Monday, May 31, 2010

Free Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for Your Mom!

Here are the two winners for the Krispy Kreme promo.

From Krispy Kreme

Edward Donato
"Next to diamonds, the shoe is a woman's best friend, and what a great way to celebrate Mother's Day than to pose with a giant topiary shaped like a heel. Mom and i sure had fun, and it would be even better to win that DOZEN DOUGHNUTS for her!"

From Krispy Kreme

Andrea Macachor
"This photo was taken two years ago at Space Mountain at the most magical place on earth, Disneyland, when I took my mother to Hong Kong. At that very moment, for a little while, she was not a wife and mother managing a household with five kids while studying for her doctorate degree, she was a little girl without a care in the world just enjoying a roller coaster ride."

Congratulations! Please wait for Chloe's email on how to claim your prize.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Why I Blog

I have been terribly busy the past few weeks and my blogs have suffered because I just haven't had the time to sit down and write. I'm writing this post while waiting to board a plane.

I have been maintaining my blog for about 5 years now. I started off blogging on my Friendster account and then eventually moved to Blogger. I just want to journal my activities and some things that interest me and not really bother with the techie side of blogging that's why I've been loyal to Blogger. Some friends have attempted to teach me how to use other blogging platforms, but despite their efforts it just didn't suit me. I guess I am already an old dog.

So why do I blog? I always ask myself this question when I get stressed out from blogging. I get stressed out when I have backlog. And that's the time I ask myself, why do I blog? Why do I go through all the trouble? Why do I force myself to sit down in front of my PC a few nights a week to write. I don't get paid for it, nor do I earn much from it. So why do I do it?

Because I have to.
Because if I don't my writing muse is going to bug me to write even when I sleep.
I blog because I need to write.

That may sound strange to some (or many) people, but for me (and my college friends from Malate Literary Folio) it's normal. It would be more painful not to let it out through writing. I know I'm still a long way from how I used to write (or I have had any improvement at all). I know that what I write may not be relevant to others (or anyone for that matter), but I blog because I do it for myself.

And I am in blog nirvana when I write about the stuff that are relevant to me. I know that is so selfish, but this (writing) is for me and I will do it whether or not is published online. Providing relevance or being able to inspire others would just be icing on the cake.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Signs of Old Age (Part 2)

So I made an earlier post about this topic last year and I'm making another one now because I think I aged quite a bit in the past few months. Hopefully not because I got married, but because of a project I did that caused me a lot of stress. And that's the reason why I took a short break after visiting Cebu.

High Cholesterol Level

Imagine my surprise when we got our blood chemistry results. I had a full blood chem last January and everything was quite normal. I was confident that I was going to pass the regular stuff with flying colors.

I failed.

For the first time in my entire life my total cholesterol and LDL was beyond the normal range. Bad. Bad. Bad. So that was the reason why I felt dizzy at times. I was certainly busy weeks and days before I went with Sweetie and Miguel for a blood test. I ate out most of the time and was really stressed out. Anyway, I'm seeing my doc next week. I'm sure I'm going to get an earful from him.

White Hair

Argggghhh! They've just been mysteriously appearing!

Cranky Much?

Who doesn't get cranky when in pain? I was totally annoyed last weekend because some water got stuck in my ear. Thank God we managed to find an EENT last night in Cebu. I noticed though that my tolerance level for long lines, annoying neighbors and what-not have lessened. I should learn how to be "zen" as Juned puts it. Don't want premature lines on my forehead.

It took me a couple of days to accept the fact that my body is definitely getting older and that it needs more care. I used to gobble down a Big Mac+McSpaghetti+Large Fries+Large Coke for lunch everyday with no complain years ago. I also didn't gain any weight from it. If I do that now I'll probably feel woozy from too much bad cholesterol. Oh well, I do hope though that wisdom does come with age. That's a comforting thought (less stupid mistakes as one grows older).

Happy thoughts upcoming in the next few days. I'm definitely blog-logged (blog backlog, whatever).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Sunsilk Bloggers Event at Taste Asia

Well it's been awhile since we had a bloggers party at Taste Asia. My friend Richie called me up the other night and said that Unilever's hosting an event for beauty and lifestyle bloggers next week! So, save the date and sign up for the event!

Here are the details:

Save the Date!
Sunsilk Event for Beauty and Lifestyle Bloggers
May 26, 2010, Wednesday, 7 p.m.
Taste Asia, Mall of Asia

(Slots limited to 100 bloggers only)

Sign-up here. Please spread the word!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Get Some Free Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for Mom

We were all so busy because of the elections and a number of you probably missed doing something special for your Mom (I almost did). I only managed to deliver my Mom our gift, I know though that she would've loved to sample Krispy Kreme's Mango Kreme Cake (my Mom is bananas over mango, pun intended).

