Junk New Year's Resolutions, Create a Vision Board Instead

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Vision board from forum
Say goodbye to this year and to new year's resolutions too.  Admit it, they just don't work.  New year's resolutions appear to be just our "wish lists" without defining realistic goals to achieve them.  It lacks planning and oftentimes, they're all about what we want others to see in us (or not to see) next year. Give it few weeks or a month after the new  year, it'll be gone.

A typo-graphical vision board from Following Your Joy Blog
Create a vision board instead. A vision board is a poster where you paste cutouts from magazines about ideas and things you want to achieve - dream job, good health, nice car, huge house, a person you want to meet, places you want to go, things you basically want to do, etc. It's a collage. Put it up on your wall where you can always see it - preferably somewhere really visible whenever you wake up. That will always remind you of who you want to become, what you want to achieve,where you want to go... and those thoughts will help you change your life, your actions and your mindset to match those that you've put in the collage.

Don't cram because the year is about to end. To do your vision board correctly, you need to spend some time with yourself. Play a soft music or instrumentals on the background, sit quietly and focus.  Open your mind. Ask yourself, what is it that you really really want.  Don't restrict yourself on your capability to achieve things. Just keep them coming and stay with those thoughts for some time. Slowly, pictures will start to come to you.

When you're done... go ahead and create your vision board. Here are some tips:

  • Browse magazines to find all the pictures and headlines you've visualize for you and your future. Cut them off but don't paste them right away on the board
  • Review the images. Select your favorites and eliminate those of less importance and less relevance. At this point, your mind must be thinking creatively on how to lay them in the board. There are no rules - you will set the rules in fact. You may divide the board and group related things accordingly. You may also want to create a priority flow. Or, you may simply put in things in random. Be creative
  • You may add labels - or time lines if you want. For example, write September 2012 under the photo of a luxury cruise ship because you want to get in a cruise on of before September 2012.  You  may also want to put photos of people you want to involve in your vision
  • You can add a photo of yourself and put it in the center. It will remind you how you wanted to be circled with just the things within your vision, and remain in that path.
  • Before you hang your vision board, let it set upon you.  Feel it. Set your mind - your actions will be patterned on achieving each and everything on the board.  Law of attraction works.


Extra 24 hours of possibility and opportunity

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McCollins Media did a great job with their New Year Email Greeting Card. The minimal copy is just powerful and motivating,
"365 days + 1: 2012 is a leap year. That means there's one extra day... That's an extra 24 hours of possibility and opportunity."


Third Time's A Charm: My Shot at Emirates via LinkedIn

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Emirates is one of the companies in Dubai on every job seekers wishlist. 'Third' becomes a good fortune for me. How I was able to get in...

How LinkedIn played a vital role?

Back in January 2010, somebody from the e-Commerce team contacted me via LinkedIn for a possible e-Commerce designer/developer stint at Emirates. Everything went very well. I got 'hired.'  In fact, to my excitement, I severely injured my toe nail as I stamped with joy upon learning the good news. I've done most of the required protocols, authentications, police clearance, etc. Then I signed the contract.  Come February - a week before I'm supposed to start my work, I got a call that the employment won't pursue. The reason, Emirates was 'actually' cutting employment that time; haven't started yet, I was already redundant. It was an executive-level decision. Hurts much. How about my toe injury? :-)

Three months later, I received another invitation via LinkedIn again. This time from the manager of the UI Team of Emirates, asking me to a meeting for a possible job as UI Designer.  The meeting went really well. But they never got back to me for awhile.

Another great offer came from a small yet growing web design company. Thinking that Emirates won't get back, I grabbed the opportunity. Almost 2 months after, I got a call inviting me to undergo the formal hiring process for Emirates. With honor to my commitment with my new employer, I declined with a heavy heart.  It was puzzling why I declined.

Fast forward 11 months after, I received a message in LinkedIn from the same manager taking chance if I'd like another shot at an opportunity with Emirates.  We had a meeting - introduced me to the department manager - and everything went well.  I got offered.  Haunted by my past experiences, I'm a bit reluctant this time. I'm having a great experience with the small web design company already. I love what I'm doing. What if in the end, it goes off again? This is what's boggling me. In the end, I accepted the offer and resigned from my job.

