Saturday, November 30, 2013
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Z went ahead and I have to follow a day after his departure. I booked a flight via Philippine Airlines as they appeared to be cheaper than Cebu Pacific sans the occasional promos. I was looking for a cheap flight deals but unlucky. I should have known that Z would be travelling to Bangkok months ahead so that I could have saved money by looking for online promos, but I have moved on. The round-trip ticket to Bangkok on a regular economy flight via PAL costs USD211 or around Php 11,000.
Because of that I decided to look for a budget hotel courtesy of the ever-reliable Agoda Online Booking. Agoda, for the past two years, has helped me find the best and cheapest way to stay in my country of destination. I booked a USD25 / Night Stay in Justbeds hotel for 2 Nights located near the Silom Road in Bangkok. Yes, its near to Patpong, but please there is more to Bangkok than these infamous red district spots.
Now let's get started, let me say I was lucky to stay in Millennium Hilton Hotel for just one night.
Now moving on, our first itinerary is the Chinatown Market/Yaowarat Market. If you think Thailand is yet another country with a huge Chinese population, yes you are certainly right. Chinatown is home to hundreds of amazing cheap finds and numerous street foods.
|Hey, Tuk Tuk everywhere. In the Philippines, we call this tricycle. Why don't we call our own tuk-tuk with a name that sounds so Filipino, just like them?|
Vietnam style noodles with basil leaves and bean sprouts. Basil leaves were a surplus and Z stole lots of it. Hehehe.
Bangkok also at river transport system but the current of the river was so scary so I didn't bother trying their ferries. It looks convenient and picturesque though.
The next day was a Sunday and we endeavored to find a Catholic church in a Buddhist nation. The Assumption Cathedral is situated in the heart of Bangkok and very near the Silom road where we stayed. But unfortunately (and understandbly), the mass was in Thai and we have to leave after saying a minute of prayer to thank God for our safe and fun trip to Bangkok.
Never-ending street food finds. This time we saw a Thai-version of our very own 'Penoy'. The taste was entirely the same, the only difference is we put salt here in Philippines while Thai put vinegar loaded with chilis.
Saturday, September 21, 2013
I wonder how is this going to impact the nation's obsession towards the Reproductive Health Bill (RH Bill) with the Philippine Catholic church being in the forefront of the defense against the approval of the controversial bill. The CBCP is probably scratching their heads right now and thinking how they are going to attack the issue with their head going against the grain this time. But one thing is for sure, Pope Francis clearly made a decisive action of changing how non-Catholics view the once hegemonic and antiquated religious domination. For once, many are seeing a window for reforms for the ailing institution.
But personally, for me the greatest war the Catholic church should focus right now is the decreasing population of its flock, second would be the failure to address the negative criticism towards the clergy and the institution itself, and lastly, the failure to evolve vis-a-vis the ever-changing socio-political landscape.
The rise of disagreeing believers and their shift towards the more upbeat and contemporary denominations is probably not hurting the Catholic church that much, but if left unseen, would definitely hurt further the already bleeding core of its spiritual foundation. The rise of Christian Fellowships are more appealing to the young and the skeptics/liberals. Tired Catholics who are probably bummed by its antiquated dogmas and long sermons are easily swayed by the more modern VCF (Victory Christian Fellowship) and CCF (Christ Commission Fellowship) which harness the power of social media and youth as a community empowerment as their unique value proposition.
I have to admit these groups are winning this side of war and the Catholic church must turn their blind eye towards this minor burn. These fellowships have found the weaknesses of the church who has been for thousands of years became one of the most dominant forces in the world - spiritual evangelization, the rationale of sainthood, the idolism.
For the next succeeding engagement with the press, I am hoping that the Pope would devote his time to shift his gear towards retaining the remaining faithfuls. It is high time for the high priest to center the faith once again, ultimately to Jesus Christ. It must once again evangelize its flock and reignite the waning spirit, the true meaning of salvation and explain the role of saints in their faith. It's too early to tell whether Pope Francis is going to turn more tables in the upcoming months of his leadership, but one thing is for sure, the Catholic church is now engaging to to the world, in an effort to promote transparency in its governance and hierarchy, to address the heated debated of sexual abuse and corruption, and under the helm of Pope Francis, it has a lot of explaining to do.
