Saturday, February 28, 2009

I left my heart in Hundred Islands, Pangasinan

On my 2nd trip to Dagupan, Pangasinan to speak at a Search Engine Marketing & Optimization seminar, I decided to extend a day and visit the famous Hundred Islands. Many thanks to Bitstop Network Services especially to Marichu, Lief, Mark, and George (the guy beside me in two photos have been making sure I get to my commitments on time) for being such great travel buddies.

We left Bonoan at around 8:30 am and got to Hundred Islands two hours after. There is a common registration area where you can pick between the P800 and P1400 package. We picked the P800 package as we just want to look around for now. This allowed us to visit three islands: Governor's, Quezon, and Children islands.

Governor's Island was our first stop. There was a long uphill trek that made me catch my breath. However, upon seeing the top view, it was well worth it.

I actually got confused and mistaken Governor's Island for Quezon Island. Thus the retraction video above. We also had funny photos at the cave that made me joke about Mark and refer to him as Samson in the video. I also naturally turn red (tisay) when exposed to sunlight that usually catches the eye of a lot of friends.

After this, we stepped into our boat and tried a version of bibingka only available in Laoag as I made an intro about going to Quezon island.

On our way, we spotted some unusual shape islands that looks like a turtle. It was an interesting sight to look at and great for photo shots.

We realized that Quezon Island is a snorkeling spot and has somewhat like a helicopter pad that also allows you to view the other islands. This is where I decided to eat some ice cream and cool myself.

At this point, we were also contemplating of going to the Pinoy Big Brother house instead of Children's Island. However, when we soon realize that its location is in Governor's Island, we changed our plans and resume with Chilren's island. I refrained taking a video of the actual beach as it would require me to seek parental consent for capturing children on video and post them here.

I never really got the chance to video myself during travel so doing this blog post was quite fun and awkward at the same time. However, I must say that I fell in love with Hundred Islands and will definitely want to go back there again and really enjoy it the next time. That would include swimming and snorkeling. Also wearing a more appropriate outfit.

It is also a great place to clear your head and just breathe.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Jherlie's Newborn Baby - Jamila Laine

Last February 5, my sister Jherlie had her newborn baby girl - Jamila Laine. My warmest congratulations to proud parents Joniel & Jherlie.

As Jherlie also welcomes any info about luck, this might be of interest (from New Age Perspective):
  • Aquarius is her sign.
  • Color - blue (environment - mood stabilizer), green (wardrobe power color)
  • Star - Markab
  • Angel - Gambiel
  • Guardian Angel - Gabriel
  • Gem - Sapphire
  • Spiritual stone - Ruby
  • Lucky charm - rabbit's foot or white candle
  • Lucky numbers - 5, 7, 14, 23
  • Traits of February 5 celebrants are:
    - creative, intuitive, imaginative
    - present themselves as perfect
    - seem mysterious
    - warm & loving
    - fascination for unknown or off-color
    - temperamental
    - relationships border on the unusual
    - roots for the underdog
    - strong desire to be needed / caretaker of family, friends, & strangers
    - fun-loving attitude
    - can excel in medicine, education, arts, films, design
    - career switcher
    - see the world differently from most
    - will have an interesting journey of life (including detours taken)
    - needs to maintain some balance like keeping a journal (even a blog)
Not known to many but Jherlie is actually the owner of Posh Marketing Services who have been marketing my seminars for the past few years now. She now has her own condo in Pasig and currently looking for bedspacers.

As I was in Australia some time last year, she also joined four bloggers to document a Puerto Princesa City travel experience.

It will be a newborn babies season for us this month as I'm also expecting Jherlie's twin sister, Jhermie, to have her baby soon.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Trip to Mayon Volcano & Mayon Resthouse

I've been to Legazpi City several times that allowed me to have a glimpse of Mayon Volcano during those occasions. Although one has to visit very early in the morning to see the cone clearly. Otherwise it will be full of clouds and friends will give you their favorite joke about it.

Mayon Volcano is famous for its perfect shape and one of the most visited especially during times of eruption where folks go out of their way to document it.

There is also another spot nearby, the Mayon Resthouse that allows you to see the Mayon Volcano well if it isn't foggy. It will take at least an hour from Legazpi City to reach this particular place.

I found out that Mayon Resthouse used to be a hotel and there are efforts to re-build the establishment. There is also a planetarium but it was already close when we got there.

Of course, reaching Mayon Resthouse & Mayon Volcano was made possible thanks to our SEMCON Bicol hosts Alvin, Marianne, and Ariel. I'm sure Andrea (& her friend), Hans, and Gary also enjoyed it.