Today is my 2nd month in Emirates. I'm working as a Senior UI / UX Designer at Emirates Group IT. What a way to get in... I will always be thankful to the manager who contacted me, and to LinkedIn for the connection. It's a bit challenging, but I love challenges - it helps me bring out the best in me.

Tips to enhance your visibility in LinkedIn

If you are on LinkedIn, make the most of it:

  1. Make your profile marketable. Enhance it with the best keywords for your career.
  2. Add your portfolios and links to your works
  3. Update your CV
  4. Get recommended, and recommend others as well
  5. Join discussions and professionals group
Don't hate it for it is boring. It can be your best tool towards your dream job.


Fiction Coming Into Reality

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Yeah, Japan has long been doing robotics and they're genius at it we all know. But, wow! This one so far, from the looks of it, is the closest resemblance to human (well at least in this video). The Fiction-Coming-Into-Reality seems so near huh...


Delivery and Run

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At Wild Ginger this afternoon, after ordering a takeout meal, the attendant saw my Emirates Staff ID. She asked if I knew about Ticketing. She wanted to find out if she can still be allowed to travel on her 8th month pregnancy, because normally airlines allow pregnant women of up to 7 months only.

She prefers to travel on her 8th month in order to maximize her 60-day maternity leave in the Philippines.

Can you imagine? She's going back home only to deliver her baby and would need to return here in Dubai for 'work'.  I will be a parent soon and I just can't imagine myself allowing that situation to happen - how much more for a would-be mother.


MENTORS, the freshmakers!

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It's more or less just 10 years ago, in college, when I began to realize how passionate I am of becoming a teacher... well sort of.

It started when a senior student I don't know then, surprisingly nominated and elected me to a leadership position for the Computer Studies Student Council - Vice President for Internal Affairs, that is.  Rainier, the founder and a long-time outstanding student leader, was really visible in co-corricular and leadership-oriented activities in and outside the university. He shared a lot of great things which I wouldn't have learned if I just locked myself within the university. He enlightened me on the importance of setting a vision and how to reach one. He brought me into miles of exposure; introduced me to different campus organizations and industry leaders around the country; He humbly bestowed his remarkable ideas to me... He passed the baton on me when I took over the presidency of the student council on the next 2 years; representing the university in a national computer organization. And til now, he mentors me.

After university, I was invited to join Voice of the Youth (VOTY) Network as a web designer volunteer and later on became its Executive Director.  I've met more interesting young leaders and mentors, volunteers, life changers, visionaries, inspirations. They became my closest friends. In VOTY, we lead groups of young people, encouraging them to believe in themselves in creating and promoting positive social change, and in making a difference in the country. Choy introduced a new thinking, a non-traditional approach to solve conflicts. He entrust with me a great organization. He, with Ian and Lloyd leads by example. They create opportunities even if it seems to have no way. Choy brought me to highest of heights literally and figuratively as well. I've been on TV and radio because of him. He continues to encourage me. He mentors me.

In the radio program, Emsie and I and the VOTY gang voice out whatever we learn from the group - aiming to inspire listeners and join us as volunteers to also, in any way, influence other young minds proactively. Emsie, with his "lightweight" approach to life often gives me "heavyweight" advices and learning. We often talk about the lighter side of life. He makes me realize the lessons in every situation.   He continues to mentor me.

Kamyar, whom I worked with here in Dubai, introduced himself to me as a mentor indirectly. He loves to talk about various things ranging from coffee beans into philosophical nature. He always smile. He never fail to offer help. He leads the web design team in a non-traditional approach. He brought the best in me as a web designer. He makes me realize a lot of things just by listening to his stories. Until now, he gives me room to grow and prove myself. Until now, he mentors me...

