Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Saan Nagtatago si Happiness?

Where is happiness? Where is the love? (the love, the loooove...)

Moving forward to more happy and bubbly, ala lava lamp, thoughts...

I just came back from the premiere of "Saan Nagtatago si Happiness?"
The movie was a box office hit in last year's Cinemalaya film festival. It's a semi-musical, light and funny with a little choreography on the side. Starring Andy Bais and veteran actors Ricky Davao, Caridad Sanchez, Nanette Inventor, Rez Cortez, Nonie Buencamino, January Isaac and "Little Big Star" child sensation Mica Torre and 2006 Singapore filmfest best actor winner Elijah Castillo. The movie showed some stark realities that reminded me I should live simply and what's important in life are relationships. What was funny about it was it didn't use the teeny-bopper loveteam formula for kilig moments. I still can't believe how I got kilig over Rez Cortez and Nanette Inventor. :)

It's refreshing to watch a non-commercial movie. It made me laugh and it made me think and it showed me a different side of our people. I know it's there on the news, sensationalized on tabloids, barked on radio by reporters, but the real emotion is not really captured. This was grassroots, the way it should be seen. I think if I have time I'm going to try and watch all the other Cinemalaya films.

So, where is happiness hiding? Andy Bais explained it before he sang the movie theme with Mica Torre, too bad you weren't there.
"Saan Nagtatago si Happiness" will be showing on March 7-13 at your nearest SM cinemas - SM Cebu, Clark, Davao, Fairview, Mall of Asia, Manila, North Edsa, Pampanga, San Lazaro, Southmall, Sta.Mesa, and Megamall. For more info please visit http://www.mediarevolution.com.ph/

Monday, February 26, 2007

And so I find myself looking for something brainless to do. Checked all the blogs I usually read - most of them haven't updated yet. Went in the forums I check-out, but it gave an database error message. Pffft... A friend said, go surf the web... so lazy! So I thought... aha! Blogthings! Might as well do some click-clicking (just to force my mind to go blank).

So I took the "How Rare is Your Personality Test" and this is what I got:

Your Personality is Very Rare (INFP)

Your personality type is dreamy, romantic, elegant, and expressive.

Only about 5% of all people have your personality, including 6% of all women and 4% of all men
You are Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving.


Now I know why I get along with different types of people - from quiet ones to really loud ones, young ones to ancient people, simple to extraordinary people. I remember taking this exam when I was in sixth grade. The school wanted to determine if our talents was geared towards math/sciences vs. communication. They made a big thing about this. Invited parents to come over and they even shooed us away from the library. I remember it was my Kuya who attended and not my Mom and Dad. All he said was my tests showed I had a gift for communication and then I guess I blocked off the other things he was telling me (me and my short attention span). Well since he's arriving on Wednesday, maybe I should go and ask him what it really was about. I guess that's also why my Kuya knows me best. :)

Galera, Tuloy Po Tayo!

Notice how hot it's been lately? Just means one thing! It's time to head for the beach!

For those who want to come we're meeting up on March 3, Saturday at the following venues:

South People: 5 a.m. BF McDo,

North People: 5:45 a.m. Petron Station, South Super Highway (the one near the Southwoods exit)
Check here for the itinerary. Also check Sasha' s blog.


Look Out!

Have you looked at the sky lately?

I was on my way home one day and saw how pretty the sky was.




Sometimes when I am so bothered about something, buying several sets of curtains (yes curtains) isn't enough... just looking out and seeing that the sky is blue (or peach, pink and not gray) reminds me that tomorrow might be a better day.




Sunday, February 25, 2007

E-Services Philippines, Christian Bautista, IMMAP Induction, PTTC Seminar, SEO Ituloy-Angsulong Awards Night, High School Musical and a Party!

Whew! It's been a really busy month! By Sunday afternoon I just basically conked out already.

I've been on the run, online and offline the whole week and a half. And because of that my muse ran away after I blogged about the Google job openings.

