Tuesday, November 29, 2011

BlogFest Soccsksargen, Experiencing the Funnest Bloggers in Mindanao

It seems just like yesterday when I joined DigitalFilipino's Women in Web, Wireless and Outsourcing roadshow in 2006. It was a trip where we went to Cagayan de Oro, Davao and Cebu to talk about what businesses could do on the internet. It was during that trip that I met with the Davao internet community, organized by Andrew. I was still finding my way around my job back then so I just made a suggestion that they come together as a community. They did and that community has grown throughout Mindanao.

I'm really happy that the local internet community in Mindanao thrived and flourished and I try to come and attend their events whenever they send me an invitation. And this year I was invited again to speak at the BlogFest Soccskargen. I thought I would not be able to go in person and was just planning to join them via Google Hangout, so I surprised them and told Avel that I was flying in.

True enough, the Sox Bloggers, known to be the funnest bloggers in Mindanao, put together 2 awesome events. BlogFest Soccskargen had a line-up of bigatin speakers. I hope I was able to convey a couple of opportunities for the Mindanao bloggers through my talk.

In the evening, I got to attend the Philippine Blog Awards - Mindanao leg. The ceremonies outside of the awards night in Manila are usually straightforward. We all got a big surprise though when Donna, the host, introduced each award category in the most fashionable and entertaining manner. Everyone in the room was laughing and I must say that the fatigue I was feeling was wiped away (I was already up at 3 in the morning so I could make it to the 5 am flight).

Well, I'd like to make a correction to the Sox Bloggers slogan (if I may) because they are the funnest bloggers in the Philippines!

Congratulations Sox Bloggers, especially to Avel and Orman, for another very successful event!  (I hope someone would upload Donna's fabulous performance!).

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hello Mr. Bird

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I was surprised to see a bird hang out outside of my window yesterday morning while I was having breakfast. It sat there for awhile that's why I was able to sneak up and take a photo. In Manila I am always awakened by birds chirping on the window beside our bed. They like hanging out there too. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

At the DevFest Singapore

Today was my first time to attend a Devfest outside of Manila! As usual the talks were awesome! I loved the demos especially for HTML5 and the samples Amanda showed for YouTube. I'm not a developer, but I'm certainly looking forward to new apps/sites that would utilize all the fabulous technologies the Google developer advocates presented today.

Photos from the awesome day!

If you are a Filipino developer based in Singapore you might want to join the Google Developer Group Philippines - Singapore chapter! They're planning a fun meet-up next weekend!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Sleepless in Singapore

I'm back in Singapore for work and it's a good thing all of us (me, Sweetie and Miguel) are busy. We haven't had the time to be sad about being apart. I must admit though I was messing up a bit at the airport the other day while waiting to board my flight. Good thing I bumped into one of my Mom's friends who was also bound for Singapore.

I grew up with a lot of "aunts" because my Mom had a lot of friends and they like hanging out at our home. Tita Maris, who I always thought looks like an angel, was the perfect companion for me that day. She's very chatty like my Mom and shared to me that she and her husband has been commuting to and fro the Philippines and wherever he was assigned for many years now. That kinda reassured me that things would be okay and that my family will survive from my move. Singapore anyway is just 3 hours away from Manila and there are a lot of inexpensive flights (now I have to watch out for those piso fare promos!).

I've been in Singapore for a couple of days now and I gave myself  three challenges. One, I have to spend no more than SG$10 per day for food and anything else I want to buy. I'm lucky though because I don't have to worry about breakfast and lunch, so I just need to scout for dinner. I ruled out cooking for myself when I realized that the ingredients here are way too expensive. But I still want to cook because I know I would start craving for a home-cooked meal. My second challenge is to find stores where I could buy inexpensive items. My last challenge to myself is not to buy anything not needed, I have to survive on the resources that I have for now (until my boxes arrive!).

I'm happy to share that I have so far been meeting expectations and have discovered quite a few things in the past few days.

(1) If there's no hawker's center near your place, the malls may have a hidden food court either at their basement or at the top floor. A complete meal usually just costs $5 to 6. Skip the beverage coz it's expensive.

(2) My workplace is near Lau Pa Sat and a friend told me that Tapa King has a branch there. I almost cried when I saw it (sorry emo much!) because I was really hungry that time and I wanted Filipino food.

(3) A couple of friends and colleagues told me that the humanized (makataong!) groceries/supermarkets are outside the city and I should check out Value $, NTUC and Sheng Siong. I'm glad that all their branches are mapped! Also discovered "Katipunan" at Lau Pa Sat. It's a small grocery selling all-Filipino items! I bought 3 important items -- suka, toyo and Jufran banana ketchup. I almost hugged the cashier earlier when I paid for the items. Haha.

We take a lot of things for granted when we are home. I realized that aside from your loved ones you'd also look for things you can't live without and being Filipino, local cuisine is something you'd really long for. I know there's a lot of stuff at Lucky Plaza, but I'm staying away for now because I think I'll end up buying a lot of stuff there. I hope to stick to buying Filipino grocery items though so I can help the economy back home too.

And yes, I've been sleepless the past few days because I'm used to having my boys around.


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Meeting Joshua

Joshua is the 7-year old little boy who sent in a question for President Aquino on the YouTube World View channel. His question got quite a lot of votes and was asked during the interview. I received a call from his Mom last Friday night and she said that Joshua wanted to see me before I left for Singapore. Of course, who could say no to a charming 7-year old?

I was surprised as well when he handed me this card (which I'll be sharing with my colleagues when I get back).

He even drew the YouTube logo. So cute!

Thanks Chelle and Joshua! You guys made PNoy smile when the questions was asked :)
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Friday, November 4, 2011

The YouTube World View Interview with President Aquino

I wish my Dad was still around to witness this historic day.

Today President Benigno Aquino III is the first Asian leader to go live on YouTube World View. I'm really happy that it's the Philippines who came first for this endeavor because it shows that we are truly a democracy and that our government is open, transparent and keen on reaching out to its citizens. There were thousands of questions submitted on YouTube World View, but the top ones were answered by the President. I must say that I was truly impressed because the way he answered showed that this government is really working hard and I am hopeful that our country will soon move forward full steam ahead.

Here's the full interview:

And more photos: