Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009!

2008 passed like a blur for me. Started it off with 16 plane rides in January and then I don't really remember anymore what happened till November. I remember though that I was hospitalized in November and so I guess 2008 was definitely a BUSY one. At least I remember what happened this month. I just worked, stayed at home and did not attend any party (by choice!). Inasmuch as the whole year was a flurry of activity, I managed to hunker down and celebrate Christmas simply, just family and very close childhood friends. 

I failed miserably with the priorities I had set for 2008. I'm not even pasang awa and I guess I won't list any new priorities just yet for 2009 (well maybe tomorrow when I feel like it). At least I can say I managed to learn how to edit videos and so to celebrate that one bit of accomplishment I present to you an experimental vlog. Watch how I get abducted by a virus and brought back to the age of dinosaurs (oh noes!). Makakabalik kaya ako?



Happy new year! 

=========

Mall of Asia (front of SMX Convention Center)
November 28, 2008 to January 11, 2009
Tickets: 
Adults - PhP400
Children (under 1m) - PhP350
Family Package (2 Adults + 2 Children + 1 free ticket) - PhP1,600


Tuesday, December 30, 2008

MMFF Review: Iskul Bukol and Tanging Ina Nyong Lahat

Every year I try to watch a couple of the Metro Manila Film Fest movies. I don't remember though if I managed to watch any last year, but I do remember doing a movie marathon once with my childhood friends and we ended up cross-eyed by the end of the third movie. It's fun though and you should try it. 

I've watched two movies so far this year: Iskul Bukol and Tanging Ina Niyong Lahat.

Iskul Bukol
major head slap ala Plurk

I was forewarned by Sweetie about a not-so-good reviews on Iskul Bukol, but I felt guilty about changing plans since my high school friends wanted to watch it. I watched Iskul Bukol when I was a kid and thought it would be great to see them again. I remember I used to laugh a lot at their antics and thought that Miguel would appreciate the show too.

Less than 5 minutes into the movie Miguel was already elbowing me and I was yawning. The movie was very predictable and had all the elements of a TVJ show. Scantily-clad girls, goons, toilet humor, lots of chancing, carabao English and green jokes. The punch lines were just so 80s and old, some of it still made us laugh though. We finished the movie though since we weren't really set to do anything else. 

Tanging Ina Nyong Lahat
ROFL

I originally wanted to watch "Baler", but the titles changed over the weekend so since it was still early we decided to watch another movie and chose Tanging Ina Nyong Lahat. I watched the first movie with my parents when it came out and it was really funny. I was worried though that the sequel might not be able to make me laugh the same way the first movie did. 

Unlike Iskul Bukol, I was hooked five minutes into the movie. Aiai and Eugene's tandem is a powerful one and I ended up laughing along with the audience. I also love how the movie managed to tackle important issues (national and family) in a light way. There was also a smattering of movie and telenovela spoofs, but if you're not Kapamilya you might want to watch some videos about their shows (Caregiver, Maging Sino Ka Man etc.). 

Be merry! Watch Tanging Ina Nyong Lahat!

And tomorrow I shall watch Dayo! Here's the video blog I did a few months ago when I got the chance to visit Cutting Edge Productions when they were still making Dayo. Notice that I had an uncanny resemblance to Ana. 

 

My original post about Dayo is here.

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Monday, December 29, 2008

An Apple a Day on ABS-CBN "Upload"

I dozed off after watching a few segments of "Upload" on ABS-CBN last night since I was quite tired from the trip to Tagaytay yesterday. I was quite curious about the show since I was contacted earlier this month by ABS-CBN News, they wanted to interview me about a video I uploaded in my Youtube channel. I've been terribly shy about getting interviewed and have been shying away from it for more than 2 years now. 

Anyway, I was awakened by a call (and loads of text messages) at around 11:30 p.m.. Sweetie said that the spoof of the McDo TVC we did a few months ago was shown in the feature. I was mortified! Among all the videos I have online, it's the one video that I've wanted to delete for many reasons.  (Well this video was directed by my bestfriend, I edited it).

I dunno though if I should be happy or not about my video getting shown on TV. I feel embarrassed. I'm not mad that it was shown on TV (they could've told me though since they already contacted me, grrrr!), I'm just really embarrassed since I wasn't ready for it. My friends said that it was okay and quite funny and that the video was clear. Right. And one of my friends said that he watched it via TFC. 

OMG. 

Yeah, yeah, I'll probably get over it after a few days. 

But until then I think I'm going to bury my head first like an ostrich. 

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A New Look

I kinda got bored with how my blogs look like, so I changed some things a bit. I'm not yet happy with the header here on An Apple a Day. Hopefully I'll get inspired and manage to fix it up soon.

An Apple a Day








And here's a new blog I've been meaning to put together since 2007!


Friday, December 26, 2008

The Christmas I Got Slapped


Our parish priest was an hour late for mass on Christmas morning. He was the only priest left in our parish since all the others went home to their families. Martyr po siya. He said he just wanted them to be happy that's why he allowed them to go, so he ended up tending to all the masses in the parish. He's still quite young that's why he can handle everything, but he gives the best sermon (and we usually spend about 90 minutes in Church with him every Sunday). It's like being slapped every single week, and I mean that in a positive way.

Today (since I'm still up even though it's the 26th already) he gave a very important reminder that Christmas is not about YOU. It's not about sulking in your room singing Pasko na Sinta Ko or ranting to your best friend that your still a member ofSMC (Samahan ng Malalamig ang Pasko). Or for those who are sad because their loved ones are away. Christmas is not about that, it's all about Jesus. His birth. His coming. His BIRTHDAY! 