And with the Pope being more open to the press and the public, it is yet another clear impression of a shifting mood that will definitely resonate around the corners of its cathedrals and around the world.
I wonder what's next with the CBCP. We have our own set of problems to deal with in the first place.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Stunt to watch out for - Bow and Arrow (0:42) and Scorpion (0:51) Triple Jump Combination (1:04)
Beware: Quadruple Fulls Orgasm
3. All Out War by California All Stars
Watch out for: Everything: Arabesque, Cobra, Scorpion, Toe Touch Bask, Power Jump. The Extensions, Transitions and Precision - Oh lalala
Looking forward to see more of these stunts next year. As mentioned, only NU this year has achieved most of these stuff, UP came close and DLSU. Deserving top three I must say. Congrats NU! From a bleeding Thomasian.
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Twitter announces IPO plans, on Twitter (via AFP)
|Source: GMA News (http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/326487/opinion/a-visual-evolution-of-the-pork-barrel)|
I love Blackberry. Before turning my eye on iPhone I was a huge Blackberry fan, and remains so until now. It is true that an individual's preference of a smartphone is dependent on its inherent character and personality. My relationship with Blackberry is loyal and honest - the tic-tac sound of the keyboard, the speed to text, the easiness of navigation, the discreet notifications, the multi-colored blinking lights, all of these features made Blackberry my preferred smartphone over the year. That was the era when I preferred productivity over style. As a salesman and a heavy communicator, I have to rely on the speed of my phone. I can't afford to make a mistake on my typing, a single stroke of error is tantamount to a lost of sale. Therefore during the years that I was working so hard, I can't put my hands off my beloved BB.
And then the beauty of iPhone's display swept me off my feet. I have seen's Samsung Galaxy S2s AMOLED display and it was awesome. But I felt it was a little too saturated, a bit yellowish/greenish. As compared to iPhone's natural contrast and brightness, it was just pleasant to the eye. But even if I got an iPhone, I still use my beloved BB 9360 as my main workphone. iPhone cannot replace BB on this particular field.
Android is great in the area of customization. It understand the character of its target market. They are the rebel, the young and adventurous. Their operating system is tailor-fitted to people who loves to do more and expect more. Therefore they decided to push the envelope further.
Samsung and any other Android OS smartphones such as HTC, Sony, LG are winning more users as they know that Android is more open and adaptive. They know that consumers love to see more drama, they love to see things get bigger, faster, better. There is no room for less improvement. Consumers are becoming more demanding and the evolution of technology is fast-paced. On this particular area, Samsung is getting more raves and applause. They know that Samsung is harnessing Android's strength to its full potential.
It is evident in the recent market surveys that iOS is losing more of its base and their market share continues to goes down, while Windows and Android are both gaining strength. Critics are bashing Apple over its recent performance during the September 10 unveiling. It was lack-luster, many were saying it was disappointing and boring. They said they were missing Steve Jobs' magic. iPhone 5S and 5C were expected even before the opening of the event and many people were hoping they would see more or they were looking for more surprise. But Tim Cook quickly ushered them to the demo room to see the iPhone 5S and 5C in action.
But iPhone knows that their money is on iOS reliability. They know that critics would bash them because they expect iPhone to be more revolutionary than ever. I don't think Apple is turning a blind eye on this sentiment. I know that Apple is intelligent enough to keep some magic under their sleeves. They knew that making iPhone bigger in terms of size is not going to increase their market share. They know that the right thing to do now is change the the way their OS works. The unveiling of iOS 7 for me is more than enough. A lot of critics were probably bored to see the usual icons, the slide to unlock, and the notification bars. And the revamped interface of iOS 7 is aimed to addressed that. The renewed spirit of iPhone is incarnated through Jonthan Ive's vision. They knew that changing the look and feel of the operating system is what Apple badly need right now. They have to attract new customers and at the same time, retain their current base who are easily swayed by their competitors fast-changing environment.
Apple is not going to rest on its laurels. I know that the Cupertino company is anchored on the vision that to be successful in this market is to be sustainable and they should keep the strength of their ecosystem at place and continue to rely on its marketing and logistics expertise.
