Friday, June 29, 2007

Au Revoir Cebu, My Second Home

It’s 4:11 in the morning and I couldn’t seem to sniff out a stable wifi connection here at the Mactan International Airport in Cebu, so I’m writing this post offline.

I’m off to Davao for a series of speaking engagements arranged by the Davao Web Group (through Blogie, Andrew and Marc J.).

The other night I had the privilege of meeting Cebu’s indomitable and very pretty Provincial Governor, Gwen Garcia during the gala dinner for Cebu ICT delegates at the Provincial Capital. We were wowed through cultural dances performed by kids and a Cebuano “operatic singer”. Check out the intricately done colourful costumes of the performers. I think it was cute that the kids at the end of their dance kneeled down and pointed to the governor's goddess looking photo. Take note as well of the photo I managed to take of the painting of the Capitol’s dome. I only realized that the intersecting lines formed a cross when I took the photo.



Exhaustion took over when I got back to the hotel and I just literally conked out on the bed. I think I must’ve lost weight from all the walking I’ve been doing in the past few days. The next day I visited the much talked about Cebu International Convention Center to catch Janette’s talk and check out the exhibits. Because of the little walk I did I think I’ll be visiting Iloilo and Dumaguete soon. Yey!

I didn’t go out much, but managed to check-out Paseo, a gimmick-slash-shopping place a stone’s throw away from the newly finished Sykes building. There were quite a lot of pretty dresses and décor and Cagayan de Oro’s famous Vandep pastel (pastry) was available for sales as well in the Paseo. We decided though to hang-out at Off-Roads (our official hang-out place in Cebu) coz we wanted to have some hot tea and my favourite mint chocolate cake. I was decidedly full and in high spirits when I got back to the hotel and ended up chatting with Janette until 4 in the morning.

My last day in Cebu was a flurry of activities and would-be activities. Egads, I think I should get a place in Cebu already!

Next stop: Davao!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Cebu Love Thoughts: How Will I Know He is The One?

Last night Janette and I stayed up until 4 a.m. discussing the merits of choosing “The One” (the right one that is).

How does one choose? And how does one know that the guy lurking around in your backyard is someone you could trust?

Of course, there’s my ideal guy checklist and there’s another list I have which is definitely not bloggable (let’s keep some things about my life to myself eh?). Bo Sanchez in his bestseller, “How to Find Your One True Love” said that you have to meet at least 5 guys every single week. In the past few months, I’ve been meeting that quota easily believe me. And let’s just say, I have made many, many new guy friends. Hehehe.

So how does one go about trusting a person? It is not natural for me to check-up on people. I don’t use a search engine nor Friendster to check-up on one’s background. I know, I know this should come naturally. Argh! I’m just so stupidly trusting (uh, that’s why I have 3 best friends looking after me?). Janette said, “It's all about risk management.” `Nuff said about that.

So let’s say you manage to determine that the person in the hot seat is someone you could trust and someone you’re considering. How long should you “play the game of chess”? (That was Punzi asking why it was going to take several months for me). So how long? Punzi chimed in a bit later on through Twitter that it shouldn’t be long. And Janette said that when you are in your 30s it’s a totally different ballgame because people know what they want and oftentimes don’t want to undergo the frilly, silly game called courtship.

So how will I know? I mean, it’s been a looooong time and I guess I’m kinda lost! LOL. So help me out here!

I’m tagging some married and single friends (and you if you wanna chime in as well) to provide me some thoughts on this matter: Tappy, Marc, Gail, Sasha, Anne, Harry, Janette (a reading perhaps? LOL), Manuel, Jozzua (I still owe you 1 meme!), Lady Cess, Sexy Mom, Noemi, Juned, Jayvee, Jun, Blogie, Andrew, Honey, Jay, Mayi, AJ, Sarah, Kristine, Max, Quistian, Markku.

The things Cebu does to me! LOL. Cheerios!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cebu! Cebu!

I've been to Cebu many, many times. I think this would be my tenth visit now. Yesterday I couldn't help but giggle with the welcome that the Mactan Shangri-la Resort & Spa staff gave me. They put this necklace on me -



Now, now it was a very nice gesture and the last time I experienced it was at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Bali last December when they hung a garland of kamachile on me (I thank them with a prompt ahoooo!)... but in Cebu? I never experienced it with Waterfront Hotel and Marriot Hotel. I only understood why they did it upon arrival at the resort. It's a resort!



I walked around a bit after exhausting my laptop's battery and enjoying the free wifi at the lobby. I would've dived in the swimming pool or gone to the beach, but I had to finish up with ework. I was craving for pasta so I headed over to Acqua and enjoyed the seafood marinara. Acqua is an Italian resto within the resort (also with free wifi!) and after that I proceeded to my room to do my reports. Took a nap and then my best friend fetched me to have dinner. We drove around for a bit and settled in at Amigo, a new grill place a stone's throw away from the resort. We were the only customers in the resto, so we enjoyed the full attention of the staff.

I woke up bright and early today for the 8 a.m. call time for the Cebu ICT. The "Marquee" where it's held here at the Mactan Shangri-la was quite a loooooong walk from my room. I definitely thought that I should've just worn jeans and sneakers to the event. But then again, Sasha wouldn't agree since she advised I should be wearing dresses to my speaking engagements.

I was definitely nervous - remember I have stage fright! And having bigwig CEOs, top government officials, foreign delegates in the audience didn't help any. I was part of the panel for the "Promoting Investment in Asia ICT/ITES", read up on it in my work blog. Anyway, here are some photos that TeamAsia took for me using my fool-proof idiot camera.