See that's why I feel like I'm being slapped awake whenever I get a chance to listen to Fr. Ramon's homily. All these years I had mistakenly equated Christmas with MY own happiness. There was even a time I dreaded Christmas coz I was also a member of the SMC and was just plain unhappy with how things were going in my life. 

Fr. Ramon proceeded to tell us that during Christmas you HAVE to be happy. Because you have EVERY RIGHT to be happy. It's the time to celebrate His birth. Remember when you were a kid how happy and excited you were. Helping Mom decorate. Eating half the food in the kitchen even before it's served. Staying up waiting for Santa Claus. Going to Cubao to watch the puppet show/display on the mall's frontage (it's in Greenhills now). Driving down Ayala just to see the lights. Learning how to wrap gifts. Carolling. 

When I was a kid everyone in our street put an effort in placing Christmas lights and lanterns. The number has been dwindling through the years. And I think only about 3 to 4 houses placed Christmas lights outside (we almost didn't). Fr. Ramon said it just goes to show that people have forgotten what Christmas is for. 

I was teary eyed when we stood up to sing "Angels we have Heard on High" once again. I felt like a huge burden was taken off my shoulders. I finally realized what Christmas is really for. 

Happy Birthday Jesus! Thank you for being there despite all my you-know

================

Oh and Fr. Ramon saluted all the couples who attended the mass together. I noticed that most of those who attended mass this morning were indeed senior citizen couples who are still very much together after all these years. That's one of my dreams. 

Here's my Mom and Dad on Christmas Day. They will be celebrating their 49th wedding anniversary next weekend.  


And this is me just being a kid again.


I hope I managed to make my boys really happy this Christmas. One got a gadget (a pen tablet and I guess I'll blog about it over at YGT). The other one got this uber cool Optimus Prime die cast thingy (original Transformers and not from the movie, collector's item the clerk said, I'm glad my best friend's husband helped me get it). 



And guess who got it! Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas! It's Christmas!



I'm so happy that I'm spending Christmas at home. We originally planned on spending it somewhere else, but I kinda vetoed it due to work and my health. I've experienced celebrating Christmas in other countries and it was just plain depressing. I just can't bear not being home for Christmas.

A friend of mine buzzed me earlier and asked, "How's Christmas in Manila?" I told her that Manila is the place to be during Christmas. 

Why?

1. We have the longest Christmas season which usually starts in September when radio stations start playing Christmas songs and malls start decorating for Christmas (skipping Halloween!). 

2. We go out of our way to decorate our homes (and workstations/rooms... even our blogs!) and usually hang a parol (Christmas lantern) out front. We also have the belen which some place in their garden or under the Christmas tree.

3. We even have special Christmas food! There's puto bungbong and bibingka and hamon! And a whole lot of other food we only prepare during Christmas like chicken galantina, special salads and a gazillions of pastries!

4. Kris kringle/monito-monita is something we always have in offices. Year-in, year-out you have to get something long, something green, something hard, something soft or whatever crazy theme HR or the Christmas committee can think about. 

5. The newbie dances! I'm so glad that I work remotely since I've just had enough of those annual newbies-must-dance-and-look-dumb thingies. I got transferred a lot in different companies and I found myself practising for those thingies each and every year. 

6. Who can forget the traffic? `nuff said.

7. Endless parties and reunions. It's the time of the year where you just really need to see everyone and you find your calendar filled-up with parties and reunions. I kinda skipped it this year and will just likely catch up with friends in January.

8. Shopping! Aside from malls there are tiangges where you can get great gifts! And don't forget to go to Greenhills!

9. Gifts! Gifts! Gifts! It's the time of the year where you get lots of mugs (LOLz!), frames or shirts! To avoid this, what my friends and I usually do is come up with a wish list and just coordinate what we buy. We've been doing it for several years now and it works!

10. Christmas carols, especially local ones always give a warm, fuzzy, happy feeling.

I do hope you have a Merry Christmas dear friend! 

Monday, December 22, 2008

Back to Back to Back

Photo by JayDJ

Last December 1 I got the chance to watch the "Back to Back to Back" concert of Side A, Freestyle and MYMP at the Araneta Coliseum with Sweetie (special thanks to Titikpilipino.com and Viva Records!). It was a rare chance to see all three super-loved OPM bands in one show and the venue was really jam-packed.

I had wanted to scream along with other fans, but I had a bad cough back then and all I could do was wave my hands. Aside from the hits of the three bands, Michael of Freestyle brought the house down with his rendition of "Give Love on Christmas Day" ala Michael Jackson (at age 5). It really brought a great feeling to everyone and was a good way to mark the beginning of Christmas (since it was December 1). People also started dancing when Leevon (Mica's newest crush) and Joey Generoso of Side A  made everyone stand up. I stood up as well and ended up dancing a bit. 

It was really a great night and I hope next year I'll get to watch more concerts!

Other concerts I watched this year:
MYMP (a surprise Valentine gift!)
and a whole lot of other shows by favorite Filipino artists like Richard Poon

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Singapore Plurk Fiesta

During my trip to Singapore a few weeks ago I managed to meet some new friends. It all started when I buzzed Ederic and Jonas for a meet-up since they both promised to meet me if I was going to visit Singapore. Eventually we decided to see if there were other Filipino bloggers/Plurkers who were free to meet-up. 

We met all met up in Bugis Junction Mall. Jonas and Ederic were in front of McDonald's and we finally met Leonard and Alex. Jonas, Leonard and Alex are all working in Singapore, while Ederic was there for training. 



