Monday, December 31, 2012

Sony NEX-F3 Camera and 18-55mm Lens : A Shot Above Its Class

Warning! Please don't read this...

Unless you're like me who loves taking pictures but can't afford the expensive DSLRs settling with a simple point-and-shoot - and hoping to get away with it by being great with other aspects of photography.

But pros can also read it...Please go ahead and enjoy!

Treat yourselves with some fabulous news about one of the latest Sony camera models designed for wannabe photographers on a very tight budget.
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Sony Alpha NEX-F3 Camera and 18-55mm Lens : Top 10 Reasons Why I Need to Have One

Top Ten Big Bad Blunders of 2012

The Top Ten Big Bad Blunders of 2012

We all know that the year is about to end, the days are winding down, and there’s a vibrant new year ahead to be thankful for. In retrospect the year 2012 presented us with some of the most serendipitous discoveries in recent memory. This includes meeting new friends or acquaintances that inspired, influenced, motivated, and made our lives more interesting. However, it also had its share of presenting us with horrendous and weird personalities that can be considered as misfits of society.

If you have watched the movie “El Presidente” from the 2012 Metro Manila Film Festival, there was this scene where the actor playing Antonio Luna uttered the word “ulol” (idiot). Though that would have been unlikely because the word “ulol” may have not yet existed during that time (“baliw” or insane could have been a more appropriate word), still the times have not changed at all . I hate to say it but there’s quite a lot of “ulols” even at our present time.  Seriously, there comes a time in our lives when we’ve done something we wish we haven’t – a sudden burst of anger that could have been triggered by past horrible experiences,  an unexpected reaction caused by negative influences all around us, acts of passion brought about by the longing to be loved and be understood, etc. But one thing is sure, we’re supposed to attack the acts committed by the individuals and not the actual person behind these so called blunders. Many of them have been victims of cyber bullying because of these misguided moments. Join me now as I present to you the Top Ten Big Bad Blunders of 2012 highlighting personalities only a mother would love.

“Kapag may anghang, Electric Fan lang ang katapat niyan”

Number 10. Sharon Cuneta – Sharonians may hate me for this but the Megastar was said to have been repeatedly engaged in quarrels with netizen bashers, over social networking site Twitter, defending her daughter against a series of tweets meant to lambast her and her family. The bashers were said to be die-hard fans of Piolo Pascual who were equally enraged with her daughter KC Concepcion’s break-up revelation with the said actor. The live interview with KC at The Buzz somehow put Piolo in a bad light giving many the impression that he was gay.

Though I admire Sharon for trying to defend her daughter, she should have realized she was quarreling with fans, which form part of why showbiz is a profitable business venture. If there were no die-hard fans, celebrities will be a thing of the past. She should have been more broadminded. My advice to Sharon,  “Cool ka lang! Kapag may anghang, mag electric fan ka na lang.”

Dionisia Pacquiao was seen on a TV Patrol newscast blaming pastors for Manny’s defeat

Number 9. Dionisia Pacquiao – Manny Pacquiao’s mother was seen blaming pastors for his son’s defeat in his latest boxing match against Mexican boxer Juan Manuel Marquez.  After Manny Pacquiao’s unexpected knockout, her mother’s blaming statement is not what Manny needs. If you have a child who stumbled and fell badly, what would you do? Would you yell and blame him for the fall?  She keeps blaming his son for changing religion, for spending late nights in prayer meetings, and some other things associated with it.  Maybe she just could not face the reality that his son, with whom she shared lots of victorious moments,was unable to deliver this time around. Obviously, the old woman got so drunk with victories so that when defeat came, she was unable to handle herself properly.  “Mommy, mayaman na si Manny with plenty of money and a wife so pretty, at kahit natalo pa siya – di pa rin siya lugi!”

John Paul Encinas sharing his side of the story during a TV interview

Number 8. John Paul Encinas – The laundry-shop owner who was caught on a security camera allegedly assaulting a small eatery’s female cashier. Encinas became furious after the woman badmouthed him in front of other customers. The surveillance video showed Encinas grabbing the woman, pouring water on her, and even forcing her to eat the paper bills! Regardless of how rude the cashier was, going wacko is not a proper behavior especially towards women.  Women should be treated with utmost respect and understanding because they have their big share of moody days – especially during their monthly periods. “Kuya, kalma ka lang! Babae po yan! Di patas ang laban!”

The bus driver was being provoked to get down from the bus to face the traffic enforcer

Number 7. Melchor Caballes - This traffic enforcer from the Calamba City Traffic Management Office was caught on amateur video showing how he went berserk after bus driver Rolando Fadrigalan refused to surrender his driver’s license and be slapped with a fine for traffic obstruction. The video, which has gone viral on social networking sites, shows how Melchor took off his clothes and threw down his motorcycle on the street probably to block the bus. Aren’t traffic enforcers suppose to have undergone Neuro-Psych Exams before being accepted in public service? Garbage in, garbage out – It’s a government gone bad if these kind of people are kept or even just suspended at the least. “Manong huwag kang magwala sa kalsada – doon kayo sa isang kuwarto ni mamang drayber at magbunong-braso na lang kayo!”

