Saturday, June 14, 2014

Candelaria, Zambales: A Period of Pleasure and Productivity

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Adventure, sleepless nights, stress-free activities, swimming, workshops, movies and many more. These are just some of the things that usually comes out first in our mind when we hear the word "SUMMER". But for others, it's far different from what we usually think.

Some people believe that these things mentioned above are just stereotypical ways of describing what summer is all about because for them, summer is about doing what you ought to do - doing what you like and doing things you're comfortable with.

An example of people who believe in this idea are those who spend their summer productively. They study their lessons in advance and engage in different kinds of activities that can enhance their talents and skills. Another example are those people who just stay in their homes and watch movies, read books, play computer games, or just sleep all day long. They do things they think they are comfortable with or things that gives relaxation and peace of mind.

I think that I belong to these groups of people because I've spent my summer productively and I also made sure that I was able to relax and enjoy. I had fun all throughout the vacation even though I rarely go to malls, beaches and other places outside our municipality. I can say that I had fun because I followed my own way of having a well-spent summer by maintaining balance between productivity and pleasure.

Tune Hotels: Convenience On the Go

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Are you a tourist from another country visiting Manila or a local who’s looking for a place to stay for a night or two? Well, Tune Hotels may just be the right place to book a room.

Tune Hotels is a pretty new establishment in the Philippines and has already established name in different countries as far as England, Australia, and Thailand just to name a few. They have branches sprouting in different parts of the Philippines and the branch that we were able to have a staycation at was the Ortigas branch. Fairly new, just opened last February.

Upon arrival at the hotel, we were welcomed and assisted by the staff, which is actually unexpected as the hotel isn’t a 5 star hotel since it caters for backpackers who just need a night or two to have a good nights rest before venturing of to another adventure around the metro.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Legazpi, Albay: Summer Bonding Time Back Home with Family and Friends

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Every year we always have our leisure day or week, especially during summer. Some may go on a vacation together with their family. They go to their provinces or try other adventures to discover other places.

Like me, I also had a vacation trip to our province in Legazpi, Albay.

It's really nice to go there every year to visit our relatives and family friends. It took us almost 14 hours traveling from Manila to Legazpi. It would have been only for 12 hours but because of heavy traffic and road constructions, it took an additional 2 hours to reach our destination.

After a few days of resting in our house, we decided to go somewhere. We went to Daraga Church to attend the mass which was about The Seven Last Words of Jesus Christ. After that was a long way to our next destination. I've got a chance to have a glance of the very prestigious university in Bicol - the Bicol University. It was huge and has very nice facilities. An idea struck in my mind "I want to try studying here."

Bimini Bahamas: Islands in the Stream

Wazzup Pilipinas!

I enjoyed two nights of Bimini Bahamas experience. It's my break from work to enjoy and celebrate the shore. The beach has super-fine white sand, The water is emerald-colored. All-in-all, we had a great time!

Bimini is the closest Bahamian island to the United States that is located just 50 miles off Florida’s coast. The island boasts of miles of pristine beaches. Bimini is historically significant and is popularly known as Ernest Hemingway’s favorite escape. Hemingway led the way for fishermen who pilot their own boats across the Gulf Stream from Florida to follow in his footsteps, and pit themselves against some of the world’s feistiest game fish and each other. Jimmy Buffett spent some time there to write his book, and Martin Luther King, Jr. also composed parts of his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech at the island. A bronze bust of his image is at the Bimini Craft Centre in Alice Town.

It's historical complexity and renowned past which includes Bimini Road, believed to be the remnant of the legendary Lost City of Atlantis, are just some of the reasons why visitors from around the world enjoy an opportunity to frolic within its shores.

Hustle to Serve: Marketing Basics for Social Advocates

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Asian Medical Students’ Association Philippines (AMSA Philippines) proudly presents Hustle to Serve: Marketing Basics for Social Advocates.

This distinctive one-day seminar aims to provide basic knowledge on marketing for student organizations as well as funding for social advocacy projects. It shall serve as an empowerment platform for youth advocates who aspire to implement carefully-crafted and financially-sustainable project s in their respective universities and communities. Basic skills and knowledge on marketing and finance shall be taught and shared in this seminar in order to more equip more young leaders in creating sustainable products, pursuing passion projects and implementing social innovation projects that benefit not only their immediate community, but the society at large as well.

Hustle to Serve: Marketing Basics for Social Advocates will feature four speakers who are trailblazers and innovators in their respective fields. The first speaker is currently the administrator of the Kristiyano-Islam Peace Library (KRIS Library) named Ms. Arizza Nocum. She will be discussing “Fund-Raising for Non-Profit Organizations.” Ms. Kirstin Lopez, co-founder of an online crowdfunding platform called The Spark Project, will be talking about the scope of her work during the talk “Crowdfunding for Community Building.” This will be subsequently followed by Ms. Roxy Navarro’s take on “Pragmatic Pursuit of Passion Projects.” Last but not the least, Nina Gerodias, Founder of the University of the Philippines Business Leagues, will discuss “Marketing for Student Organizations.”

