Tuesday, December 30, 2008


when i was a kid, there were several times that i became part of a wedding entourage. i was always a ring bearer, mostly on weddings of family friends. i remember i didn't enjoy most of it coz i get this itchy feeling whenever i wear those striped & shiny barongs (the mode back then). during my teens, i was never asked to be part of the secondary sponsors. the last time i became an abay was during ate joy's wedding in september 2000.

i've known about this gig a year ago. the groom, kuya dondee, is my first cousin (our moms are sisters) and his bride, ate chel, have already been based in london for quite some time now and they have an nine year old daughter. but they wanted to get married here, well, i'd say primarily because weddings in the philippines is definitely different from what they have in elizabeth's land.

i didn't have a white shirt. a good one, that is. so before heading to santuario de san antonio in forbes park, i quickly got a good one from memo in glorietta. the reception was held in coconut palace. almost all cousins from my mama's side were present. of course, tita nor was there, as well as tita be, who's one of the ninangs.

kuya bob's brood were all present, as well as ate joy's. this wedding became some sort of a reunion for the family. this was the very first official gathering that the albertos (apart from kuya bob's family) were present, after what happened back in 2006 when lola died. while i can say that there was no tension at all, all the involved and aggrieved (at least from their respective point of views) parties of course, were a bit uncomfortable. i guess this is a first step in moving forward. after all, there's no sense in keeping all the grudges in the name of "making a statement". life is just too sweetly short to wallow on past issues. anyhow, i think all the parties gave it time. while the family may not go back to where we were before july 2006, at least everyone's civil and on the same page - celebrate kuya dondee and ate chel's wedding.

weddings... weddings!

Saturday, December 27, 2008


what a christmas that was!

it took me 3 hours before reaching our home in novaliches, grabe! the traffic wasn't so bad, but the volume of people and the load that i needed to carry kept me from moving the way i wanted to. well, i needed to carry all my laundry to novaliches coz remember, i just moved in my new place. plus, all the presents that needed to be wrapped were all handcarried by me. poor me! hehehehe! i promised myself last year to bring all necessary holiday stuff to novaliches in batches, so that i won't have to get 'em all home in one go. but i never learned my lesson, i guess.

when i got home, time to start wrapping all the gifts. before i knew it, it was already 10 pm. i quickly did a sampling of tita jo's beef caldereta and then freshened up a bit. liezl and her family were in charles' place, but ate ne and jel were the welcome addition this year!

during noche buena, our table wasn't oveflowing with food, which is definitely ok. what kept us glued in our seats were the horrid but funny stories from ate ne, especially their everyday travails with jeepney & bus drivers who frequent their sari-sari store & mini-resto in bulacan. of course, all the tsismis in and around capri are still there.

when i woke up around 10 am, troops of godchildren were already making their rounds. almost all of my siblings, papa and tita jo have literally tons of inaanaks and most of these children don't fail to pass by our house. then, it was time to go to t'yang charing's place. after some 2 hours, we left for trinoma. this was by far our biggest trooping to a mall. normally, we'd be malling in small groups. it was different this time. there was papa & tita jo, ate she's family (4 of them), liezl & izhi, kuya bob's brood (5 of them) and myself - 14 all in all! ang saya! we had a quick dinner at dencio's, before nice & utoy went to look for jeans. after that, the older men had coffee and off went home.

on the 26th, we went to ate ne's place in bulacan. some nice huntahan and kainan again.

while the cool christmas breeze blows, warm family bonding is what this christmas was all about. there's nothing like spending some quality time with the ones you love. merry christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


crisis. this is what summed up the last 4 months of 2008. and even our traditional aydisi filepens krismas activities were affected. you see, since 2003, we always had some really big going-ons to celebrate christmas. and this is one of the main events that make our stay here exciting. this started in 2003, when we had an all pinoy xmas dinner. the following year, we added a weekly kris kringle. and since 2005, we've had such a blast every december! apart from the every-friday-exchange-gifts (only 40 pesos), we had some nice pakulo to celebrate the all-pinoy xmas party. we had padua awards in 2005, in honor of the irrepresible lola vida! piktyur awards in 2006 was set up behind our thousand pictures accumulated from our travels and dinner in and around metro. ralph was the "it" guy in 2007, so we came up with bradley awards. we've had unique categories each year, nominees were decided upon by all, then we vote on the very day of kainan.

