Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Arturo's Bed & Dine & Bryan's Grill & Cafe Davao Experience

As I was preparing my flight schedule for the Club and Bloggers Networking Davao event last October 21, Aileen suggested that I should check out Arturo's Bed & Dine located at 91 Narra St., Palm Village, Davao City. Palm Village is right beside Bo. Obrero and quite near Victoria Plaza. Tel.: (82) 221-2943. It also has free wi-fi access and a swimming pool. The place charges like P1200 for a nigh stay that is already inclusive of breakfast. I must admit that their breakfast offering is so gorgeous and the generous serving of pandesal was just heaven!

As for the food, well, I'm on a diet and picked on their pepper-clustered tuna sashimi offered at Bryan's Grill & Cafe. I spotted the review Blogie made about it and decided to give it a shot.

It is the best tasting tuna sashimi treat I ever had to date and enough reason to come back and stay at Arturo's Bed & Dine place again. By the way, Bryan's Grill & Cafe was also one of the establishments included in Davao's Food Appreciation Tour. Check out Aileen's video below and have a glimpse of the place. Thanks again Aileen!

Related travel note:

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Cebu Pacific Blogging Challenge Winners

I got asked a few weeks ago by Blogie Robillo to be a judge in the Cebu Pacific Blogging Challenge. The winners were finally announced and I'd like to extend my sincerest congratulations to:
  1. Rosselyn Jaye de la Cruz - Bohol
  2. Zigfred Diaz - Dumaguete
  3. Czarina Maye Mariano - Palawan
  4. Marck Ronald Rimorin - General Santos
  5. Lyle Santos - Davao
On another note, I've been contemplating of reviving the Filipina Writing Project and carry it out similar to the Busby SEO Test.

Buying Jewelry Online Series - MyJewelryBox

Through the Internet, it is possible to purchase almost everything online that includes low-end to high-end items. However, the timing and value of the item purchased are also factors to some categories such as jewelry. For the purpose of this discussion, let me use MyJewelryBox, an online jewelry marketplace, as an example.

This time of the year requires most of us to plan our purchases within budget and means. Christmas jewelry is a popular item to consider for loved ones. Folks planning to get one as a gift should start canvassing and order as early as September.

Sapphire jewelry and diamond jewelry are top of the line options where most women would appreciate getting one as a gift. As for women, gift options for men can be quite limited and perhaps it is time also to look into men's or couple's jewelry.

For those planning to get wed next year, they also have choices for weddings and engagement. If you believe gemstones and the luck they bring, getting your birthstone jewelry may be a good investment too.

What I like best about the site is the education section where you can learn more about diamonds, gemstones, metals, and caring for your jewelry. The knowledge you'll gain from it can make you a well-informed buyer.

MyJewelryBox can ship almost anywhere in the world. But buyers should be aware that they are responsible for VAT, duties or any other taxes incurred upon delivery. Buyers should factor this when making a purchase.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Joining and winning online contests

If I recall correctly, I only joined two online contest this year and have been fortunate enough to win at both. Coincidentally, they were also organized by Just Creative Design.

The first one is a free logo design contest where I joined and wished for a logo that can be used for the Top 10 Emerging Influential Blogs writing project.

The 2nd one is the US$11,000 Prize Giveaway - Design Group Writing Project Charity. I decided to donate and became one of the 66 winners. The prize I got is a blog make-over and will have that done for the Club Group blog.

I think joining online contest can be a great experience. I encourage you to pick those that really matches your need and interest.

How about you? Have you won at any online contest this year? What was the best prize you got?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Supporting A Woman's Investment

One of the bloggers I met online is Jasmin Tragas. She is a managing consultant and social media advocate at IBM Australia with a background in new media and design. At present, she is volunteer ambassador for Women's Opportunity and her 1st project is to set-up a micro-finance project for a group of women in the Philippines dubbed as "A Woman's Investment".

At the moment, Jasmin is raising resources and created this slide show from various women who shared their thoughts.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Alcohol drinking guidelines

(vodka tonic photo shot at Nuvo last November 14)

Australia is one country where alcohol drinking problem is taken seriously. This is where alcohol-related social problems is estimated to be at AU$7.6 billion. Each year approximately 3,100 people die as a result of excessive alcohol consumption and around 72,000 people are hospitalized. The government even has a National Alcohol Strategy (2006-2009) as a response to the patterns of high risk alcohol consumption.

Each one of us respond differently to alcohol. However, the Australian government suggest that men should not have more than 4-6 standard drinks a day while women are encouraged to avoid drinking more than 2-4 standard drinks a day due to having a smaller liver size compared to men.

Each standard drink usually has no more than 10 grams of alcohol. Regular drinkers are encouraged to have at least 1-2 alcohol-free days per week. Those who have uncontrollable drinking habits may consider getting help at sites that talks about Alcohol Rehab.

Whether occasional or long term, there are risks in drinking that must be managed. This includes injuries from violence, accidents, falls, having unprotected sex, and alcohol poisoning. Those who drink regularly and on a long term may also increase their chances of cancer, diabetes, and brain damage. Getting Addiction Treatment is an alternative that can also be worth exploring should you feel unable to control your urge to drink. Visit the nearest Alcohol Rehab Center in your country or overseas to get further advise.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Caramel Espressions at Gloria Jeans Treat

Whenever I have a training in Makati, I usually arrive before 7 am in the area and hangout at Starbucks Valero St. Makati.