The seminar will be held on June 21 (Saturday), 1-5 PM, at the Multipurpose Room 403, 4th Floor, Tan Yan Kee Building, University of Santo Tomas.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Escaping the City Lights

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The buildings, the different noises, the blinding lights, the angry voices of the drivers stuck in the traffic, things that can be observed in a place where time fly so fast, that if you’re not fast enough to catch up, you’ll be left out. It can be so tiring at times, you think you’ve been fast enough but in a matter of seconds, so many things can happen. This is the city. This is where I grew up, like I said it can be so tiring, but you only need to do two things in order to release the stress brought by the life in the life in here, and that is to take a break and escape.

On the night of May 29, we left the busy streets of Manila, together with my parents, my sisters, my grandma and uncle, we went on an 12 hour drive to my grandmother’s hometown, Bangued, Abra.

The car ride to Abra was really fun; stories were exchange while 90’s music is being played. Everyone shared their funny stories, trying to kill some time, except for me. I just enjoyed listening and laughing along with them.

After almost 7 hours of drive, tiredness suddenly kicked in, one by one, everyone started to drift to sleep, but I didn’t. Instead I try to enjoy the silence, I opened the window beside me and the fresh air came rushing in, it’s so calming. I looked outside and I can see these lights being emitted by the buildings, it’s not too much, but it’s something, at least for me. I'm so far away from the city. Finally. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Donnalyn Bartolome is "KakaiBabe"

Wazzup Pilipinas!

She spills her heart out in her videos doing all sorts of stuff from DJ'ing, acting, singing, rapping, doing a monologue, and other crazy things she can think of while in "emo" mode - that state where she relates as her most creative point in time when she can come up with the most weirdest, nastiest, yet charming expressive ways while still remaining cute in front of the video camera.

Oh, yes! She's the only one who can get away with almost anything with panache while her ever-growing fans continue to love her cute antics because she is simply an adorable petite cutie pie that one can't get bored with!

Donnalyn Bartolome is a natural and candid personality who is so very tele and photogenic that you want to hug and kiss her little body tight that it could almost become flat. Nah, just kidding! Everyone just loves this 19 year old girl with a smile that could launch a thousand, if not a million, ...albums.. if given the opportunity.

But I guess that thought is about to come true as she has already launched a single titled "KakaiBabe", and soon, an album with enough tracks to sweep the nation by her lovely pop and R&B-rapping rhythm plus an endearing attitude that is worthy of praises.

Summer 2014: Fab or Drab?

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Hot, humid, burning, sizzling, dry, steamy – words that are usually used to define summer. But disregarding the weather, summer is the perfect time to travel, to have parties, to enjoy and have fun with our loved ones.
We often go to the beach, visit our province, see tourist spots and do many more uplifting activities during the summer season.

Summer is also the ideal time for students like me to kick back, relax and not worry about school related stuffs. Sleeping late and waking up early, doing loads of school works, only motivated by allowance,.... finally I’ll be able to have the chance to take a break from all these exhausting things.

Finally my resting period came, but as much as I want to be carefree, I can’t help but to think that I’ll be spending my last days in high school. I’ll be in 4th year in the upcoming school year, and that also means I’ll be taking College Entrance Exams.

I badly want to pass UPCAT and graduate at UP Diliman, so I was double-thinking if I’ll have summer review or not. I’ve been thinking about it for days and with the influence of a friend of mine I decided to join her in summer review sessions.

I thought that my summer is going to be boring and drab since I won’t experience much fun as I’ve expected, but I ended up eating my own words. Didn’t know that taking summer review could also be fun. We were based in UP Diliman and excitement did flow in me as soon as I stepped into the campus.

One Asia Center: Why Work From Home When You Can Work Smarter at One Asia Center

Wazzup Pilipinas!There's quite a huge number of freelancers at present because of the many potentials one can do when one works at his or her own pace and convenience. We set our own standards, arrangement details, and can where almost anywhere and at anytime we prefer. We can even work in our pajamas at home while sipping coffee and sitting comfortably in our favorite chair.

The only problem with the setup is we tend to sometimes get too lax and worry-free if we work at home. Working at coffee shops exposes us to a lot of distractions plus the annoying look on the crew's face since we occupied our spot for almost the entire day. Also, we can't really impress our clients if we meet them at nearby coffee shops or hotels since many still prefer to work with professionals who have their own business offices.

One Asia Center is a new serviced office provider located in the Central Business District of Makati City. They lease fully furnished Executive Serviced Offices, as well as offer Virtual Office, Business Solutions and support services.

We had an opportunity to visit the place and found it ideal for our needs to work in a conducive environment minus the high expense of having to deal with setting up our own office address. The place will be great to meet with potential clients and to work with colleagues for projects and brainstorming sessions. We also believe it will be great for our other needs like workshops and training programs since its equipped with the necessary office amenities.

Take Your Selfie with Globally Renowned Messaging App LINE!

Wazzup Pilipinas!

LINE Corporation, owner and operator of the free globally renowned call and messaging app recently announced the launched of the family app “LINE Selfie Sticker” for iPhones to add a refreshingly creative and colorful twist for taking selfies.

LINE Selfie Sticker can be used to make original stickers out of self-portraits, or “selfies” in just three simple steps. First, users take a picture of their own face, and then they choose their favorite character from over 130 illustrations covering 17 exciting themes, including LINE characters, astronauts, skateboarders, wedding gowns, cheerleaders, monsters, and more. After that, all users have to do is fit the illustration to the original picture and tap it when they are done. In just three taps, users have their own original stickers they can send to friends.