this year, i really thought that we won't have any huge events. the grinch in some of our present aydisi-ers kicked in due to the ongoing crisis! there were talks about scrapping the kris kringle altogether. of course, it won't be fun if not all will join in, so i thought that ok, we'll have it next year. but the christmas gods smiled on us, and before i knew it, all the categories this year were finalized: something that reminds you of your high school days; something green; and something omar-ic. ang saya!

the grinch didn't steal christmas after all! we had our kapitana kang awards before we went on universal holiday! this one was named after our barangay captain chorvy kang (alma)! hehehehe! everyone had a special award, mine was isyusero ng lahat ng panahon, because, as they said, i always make a mountain out of a mole hill and create issues. but i really don't create issues at all. i just do the broadcasting! wahahahahaha!

anyway, kapitana kang awards was great! we had lots of food... due to our patak-patak. what's good this year is that we had a new comelec chair in bianca, who was fair and unbiased, unlike mylene who i think got a rigorous training from garci on how to rig election results! anyway, one of day's highlights were her "snatcher of the year" special award and the winning snatchee (who's very much connected with kap)!

this was definitely a nice way to close 2008. great food + lots of laughter plus or either due to "issues" + gifts = aydisi krismas 2008!


i just finished shopping for my christmas gifts. this was my first ever christmas rush coz normally i'd have finished buying all presents before the 23rd. as planned, my budget for each presents went down to only 300 pesos per person; the most expensive were for ate joy's twins, ia & el, who'll get a pinoy version of monopoly. my "stormed out" (due to tita c's issues!) feet led me to artwork, where i got most of my presents, specifically for kuya bob, gerald, jel, inaanak jazmine, kuya george, kuya ato and ate virgie. i have lots of shirts from this store and i think their products are priced good. design-wise, theirs are also in tune.

my quick grub in pao tsin sm makati last night reminded me of how things turned out to be harder this year. there were 2 service crews also having a quick dinner and talking about how small their bonuses were for this year. the other guy said that he only got 2,000 pesos due to this absences, while the other one, got around 4,000 pesos because of "hirap ng buhay", as his manager puts it. but both of them were already thankful of what they got, the other one even insisting that he'd rather have just measly bonus instead of totally having none or worse gaving to spend christmas without a job. i felt silly at that point. i was blabbing all over town for missing out on added bonuses and having to wait for my 13th month pay up to 23rd, while others are already contented with what they have, considering how rough times are. with this thought in my mind, ms. marlene sent an apt piece, "a story of faith and hope in trying times".
blessed christmas to all.

The Music Coming from the House

When a disguised king visits a poor village, what he sees through the window of a house changes his life.

By Paulo Coelho, translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa

On Christmas Eve, the king invited the prime minister to join him for their usual walk together. He enjoyed seeing the decorations in the streets, but since he didn’t want his subjects to spend too much money on these just to please him, the two men always disguised themselves as traders from some far distant land.

They walked through the centre of the city, admiring the lights, the Christmas trees, the candles burning on the steps of the houses, the stalls selling gifts, and the men, women and children hurrying off to celebrate a family Christmas around a table laden with food.

On the way back, they passed through a poorer area, where the atmosphere was quite different. There were no lights, no candles, no delicious smells of food about to be served. There was hardly a soul in the street, and, as he did every year, the king remarked to the prime minister that he really must pay more attention to the poor in his kingdom. The prime minister nodded, knowing that the matter would soon be forgotten again, buried beneath the day-to-day bureaucracy of budgets to be approved and discussions with foreign dignitaries.

Suddenly, they heard music coming from one of the poorest houses. The hut was so ramshackle and the rotten wooden timbers so full of cracks, that they were able to peer through and see what was happening inside. And what they saw was utterly absurd: an old man in a wheelchair apparently crying, a shaven-headed young woman dancing, and a young man with sad eyes shaking a tambourine and singing a folk song.

"I’m going to find out what they’re up to," said the king.

He knocked. The music stopped, and the young man came to the door.

