Thursday, March 27, 2008

Handog Pangkabuhayan Text Scam

Congratulations! Ur sim. no. had won (P650,000) thru electronic raffle draw fr: PGMA charity foundation w/ Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas "Handog Pangkabuhayan"! to claim ur prize.! call me now!! i'm atty. Rex C. Mendez frm.BSP info. Dpt Per-DTI#3920 series of 2008.

Sent by +63-915-7810115

Goodness! I really do abhor these text scammers! I've received quite a number of these, but today it was my Mom who received the message. I told her to ignore it, but she was curious and actually called up the so-called Atty. Mendez.

Hataw mambola!

He first explained that the BSP is celebrating an occasion and PGMA was giving away money. They got numbers from NTC and rafflled it off - one winner each for Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. And then he asked the name of the owner of the mobile phone (that's me! my Mom's using one of my phones) and proceeded to request for my account number. They will just deposit the money and no need to show up.

You wish!

I was appalled. This so-called Atty. Mendez was a smooth talker. If my Mom did not know any better she would've probably given an account number and they would've probably found a way to get money from the account. Good thing though Globe sends reminder messages about these meanies once in a while.

Now let's deconstruct the message -

Congratulations! Ur sim. no. had won (P650,000) thru electronic raffle draw
- If it was an eletronic raffle how come you did not define my number in your message? You said that you got listings from NTC, how come you asked for the name of the owner of the mobile phone? You also claim to award winners from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, how do you actually determine that the mobile phone owner is from LuzVi or Min? You obviously just sent it to random numbers.

fr: PGMA charity foundation w/ Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas "Handog Pangkabuhayan"!
- You said that it was for the anniversary of BSP, what does a charity foundation have to do with it? It's just all so strange.

to claim ur prize.! call me now!! i'm atty. Rex C. Mendez frm.BSP info. Dpt Per-DTI#3920 series of 2008.
- I used to handle promos for my previous job and it just doesn't work this way dude. Plus, I do not think esteemed lawyers would risk their good name for a promo. It so doesn't sound prudent. DTI is also very strict with requirements when you apply for a permit for a promo. My ad agency had to go back several times to DTI just to obtain the permit. And I find it strange that a government agency would use a DTI permit number (check the requirements and go figure). I hope DTI publishes approved permits on their website so consumers can check easily (I tried checking but couldn't find it).

Sent by +63-915-7810115
- And mister, promos do not go by ordinary mobile phone numbers. Telcos normally provide 3 to 4 digit numbers for this and you have to work with a mobile content provider to have this.

Just. Get. Lost. I hope the authorities find you and jail you for doing this to your fellow Filipinos.

I am ANNOYED. Text scammers! Boooo!!!

Vlog: My Coca-Cola Story

Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. I do not earn from blogging and have yet to receive my first Adsense check (maybe after another year hahaha).

Nag-disclaimer eh noh. Haha.

Anyway, back to my post. Here's a chronicle of 40 days of my life. Watch and find out how Coca-Cola figured into it.

I'm so happy I succeeded this again this year. It actually took me three decades to control myself. Not an easy task believe me. My niece actually doesn't drink "colored" beverage and just allows herself to drink anything once a week. That is a tall order. That's something that'll take me another decade (or a doctor's order) to do.

What did you sacrifice for Lent?

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Time Warp

I had to go to the building where I used to work today. It's been more than a year I think since I dropped by (last time I think was when I picked up my best friend). It's been actually two years since I finally bid goodbye to the place. It was my second home for almost 5 years. When I stepped in the building I felt like I went back in time.

Everything was the same.

The manong guards who greeted me at the doorway were the same. The janitors and helpers I bumped into were the same people who took care of me (and warned me about staying late in the office because of ghosts). The elevator had the same lighting and the recording ("opening doors") was the same. Good thing though I was set to visit a floor I did not work in.

It felt umm weird.

I have so much memories of that place. Both good and bad. Good because I have made a lot of friends there (and a best friend to boot!) and a good part of my work education I got in that building. Bad, there are sad and traumatic moments too. Deadma lang hehehe. It just felt strange coz I felt I was in a place that I belong, but do not fit anymore. Estranghero na ako.