Users can adjust specific aspects of the stickers by changing the face size or angle, enlarging or shrinking text, or adding speech balloons with their own messages, creating unique stickers that can be used in any situation.

CC Tunes (The Climate Change Concert) Slated on June 17

Wazzup Pilipinas!

After the highly successful “World Water Day Concert” and ”Earthday Jam 2014” , EARTHDAY JAM FOUNDATION, Inc. is now again ready to embark on another unique and exciting project dubbed CC TUNES (In Tune With Climate Change).

CC TUNES will be held on June 17 at the Activity Center of Market, Market in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig starting 4pm. This special music for advocacy event will feature eco-artist-producer Lou Bonnevie, pop-rock icon Kitchie Nadal with the young hot OPM bands Moonstar 88 , Silent Sanctuary , GraceNote and Mayonnaise. The activity will be hosted by actor-model Lorenzo Mara, Phoebe Walker and Pam Nieva of Eurasia and resident host Midi G. with guest celebrity Bb. Tourism Angeli Dionne Gomez and other surprise personalities.

The project is being undertaken in support with the global “World Environment Day” celebration and the Philippine Environment Month long festivities. In recognition with the international theme which is “Raise Your Voice, Not The Sea Level” – the concert will also feature speakers who will have short talks on the impact of climate change around the world with emphasis on small nations and the lessons to learn from these countries to overcome a number of environmental problems with only limited resources.

Aaron Colton Tours the Philippines

Wazzup Pilipinas!His name is Aaron Colton and he rides motorcycles for a living. He is an action sport athlete with over eight years of professional riding experience. He has already gained a broad respect throughout all disciplines of motorcycling, competing in Street Freestyle, AMA Pro Road Racing, AMA Pro Flat Track, as well as a handful of WORCS, supermoto and motocross races.

Last May 2014, US sportbike freestyle champion Aaron Colton impressed a lot of people in the busy streets of the Philippines as well as other parts of the country,  when he pulled off incredible stunts doing breathtaking, gravity-defying acrobatics on a KTM Duke 690 during his visit to the Philippines.

The Philippines is known for having one of the largest motorcycle communities in Southeast Asia with over 4 million registered riders on the roads. The locals got a glimpse of something completely different from their daily commute when Aaron Colton stopped by for a one-wheeled tour through the Asian gem of Manila.

The Philippine TOYCON: The Biggest Pop Culture Event in the Philippines celebrates its 13th year

Wazzup Pilipinas!

What’s bigger than dinosaurs? Giant robots. What’s bigger than giant robots? Godzilla. What’s bigger than Godzilla? Freakin’ outer space! Where a bunch of aliens are busy guarding the galaxy.

There’s nothing that can compare with bigness. But sometimes, even the thought of “bigness” is an understatement when you find something that can contain all these things and add in a huge dose of fun and thrills. Prepare for the biggest one yet! It’s time for TOYCON 2014!!

The Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention, or TOYCON as it’s more widely-known, is Asia’s biggest and longest running convention for collectibles, toys, anime, comics, cosplay, gaming and anything and everything related to hobbies and collections. The convention has been ongoing since 2002 so it is now on its 13th year of thrilling fans and aficionados alike. It is, simply put, the biggest pop culture event in the country.

This year’s TOYCON will highlight the 75th Anniversary of DC Comics’ caped Crusader, Batman with a huge Batman display area, a life size Batpod, a kids’ activity area, exciting new Batman merchandise, and a gallery of art and collectibles of the Dark Knight Detective.

Terminal Fees to Be Integrated with Airline Tickets to Reduce Queuing Time

Wazzup Pilipinas!

In a move to reduce queuing time at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) has recently concluded talks with international air carrier representatives to incorporate the international passenger service charge (IPSC), commonly referred to as terminal fees, in the price of airline tickets beginning in October 2014.

“We congratulate MIAA on this new policy. It improves traveling convenience and efficiency at NAIA by removing a whole process which unnecessarily adds to the passengers’ processing time, requiring them to line up when payment can be done ahead of time,” said Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Secretary Jun Abaya.

According to MIAA, the integration of the IPSC into airline tickets will help address the congestion problem for departing passengers at NAIA, and will free up a sizeable area since the existing terminal fee counters will be removed.

Moreover, this policy is at par with international standards and practices, since among ASEAN Region countries, it is only the Philippines which collects terminal fees on a face-to-face basis at the airport.

International Film Expo 2014: The Asian Film Industry's Business Networking Event

 Wazzup Pilipinas!

Get ready to feature your latest technologies and offerings related to the film industry. Meet distinguished production companies, producers, distributors, filmmakers, artists, and academic institutions form all over the world, network and exchange ideas with the most prominent film practitioners, and be part of an international marketplace where you can target and tap a broader audience for your film-related products and services.

The International Film Expo 2014 will be happening soon in Manila on June 27 to 29, 2014 at the SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.

Organized by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), the organizers are positioning this event to be the Cannes Film Festival of Asia. They have actually gotten the commitment of ASEAN film organizations to send representatives to the show.

Filipinos are Southeast Asia's largest movie-going public. It comes as no surprise then that Philippine film making is considered as one of the most profitable ventures and investments you can make in this country.

So what are you waiting for, take your place in the spotlight and join this amazing event as an exhibitor or as an attendee.