Until next time...

Search for weight loss diet pills

Some women who get older and have many children experience a slowdown on metabolism and gain weight. Others go through this experience due to acquired lifestyle habits like smoking and drinking.

To counter, a variety of weight loss diet pill brands get experimented on. Some work for awhile but returns you to what you were when stopped or unmaintained. Most brands were referred through word of mouth or prescribed by a doctor.

There are now web sites that provide information on various diet pills medication that were reviewed and can be consulted prior to purchase. For instance, I'm searching for information about the clinicallix weight loss diet pills that a friend has mentioned. Surprised to find out that this 300-pills product, that targets fat (rather than water weight or lean muscle mass), even offers a lifetime money-back guarantee.

The website also shows information about other diet pills for information and users are even encouraged to submit feedback from their experience.

As a rule of thumb though, consumers should not purchase any weight loss diet pills that soon without finding out more information about the product and from consumers who have really benefited from it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

How to eat hot and spicy food - Bicol Express

While in Legazpi City for the SEMCON Bicol event, one dish I got to enjoy is the famous Bicol Express. It is definitely a must try for those who are avid fans of hot and spicy food. It is also easy to prepare as it just requires frying or saute of garlic, onion, ginger, pork, and chili peppers. Then coconut milk gets added to the mixture. To tone down its spiciness, some add pineapple to it. Other variants include adding bagoong alamang and baguio beans.

Expert hot and spicy food eaters advise not to drink anything while enjoying a spicy meal as this will make the food even hotter for the taste buds to bear. Just enjoy your rice and use it as a neutralizer.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pasig Condo for Bed Spacers or Room Rentals

I'm looking for Bed Spacers to occupy my brand new condo unit at Riverfront Residences located at Dr. Sixto Ave. Pasig City, it's near Ortigas or Tiendesitas.

The condominium is very exclusive, secured, high-end community. The rent is only Php 3,500/ month/bed spacer. Ideal for professionals (i.e. Call Center agents) who needs to get to work faster and easily!

Please email or call/text 0920-9826837 or 0922-8583538 if you're interested.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Credit Card with Travel Rewards

There was a time back in 2001-2003, I was traveling monthly to various conferences to talk e-commerce, Internet, and wireless technology developments in the Philippines and facilitating workshops for women entrepreneurs. The usual arrangement back then is we pay for our airfare ahead and just reimburse upon arrival at the event.

This is where a credit card that has incentive for frequent travelers matter. Some credit cards, if used to purchase an airline ticket, may automatically qualify you for an insurance.

Others have partnership with airline entities or co-branded with an airline therefore giving you travel points for purchases.

The frequent trips back then allowed me to enjoy business class upgrade and several round trip tickets. Those were the days.

On the risky side, using credit cards for travel may get you into a lot of debt if not careful. So make sure not to spend more than just your target allowance. If you see yourself traveling more than usual in the next year or two, investing in a good credit card that supports such lifestyle is more than encouraged.

If you are in credit card debt already, there is nothing wrong in seeking help and advise on exploring a good deal that will allow you to pay gradually without accruing interests furthermore.

There are sites that gives information on credit card rewards such as They also provide a lot of interesting information for credit card holders that I believe first time ones should know.


At the time when I had my first credit card, the Internet was just beginning and there is not much resource to rely on to get good advice on credit card. At least now, the resources are just out there that will allow you to discover more credit card rewards.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

E-Commerce IT Ateneo

Last Saturday, I was in Ateneo Manila and talked about "Doing E-Commerce for Real" to senior management students and members of the BSO Network. Prior and after our talks, students also presented their research findings on some of the popular websites today.

I also took the opportunity of enhancing my usual e-commerce presentation and added insight on blog marketing, social networks as a promotion tool, search engine marketing, and web content writing. I also shared the winners of the DigitalFilipino Web Awards 2008.

The event also gave me the opportunity to briefly catch up with Mon Lizardo who currently heads the organization I founded - the Philippine Internet Commerce Society. Mon works for at this time and delivered a great presentation about digital marketing.

More photos posted in Facebook.

Baby Central targets 25,000 parents member base in 2009

In my Sun.Star column last week, I talked about the website Baby Central. I've learned about the site from Snapworx CEO and IMMAP President Arthur Policarpio who worked on this project website in partnership with Marathon Publishing, publisher of Baby Magazine.