I owe a lot of what I know, and how I've become now, and how I've planned and set my visions to those people. I am blessed and thankful that I've been surrounded by great influential friends. The "I" wouldn't happen if there are no people like Rain, Choy, Emsie and Kamyar who wholeheartedly shared their significant learning and experience to drive me to the right path. introduced themselves to me in day 1 saying, "Hey, I'll take you to what you want to become. C'mon!"

Most often, the best life's teachers are not in the school. Also, you don't need a degree in order to teach, influence and change people's life. You just have to want to make it happen.

"Minsan lang tayo maging kabataan. Wag mong palampasin ang panahong ito para gumawa ng mga pinakatamang bagay para sa yo ngayon at sa kinabukasan mo at ng magiging mga anak mo." - POCHOLO "CHOY" GONZALES

"Pards, always think out of the box - and literally get out there.  The universe is too big for you to lock yourself in a classroom. " - RAINIER VERGARA

"Babae na naman ba yan? Padalos-dalos kasi e." - EMSIE REYES

"In reality, people only care about the finished product. Why take the hard way when you can simplify? Work simple, there are other aspects of life that needs your bigger time and attention." - KAMYAR HOUBAKTH

Now it's time, and it's always time, to pay it forward.


I'm becoming a dad! It's the happiest feeling!

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The happiest feeling in the universe today is with us. We are becoming MOM and DAD finally! We've long waited for this. See you soon baby! We are excited to be the best parents in the world. We are excited to build a model family.

And what a best time for the baby to come. Thank you very much Lord. You're always so kind...


Review: LG Optimus 3D - Recording, Viewing and Sharing 3D

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LG Optimus 3D, one of the first, if not the first mobile to feature 3D is built on a Tri-Dual Architecture -Dual-Core, Dual-Channel and Dual-Memory. It has 4.3-inch WVGA screen capable of showing HD contents in both 2D and 3D. This phone can convert normal photos and videos into 3D as well.

Before we go deeper into further technical aspects of this latest amazing smartphone, let’s first tackle ‘the 3D experience.’

Viewing 3D without glasses was I thought a pain, but perhaps, it is just normal for first-timers to adjust, tilt the phone to one’s preferred 3D angle. The content is best viewed at the optical sweet spot which is 30-40cm in front of the screen. The LCD uses a series of slits on the front of the screen that block light so that users' left and right eyes see different images. Hence, no need to the traditional 3D glasses. Now I’m seeing it perfectly – 99% flicker free.


GoDaddy .COM domain for $1.00 only for TODAY

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GoDaddy .com domain registration goes on SALE. Use "cool1" for Promo Code when checking out. Applicable only for 1 year domain registration.

Thanks for PinayMommy Ruby for the info.


Where to Buy Angry Birds Stuffed Toys and T-Shirts?

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Yeah, Angry Birds fanatics
I was actually mum about doing this blog, for the reason that the outlet staff prevented me from taking photos inside and even outside the store. Crazy isn't it? It was management order daw. I wonder if the management lives in mountains. Don't they want free publicity? free promotion? free blog post? Nah!

Anyway, due to friends asking, here it is.

So, where to buy Angry Birds stuffed toys in Manila?

I have already taken the shot when I was approached by the staff to not take photos
Here's another one: Nagkakaubusan dito
We bought these stuffs at Clipper in Robinsons Metro East and Clipper Glorietta 5. These are unofficial Angry Birds merchandise by the way. They are sold at Php349.00 (AED30+) each - regardless of size. There are other kinds as well: plastic figures, suck pins, hats, bags, etc. - with different prizes. So much for this 'photo-phobic' outlet. Just visit their Facebook Page for more info.

Where to buy Angry Birds shirts?

We found these orig Angry Birds tees at SM City Taytay Department Store. Not sure if all SM Department Stores have it. In Megamall, we didn't find any.

Update: Here's Clipper's statement on why it is not allowed to take photos within the store:


Pinoy Blogfest 2.0 Advocates Social Media for Social Good

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From the inbox: With Filipinos once again acknowledged as among the most active social media users — via FaceBook, Twitter, Multiply, Tumblr, Flickr, YouTube, etc. — Filipino bloggers are challenged to explore the potential of social media as a transformative force in Philippine society. “Social media as an agent for change” will be the theme of Pinoy_Blogfest 2.0, happening on Friday, 05 August 2011, at the TriNoma Activity Center in Quezon City.