"We are merchants in search of a place to sleep. We heard the music, saw that you were still awake, and wondered if we could spend the night here."

"You can find shelter in a hotel in the city. We, alas, cannot help you. Despite the music, this house is full of sadness and suffering."

"And may we know why?"

"It’s all because of me." It was the old man in the wheelchair who spoke. "I’ve spent my life teaching my son calligraphy, so that he could one day get a job as a palace scribe. But the years have passed and no post has ever come up. And then, last night, I had a stupid dream: an angel appeared to me and asked me to buy a silver goblet because, the angel said, the king would be coming to visit me. He would drink from the goblet and give my son a job.

"The angel was so persuasive that I decided to do as he said. Since we have no money, my daughter-in-law went to the market this morning to sell her hair so that we could buy that goblet over there. The two of them are doing their best to get me in the Christmas spirit by singing and dancing, but it’s no use."

The king saw the silver goblet, asked to be given a little water to quench his thirst and, before leaving, said to the family:

‘Do you know, we were talking to the prime minister only today, and he told us that an opening for a palace scribe would be announced next week.’

The old man nodded, not really believing what he was hearing, and bade farewell to the strangers. The following morning, however, a royal proclamation was read out in all the city streets; a new scribe was needed at court. On the appointed day, the audience room at the palace was packed with people eager to compete for that much-sought-after post. The prime minister entered and asked everyone there to prepare their paper and pens:

‘Here is the subject of the composition: Why is an old man weeping, a shaven-headed woman dancing, and a sad young man singing?’

A murmur of disbelief went round the room. No one knew how to tell such a story, apart, that is, from the shabbily dressed young man sitting in one corner, who smiled broadly and began to write. Based on an Indian story.

Based on an Indian story.
Paulo Coelho is the best-selling author of 'The Alchemist,' 'The Zahir,' and the recent book, 'The Pilgrimage.'

Sunday, December 21, 2008


while we only had 1 family day for over a year, 2008 christmas dinner at sonya's sure made up for all those missed outings. kudos to the fammittee, i can safely say that all of us enjoyed a night of heavenly pampering + overflowing salad + hot brewed coffee, in one of my coldest nights in tagaytay city.

this year, the pinoy team was able to book a date much closer to christmas, thanks to zel! unlike previous years, we'd always have our dinner/party during the first week of december. amidst the chaos called predictions documents and on top of all ongoings, we left the office at around 2 pm. then of course, south superhighway's friday traffic was there, so we reached sonya's past 5 already.

i chose sonya's signature massage. and good choice i made! it was a perfect combo of different strokes: circular a la balinese, swedish & shiatsu's thumb and elbow pressure and the stretching and joints-focused strokes of thai massage. although i missed the very relaxing hot rice compress, i still enjoyed the whole massage. my masseur wasn't in a hurry (unlike steve's), there were no sudden touches or hand movements so my muscles did not tense. i was relaxed the whole time. aside from the whole ambience, the food was also good. like i've said, there was overflowing salad. then, we had pasta and fried chicken. after dinner, we headed to bag of beans (my first time there!). i sampled their signature kapeng barako. of course, it was a bit bitter to my liking (i always like my coffee sweeter than usual), but it was still a good one. then, we headed back to makati.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


sa wakas, nakasumpong din ako ng mahusay-husay na lugar kung saan ako maaaring manirahan pansamantala. nitong mga nakaraang araw, naaalarma na ako kung saan ko dadalhin ang sangkatutak na mga abubot sa lumang bahay na naipon sa mahigit 8 taong pagtigil namin sa macabulos. ngunit, inalihan pa rin ako ng buwenas at heto, may bahay na akong lilipatan.

sakripisyo. abut-abot na sakripisyo ang inabot ng katawan ko sa pag-iimpake ng lahat ng mga kagamitan. kailangang iimpake lahat ng gamit; tupiing maayos ang mga damit at ilagay sa mga bagahe, ayusin ang sangkaterbang babasahin, ihiwalay ang mga patapon at ihilera ang maari pang pakinabangan. at hindi roon nagtatapos... kailangang ibaba ang mga ito sa sala (harap ng telebisyon), nang sa gayon ay maiayos ang naglulumaking sofabed, maihanda ang lahat ng dadalhin para sa paglisan.

