Life of a Pinoy Call Center Agent


If you are familiar with the terms “QA,” “Queu-ing,” “EOP,” “ACW,” “Avail,” then you are one of us, the thousands of  “kolboys” and “kolgirls” in the Philippines.

We belong to the sleep-deprived, nicotine-in-hailing, cab-riding new breed of Filipino youth. We infuse our anemic, caffeinated veins with ferrous sulfate everyday so that we won’t be “NCNS” (No Call, No Show) for our next shift. Ginawa naming araw ang gabi.

Glamorous? Well, if your idea of glamorous is staggering down Ayala Avenue wearing Paris Hilton shades at 8 in the morning, looking “dog tired” while everybody else looks fresh and new, then we are the kings and queens of glamour.

Bohemian? Ha ha!We follow a very rigid schedule. we cannot go on extended breaks. we cannot hang up on cursing customers. we cannot refuse to take calls. and we have to ask permission to answer nature’s call. we are like prisoners in our stations for eight whole hours. ours is a spartan life.

I cannot help but be catty and melodramatic about it. we say “Good morning” when we all know that everybody but us (at least in the part of Pacific) is in their deepest sleep. We say (with an audible smile), “I’d be glad to assist you,” never mind if we had to leave a feverish son under the care of his yaya


We can afford to miss family occasions and national holidays because we know we will be well compensated. Every birthday of a family member that we miss means PhP700.00 more to pay the bills, rent and tuition. The added pay for every national holiday that we had worked helps pay our taxes. Yes, my friends, we are paying for the streetlights along the avenues and highways that we must be brave very night.

Contented cats we are not. “Laway lang ang puhunan,” some people say, but we are in one of the most stressful and draining jobs you can find. and like the rest of the working class, we are overworked and underpaid.

We are forced to defend big banks, superstores, telecoms or any account we are handling. Just like any member of the proletariat, we are alienated from the giants that we work for. We apologize for the things that we do not have anything to do with. we fix problems we did not create. we are the cheap, apologetic and docile answering machines at the other end of the line; the receiving end of the frustrations and ire of the customers who feel shortchanged.

Apolitical? I have to disagree. we are tax-paying citizens like most working Filipinos. Yes, most of us get the news from Libre (while riding the MRT/LRT on our way to work), but we are also appalled by the PhP500,000 “cash gift” congressmen got to kill the Arroyo impeachment complaint last year. we are also furious with this government for spending half of the national budget on debt servicing so that it can borrow some more. and we are enraged that some people cheated their way to high offices.

We may speak in English for more than half of our waking hours, but it doesn’t make us less of a Filipino we are. We share the sentiments and burden of every landless farmers, very laid-off factory worker, every out-of-school youth, every hungry Filipino mouth. We find time mourn slain activists, priest journalists and innocent civilians. Most importantly, we share the aspirations of the Filipino people to build a just society where we can say, “I’d be glad to assist you,” and actually mean it.

 -Young Blood 4
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Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda & An appeal to the President of the Philippines

Typhoon Yolanda

Typhoon Haiyan, One of the most powerful storms ever recorded killed at least 10,000 people in the central Philippines on Friday, November 8, 2013.

Number of nations sending aid for ‘Yolanda’ victims growing

  • AUSTRALIA – US$10 million package
  • BELGIUM – medical and search and rescue personnel
  • CANADA – C$5 million
  • DENMARK – KR 10 million
  • EUROPEAN UNION – EUR 3 million
  • GERMANY – 23 tons of relief goods
  • HUNGARY – search and rescue personnel and rapid response team
  • INDONESIA – in-kind donations
  • ISRAEL- team of medical, trauma and relief professionals
  • JAPAN – emergency relief medical team
  • MALAYSIA – medical and search and rescue teams
  • THE NETHERLANDS – undisclosed financial aid
  • NEW ZEALAND – NZ $2.15 million
  • NORWAY – KR 20 million
  • RUSSIA – rapid response team
  • SAUDI ARABIA through Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud – US$100,000
  • SINGAPORE – $50,000
  • SPAIN – in-kind donations
  • SWEDEN- emergency communications equipment
  • TAIWAN – $200,000
  • TURKEY – medics, rapid response team, search and rescue personnel
  • UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Dhs 36 million
  • UNITED KINGDOM – £6 million and $9.6 million worth of emergency support package
  • UNITED NATIONS Children’s Fund – $1.3 million worth of supplies
  • UNITED STATES – initial $100,000 for water and sanitation; Troops, emergency respondents, transportation and equipment



Mr President,

I am writing in behalf of the millions of OFW’s from all over the world. We are deeply saddened by the series of tragedies that have happened in the Philippines over the past few months, but in particular, the devastation brought by the typhoon Yolanda. As Filipinos abroad, we are extremely grateful and overwhelmed with the amount of well wishes, attention, sympathy and aid we have been receiving for our fellow countrymen, all over the globe in particular the vast amount of donations being given by all foreign governments.

Your Excellency, as the leader of our country, I would like to make this earnest appeal in assuring us and our fellow countrymen that all aid, whether financial or in kind, goes directly to the victims of the typhoon. For very reason that this is the time that our fellow Filipinos in Tacloban and nearby provinces would need the utmost help. Hence, it is our moral obligation to make sure that EVERY CENT of these donations ARE ACCOUNTED FOR.

There has never been a time when the eyes of the world is on our nation. This is your time to show, Mr President; and our chance to prove our honesty, resilience, and humility as a people. Amidst all the political scandal of PDAF and other accusations of corruption in under your administration, this is the time to show to every Filipino that your government can be TRANSPARENT.

By doing this, Your Excellency, you will pave the way in restoring faith in our government. You can encourage more countries to help, those who, at the moment are a bit reluctant to extend a hand due to our bad reputation. By doing this you can start the process of change in our government and change the reputation we currently have. You can encourage more countries to help, those who, at the moment are a bit reluctant to extend a hand owing our bad reputation.

If I may Mr President, can I suggest that you please hold every Barangay Kagawad, Barangay Captain, Councillors, Mayors, Governors, Vice Governors, Congressmen and Senators accountable for every cent of these donations. Show the world every progress being done, help being given, and communities being rebuilt.

Let us use this unfortunate tragedy to rise above politics and corruption. Transparency is the only key. Please pave the way to a better, more honest and more successful Philippines.

Yours truly,

Katherine Whellams

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who’s your favorite skateboarder? NYJAH!

"Never think that you're not good enough, or that you're too young for something. As long as you're working hard for what you love doing, you'll have a good chance of getting somewhere with it." -Nyjah Huston

“Never think that you’re not good enough, or that you’re too young for something. As long as you’re working hard for what you love doing, you’ll have a good chance of getting somewhere with it.”
-Nyjah Huston

Nyjah Imani Huston (born November 30, 1994) is an American professional street skateboarder and in August 2012 was the overall champion at the Street League Skateboarding (SLS) competition series. As of May 19, 2013, Huston has won more prize money than any other skateboarder in history.

Nyjah Huston has undeniably become one of the most remarkable and phenomenal street skaters to watch in a short period of time. After learning to skate at the young age of 5, Nyjah continues to eat, live, and breathe skateboarding to this day. He has had all eyes on him since he burst onto the skate scene at the young age of 9 and won the legendary Tampa Am event at only 10 years old. By the age of 11, Nyjah became the youngest ever X Games competitor. In 2010, he was crowned as the inaugural Street League Skateboard Champion, and in 2011 he won his first X Games gold medal. Nyjah’s consistency and distinguished skills make him the one to beat as he relentlessly skates his way to the top of world class skateboard competitions.
Nyjah’s real passion for skateboarding can be found in the roots of street skating. He continues to blow minds with his innovative bag of tricks performed on some of the most dangerous stairs and rails in cities throughout the world. At the young age of 17, he has already filmed five full- length video parts. His most recent video, Rise & Shine, produced by his long-time sponsor Element Skateboards, was released on Itunes on 11/11/11, and reminded all skate fans that Nyjah is a true street skater at heart. His determination and amazing talent on a skateboard truly shine and show what is possible when he puts mind over matter. Nyjah’s career as a professional street skater is expected to evolve and progress, and leaves us asking, “What will he do next?” There is no doubt that he will continue to the push the limits of skateboarding and become one of the greatest legends in action sports.


  • 1st Place – Street League Kansas City – 2013
  • 1st Place – X Games Barcelona – 2013
  • 1st Place – X Games Brazil – 2013
  • 1st Place – Street League Championships New Jersey – 2012
  • 4th Place – Street League Glendale – 2012
  • 1st Place – Street League Ontario – 2012
  • 1st Place – Street League Kansas City – 2012
  • Gold Medal – X Games 17 – 2011
  • 2nd Place – Street League Championships New Jersey – 2011
  • 1st Place – Street League Glendale – 2011
  • 1st Place – Street League Kansas City – 2011
  • 1st Place – Street League Seattle – 2011
  • 2nd Place – Tampa Pro, Street – 2011
  • 1st Place Overall – Street League Overall Champion – 2010
  • 3rd Place – Street League Las Vegas – 2010
  • 3rd Place – Street League Ontario – 2010
  • 1st Place – Street League Event – Glendale – 2010
  • Silver Medal – X Games 16, Street – 2010
  • 2nd Place – Maloof Money Cup Orange County – 2010
  • 2nd Place – Tampa Pro, Street – 2010
  • Silver Medal – X Games 15, Street – 2009
  • 3rd Place – Maloof Money Cup Orange County – 2009
  • 2nd Place – Maloof Money Cup Orange County – 2008
  • 7th Place – X Games 14, Street – 2008
  • 2nd Place – Team Goofy – Goofy vs Regular – 2007
  • 8th Place – X Games 12, Street – 2006
  • 4th Place Overall – Dew Action Sports Tour, Park – 2006
  • 4th Place – Dew Action Sports Tour Portland, Park – 2006
  • 2nd Place – Dew Action Sports Tour Denver, Park – 2006
  • 2nd Place – Dew Action Sports Tour Louisville, Park – 2006
  • MVP Award – Team Goofy – Goofy vs Regular – 2006
  • 1st Place – Team Goofy – Goofy vs Regular – 2006
  • 4th Place – West 49 Canadian Open, Street – 2005
  • 3rd Place – West 49 Canadian Open, Rail – 2005
  • 2nd Place – Global Assault, Street – 2005
  • 2nd Place – Vans Downtown Showdown – “Big 6” Stair Best Trick – 2005
  • 1st Place – Krew Am Event, Street – 2005
  • 1st Place – Tampa Am, Street – 2005
  • 1st Place – Zoo York Am Getting Paid, Street – 2005
  • 4th Place – Volcom Damn Am, Street – 2004


  • 2011 Transworld Skateboarding’s Street Skater of the Year
  • 2011 Transworld Skateboarding’s Reader’s Choice Award
  • 2011 Transworld Skateboarding’s Best Video Part



News about the Southeast Asia Tour 2013


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