“Amalayer” was depicted in many memes going viral over the Internet

Number 6. Paula Jamie Salvosa  – That’s the name of the “Amalayer” woman on the video that showed her berating a lady security guard named Sharon Mae Casinas at the LRT station in Santolan as she tried to get on the train but was stopped because she failed to put her bag on the conveyor of the X-ray machine for security check. It did not take long before the video, taken by Gregory Llamoso, went viral and earned Salvosa the nickname “Amalayer”.

However, if  Salvosa’s statement to the media is true, that the lady guard grabbed her so hard enough to leave a bruise, then all the hate of the netizens is being directed at the wrong person. I would have reacted a similar way if some stranger rudely grabbed me and then pretends to be the victim. But just the same, she reminds me of the song “Bitch” which goes something like this:  “amalayer, amachild, amamother, amasinner, amasaint, I do not feel ashame.  I’m your hell, I’m your dream, I’m nothing in between, you know you wouldn’t want it any other way!”

Alcid was reported to have filed a case against Rama

Number 5. Annabelle Rama - The controversial talent manager  got involved in yet another fight, this time while at a wake of late comedian Dolphy. Rama reportedly got mad at an entertainment reporter named Chito Alcid. Rama scolded and yelled at the reporter, and even tried to hit him with a stick. Tension between the two was said to have started way back when Alcid began writing negative stories about Rama. Surprisingly, after all her “palengkera” attitude and disrespect for the dead, Rama officially filed a bid for a Congressional seat this coming 2013 elections – “The nerve! With the exception of her family and relatives, only a moron living on another planet would vote for her. “

Robert Blair Carabuena was even called Barney because he was wearing a shirt similar to Barney’s skin color

Number 4. Robert Blair Carabuena – Robert Blair Carabuena is among the characters that got a whipping from netizens because of his untoward behavior against MMDA Traffic Enforcer Saturnino Fabros. Carabuena was caught on video allegedly mauling the traffic enforcer. The show of arrogance, as some of “his friends” claimed, happened only because Fabros slammed the Volvo of Carabuena. Regardless if there is any truth to the cause of such volatile behavior, it is quite obvious who came out the better man in the end. Carabuena’s  action resulted into  suspension from work (I’m not sure if he was ever allowed to return to work for Philip Morris),  a permanent revocation of his driver’s license, and an eternal record in history as a big bad bully. “Tapang mo kuya! Sa gitna ka pa ng kalsada pumorma ng suntukan. Ayan tuloy ikaw ang binalikan – ng tadhana!”

Raymart Santiago, Claudine Barretto and a guy wearing a pink shirt ganging up on news reporter Mon Tulfo

Number 3. Claudine Barretto – MonTulfo filed a complaint at the Pasay City Court against Raymart Santiago, his wife Claudine Barretto, and a companion of the couple for ganging up on him at the NAIA Terminal 3. Allegedly, Mon took pictures of the couple and friends when they were berating an airline staff and got ganged up when he refused to give in his phone with camera.  Barretto was seen joining the brawl instead of stopping Santiago and a friend in beating up Tulfo. The couple were later threatened on-air by the Tulfo brothers following their controversial brawl with Mon Tulfo, so they in turn filed another complaint against the Tulfo brothers. A few days later, TV5 got hold of a copy of a video supposedly showing that it was the group of Raymart Santiago and Claudine Barretto who first hurt the columnist and TV5 host. “Ayan na si Marina – Kalahating malansa, kalahating madrama – kabuuan ay bungangerang boksingera!”

The Impeachment Trial of Renato Corona provided us with much entertainment especially from Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago

Number 2. Miriam Defensor Santiago – Fortunately, I don’t have a thing for senile, sarcastic, and menopausal women. Some people find themselves enamored by the presence of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago who has the balls to go up against anybody including powerful figures of society. I hate to admit it but she’s a war freak with an impeccable intellectual superiority. The remarkable combination of her grumpiness and intellect sets her apart from other politicians. Miriam always valiantly shows her fierceness towards almost anybody through her degrading, yet somehow funny verbal onslaughts. Miriam mocks, bullies and shames people in public which is not a decent attitude of a public official. Some would say her intellect had gone way overboard putting her near insanity, and that she’s better off in the loony bin before she starts hurting other people. “Lola, kunin ka na sana ni Lord – ang bait-bait mo kasi eh!”