Leading the discussion will be prominent social media activists Usec. Manuel (Manolo) L. Quezon III and Ms. Gang Badoy, who will share their thoughts on these two basic questions: How can we harness the power of social media for the social good? Can bloggers become positive change agents through social networking?

Both Usec. Quezon and Ms. Badoy will be the main speakers during the Blogger’s BIO (By Invitation Only) programme, scheduled from 7:00 to 10:00 pm as the culminating activity of Pinoy_Blogfest 2.0 on Friday, 05 August 2011.

Manolo Quezon is a popular essayist and blogger, who is currently an undersecretary of the Presidential Communications and Strategic Planning Office. Prior to this, he hosted The Explainer and The Explainer Dialogues on ANC cable news channel. He also headed the Speaker’s Bureau and was a columnist and editorial writer for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and was the assistant managing editor for the Philippine Free Press weekly news magazine. Usec. Quezon has received various awards for his professional work, including being named “Opinion Writer of the Year” in 1994 and 2005 by the Rotary Club of Manila’s Journalism Awards, one of the oldest journalism awards in the country. He also won the 1st Prize for the Essay in English for the Carlos Palance Memorial Awards for Literature in 1997.

Ms. Gang Badoy is a media practitioner and alternative educator. A product of the Assumption San Lorenzo High School, UP Diliman and the Indianapolis-Purdue University, she worked first for ABS-CBN in San Francisco and became news desk editor for NBC’s Eyewitness News. In 1999, she accepted a post with the Diocese of San Jose, California, and worked closely with Catholic Relief Services. She came home to the Philippines in mid-2003 and joined Jesuit Communications (JesCom) and spearheaded workshops on “Media and Ministry” for the East Asian Pastoral Institute. Primarily a writer, Ms. Badoy founded Rock Ed Philippines, an alternative education volunteer group that works for a more interesting way of presenting socio-civic issues to the youth. She also devotes time to giving media literacy lectures in campuses all over the Philippines, and is a staunch volunteerism advocate. Ms. Badoy was awarded as one of the Ten Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) and Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) for 2010.

Pinoy_Blogfest 2.0 is a whole-day event, with several Social Activities targeted at various audiences. These are open to the public, as follows: 10:30 am to 12:oo nn – The New Workplace; 01:00 pm to 02:30 pm – It’s A Digital Life; 02:30 pm to 04:00 pm – Photography; 04:00 pm to 05:30 pm – Healthy Living. With expert resource persons for each of these social activities, the public will surely find the sessions both educational and entertaining. On-site registration will give the audience a chance to win raffle prizes and other give-aways.

Pinoy_Blogfest 2.0 is organized by GADGETS Magazine, with the support of The Coca-Cola Export Corporation, Teletech, Canon, Globe, Pony, Neo, Asus, Western Digital, Archos,
BenQ, JBL, Sennheiser, Manila Bulletin, Business Mirror, and TriNoma.


My Birthday Wish is Jolo's full recovery - can we help them?

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4th post-operation day - changing dressings
This is Jolo my nephew who had his second stage surgery last June 23 2011, at Philippine Heart Center. The surgery lasted for 14 long hours. They have to re-open him because his valve is not functioning well. Jolo's family were told to prepare Php 470,000 (USD 10,964) for the procedure, but because they have to replace his valve, they were charged double. The hospital bill  is now 600,000 (USD 13,996). Doctors' fees not yet included. It was so kind for the Philippine Heart Center to have done the operation despite the payment of the total cost.

My birthday is on 9th of July. One of my birthday wishes is for him to fully recover and to continue living an animated life. If you plan to gift me (I know you don't), may I knock on your kind hearts please to, instead of giving me presents, can we share a little of our blessings to Jolo and his family? Or if you know someone or a group who can lend a help, can you share this blog to them please?
Jolo after transfer from I.C.U.
with his Pedia Cardio, Dra.Azcueta, Dra. Mappala & Dra. Valdez
We are very thankful and very happy that Jolo, an 8-year old, is so brave to battle it out. This promising kid dreams a lot of big things for him and his family. He's doing well in school, especially in his favorite subject, Science.  He is one kid whom I can see a bright future ahead.  Let's all wish for him to fully enjoy childhood and growing up.