I have not timed-in a bundy clock for two years already and I cannot imagine myself doing so again. I did miss having officemates initially when I decided to leave the corporate world, my nearest "seatmate" would probably be a thousand miles away. Nosebleed pa ako kaka-ingles. But I have learned much more since my office is not bounded by 4 walls, much less borders.

Ahhh, nostalgia... I'm happy I am where I am now.

And here's my vlog on the last stop of the Davao F.A.T. - Bryan's Grill & Cafe, Davao.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Bisita Iglesia

Bisita Iglesia literally means "visiting churches", a tradition followed by Catholics during Holy Week. You'd normally see people flocking from one church to another during Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. I normally go with my friends, but wasn't able to join them this year. Last year though I managed to visit at least 7 churches in Pampanga with some blogger friends.

After work yesterday I thought I'd do some cleaning up. Something I do when I want to have some quiet time alone (Miguel stays out of my way when I'm on clean-up mode). I also wanted to think about my personal mission.

Here are some churches I've visited in the past year (I need help in naming them, I couldn't find my book of Philippine Churches):

Baclayon Church, Bohol. I learned that this church was made in 1727 and is made of corals.

St. Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral, Cagayan de Oro (my patron saint!). I heard mass in this church back in 2005 not knowing what its name was. I only found out when Honey mentioned it in my last visit to CDO and insisted on showing me around.

Sta. Monica Church, Pan-ay, Capiz. This is where the biggest bell in Southeast Asia could be found. I didn't have the time to go up the bellfry though and the intense heat made me run back to the car immediately.

Basilica del Minore Sto. Nino, Cebu. Heard mass here with my best friend who lives in Cebu.

St. Michael the Archangel (also known as Orion Church), Orion, Pampanga. (thanks AJ for helping me name the church!).

St. Paul's Metropolitan Cathedral, Vigan.

San Sebastian Cathedral, Bacolod City. (I hope I got the name right).

Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary, Paranaque, Metro Manila. Now this church holds all of my history (so far).

Photos by: Aileen Apolo

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Davao F.A.T. Day 3: Eden Nature Park

It was my second time to visit Eden Nature Park and I was quite surprised that it only took about an hour to get there from Davao City. The first time I went a couple of years ago the road up the mountain was so bad it took us two hours to get to the park. We were all in high spirits on the way up to the mountain, trading SMS' with the bloggers in the other car (they were taunting us for being a bit slow, but we were just 5 minutes behind), checking out the scenery and . We were so excited we would've probably jumped up and down like kids when we arrived if there weren't any other park visitors. LOL.

Highlights of the trip include a tour of the park which included a preview of the "Tana Tanaman" (land garden). The garden is dedicated to showcase the diversity of cultures in the Mindanao region and is expected to be open to the public by Easter. What made all of us perspire and ravenous though was the Indiana Jones. After lunch we couldn't wait to get on the Sky Rider. The flights of stairs we had to go up on though was quite tough. Check out my vlog to find out what Indiana Jones and Sky Rider is all about (watch till the end for outtakes).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Davao F.A.T. Day 2: Homestyle to Sowsi Gastronomic Delights

We feasted on a wide variety of things on the second day. We started off at Taps in Torres Street and they had every silog* imaginable in their menu. We were all still quite full from dinner, but gamely tried out the different meals they offered.

Since we had a bit of time before the scheduled sampling at the trade fair in Rizal Park we headed to the salon and had a foot spa (that's where I edited the Day 1 video). After the spa session we checked out the trade fair at Rizal Park and had some Allegro ice cream and since it was so warm and sunny we decided to hang-out at Kasagingan earlier than the scheduled time. The consisted of different banana based dishes. I got the banana fantastic and caramel chocolate cake (I don't think it had any bananas in it though).

I was about ready to call it a day after hearing mass at the Assumption Church (walking distance from Kasagingan), but we had a dinner scheduled at the Polo Bistro of the Marco Polo Hotel. After freshening up for the sowsi experience we were about to have, Andrew, Ria and Gwing picked us up.