I still got a few days left here in Cebu and hoping to meet up with Cebu bloggers, SEOs and even open source people, or whoever! I moved the meet-up coz I'm kinda stuck here at the Mactan Shangri-la. Hope to meet Cebuanos on June 28, 6 p.m. Bo's Cafe, Ayala Center Cebu (the one near the yummy foodie area, I mean near the entrance where there's a Starbucks). (Oh! And for the bloggers - my friends are kinda looking for some to be a problogger, so you might wanna come so I can refer you guys to them).

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The Social Geek in Me

Nah, not really a geek, but I do like meeting people and I'll be in Cebu and Davao next week!

Calling, calling people in Cebu (hey Kristine!!!) and Davao... let's meet up! I want some lechon Cebu and durian coffee!!! I'm going t get so fat again gee...

Anyways, I'd like to thank the really vibrant and active Davao Web Group for being so supportive and helpful! Baka malampasan niyo na Manila niyan ha!

June 27 - 28
Cebu ICT

June 27 (evening) ---> moved to June 28 6 p.m.
Meet-up with bloggers/SEOs
Bo's Cafe, Ayala Mall, Cebu

June 28 (evening)
Marketing your Business Online
Meet-up with SMEs

June 29
Marketing Your Business Online
Department of Trade & Industry - Davao
with Yehey.com
9:00 a.m. to 3:30 pm.

June 30
Google University
Blugre Cafe
9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Meet-up with Bloggers/SEO (evening)
venue TBA

July 2
Google University
University of Mindanao, Davao
8:00 to 11:00 a.m.

And then I fly back to Manila for another series of engagements:

July 3
Google and Research
Department of Labor and Employment
Intramuros, Manila

Blogger Food Fest at Tasia Asia
Mall of Asia, Bay City

Crazy Week for Crazy Me, As Usual

Things have been so crazy the past few days! I had speaking engagements almost everyday and lots of back-end stuff I needed to work on and if you noticed through my Twitter, I'm an all day, all night person. But! BUT! I still managed to have a teenie-weenie bit of a social life. I still have a life! Yehey!

This week's rundown:


No! I didn't get engaged! That's my hand though trying out a 50K engagement ring. I accompanied a friend to the Bridal Expo: Perfect Beginnings at the PICC Forum last Sunday and he wanted to take a photo of the ring for his fiance. More about this coming in The Twisted Wedding Planner (I got blog backlog!).

Merienda-dinner at the Chocolate Kiss (it's not just a dating place!) in UP Diliman after a Digitalfilipino workshop for its website awards winners. I had yummy, yummy food and crazy conversation with John, The Macalua, Jay, Charlie (still can't imagine you reading Cosmo! tsk tsk tsk!), Reggie and Janette (not in photo). I think there's something about the iced tea at Chocolate Kiss... we had a very lively discussion on why guys should read Cosmopolitan!




In the evening I tagged along with Jay to attend a Unisilver event. Why oh why would I do this? Because Sam Milby was there! It was quite a challenge to get a proper photo of him - check out the photos above or here to see how I tried to outperform the media photographers just to get a decent photo of him. He was so cute even though he looked puyat.

When I got home that night I announced the Taste Asia Bloggers Food Fest. We have about 150 sign-ups for it already! It's just a bit on hold for more sign-ups right now and I'm trying to suade the sponsor to allow more people to come (was supposed to be originally only for 100 bloggers). Check if your coordinator included you here. Google Docs & Spreadsheets came in really handy for me for this event! Check out the food here.

And the rest of the week was a whirlwind of activities (like IMMAP and other crazier stuff)! Check out Sasha's talk on niche blogging. Too bad my camera went low batt and I wasn't able to video Jayvee's very interesting and lively talk on business blogging and online reputation management.

By Thursday I was already so tired and missed badminton with the BOB! Aaarggh! I'll miss it again next week coz I'll be heading off to Cebu and Davao! Hopefully to meet more bloggers in the area as well!!! Did you guys know they're going to have a Mindanao Bloggers Summit in October? These guys (like Blogie, Andrew, Honey and Marc J.) are just simply great! Too bad I missed the Cagayan de Oro ICT event!

And, of course, not to forget, my handful just became more of a handful by turning 13! Sniff sniff.

Crazier week ahead next week! Going back to sleep now! Zzzzzz...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Happy 13th Birthday Miguel


I thought I was dreaming when I felt the sudden glow of happiness. I woke up and felt a happy feeling enveloping me. It was contagious and I just couldn't help but smile.

It was Miguel snuggling up to me early this morning while waiting for the schoolbus to fetch him. I knew he had a huge grin in his face even though it was dark.

My son was very happy. I know, I felt it. It's like the huge warm hug he gives me every day.

It's been 13 years since that fateful day where I labored for 37 hours. They would've cut me up already, but my toes suddenly wiggled and they knew he was coming. Even at birth my son was already mabait, he didn't want his Mommy cut up (pwede pa mag-bikini)! Funny how we all thought he would be female even though I walked like a duck, was as ugly as a gorilla and manas as a pig. It was what was the first ultrasound said. Yun pala naipit! LOL.

My bundle of joy has grown up and I can't help but cry coz I know he's got his own life already and Mommy cannot just drag him anywhere anymore. But he has promised to hug me and tell me he loves me every single day.

Girls! Keep out! This Mom's definitely the jealous type. LOL.