Hopefully when my crazy schedule eases up I hope I can spend a lazy afternoon with my Mom with some Mango Kreme Chiller. Correction, I'll make the time when I get back from Cebu.

Well here's a chance to get your Mom a dozen doughnuts! Just do the following:

1. Add Chloe, the official Krispy Kreme girl on Facebook (just search for "Chloe Krispy Kreme").
2. Email Chloe a photo of you and your Mom having a magical moment with a brief description (2-3 sentences) on why it's magical. When emailing Chloe ( please include the following:

Facebook name:
Blog where you saw the promo: An Apple a Day (
Date of submission:

I will be posting your photo here in my blog once Chloe sends it. The best photo will get a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts! There will be 2 winners: (1) May 17-21, 2010 and (2) May 24-28. If you win you can claim your doughnuts from May 24-31, 2010.

Here's my magical moment with my Mom:

One of the most important moments in our life is our wedding day. The moment you wear your wedding gown is a rite of passage which becomes complete when your Mom helps you wear your gown. This is a magical moment that you should pass through with your Mom.

Update: Here are the photos from those who joined the promo. Enjoy!

May 24, Update: Sorry I haven't announced the winner for week 1 yet. Please bear with me, I am currently in the Visayas Region. Please tell your friends to submit their entries for week 2!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy 25th Birthday SM Supermarket!

I remember going to SM Makati when I was a kid. It's where my Mom bought all of my school shoes and I remember once she had to return and exchange the Gregg shoes she bought for me because I wanted Kung Fu shoes (if you remember that you're probably my age). I also remember the carabao statues that littered the park.

I remember SM did some renovations and then SM Supermarket in Makati was opened. I always went with my Mom whenever she went grocery shopping and I'd always get some additional stuff when she was busy completing her list (Miguel inherited this trait too...karma!). Throughout the years I've just been coming back especially when I started working since I always took my ride home at the terminal beside SM Makati.

How time flies. I was pleasantly surprised when I was invited to attend SM Supermarket's 25th anniversary a few weeks ago and I'm glad I found the time to attend since SM has been part of my life since I was a kid. The years I spent tagging along my Mom whenever she went grocery shopping paid off since that's how I learned how to shop for a household. I can say that since I got married my shopping behavior has drastically changed. And now I can cook!

Thank you SM Supermarket for recognizing my new-found passion for cooking and including me as one of SM's Food Council. I was definitely surprised that I was included in the council since I'm just a newbie to cooking and some of the other members are veteran chefs! I just hope I won't be asked to have a cook off with them or even do a cooking demo since I'm sure I'll just mess up. Haha! Happy birthday!

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Right to Suffrage

You know that people want change when you see them endure 2-3 hour lines just to vote. That is my story today and the story of millions of other Filipinos.

Long Lines due to Clustered Precincts

I was voter #489 in my precinct and that accomplishment took 3 hours under the scorching heat and I only got to sit down 15 minutes before I casted my vote. The only thing automated in this election is the counting. The long lines was caused by the clustering of 333K precincts to 76K precincts, thereby increasing the number of voters per precinct by 400-500%.

Confusion in Clustering of Precincts

And as expected the clustering of precincts caused a lot of confusion. There were a couple of people who went to the polling center, lined up for hours only to find out that there precinct was re-located to another polling center. There was also a number of people who were surprised that they were unlisted so they were not able to vote.

No Privacy

Even with the ballot secrecy folders there was no such thing as keeping your vote secret since those lining up and those seated beside you can see who you are voting for. We all saw this on national TV when media took shots of former President Erap while he was feeding his ballot to the PCOS machine. When are we going to move away from ballot secrecy folders?

There has been a lot of talk about disenfranchisement of voters because of these problems. These problems could have been easily avoided with proper definition of the process flow and use of technology (that works). Plus I hope next time the groups involved in hosting the elections should be more open to the help being offered by citizens. After all we all want this to work.

It is heartening though to see how my fellow voters endured the heat and the long line just to vote. So was it worth it? All the confusion, the inis, the hilo, the craziness was worth it because I am proud to say that I exercised my right to vote. Next time though I hope they can make the "bilog na hugis itlog" a bit bigger since I had a hard time shading it.

Someone took a video of me when I was waiting for the confirmation message of the PCOS machine. Congratulations to all those who voted!

P.S. For those who want to follow election results, here's the link to the Comelec Election Results site.

