Thursday, April 25, 2013

Apple sees profits fall despite record iPhone and iPad sales

Apple sees profits fall despite record iPhone and iPad sales (via The Inquirer)

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

Finally, A BB Cream For Oily Skin and for Men

You might be wondering what BB Cream is before pondering on reading this post. Most of BB Cream users probably don't know that the term BB actually stands for something - Blemish Base or Blemish Balm and according to Wikipedia, it is more commonly sold in Southeast Asia.

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

Philippines asks for money to save convict in Saudi

Philippines asks for money to save convict in Saudi (via AFP)

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…

The Tsarnaev brothers: suspected Boston bombers (via AFP)

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…

This Week In Digest

Janine Tugonon Appeals 'Don't Make Assumptions Please'
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.

The Evolution of Charice And Why Social Media Can Be Very Hurtful

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

Top 5 Things We Should Learn From The Boston Police

It was probably the darkest day in recent months in the US since the horrific mass shootings in Connecticut and Colorado. With three dead and over a hundred wounded in a deadly bombing in Boston, America suffered another major security flaw despite having a sophisticated security and surveillance machinery developed after the 9-11 attacks.

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

Kasambahay Law in a Nutshell

After the recent passing of RH Bill, the Filipino people surprisingly suddenly became more participatory in political affairs. With the advent of social media, the discourse on whether a new provision would be favorable or not has been more resounding and manic as compared to the past decades where people seems to be voiceless and passive.

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.

Circular 2013-008

Who is a Domestic Worker?
A Domestic Worker or Kasambahay refers to any person engaged in domestic work within an employment relationship, e.g. yaya, househelp, cook, laundry person, house boy, etc.
A kasambahay must: 
  • 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
An employer must:
  • 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 kasambahay is entitled to:
  • 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

Hunger Games Sequel 'Catching Fire' Releases Sneak Peek

Hunger Games fans have reason to celebrate as the worldwide hit series has released the newest trailer for its November sequel.

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.

PSY Releases New Single: Official Video

I wonder how it feels when your second single has reached more than 10 Million in less than 24-hours. As of this writing, the infamous Korean pop superstar PSY second hit has reached more than 20 Million views in Youtube. Holy Pony!

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

Guide to Tagaytay Churches

Tagaytay is not only a place to have a quick escape from the convoluted streets of Manila, it is also a perfect place to commune with nature and rekindle your spiritual senses and faith to the Lord. Home to more than a dozen retreat and spiritual houses, Tagaytay houses some of the famous churches in the Philippines.

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.

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Beat the Heat This Summer: Tour Suggestions

And the summer days begin. As the sun turns up the heat to a scorching 38 degrees, we mortals must start finding ways on how to keep our body hydrated and well-ventilated. Because we don't care if the heat is going to kill us, we will do everything just to make our summer better than the last one.

First up is some holiday tour suggestions that you may want to consider. Yes, Boracay is indeed the first choice but please do remember that we have more than 7,000 islands to choose from and there are a lot more options out there.

1. When you consider going to Palawan, you may want to deviate from the usual El Nido itinerary and the Underground River this time and devote loads of your spare time in spending long hours in appreciating the splendour of the beautiful Kayangan Lake. Found on Palawan's second best island, Coron, Kayangan Lake is touted to be one of the cleanest lake in Asia and its majestic view is a sight to behold.

Photo Credits:
2. There are other beaches aside from the overrated Laiya in Batangas area. There's Lian Batangas, Home of Matabungkay, whose sands are fine (though not as fine as Laiya) but at least the shores are clean, free from dirt and the marine ecosystem is still untapped. You can get starfishes and even play with little jellyfishes with it's crystal clear waters. Personal Suggestion: Matabungkay is already more popular to tourist, try the nearby Matuod.

3. Stay away from the usual saltwater choices and instead, go to a Bali-inspired relaxation nirvana also in the territory of Batangas. Get yourself pampered and immersed yourself to the peaceful and tranquil paradise of The Farm at San Benito Batangas. As you visit their website, you wouldn't want to ignore their value statement that promises healing and supreme relaxation.

The Farm is a centre for holistic healing and wellness where people balance their mind, body and spirit with nourishing live foods in an eco- friendly place.The Farm is a healing journey, a “must have” in every individual’s life at least once a year. This personal journey is needed for recharging one’s mental, physical, and spiritual state. It is the sole sanctuary of its kind in the Philippines and one of the best in the world.The Farm is a life-changing retreat that enables its guests to cope with the ever-increasing stress-filled challenges of everyday life through a well-managed and tailored wellness programs for restoration of balance and harmony by encouraging a commitment to a proactive healthy lifestyle.
Visit their website:

4. It came to a point that Anawangin was like a secret place. People Googled it as though it was a place hidden in the beautiful area of Zambales. It was a perfect getaway as it was just three-hours away from the convoluted Manila. There is no commercial space for rent but rather an open area where you can set-up your own tent. It was the perfect adventurer's haven. But now, Zambales has another place to offer as the once secluded paradise is now a tourist attraction - Nagsasa Cove in Zambales. And guess what, you still need those camping tents around.

5. Calaguas is located on the pristine island of Camarines Norte. Camarines is indeed one of the most beautiful gems of Philippine tourism. Just like Anawangin and Nagsasa, Calaguas has no available commercial spaces for rent, so bringing your own camping gears and utensils is a must.

Runner-ups: Loboc River Cruise in Bohol, Calatagan Batangas, Lake Sebu and Aqua Verde Laiya.