A rundown:

(1) E-Services Philippines (February 15 & 16)
It's been a long time since I actually stayed in a booth for an event. I used to handle the events at DPC Yellow Pages, but I gave it up because my boss asked me if there was something I wanted to delegate to someone else. Since events do take a lot of time and effort I gave it up so I could concentrate on doing other nerdy stuff. And so I found myself lugging away my red luggage bag and the banner stand an hour before opening time. And so, there I was, for 2 days holding the fort all by myself. Thank God some Google Advertising Professionals dropped by. Thanks also to Donald and Jay for lunch! And Ely and Jay for helping me with my stuff during egress.

(2) Christian Bautista Sings Josh Groban (February 16)

After the show and some kwentuhan with Ely, Jay and I proceeded to the Josh Groban "Awake" album launch. I was again a "PA" and enjoyed watching Christian Bautista render Josh Groban songs. Check out this video.






(3) Internet and Mobile Marketing Association (IMMAP)

Attended the IMMAP general membership meeting where I was inducated as an associate member. I didn't really know which committee to join. Mon Duremdes wanted me in the membership and meetings committee, while Mike Palacios wanted me to join him in education and research, I wanted to sign up under Manny's annual conference and awards committee, but after fixing up the membership list I saw there were a lot of volunteers already. So I signed up in 2 committees: membership and meetings (quite easy to do) and education and research (ahhh a challenge!). Anyhoo, IMMAP's got loads of planned activities. Abangan!

(4) Putting Your Business Online Seminar (PTTC)

It is always a joy for me to give seminars, even though I'm bulol most of the time and I feel I talk a mile a minute (and hopefully my audience does pick up something)... well it's something I enjoy. Thanks to Jeffrey Gumasing of the Philippine Trade Training Center for inviting me. Sa uulitin!

(5) SEO Philippines Ituloy-Angsulong Awards Night and Abe's Birthday Bash


Something really funny happened on my way to Metrowalk. I found it strange that the cab driver spoke in English. I thought he was just sowsi, so I replied to him in English as well. When we were going down the bridge near Metrowalk I commented, "Haaay salamat nakarating din!" (traffic was sooo heavy!). And then he laughed out loud and said he thought I was pure Chinese because I was wearing a cheongsam shirt. Now I understand why I'm always mistaken to be Singaporean/Malay.

Anyway, good thing I left a bit early. It took me an hour and a half from Paranaque to get to Metrowalk. Upon arrival some bloggers, Jayvee, Gail and Marc etc. were already there looking for a table at Starbucks. They were there to do some planning for the Philippine Blog Awards. I was surprised by Jun's arrival. He flew in just to attend the Ituloy-Angsulong awards night. I hang-out for a while until Marc asked me to go up to Phi Bar since the program was about to start.

I saw a lot of familiar faces during the event. Janette and Abby joined me at my table, Jun and Dennis, both from Davao, Zaldy and Marhil who I met during the Blog Parteeh, Gwen, Ely (as host), Eli (from EYP days) and Jill showed up with her Yehey goodies. And finally meeting some people in person, Benj and Mike. Marc then awarded about PhP300,000 worth of prizes. The evening was made more interesting with games like the Best Pick Up Line (congrats Benj for the "Can I Google dance you?" pick up line) and the SEO Babe and Hunk of the night. Arrghh let's not talk about that haha. Congratulations to the winners!

As the SEO event was winding down, the bloggers arrived from their meeting downstairs at Starbucks. It was a fun-filled evening celebrating Abe's birthday and I might say, you should watch how Abe celebrated his party (well... no one has dared to upload the video yet...). And next week... Galera!

(7) High School Musical, the play (February 24)

Watched High School Musical at Megamall with Miguel, Jaja and Janice. The play was okay, just like watching the movie, but I think the stage was too small for all those people to be on it, the sound system was definitely not good and the singers were a bit hoarse already. Tsk tsk tsk.

(8) Party!





Fr. Edward Diviny, C.P. is here for a visit, so my Mom invited neighbors and my friends (yup she did the inviting) to party at home. I arrived just in time and had to do the beso-beso rounds with all my Titos and Titas. (I think they still all see me as a 4-year old...).