My grand plan was to grab some of my favorite mee-goreng across the mall. I was so disappointed to find out that the food area was gone! So we went back to the mall and hung-out at the food center for almost 5 hours! Time flies when you're having fun! 

Well Singa-berks! Till next time!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Manila's Twitter Elite

I was minding my own business and going through some twits when I saw Budjette's twit about "Manila's Twitter Elite".

And guess who's number 1?




I never thought of myself as elite. So I just kinda giggled when I saw the page with the grades (my grade is 98.7). 

Now I feel conscious about what I twit about... Chocnut anyone?

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Christmas Wishlist

I was blog hopping and noticed that a lot of bloggers had their Christmas wishlist posted! So I thought I'd make one for myself too.

Some of my wishes though are intangible:

1. I want my old Darna self back. I'm getting a whole lot better now, but I know I could be better (still no-thanks to the doctor who gave a wrong diagnosis! Grrr!).

2. Bathroom accessories. I had my bathroom renovated last month and it's pretty bare right now. Also needs a fresh coat of paint, but I'll have to be away before that can be done.

3. Shelves for my books! 

4. Some CDs... Bugoy's new album and some other OPM CDs.

5. Frames! I want to re-decorate my basement and I'm planning to decorate it with as many photos as possible. 

I guess that's just it, I don't really fancy having expensive stuff. Less is more. =)

==========

Now, I know why bloggers have been posting their wish list! It's because of Melo's contest! Join na nga rin ako hehehe :D

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tales of the Pigsa

It starts like a pimple, then becomes a small lump, then you find yourself in pain because of an angry red hardened mound. It shows up on your back, in your kilikili, elbow, on your butt cheeks, or worse in between it. That small angry mound would actually bring you to your knees because it is very painful and if untreated. And then the mound progresses and an "eye" appears and you basically just have to wait until it bursts, unless you you do the bottle-thingy (and I don't really want to describe what that is about). 

The Pigsa, in Western terms it's called a boil.

(I don't have any photos of it sorry).

Now you might wonder WTH I'm blogging about it. LOL. No, I don't have one now, but I experienced it as a kid and for some strange reason last night's telebabad with the Sweetie veered towards the P-word. So we ended up talking about it for awhile.

When I was a kid my Mom and I stayed in Bicol for a few weeks to clean-up my Mama Lola's house. She passed away a few months before so we were tasked to clean-up the house and re-paint it. That was the time that I got a pigsa on my elbow. And then on my kilikili! It was a very painful summer!

Anyway, I realized last night that I don't really know how the pigsa comes about because they gave me the following reasons when I was a kid:

1. You don't eat vegetables.
2. You have dirty blood.
3. Because you did not take a bath! 

Argggh! 

So I did a bit of research and apparently a pigsa is a skin abscess and according to MedicineNet.com it can be caused by prolonged travel (because of sitting), ingrown hair, a splinter or even a cut. 

Now the mystery has been solved after 2 decades. LOL. 

Did you ever have one?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Are You Happy?


I am!

So, are YOU happy?

It was Fr. Hilarion who asked the question this morning during his homily. He asked it again and again until everyone answered back. The sermon was all about why you are happy and it made me realize a couple of things.

I've been through 5 weeks of hell. Well, hell for me is being unwell and not being able to do what I usually do. I've been feeling really sad about it too, but thank God my real doctors are back and I'm feeling so much better now. No thanks to the doctor who made a wrong diagnosis when I was in the hospital, I would've probably been in tip-top shape 3 weeks ago if I managed to take the right medication. But, I'm just glad now that I'm (almost) back to my cheery and perky self, I hope though that all the pain would be gone soon.

I'm also happy because I have a loving family, Sweetie and a bunch of really crazy friends who hovered around the past few weeks. And mind you I could get really cranky when I'm sick and I'm just really glad that they put up with me. And I believe that's what is really important in life coz you can do without all those material things, but you cannot do without your family and friends. That would be a really lonely life. Sniff, sniff, sniff.

And it also made me remember an old friend who said that in his province they have to show-off to show their status and wealth. We had an argument about that and it came to a point that he told me I had no ambition. He was then pushing me to buy a car and buy other stuff. I'm a very prudent person especially when it comes to buying things. I buy only when needed (a very important lesson I learned from my Kuya). 

Eventually I parted ways with this friend of mine because he had very different beliefs (and he betrayed me). I can only shake my head now because I got news about him selling his soul, just for money. Well, I hope eventually he'll realize that happiness and wealth is not about having all the latest gadgets or being able to buy material things. 

The gold of happiness is in relationships and not material things. That's what Fr. Hilarion said this morning and I hope you guys are happy too.

Bee happy!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Telenovela Roll

During the times that I do watch TV I watch telenovelas too and when I got sick the only thing you can just do is watch TV. 

My favorite TV channels are ABS-CBN, Discovery Channel, National Geographic and Myx. I left Miguel control the remote more often than not and just watch what he watches. He doesn't watch telenovelas though and would rather sit in front of the PC to watch Youtube videos or study apps by following tutorials.

So the past few nights I thought about writing a blog post about the telenovelas I've been watching (and have decided not to watch). I'm bad at remembering TV channels so I'm usually stuck on ABS-CBN after dinner.

Telenovelas are a lot like sushi, don't you think? They come in different flavors:

1. Dyosa - I didn't like Dyosa when it started, but eventually the story kinda changed and it became charming. My Mom though said that she doesn't understand why people just keep getting kidnapped or zapped every other day. 

2. I Love Betty La Fea - I'm a fan of John Lloyd, `nuff said. 

3. Kahit Isang Saglit - Best storyline and I think well done. Goes to show that when there's pressure to do really well we can do it. 