Polo Bistro set-up a long table for the bloggers and I would surmise that it made everyone feel like a V.I.P. It was a feast to remember since the sous chef, Mr. Alex Domanlag, would introduce each and every dish that was served. I absolutely loved the appetizer (seared tuna with cucumber and crabstick relish), the soup (french onion soup with 3 cheeses: mozzarella, parmesan and ementhal) and the main course (prawn thermidore). Too bad I could only taste just a bit of the dessert, my tonsils have failed me again (pffffttt!).

After dinner, we all proceeded to Blogie's grandmother's place for a bonding session and to taste the dessert sent by Sugar Munch. We were all quite full so we ended up just lining up the cakes and sansrival and just had a forkful of each while watching Grease (John Travolta was reed thin back then!).

Present throughout the day were: me, Jay, Ria, Andrew, Blogie, Migs, Winston, Dom, Gwing, Kim, Angel, Tiara, Mikko and Andie.

*silog - singangag at itlog

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Davao F.A.T. Day 1: Heavenly Food at Lachi's

I'm here in Davao for the weekend for the Davao Food Appreciation Tour (nicknamed Davao FAT) organized by the The food tour was hatched during the Mindanao Bloggers Summit (which I sadly missed) last October by The Usual Suspects.

Our first stop was at Lachi's Sansrival Atbp. I was so pleased with the food I thought of making a video blog -

Present were: Winston, Tiara, Mikko, Blogie, Ria, Gwing, Migs, Andrew, Sweetie, Angel and Dom (will complete their URLs later... about to run to the next stop!).

More food posts to come!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Colbie Caillat in Manila

A few weeks ago my friend Honey introduced me to Colbie Caillat's music and I got hooked eversince. I like listening to her music because it's light to the ears and it makes you feel like you're lounging around by the seashore. If you have not heard any of her songs yet, check out her hit song Bubbly.

Colbie shared that she was discovered through her page on Myspace. She just started posting her songs and traffic grew by word of mouth. Eventually she became the #1 unsigned artist and started getting offers to become a recording artist. She signed with MCA Universal with Michael Blue as her producer. She mentioned that her life has changed completely and that she no longer has time to just sit back and hang-out with her friends (she enjoys going to the beach). Her gruelling schedule also doesn't allow her to go online that much (imagine flying to a diferent country every other day, yikes!).

I took note of two questions asked by reporters: (1) Tips on song writing; and (2) What song will she sing to someone she likes (but not yet a boyfriend). Her answers are in the video:

Special thanks to, MCA Universal Philippines and Anne.

Monday, March 10, 2008

10 Bloggers in Dessert Heaven

I have a confession to make. I have a sweet tooth. Just like my Mom. Unfortunately my tonsils keeps me from gorging on too much sweets. Boo!

But when I got an invitation from Jonas of to the Trinoma Dessert Haven event, I just couldn't say no even though I was already suffering from inflamed tonsils since early last week. So there I was with 9 other bloggers, drowning in dessert. It felt a lot like being a character in the movie, "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (the original one, I have not watched Johnny Depp's version, poor me huh). And it felt like a reality TV challenge, finish the table-full of dessert or else! (Or else we had to bring the leftovers home... which we did! but Jehz beat us to most of it - check out his guilty look in the photo below).

I tried to taste most of the food, but alas I was afraid of stretching my tonsils to the limit, so I ended up giving most of my share to Sweetie. Here are some of the gastronomic delights we had (I'll have to fix up the list of shops that contributed to the feast). I absolutely loved the chocolate chip cookies, the mango cake, the fudge brownie, the cheese pastry and the cupcakes.

I'll probably do the shop updates at Lakwatsera Ako. Thanks again to and Trinoma!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Davao F.A.T.

I always, ALWAYS gain weight whenever I go to Davao. I think the air there is calorie-ridden. I grew so bilog the first time I went there, I had to buy a new pair of jeans when I flew to Cebu after the trainings I did in Davao.

And that's why I have been dieting the past 2 weeks.

Because I am going to (what I call) my second home... DAVAO!

Davao F.A.T.