pagkatapos ng makabaling-gulugod na prosesong ito, sa tulong ni manong minyong, nakahanap ako ng mauupahang pampasaherong dyip na magkakarga ng lahat ng bagahe patungong san antonio village. siyempre, kailangan din ng mga taong magbubuhat ng mga ito! sa halagang 200, nakakuha rin kami ng 2 lalaking tagabuhat. sa kabuuan, 700 ang nagastos ko para lang maglipat ng mga gamit.

pagkaraang maipasok ang lahat ng gamit sa bago kong yunit, hila rito at tulak doon ang inatupag ko. ito ay upang isaayos naman ang magiging kaangkupan ng mga gamit na ito sa pahabang porma ng yunit. naokupa na halos ng sofabed ang kalahati ng yunit, kung kaya't kailangang maisalansang maayos ang iba pang mga gamit. wala pa rin akong bagong kabinet, kung kaya't lahat ng damit ko ay nasa mga bagahe pa. pero kahit na halos alas-onse na ng gabi, napakarami ko pa ring gamit na kundi nasa kahon pa ay naka-plastic pa rin. siguro, kailangan ko pa ng higit 1 linggo bago tuluyang maipirmi ang mga bagay-bagay.

bukod sa magastos ang paglipat ng bahay, sadyang nakauurat ang buong prosesong ito. sa araw ko lamang na ito naramdaman na tila nais nang humiwalay ng gawing ibaba ng likuran ko mula sa aking pinakakatawan, dahil sa buong araw na pagtuwad at pagsasaayos ng mga gamit. nagkaroon tuloy ako ng bagong paghanga sa mga kargador dahil sa kanilang sipag at tiyaga, dedikasyon sa nakapapagal na trabahong ito. dahil sa kapal ng alikabok, nangangati rin tuloy ang leeg ko. di kasi masyadong madalas ang paglilinis namin sa macabulos, kung kaya naman ganoon na lamang ang bangis ng mga alikabok na ito. di pa ito ang wakas ng sagang ito. napakarami pang kailangang bilhin upang maging ganap ang pagtigil ko sa bahay na ito. ilan dito ay gasul, mineral water, tabagan ng mga sabon at kung anu-ano pa. matapos ko kaya ito? uunahin ko pa ang pamimili ng mga regalo! at siyempre, kailangan ko ring masanay sa bagong pamayanang aking gagalawan, makahanap ng mura-murang kainan, sumakay muli ng traysikel araw-araw... dami pa!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


it now can be said: showbizjuice tsimis was indeed true... jc is the first pinoy sole survivor, hehehehe! for me, the series was well-handled, except for the leakage from the now a very reliable insider source. even if the series was posting some really high ratings, the "powers that be" did not cash in on the show's popularity to do an overkill. while the text voting introduced last thursday was kinda off (coz it reminded me of abs-cbn's reality tv style), i think the excitement was maintained up until thursday's episode. this "jury strikes back" episode somewhat gave me a feeling that the castoffs were conditioned to grill the 2 remaining castaways ala pinoy big brother. it could have been more exciting if charisse and jc were the final 2 coz we might see a naak vs. jarakay vote split. plus, it was already a given that rob won't win against jc coz of the "ampaw" issue. anyway, i think jc deserves it coz he gave his 100 % to each and every challenge, be it reward or immunity.

when will the season 2 be shown? i hope that gma has already learned their lesson - put a strict gag order to all staff involved in the series. coz although the leakage has somewhat helped in upping the publicity, it'll definitely lessen the impact of the supposedly suprising ending.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


labinlimang araw pa bago mag-pasko, pero pinadalhan na ako ni tita c ng xmas card! at swak na swak ang kanyang mensahe dahil wala pa ring pinal na balita kung saan ako lilipat! sana meron na bukas... nang makapagsimula na ako ng pag-iimpake ng lahat ng kalat na naipon sa loob ng 8 taong pagtira sa macabulos.

salamat, cath! (",)


according to msn.com, yellow is 2009's color. although it's a common knowledge that every new year is a year associated with each of the 12 animals in the chinese lunar calendar, i didn't know that there's such a thing as color of the year. with yellow as the major hue in 2009, does that mean people will become more jealous of each other next year, especially as the full effect of the global economic crunch is expected to be felt in 2009? since it is the color associated with the thai royalty, there might be an even bigger increase of people wearing yellow during mondays in all of thailand. moreover, will 2009 be a banner year for the yellow race? will sensational journalism still hound the global stage? i don't know. for now, what's important is that i see yellow lights, together with other christmas lights. pasko na!