4. Eva Fonda - Christine Reyes is very pretty and sexy indeed, the show though for me is very violent and too sensual to be shown on primetime bida. So I just usually change the channel when this comes up. (If you're a fan, I'm so sorry, but that's just my opinion).

5. There's was this Korean soap that was a no-brainer, I think it was "Three Dad's and a Mom" or something. It was funny and when I say it's a no-brainer, I mean it's a show that you can just watch and laugh because of the engot things they do. 

Pinoy Fear Factor is not a telenovela, but looks like one coz there's drama to it compared to it's foreign versions. I guess this is so coz they're stretching it to fit a whole week. I also find it weird they decided to use many Spanish words. 

Well, this is what happens when your movements are limited. LOL.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

PacMan Wins vs. De La Hoya

I must admit I slept through the fight. LOL. I watched several of Manny Pacquiao's fights before and it always got me too excited. I did not want to get stressed so I slept.

BUT, I woke up just in time to catch the interviews after he was declared a winner. I admire both fighters for being humble when they were being asked questions that they could've used to make yabang. De La Hoya kept saying that he had nothing bad to say about Manny and that Pacquiao deserves all the accolades. Manny, on the other hand, also just said that he's just a boxer who'd train hard for any fight he has to do. 

Despite all the disappointment I've been feeling about Manny because he joined the political bandwagon (and lost), I felt proud. He is a Filipino after all and I'm sure he made a lot of sacrifices to win the fight. I just hope he doesn't run for any government position anymore. 

Congrats PacMan!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Professor A (a.k.a. Miss A., that's me!)

A few months ago my high school buddy (and 4-years laboratory partner) asked me if I wanted to teach. I said yes not knowing that I would actually start teaching a graduating class by September.

I did not know what I had gotten myself into. 

And I must say I have new-found respect to the teaching profession. It's not easy and very challenging. I found myself STUDYING and doing research. It would take me at least 3 hours to prepare for a 90 minute class. 

Because of my work I do a number of speaking engagement, so I stupidly thought that teaching a class would be as easy. I was wrong. Teaching a class is very different from going through a preso to an audience you will just see for an hour. When you teach a class there is a deeper commitment to engage the audience, because at the end of the term you will ask yourself, "Did they honestly learn something from me?"

I was out for three weeks because of my sickness and I realized after going back to teach that I missed my students. They were not as kulit as I expected. There was a good balance between brilliant kids and the lazy ones. And well from my desk in front I think I kinda know who's going to be ahead (well more or less).

I just hope though I won't be as sorely disappointed with myself since I feel I would've been able to give more to my students, but sometimes ya-know things just get really crazy. 

To my students, we have one class day left! Woohoo! or Awww? Hope you picked up something from me and good luck with your thesis!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bolero Ka Ba?

Most of my non-Filipino speaking friends do not understand that question and it’s funny how they’d scour the internet just to find out what it means.

Thank God, Google now translates Filipino into many other languages or vice-versa.

I could honestly say that Filipino is one of the harder languages to translate especially since words can mean differently when you add “na” “an” “”han” “um” like with the word kain which can go as “kumain” “kumakain” “kainan” ‘nakain”. And our language evolves so much that Filipinos who left the country 2 decades ago probably wouldn’t understand the terms we currently use.

I was very excited when I found out about Google Translate. Before it had Filipino in it (first in Southeast Asia mind you!), I used it already to translate some emails I’d get in other languages (some of my friends like giving me a hard time) and whenever I do research I ran into websites written in other languages. It’s just a click away to translate!

I thought it was quite impossible to translate our language that easily. The Google translation tool though is not based on the work of linguists (there aren’t any people typing madly in the back-end to translate stuff you put in), but it’s a machine translation based on an algorithm and not rules. I’ve been reading “Planet Google” lately and it’s interesting to understand better how Google actually does it.

Google Translate provides us an easy tool to understand other languages and having Filipino in it is very helpful too! Although if you're going to be making marketing collaterals better have a linguist involved in it to be sure. 

So, bolero ka ba? actually asks, "Are you a gigolo?" Haha.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Great SG Challenge

Five years of riding the LRT every single day gives you really good train-riding skills. I rarely ride the MRT or LRT now (coz I'm lazy to go up the stairs), but I was definitely challenged this week when I had to commute to work (I just usually wake up and work is just about 10-steps away from my bed). I could take a taxi, but I decided to take the more "adventurous" route by taking the MRT. 

When you become as lazy as me when it comes to commuting, you'd realize that commuting is HARD. It took me an hour to get to work the first two days, but one of my colleagues challenged me to find a better (that means less walk) route and I'm happy to say that I've cut my commute time by 15 minutes and the route home is much better since there are more sites (meaning SHOPS) to see.

I also realized that I probably stood out from everyone else here in Singapore because:

1. I'm not wearing black or any of their regular colors.
2. I don't have bangs and I certainly stood out more when I had my hair up.
3. I've been wearing sneakers the past few days coz my feet were sore from walking on my first day.
4. I carry this huge bulky bag with my laptop, unlike all the girls who seem to be carrying stylish bags.
5. I'm FAT! All the girls seem to be just half of me (boo!). I wonder if they eat at all.

Oh well... and I'm feeling a bit homesick huhuhu.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

LPG Tanked Taxis Harmful?

Experiencing pneumonia is no walk in the park. I've had a difficult time recovering from it and I lost 10 precious pounds because of it. When I got out of the hospital and was well enough to read more about it I wanted to know a couple of things: (1) is it contagious (2) what causes it and (3) what I can do to prevent a recurrence (this is very important because I have a higher risk of developing it).