Puerto Galera: Summer Belongs to You

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Do you believe that every summer has a story? Well, I do. It’s because I know that in a span of more or less 60 days, a lot of things can happen, a lot of changes may occur, a lot of memories will surely be treasured.

Last April 25, 2014, we went to Calapan, Oriental Mindoro. First, we traveled from Pasay to Batangas Port to ride a ferry. I was quite excited because it’s my first time riding such ‘cause most of the time, we travel by plane or a van. I fell asleep during the road trip because I woke up so early in the morning so that we would be able to ride the 12 o’clock trip. As soon as we got there, we just paid the fee then headed to the ferry. The trip lasted for 3 hours and even if we’re just sitting there, I find it exhausting but the view during the ride was priceless.

We stayed in my mom’s friend’s house in Calapan but we left the place first thing in the morning so that we’ll have a lot of time to enjoy the beach in Puerto Galera. It took us an hour and a half to travel from Calapan to Puerto Galera. The trip’s exciting but at the same time scary because of the zigzag road but fortunately we got there safe. After lunch, we’ve decided to swim though it’s kind of hot and we’ll surely be toasted but we didn’t mind. After all, we’re there to enjoy and not to be a kill joy. We rode the banana boat and I was able to try kayaking.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

“How Do I Love Thee II ” Photo Exhibit Set to Open at LoveYourself Anglo

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LoveYourself, a volunteer advocacy organization proudly presents “How Do I Love Thee II ”- a fund raising photo-exhibit whose theme focuses on the ideals of Love Yourself by propagating ideas and practices that encourage loving one's self -- to DARE to be oneself, to CARE for oneself, and to SHARE oneself as a way to multiplying joy, will feature the maiden works of self-taught photographer Kraus Estanislao.
Volunteers of LoveYourself live by the mission of embracing and nurturing self-worth, inspiring others, and creating ripples of positive change in the community. They work together to create a model community of MSM and friends who empower and affirm the self-worth of youth and MSM in the Philippines through various services, including free HIV testing and counseling. Through the unwavering courage and dedication of its volunteers, the organization was recognized nationally as one of the finalists to the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations in 2013.

" The theme that I chose for this exhibit is the beauty of the male human body in different forms, perspective and treatment. My photographs shall explore all its flawed but fascinating glory as magnified to clarity so that the audience will see through the marked difference between a nude man and a naked man. Both naked and nude maybe similar to one's thought, but nude photography has eroticism as its minor priority or should we say the last thing on one's spectator's mind. A nude photo is a celebration of the male human body with the power to captivate audiences, instead of a vulgar spectacle that screams for attention. " says Estanislao.

Global HIV Prevention Program Kicks Off in the Philippines

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Global football-based HIV prevention campaign Protect the Goal headlined by the Philippine football national team, Azkals, and targeting youth at risk, will officially be launched in the Philippines on June 22, 2014 during the opening of the LoveYourself Anglo, a new free HIV testing community center along Shaw Boulevard near Ortigas.

Protect the Goal  has swept the world with its sports-oriented approach to promoting HIV testing and safer sex behavior. The campaign ultimately seeks to help lower the risk of HIV transmission among the Filipino youth, specifically among young Filipino men. In the Philippines, 71% of new infections since 1984 were in young people and that two-thirds of high risk young people actually do not know their HIV status.

First launched at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, the campaign has since been replicated in other Southeast Asian countries, and has now been launched in the Philippines led by Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and local partner, the Philippine Football Federation. The campaign also draws multi-sectoral support from partners such as the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and advocacy group LoveYourself.

Philippine Qualifiers for Thre3style World Championships in Place

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Red Bull Thre3style has officially made its way to the Philippines! Qualifier rounds have been set up in Cebu and Metro Manila on June 21st and June 26th, respectively, with the Finals Night on June 28th. For the first time ever, one Filipino DJ will be given the chance to compete at the Thre3style World Championships to be held later this year in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Thre3style is a competition that gives DJs the opportunity to showcase all of their DJ skills – technicality, originality, creativity, the art of gauging the crowd and selecting tracks, stage presence, energy and ultimately the DJ's ability to lure people on to the dance floor and keep them going wild.

DJs from around the world will be whittling down the contenders to find a representative to showcase our country's DJ prowess at the Thre3style World Championships.

This year, thirteen DJs will be pitted against each other in two qualifying rounds:

Competing in Cebu’s J. Ave Superclub on June 21st:

• DJ K Groove | 2x Queensland (AUS) DMC Champion;
• DJ Niki | K1 Amateur DJ Champion;
• DJ Katsy Lee | 2012 Pioneer Philippines DJ Digital Battle Champion;
• DJ Luigi Guzman | Resident DJ at Prohibition;
• DJ Carlo Atendido | Spin City DJ Competition finalist;
• DJ Short | Negros Occidental’s DJ Hobbyist

Competing in Manila’s URBN Bar and Kitchen on June 26th:
• DJ Aryan | Instructor at Beat Project Manila;
• DJ Mick | Music director and head DJ of Collective Concepts;
• DJ Buzz | Wave 89.1 resident DJ;
• DJ Supremefist | 2008 Pioneer Philippines DJ Digital Battle Champion;
• DJ Nix Damn P! | Los Angeles’ Best Buy DJ Champion;
• DJ Flava Matikz of Q-York | Official DJ of the Philippine Allstars;
• DJ Brandon Jon | Red Bull Thre3style University Champion

Hack The Climate Manila: Eco-Hacktivists Gather to Save the World

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Hack the Climate Manila, recognized as the very first environment-themed hackathon, was a total of 58 hours of continuous software development setting the record for the longest hackathon to develop apps for NGOs for the battle against climate change. I just don't know if the attempt to set a Guinness World Record for the longest hackathon was achieved since I didn't see the presence of a representative from Guinness. In partnership with Princeton University's Pace Center for Civic Engagement.

