Friday, May 16, 2014

Throwback - Congratulating PJ

The surprise death of our friend Paul John Gorieza DasmariƱas last Monday remains a shock to us all. And as Tobie and I struggle to make sense of so many emotions and our regrets that things didn't turn out differently, I wanted to take a moment to reflect back on happier times.

In September 2011, PJ got an opportunity to interview for a position at MalacaƱan Palace to become part of the President's kitchen team. Since he was based in Davao at the time, he actually ended up bunking with us at the Sietch during the interview process - he was always more than welcome in our home.

Naturally he got the job, and I wrote this entry back in my old LiveJournal, which has already been archived since then:

01213: Congrats to PJ! (2011-09-28 17:40)
The weather is much better today - Typhoon Pedring left the country early today and since then it’s been pretty dry. The air is still a lot cooler than normal and things still seem pretty overcast. Another storm system is moving into the country’s area of responsibility, so that promises more rain. However this one is not projected to make landfall at all - at least not yet. But if we’ve learned anything, we know this can change at any moment with the right gust of wind.
In non-weather updates, our friend PJ has been staying over here at the Sietch this week. He’s normally based in the south but given a potential job opportunity he’s flown in for the whole interview and screening process. It’s always a risk to sort of put everything on the line like this, but then if you don’t risk big, you probably won’t win big either.
Previously, he had been here since he was studying to be a chef here in the city. He became one of Tobie’s O Bar buddies given he’s a lot of fun to hang out with. Plus with how difficult it is to really push to make it somewhere in the culinary industry, his personal aspirations have always been something to be proud of and perhaps even inspiring. But he persevered and got a post at Barcino for a while before he opted to return home.
Given all this, we were certainly willing to put him up for a few days while he went through his interviews and such. Plus the opportunity is definitely a prestigious one - so much so that it’s best to leave it to him to disclose at a more appropriate venue than this blog post. Still, it hasn’t been easy given the inherent challenges in trying to land a job like that plus the typhoon blowing through the country. In fact, his callback interview last Tuesday was canceled because of the bad weather, even though he was already there at the venue ready for his scheduled appointment. Dedication, right?
But things finally pushed through today and it looks like it’s pretty much in the bag for him. Pretty awesome really and this was worth waking up for despite my having fallen asleep beside Tobie in the process of trying to wake up him - go figure. So to celebrate the good news, we ordered a massive North Park feast of sorts. As always, the food turned out to be surprisingly filling - as is often the case with Chinese food. But it was definitely worth it.
So congrats, PJ! Here’s to bigger and better things yet to come!
And here is the photo PJ posted of that North Park celebratory feast

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