I made a very startling discovery while doing some research. Inhalation of chemical substances such as gas, wax, paint or other chemical products may trigger pneumonia. And this got me thinking... 

(1) I've never been admitted to the hospital for an illness.
(2) I rarely get sick and if I do it's just usually tonsilitis.
(3) I rarely get the sniffles, cold or cough.

I do tend to overwork myself, but I do rest especially during weekends (that's when I oversleep). I travel a lot too, but I usually end up gaining weight whenever I do so and don't have any problems going back to work immediately after a trip.

So did I have "chemical pneumonia"? I dunno, that I'll have to consult with my doctor when I go back for my follow-up. 

Anyway, I am very sensitive to the smell of gas and I'm the only one at home who can smell it whenever someone forgets to turn off fully the stove. I've been exposed lately to a lot of LPG-tanked cabs, re-painting at home, and the super alikabok bathroom renovation. My worst experience though were some cabs I took going around the metro. My friend's doctor also said to stay away from LPG-tanked taxis.

I'll surely do. I do hope someone from the Department of Health would check if there's a higher incidence of pneumonia in the past few weeks, those poor cab drivers are surely going to suffer much more than what they'll be able to save.


Friday, November 21, 2008

You can't have it all

A few weeks ago Fr. Dandee asked during his homily, "Have you ever thought about your death?"

It was an early Sunday morning and I was in a daze (this was the week before I got admitted to the hospital) and when he asked the question I just went blank. Coz I never really thought about my death. I do worry about losing any of my love ones and I've only so far lost my Mama Lola and my favorite Tito and despite my heart condition, my own death never crossed my mind.

When I found myself gasping for breath hours after hauling all the stuff from the event I started thinking about it. I stopped myself though from thinking such horrid thoughts because I had to focus on getting some air in and hopefully get myself to sleep. It was a very painful experience and I thought that it was just going to pass.

It didn't, so I found myself asking my Mom via SMS (coz I could barely talk) to bring me to the hospital on Monday. It took awhile since all of my regular doctors were out of the country (hindi tama yun!) and I've never been admitted to the hospital coz I don't get sick (never had chicken pox, measles etc.) and I usually respond to meds anyway.

I admit I overworked myself last October, almost getting myself killed in the process since the doctor had to calm down my heart. I'm healthy now save for my usual leaky heart that needs attention soon. My good friend Honey told me earlier, "Sometimes God finds a way to make you stop, to force you to rest and then you realize that despite that everything just goes on."

And my other friend Jihan said, "Hoy di nabibili ang puso sa Glorietta!" Very true indeed. So before God boinks me on the head harder, I'm going to just sit down and listen to what He is trying to tell me.

There's something very important I'm going to do next week. Please pray for me.

====================

Oh BTW, please do watch "Laughs and Gasps" a benefit show by our blogger-magician-official-event-host Marcelle and Jay with Ms. Giselle Sanchez.

November 22, 2008, Saturday
7:30 p.m.
Vibal Publishing Rooftop
G. Araneta Avenue
(near Sto. Domingo Church)

Just contact Marcelle for tickets.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dad's Miracle Spaghetti

I tell you, the only thing that will really make me 100% well is my Dad's spaghetti! So yesterday after a trip to the clinic for some tests I asked my Mom if we could drop by the supermarket to buy some tissue. Of course, bring me to the supermarket and I'm definitely not just going to buy tissue (even though I felt I was just crawling around in a daze). We ended up buying ingredients for spaghetti.

By late afternoon Aling Leoning woke me up and asked if I wanted to eat some spaghetti. I never say no to spaghetti and I got served a huge heap. I still can't imagine how I managed to finish it (serving is probably equivalent to 4 Jolly spags!). 

I lost so much weight anyway, so that's my excuse. LOL. Well, here's my spaghetti recipe in case you get hungry.

Oh do expect me to just ramble on the next few days, I'm still recuperating and haven't been able to go out. Keep warm guys, seems like there's a lot of people getting sick lately. Rest!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Alive!

I got very sick after my last post and experienced being admitted to the hospital for the very first time in my entire life. I don't normally get sick and normally I get over things quickly with some meds.

After the DevFest I felt the exhaustion and all the stress that I went through to prepare for it. I hadn't planned anything for the weekend and thought that I'd manage to get some rest before another hectic week. Or so I thought.

So anyway, I ended up spending an entire week in the hospital. Horrendous (and very expensive) thing to do I tell you! Anyway, I just wanted to say I'm kinda back and will hopefully fully recover within the week.

Special thanks to my family, my friends, my doctors and nurses (yes even the evil nurse from hell) for nursing me back to almost good health!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

DevFest Manila

DevFest Manila was a blast! A team of developers from Google, Globant, ExoPlatform, Friendster (from all over the world!) arrived in Manila to host one of the biggest developer events this year. Now I wouldn't even dare explain what was discussed since I was very busy doing back-end stuff during the event and well I think I was one of the handful of non-techies present during the event (even all the volunteers were techies!). 

So, I share with you the fun part of the DevFest -



And if you are a techie reading this post, you might want to shimmy over to the APAC DevFest Manila page.

Of course, photos!



I wasn't feeling well the whole week and just survived the event with pure adrenaline. Special thanks and big hugs to:

UP-ITTC (Dr. Caro, Prof. Rom, Rhea and Joeboy for bridging for me, you know what I mean)

University of the Philippines unPLUG for volunteering and tirelessly handling on-the-day logistics (especially Mikko for rounding up volunteers for me!)