The hackathon, held last June 6 to 8, 2014 at the De La Salle College of St. Benilde, brought together professional and student developers, designers, and environmental activists who think about the challenges climate change will pose, today & 100 years from now. They were tasked to develop mobile and web applications dedicated to climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience. The organizers envision that the apps developed at the hackathon could be utilized long after the hackathon concludes.

The two Princeton University juniors Mechanical Engineer Jacob Scheer and Economist Miguel Lachanski, along with Filipino technology specialist Diego Jose Ramos, plus all the other individuals responsible in organizing this hackathon, must be very proud of the outcome. Since finding solutions against Climate Change has always been almost everyone's advocacy especially the NGOs who are there to protect the environment and its natural resources, many have the keen interest to participate in related advocacy programs. Though the effort is not enough to be complacent because the very little few that exploit our environment are apparently more powerful, resourceful and influential. We may all need to combine our forces and really boost our efforts to go against these misguided elements of society.

Philstage Gawad Buhay Awards Honors Creme of the Crop Artists for the Performing Arts

 Wazzup Pilipinas!

Congratulations to all the winners at the Philippine Legitimate Stage Artists Group (Philstage) Gawad Buhay Awards held at the at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater) of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) last June 6, 2014. It's my first time to see Audie Gemora dressed up like a drag queen while singing “Keep It Gay” pretentiously so attending the awards night was very much humorously rewarding for me as well.

Audie Gemora won the Outstanding Male Featured Performance in a Musical Award.....and I thought the movie version of The Producers was one of the most hilarious musicals I have ever seen. I am now hating myself for missing out on the Pinoy theater version. I hope there's a re-run soon so I could be the first one to sign-up.

The Gawad Buhay Awards are conferred to the best and brightest theater artists by a jury that views all the productions by Philstage member companies over the previous calendar year.

Christian Bautista and Karylle hosted the night dressed initially in their glamorous Cinderella theater show outfits which earned a resounding praise from the audience.

Inertia of Dreams

Wazzup Pilipinas!

As I sip my cold drink and enjoy the morning breeze, I wonder about my future. I am thinking of a well-postured woman, with a lot of wisdom in her heart and mind. I am thinking of a woman that has no financial problem because she has the best job a woman could ever dream of. I wonder if I can mold my present to that kind of future.

Then, the sun directly hit me in the face as if it was angry with what I am doing. I asked myself  "What am I doing wrong? There’s nothing wrong with dreaming. I can dream even if it is an endless dream." Well, you know what’s wrong? It is wrong letting time pass by and letting myself do nothing but enjoy the summer heat. It is wrong to dream, only if you are not doing anything to make it possible.

A year of endless paper works already ended and it is time to have some bonding moments with the people that surround me, and share the moments with them.

Ilocos Sur: A Visit to a Place Where Time Stood Still

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The Ilocos province is a perfect place for your most craved me-time or a perfect place for couples- or in my case, with my family. About 400 kilometers from Manila and about 8 hours of travel by car is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Vigan, Ilocos Sur. This is where we spent our summer vacation, and I'm here to tell you our adventure in the city where time stood still.

Vigan City is the capital city of Ilocos Sur and the seat of the provincial government. It was once a thriving center for trade and commerce among the people of Ilocandia and the Cordilleras.
The name Vigan came from the Ilocano word "kabiga-an" pertaining to the plant "biga" which is a tuberous plant that once grew along the banks of its rivers. The must-sees and must-do's wonders of the tiny yet culture-filled Vigan can be toured within two days. It is one of the few remaining 16th century towns in the Philippines.

People describe Vigan as a place where "time stood still" because it is the most intact example of a Spanish colonial town in Asia, and is well-known for its cobblestone streets and a unique architecture that fuses Asian building design and construction with European colonial architecture and planning.

Meet Infocomm Investments and Join the JFDI Accelerator Program

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Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd is a venture capital firm that manages more than S$200million and builds & invests in global infocomm technology startups.

Managing more than S$200 million, Infocomm Investments is an active VC that accelerates the development of start-ups in their formative phase, and invests further as they move towards growth and expansion. Joyful Frog Digital Incubator (JFDI) is a leading start-up accelerator that Infocomm Investments has partnered to run accelerator programmes in Singapore for innovation-driven, tech product start-ups.

This partnership is the first-of-its-kind in Singapore, where Infocomm Investments’ entry as an anchor investor helps scale-up acceleration programs and build a strong pipeline of high quality, tech product start-ups able to scale globally.

On the 19th – 20th of June 2014, Infocomm Investments team members will be visiting Manila to drive awareness among tech teams & start-ups for JFDI (Joyful Frog Digital Incubator), an accelerator program run in partnership with Infocomm Investments. The team will also be keen to meet startups seeking Series A or B investment.