If you want to learn more about what Jolo has gone through til this date, read this blog:

Thank you so much in advance for any amount you could wholeheartedly share. 

Please get in touch with her mom, Joy Guerrero-Gonzales via email: ljoy_gonzales
You ay directly deposit any amount to:
Account Name: Lorelie Joy Gonzales
Account Number: 429002100018
Philippine National Bank (PNB) Mangarin Branch

You can also contact me at connect or call +63915-2182858 in the Philippines or +97150-3104958 in UAE.


Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Dubai, Have You Heard About Common Sense?

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Does an electric fan (if you can't afford an air-conditioned waiting area) costs more than the chandeliers hanging inside your offices? Does one water dispenser with disposable cups also expensive?

All we wanted is to go back home, yet you're making us feel uneasy and frustrated about going through the process we need just to get an Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC).

How uncommon your senses are? Have you ever seen any place in Dubai that isn't air-conditioned? Now I just did. At the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO-OWWA) in Abu Hail, their waiting area for applicants getting certification is a villa garage, covered only by a thin metal roof. Yes they have one small room inside, but not enough to accommodate applicants. You are a huge customer service / public service office and you provide a 'clinic' for a reception? You, public servants, sit comfortably in couches in your spacious offices - and you can afford to see people suffer under the 45 degrees Celsius heat?

Oh I forgot! That office isn't a UAE territory anymore. Welcome back to Philippines! What a pre-taste of homecoming.

We arrived 1:30PM - I couldn't come at a really earlier time as I need to finish crucial works in the office that day; Got my queue number - 394 - current number served was 230. So I was 164 heads behind. The designated holding room which is just as big as 10 toilet cubicles was overflowing with people seated and standing with literally no space to move elbows. Thanks to the malfunctioning aircon and the useless faulty electric fans - people are sweating. I wish this office also employs people who could organize and well handle a crowd, not just somebody who gives out papers to fill in and then cries when the people coming in becomes faster than their encoding.

One applicant - a lady attempted to take a photo of the room, and then, a staff yelled 'Mam bawal po yan!' (Madam, taking photo is not allowed). Since when did other people had the right to tell what's not allowed to photograph? But that's it - they don't want pictures of the heck situation to spill out.

This is their holding area outside. If we choose not to squeeze inside and suffocate - we'd brave the heat!
We decided to stay outside where dozens of people rather brave out the heat than to succumb in suffocation inside.  It's June 29 - for heaven's sake, temperature soars around 43-45 degrees! I asked a staff for water and guess what... NO WATER! I wonder how they drink. I have never been into any office in the UAE, private or government, that doesn't have water. In bus stations, RTA provide cold bottled water for FREE. In other establishments, you will be asked to choose what drinks you want. What is it to them to serve one glass at least to someone dehydrating? I'm fighting with my temper on that day to prevent from bursting out. It was really dehydrating - not the lack of water but the lack of senses of the so-called public servants. The nearest grocery is blocks away.  After some 2 hours, a water vendor came in... whew! Good thing he doesn't overprice (Only 1AED per bottle) - he's not a Filipino kasi.

A basic water dispenser (without fridge) in Carrefour doesn't cost more than 500AED - and is only a one-time purchase. A 5-gallon of water costs 8AED (80AED for 10 in a day maybe). Disposable cups are priced around 0.50 fils per piece. Now I wonder why they can't allocate budget for this wherein each OEC applicant pays more than 100AED for the certificate - and the number of OEC applicants day-to-day is on the range of 300-500 heads. (OEC applicants pa lang yan.) Now do the math.

They could've also talk to sponsors to put a vending machine for water, sodas and some chips and cookies. They just didn't.