The Usual Suspects concocted this idea a couple of months ago and I have been looking forward to it. Fondly called Davao F.A.T., the project is a Food Appreciation Tour of Davao's yummiest (and willing) restos. Check out some of the gastronomic delights I had last Christmas and July last year.

Anybody can sign-up for it! Just leave a comment at the Davao F.A.T. announcement or send Ria an email at riajose at gmail dot com.


Jolly Update: Jolly met Mr. Moe the Hamster today. Too bad Ms. Curly the Hamster was in her usual unsociable mood (and don't ask what happened to Mr. Larry the Hamster, such a gory incident I'd rather not remember). Both of them were curious about each other. Too bad I missed taking a video of them making beso-beso.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

A New Bundle of Joy

I've waited for her for quite some time and have been waiting and waiting and waiting. And then my Tito called yesterday to say that we could already pick her up.

Presenting... Jolly!

She's probably thinking about her mom here.

She did a round of "beautiful eyes" and promptly conked out by my door.

Such a sweetheart isn't she? We're off to the vet this weekend.

Thanks to everyone who gave tips via Twitter.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Buhay ang Banda ng Bayan

I must admit, I have not been following closely Rivermaya, Ang Banda ng Bayan. I know most of their hit songs and just own one CD - The Greatest Hits Album. Yeah, I know, shame on me. But, it's never too late to become a fan!

There was a huge stir last year when Rivermaya's lead vocalist, Rico Blanco, left. All the fans were heartbroken and asked, "Would Rivermaya survive?" Eventually the group decided to look for another lead vocalist through a contest and Rivermaya is complete once again with the addition of Jason.

Me with Rivermaya! Yay! (Photo by JayDJ)

The first time I encountered Jason was when Sweetie showed me a photo of the new group. He was obviously new to the group since he looked really shy. The next time I saw him was at the OPM Songhits Music Awards last November and his bandmates had a ball letting fans lose on him. He looked quite overwhelmed. It was when they performed I saw why he was chosen to be the new lead singer. The stage becomes him. From the shy, cute-geeky looking boy, Jason becomes a total performer and someone who, I expect, would have hordes and hordes of fans. It's a total transformation, believe me, and the tube doesn't do him much justice. You have to watch them perform live!

The band's definitely alive! Check out their newest album, "Buhay" (you can also order there for those who are overseas).

Here they are performing "Buhay"

And here's a really cute, interesting song, "Ligawan Stage"


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Step 5: Be Happy

I love watching Filipino movies and I always have difficulty getting my friends to watch with me. Miguel always ends up coming with me and he usually just sleeps all throughout the movie. Poor kid huh? Anyway, so I dragged Sweetie to watch Sam Milby and Toni Gonzaga's "My Big Love".

"My Big Love" had all the formula for it to be successful: good looking cast (yes Sam still looked very cute even at 303 pounds), fab-chemistry between Sam and Toni, kilig moments, funny dialogue and I really couldn't help but giggle over the "Bagets-like" dance scene at the supermarket and Kristine Hermosa still looks like a goddess. The movie's not only all fun and laughter, it delivered several lessons that one could live by - not only about losing weight and keeping healthy - but an important lesson about "Being Happy".

My friend Sorsi buzzed me about a question she has been asking herself for quite sometime now, about blogging about personal stuff. I told her that putting stuff online about yourself, be it in blogs, photos or social networking sites, puts one at risk. You open yourself to criticism, being hated, and being misinterpreted. I think that's normal because people do not know who you really are. Another friend of mine also cautioned that there are many people who are very much different from their online persona. That's true. I guess I am one of those who are well, just me.

I do get nasty comments too, but I do not publish those anymore because I think if you want to tell somebody something bad then you should just go straight to that person. Sadly though, those people who send those kinds of things to me don't leave traces of who they are. I am sure it's just because they just want to clarify something, but just couldn't ask. As I said, when you put yourself online, you open yourself to being misinterpreted. Ahhhh, buhay parang life.

But should all these fears stop one from blogging? Nah. I told Sorsi she should do what she likes doing, but to be just be aware of the risks. And as Ira (Toni Gonzaga) told Macky (Sam Milby), "Step five, be happy!"