It was a good thing my Mom invited my friends to come over. I haven't spent any time with my friends for the past few weeks because I've been travelling. Well, my Mom didn't invite them to hang-out with me she wanted us to sing for Fr. Edward, but we only managed 1 song since we had 2 major voice groups missing. Anyway, I realized I missed them a lot and that it's really different when you're with people you grew up with.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Google is Hiring Pinoys!

This is an exciting opportunity that you shouldn't pass up!

Don't wait for three months before you actually apply (like I did).

APPLY NOW!

Adwords Account Coordinator (Tagalog)
http://www.google.com/support/jobs/bin/answer.py?answer=53651

Adwords Associate (Tagalog)
http://www.google.com/support/jobs/bin/answer.py?answer=53652

Jobs will be based in Singapore.

Do you want to get important announcements like this? Then join the GPhilippines Googlegroup. Sign-up today.

Why I Didn't Have a Valentine

I lost the bet.

And good thing, she lost too!

So we’re going to Bora! Yipee!!!

I was still up working at past 12 in the morning on February 14 when a friend of mine buzzed in and greeted me a happy V-day. Happy-happy! Joy-joy! May bumati!

I had a hard time waking up in the morning since I slept at around 3 a.m. It was the incessant beeping of my phone alerting me for messages that actually woke me up. All of them were Valentine greetings.

I was happy and pleased with all the greetings, but I must have left the Valentine spirit in the hotel when I left for work. I guess all of us didn't have it on our minds. I was so harassed the whole day, I almost missed the plane coz I was still answering emails at the airport. When I got back home in Manila, I had to finalize things for my participation at the E-Services Philippines show and my printer even delivered my materials at midnight. I finished up at around 3 a.m. and completely forgot about V-day until Donald brought it up over lunch.

“How was your Valentine? Nakalabas ka ba?”

Oh great. I completely forgot about V-day and that I had a bet with Honey. And I lost.

So I gave Donald, Martin and Jill a huge smile and whined about why I didn’t have a Valentine.

Oh and for the record, I did get some offers, but I said I was going to be out of the country.

And the little cake with the heart on top? It's from Max's, the house that fried chicken built. I had it as dessert with a good friendly-friend. Order it, it's yummy.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Singapore

There are so many good airline deals now. Cebu Pacific are now offering budget flights to Singapore. I tried it one-way and it was quite okay. Just the same as a Jetstar Asia flight, though the stewardesses were friendlier (siyempre Pinoy!). One lesson learned though – it’s a budget flight, no food! Landing at the budget terminal wasn’t really that much different from the main terminals. Just no shopping places and it’s quite far from the MRT.

For the first 2 nights of my adventure I stayed with one of my best friends, Tappy. She now lives with her husband in Singapore and is currently working for an advertising agency as a copywriter. Her claim to fame? Copywriting the famous Piolo-Toni commercial “I love you Piolooooo!!!” To this day I remember how that actually happened in real life (not with Piolo and Toni) back in college, but that’s another story to tell.

Since I arrived past one in the morning we just caught up a bit and I gave my pasalubongs and slept. Anyway, I was happy to be the first to “bless” (binyagan) their brand new couch from Ikea. It was really cool. Just a few pulls and wallah a big bed to sleep on. Let me just say I slept really well.

A trip to Singapore is not complete without visiting Orchard Road. I just love going to Kinokuniya (please don’t make me say that name out loud!). Ooohing and ahhhing over all the books I went crazy and bought several (so I’d meet my book reading target for the year). Even with all the pretty, classy malls at Orchard I still keep going to Lucky Plaza. It’s where all the Pinoys are actually (I would say then it’s a Pinoy mall). Got myself a “casual” cheongsam (been holding off buying one for 2 years now) from a Pinay shop keeper, managed to find an OFW magazine for a friend and Tappy bought a bottle of Silver Swan toyo (she refused to have me buy one for her in Manila).

It’s so easy to get around Singapore. I’ve managed to do some in-city hopping in my past trips just by riding the MRT. And it’s not even scary to go around alone. Anyway, after going through several malls at Orchard we went to Bugis to meet up with Mabel and eat my favorite mee-goreng. Since I’ve been there several times already we just ended up chatting and teasing Mabel about her newly married status.