JFDI is the first accelerator in Southeast Asia to bring to the region the winning formula for boosting start-up success pioneered by Techstars in the United States. JFDI takes teams of entrepreneurs from idea to investment in 100 days, with greater than 60% success raising an average S$650,000 per team.

Celebrate Father’s Day At BGC With Avida

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Treat the whole family to a day of fun and games with Avida’s Come Alive in BGC!

Happening on Saturday, June 14 at the Bonifacio High Street Activity Center, attendees will have a chance to experience the dynamic and active lifestyle of the North Side of BGC with activities such as virtual soccer match, photo booths, life-sized Jenga, and many more. Cool giveaways and free Krispy Kreme doughnuts also await participants.

Don’t miss this exciting event for a truly one-of-a-kind Father’s Day celebration. For more information, visit and

My Dream Island Wedding Now Fulfilled at The Lakeshore

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Whenever I see beautiful weddings, I reminisce the days when my wife and I once became equally busy preparing for our own wedding plans. Like all other couples that are planning to get married, we both wanted it to be truly special, and tried our best to give everything we got just to make it the most memorable celebration of our lives.

But also like most couples, we were both young and inexperienced, so there were a lot of struggles. Sometimes we get so caught up in making the big day polished and perfect that we forget to have fun and live in the moment. But what I liked most about all the effort and brainstorming to come up with our own dream wedding is that we shared equally memorable times of sleepless nights, wandering thoughts and hopeful expectations as we drew near that special day when we finally exchange vows, delightful laughter and sweet promises.

If you can still recall our blog coverage of a surprise wedding proposal, followed by another article which tells the story of the planning stage for an island dream wedding, we now bring you the story of the actual wedding itself - the culmination of a love story between two individuals that are now intimately bonded as one and both ready to face the beginning of more wonderful chapters in their lives as husband and wife.

The fairy tale-like island wedding plans I told you about last December 2013 just came true last April 26, 2014, and this is their wedding story retold through my eyes. I am totally inspired by their love story. I also remembered that endearing wedding proposal that brought most of the attendees to an emotion of mixed tears and delight.

There were a million blessings to be thankful during the wedding day, and many of them are enveloped in this blog article. The scenes you are about to see are so breathtaking that we strongly suggest that you take a seat before you scroll down. So, just sit back, relax, and let this love story unfold right before your eyes!

Samsung Business Solution Center and Industry Solutions Launch: Showcasing Leading-Edge Industry Solutions

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Almost all the techie stuff you need to run your business smarter was there at the Samsung Business Solutions Center and Industry Solutions Launch held last June 5, 2014. We were introduced to technologies that we've heard and seen mostly on cable TV features but this was the first time we've seen and used them in action. Samsung Electronics Philippines Co. (SEPCO) unveiled to us its Industry Business Solution Center that will showcase the breadth of Samsung solutions available to business productivity and creativity.

There is truth in saying that a well-connected and fully-automated office that takes advantage of the existing technologies to enhance the business processes will eventually benefit well in the long run and will continue to do so as long as it frequently adapts to emerging technologies.

The best business partner is with a technology provider that will tend to all your business requirement needs to make you excel in all your endeavors and continue to outperform the competitions. You'll be surprised to learn that investing on a more advance system may not actually break the bank and may lead to a more fruitful operational efficiencies and benefits to put you in a competitive edge.

Monday, June 9, 2014

ECOLEADERS INC.: Linking Nature and Technology, One Drop a a Time

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Only less than 1 percent of the world's fresh water is accessible for direct human use because 97.5% of the water on Earth is salt water and out of the remaining 2.5% fresh water, 70% is frozen in the ice caps of Antartica and Greenland, and are present either as soil moisture or lies in deep underground aquifers as ground water not accessible to human use.

The amount of water available is being threatened by the rapid rate of population growth. If the current water usage trend continues, two-thirds of the world's population - or 5.3 billion people - will be vulnerable to water shortages.

ECOLEADERS INC., the global and exclusive distributor of friendly and green solution products, has recently announced during its blessing of its Quezon City showroom and office, that they are the exclusively distributing US brand Ecoloblue Atmospheric Water Generators (AWGs) appliances - the most technologically advanced and sustainable AWGs in the world. They envision the AWG products as an effective solution to the water shortages we are already experiencing right now.

Acupuncture is Not Just Sticking Needles in ...

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Acupuncture has long been associated with pins and needles which is why a lot of people balk at the thought of trying it. Many Filipinos are scared of the needle and having a few being poked at you to treat a sickness is not their idea of fun. Truth be told, most would choose to suffer through their illness than have some needles be stuck on them. Thankfully, Doc Philip Nino Tan-Gatue, an acupuncturist, is more than willing to shed light as to why Acupuncture is nothing to be afraid of.

1. What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture, in the narrow sense, refers to the insertion and manipulation of needles into the body, usually at set locations known popularly as “points”. In the broad sense, it refers to a collection of procedures related to needling. The word itself comes from the latin acus meaning “needle” and pungere meaning “to puncture” and it involves penetrating the skin with thin, solid, metallic needles. These needles are then manipulated by hand or by electrical stimulation. Needles can be placed on sites of local pain or on pre-defined acupuncture points that lie on pathways of Qi known as “meridians” or “channels”.