Globe (Blue and Sherwin and their engineers) and Smart (Debby and their engineers) for agreeing to cooperate to provide internet (I know we drove you guys crazy during the first few hours)

BuddyRealityTV for the video coverage (you're the best Buddy!)

Max's Restaurant for the perfect food (but I have not yet forgotten the torture you put me through!!! You will definitely hear from me! Grrrr!)

and the other suppliers who also drove me crazy =)

Most special thanks to -

Sweetie for accompanying me countless of times to Elliptical Road and UP and for keeping me up and running the whole time (couldn't have done it without you)



And I would like to extend my sincerest thank you, gratitude and appreciation to Jason, Patrick, Pamela, Conway, Vinny, Jeremi, Benjamin, Jeff, Bruno and Eric for coming to Manila. I hope you guys come back soon!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Clear Black Night Party

It was definitely a different kind of party for bloggers. Clear set-up Taste Asia like a dance club and here's a glimpse of how bloggers looked that night -

JayDJ, me and Miguel

Optimus Prime also wearing a mask!


The Juned and Azrael


Billycoy and Mistervader (Watch out for Marcelle's magic show with Giselle Sanchez on November 22!)


My photo op with THE REYNA


Eilanna and Jake

With my best friend, Anne

Oh and for bloggers don't forget there's an ongoing contest. Check out the mechancis here.

Thank you Unilever and SM Hypermarket for the halloween party! It was a blast!

You might also want to read these -

Friday, October 31, 2008

Experience Mindanao

Once I was in the office abroad a colleague of mine approached me and showed me the newspaper. The headline was about bombing somewhere in Mindanao. She asked me if it was that way always in our country. I quickly dispelled her view about Mindanao and I even said I really wanted to live in Davao (that's true!).

That incident made me sad. It also made me remember another colleague's story about his homeland, Pakistan. It was a very similar story. It's a PR nightmare for people who live there. Why? Because with the negative opinion about the region they won't be able to encourage tourists to go, much less invest. And one needs investments for progress.

I've been going to the Visayas and Mindanao region often in the past 5 years and from my observation, the Visayas region (specifically Cebu) has grown by leaps and bounds. There's been change in the Mindanao region (specifically Davao), but not as fast as what I've seen in Cebu. I'm basing this on construction growth because it's the most obvious one to observe.

I went to Davao and GenSan last weekend for the 2nd Mindanao Bloggers Summit. I eagerly said yes to Avel when he sent me the invitation. I love going to Mindanao because it's so different there. Everybody's open, friendly and accommodating. I told Arbet while we were chatting during MBS that Mindanao bloggers are definitely more pro-active than their counterparts anywhere else. Why? Because they have limited resources and as Mayor Acharon said, "We have to be more resilient."

I have no doubt that the bloggers who attended the Mindanao Bloggers Summit would definitely help in changing the mindset of people about their region. It will not happen overnight, but it will happen.

And if you have not visited the region, you should! Here are some video blogs I did about Davao and GenSan.





More details about the trip at LakwatseraAko (Davao and Gensan)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Updates: Clear Black Night Halloween Party

Hey, hey the party's tomorrow and the organizers just wanted to sound off a few things:



1. You don't need the physical invitation to attend, this was just sent to those who registered early. Registration closes before midnight on October 30 to allow the organizers (and cooks!) to prepare for the party.
2. Wear sexy black. Black top and jeans is okay, but make sure you feel sexy!
3. The party starts at 7 p.m. and will last till the wee hours of the morning.
4. Don't forget to bring your camera! A little bird told me that some Miss Earth candidates will be attending the party.

Clear sent a teaser about the blog contest, mechanics are here.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What's Wrong With these Photos?

Took this photo at the airport the other day, there's something off with it... check it out -



And I took this photo at GenSan when we arrived the other night... hmmm...


Saturday, October 25, 2008

Meeting Forrest Gump

I had a fabulous time at Bubba Gump the other day. We came in a bit late and saw this guy looking a lot like Forrest Gump talking to bloggers. 

I was baffled.

Forrest Gump is one of my favorite movies and I watch it often on cable TV when it shows (and I still cry a bit each and every time during sad parts), so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw him at Bubba Gump. Is Forrest Gump for real? 



Nah, the guy was Steve Weber, a motivational speaker based in the US. He visited Manila to promote Bubba Gump and their new menu which we managed to sample. Here's some of their new stuff -

Dynamite Shrimp - Shrimp Poppers

Spicy Jambalaya Pasta - Shrimp and Spicy Andouille Sausage over Linguini with Bourbon Street Tomato Sauce (uber hot pasta that got the guys sweating! LOL)

That Chocolate Thing - A special jar of warm flourless chocolate cake topped with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream, drizzled with raspberry sauce (it looked really sinful so I just tried a small piece)

I also loved the fresh green salad with special salad sauce (I don't remember though what it was, but it was really yummy).

And guess what, I finally won something from Cebu Pacific's in-flight game because of Forrest Gump! They made passengers guess a line from a movie and I won because of Forrest Gump! LOL.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Mindanao Bloggers Summit (Year 2)


I was looking over the activities for the Mindanao Bloggers Summit and whoa they actually have a SASHIMI NIGHT!!! Why? Coz they're doing it this year at the tuna capital of the Philippines -- General Santos City! (BTW, that's also where our boxing hero, Manny Pacquiao, hails from).

I'm definitely NOT missing it this year! And I'm very excited to be part of the event! Woohoo!

See you guys there!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Aiza, a Funny Man and West Side Story

I tagged along with Sweetie for a couple of music events in the past few weeks.