I don’t think I would’ve managed to get around that much if it wasn’t convenient to get around. Tappy and I took a bus back to her flat. She adamantly refused to take a cab and forced me to walk and walk and walk to get me back in shape. (Just a bit more control and I’ll be ready for the beach soon). After dropping off the stuff we bought and eating a yummy home-cooked meal, we were off to Ikea.

Everything you need for your home is in Ikea. Ikea was one of our case studies in graduate school and my Ate would send catalogues from the US, that’s why I really looked forward to visiting the store. Much as I wanted to get a lot of things I was constrained by the fact that my luggage should only weigh 30 kilograms on the way back (and I had already bought several books!). Arrrghhh! Anyway, Tappy believes I managed to get important stuff and my visit to Ikea was sulit.

Unbelievable, I was asleep by 11 p.m.! The next day we woke up early to visit the Singapore Zoo. I thought we were just going to the Jurong Bird something. Too bad the Hog (piggy piggy!) Show would only start by next week. In the zoo we walked and walked and walked. Good thing we got tickets that included the tram and we managed to see the whole park by hopping from one tram to another. A zoo is a zoo and a zoo. What I found funny though was most of the animal photos I took had their backs to me – I have photos of kangaroo butts, bear backs, zebra behinds! Only the giraffe posed for me. (Now I know I’ll never make it as a National Geographic photographer!). I still wish though they had the hog show open already.

After a fabulous day in the zoo I had to bid Tappy and Jolet goodbye and move to the Raffles Plaza Hotel. Spent the rest of the afternoon with Mabel and then I had to go meet the other country consultants for dinner. The next few days was a whirlwind of activities and all I could remember is I worked and worked and worked! Well, of course we had lunch and dinner, here and there and One Raffles Quay was absolutely cool!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Why You Should Get a MBA Degree

I enrolled in graduate school just a year after I finished college. I was bored and I felt I needed to because I felt my undergraduate degrees, AB-Political Science and BS-Legal Management, were not enough to get me into product management. Yup, I only found out what I really wanted to do when I was already working for Smart Communications, Inc. I saw what the product managers were doing and I wanted to be their slave just so I could learn how to be one. But, I enrolled in grad school instead.

My Ate and Kuya also went in grad school. My Ate went to the University of Virginia and my Kuya went to the Asian Institute of Management. They were both scholars. They were the ones who inspired me to get a MBA degree myself. Inasmuch as I am the latak and I'm way behind my siblings, I think one should get an MBA degree for the following reasons:

1. Learn to be Disciplined - you have to accept the fact that you won't have a social life for at least 2 years. With all the case studies and readings you have to go through, stepping out for a drink even for just a little while is detrimental to your grade. Getting grilled during class is something you have to face every single day. You wouldn't want to get caught with your pants down do you?

2. Knowledge - you will have professors you love, and you will get some you hate. But whatever pole they are in you better make sure you learn something from them. I hated finance, but I have to admit I am thankful I went through it in grad school. Learning to do projections and understanding financial statements is an important part of business. Getting an MBA also teaches you how to think out of the box.

3. Acquire People Skills - you meet a lot of people everyday and it's not enough that you just say hi or hello, you have to learn to connect with them. I was really, really shy when I first started out, but my professors kept telling me I had to get out of my shell - sayang naman daw. While taking your MBA you will be forced to interact with your classmates, debate with them and eventually you will learn that arguing is not always a personal thing.

4. Get More Confidence - as I said I was really shy. I hated doing presentations. I actually graduated and I was still shy, but I had to get out of my shell to be an effective product manager. Eventually, I gained confidence because I had the knowledge. It was a matter of getting more kapal ng mukha.

5. Get Ahead - in the company I used to work for, I was the only person with a MBA degree (aside from the president), and I guess because I managed to acquire the skill of seeing things out of the box when I got my MBA, this helped me move forward in my career. I don't think the company I'm working for now would've given me the chance if I didn't have a MBA degree.

