Friday, August 31, 2012

7.6 Magnitude Earthquake hit the Philippines

A 7.6 magnitude earthquake rocked the Philippines at 8:47PM, Friday, August 31, 2012, with a depth of 212.7 miles (34.9 kilometers) and was centered 66 miles (106 kilometers) east of Samar Island, confirmed by Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PhilVocs) and reported by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Credits: and JNTC Articles

It was reported that the quake knocked out power in several towns and cities across surrounding Samar Island, Philippines. Varying levels of after shocks are being felt across Visayas and Mindanao islands. One person, a 54 yrs old woman died, when her house collapsed, in Cagayan de Oro. The grandson of the person who died survived and was being treated at a nearby hospital in the city. Many experienced damages in their homes. "You talk to God, when an earthquake occurs" - Bemruel Noel, a member of the Philippine House of Representatives said.

Intensity 7 was recorded in Giuan, Oras, Sulat, Borongan City, Eastern Samar; Intensity 6 in Siargao, Surigao Del Norte; Tacloban City, Palo, Leyte; Saint Bernard, Southern Leyte; Intensity 5 in Mati City, Compostela, Legaspi, Iloilo City, Bislig City, Iligan City; Intensity 4 in Butuan City, Catbalogan City, Cagayan De Oro City; Intensity 3 in Cotabato City, Mambjao, Camiguin, General Santos City; and Intensity 2 in Marawi City.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii) has lifted all tsunami alerts that was issued earlier for the Philippines, Indonesia, Japan, Belau, Taiwan, Guam, Papua New Guinea and other Pacific islands as far away as the Northern Marianas.  

The Island of the Philippines is within the "Pacific Ring of Fire" where common earthquake activity occurs. However, in 1990 the 7.7 Magnitude earthquake that occurred in Northern Luzon have killed approximately 2,000 residents.

In the morning of Saturday, September 1, 2012 - we will know how many more people have been affected.

Reference Source:
1. Manila Standard Today
2. Manila Bulletin
3. Associated Press

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Business English with Conversational Flair - A Necessity in Global Organizations

Most recently, experienced professionals in Linguistics, Global Business and Cross-Culture arena were finding that there is growing gap regarding English proficiency particularly with limited Conversational Business English competency.

Regardless of the profession, white collar or blue collar job, temporary or permanent status - English has become a burden among workers and employers. This was brought along by globalization of organizations and workforce migration across cultures.

Researches show that there is a growing gap of this deficiency, particularly among global workforce demonstrating weaknesses in conversational / business English language with approximate range of 58% to 71%. Surveyed organizations with internationally based workforce in the fields acknowledged that the handicap is on Business English Skills to support the demand and communication requirements of their jobs.

Business and Conversational English language competencies and proficiencies are required to those who like to work in English-speaking countries, they will learn to speak English within the business premise.

Among the workforce of multi-national organizations from other countries, who migrated to the United States, they face many challenges when articulating their ideas with their co-workers. They will need to increase proficiency level in their Conversational Business English.

For the employees who are English speakers, they also face many challenges when it comes to writing and articulating their ideas. They get confused on many linguistical features of the English language. This is because they did not learn the correct usage of linguistic features when growing up. Today, when engaged in speaking and or writing reports for management or customer's consumption they often commit mistakes like the non-native English speakers.

Do I like to acquire or increase my Conversational Business English Proficiency?
It is a matter of personal decision making. Prioritizing your business preferences for advancement or selecting to become a misfit at workplace and feel inadequate professionally.

There are many choices available when it comes to learning environments. Comes along with those choices are the costs associated to poor versus quality results. With the intent to acquiring the necessary skills and proficiency in Conversational Business English, there are limited options with quality and results.

Ideas N Conversations is one that is unique and is based in the Silicon Valley (San Jose, California). Their techniques and professional approaches in coaching and training are customized by their experienced Coach / Trainer. Lessons are matched with the assessed weaknesses of the individual, personalized that will provide significant improved learning adaptable for immediate use at the workplace. Their learning philosophy and business practices are far and beyond compared to the usual practices of the traditional adults language learning centers. Results and Return On Investments are their priority for their clients. Take advantage of their Summer Promotions!

California's Bill Passed to protect Undocumented Immigrants and Pending Governor Brown's Signature

Recently, the California Legislators passed a bill that protects undocumented immigrants charged with relatively minor crimes from being deported. 

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco says""The fact that you're undocumented doesn't make you a criminal." - (source:
Photo credit: Max Whittaker, Getty Images / SF 
AB1081, known as the Trust Act, would allow California to opt out of some parts of the federal Secure Communities program. That program requires local law enforcement officers to check the fingerprints of people they arrest against a federal immigration database and hold those who are in the country illegally. (source: 

The California Amended Law 


When Governor Brown signs this Bill, it would prohibit the local enforcement officers to initiate a deportation proceedings for someone who is undocumented.  This would mean that local enforcement officers can focus their time and efforts to actual criminals that are also contributing to the drain of tax money, and instead use the money for the benefit of the whole State of California and its citizens. 