Saturday, July 20, 2013
Why Would Apple Produce a Cheap iPhone? (via slashdot)
Thursday, April 25, 2013
GADGET DESIGNER Apple posted its first fall in profits in a decade on Tuesday, despite record iPhone and iPad sales. Apple's second quarter earnings call was widely touted as the biggest call of Tim Cook's career, but things weren't quite as bad as analysts had expected. The firm posted record revenues…
Sunday, April 21, 2013
BB cream is promoted as an all-in-one facial cosmetic product to replace serum, moisturizer, primer, foundation, and sunblock. It can be worn alone as a tinted moisturizer, over serum and moisturizer as a regular foundation, and under powder, depending on the desired amount of coverage. (Source: Wikipedia)
It can probably be the contemporary version of liquid foundation, but it transcends its original purpose by being marketed as an all-around skin care product/cosmetic. BB Creams come in various shade that matches various skin tones and it contain different levels of SPF that protect the skin from the harmful UV-rays.
I started using BB Cream a year ago when it was introduced to me by a dear friend. For so many years, I have been using Pore Minimizing creams (Nyx Pore Filler as my favorite and Loreal Base Magique) because I have an oily skin. I have tried a lot of products to control the excess oil in my face but without luck. For so many years, I am in a quest to find the best product to compliment my skin. Until I found this pretty little thing from The Face Shop.
The Face Shop's Clean Face Series is probably the best line of defense for oily skin and store specialists are branding it as the ideal BB Cream for Men. It's oil-free and it is best suited for almost all kinds of skin types. There is just one shade but don't fret, the tone is not very light and it compliments any kinds of skin tone as day goes by. It also provides a matte finish when applied and it won't give you a shiny look when you go outside. Make sure to apply it very well and your face is cleaned and toned.
The best thing about this product is it also controls the emergence of pimples. I don't know if that is an inherent feature of the product, but I observed that it has significantly reduced the emergence of pimples while using it for more than two weeks already. I might be wrong, as we have different skin types, but this one is really worth a try. It also has this pleasant smell by the way. (Beware of fake products, I've seen some versions in tiangges around the Metro that sells the same stuff at a super reduced price! But please smell the original product first. You will really know the difference and the shade is too light as compared to the original).
Go try it out. It costs around Php 700 + in The Face Shop store near you.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
The Philippine government appealed on Thursday for the public to help raise almost $1 million needed to save a Filipino from execution in Saudi Arabia. Labourer Joselito Zapanta was due to be executed in June for murdering his landlord but Saudi authorities extended the deadline until November 3 to…
Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, suspected of bombing the Boston marathon, appear to hail from Russia's war-torn Chechnya but had been in the United States for several years. The North Caucasus region of Chechnya has been ravaged by two back-to-back wars since 1994 between Russia's army and increasingly…
Janine needs a good a PR plan to counter this issue. The entire interview caused too much negative publicity on her as it made her look as though she was the 'itchy whore' and the 'holier-than-thou liar'. Thanks to her December interview with PEP professing her undying loyalty to her boyfriend, debunking all future possibilities of her liking other people that she will meet because they put God on the center of her relationship. And I do agree on her latest tweet which appears to be her direct response to the barrage of tweets - 'Don't Make Assumptions Please'.
Andrew Tan Claims No. 1 Spot, Did Kim Henares Made A Mistake On The List of Top Taxpayer?
For a moment we heralded the Presidential sister for her surprising news - she is the country's number one taxpayer. She even trampled some of the nation's wealthiest. Certainly the news does give her a little bit of a boost after the James Yap fiasco, but recently, Megaworld founder rained on Kris' parade by claiming he paid more than Php 60 Million personal taxes for 2011 - Php 11 Million more than Kris. But Kim Henares was quick to retort.
"If you are being paid a salary and there's only one company paying the salary and it is withheld and the withholding is correct, then you don't have to file an ITR. You might be earning more that the top person on the list but because it is withheld properly and you did not file an ITR, so you're not there,"
No rematch for Pacquiao-Marquez. Marquez to fight infamous Bradley.
Much to the dismay of Manny's legion of fans, Juan Manuel Marquez decided to move forward by fighting Timothy Bradley instead of the 'Pambansang Kamao'. Marquez claimed Bradley as the 'better option' and he is gunning for the title of being the 'five-division title champion'.
PDI Puts Meme Photos in Frontpage. Major Facepalm.
The title of being one of the world's most influential people is a relief for PNoy, but the nation's number one broadsheet put PNoy in a shameful limelight by using an online meme of the supposed Time 100 Most Influential Cover. It doesn't take a Picasso to determine whether a Time cover is legit or not. Bad editorial or just plain stupid?