The site was launched last December 1, 2008. Its community is mainly composed of parents who are in the early stages of child rearing. You will see a lot of them interacting through the forums, sharing baby pictures, among others. Expert content from pediatricians can also be found.

It also has an online supplier directory offering products and services related to babies. Art mentioned that a baby mall is in the process where parents will be able shop.

Art hopes that the membership base will increase to 25,000 by mid-year 2009 from more than 4000 members to date, and close to 3 million page views per month.

Despite the lack of buzz, using search engine optimization allowed the site to grow by focusing on content that are of interest to visitors such as baby names and many more. Its original visitors also spread the word about the site that contributed to its escalating growth.

How to apply eye makeup - tips for small eyes

Whenever going out, I hardly wear make-up. I guess you can blame it to local weather as it not so nice to sweat with makeup on your face. If the need really arises, the usual face powder and lipstick will do. In my younger days, I use to wear makeup more often although I get entangled to debates at times on why be "too presentable".

However, there are rare occasions when I get to wear eye makeup such as television guesting and photo shoot session.

Here are some tips on how to apply eye makeup. I learned this from those makeup shows by Ricky Reyes and Jun Encarnacion on television. Of course, also from those who worked on my face during guesting.
  • Eyeshadow often requires a light base. For those with small eyes like mine, darker colors are applied from the right and left most part of the eye and moved towards the middle (but not entirely).

  • Eyeliner for small eyes is a must. Of course, the eyeliner is a sentimental makeup as this is often part of our personal makeup tools as early as in high school.

  • Eyebrow liner requires a bit of skill, art, & subtlety in application which I am not really good at. That is why I just end up putting a line there and rub it. (I know that is not the right way but I survive with it anyway)

  • Mascara for women with short eyelashes can be a challenge. But whenever I use one, I make sure to use eyelash curler to get the eyelashes ready. I prefer waterproof mascara to avoid messing up the eyes. This is usually applied one outward stroke at a time. Meaning after one application, rest for a few seconds before applying one again. It is suppose to give the earlier ones time to dry and as you put more, it makes the eyelash thicker in appearance too. Although nowadays, some just buy fake eyelashes that gets put on top of your current one.

  • Eye makeup remover is equally a must have for women who love cosmetics as taking them off is as not easy especially if you use the waterproof ones.
Today, there are so many popular cosmetic brands out there with each one promising a great experience. To help you find the right one and spare the shopping agony, you can check out sites like Stylehive where users share their eye makeup discoveries online. This includes how much they cost, brands, where did they discover it, among others.


Site visitors can also create profiles, share recommendations, and "hive it" (or vote) for makeup suggestions that get posted to the site. Everyone also wins in the process as members become more stylish and informed consumers too.

Each makeup that gets posted can also be blogged or send to a friend for sharing. For the blog option, Stylehive gives a code that can be embedded in a post.

So for those who love their eye makeup brands or eager to find alternatives, check out Stylehive.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Search engine marketing & optimization 101 talk at SEMCON Bicol

As mentioned last month, I'll be a speaker at the Search Engine Marketing Conference organized by the Aquinas University of Legazpi this February 5 & 6. It will be held at the Daragang Magayon Hall of the said educational institution.

I was suppose to talk about "marketing your products and services through social networks". But after analyzing the program, I realized that my topic will be extensively discussed on the 1st day. Decide to change it to "Search Engine Marketing & Optimization 101" to kick off the 2nd day as well. My talk will focus on the subject on-page optimization while Gary Viray's talk will tackle off-page optimization.

Look forward in catching up with the organizers, participants, and fellow speakers at the event.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year

Last Sunday, I got the chance to attend a family reunion again at my father side to celebrate the Chinese New Year. We have this tradition of getting together for as long as I can remember. I guess it is also one of those rare times when I get to catch up with grandma (a-ma) where I spend most of my elementary schooling.

I also had a good chat with my uncle (he is the fifth in the family and we refer to him as go-che). As we talked about his kids (my young cousins) , I told him how I remembered when he used to teach me with my assignments. He is actually very busy. But in those rare times he helps out, I usually have an a-ha moment. He was a vivid storyteller and told me more info than what my textbook said about World War 2. In high school, I had the best Statistics presentation when the scenario he has given is that out of x number of watches, one of them is delayed for 1 second. The other one is computing growth of teacher salaries for the past ten years and perform a comparison.

To keep the family in touch, I created a family tree in Geni and this allowed us to be posted about family birthdays. Unfortunately, I don't get to logon that often.

Overall, this is one of the best Chinese New Year I got to celebrate. My reconnection with my go-che is something worth cherishing.