Happy birthday my dear sweetie! Mommy loves you very, very much!

P.S. Miguel turned down my offer to buy him a DS Lite, he said, "I want to have a party with the people I grew up with." Aww shucks, my son has truly grown up!

P.P.S. Miguel's birthday video.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Taste Asia Blogger Food Fest

Are you ready for this?

Bamboo Shells on Tausi Sauce
(behind it is the Chicken on Okay Sauce)


Tempura


Pork Liempo


These were just some of the food that I got to taste with friends Sasha and Jayvee at Taste Asia. We also had sisig which I especially liked coz it's different from the regular pulutan sisig (yummy yum yum!), barbecue and bibingka. I also liked the tempura coz it wasn't just all about flour - the shrimp was actually quite big! We were too stuffed for dessert though, yipes.

Anyway, if you haven't signed up yet for the blogger meet-up on July 3, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. at Taste Asia (beside SM Hypermarket), at the Mall of Asia then where have you been for the past 48 hours?

Sign-up now by leaving a comment here at An Apple a Day or through any of the coordinators: Sasha Rico Janette Jedi Jay Abe Ely Marc Jayvee Shari Noemi Sexymom Jonas Pierre Jomar and AJ, through their posts:

The Parody
Yugatech.com
Abuggedlife.com
Misteryosa.com
Baratillo.net
Dalanghita.com
Piscinarii.com
iread2.org
Pinoysnapshots.com
Digitalfilipino Blog
MagandangBalita.com
Pinoy Food Photoblog
Inquirer.net Blog Addicts
Jozzua
Bakla Ako, May Reklamo?
Jomar Hilario
Markku
Fool45.com
The Macalua
Manuel Viloria

Check if your coordinator has already included you... here.

Please visit for updates on the program! Heard from the grapevine that SM Hypermarket is launching a contest for bloggers! Oh and for those talented people out there who want to be heard we're hoping you could share a song or two during the event. Ano? Game na! Sign-up now!

Oh, and do check-out Janette's writing project on the Top Ten Emerging Influential Blogs of 2007 which is still ongoing, it'll make you look forward to meeting new bloggers as well.

P.S. Sensya na po... it's Taste Asia pala and not Taste of Asia as I previously posted.

The Kikay in Me

Lady Cess tagged me to name 7 things about my sense of fashion, style, hair, beauty and vanity. Eeeeep! I could just imagine my stylist-friend Sasha raise her brow. So I took the Blogthings quiz Lady Cess took to find out how vain I am.

You Are 57% Vain

You're a little vain, but more than anything you have a healthy amount of confidence.
Thinking the world of yourself is great. Just don't think less of those who aren't as pretty as you!


I expected it to be higher! I am a Virgo after all and much as I could be geeky in how I look, I still fix up myself. So here are the 7 things about my ka-kikayan:


1. I don't like wearing clothes with print. I like `em plain. I'm sure I drove Sasha crazy last week during our shopping binge coz she wanted me to try out wearing printed clothing. The only exception would be striped shirts or block prints (like that bikini above). Sorry Sasha it's just too freaky! About the colors I wear... I had my floor to ceiling closet painted in red and in it the clothes are arranged by color. Most of them are white, off-white, red, pink, blue and black.

2. I'm never going to get my hair colored. If I do that my Mom's going to kill me. The most I would do with my hair is go for hot oil once a year - when my Kuya drags me to the parlor in Jakarta LOL (and he has to pay for it!). Homemade hair spa (virgin coconut oil + honey + egg) works better for me.

3. I have a stiletto collection from my past corporate life, but you'd rarely see me wear them now. I like wearing sneakers better (much to Sasha's consternation).

4. I like wearing a bikini at the beach. BUT! I am very much conscious about my pata and usually have it covered up with a sarong or shorts.

5. I don't like wearing make-up. Cheek tint and lip gloss is enough for me, but on some occasions I wear mascara to look a bit older (I am old though!). To maintain my bushy brows, I get my long-time hairdresser Inay clean them up every once in a while.

6. I have to have at least a hairpin on my hair. I don't like putting goo on it and I know it's go a life of its own, so that's why I always tie it up.

7. I've been asked many times what is my secret for looking young - I smile and laugh a lot, I'm silly, makulit, I don't wear make-up, sleep a lot, drink lots of water (and err...) and drink vitamin E and C before I sleep and I basically don't allow myself to keep a stiff upper lip (if you get what I mean). Bawal masungit!

So since this is a meme, I'm tagging my dear friends Anne, Ivan, Sharm, Honey, Chel and Mayi.

*Photos by Sasha Manuel.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Bloggers: Get a "Taste of Asia" at Taste Asia (Blogger Gimmick Ito!)

Imagine...

Fresh seafood grilled right in front of your eyes

Salad tossed while you wait

Mouth-watering soup, noodles, asado

Shrimps, pusit, liempo, pasta, sinigang, adobo...

And don't forget the chilled drink we all love to gulp down...

Want that and more? For FREE? Yes, LIBRENG GIMMICK!!! And kung anu-ano pa!

Ya read it right!

I'd like to invite you and your blogger friends to try out "Taste Asia" at the SM Mall of Asia on July 3, 2007, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

Oh! And I heard that the top honcho of SM might come! Photo opt ito!

Dali! Sama na! And DON'T BE SHY!

Wanna go? Wanna go? Just leave a comment below OR if you're kinda shy, let any one of my friendly coordinators know that you wanna go to the event.