Smart LTE Goes Prepaid
Not to be outdone, Smart decided have their LTE Live for Prepaid users.
One major question: Is there a bandwidth cap? Let's hope not.
|Still very expensive though. The Plug-it USB Stick costs 5-times more than the standard 3G/HSPA USB Stick.|
Social Media can be very harsh and it is not for the faintest of heart. But it is also not for the bullies and narrow-minded.
Charice underwent series of style changes and her fans were split on their acceptance. Her hardcore fans loved her new look and defended her from all the bashers and the barrage of hate tweets she gets online. While some of her fans showed dismay over her new look. She started to drew flak when she sported a blonde hair on her stint as a judge in the Philippine franchise of X-Factor. Some even funnily compared her curled blonde hair to the infamous 'Lucky Me' Pancit Canton.
How sad it is to see how some of us can be very judgmental to others. I have nothing to say negative about her. If she likes to look androgynous and wants to be edgy, so be it! Let her be. She is a talented lady and we have seen her inspired us years ago when she performed alongside Celine Dion, Oprah and Ellen DeGeneres, a peat not anyone could achieve no matter how beautiful they are.
Charice is entering a phase where she wanted to experiment, she wants to try new things. Just like any other typical young adult who would like to identify him/herself to someone he/she looks up to. Chopping her hair wouldn't make her less talented.
I laud Charice for her demeanour to brush these issues off instead of fighting fire with fire. I believe she could withstand this and I do hope she would get the best advice from the right people. She is young and talented and she deserves more than this kind of treatment.
Social Media can be very harsh and it has catapulted a lot of people to fame and it has also elevated a lot of people to the hall of shame. Think before we click. Access to internet doesn't give us a free pass to ruin the life of other people. Whatever happened to respect and compassion to other people, I really didn't know. There is so much hatred in this world right now. Why not try love at least for a test drive?
Friday, April 19, 2013
The Boston Marathon bombing is probably the most unlikely event where a terrorist activity could be potentially held. It was unexpected and the damages to innocent lives and properties where incomprehensible.
But true to American spirit of heroism and bravery, we have seen another testament to their amazing courage by vowing to put the culprits to justice instead of doing the blame game first.
I have been amazed by the swift resolve of the deadly attacks and I felt compelled to make an appeal to Philippine police to take a look at American police as an institution revered by their citizens and emulate them at least.
Everyday every common Filipino lives in fear, even the wealthiest. They fear for their lives, not only from terrorist attacks, but from petty crimes. Whenever we roam the streets of Manila, we put our backpacks on our front (ironic right?) because we know for certain that there are pickpockets lurking around, preying around, waiting for a vulnerable victim to be robbed. We cannot leave our bags or laptops in any coffee shops, restaurants or even in churches, even for a few seconds, because we follow the five-second rule of robbery. There are lots of mad people out there. When the night strikes, the Filipinos are no longer afraid of aswangs but of mad people who are under the influence of any evil substance and has the potential to kill, harass or agitate us peaceful people.
And the apprehension of the culprits are even more frightening, exhausting and disgusting. We are proud to have the most comprehensive and well-written constitution but the delivery of justice has no teeth at all.
I listed down the Top 5 Things Filipinos and PNP Should Learn from Boston.
1. Cartoon Sketches of suspects are no longer cool - I hope our justice system would not entirely rely on poorly drawn photos of suspects. CCTV is the new way of getting new leads. Though some CCTV may render poor resolution, at least it has the accuracy to direct the investigators to a more reliable surveillance tool.
2. Speed to Response. Be guided by a lead time of response. Prove to us the misconception that police always come late. Crimes and threats like this don't happen everyday. So you pretty much have a lot of idle days. The reason why most of them are healthy is because they devote more time on their cars idly parked in scattered areas, instead of roaming around and patrolling their assigned areas.
3. We should give the PNP a confidence boost. Our PNP may be flawed but at it remains to be our sole protector and defender of justice. What we saw in the US is an overwhelming support of its citizens to the institution. They believe in the institution. Our PNP may be accused of corruption and incompetence but that doesn't give us reasons to not fully trust them at all. One way or another, our PNP is still committed to deliver justice and ensure safety. What they need now is support not only from the government but also from us.