What color is next new year? Yellow, according to the color authorities at Pantone, who just named "mimosa" the official hue of 2009. Yellow, they say, is "connected to warmth, sunshine and cheer." Who doesn't need that? But yellow has other associations, too, like hope. And jealousy. Hope has long inspired people to wear yellow ribbons (and tie them around trees or put these on their cars) during times of war. The yellow ribbon originally acted as a sign to young men returning home that their fiancées and girlfriends were still theirs.

Jealousy: Once upon a time, roses were either red or pink. In the 19th century, yellow ones were discovered growing in the Middle East. Originally, yellow roses were a symbol of dying love or jealousy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


n'ung nakaraang taon, pakiramdam ko mayaman ako. maraming bonus. tumaas ang sahod ko dahil sa pag-angat ng posisyon. maraming lakbay ang ginawa namin. at wala akong utang. kaya naman, di pa nangangalahati ang disyembre, halos kumpleto na ang listahan ko. at dahil din sa pakiramdam kong marami akong pera, abut-abot ang taas ng halaga ng regalo ko sa bawat isa sa aming pamilya. havaianas para sa mga ate ko, pantalon sa ilang pamangkin at kapatid, pitaka at kung anu-ano pa.

2008. krisis. walang umento sa sahod. walang bonus maliban sa nasa batas na 13th month pay. sabi ng kalendaryo ng mga intsik, masuwerte raw ang bilang 8. pero hindi ito naramdaman n'ung 2008, lalo na ng huling semestre. kaya naman, hanggang ngayon, ni wala pa akong regalong nabibili... maliban sa mga maliliit na bagay para sa aking mga ka-aydisi. nag-divisoria kasi kami ni liezl nitong nakaraang linggo, kung kaya't nakapulot na ako ng maaaring ibigay sa mga katrabaho ko.

dahil sa krisis, bababa rin ang badyet ko para sa regalo ngayong taon. tapat na ang halagang 300 para sa bawat isa. di maaaring lumagpas dito, kundi kakapusin sigurado. kailangan na lamang na siguraduhing swak ang bawat regalo sa bawat isa. bagamat "it's the thought that counts", pakiramdam ko nararapat pa ring pag-aksayahan ng oras ang pagpili ng bawat regalo. sa gayon, maging mas matimbang ang medyo "mumurahin" kong mga regalo sa taong ito. eniwey, ang pasko naman ay hindi pinagdiriwang dahil sa kung ano mga nasyaping mo o hindi. kundi sa pagsasama-sama ng pamilya, lalo't higit sa panahong kailangang mamaluktot ng todo. haaay, pasko 2008! (",)

Sunday, December 7, 2008


hanggang ngayon, wala pa rin akong lilipatan. sa a-kinse, dapat nakalisan na kami sa macabulos dahil hanggang doon na lang ang upa namin. kundi ako makahahanap ng bahay sa loob ng linggong ito, pipili na lamang ako sa mga bagay na ito:

- umuwi sa novaliches at kabakahin ang araw-araw na biyahe mula bayan patungong istasyon ng mrt sa north ave., at makipagsiksikan sa mrt!
- makituloy muna sa isang room for rent na malapit sa kasalukuyan kong bahay
- bayaran ang kabuuan ng upa sa macabulos
- maghintay ng bagong makakasama sa bahay na maaaring umupa sa kabilang kuwarto.-
- subukan pa ring humanap ng bagong bahay.

hay naku! sadya nga yatang masuwerte ang bahay na 'yun sa lahat ng mga tumira d'un. si sandra, nasa amerika na; si chukie ay nasa vietnam; si shawie ay nasa dubai; si princess ay nasa saudi; si charmie at ako ay nandito pa rin sa pilipinas ok naman ang mga karera; at ngayon si farrah naman ay aalis na patungong dubai.