Sasha
Rico
Janette
Jedi
Jay
Abe
Ely
Marc
Jayvee
Shari
Noemi
Sexymom
Jonas
Pierre

more coordinators to come!

Check if your coordinator has already included you... here.

Cheerios!

*This blogger gimmick is brought to you by SM Hypermart.
**Photo by Jayvee Fernandez
-----------------------------------------
Posts about the event:

The Parody
Yugatech.com
Abuggedlife.com
Misteryosa.com
Baratillo.net
Dalanghita.com
Piscinarii.com
iread2.org
Pinoysnapshots.com
Digitalfilipino Blog
MagandangBalita.com
Pinoy Food Photoblog
Inquirer.net Blog Addicts
Jozzua
Bakla Ako, May Reklamo?
Jomar Hilario
Fool45.com

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy

A few weeks ago I asked for suggestions for a name of a puppy. I got a number of cute and some controversial names. Hohumm... don't ask why. Anyway, SEO buddy and dog-lover John Rennen one morning came up with a brilliant suggestion and I instantly liked the name!

So I bugged Marc and then bugged him some more coz I was so excited over getting a puppy. He didn't tell me that the unthinkable happened, Gail said the puppy got sick and died. They'll just give me hamsters instead. Sniff sniff.

Sigh. So sad. Sniff.

Anyway, to appease my disappointment I decided to go ahead and buy the laptop I've been planning to get since last year. After months of online & offline canvassing and collecting flyers from different shops I managed to narrow down my choices to either a Compaq Presario V3304TU or a MSI Megabook S262 laptop. Let's not talk about all the other laptops I drooled over, they were just beyond budget, sigh. So, I decided to get the MSI Megabook since it came with good reviews from my friends, met my requirements and Markku piqued my interest when he mentioned that they had it in pink.

Anyway, so it was down to that then I scouted for the best place to purchase it and ended up ranting over poor customer service*. So yesterday before heading for Octagon Computer Store I passed by this new laptop supermarket at Park Square and discovered the MSI promo for the blue/pink Megabook S262. I was baffled when the store clerk said that I wouldn't get all the freebies (camera + 1GB usb drive + bag) when the flyer clearly said "camera plus 1GB usb drive plus bag). Mambobola! So I headed over to Octagon and deliberated with my best friend over the phone on whether I'd get a pink or a blue one.

The store clerks in Octagon were definitely attentive and helpful, not like the shop in front of it. They even had the one I liked pulled-out from their Megamall store so I won't have to come back on another day. So... meet HAPPY who came with a Canon camera, 1 GB pink usb drive, 1 pink bag, 1 black bag and a laptop sleeve. Cool eh!

The pink laptop I bought when I was wearing a pink dress and
which I had a strawberry pink drink with this afternoon.
Abe said I
should name her Pinky coz its... but I told him it's too mais :D


And guess what I told Anne on our way out with Happy... "I feel like I have a new boyfriend!"

Egads.

*Update - Silicon Valley called me a day after I faxed my blog post to them and the area manager apologized for the poor service I've been getting since their SM Bicutan branch opened. They promised that they'll do something about it. Passed by the other day, but decided not to enter the shop. Let's just say it's quite hard to forget how I was treated the last time.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

2-Hours Non-Stop Laughter!

They say laughter is the best medicine.

After another series of unfortunate events this week, I managed to de-stress last night by laughing for 2 straight hours! My companions Jaja, Janice, Billy and Abe couldn't stop laughing as well (though he was denying it! kitang-kita dimples mo oi!).

The culprit?

Zsa Zsa Zaturna Ze Muzikal (based on the award winning graphic book created by Carlo Vergara).

Top (L-R) With author Carlo Vergara/ Zsa Zsa Zaturna (K Brosas) and Billy
Bottom (L-R) With Didi and Ada

The musical play is reportedly on its final run so you better watch it now!

Show Dates: June 15 to July 1, 2007
Show Time: 8 pm
Venue: Carlos P. Auditorium (RCBC Plaza), Makati City

Cast:
ZSAZSA ZATURNNAH: Eula Valdes / K Brosas
ADA: Tuxqs Rutaquio / Vincent de Jesus
DIDI: Nar Cabico
DODONG: Arnold Reyes / Lauren Novero / Janvier Daily
QUEEN FEMINA SUARESTELLAR BAROUX: Kalila Aguilos
AMAZONISTAS: Wilma Doesnt, Deeda Barreto, Mayen Estañero, Skyzx Labastilla / Wenah Nagales (Swing)
ALING BRITNEY: Mia Bolaños
ITAY ZOMBIE: Jerald Napoles
TAUMBAYAN/ZOMBIES: Wenah Nagales, Catherine Racsag, Joann Co, Mia Bolaños, Tamara Cabaero Bong Cabrera, Carlon Matobato, Red Nuestro, Paolo Rodriguez, Leo Ponseca, Amihan Ruiz

Ticket prices are as follows:

Orchestra Center: P800
Loge: P800
Orchestra Side: P700
Balcony: P500

Guaranteed to make you laugh! Get your tickets through my friend's friend Bambi by callling 0917-6284849.

Preview it through this video of Eula Valdez (as Zsa Zsa Zaturna) singing at the Independence Day event Kalayaan 2007 : Bayan, Bayani, Bayanihan (got the link from Carlo Vergara's blog).

Oooh!!! And check-out this slideshow done through Picasa.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

How Much is Your Blog Worth?