So, get your MBA degree and enjoy the perks and benefits of being a nerd, I mean being a graduate. :)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Think Rich Pinoy!

Last Saturday I attended the Think Rich Pinoy seminar hosted by Dr. Larry Gamboa and Bo Sanchez.

I heard about the seminar through Bo Sanchez' website, but was prodded by a friend to attend the seminar. I got curious, so I attended the workshop.

Bo Sanchez was inspiring as usual even though he was just on video. What struck me was his message, "Money is not bad. God doesn't mind you having money. But He minds money having you." Very true indeed. He also mentioned that you should have an objective for earning. He said he wanted to earn more because he wanted to give more (he shares 40% of his income to his causes). He said don't get stuck at "just getting enough", go for "more than enough". True true! And that you should work on with whatever skills you have learned in the past and move from there.

After Bo's talk, there were lots of points raised by Dr. Gamboa and the other speakers. But what I remember most is learning how to handle your money. It shouldn't be - cash in, cash out for expenses, savings. It should be - cash in, forced savings, cash out for expenses.

Every year I make a cash flow projection (now that sounds really nerdy). But even though I've never followed it, it's nice to make one. I do a monthly projection of my income, expenses and savings so I can project if I am on the right track. But Larry said you have to SAVE, SAVE, and SAVE and you have to make other income streams. Be it passive or active.

With that, I think I'm going to shuffle over and re-do this year's projections and find additional passive income streams aside from Adsense.

For the attendees, please click the photo below to see more photos.



Join the Think Rich Pinoy Googlegroups. Just go to http://groups.google.com and search for the "Think Rich Pinoy" group.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Gmail Theater (Gmail opens sign-ups)

You can now easily sign-up for Gmail.

No invitations needed!

Coolness!

Some cute videos to watch:

Gmail Theater: Act 1 Attack of the Spam
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YUugB4IUl4

Gmail Theater: Act 2 The in-boxer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTq8N4q0CTA

Gmail Theater: Act 3 The Isle of Lost E-mails
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujt_UT0MvH4

Gmail Theater: Act 4 Chat In The Name of Love
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVuXmmXOIj0

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Video Ads in Taxi Cabs

I got on a taxi today with Jomar after my stint at the E-Services Philippines trade show at the EDSA Shangri-la Hotel (it's until tomorrow, so come and visit me at the booth!) and I was really surprised to see a monitor installed in-between the driver's and passenger's seat!

Ever the curious person, I then asked the manong driver if they were now accepting placements for video ads in the taxi. He said they were now accepting ads, but he didn't have an idea how much it was. It was a nice ride home with Josh Groban's new music video (too bad Jomar had to get off at Boni, he missed the tips on how to avoid mandurukots!).

Hmmm... that's one thing taxi cabs in Singapore don't have.

How to Make a Technology Product Delicious

(a.k.a. How to Sell a Technology Product)

I don't really cook. I can just make yummy spaghetti and bake dozens and dozens of cookies, but I think I can go by and whip up a good marketing plan (and so they say).

I just recently realized I've been marketing technology/IT products since I finished college. And considering that I've two undergraduate degrees that are totally un-IT and un-marketing it was a good thing I took graduate studies.

So how does one sell technology products?

The Ingredients:

First things first - have passion.
Secondly, love your product (no wonder I don't have a boyfriend haha!).
And then, of course, have a good, well-planned, well-researched marketing plan (thanks Dr. Ned for teaching me!).

How to Cook:

1. Mix together market, competitor, targetted end-user profile, product and distribution situation research. Sift through by making a SWOT analysis (or better yet, Porter's way of analyzing things).
2. Beat together an opportunity and issue analysis. This way you would find out what opportunities to grab and what threats to avoid.
3. Heat over low fire number 1 and 2 and this should smoke up your objectives and goals.
4. Check your ingredients by defining your product and determine what positioning to use.
5. While waiting, compute your pricing. After this you can turn the heat off and lay-out the cooked ingredients in a shaped dish.