Something Yummy

Want some? Find out where it is available at Lakwatsera Ako.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Citizen Election Monitoring for E-Day 2010

I excused myself after dinner and left the boys to clean-up so I can spend some quiet time to think about who I would vote for tomorrow's national and local elections. I decided to keep mum about my choice because I wanted to focus my energy on some projects that I hope would help our electorate.

My bets in the last 2 presidential elections lost. Both my choices would've made great presidents. They were great statesmen and would've served our people well. Too bad the progress we were experiencing back in the 90s have gone awry in the past decade. And I always wonder what could've happened if those I voted for won.

No use in crying over spilt milk. The only way to go is forward and I am ever hopeful that we will move forward if we all get our act together and serve our nation. My hope is alive because I have seen the Filipino bayanihan spirit make its presence several times. Noteworthy were "Ondoy" and now through citizen election monitoring and mapping of precincts.

Tomorrow is THE day and we all must be vigilant. Here's a way you can send in reports via SMS, email or web about irregularities in your precinct/area:

Smart mobile users: text reports through number 5656 (typing "BOTO "),
Other texters: use 0905-304-2534,

Email reports to reports@aeswatch. org,

Key in reports directly on the website http://www.aeswatch .org or

Send reports via Twitter using the hash tag: #aes, #aeswatch, #juanvote, #halalan, #mindanao2010

Best to include the precinct number, municipality or city, and province, followed by the incident. Reports received are pinned on a digital map of the Philippines which can be found on the AESWatch site (done by volunteers!). The monitoring center of AES Watch will be located at Ang Bahay ng Alumni in U.P. Campus, Diliman, Quezon City . You are all welcome to drop by and provide morale support to the volunteers.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mica's Birthday Surprise

The Nyoks planned this birthday surprise for Mica. The look on her face when she saw us was priceless.

Here's some photos:

Happy birthday Mica! So glad we were part of this special day <3

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Orange You Glad You Voted?

Krispy Kreme announced their election project the other day called, "Vote 2010" to encourage people to go out and vote. All you need to do is become a part of the Krispy Kreme community (join here) and you will receive an email that will entitle you to an Orange You Glad Chiller. Print out this email once you get it and present it together with your indelible inked pointy finger on May 10, 2010.

Plus! You can also practice filling out your ballot through Krispy Kreme's ballot-like order form. Cool eh?

This is available only in Krispy Kreme Philippines :)

Flores de Mayo sa MOA 2010

There is life after the elections! I remember posting about the same event last year and my friend, Richie, requested if I can post about the "Flores de Mayo sa MOA 2010" again this year. The theme for this year's photo contest is "La Filipina Bella Rosa".

For my photographer friends! Get a chance to win any of these prizes:

1st prize: P50,000 and Unilever gift pack
2nd prize:P25,000 and Unilever gift pack
3rd prize:P15,000 and Unilever gift pacK
Special prize: P10,000

Just take photos of the participants of the "Flores de Mayo sa MOA 2010" on Sunday, May 9, 4pm at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall.

For more information and copy of the registration form, please download it here.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Precinct Mapping Parties!

I get giggled replies whenever I mention "mapping party" to my friends. They find it absolutely geeky! The past two weeks though there's been quite a number of mapping parties happening nationwide.

Juned took a video of me doing a demo on how to map precicnts. (BTW, thanks so much Krispy Kreme for hosting TechTanod!):

Here's some posts from the mapping parties:

GenSan/Sockksargen Bloggers

Tech Tanod Mapping Party

You might be interested to read about the mapping parties and Google's Find Your Precinct project:

RainCindy: The Success of Google Precinct Mapping
GandaEverSoMuch: Davao Precinct Mapping Party
One Fine Day with Google and Soccksargen Bloggers
Google Mapping Party in Iloilo
Cebu Precincts Mapping Party
Philippine Election 2010 - Find Your Precinct
Something Geeky
Google Maps Precinct Mapping Party in Davao
Tech Tanod Mapping Party (photos)
An Apple a Day
Maks World
GenSanBoy's Weblog
Joell Lapitan
Pinoy Trends
Museum Stuff

In the news/mags:
Female Network
Manila Bulletin

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Google Find Your Precinct (and Help by Mapping Too!)

I didn't realize that's it's been 2 weeks since I last made a post. Sad fez! I have been terribly busy running around  for work. I'm still alive and kicking though!

Here's one project by Google that I thought you guys might be interested in. It's called, "Find Your Precinct" and allows Filipinos to find and map their precincts via Google Map Maker. My good friend, Google engineer Dan Delima, devoted his 20% time for this project (woohoo!!!).

Please help map precincts! To do this just go to you have a group that you can bring together for a mapping party please let me know.