1. Aiza Seguerra's launch of her international album, "Open Arms" at Eastwood. The album was recorded in Singapore and remastered in Japan and has been launched in a couple of Asian countries. Great album to buy since Aiza rendered a number of great hits as an acoustic version.

2. West Side Story. I thought I'd never get to watch West Side Story since it was already on the last weekend of its run, but lo and behold the Sweetie managed to get us tickets! West Side Story is one of my Mom's favorites and she always used to watch the film (on VHS) when I was a kid. And who can forget "One Hand, One Heart", an all-time favorite wedding song that our choir sings? And "I Feel Pretty" and "Somewhere"? I was in heaven the whole play especially since it was Joann Ampil who played Maria. And "Tony" was indeed a role made for Christian Bautista.

Oh and after watching West Side Story I bought a copy of "Kumpas", an orchestral celebration of Pinoy Rock music. The main reason why I got it was because Ely Buendia was featured for the 7-minute orchestra version of "Ang Huling El Bimbo".

3. I also got to watch Vhong Navarro and the Streetboys perform live during the launch of their album entitled "Let's Dance", a dancexercise instructional audio-video CD. I must say that dancing is one talent I do not have! BUT it's exercise that I need and after watching the Streetboys teach some veteran reporters do the "Hustle" I think maybe, maybe I can manage module 1 with Miguel (with doors locked `kay!). 

And a super belated post about MYMP. 


After a long-hiatus, MYMP finally launched their newest album, "Now". They mentioned during the interview that this album had more of a "country feel" and "Now" is n original song penned by one of their friends. 
And looking at my CD-cabinet I could proudly proclaim that I have all of the albums of MYMP heh.

And since we're talking about OPM, I hope you guys can also check out "Scholars Sing Cayabyab". Bugoy's song, "Paano Na Kaya" is very sincere and he rendered it really, really well. I hope my neighbor doesn't mind that I usually leave the song playing again and again the whole day. (I wonder where I'll get the chance to have a photo-opp with Bugoy).
 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Bloggers Night Out with Pantene

It was another fun night as bloggers converged once again at Taste Asia to take a peek at Pantene's newet product, the "3 Minute Miracle Treatment". The event started with a showcase on how the product works and Emilyn, a blogger, took the 3-minute challenge. The treatment is supposed to help repair damaged hair in just three minutes. (I'll probably try it out tomorrow since I have BHDs more often than not! LOL). Anyway, when Emilyn came back her hair looked really great (I wish my hair could be tamed just as easily).



The evening's highlight was Judy Ann's visit. Bloggers lined up outside to await her arrival and everyone had their cameras and phones up when she was onstage. The last time I saw her in person was back in college and I must say she looks really, really great! After Judy Ann's visit we just all sat back and listened to RJ Jimenez render his hits and some covers.

Thanks to Procter & Gamble, Pantene, Taste Asia and SM Hypermarket for hosting another party for bloggers!

Blog Posts:


Photos:


Pre-event Posts:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Clear Black Night (a Halloween Dance Party)

This is THE Halloween party for bloggers we've been waiting for.


What: Clear Black Night, a Halloween Dance Event
When: October 31, 2008, Friday, 7:00 p.m. (to super sawa!)
Where: Taste Asia (beside SM Hypermarket, Mall of Asia)
Attire: Come in Sexy Black (no need to for costumes!)
What to expect: Just be in party mode and get a chance to win instant prizes! Everything's going to be Fun! Fun! Fun!

Join us! Register here. To check if you've been registered go here.

It's just a week away, kindly spread the word! And see you!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day: Poverty, Time for Action Guys!

I'm launching this ONLINE MENTORING PROGRAM in time for Blog Action Day.

Poverty is present in many different ways and usually people relate poverty to its material manifestation (or lack thereof). I've been thinking for a long while now how to address the issue of "poverty in our education sector", NOT the physical stuff, but more on the learning side, specifically on internet literacy. I believe that lack of internet literacy is a form of poverty too and I can say that it's been an advocacy of mine to fight that. 

In the past 2 years I've had the privilege of seeing a lot of things and there was one question that nagged me for the longest time - how can I raise the internet literacy of our public school educators? 

I've been working with GILAS and CICT for sometime now and I've trained a good number of public school educators in the past 2 years and one of the things we discovered is that there were schools that have been connected to the internet but have only been using it for 2 hours a week.  2 HOURS PER WEEK is just the amount of time I spend on email in a day. 

HUWWWWWHAAATTTTT?!!!?!?!?

Oh yeah, it's surprising but that's reality. I dug around for some answers and realized that what the educators who have gone through training need continuing education. They need someone who they could buzz and ask questions so they could continue learning. I realized this when I saw that a lot of educators who buzz me ask questions on how to do stuff (which I usually answer back with a URL they could read) eventually moved on to become internet champions on their own.

This happened because their lifestyle changed. I realized that if you want someone to become an internet champion, you have to make them addicted to it. They have to fall in love with using it. And that will never happen during a seminar nor a short-classroom discussion. Someone has to pull them in. Remember the time that your friend bugged you to start blogging? Or when Youtube first graced your monitor? Or when ten years ago you were looking for a better search engine and your friend told you to use Google? 

Yup, that's something YOU can do.

After many months of discussions and program definition (which I did not want to be complicated) with my friends from GILAS and the CICT we're finally ready to share and ASK HELP for a really out-of-the-box project that we want to get off the ground -

THE ONLINE MENTORING PROGRAM
by Volunteers for Educators, 
to uplift the internet literacy of our country's public school educators

This online mentoring program was designed to be hip, quick and light - on both sides. We're just asking for a few minutes of your regular chat-time or email-time or Plurk/Twitter-time to spend time with a new chatmate err an educator. 