The Trimmings

This is where you actually sprinkle on the base your sales and marketing strategies. A good communication plan includes the following candy sprinkles:

1. Red goals and objectives - define what you want to happen
2. Blue strategy - how things should happen
3. Yellow measures and controls - define your metrics of success
4. Green action plans and activities - determine your above and below the line and online strategies

The icing on the cake (and very visible to the one who's supposed to bite it) is your advertising, promotion and public relations program. It is never easy to perfect this. You should choose your suppliers carefully, especially those who do your media and PR plan.

One important tip: work with suppliers that have experience in promoting technology products. There are companies that now specialize on public relations for IT companies and I think this would be really helpful to businesses selling technology products. Why? Believe me, it's hard to work with agency people that aren't tech savvy.

And don't forget: passion and love for your product is very, very important.

Friday, February 9, 2007

The Sowsi Way of Eating Barbecue

Is there even such a thing?

I guess the proper way of eating barbecue is by taking the meat off the stick using a fork. My mom taught me the art of using a fork to:

(1) eat a banana (the human way she says);

(2) peel off the shell of a shrimp ; and

(3) take off the meat from the barbecue stick.

But I think the best way to eat barbecue is to chomp on it the barbarian way. Gooey sauce on the cheek and all, that's still the yummiest way to finish off a stick (and don't forget the cardio delight at the end).

My favorite barbecue places include:

(1) our backyard - Dad's special recipe
(2) Tita Olive's barbecue at Villa Merced Resort, Camangui, Pasacao, Camarines Sur, Bicol (she's my Tita!)
(3) Manang's special barbecue at the eskinita in Sun Valley Drive (and it's cheap too!)
(4) Aling Nene's - I just sometimes find it a bit too big though
(5) Cafe Nemoto, Better Living, Paranaque; a new find with pals

Thanks to Jayvee and
Sasha for the photo.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

On Being an Entrepreneur

I grew up learning how to be an entrepreneur. When I was a kid my Mom and I started out the first ukay-ukay in our Parish. We'd sell old clothes once a year during our Parish Fiesta. We'd wake up really early in the morning and set-up in the park. By mid-morning we'd be sitting under one of the big acacia trees in the park eating some yummy brownies Tita Cuc baked and sipping Hi-C. No need to pack up coz all the clothes would've been sold.

During that time there were lots of weddings in my family and we'd be busy doing giveaways on weekends. Weddings were a family thing. Everybody helped out. I most certainly enjoyed tying up ribbons and wrapping gifts and listening to the elders plan the wedding. My mom, my Ate and I planned on establishing a wedding coordination business, but they wanted to wait for me to grow up a bit (I was only about 8 years old then). The plan didn't flourish coz my Ate moved to the US, but I eventually got to experience being a wedding coordinator. I've done weddings worth 70K to 1.5M. Will I do it again? Naaah, not for the meantime (but I'm doing one for May!). (That's me in pink playing a J.Lo as wedding coordinator).

Crafting was a big part of my life. My summers were spent learning how to sew, crochet, paint boxes, put things together and eventually I learned how to bead on my own coz the bracelets I'd buy would always fall off. A few years back me and my best friend got into manufacturing and selling bead stuff. Our best seller was our "beaded bra straps". (And the story about the bra straps? I thought clear plastic straps were boring.) Anyway, we had so much fun manufacturing and making new designs, but hated doing the books. As MBA graduates, we knew we had to track our expenses. Accounting stuff was what made us cry in the evenings. Haha.

It was also one problem I had when my Mom and I tried our hand at exporting. The admin side, accounting, staffing, paying off salaries was what bogged us down. Instead of marketing and selling our products, I'd end up spending a lot of time in the bank, checking up on attendance, doing bookkeeping. It was really so not exciting (now you know why I'm in marketing and business development).

Looking back, I guess we could've just assigned these stuff to a Business Process Outsourcing Service provider. I guess I got too busy with the day-to-day. Oh well, at least now I know better.

Tayo na sa Puerto Galera!

I was chatting one lonesome evening with Jayvee and I found out that he hasn't been to Puerto Galera. I love going to the beach, so then and there we planned on rounding up some friends, bloggers and whoever to go visit Puerto Galera. I'm taking the initiative to blog about it coz I don't want Jayvee to use the blog title he proposed.