2. What are its benefits?

The most important benefit that acupuncture offers comes from the fact that it does not involve administering or taking any medication. There are patients who, for various reasons, are unable or unwilling to take or to increase medication dose or number. These include patients on kidney or liver failure, or simply patients who want to take less medication - pharmaceutical or herbal - to keep from "overloading" their systems. Online Job Portal to Reduce Job Mismatches

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There are so many unemployed individuals in our country yet our government claims there has been an increase in the number of jobs that have been introduced in the country brought about by the influx of BPO's or call centers that hire by the hundreds in just a few months. However, not many of our people are a perfect match for the jobs available so what happens is a number of job mismatches happening all over the country. The end result: not many are staying in their companies and finding new jobs elsewhere, or those who stayed are not really happy or satisfied with their current job.

The main reason is usually due to the the increase of interests on courses that do not really have an accompanying demand and availability of jobs as required by employers. Many of the recent graduates find themselves underemployed or just accepting jobs that are available but does not really match their skills and academic background.

We can't really do something about what jobs are in demand because that is based on what businesses are growing or expanding based on economic progress, but there's a new job search engine site created by German and Filipino web developers that is offering a cool way to help you land in a job that suits your skills and at the same time, relieves employers from the stress of hunting for the right talents., the latest innovation from the German IT provider- ISI Teletrade, was launched simultaneously in Manila and Germany to address the lingering problems of job mismatch. The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) pegged underemployment or those still looking for another job at 7-million while unemployment is at 2.96 million. The site uses an intelligent software that recognizes suitable talents while blocking those unmatched applications.At least with this site, we get an opportunity to try out first at companies that where identified matching to our qualifications.

The Simpsons Artist Joins iAcademy as Creative Director

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Who has not heard of The Simpsons? The wacky yellow-skinned family with the weirdest hairdos and flip attitudes that are beyond comprehension. Homer, the father and head of the family, works at a Nuclear power plant with housewife Marge as a partner, and three not so adorable young kids named Lisa, Bart and Maggie, because their looks are so deceiving especially Bart who makes life really crazy most of the time for the entire family, and sometimes, for their entire hometown called Springfield.

iACADEMY, one of the country’s leading schools in computing, business and design, recently named Dane Romley, the character layout artist and designer of The Simpsons Television show and The Simpsons Movie, as their Creative Director.

For five years, Romley created layouts for The Simpsons franchise including rough backgrounds and camera movements along with character and object animation. He also provided character designs for The Springfield Up and Tree House of Horror XVII.

We're Home at Carmona Estates

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Owning your dream house proves to be a challenge these days. Several factors like location, affordable financing and environment play important roles in determining whether a house can be turned into a home. Fortunately for prospective homeowners, these elements are exactly what property developer and game changer Property Company of Friends, Inc., or simply PRO-FRIENDS, strategically consider in creating residential communities in providing quality homes to Filipino families.

To support this mission, PRO-FRIENDS’ 87 hectare development Carmona Estates recently launched its newest campaign aptly called, “We’re Home.” Held at the posh Blue Leaf Filipinas in Parañaque City, privileged media friends and special guests were among those who have been given a virtual walkthrough of the different offerings of Carmona Estates.

Carmona Estates, a noted development of PRO-FRIENDS, offers the most value for your hard-earned money. With an impressive portfolio of horizontal and vertical residential developments all over the country, PRO-FRIENDS is a trusted name in the real estate industry. This alone is assurance enough that choosing to reside within the Carmona Estates enclave is one of the wisest investments young married couples can have.

NEDA Approval of SM's Common Station Expired

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With the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasay City set to hear SM Prime Holdings Inc.’s (SMPHI) petition to stop the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) from proceeding with its Common Station project, the transport agency will argue the case of ordinary commuters at 9:00am tomorrow.

Apart from savings of around P 800 Million to 1 Billion in constructing the Common Station at the EDSA-North Avenue end of the MRT-3 system, it will also work to the benefit of more riders since the Quezon City government is developing the North Triangle area as a new central business district.

“A crucial feature in transportation development is intermodality. Commuters should not have to walk long distances to transfer from one mode of transport to another. Our policy is to promote traveling convenience and efficiency for commuters, which is why we have chosen the end of the MRT-3 line as Common Station’s location,” said DOTC Spokesperson Michael Arthur Sagcal.

Let’s Be Cool in Bicol: A Food-Tripping, Church-Hopping and Beach-Bumming Adventure

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What is “Summer”?

Summer is obviously the warmest of all the seasons because it is usually associated with hot and dry weather. The date of the beginning of summer varies according to climate, tradition and culture. Schools and universities typically have a summer break to take advantage of the warmer weather and longer days. In almost all countries, children are out of school during this time of year for summer break. Activities such as traveling to the beach and picnics occur during summer months.

For most of the students, summer means “relaxation”. To me, summer is a “family tradition”. One of my most favorite family tradition is summer. Why? Every summer without fail, my family and I explore and travel. Summer is always so exciting for me. Traveling during summer made me think that the world is still beautiful and interesting.

This year, I had another fantastic summer adventure! My family and I went to Bicol and explored it for one week. We decided to travel by car to know how long it takes to travel from our place and to enjoy the scenery. Guess what? We traveled for about 13 hours! It was my first time traveling by land in more than five hours.

Epson Enters the Direct-to-Garment Industry With The All-New SureColor SC-F2000

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Epson, digital imaging and printing solutions leader, recently introduced their first direct-to-garment printer, the SureColor SC-F2000. Epson’s entry into the textile industry is marked by a large format printer that has been wholly designed and developed using Epson’s proprietary technology -- from its newly developed PrecisionCore print head to its UltraChrome DG ink -- and even in the pretreatment liquid used in the process.