4. To Pnoy. That next to education, infrastructure and economy, he must focus on putting more efforts in upgrading our security and justice institutions. It's a domino effect, upgrade the system, reward and incentivize, modernize the system, align the salary. The system must see an effort from the government. Police requires adequate patrol cars and mobiles to take them to various areas. We cannot blame them for their laxity always. They need some support system too, you know?!
5. Use all available channels and new resources. Embrace modern technology. Crimes cannot be prevented all the times, but that won't stop us investing for a decent if not sophisticated surveillance technologies and other investigative tools.
I dreamed a day when we will respect this institution that risks their life for the safety and security of its people.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Just a few months after the much heated debates and deliberations on this controversial bill, another bill has been passed in an attempt to protect the rights of our dearest kasambahay or household helper.
As most of us could not fully digest the entirety of each law, I find it important to give you a quick snapshot of how this bill would impact your current relationship with your 'kasambahay'.
I find this very important not only because we have recently lost a 'kasambahay' but also because every Filipino household with a kasambahay on their roof should know the provisions for them to be guided on their specific rights as stated in the constitution.
- Be 15 years old and above
- Comply with the pre-employment requirements of the employer
- Be paid a minimum wage of not less than the following:
- For NCR - Php 2,500/month
- For Chartered Cities and First Class Municipalities - Php 2,000/month
- For other municipalities - Php 1,500/month
- Prepare the employment contract and provide a copy to the domestic worker.
- Provide for the basic necessities (e.g. safe and humane sleeping arrangements, three adequate meals a day, etc.)
- Register the domestic worker to the barangay´s Registry of Domestic Workers
- Shoulder the SSS, Philhealth and Pagibig contributions of the domestic worker
- Guarantee the privacy, access to outside communication and right to education and training for the domestic worker
- A daily rest period of eight (8) hours
- A weekly rest period of twenty four (24) consecutive hours
- Service Incentive Leave of five days (5) after one year of service
- All SSS, Philhealth and Pagibig benefits after one (1) month of service
- Employment Certification upon separation from the employer
Sunday, April 14, 2013
The Hunger Games is a 2008 science fiction novel by American writer Suzanne Collins and has been a blockbuster hit in the silver screen last March 2012 which has grossed over $400 Million.
The sequel - Catching Fire is set to be released on November 22, 2012 and it is directed by Francis Lawrence.
Below is the first look on the film which was unveiled during the recently concluded MTV Movie Awards.
I am not in the mood to discuss the racy images in the music video, I am not a feminist, so let's just discuss that on another topic. Personally, I love this beat better than Gangnam Style. 'Gentleman' is more upbeat, current, flamboyant and infectious.
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Though no longer in Tagaytay, one who wishes to visit a church should not miss going to the church of Caleruega. The famous church, who also instantly became the top choice of wedding planners in the metro because of it's perfect location, weather and ambiance.
Located at Baranggay Kaylaway in Batulao, Nasugbu Batangas. From the official website: Caleruega was inaugurated on August 6, 1995 as a retreat center of the Province in Nasugbu, Batangas. It was named after the birthplace of St. Dominic de Guzman. During the 2012 Provincial Chapter held at Our Lady of the Rosary Convent, Manaoag, Pangasinan, it was petitioned to the Master of the Order to establish the community in Caleruega as a formal house.
How to get there: By Private Transportation Upon reaching Tagaytay (whether via SLEX - Sta. Rosa Exit) or the long route of Coastal - Bacoor - Imus - Dasma - Tagaytay Rotonda, Go straight and continue traversing the road until you reach the Nasugbu Arch. You will pass Alfonso, Sonya's Garden, Splendido. Turn left (you will see Evercrest) and look for the Chapel on the Hill Don Bosco. You may want to stay there and check it out for a little bit before heading directly to Caleruega. Once done, go straight until you see the sign-board Caleruega. Turn right and continue traversing the road until you reach the Caleruega. Public Transport to Caleruega Well you can ride a bus bearing the Nasugbu route and you can get off at the Nasugbu Arch and ride a tricycle going to Caleruega. If Nasugbu bus is not around, you can ride bus up to Tagaytay or Pala-Pala Dasma. You can ride a Nasugbu Bus once you reach Olivarez Terminal in Tagaytay and in Robinson's Pala-Pala in Dasma.