How I wish Senator Tito Sotto could just be humble enough to give an apology instead of aggravating the issues against him

Number 1. Vicente Sotto III -  There’s no denying that Tito Sotto should be on the top of the list. He has repeatedly shown many unimaginable acts totally unfitting a public servant holding a high position in government. He keeps on denying his shameless acts and constantly puts the blame on the netizens, with special mention to bloggers, for exposing him and eventually bullying him online. In reality, he’s probably just too ashamed to accept his mistakes. He never expected that people would keep on finding his devious acts of plagiarism or copying other people’s work without permission and using it to serve his own distorted point of views. “Tito Sen, lab you very much sa Eat Bulaga. May pag-asa pa basta bawiin mo lang mga pinagsasabi mo ng mabawasan kasalanan mo!”

To borrow from some words of a friend, “Life can be likened to movies, some are full lengths, some are shorts, some will have happy endings, some will have sad ones, some will become classics, some will be like badly made B-movies, but regardless of what kind of movie it is, there is a story that needs to be told and I hope this one is just unfolding (so we could still make sequels from it).” For the list of Top Ten Big Bad Blunders of 2012, I hope they learned a lot out of their tragic and humiliating experience to change for the better.

Many of us wish we could also be the director of our lives so that we can use our cinematic license loosely to shout cut, retake the shot, or revise the script of our lives when we find our story less of what a blockbuster should be. For me, our lifetime is something sacred, it shouldn’t be rewritten regardless if people perceive our lives as a flop. Just continue to live doing the things we believe will help us top the charts. Let’s all be a catalyst for change in the consciousness of Filipinos by producing high quality film segments of our lives and not the low budget flicks aimed just to draw the “masa” or mass audience. One day when we’re already old, it would be fun if we can look back at our accomplishments via a “playback”, with a bucket of popcorn in one hand, our favorite drink in the other, and our loved ones at our sides enjoying a very fulfilling movie with less regrets.  Let’s all grow old together living a life that we can call a big hit!

*credits to Nap Beltran whose “dreamy” words inspired me to write this article. Read more of my stories and adventures at and

Top Ten Big Bad Blunders of 2012

We all know that the year is about to end, the days are winding down, and there’s a vibrant new year ahead to be thankful for.

In retrospect the year 2012 presented us with some of the most serendipitous discoveries in recent memory. This includes meeting new friends or acquaintances that inspired, influenced, motivated, and made our lives more interesting.

However, it also had its share of presenting us with horrendous and weird personalities that can be considered as misfits of society.

Top Ten Big Bad Blunders of 2012


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Philippines : The Tradition of 13 Fruits and Firecrackers

Advance Happy New year guys!

Reposting these articles I made at my very first blog which I am no longer active in.

Perhaps I need to revive the blog about my rants, complaints, wishful thinkings, etc., towards the government, society, some irritable people and a lot more.

The blog site was originally titled "Be Kind To Us Trolls" but a mentor said the blog title drives away potential readers so I recently renamed it "Be Proud Of Us Pinoys" to be more on the positive side.

The articles below are about the tradition of collecting 13 fruits for the New Year celebration and the other one is about the different types of firecrackers in the Philippines.

Happy reading!!!

Sony Alpha NEX-5N : Questioned

Is the Sony Alpha NEX-5N considered as four thirds or micro four thirds? From what I've read, the NEX was said to have a bigger sensor. As for lenses, does the NEX have its own or can I use a different one? (eg, Nikkor and other lenses) and lastly, if its not included in the four thirds category,  what is its advantages over them?

1. APS-C sensor is the same as with DSLR but mirrorless
2. It has its own E-Mount lens. There's a Sony adapter to use Sony Alpha mount lens and there's auto-focus
3. There is also an adapter for legacy lens
4. It all depends on where you're going to use it.

I will just give a slight correction to number 1 and give some answers on number 4. That number 1 statement is a generalization. A DSLR does not necessarily sport an APS-C sensor. It may sport a Four-Thirds sensor or a Full-Frame sensor or a Medium Format sensor. The difference between a DSLR and a mirrorless is the mirror box sported by DSLR cameras whereas the mirrorless obviously does not sport a mirror box, the sensor does not matter in this case.

As to whether the NEX series is a Four-Thirds camera or not, it is not part of the Four-Thirds consortium, and also not part of the Micro Four-Thirds consortium, therefore it is not a Four-Thirds or a Micro Four-Thirds camera.

The NEX sports a bigger APS-C sensor than the Four-Thirds sensor used on Micro Four-Thirds cameras. However with the recent help of Sony to provide new 16MP Four-Thirds sensors for the Olympus OM-D, E-PL5 and E-PM2 (and the Panasonic GH3 which is also rumored to use the 16 MP Four-Thirds Sony sensor), the performance difference in terms of DR and hi-ISO is minimal between the 16MP/24MP APS-C Sony sensor and the 16 MP Sony Four-Thirds sensor. The only apparent advantage of the 16/24 MP APS-C sensor is the better DR at base ISO, but from ISO 200 onwards, performance between the two sensors are pretty close.

As for the advantages, the APS-C sensor should provide around ~0.8 stop more shallower DOF than the Four-Thirds sensor. In return however, this results in a usually bigger lens than a similar Micro Four-Thirds lens due to the bigger imaging circle (with the exception of the 16mm f/2.8 pancake and 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 pancake lens).