And how about a single industrial fan at least? Heck, they will not spend more than 500AED for a decent one. Actually, why not air condition the holding areas? Why not for us overseas Filipinos?!

And you have 2 luxury SUVs parked inside huh... Plainly, totally insensitive.

The queue moves really slow at 10 people in every half an hour. The reason they say is that they only have 2 in the staff to process OEC. AGAIN, why not employ more? If demands are higher why not add service? Oh by the way, they are already taking pride that these 2 people works beyond the duty hours just to finish the applications... No thanks.

How dare you to prioritize applicants whose employers come with them? Which rule book says that when a non-Filipino employer pleads to prioritize their employees you will effin' give in?

I was called by around 6:15PM. That call is for me to get into another holding room. Finally, after 4.5 hours of being 'roasted.' I was so lacking of energy, hungry, deprived of a care and service I've been paying since I become an OFW.

Thought that was it but I was wrong. There are about 30+ heads before me waiting for their turns. Can you imagine how frustrating it was? This room though is a bit spacious, but some were still standing. I spent more than half hour on that room before finally claiming my effin' OEC. It was a grueling almost 6 hours of hell. 6 hours I borrowed from work just to attend to this mandate.

But in fairness, in the last holding room, most of the staff (the elder ladies) were polite, courteous and really accommodating. It's saddening that these real public servants are being eaten up and overshadowed by the rotten system.

I know this issue is not as heavy as others could be - but this post intends to create awareness (yet again) that even at the smallest needs of the people where the solutions are handy - the "leaders" doesn't seem to use their common sense to act on it - or maybe it's not common to them at all.  And I'm not referring to the topmost leaders. I'm talking about the immediate "leaders" - the Consul Generals, the Labor Attaches, even the OICs or the officers-of-the-day. We are your customers, you are our public servants. And nobody deserves to be b'sh****d in whatever way.

RELATED ARTICLE: Gulfnews: Filipinos sweat to meet employment certificate rule


A little trivia: Did you know that the Philippine Consulate / POLO-OWWA in Dubai (I don't know in other cities) could vie for a Guinness World Record for the public office with the most number of holidays? YES! They take both the UAE holidays and the Philippine holidays off. So if it is (example) National Heroes Day in the Philippines and it is just supposedly a typical working day in the UAE- the Consulate/POLO-OWWA is off and is on holiday - leaving a lot of kababayans on halt for their needed processes. Galing no! 


Organizer of PBA Games in Dubai screwed me, used me, Talk n Text suffers

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Before I go to the title story, allow me to say that I was contacted by the organizer / promoter Ramon Pizarras 3 weeks before the games to design a t-shirt and logo for the PBA Games in Dubai. As a big PBA and sports fan, I agreed (with terms). After I sent my design to him - I got no word and he can't be contacted by any means. I didn't get ANYTHING in return - even complimentary tickets. Let me clear that I DID NOT volunteer for that job.


Today I learned a shameful news - The Talk n Text Tropang Texters team were stranded in Dubai Airport. Thanks to the promoter Mr. Ramon Pizarras who left them out after the celebrated games.  According to a reliable source, the organizers missed to pay the hotel bills of the teams and their return tickets.

According to Coach Chot Reyes tweet (below), the (Asiana?) Hotel management refused to release their passport after knowing that an amount of $8000 is still in due. All three teams (Ginebra and BMEG the other 2) paid the remaining hotel fees from their own pocket in order for their passport to be released.

Unfortunately, Talk N’ Text Tropang Texters was the only team stranded at Dubai Airport.

@coachot Chot Reyes
Nightmare in Dubai! Hotel refuses to release all 3 teams' passports as organizer still has $8000 debt. We had to advance d funds! Anobayan

I don't have to add up anything else. Just look at the photos and read their tweets below and tell me how you'll feel.

rich_alvarez Richard Alvarez
Man, first they wouldnt release our passports at the hotel, and now they didnt confirm our plane tickets!? This isnt good..

@JAlapag3 Jimmy Alapag
Could be in for a long night if we don't get on this flight back to Manila...

@mtnpeek Ali Peek
Pissed off man! How irresponsible! How s the league gnu 2 leave the champs behind in the middle east to fend 4 themselves!