For more information about the program, go here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Dayo

I honestly had no idea what to expect when Blogie invited me to see the animation studio of "Dayo". I was so busy during that time and just checked my calendar if I was available and said, "I'll go!" And I asked if I could bring the Sweetie and the little man. So I dragged Miguel out of his bed last Saturday morning so we could prepare for the 10 a.m. "call time".

I did not get enough sleep, but I immediately perked up when we started the studio tour. Miguel immediately left my side and I saw him observing intently what the animators were doing (and he promptly asked if we could get something like it! Uh-oh). Anyway, it was a great experience since it was my first time in an animation studio and it gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling to witness the making of the first-ever full-digital Filipino animation, Dayo.

Here's my video blog about it -



And here's the trailer of Dayo -



Of course, photos from the tour!



Watch Dayo in December during the Manila Film Fest!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Doooooooon!

How do Filipinos give directions?

We use our lips to point the direction you should take.

"Doooon!" "Diyan-diyan lang, doon o!"

(Can you imagine?).

Google launched Google Mapmaker this week and this allows us to tag and fix-up our maps across the country. I personally have been tagging places in my neighborhood and have finished our church and park area (hopefully our Passionist priests won't bonk me on the head for placing where their convento is). I'm also planning to go up and down the commercial area of our village so I could tag the food stops in the area.

Here's Jason Chuck, Product Marketing Manager Asia Pacific of Google during the press launch of Google Mapmaker:



Finally, I will probably get lost less often now. Special thanks to Jason, Dickson, John and Therese!





More details at You Got Tech.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What Can You Do in 3 Minutes?

There's so much you can do in three minutes and I think one thing I can do in 3 minutes is make a quick blog post! 

I just got word from friends from SM Hypermarket that Pantene is throwing a bash for bloggers, and I'm quite excited with the plans they have presented. I'm also curious if this event will help tame my monster hair (LOL!).

Here are the details of the party:

Date: October 17, 2008, Friday
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Where: Taste Asia, Mall of Asia (beside SM Hypermarket)
A glimpse of what to expect: photo wall, fabfoto, food (!!!), special cocktail drinks, music and a hanep dress-up of Taste Asia methinks, games where you can win instant prizes!
How to join: Just register here
(to check if you got in, go here)

Oh and a special celebrity guest is set to grace the occassion! 

So what can you do in 3 minutes? Well... sign-up for the party now and find out next week. 

Don't forget to bring your blogger cards so you can pass them around and get traffic from your fellow bloggers. 

GO!

(and please do spread the word!)

Side note: our parties are getting to be more exciting!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Winners of the Delifrance Couture Tray Contest



Judging is really a difficult task. I did not expect to have so many entries for this mini-contest I did for Delifrance. Anyway, here are the winners:

Because mayonnaise is my life.
Manuel Quezon III, a Philippe
*I love mayonnaise too!

I love anything with chicken. I can eat chicken anytime, any day, prepared any way. That's why I'm a Cherie. Bok! Bok! Bok! Bok! :D
Fitz Villafuerte, a Cherie *The "Bok-Bok-Bok" made me laugh.

A Philippe is a comforting person if personified. After a hard day's work, or after a depressing day at school or work, you just want to reward yourself with all things creamy and indulgent. What with a tuna onion mayo clubhouse and beef stroganoff pasta, how can you go wrong? I believe that I am a comforting person like these foods not just because i give the meanest and best bear hugs in my side of town, but just like these dishes, i am not afraid to indulge.
Illin Rodriguez, a Philippe
*I absolutely love bear hugs!

I'm a water element--I probably spent most days of my past life, either as a person who actually lived in the water or someone who simply enjoyed being near the water.
In another past life, I was probably Italian. I can actually feel dining in Italy's finest restaurants, savouring the delicious taste of tomato in my pasta. I'm definitely and Amelia!... =)
Joy Mesina-Bahia, an Amelia
*I also wonder sometimes who would I have been in my past life.

Brainy and good for the heart, like a tuna, is what I am.
Zaida Angelita Lazaro, a Philippe

I'm talkative as a chicken and can be flavorful as a garlic.
Rolando Marlon Makayan, a Cherie
*LOL at "talkative as a chicken"

I am an Amelia –French of Emily, lovely is a name such as Amelia… and lovely a mother I wish to be. The seafood deluxe clubhouse rested so royal on the plate with a portion of pasta arranged neatly next to it. Between bites of clubhouse and pasta, a drizzle of flavors and texture cascaded like waterfalls.
Jane Chua, an Amelia

I’d be a Cherie, probably. I come across as unapproachable to people who don’t know me but I’m actually very uncomplicated… as versatile as chicken with a punch like garlic, hahaha!
Rowena Wendy Lei,a Cherie

I am not Henri, I am Aethen but since a set with half a Premiere Clubhouse and half Shrimp Pesto Pasta taste super "Henri-fically" delicious that it made me forget my name but Henri. Why? It is because of the best part set - the crispy bacon in the sandwich and the plumb and juicy shrimp in the pasta. Superb. - Henri
Mark Aethen Agana, a Henri

I am born in the year of the Rooster and I like to eat chicken so much, as in cooked chicken. Hehe! And since I like more garlic on my dishes, I am choosing Cherie to best describe myself.
Nicely, Cherie

Congratulations! A representative of Geiser Maclang shall get in touch with you for your prize. Thanks for joining.

Here are the other entries.



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