As for the cons of the NEX series compared to the Micro Four-Thirds series, the lens lineup is the apparent big disadvantage of the NEX. There are more lens choices for Micro Four-Thirds as of this time compared to the NEX series, and smaller lenses compared to the NEX series as well.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sony Alpha 5N, 5R, or 6 from Sony

Review on the 5R? 

Well it has a way better interface w/ the 5N, one button to access shooting mode, really fast AF that the 5N but the 6 is AF is still a bit faster, added dial control and FN button adds a BIG difference in control and accessibility of different camera functions. The 16-50mm PZ Lens is more awesome compare to the 18-55mm although I think I'm still gonna use the SEL50F18 more.

Ergonomics is still great and same w/ the 5N although I have to admit mas masarap sa kamay Nex 6 kasi di masyado crumpled kamay mo. IMO Nex 5R is a "Fun" camera, where the Nex 6 is more of a "Purist" camera.

Yaman? no, I actually planned to only keep one, di lang ako marunong siguro mag-appreciate ng Viewfinder kasi noob that why selling my Nex 6.

How's the touch screen ng 5R compared sa 5N since resistive instead of capacitive?

Honestly, no idea. Although it's less sensitive than the 5N but I like that it's less sensitive kasi dun sa 5N ko madalas accidentally ko naa-activate touch focus and usually yung focus area ay leftmost corners ng screen w/c is quite irritating. I think sony deliberately reduce the touch sensitivity on the 5R to avoid or minimize accidental activation of the touch shoot and/or touch focus feature. The Nex6 LCD works exactly like the Nex 5n or 5r screen but automatically shuts-off if your using the EVF.

Comparison on the 5R vs 6

Besides having a Mode Dial, Built-in Flash and EVF. The 5R seems to have all the features of the Nex 6. It even has AEL w/c a lot of 5N user was looking for.

I'm very liking the Touch Shoot feature of the 5R w/c I guess would be excellent for street photography. I'm not sure if the 5N had this feature, but the 5R has focus tracking on video mode as well.

Worth it to upgrade from 5N to 5R?

YES. but if you just got your 5N then NO. The 5R has a more improved user friendly interface besides the added features, It's basically a Nex 6 without a viewfinder, hotshoe and built-in flash but is way more compact and light, has a very good touch shoot feature and a 180 degree tilting LCD. I'm honestly surprise that I'm liking the 5R more than the Nex6 w/c I both have. BTW, I just sold my Nex6 tonight, my wife fell in love with the 5R naman so I have to get another 5R. heheh.

I almost forgot to mention that the 5R comes with a very compact Power Zoom lens. This lens cost $300 right? correct me if I'm wrong. And according to some user review, it has better contrast and sharpness corner to corner compared to the older 18-55mm kit lens.

I'm not saying the Nex 5R is better than the Nex 6. It's just I like the 5R more than the Nex6 and other people might like the Nex6 more than the 5R.

Tried using photo sharing app of the 5R thru my Ipad. Basically you can choose if you want to share your photos in VGA, 2MP or Original Resolution. I set it to 2MP and started selecting w/c photos I want to transfer from the 5R to my Ipad and it will start transfer/copying photos SUPER FAST like 1 photo/sec including the resizing to 2MP from 16MP. This is only 1 of the apps for the wifi capability of the 5R and I'm gonna say I'm impress even though people are saying it's just a gimmick.

How did the 5R connect to your iPad. Dapat ba eh connected sila sa same wi-fi or direct connection between the two? 

The 5R will work as a hotspot and you will connect your device (in my case, an Ipad) to the 5R. Once connected, launch the Playmemories app on your device and start selecting and transferring image from the camera to your device.

Can the wifi in the 5R be used na parang tethered shooting, para you can review your ahots on a bigger screen?

Yes, infact you can use your apple or android device as a remote also and it automatically saves a copy of every shot you took w/ the Nex on your device.

I'm planning to buy Sony Nex camera, which is better: 5N with dual kit lens 16, 18-55mm
or 5R with 16-15mm ?

5N Dual lens vs 5R 16-50mm lens. Let's concentrate on their lenses. 5N comes with an 18-55mm standard zoom lens and a pretty small 16mm pancake lens. Combine these two lenses into one lens and you get the 16-50mm power zoom pancake lens that comes with a 5R. why bring two lenses if you can bring only one right? The only cons of the 16-50mm is it's slightly slower f/3.5 on it's widest 16mm setting compared to slightly faster F/2.8 of the 16mm pancake prime. For me, I will choose the 5R with 16-50mm and that's even before we look at the new specs and feature of the 5R.

*credits to TPCMAN

AF speed of the PZ1650 vs SEL35F18

Was able to do a side by side comparison to the AF speed of the PZ1650 vs SEL35F18.

(Note that the PZ1650 support Phase Detect AF while the SEL35F18 only works on Contrast Detect 'at the moment'. I have 2 Nex 5R both set at the same setting)

Test Condition:
-Test took place indoors in low light. Auto-ISO will set from 1600 to 3200.
-Random panning from a close subject, mid distant subject, to a far distant subject.
-I held the two Nex 5R. One on each hand, vertically. occasionally switching cameras from one hand to the other.

The PZ1650 at it's widest(16mm)
-PZ1650 focuses about 1/10th of a second faster than the SEL35F18. It's not that much but you will notice it when waiting for the beep sound of the AF.

PZ1650 set to 35mm F/5.6 and the SEL35F18 also set at F/5.6
-The SEL35F18 focuses almost just as fast as the PZ1650.

PZ1650 set to 35mm F/5.6 and the SEL35F18 set to "F/1.8"
-Now this really surprised me as the SEL35F18 would sometimes focus faster than the PZ1650!!

My conclusion:
The PZ1650 obviously have the edge in AF speed at it's wider and widest setting vs the SEL35F18 but once set the PZ1650 to 35mm, the SEL35F18 is able to keep up with the AF Speed and sometimes even focus faster than the PZ1650 if the SEL35F18 is set to a brighter aperture setting.

P.S. I also tried comparing the SEL50F18 and SEL35F18 AF speed and the result is, The SEL50F18 is simply no match to the AF speed of the SEL35F18. The SEL50F18 would sometime autofocus 1 sec. to 1.5 sec slower than the SEL35F18. BUT I still find the SEL50F18 produces a little bit but noticeably sharper images over the SEL35F18.

*credits to TPCMAN of TPC

Sony NEX SEL50F18 Versus SEL35F18

We have the likes of SEL50F18 and the SEL35F18, which by all measures are and will be good enough, heck, better than enough. And they are affordable by a much larger majority of users. 

Which one you would recommend SEL35F18 or SEL50F18?

++Very Sharp, even sharper than the SEL35F18
+Smooth bokeh
+Cheaper than the SEL35
-Bigger and heavier than the SEL35
-Slow AF esp in low light
-50mm is quite narrow and hard to use indoors with tight spaces.

++Very Fast AF
+Quite small and light w/c makes your overall gear more lighter.
+Black color = stealthy
+Works decently indoor even in tight spaces
-Very High contrast = CA or Purple Fringing @ F/1.8 (minimal @ F/2.2 and gone @ F/2.8 onwards)
-Expensive but acceptable. $300 vs $450. heck, it could even get more expensive due to demand.

IMO, Despite it's short comings, the SEL35F18 is easier to use and more versatile compare to the SEL50F18. The SEL50F18 ain't a bad lens and excellent in portrait and spy shots but if I'm in a situation where I can only buy 1 lens for my NEX, the SEL35F18 is my choice. As of now, I love my SEL35F18 but I'm not letting go of my SEL50F18 just yet.

*credits to TPCMAN

Like, Share, Tweet, and Comment

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Please "Like", "Share", "Tweet", "or "Comment" on the articles. Best if you could comment to gain interaction with readers...Thanks

Top Ten Most Discussed Posts from the Past Month (December) on When In Manila’s Facebook Page

These are the top posts from the past month.

PALS Requests Help for Baby Kelsey

Dear Humans,

My name is Kelsey. I was wandering the streets of BFRV Las PiƱas for months, until Kristenn Reyes got to know me and reported my case to PALS.

I was wandering, begging for food, drinking from canals, sleeping in front of the gate of human's house, hoping that one day they will notice me and give me some food and a warm place to sleep. Months after, Still I have never lost my faith in humanity ! I knew help will come.

There were nights that I couldn't stand anymore. Days, when the sun was too hot and I'm dehydrating. I had to sleep in the muds or hide behind the bushes, but despite all of these, I know kind people will come and help me ..

Swensen's Ice Cream and Sundaes: Kids' Heavenly Treats

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Swensen's Ice Cream and Sundaes
is an international franchise/ice cream shop born in San Francisco, CA. Since the opening of it's first shop in 1948, there are now over 300 Swensen's ice cream shops worldwide, including Asia, the Middle East, USA and South America. Swensen's has created more than 180 flavors of ice cream that are enjoyed by both young and old.

They have two branches in the Philippines (as of the moment) at Eastwood Mall in Libis, Quezon City (2nd Floor Veranda) and at the SM Mall of Asia (Ground Floor South Wing-Near SM Department Store. We visited the Eastwood branch a few days after Christmas to treat my kids to some special ice cream and sundaes from Swensen's.

My kids had a wonderful time eating the fabulous looking ice creams. They were all smiles while enjoying their very rare ice cream experience. The presentation of the ice cream was heavenly appetizing and the sweet taste of cream so exhilarating!

