but WordWeb's definition fits perfectly -- complete bliss and delight and peace. I drop my book at its story's most exciting part, as it is getting in the way of my zen. That wonderful vibrating machine, from hereon to be called WVM, is the answer to all the world's problems -- wars, drugs, road rage, and Britney Spears. If everyone would just have Sheena and her WVM, then everybody will be living in a state of well being, and we will all just get along.

    After the WVM does its wondrous job on my feet, the rest of my body feels envious. Sheena hears my shoulders' jealous rage and massages my arms, hands, shoulders, head. I run out of eastern mystic terms to describe the ecstasy.

    Then she slows the pace and ends with a light finger massage. And I understand finally what my guy friends mean by "happy ending." Then she does what very few spa therapists do -- towel wipe out the oil and slap on a splash of one of my favorite scents in the world, rubbing alcohol. Then she covers me up with some fuzzy towels and lets me nap for a few minutes.

    As I hover between dazed awakeness and the brink of REM, I understand why men usually top up with more services they don't really need like manicures and ear waxing. They just don't want the experience to end. Sad sigh.

    Sheena doesn't allow me to leave with bedhead. She spritzes water on my hair and brushes it, making the fat tip and the pension plan I'm planning to give her so much worth it.

    Really, this is the most fun and pleasure you can have without taking off your clothes (I mean, taking off your clothes at the spa, pervie). All for 350 pesos.

    My new word: barbelicious.

    Try out Beppos' Barber Shops' grooming and massage services. They also have branches at Cash & Carry (South Super Highway) and The Link Building (Makati Avenue across Landmark)

    PS: (June 8, 2009) Today I went for hot oil treatment and again had a pleasurable encounter with the Wondeful Vibrating Machine, this time on my head. Lovely. Great hand massage too on the shoulders down to my fingertips. Mmmmm!