I got the idea of taking this test from Sasha and Sarah and here's how much An Apple a Day is worth:


My blog is worth $68,309.34.
How much is your blog worth?



But would you ever sell your blog? Would you? Would you?

I remember a few months ago a friend of mine was being offered a huge amount for one of his blogs. It was a dilemma indeed. Some would say cashing-in on one's blog is something that's hard to do and that you could always build a new one.

Others would say, "No way!" because a blog is a very personal belonging and it's not something that one could easily part with. For those who go beyond just writing (like Sasha who spends endless hours tweaking her blog), one's blog may be considered a jewel, a treasure even.

If you want to know what's your blog's worth, head on over to Dane Carlson's blog and check it out.

Would you sell your blog?

Single vs. Married? Which is Better?

The sky must be falling!

That's what my best friend said when I broached the subject to her. She knows that the sight of wedding gowns make me hyperventilate. She was simply aghast when I brought up the topic. No, not aghast, alarmed. So what is really better anyway?

I have definitely enjoyed my independence since my runaway bride drama years ago (not literally okay). So why the question? The subject of settling down has just been cropping up at home. My parents have been showing too much concern about my single existence (rolling my eyes) - I've been getting interrogated every night - "don't you have a boyfriend now?". Egads. I'm afraid they'll soon take up the offer of our dear priest-friends to put up a billboard to sell me. Urk!

Anyway, most of my friends are already married or are getting married (check out my Twisted Wedding Planner projects). And they rant, mind you, as much as us singletons do.

For my newly married friends there's the adjustment period. Being BF and GF is not really enough to get to know your partner, no matter how long your relationship was before you got married. My Mom still sometimes complains about how my Dad could mess up his cabinet the day after she fixed it. Or how she got so shocked over my Dad using the laundry bin as target shooting practice when they were newly married. Then there's the cooking dilemma, financial dilemma, sleeping dilemma and whatever.

What really scares me are the rants of my friends who have been married for a long time - both for guys and gals - a couple of them are just coasting on their marriage. Some have or have had relationships with others. It's true, but there's nothing I can really do but listen and pray for them. But why does this happen? Is it the lack of attention? Has all the passion gone? No more spice? Some said it's because they've gotten bored.

It is hard for me to fathom because I grew up with parents who are so in love with each other, so glued together - I never saw them fight actually. Well they had tampuhan once, a few years ago, but it was just that tampuhan. They don't even remember what it was about. They've really stayed true to their vow.

I must admit, my single girlfriends and I, we rant a lot about not finding "the right one" yet, but another part of me tells me it's better to be single and independent than to be tied up and messed up. My happily married friends would contest that being married is the way to go and that it is a MUST to get married. Hmmm... provided you find the right one that is!

So what do you think? What's better? Being single or married?

P.S. Don't get any ideas! I have no intentions of ending up the spinster in my generation! Read up on what's my ideal guy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Lakwatsera in Me

My good friend Rico pinged me his write up about "Lakbayan: How Much Do You Know the Philippines?" on the Bayanihan Blog Network. Eugene, the blogger Vista Pinas behind presents himself as a technology tourist and came up with idea of rating one's know-how on the Philippines, so he created Lakbayan. The Lakwatsera took it and here's my rating -


My Lakbayan grade is C-!

Egads! I need to do some more lakwatsa!!! Read more about my travels at Lakwatsera Ako.

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!

Good news! The Lakwatsera has been upgraded. Thanks to Eugene!


My Lakbayan grade is C+!

How much of the Philippines have you visited? Find out at Lakbayan!


Created by Eugene Villar.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Meme: Funniest Childhood Memory

I’m writing this in the middle of a family expedition to Lucban, Quezon where these coconut trees –


hide my funniest and most embarrassing childhood memory.

During summer and on weekends I remember hopping on my Dad’s huge Mercedes Benz with my Dad, Mom, Ate and Kuya. Being the youngest I was always relegated to be seated at the middle back seat and I carry that habit to this day. I was only 8 months old when I started going to the beach.


But let me digress first to another adventure our family had. We were on our way back to Manila from a summer holiday at Villa Merced Resort in Camangui, Pasacao (Bicol), my Dad was driving fast on the National Highway somewhere in Camarines Norte when suddenly a huge inahin pink pig crossed the street. There was no time to swerve so we hit the poor piggy pig pig head on. Sniff sniff. It went to heaven immediately, but we were all safe and the MB was intact. Now you know why I collect pigs. It’s in memory of that poor piggy pig. I was about 3 years old then.

Hohumm... I’m now about to reveal my funniest and most embarrassing childhood memory.

I was probably 2 or 3 years old and we were on one of our expeditions. We were on our way up to Lucban, Quezon (my Dad’s hometown) and I just had to go. You know, go, as in number 1. So my Dad pulled over and I remember there were a lot of coconut trees where we parked. The place was deserted and no cars were passing in the road. My Mom opened the car door and let me out. She told me to pee by the door. I might’ve been just a toddler but I was very much stubborn already at that age. So I walked off towards the trees ignoring her admonitions, squatted and started peeing.

And then, a loud noise startled me…

MOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Goodness! I squealed. Stood up and ran to my Mommy! So much for keeping dry. LOL. Gross!

And I have not heard the end of it to this day. Gah!

What about you? What’s your funniest childhood memory?