Kogi Bulgogi : A Sumptuous Taste of Korean Dishes

Kogi Bulgogi is the first and only Korean restaurant located in Eastwood City. It is nestled at the heart of the posh new Eastwood Mall in Libis, Quezon City. There's another Metro Manila branch at Lucky Chinatown Mall in Binondo, Manila plus one more at the Limketkai Center in Cagayan De Oro. The restaurant serves authentic Korean dishes that's priced reasonably. Dining at Kogi Bulgogi is an assured value for your hard-earned money.

The restaurant boasts that they use only premium US and New Zealand beef in all of their beef dishes. "Kogi coincidentally means “meat” in Korean. However in Kogi Bulgogi, it’s used to refer to a person’s name. For them, Kogi is someone who specializes in Bulgogi dishes.

My family and I had the opportunity to dine at the Eastwood branch a few days after Christmas (just to avoid the busy and crowded Christmas rush during earlier days) and we're actually so glad we chose their restaurant for our lunch.

White Sand Bar of Manjuyod: Prime Tourist Destination at Dumaguete

Wazzup Pilipinas!

"The Manjuyod Sand Bar is an estimated 600 hectare total strip area, including the submerged portions. Also known as the Sumapao Shoal, it is a certified tourist attraction because of its unique characteristic. It has been said that among the tourist spots in the vicinity, this one has the most potential.

Though technically belonging to the jurisdiction of the neighboring Manjuyod town, the sand bar is closely associated to Bais City because of its proximity and popularity in the Bais area. It is also a major stopover during dolphin and whale watching group tours organized by the Bais City Tourism Council. The boat is temporarily anchored so that the guests can picnic, swim, sunbathe, and laze around, snorkel or scuba dive in the waters surrounding the sand bar."

A destination that seems to be the highlight so far of our Dumaguete trip. White sand beaches has always been a favorite, and changing tides (low tide to high tide) seems to add excitement to the fun beach bumming.

Computer Assembly : Learning To Do It On Your Own

You can learn to assemble a PC on your own.

When building a rig, two things are absolutely important: the first is "budget"-- how much are you willing to spend; and the second is "purpose" -- what do you want and need to do on the computer that you're building.

As for choosing parts, it also boils down to those same two things. In other words,

1. What do you want/need to do with the computer?
2. How much can you spend for it?

You can either ask a friend to show you, or watch video tutorials online. Some motherboard manuals have instructions on installing components like the processor, heatsink, etc.

Make sure that the parts are compatible with each other: processor and motherboard must be of the same socket, RAM type must be correct, etc. Keep everything in their boxes and anti-static bags until you're ready to build.

Memory Modules

Which is a better option for choosing memories? "1pc of 8Gb" or "2pcs of 4Gb" or "4pcs of 2Gb" ?

Consider these points:

1. Motherboard compatibility (can it use the 8GB RAM module?)
2. price (is it more expensive than 2 x 4GB ?)
3. future upgrade plans (aiming for 16GB in a year or two?)

Consider this scenario as well:

If you have 1 x 8GB, and it fails in the future, your PC is unusable until the RAM is replaced; but if you have 2 x 4GB and one of them fails, you can remove it and still use your computer.

Video Cards

Choosing video cards is generally dependent on the games that you want to play, at what resolutions you want to play them, and at what detail level. Check the minimum and recommended system requirements of the games and compare with this video card hierarchy table courtesy of Tom's Hardware:,3107-7.html

Regarding power consumption, read the tables on the link below, especially the third one, where both processor and video card are stress-tested and the power consumption measured:

The article concludes that for many systems, having a PSU greater than 500w is only necessary when using ultra high-end video cards or setting up a multi-video card (CrossFireX or SLI) rig. Most systems will run fine on 400w or even 350w PSUs.

For watching 1080p movies, you can take advantage of the i5-3570's Quick Sync function to decode videos with minimum CPU consumption. For that you need a media player application that supports it. AFAIK Windows Media Player doesn't. You can use Potplayer or LAV Filter + MPC-HC

Then you can try frame interpolation with SVP to see if you like it or not.

SSDs or HDDs?

SSDs are Solid State Drives. Basically it's a very fast and sophisticated flash drive. It's primary advantage compared to hard drives is faster access time and higher transfer speeds. With SSDs, Windows 7 can start up within 1 minute (the fastest even less than 30 seconds), applications can launch almost instantly. Overall responsiveness increases.

However, like other flash devices, SSDs have a limit to the number of times it can be written to (10,000-100,000 writes per block). SSDs mitigate this by using methods like wear-leveling (spread erasures and rewrites across the disk so no block is written more often than others) and having extra blocks/sectors to replace those that have already failed.

While it can be convenient to use 1 large SSD to replace the HDD, high prices make this somewhat impractical. What some people do is get a small SSD (40-80GB) for the operating system and programs, and a normal HDD for file/document storage.

Windows 7 is recommended for SSD installs. 

Computer Case, Casing or Enclosures

Case selection is very subjective. Most casings with standard sizes have decent airflow.