However, since their annual planner giveaway isn't as cool as they used to be, I thought of trying out Gloria Jean's Coffee a week ago and have been hanging out there since to avail of its free Internet access.

My favorite drink so far is Caramel Espressions. A cup in the morning is enough to get me throughout the day.

I also found out lately that Gloria Jeans is actually an Australian company.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Date with girl friend - Watching Lei Bautista at Nuvo

Whenever in Manila, I always make sure to allot time catching up with a very good friend, Mel. Last Friday, we had dinner and accompanied her to Nuvo so she can visit a long time friend. That person is Lei Bautista who is also known for the song - Cool Ka Lang. As our video recording did not succeed, I picked up this song via YouTube and posted it here.

This is my first time to enter Nuvo where Mel and I ordered a drink each. As we know each other for more than a decade, I asked if we ever catched up in a spot like Nuvo before and realized that we haven't. I guess we are just women who would like to catch up over regular meals and/or coffee rather than a cocktail in one hand.

Of course, passing by Nuvo meant that we had to make 3 stops: dinner-cocktail-coffee. The last spot landed us at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. I guess when you frequent coffee shops quite often enough, capuccinos almost taste the same everywhere.

Mel's life is great enough to become one of the best "mother story" novel for all time. Her humility keeps my feet on the ground and humbles me.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Wedding of Joniel Rocio & Jherlie Cheng

One of my business partner and sister, Jherlie Cheng, just got married last August 8 to Joniel Rocio. She had a civil wedding ceremony and reception at Discovery Suites in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

She is the last member of the family who tied the knot and it happened at the most unexpected time. I guess love just happens. I wish you Jherlie and Joniel all the best and take care of each other!

NAIA 3 Manila Airport & Yellow Taxi

Preparing for the Club Roadshow last October 21 (Davao), 23 (Cebu), and 25 (Manila) allowed me to check out the new facilities or amenities found in Manila airports. This includes:

1. Airport Yellow Taxi

I used to take airport cabs that normally cost me 900-1000 pesos just to get home to Quezon City. Taking this yellow taxi, operated by Nissan, allowed me to save at 50%. You still get the usual driver courtesy as well and does not negotiate for add-on payments.

However, if you are in a hurry, be prepared that more passengers are lining up to this one. Wait time can be from 30 minutes to an hour especially during peak hours. I experienced this upon my return to Manila from Cebu last October 24. However, I took the time to take pictures instead using my Nokia N95.

2. NAIA Terminal 3

On my way to Davao last October 21 via Cebu Pacific allowed me to check in at the controversial NAIA Terminal 3. The place reminded me of check-in counters of most international airports in various countries I've visited.

What was weird though is the common check-in line for all routes. If Cebu Pacific continues this scheme, passengers will have to make sure to be at the cue at least 2.5 hours before their departure to avoid any major delay or hassle.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New babies in 2009

I have four younger sisters and all have own families at this time. Getting committed very early allowed me to have the rest of my kids while my sisters enjoyed being single. Being in the rat race and managing a family with young kids has prevented me from spending time with my sister Jehan when she gave birth to her two beautiful daughters. The same also for Jhermie whose daughter Iya passed away early this year due to heart problems.

However, being able to enjoy Iya prior to her heart operation just made me realized how special are my nieces. I cried like Iya is my own daughter and still do whenever those special moments get remembered.

2009 will be a special year for me. My two youngest sisters, twins Jherlie and Jhermie, are giving birth this February and March. I am very excited for both of them and have made a commitment to devote time and be there for them. I recalled that during my birth giving times, I just get whatever is there and do not had the luxury to make a big deal out of these special moments.

But for my sisters, I have a checklist on what baby big day stuff could be needed such as:
  • baby book
  • wrist rattles (since they are too young to hold one)
  • beanie
  • sleeper
  • booties
  • receiving blanket
  • robe shirts
  • body suit
  • diaper pants
I must admit that after ten years, it surprise me to see the number of new stuff being promoted out there to make this experience as personalized as possible.

Shopping for baby gift items online can be quite difficult as there is not much website in the Philippines that focuses on this. For Australia, where Jhermie is now in Adelaide area, found one store online but based in Queensland.

Most website information available on the Internet as well refers to outlets in the U.S. For instance, checking out gives me links to custom leather baby shoes, unique personalized baby gifts, and newborn baby gift. As I'm in the Philippines now, the information shown on advertisers or sellers I can deal with is a bit limited. But as I visit Australia next week, I'm hoping that available choices will be a bit more.

Still, I'm excited! We are having two new babies in 2009!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Miss Earth 2008 Long Gown Competition Videos

(will edit and post more videos)

Yesterday, I got the chance to watch the Miss Earth beauty pageant long gown competition courtesy of PAGCOR's local marketing unit who invited us.

The ladies wore wearing interesting costumes and it was quite hard to have a favorite pick as you tend to switch easily from one to the other. In the end, Miss Venezuela won who happens to have a lot of supporters in the audience.

Azrael, Ken, Gary, Milan, and me were all in one row watching the whole show. Afterwards, most of folks in attendance approached the candidates for photo shoot opportunity.

As the judges came from different industries and are not really professional judges per se on this type of contest, it must be hard to judge when you have around 80 women parading themselves in such beautiful outfits.

The grand finale of Miss Earth is about to happen soon. Good luck to all the candidates!