When
March 3-4, 2007, Saturday and Sunday

How to Get There
If you're bringing car, just drive up to Batangas Pier and park your car there. I think overnight parking is around PhP200.

If you're commuting, take the bus to Batangas Pier at Alabang. Better yet let's all meet up at Jollibee (beside the bus/FX/jeep terminal) in Alabang at 5:30 a.m. and go together.

At the Batangas Pier take the ferry to White Beach. That takes about an hour.

Then, you're there!

Accommodations

We're planning to make some sort of reservation depending on how many are coming. Four to six people can sleep comfortably in the barkada rooms.

Recommended Itinerary

March 3, 2007
5:30 a.m. Meet up at Jollibee Alabang
5:45 a.m. Board bus to Batangas Pier
7:45ish a.m. Arrive at Batangas Pier
8:30ish a.m. Board ferry to White Beach
9:30ish a.m. Arrive at White Beach (buy your ferry tickets upon disembarking)
10 a.m. Hit the beach
12 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. Henna tattoo
2:00 p.m. Siesta
3:00 p.m. Massage by the seashore/swimming/banana boat etc.
6:30 p.m. Prepare for dinner/watch TV/get some rest
8:00 p.m. Dinner/Gimmick
to sawa

March 4, 2007

7:30 a.m. Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Beach!
12 p.m. Lunch
1 p.m. Head home

How Much it Costs

This is what I spent the last time I went (March 2006), so it might've gone up 10 to 20%:

Taxi to bus - 100 (from Paranaque)
Bus to Pier - 120
Fastcraft to White Beach - 180
Terminal Fee - 10
Room - 500 (PhP1,500 total; I had 2 friends with me but 5 people would fit in the room)
Food - 150 per meal (You'll survive with spending PhP50 to 80, but I eat a lot eh)
Massage - 150 or 200 (don't really remember)
Pasalubong - 100 per t-shirt, 5 per bracelet
Fastcraft to Batangas - 180
Bus to Manila - 120
Taxi to home - 100

That's approximately PhP2k per person with 3 to 4 people in a room.

Please confirm if you wanna join by leaving a comment here or in Jayvee's blog.

Looking for a Mate? You Won't Find it in Hongkong

Yup, that's what our tour guide, Henry, said. Funny, I was SMSing with Jomar and talking about whether there were any prospects in Hongkong when Henry announced that teenie bit over the bus' PA system. Henry said that their government even has a special program encouraging couples to get married and have children in Hongkong. I guess coz the cost of living is really high there and people just have to get by with their salaries. Oh well, living in the Philippines is still the best.

So last weekend, after ten years of planning, me and my amigas from high school (Mercy and Chare) and Miggy went to see the sights in Hongkong.

Day 1


  • Late lunch at McDonald's
  • Chinese lauriat dinner - not that good, locally cooked Chinese food's better (especially at Good Earth!)
  • Victoria Peak - enjoyed the 45 degress tram ride up the mountain tremendously
  • Wax Museum - photos, photos and photos with fave movie stars, sports celebrities and politicians
  • Night Market - found it a bit expensive, got some pajamas and pasalubongs, Divisoria is still the best shopping place!
Day 2



  • Harbour View - never let your tour guide take your photo! We were all surprised when the tour guide sold to us plated photos at HK$150 each! We found out a day after it only cost HK$75! Argh!
  • Shopping at TSL Jewelry and a pasalubong shop - the stuff at TSL Jewelry were really nice and very, very expensive. The three of us got pendants (to match our pajamas haha).
  • Hongkong Disneyland - seeing Mickey surfing with open arms brought back childhood memories. I've been to Disneyworld in the US twice and Disneyland in Japan and that's why I saved up to bring Miggy there while he's still a kid. My amigas and I felt like kids again and even shared a huge cotton candy while walking through Fantasyland to Tomorrowland. Bring at least US$100 to buy a shirt and some stuff at Disney.