Tag as many as you want to:

I wanna read about your funniest childhood memory guys! - Miguel, Ely, Anne, Ivan, Tappy, Lady Cess, Jay, Honey, Blogie, Marc and Sharm, Andrew, Sasha and Rico, Gail and Marc, Celeste, Juned, Janette, Markku, Joey, Hanson, the green Migs, Mike, Migs, Noemi, Sexymom the CEOs Mr. Ed Mapa and Mr. Efren Ricalde.

Here are other funny childhood memories from my friends: Ang Lolo Niyo, Miguel (my annoying kid hmph), Anne, Marc

Read more about our family expedition to Lucban and check out photos by clicking on my photo below:

2007 June 8 Lucban

Friday, June 8, 2007

Interviewing at Google



It's true. `Nuff said. It's the best company to work for.

Apply na!

Being Silly

When we were kids it was alright when people see you talking to yourself. They'd say, "What an imaginative kid. She'll grow up to be a lucrative writer."

And when they see you messing around with your Lego, building blocks or putting together stuff with clay or whatever you can put your hands on, they'd say, "She'll become an engineer or an architect!"

And when your momma catches you writing on the wall, you'll get a spanking, but at the back of her mind she's thinking, "My child's going to be the next Picasso!"

How come we all grow up? Have responsibilities. Bills. Problems. Bad-hair days. Break-ups. Misery. Whatever.

Goodness, let's not think about those ugly things.

If there's one thing that I never lost despite everything I've been through, it's my talent of being silly. Yeah. SILLY.

Embrace life. Be happy. Be always happy. Things will ALWAYS be okay. Have faith.

That's just about it. I'm feeling quite silly now :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Aryty!

Last Friday night Sasha asked me to go with her to an event at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel. I said yes without even asking what it was really about since I planned to go to that area anyway for a meeting in the afternoon and I just wanted to hang-out after 2-weeks of non-stop work (oh yes, I'm quite the workaholic).

I made nenok these photos from Sasha hehehe.
(Top LR) Daniel, Me, Markku (my endorser for the day), Ederic, Karla; Karla, Markku, Nils, Me
(Bottom L-R) Sasha, Nils, Me; Me and Markku sporting Aryty.com caps

The event was the launch of Aryty.com. I was kinda shy to go since I thought I wasn't really invited and I was just there to accompany Sasha. Anyway, Karla Maquiling said she sent me an invitation to my other email address which I unfortunately only open once in a while. Upon arrival I met Aryty.com president/CEO Nils Johnson and the friendly creative director Daniel Neumann and we immediately traded stories about the mobile market and experiencing Silicon Valley. I was quite pleased to see other blogger friends - Markku, Gail, Ederic and J. Angelo with wife Caren.

Ayrty.com is good news for Pinoys based abroad. The service basically allows you to send load (phone credits) to your Pinoy friends and relatives who own Globe, Smart or Sun prepaid units. My previous jobs involved a number of mobile services and I know sending load online isn't new, but what sets Ayryty.com from the rest of the pack are:

(1) they don't add a service charge on top of the load amount you are buying;
(2) they're based in the US and this gives the buyers there some peace of mind; and
(3) you can actually request for load from a relative/friend based abroad!

Ya know why I think this will work? A colleague of mine was asking me earlier today how he could get credits for his Smart Buddy sim without getting charged $5 for PhP1,000 worth of load. And he said, "I don't wanna get 1-2-3!". Aba! Fil-am alam ang 1-2-3! LOL.

Sayang di ako prepaid!

I Am M.E. Miguel Escueta

You might have noticed that I've been attending album launches in the past few months - Christian Bautista, Rachelle Ann Go, Jimmy Marquez, Josh Groban's "Awake" album, Luke Mejares and now Miguel Escueta. It started out as a tag-along, just for me to experience what it is to be a technopreneur (coz I wanna be one!). But then, I enjoyed the first launch so much, Jay the expert technopreneur behind Titikpilipino.com allows me to tag along whenever our schedules jive.

Anyway, I was on my way to Makati for a meeting and I managed to squeeze in some time for Miguel Escueta's debut album, "I am M.E." at Redbox, Greenbelt. I was late, but I caught Miguel's first song "Sa Pagkawala". It piqued my interest and Jay whispered that Miguel is from Ateneo (later on I found out that he graduated with a degree in Business Management major in Communications Technology). Miguel's songs sounded so foreign especially when he sang "Take Me There" and "Falling Away". According to him his musical influences include Coldplay, Lifehouse and Parokya ni Edgar - "Harana" being the first guitar song he learned how to play at the age of 12.

(Top L-R): I am M.E. album, free Mossimo cap
(Bottom L-R): of course! photo opt!, Miguel Escueta being interviewed

The cute 23-year old said he's a shy guy and only had one serious relationship - he is a very persistent suitor though and is single and available. The Ely Buendia look-alike wants to be known for his lyrics, music and showmanship. The album "I am M.E." is all-original and something I'm sure people would enjoy listening to. I checked out the song lyrics and they are indeed deep and doesn't give away the whole meaning of what he's trying to say. Check out "Isipin" for all you torpe guys and "Falling Away" for those on the brink of a break-up.

And notice the writing on Miguel's hand, "Vivite Somnia!" which he said means "Live your dreams".

Thanks to MCA Music Inc., it's my first time to get a free album! And Mossimo for the cap which shielded me from the hot sun when I walked to my next appointment.

Goodness! I think I just sounded like a teener! Anyway, M.E., you've just made a fan.

Here are some videos I took:

Take Me There
Balik Simula
Falling Away (carrier single)


Hala! What are you waiting for? Get a copy at the nearest record bar or order online!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Help! Miguel's Turning 13!