Please also be reminded that in any PC Setup, the display is always the last piece of equipment that is the least upgraded/replaced. Sa katunayan, hanggat pwedeng gamitin, ginagamit unlike sa components inside the PC Casing. Kaya kailangan, sa unang bili pa lang ng display, future proof na kaagad.

Choose a monitor that has HDMI or DVI port connections. The reason I prefer HDMI and DVI is because they are digital connections from the computer to the LCD.

VGA is an analog connection, which was OK in the days of CRTs. The digital video signal is converted to analog in the video card, then sent to the monitor.

But LCDs are digital devices. So when they are connected via VGA, the analog VGA signal is converted back to digital inside the LCD. This analog-to-digital (A/D) conversion can result in video degradation like this:

The cause can be cheap VGA cables, poorly-implemented A/D converters inside the LCD, or both.

But when DVI or HDMI is used, the connection is digital all the way, and no signal degradation occurs as a result.

Unfortunately DVI and HDMI inputs usually found in 19 inch LCDs and larger.


Change your mindset about getting cheap with PSUs. It's the most important yet taken for granted part of a computer system. Avoid generic PSUs like the plague. Getting a generic PSU is never a good idea. Convert from a generic PSU to a branded one to accommodate a better GPU to maintain the components of your computer in great condition. Generic PSUs omit many safety features just to keep costs low. Most don't have thermal sensors, inadequate surge and over-voltage protection. Don't skimp on the power supply, but don't overspend either.

Operating System

Make sure that you use a 64-bit operating system (OS) to make use of all that RAM. The reason I recommended using a 64-bit OS is that a 32-bit OS has a limit on the amount of RAM that it can use. Theoretically it's 4GB, but in practice, it's between 3 to 3.5 GB. You can run 32-bit Windows on a PC with 8GB, but you can only use 3-3.5GB of it, which makes the extra RAM useless.

Trav-A-Mat : The Perfect Travelers Mat


Banig, a handwoven mat made from an indigenous reed named tikog (Fimbristylis utilis), is usually used for sleeping. Overtime, it has been used in other forms like native bags, throw pillows, place mats, framed art works, and it now adorns modern walls panels, furniture mattings and even used in designer clothings. 

I recently met this guy who has this great idea he most probably derived from the local Philippine "banig" or mat made from quality raw materials in the Philippines. They're really fine, hand-woven products painstakingly crafted by local workers with undoubtedly a lot of creative touch.We got to see the actual products when he brought with him some samples during a small gathering we had earlier.

The Trav-A-Mat or travelers mat or "banig" is really of good quality. According to the owner, the "banig" is exported to other countries like Switzerland. It's mainly sold to backpackers in nearby cities. The product has a huge potential to be launched as a global brand. The owner is now in the process of partnering with designers. Hopefully he can get a big name to back it up.

Friday, December 28, 2012

RH Bill Already Signed Into Law by Aquino

"So was the #RHLaw signed already? Kuryente ba, not just confirmed or official na?"

I've read from some social media sources that the controversial RH Bill has been signed into law by President Benigno S. Aquino III last Friday (December 21).

It's now known as the Republic Act 10354: The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012.

Principal authors of the law from the HoR confirmed it on national TV earlier.

Even Rappler has certified true copy of the bill signed aleady yet palace not confirming it.

Italianni's Restaurant: Great Meals Served With A Smile

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The official website of Italianni's Philippines has the following as an introductory: "Traditionally, Italian restaurants have been owned by families using recipes and cooking skills inherited from the old country and served with warm-hearted hospitality. Italian restaurants have become synonymous with warmth, friendly atmosphere which aims to please their guests and make them feel right at home. At Italianni's, we believe in making our guests feel like they're in an Italian family villa."

We had a small gathering dubbed as a Christmas party with a few acquaintances and friends at an Italianni's Restaurant in Greenbelt 2 earlier and I have to say we enjoyed all the dishes served to us - from the large pizzas to the tasty Sicilian salad with grapes, from the crunchy and soft Tuscan bread slices to the exquisite colorful drinks of bright red, orange and blue with slight mixes of alcoholic drinks, it was a delightful afternoon meal shared with old and new acquaintances.

Anne Curtis Smith Wears See-Thru Gown

Check this out!

A photo of Anne Curtis Smith wearing a Francis Libiran see-through gown has been going viral on social media networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

It has already garnered thousands of comments in a matter of hours after it was posted online.

The dress' see-through material exposed the actress' cleavage and the sides of her thighs up to her waist.

List of Banned Firecrackers

If the DoH is serious about cracking down this thing, they should do a study of the total explosive power of these firecrackers, a scientific way of proving their damage potential and categorize them as unlawful "explosives"

The fireworks you see in a fireworks show are done in a controlled area; almost all of those fly up the sky, not detonate on the ground unless by accident.