Of course, the opponents of this Bill will decry the usual anti-immigrants mentality, instead of looking what these people have contributed to the economy of the State or the country.  Provided, there was no criminal records, their option to apply for legitimate migration would be the better consideration so that they can progress economically, use their talents and skills for the benefit of the country as a whole and support the economy. There is nothing wrong with that? 

Reference Source: 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Candidates: Must Seek Hidden Culture when Interviewing with Potential Employers

Have you been interviewing with various representatives of a potential employer? It is a silly question, right?  But here is what I can share with you to improve your chances.

Oftentimes, candidates participate passively in these screening processes; engage themselves by answering questions through the stages of interviews with the hope of getting hired. During each stage, it was the employer’s representative who was driving that scene; asking tactical questions about you as a candidate, exploring your social media behavior and practices. They spend only few minutes about what they are offering you and how can you help them.

At the very end of the time, one will ask “Do you have any question(s) for us?” Depending on your mood, or how you felt from the previous 20 minutes or so, you will take time to inquire. Sometimes, you have forgotten about turning the table on your favor, because you were overwhelmed with the presence of the so called ‘interviewing team’ who will be working with you, should you be hired.

As candidate for a specific position, you know your abilities. Be confident that you bring your technical skills and professional competencies to the employer’s business. When given that chance, you will take advantage of the situation by asking or probing subtle questions that will disclose the hidden culture of the organization. Knowing what is outside the interviewing room is the most crucial piece of information for making your personal or professional decision to join the organization. You have the right to inquire in equal footing to their right of screening you.

Learning about your prospect is very important:
Take your time to inquire and understand about them in addition to your prior research of their background before interviewing. Facts speak loud to you. Watch for the demonstrated interviewing etiquette, when they say "we only have few minutes left" - that says a lot about them, this is a red flag.

The following is a set of magic probing inquiries that will set you apart from other candidates while seeking important pieces of information. You can either ask these questions during phone or face-to-face interviews.

1. Can you illustrate your expectations of me in the first sixty days of employment?
2. Can you describe to me the types of workforce that work in your organization?
3. Can you share me your insights about the organization’s prospects in the next five years?
4. How do you see my competencies to complement your current team members?
5. When will you plan to close this position, and how many people have you been interviewing? 

With these five inquisitive questions you will be able to elicit a better perspective and landscape of this prospective employer. When doing this, however, you need to be very smart by listening actively on what they say. There are times, that one or two among the representatives will spill the beans, and some are very cautious on what they say. Watch for symptoms of being cautious – then start further investigations after leaving the premises.

Candidates can to turn the table for their advantage:
For anyone who is looking for a job, and would like to screen out those organizations that do not demonstrate good recruitment and hiring practices.  Our research illustrated the following as common bad practices; Requested an updated resume but never got any follow up from the Requester. Do not send any acknowledgement, nor communicate back with candidates. Do not send a feedback of the status of the application. They send a reply to candidates after 3 months from date of application. Conducted an interview either by phone or in person, but did not send any updates beyond ten days. All of these bad practices within the recruitment and staffing are giving a bad name to the industry where real professionals do their work at best. 

What will candidate do? Create a spreadsheet of all organizations that you have applied. Create a column that says "With Bad Practice". Any organization that you will encounter with those practice, tab them in your spreadsheet. And do not apply to them.

Consider only those with good business practices:
Only apply to organization that will demonstrate Good Business Practice that are reflective during their recruitment and hiring process.  These good practices are opposite activities of the bad practices identified above.  There are also pro-active behaviors of organization's representative such as following up with their candidates and providing them updates regularly until the time the position is closed.

As always, we like to hear from your experiences. You can either fill the space below or send us an email at:

Relative Links of References:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Vigil for Peace and the Sikh Victims at Wisconsin Tragedy

For anyone who wishes to honor the Sikh community and share the grief of their loss 
in the Wisconsin massacre, the Center for Spiritual Living in Seattle 
(5801 Sandpoint Way NE, Seattle 98105) 
is holding a silent vigil between 10-11am this coming Sunday. 
People of all faiths and none are invited to attend. 
Honor Sikhs who honor peace.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Philippines - Becoming an Expat's Favorite Destination

Credit: Magellan &

The Philippines is catching up with its counterparts in the Pacific rim. It is currently the hotbed for growing interest of investors like Donald Trump, Paris Hilton and Versace.

It the last quarter of 2012, the economic growth climbed to 6.4 percent and Manila Stock Exchange is riding up to 20 per cent. Many western-based organizations have been settling-in at this Pacific island, the Philippines.

Tourism has increased tremendously and it is projected to increase. The Philippine government is working competitively in many areas to attract travelers and investors to the country. The likes of  personalities and investors such as Trump. Hilton and Versace started building their empires in Manila. 

With this trend, qualified expats will be approaching the island as a great destination for their employment or temporary assignments. Many qualified individuals will also plan to migrate there for permanent residency due to the cheaper cost of living in addition to the paradise amenities of many islands outside Manila. 

The Philippines is also being targeted by many Baby boomers as a retirement place. The American and Philippine government are establishing relationship that will foster an opportunity for many Americans to retire to such a paradise island. This remains to be seen, however. 

We like to hear about your views and perspectives.  You can email them to: