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Goodbye GT and Makati

Today has been one big emotional roller-coaster ride for two reasons.  Let me start with the easy ride first. 
Today was my last day to work in GT Tower, and in particular in Makati.  I’ve been working in Makati City for the last eight years, eleven months and three days, since my very first day in the company (June 19, 2000 – May 22, 2009).  Our first office was in the Makati Stock Exchange (MSE).  Sometime in 2003 my project transferred to the GT Tower building which was at the end of Ayala Avenue, right beside RCBC, and we’ve been based there until today. 

The MSE, where it all started
My particular project in the company is transferring to the Robinson’s Place Cybergate buildings.  Half the project already transferred last month.  I belong to the last batch to transfer, and today is our last day in Makati.  On Monday, May 25, I report to the Cybergate 2 (CG2) building. 
I have a couple of interesting memories in Makati, ranging from my early commuting days up to the present time.   Suffice it to say, the best and worst years of my personal and professional life to date is because of my stay in Makati.  This place will always have a good and colorful part of my personal history. 
GT Tower is where I got promoted to Senior Systems Analyst, title later renamed to Associate Manager.  I’ve seen myself hold key positions in five projects during my time here. 

GT Tower
I would particularly like to also mention that in the last three years of my stay in Makati, the neighboring RCBC Plaza has had a substantial contribution in my personal history. 

RCBC Plaza
Early on when my project transferred to GT Tower in 2003 I heard about a small chapel that existed in RCBC.  It was one day in July 2006 (I think) that I decided to visit it during lunch.  There was a Mass going on and so I did not stay long.  After that I found myself briefly visiting this chapel once in a while, if only to tell God of my current aches and pains for the day. 
One day I decided that this chapel would be a great place for me to pray my daily Rosary.  Everyday I would wait until the Mass was over and people would file out the chapel before going in and start my prayer.  Oftentimes I would come when the Mass was just about ending.  I told myself that I wasn’t here for the Mass, but then…  It would be interesting to actually attend a full Mass here.  No harm anyway in receiving Jesus. 
It started that way.  You can say that praying the Rosary eventually lead me to go to Mass at the RCBC Chapel every working day as well.  Now, the only reason I would not be there was when it was a Holiday, or there was a meeting I couldn’t avoid, or if I was sick (like when I contracted dengue in March 2008 and was hospitalized for a week).  My initial reason for going to Mass was to help myself grow in my faith.  Three years later and I still have a lot of growing up to do, but my reason now is to be close to Him, to His Real Presence in the Eucharist. 
I was delighted to know that the priests saying the Mass encouraged the faithful to go to Confession either before or after the celebration, and they would make themselves available for it for anyone that requested it.  This ended my trips to the Greenbelt chapel, for that was the only reason for me to go there.  Now I could go to Mass and receive Jesus everyday if I wanted to, and easily go to Confession as often as I wanted to do so. 

Greenbelt Chapel

RCBC Chapel
Praise God: Access to these two sacraments was now so convenient to me.  Praise God, indeed! 
I have been going to Mass almost every working day and going to Confession at least once a month every month in the RCBC Chapel since September 2006. 
Today, this practice has come to an end. 
I don’t care if CG2 cuts my trip going to work or coming home by half.  I don’t care either that everything from the food to the parking is cheap compared to their equivalents in Makati.  Nothing can ever possibly compare to the priceless gift of Jesus in the Mass. 
I, along with a colleague in the project who is, or now was, a regular communicant in the RCBC Chapel, will need to find a chapel close by to continue this wonderful practice. 
Before I left today I talked to Fr. Nesty, the regular priest who says Mass and hears Confessions – my Father-Confessor for the last three years – to thank him, Fr. Boy and Fr. Sagar for their dedication to ensure we have the chance to experience God daily during our lunch breaks. 
I pray that I find a nearby chapel with a daily Mass schedule, and hopefully also a new Father-Confessor who is just as wise and understanding as Fr. Nesty.  May Jesus bless them, and the RCBC organizers, for their truly wonderful ministry! 
Last but not the least, I visited the Starbucks café inside the RCBC Plaza.  After Mass almost everyday for the last two years I’ve been visiting them to get my regular fix of caffeine.  Smile  I almost always order only one thing: Venti-size Mocha Frappucino, blended whip cream.  The baristas have known me by name as a result of my near-daily visits, and I have become familiar with them too.  The coffee by itself is good.  What makes the product great is the sheer hospitality and friendliness of the staff, and today I could not stop thanking them for the two years that I have enjoyed their company, if only for a few minutes during lunch time to buy coffee.  Like me they are saddened that I had to go.  It was unfortunate that not all of them were there, so I could not personally relay my thanks to each one of them.  The most that I could do is request that they relay my thanks to everyone else.  As a parting gift for me they gave me my regular drink – for free! Open-mouthed  It was a pleasant surprise indeed, and it all the more made my heart warm up to them. 
For the last two years they have known me as “J.P.”  Before I left I left them my contact details – my full name which they now know, and my e-mail address and cell phone number.  I will so not mind hearing from them one of these days. 
And so ends my time in Makati. 
Dear God – Thank You so much for the last eight years, eleven months and three days in this place.  A lot of good has happened to enrich my life.  If it be Your will, may I someday find myself again working in Makati and enjoying once more the company of the friends I have left behind. 
I look to CG2 as a new chapter in my personal and professional life with hope that despite the challenges, I will gain new experiences that will enrich my life. 
Thank You, dear God, dear Jesus.  Thank You! 
Jesus, King of Mercy, I trust in You! 
Categories: Personal
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