These things however were made to blow up where you throw them, splash damage, area-of-effect. Same principle as a dynamite. It's technically a homemade bomb wrapped in Merry Christmas package. What a devious and terrible way to do business.

38th Metro Manila Film Festival Winners

“One More Try” was proclaimed Best Picture during the 38th Metro Manila Film Festival Awards night held at the Meralco Theater in Ortigas, Pasig City on Thursday, December 27.

The Star Cinema movie bested the film “Thy Womb,” which was originally predicted to win several major awards.

Overall, “One More Try” won six awards, including the inaugural Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award for Excellence.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Huawei Ascend D1 quad XL and Ascend G600 to Hit Stores This Week

Huawei introduces the new Ascend D1 quad XL and Ascend G600, which give more functionality and longer battery life for people who expect more from their powerful device, at affordable prices.

“Huawei Device strives to combine what we know people want in a smartphone with our experience in delivering against those expectations. As part of our Ascend series of best-in-class smartphones, the Ascend D1 quad XL and Ascend G600 allow consumers to experience speed, long battery life and exceptional mobile entertainment in a high-quality, lightweight package. In addition, our more than two decades of experience has allowed us to optimize the Ascend smartphones’ network search algorithm and its base station auto-search technology, improving the speed of the phone’s signal detection to further extend battery life,” said Johnson Ma, country manager at Huawei Device Philippines.

Joining the growing members of the Ascend family -- Huawei’s strong portfolio of best-in-class smartphones – Ascend D1 quad XL and Ascend G600 are available at PhP18,990 and 13,990 suggested retail prices, respectively.

Huawei Ascend D1 quad XL – 4-core performance, incredible battery life

Stunningly designed and crafted, the Ascend D1 quad XL is a performance dynamo, combining good looks and performance with an exceptional audio visual experience. Combined with its ultra-powerful 2600mAh battery, it delivers an impressive 15 hours of talk time and 500 hours of standby time. The Ascend D1 quad XL keeps you on-the-go with 30% more battery power than the industry average by adjusting power consumption according to usage needs.

Powered by Huawei’s HiSilicon HI3620 quad-core 1.4GHz processor, the Ascend D1 quad XL offers a mobile cinematic experience like no other, with its high-definition 4.5-inch, 1280 x 720 Toshiba screen providing crystal clear images even under direct sunlight. The Huawei Ascend D1 Quad XL is a feast for all the senses, with Dolby® Mobile 3.0 Plus sound enhancement and Audience earSmart™ voice processor for a superb audio experience.

Providing what everyone demands from today’s smartphones and more, the Huawei Ascend D1 quad XL certainly exceeds expectations.

Huawei Ascend G600 – the more the better

Huawei Ascend G600, a.k.a. Honor 2, builds on the success of Huawei Honor that offered three days battery life on a single charge. Offering more visual clarity, more speed, and more power, this mid-range Ascend brings Honor to the next level.

The HUAWEI Ascend G600 provides more of the features that improve peoples’ mobile phone experiences, everyday. The mega 4.5-inch IPS qHD LCD screen with 960 x 540 pixel resolution brings unsurpassed visual clarity. Powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU with industry-leading 1930mAh Li-Polymer battery, the Huawei Ascend G600 can be fully charged in four hours, powered on in five seconds, and with Huawei’s power saving technology, provides more than 15 days of standby time.


Huawei Ascend D1 quad XL
·         OS: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
·         Display: 4.5-inch IPS + HD (1280 x 720) auto roatte (G-sensor) touchscreen
·         Processor: Quad core 1.4GHz Huawei HiSilicon processors
·         Memory: 1GB RAM + 8GB ROM +upto 32GB via microSD
·         Multimedia: Dolby Mobile and Dolby Digital Plus, earSmart Voice Processor, Dual Mic noise reduction
·         Camera: 8MP Back Sensor Illumination (BSI) rear facing camera with autofocus, Flash LED and High Dynamic Range effect optimization + 1.3MP camera front-facing camera + 1080p video recording and playback
·         Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0
·         Battery: 2600mAh
·         Size: 129.9mm x 64.9mm x 11.5mm
·         Weight: About 145g (including battery)
·         SRP  PhP18,990

Huawei Ascend G600
·         OS: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
·         Display: 4.5-inch IPS + qHD (960 x 540) + 16M colors, Corning Gorilla Glass protection
·         Processor: Dual core 1.2GHz Qualcomm MSM8225-0-AA processor
·         Memory:  4GB ROM + 768MB RAM +upto 32GB via microSD
·         Multimedia: DTS Surround Sound
·         Huawei Apps: All Backup, Security Guard
·         Camera: 8MP Back Sensor Illumination (BSI) rear-facing camera with autofocus, Flash LED and High Dynamic Range effect optimization, 0.3MP front-facing camera
·         Connectivity: DLNA, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0
·         Battery: 1930mAh
·         Size: 134mm x 67.5mm x 10.5mm
·         Weight: About 145g (including battery)
·         SRP P 13,990

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