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:


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. 


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 -

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


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


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. 


(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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Double Tambol

I was lunching with my dear friend Stephanie when this "Ati-Atihan band" passed by. I took some snaps and chanced upon this "double tambol" hehe.


What do you think?
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