Day 3

  • Kowloon Park - too bad the aviary and bird lake were closed coz they had a bird flu scare a few weeks ago. We still enjoyed the park though and were surprised there were many Pinoy groups meeting up in the area. The maze was fascinating and the old women doing dance exercises were cool.
  • Hongkong Space Museum - we wanted to go to the Science Museum but the entrance fee cost 150% more, since we were kinda broke we settled for the Space Museum haha. It was interesting, but nothing compares to the museums in Washington, DC.
  • Harbour View and Avenue of Stars - we walked and walked and walked and walked and recognized a handful of "stars" in the walk.
  • Toys R Us - the mall was just really too big. Unfortunately we didn't find it.

Do's and Don'ts

1. Don't believe everything your tour guide tells you. We were happy until he started selling us those souvenir items in the bus. I think they took advantage of our "yes to everything" nature (hey it's our culture!). One family who had 17 members joining the tour spent a lot of money for the plates.

2. Do buy at the Night Market. The tour guide kept saying that their store sold cheaper pasalubongs. It wasn't.

3. Don't buy where your tour guide tells you to buy. The tour guide said their store sold cheaper Disney items. Definitely not!

4. Do understand that it's their culture to be a bit masungit. They're not naturally malambing like us Pinoys.

5. Do follow your friends advise. When they say it's cold, it's really cold.

My friend Mercy has been handling all my travel arrangements for years already. She also does it for my other friends and my Mom's friends. If you're going to travel, call Mercy.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Globalpinoy

I've been meeting a lot of people lately and Cecille Pascual invited me to visit their office. I was privileged to meet Rob Chien, their consultant (popularly known as the husband of Ms. Lea Salonga - and I'm definitely a fan! Actually since the day I saw her play Annie when I was a kid), last week. I had a grand time with them and wouldn't forget the yummy pasta and salad merienda we all had at their office. They did a little feature about me (quite overwhelming really...). (Yup, starstruck again...).

A Valentine Story

I have no valentine story. Not my own. It's been quite a while since I had a valentine and I've been searching for a nice, little romantic, nakakakilig story from my past, but I just couldn't remember any.

One of the best love stories I've heard is that of my Mom and Dad's. Aside from all the romantic stuff my Dad did to win my Mom's heart more than 50 years ago, I could say it's the best love story there ever was. Why? Because it is a success story of what love truly should be.

I cannot simply tell the story here. I don't think I'd manage to string up the words to relate it to you. So, here's a journal entry my Dad wrote about Mom over 50 years ago:

How I Met and Fell In Love with Her
August 1955

I met her once one moonlight night
down at the kiosk in front (of) our place;
and from that time I saw her sight
I always want to look back and retrace.

But then quite suddenly she's lost
not knowing where or when she went;
Quite suddenly I too felt most
unhappy, restless, wishing to find where she went.

Eventless, long did summer pass
And there she was back at that place
Gathering my courage in a mass
I told her of my love and how she gazed!

I thought it was a hopeless case
Because I felt unworthy of
Her love, her beauty, and her grace;
But I just went on hoping for thereof.

Then on September twently one
my hope, my dream, my joy, my all
Did answer "yes" and said there's none
She cares for more "darling" did she call.

The happiest man I thought I was
At last my dreams was all so true
She's mine, She's mine! That blissful lass
Gone were my heartaches and awful rue.

All `round me looked bright, beautiful
So sweetly seemed the breeze to sing
My life became `ol wonderful
All round me looked bright, beautiful
So sweetly seemed the breeze to sing
My life became `ol wonderful
Joy and hap'ness to me my love did bring.

I kissed her once, she kissed me too.
To seal our love, our hope, our joy,
And happy were those days did go.
As if time without an end to enjoy.
The `twas summer season again...

Grabe I'm soooo kilig... My parents will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary three years from now. I never knew that their "anniversary" was September 21! And all along I thought they just remembered Martial Law. Sigh...

What about you? If you were to
share your valentine story, how would it go?

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Interview with Bo Sanchez


It's been uploaded! Check it out at http://www.preacherinbluejeans.com
My interview is somewhere in the middle. Woohooo!
(I'll try to embed the video here... abangan).


You can also watch it at Jomar's blog.