This morning I was on my way to the Pag-Ibig Fund office at the Atrium Building along Makati Ave, corner Paseo de Roxas in Makati City. I had wanted to avail myself of the Multi-Purpose Loan that they offered for members who needed cash for any other purpose than buying or remodeling a home. What I didn’t know was the MPL offices had moved to the Justine Building along Buendia Ave. (Gil Puyat to map readers) near the Zuellig Loop. So after I had asked the right questions of the right people, I had to double-time from the Atrium on Makati Ave. to halfway down Buendia, but I’m getting ahead of the story.

First I had to get off the bus one stop earlier than my usual, which was at the Buendia MRT station. I was walking across to the other side when I saw this sign on one of the booths:

metporass

Strange name, I thought, for an MRT pass booth, Metporass. Something like morass in the metropolis, which was more likely the area where the fountain was, ground level at Buendia station, but then I walked two more steps and looked up again.

metropass

And I stepped back and forth just to make sure my eyes were not deceiving me. I even took these pictures with my phone.

This back and forth-ing became the theme for the rest of the morning. I walked, with a few other people, to where we thought the stairs going down into Buendia was, but turned out to be the UP escalator. Backtracked and went down the correct stairs. Crossed over to the other side only to realize there were no jeepney stops there. And while I stood there like an ignorant nit I saw this taxi parked under the flyover who was apparently picking up people for a flat rate of P50 to any part of the Makati CBD. Three in back, one in front, that was instant P200 for the driver, and he didn’t even have to go out of Makati.

At the Atrium I found that I had to go to the new building/office and when it was my turn at the counter I had to go away and come back several times because:

  1. My name was not written in completely on the application form as it appears on my Pag-Ibig Membership record. 
  2. I had no witnesses whose signatures needed to be affixed to the form and I needed two.
  3. Our HR assistant signed the form in place of our HR Manager with a “for”. Sharon the Pag-Ibig lady painted over our HR manager’s name with correction fluid and told me to write the HR assistant’s name and designation instead.

After all that was sorted out though, I was finally rewarded with an STL acknowledgement receipt, signed by Sharon, with a note to followup on the 18th (“Please call before coming.”)

Pag-Ibig waiting area, 2nd Floor

To be fair, the Pag-Ibig office was efficient, with waiting numbers and transactions no longer than 10 minutes per person, depending on the type of transaction. If I had filled out my papers correctly the the first time, I wouldn’t have had to do the chacha. But the Pag-Ibig website carries very little information on just how much a member can get in terms of loans and other benefits. There are no calculators or even cross tables where one could estimate loan proceeds. At least the SSS member site was viewable at night when its servers were not overloaded with transactions, and with a few clicks you can find out whether or not you were eligible for a loan and for how much.  The Pag-Ibig has no such facility.

And speaking of the SSS, I think I got my check in record time, exactly a week after I filed the loan application. The check was delivered to our office, and was marked transactable at any PNB branch. I had encashed it in less than an hour. 

All this loan frenzy is for a few things that I need to be prepared for. There’s Kuya Maui’s graduation from high school next month, repairs around the house, and yes — the Nikon D60 that I’ve been dreaming about since late last year. This D60 and I have been on an on-again, off-again relationship (meaning I’d get this close to buying one and then something will happen that will force me to spend the money for something else). This is one of those times. 

I wonder just how long I need to wait till I can get my D60, I’ve gone full blast on the online opportunities, but even that is dependent on the number of assignments given to me. I even went through an e-bay watching phase, where all I did was watch because I really didn’t have enough money in my paypal account to do some serious bidding.

As the old people say, kung hindi uukol hindi bubukol. Which is the Tagaolog idiomatic way of saying Que sera, sera.

Meanwhile, there’s Friday to get over with. Advance happy weekend, everyone!

Second looks (an early weekend post)

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