I need help from my mommy readers and those who have kid brothers who just celebrated their 13th birthday. Heeeeelpppp!!!

Miguel's turning 13!!!

Hyperventilating again. Haha.

Anyway, I never had any problems setting up his birthday parties in the past. Miguel's parties were always themed and I usually did it on my own. I could even whip up a party in less than a week! I'd also get the help of my nephews and nieces (when they're vacationing from Jakarta) in decorating our home. Since they're so good at making art pieces it's always quite a challenge for them.

We've gone through Pokemon, Scooby Doo, Spiderman, Winnie the Pooh (that's my fault!), Super Friends and whatever! But a Shrek party is definitely out of the question! Miguel might disown me if I do such a thing. My amigas who already have children have been bugging me to help them in preparing for their kids birthday parties (I must have missed my calling and should've just been a wedding coordinator/events planner).

And now I'm at a loss on what to do. He's growing up! And is now in high school! And they say that turning 13 is something you really have to celebrate. It is a rite of passage. I remember my Mom prepared a birthday bash for me when I turned 13. The only significant thing I remember about it is being allowed to invite boys to attend! LOL. Hmmm... no girls yet for Miguel! Noooo!!!

I just have 17 days to come up with a plan and with all the work I'm currently swamped with, I'm really lost!

Goodness! What do I do? What do I do?

*Photo circa 1999. Miguel recites "Lines for My Mother", a poem used normally by high school students. I remember at that age Miguel had the books of the Bible (old and new testament) memorized! Mana sa Mommy eh. LOL.

Monday, June 4, 2007

On Philippine IT News

I was chatting earlier with one of our Philippine internet icons, Migs Paraz (I think he's going to kill me for coining him as an icon LOL). Anyway, I was ranting about the lack of Philippine internet news. I read a lot of local tech blogs and news, but there are just aren't any stuff about local IT stuff. How come?

I asked the same question with other tech bloggers last weekend and the indomitable Mon Lizardo of Inquirer.net, they all said the same thing - there's not much local IT news. (Yes, I could be really that kulit when I'm curious about something.)

I don't think so. I go around a lot. I must've met at least a thousand people in the last 6 months and I know there is so much stuff ongoing in the IT scene. Like I know Migs and his colleagues work on many things in the news but they don't claim that they did it.

Will the Pinoy techie be relegated to the behind the scenes na lang?

I think we should continuously challenge ourselves and help push forward and promote our talents and skills - especially in the IT scene. Aside from Yehey.com did you guys know about Davao based Andrew's local search engine Alleba.com? Or that Titikpilipino.com is now on its tenth year and going strong? Or that Pinoydelikasi.com now has offices abroad? That Chikka.com is spreading its technology worldwide? That local mobile technologies produced locally are far more advanced than those in other countries? That foreign companies are coming here to get their products coded/programmed here?

Migs said maybe I should write for PTB. I gracefully declined and said I'm no tech blogger. I just like reading about it and that my work blog is more of a way for me to explain techie stuff to non-techie people. And, besides, that will ruin my galawgaw, simple lang image LOL.

I am sure there are a lot of tech news out there that aren't getting any mileage. If the people behind it had a chance to speak out (remember geeks/nerds are usually really shy), then we can get things going around.

What say you?

And, yes, this is a challenge for you tech bloggers and journalists :)

*Photo by Sasha Manuel

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Due in 9 Years

I've got less than 9 years till my deadline. What's this crazy deadline? A bet my Kuya and I did. And it's all about acquiring financial freedom!

Back in 2004 my Kuya asked me, "What are your plans to acquire financial freedom?" I told him then that I wanted to become a consultant so that I can earn some regular income while I'm building my export business. I projected that I'd be a consultant by 2006 and then I'd be exporting by 2015. My Kuya looked at me and said, "Fair enough. Let's make a bet. You should have completed all those by the age of 40 and me when I'm 50." (My Kuya is 13 years older than me).

At that time, I had no idea how I would become a consultant. I was very busy then with the launch of LUK4 and cooking up plans to re-launch E-Yellowpages as well. Who'd have known I'd meet my 2006 deadline? I quit my job at the yellow pages, moved on to a satellite TV provider, then became consultant for a property developer and then a search engine. All in one year! Whew!

I've been so caught up with work, but mind you I've been thinking about my 2015 deadline! And I've thought of doing an e-commerce business (which may be considered an export business when you're clients are abroad), but I haven't figured out what product to sell yet, it definitely has to be something that interests me.

I learned though from the Think Rich Pinoy seminar that you have to have different revenue streams, so I thought about maybe investing in the stock market/bonds or what have you (I'm attending a workshop on this early next week) or maybe look into the franchise market as well. I've read some stuff about this on Entrepreneur Magazine and I'm also looking for an interesting Singapore Franchise Opportunity.

I should really start working on this personal mission of mine. My Kuya already inaugurated his first venture, a dorm located in Naga City - if you see a very pink building called Apolo Bldg. along Ateneo Avenue in Naga, that's my Kuya's building! Hehe.

Any ideas?

*Kuya - what Filipinos call an older brother

Hyperventilating

Goodness gracious! Great scott! Oh-my-gaaaaaawd!

--hyperventilating--

Last month when Janette told me she was going to launch a writing project called the "Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs of 2007", I said, sure I'll write about it since the aim of the project is to help out newbies in the blogosphere. I thought also that it would encourange shy bloggers to be more passionate about their blog. It surely helps when you know that people read your blog. Who knows? We just might get the title "blogging capital of the world"! And that would be another feather on our salukot.