'tapos ng mahigit 8 taon, kailangan ko nang lumipat. kung biniyayaan lamang ako ng ibayong laki ng sahod, makakakuha ako ng mga yunit na singganda ng mga nasa baba, pero dahil sa kailangan ko ring isipin ang mga bagay-bagay tulad ng pag-iimpok, kailangang maging masinop sa pagpili. may napuntahan pa nga ako sa batangas st., pio del pilar, nasa limang libo na pero napakaliit ng yunit na 'yun! meron namang tig-7 libo at nasa ikaanim na palapag pero parang di ok ang pakiramdam ko sa lugar. kaya 'wag na 'yun.

haaaaayyyyy... makahanap na sana ako!

Friday, December 5, 2008


malimit na sahog ang tema ng pagpanaw sa mga pelikulang pinoy. ngunit ang paghalaw dito ay lagi lamang palabok sa pagtalakay ng pag-iibigang masalimuot o di kaya'y katatakutang sa mga kakatwang pelikula. maliban sa pahiram ng isang umaga ni ate vi, itong 100 ang isa sa mga huling pelikulang uminog sa kamatayan. direkta nitong inilahad ang istorya ng isang babaing sa gitna ng kanyang matagumpay na karera ay dinapuan ng kanser at may halos 3 buwan na lang itatagal sa mundong ibabaw.

bago ang talakay ng pelikula, walang mga pang-soap operang matitinding iyakan. malimit ang mga nakatatawang hirit mula sa mahusay na si eugene domingo. ang kemistri sa pagitan ni eugene at mylene dizon ang isa sa mga bagay na nagdala ng pelikula. bagamat uminog na lamang sa mga post-it ang nalalabing buhay ni joyce, pinilit niyang gawin ang mga nararapat, ang mga hilig ng katawan, ang mga di pa nagagawa tulad ng paliligo ng hubo't hubad sa dagat at pagkain ng sangkatutak na sorbetes at krispi pata. maging ang balikan ang lipas ng pag-ibig ay sinubukang gawin ni joyce, pero may isa pa palang sorpresa ang buhay sa kanya, pari na ang kanyang unang lalaking minahal!

matagumpay ang 100 sa paglalarawan ng kontemporaryong mga karakter: si joyce ay tipikal na yuppie, nagyoyosi, may masalimuot na lablayf. si ruby na di kagandahan ay nakapangasawa ng isang 'kano, tipikal ding nangyayari sa ngayon at nagiging tampulan ng tukso dahil sa kanilang pagiging "exotic". dahil sa direktang lapit ng pelikula, maaaring di malugod ang karamihan sa pinoy na manonood, pero ang tuwirang personal na karanasan ng bida ay makapupukaw ng damdamin na muling suriin ang bawat balakin sa buhay dahil maikli nga lamang ito at maaaring huli na ang lahat bago mo malirip ang tunay na dahilan ng iyong paglagi sa mundo.

maayos ang kabuuan ng pelikula, kaya nga siguro nanalo ito ng maraming parangal. pero kailangan pa ring tutukan ang teknikal na aspeto. maraming eksenang madilim, lalo na ang mga eksena sa hong kong. kulang ang pag-iilaw, marahil dahil sa maliit na badyet. madalas sa mga aspetong teknikal pumapalya ang mga pelikulang indie at hindi ito naiwasan ng 100. medyo mahaba rin ang pelikula, mas maigi siguro kung iniklian ang mga piling eksena.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


apat na puntos kung paanong mapananatili ng isang empleyado ang kanyang trabaho sa gitna ng malawakang paghina ng pandaigdigang ekonomiya ang inilatag ng may-akda ng artikulo sa ibaba. sa mas simpleng salita, heto raw ang dapat gawin ng bawat isa...

be visible - umepal ka.
be easy - 'wag masyadong magreklamo.
be useful - pabanguhin ang 'yong pangalan sa pamamagitan ng ibayong pag-epal pa.
be ready - ayusin ang lagom mo at palawakin ang sariling lambat-empleyo.

sapat na nga kaya ang mga puntos na 'to para di ka mawalan ng trabaho? paano kung di umepekto ang pagpapabango ng pangalan at pag-epal? dapat siguro bumili ang bawat isa ng anting-anting na magtataboy sa kamalasan at mang-aakit ng suwerte. hehehe!