As the Asia Pacific region represents the largest and fastest growing market for textile printing, with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 4%, there is no doubt that small to medium businesses can benefit from the Epson SureColor SC-F2000’s revenue-generating features. Combined with high performance, low maintenance, and low running costs, the F2000 is an ideal investment for SMEs.

Online t-shirt shops, production t-shirt printers, and even corporate users will benefit from the SC-F2000, with its crack-resistant ink that is soft against the skin. Users can configure the system to suit their needs by choosing from two sets of CMYK ink for white garments or up to four white inks for color garments.

Corporate Giveaways 2014: Business Gifts, Premiums, Promotional Ideas & Merchandise Incentives for Everyone

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Giveaways, tokens, freebies, complimentary gifts, and all other similar stuff are there for a reason. I've been attending several events almost everyday and there will always be something to be given as a form of complimentary gift or token to all attendees. The best marketing strategy of a company or brand is to always put their company name or logo in all of these items so that people will remember where they got it which also adds to the product recall and recognition, as well as appreciation every time the recipient uses the items.

But a brand may opt to not incorporate its name and logo on their gifts and just provide their clients or friends with special gifts to make them feel really special. Anyway, a person will always remember from whom he got the gift it it was truly very useful or memorable. Thus, one cannot prevent himself from being biased or more keen on patronizing the brand who made him feel like a VIP.

Corporate Giveaways 2014, now on its 27th year, announces another run to be held on July 9-11, 2014 at the SMX Convention Center of the Mall of Asia Arena Complex in Pasay City. The show will feature once again thousands of products from the most reliable suppliers of business gifts, premiums, promotional ideas & merchandise incentives.

Learn the Art of Gift-Giving at Corporate Giveaways 2014

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Every gift giver’s goal is to find an item that’s just perfect for its recipient. This seemingly simple task is made a bit more difficult when the giver is a company, the recipient is a valued client and the gift must reflect the giver’s brand and image. More than just a token emblazoned with a company logo, you want something that will be appreciated and valued. A gift that stays with the recipient, and isn’t passed on to someone else or worse discarded, never to be seen again. Sadly, the latter is what happens when one doesn’t take the time or effort to understand the recipient’s needs or interests.

On the other hand, a well thought out gift can do wonders for your brand. There’s something great about receiving a present that is “just what you needed” or something so unique that you’ve never seen anything like it before. The item need not be expensive, but rather creative, thoughtful and useful. After all, the more relevant the gift is to the recipient’s needs, the more they will use it, which in turn means more goodwill and mileage for your brand.

There’s no need to worry, corporate gift giving isn’t rocket science. Here are some tips and trends to ensure that your company’s gifts will always be anticipated and welcomed by your discerning clients.

Marian Rivera Wins as Yahoo Celebrity Awards Media Magnet

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There was no surprise that Marian Rivera came out as the winner of the Yahoo Media Magnet award gathered from votes given by members of the media through Yahoo Philippines. Marian won as the Celebrity of the Year from last year's Yahoo awards and she is also a candidate again for this year. She is well deserving to win the recognition as she has truly made a great impact in the industry this year. She really impersonates what an iconic media personality should be - confident, expressive and beautiful!

Yahoo Philippines is again very excited to roll the purple carpet once again for their annual celebrity awards but before the big night it all starts with the voting site. The former Yahoo OMG! Awards is now called Yahoo Celebrity Awards and has recently announced the voting site ( and the list of celebrity nominees at a star-studded press launch held last June 4, 2014 at the Amber Ultra Lounge located at the Bonifacio Global City.

The reason for the change was because "celebrity kind of encapsulates the content of the site much better" says Mike Constantino, Country Sales Director of Yahoo Philippines. "and the awards is a reflection of the site and the content that we host there." adds Yahoo Philippine's Country Manager and Country Editor Kate De Los Reyes.

Many celebrities graced the event which includes Christian Bautista, Saab Magalona, Rocco Nacino, Janele Salvador, Kaye Abad, Bea Binene, Jake Vargas, Nicole Hyala, Ritz Azul, and Jeron Teng. The event was hosted by Sam Oh, also a nominee for Female DJ of the Year, who stirred the crowd into excitement.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Perfect Place for a Summer Vacation

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When you hear the words “summer vacation”, what comes in to your mind? Exhausting weather? Wandering? Boring days? Messed up body clock? Here’s how I spent mine.

Last day of Junior Year, staring at my wrist watch, hearing the word “summer” echoing in my mind. And then I heard the dismissal bell ring. It’s officially the start of our summer vacation.

On my ride home, I kept on thinking what interesting things would and could happen during my two-month vacation: "Will we go to our province?",  "Will I meet relatives I didn’t know yet?", "Will we go to the beach?", "Or will it be tedious just like last year’s summer stay-cation?"

Well apparently, April was a staycation for me. My usual routine: eat, bath, household chores, read e-books, sleep late, wake up late and just repeat the process. I managed to finish reading Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy and Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush series. They are those kind of books that would make you tell yourself, “Just a few chapters left, I’ll continue reading.” That’s why I slept late and screwed up my biological clock (My body clock is still messed up until now). 

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