Okay, so I just sent a SMS to Janette and told her I'm hyperventilating over the latest results of the project. It's really surprising and overwhelming coz I've always been shy about my writing. But blogging has helped me come out of my shell, meet many more people, have a topic to speak about when dining with CEOs (and they've requested me to give a workshop on "Blogging for CEOs"!), connect with old and new friends, learn about new things (especially the techie stuff!) and, of course, this is my way of promoting the good side of our country (through my travels, gimmicks and mishaps).

I would like to thank --- super, duper to the max thank everyone who reads my blogs (An Apple a Day, Stitching, Lakwatsera Ako, Twisted Wedding Planner and Homegrown) and a huge, warm hug to those who mentioned me in their Top 10.

It's not too late yet, join the writing project - just mention your top 10 fave blogs (make sure they only started blogging after August 2006) and then drop Janette a line at her writing project post for your entry to be included.

And, I would just like to reiterate that I hope you'd blog about what a great country we have and why people should visit us. Bloggers! Let's unite and help our economy! I heard SEO Philippines will be doing the same soon. Chin up! Be proud you're Pinoy!

Warm, fuzzy feeling...

*Photo by Sasha Manuel (and no I'm not pregnant LOL).

Meme: The Ideal Guy

I was chatting with Sasha a while ago about making a post about the "ideal guy". I told her that I don't think that topic would sit well here in my blog since it's not a blog about dating and relationships and hello I don't really have much to say about that. Well, apparently she found a way for me to discuss it here in my blog. She suggested I do a meme she did last year. So, here are 8 traits I think a guy should have to be my ideal guy.

Hmmm... after all I've been through, I think my ideal guy is a nerd. Yes, you read it right. A nerd. Some would contest that geek is a better term because it has a more positive ring to it, then so be it... a nerd/geek.

Why, oh why? My girlfriends and I had a long discussion over dinner about the three types of guys: (1) the normal guy; (2) the bad boy; and (3) the geek/nerd. I'm not going to go through #1 and #2 coz that's going to be a looooong story. Let me tell you why my ideal guy is #3.

1. They have passion. When they want to get something done, they do it and they exhaust all efforts to get it done, i.e. Larry and Sergey.

2. They are romantic. And it's not the romantic-cheesy type mind you. I don't like the traditional type of courtship (listen to BOBCast 8 for more info). Getting surprised is just simply so adorable. See also #3.

3. They are very creative, especially when they are wooing you. And they don't just give gifts off the shelf, it's a well planned activity for them.

4. Mababaw kaligayahan. I'm not saying it's easy to please a nerd/geek, but you know if you manage to "get" what they are passionate about and you show interest in it, it's going to make `em mighty happy.

5. Simple. WYSIWYG.

6. Stable. I've noticed that when they are happy in their job, they stay in it and they flourish. Hey, I'm a nerd, so I know.

7. Patient and not judgmental. I'm not going to say anything about this coz I might incriminate myself. LOL.

8. One-woman guy. When they say it's just you, it's just really you.

What about you? What is your ideal guy? Or, if married, why do you think your husband is an ideal guy?

Girls! Meme time! Anne, Honey, Sharm, Lauren, Micholle, Mimi, AJ and Chel.

*Photo by Rico.

Friday, June 1, 2007

Interview ala Juned

I requested this interview from Juned. It's where you ask to be tagged or interviewed by the blogger.

Leave a comment if you want me to interview you. Kindly leave your e-mail address as well.

My answers to Juned's questions:

1) We are reading a book called Aileen Apolo. Describe the book physically. What is the book about?

It is a hard bound book, not brand new, but like those you'd find in your home library. It's been read a lot and you could tell because there are a lot of marks and folds. The book is a story book filled with adventure, mystery, fantasy and data. LOL.

2) You are Cinderella and you have now reached the end of your story, the part where you and your evil sisters are trying on the shoe. The first sister could not get the shoe to fit. And then the other sister slipped on the shoe with ease. Then Prince Charming exclaims, "We have found my bride!"

What would you do?

Well, if the Prince Charming was stupid enough to find me only through my shoe, then it means he is not really into me and is most probably not the right one for me. I would then approach him and tell him, "I would've expected you to think out of the box. It was me you do-do. Hmph!" Then I'd walk out, go back to my tower and sing with my friends, "Someday my prince will come..." Ay, Cinderella ba yun?

Hehehe. Sungit ko eh noh?

3) Create an evil fictional character. Describe its physically. What are its powers and why is it evil? And then how can it be defeated.

This is quite hard to answer. My Mom taught me not to think about evil and bad things. The fictional characters I did in the horror stories I wrote back in college were usually creatures that were ugly, stinky, slime-y, green with piercing, glowing red eyes who preyed on helpless people. It has the power to terrorize people based on their fear and the only way to defeat it is by facing up to your fears.

4) If you were invisible from sunrise to sunset for a day and only a day what would you do?

It is very tempting to be in places where there is a lot of information that I can learn and utilize, but I think there is a reason why I don't know about it. After all the training I've gotten to keep things to myself, I think I'd rather not know what I shouldn't know. Information is power, but my mission is different. It's best kept that way. So, I think I'll just stay home and play hide and seek with Miguel.

5) If Aileen Apolo were not with Google what would she be doing?

I'd be a consultant and I'd have started my export business by now.