Bulletproof Your Job: 4 Ways to Stay Employed
By Patrick Erwin, CareerBuilder.com writer

Recent news about the economy and the job market hasn't been encouraging. Companies are taking a much closer look at their operating expenses, especially their payrolls.

Writer Stephen Viscusi asserts that in this atmosphere, "You must understand that your job is your most valuable asset -- and your primary objective is to protect it."

That's just part of the advice he outlines in his book "Bulletproof Your Job: 4 Simple Strategies to Ride Out the Rough Times and Come Out on Top at Work."

Viscusi's book discusses tactics for being visible, easy, useful and ready in order to keep one's job.

Be visible
In terms of bulletproofing your job, one of the biggest priorities is to be a visible part of the team. "The invisible guy is the first to go," Viscusi observes. "What you need to do is create a perception that makes you more visible, more notable and ultimately more valuable to your company."

Viscusi has several ideas on how "invisible" employees can increase their visibility:

- Arrive early and stay late. Let your boss see your commitment to work, rather than your clock-watching abilities.

- Pay attention to your apparel and your appearance. Make sure your office attire is appropriate. Take note of everything from your hair to your shoes, because everyone else in the office (including your boss) will.

- Develop an eye for the small details.

- Listen up and, when appropriate, speak up. Introduce yourself. Prepare your 30-second personal pitch, or "elevator pitch," that explains who you are and what you're all about.

- Introduce yourself with eye contact and a strong handshake -- a personal, warm greeting that Viscusi calls the "Viagra handshake."

Be easy
Being an "easy" employee doesn't mean you need to be a passive nodding machine who does your manager's bidding. What Viscusi is suggesting is that employees be easy to communicate and interact with.

Workers can take the "easy" way by keeping these ideas in mind:

- Don't gripe, especially if the issue is inconsequential. If there is a serious challenge, communicate without complaining. Stay clear of personal gossip about co-workers and managers.

- Watch what you say and how you say it at work. Neutral language doesn't matter if it's delivered with a sarcastic tone.

- Avoid obvious touchy subjects (race, sex and religion) as well as the not-so-obvious (your salary). If you do talk with co-workers, Viscusi says "Discuss, don't argue."

Be useful
Every employee is expected to be useful, but as Viscusi notes, "You have to actively look for ways to do more." Exceeding expectations sometimes requires an investment of time and effort, but just as often you can impress the boss with creativity and efficiency.

Viscusi recommends these approaches to be "Mr. or Mrs. Above-and-Beyond" at work:

- Find ways to be a mentor at work. You can reach out to new workers, as well as share your knowledge with executives and CEOs. (They'll remember you for it.)

- Be a "utility player" -- the multifaceted worker whom the "coach" (your boss) can pull off the bench and put in the game when another worker is injured (or quits without notice).

- At the same time, cultivate a role as a specialist on the job (or in some of the tasks that you perform).

- Add dollar value to the company by keeping customers happy and minimizing expenses.

Be ready
Viscusi suggests that being prepared for any outcome instills an air of confidence and calm that looks good on you. "When you're ready for anything," he says, "you behave with a certainty that you'll succeed when all is well and land on your feet if you hit a bump in the road."

Viscusi suggests that workers can make these preparations:

- Have money in the bank.

- Keep your résumé current and establish a relationship with a recruiter in your field.

- Establish and enhance your network.

- Be a part of professional organizations and reach out to help the contacts in your professional circles.

- If possible, publish articles or make presentations on your specialized subject matter.

- Be aware of what your peers are doing.

- Avoid getting stuck in a rut. Continue your education, and strive to learn new skills at work.

Though Viscusi warns against indulging in personal gossip, "Company gossip is gold and can help you bulletproof your job." You can set alerts on Web sites like Technorati and Google with your company's name. He also suggests setting a Google alert with your boss's name (though these should be sent to your personal e-mail accounts).

And while you're busy building your professional networks online, see if your boss and co-workers have a profile. You can stay on top of what's happening with them, and stay informed if there are any problems or issues happening that might affect you at work.

Patrick Erwin is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com. He researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.