@mtnpeek Ali Peek
I dropped $6,000 2 help some of my teammates get a flight bk home! Oh! I'm gng 2 get my cash back n sm1 has to pay!

@JAlapag3 Jimmy Alapag
Midnight here at Dubai airport trying to get these flights back to Manila organized...

rich_alvarez Richard Alvarez 
Looks like we are stuck in Dubai for at least a day, unless we can pull off a miracle! I love it here, but I miss my fiance and my family.

@ManilaBlack4 Harvey Carey
Bad business...

@coachot Chot Reyes
Here na in Bahrain.Still cant get over leaving my guys behind,but cudnt offload my luggage anymore + twas best so less pax to worry about.

@coachot Chot Reyes
UNBELIEVABLE how badly d PBA handled this trip, esp since I warned them already about this promoter, coz this is NOT d 1st time this happnd

@coachot Chot Reyes
A coach is only as good as his assts:goodwork @scwtN! update coach: 345am emirates 3 pax, 555am Qatar flight 13 pax, 945am emirates 3 pax

j_rey_8 Josh Reyes
by coachot hey, @pbaprodteam , how can you let this happen?? iniwanan kami ng lahat? shouldered hotel bill, paying for our tickets with personal money.

@aresgutlerrez Ares Gutierrez
by coachot @TinaMaralit @coachot shucks.. promoter was notorious. local basketball community avoids them like a plague. ewan ko ba pano nito nagoyo PBA

@coachot Chot Reyes
To those asking, d name of Dubai promoter is Ramon Pizarras. I warned d PBA about him na, pero tinuloy pa rin e -- kami pa nadamay :(

fmango Fidel Mangonon III
Either this bad experience in Dubai for TNT has 'grandslam' written all over it, or is a bad omen re: its particular bid for it.

@rich_alvarez Richard Alvarez
So we've been in the airport for 9 hours.. We had to buy our own plane tickets because our promoter couldn't settle the bill.. Wow.


With regards to my issue with Mr. Ramon Pizarras, it was clear that my work had been used all throughout the event. This photo below shows that customized PBA (Dubai) logo -with buildings silhouette at the back - and yet I got no single word from him.

I promoted his event on my network. That blog entry alone got 5,348 hits, 433 times shared on Facebook, and 97 times Tweeted, and I got loads of calls and politely lead them to ticket sales. And no word from Mr. Ramon Pizarras. I designed the shirt and logo despite my super busy schedule (because he follows up). I was not asking for payment - I only hold on to his promise that
  1. I'll be receiving an allowance for the shirt design
  2. I will be joining their committee and will be receiving an allowance (means automatic entry to the games)
  3. I will be his official photographer on upcoming sports events
  4. I will be his official blogger / publisher on upcoming sports events
All these happened through phone conversation. And sociable I am, I agreed. I trust people easily as much as I don't. But this served another lesson to me. And to you Ramon Pizarras, shame on you! I've lost all respect I thought you deserve. Shame on you - to let the guests teams down. Shame on you for running away. Shame on you for avoiding to communicate with me - with us. I wouldn't have bothered to blog about my personal experience with you - but letting a guest professional basketball team this way, sorry i couldn't help it. This is not the way to treat guests. And what happened to me is certainly not the way to treat people who render help wholeheartedly.


The PEBA 2011 "Where the Heart Is" Photo Contest

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The Pink Tarha, proud to be a part of this year's PEBA (Pinooy Expats Blog Awards) and GLOBE Kababayan SIM bring us the Globe Telecom Photo Contest.

Rain, clouds, more colors, vintage effect? What happened? Don't fret, it's still the PEBA 2011 Photo Contest. We just added a fun, very colorful side to it. Of course, it's hand-in-hand with the theme of the PEBA 2011
Blogging Contest. This is our first major project as a blog, and the first tie-up we have of PEBA Inc... please support us! Grab your cameras and shoot!

Here's the gist: All Filipinos living and residing abroad and of legal age are eligible to join this photo contest. Think of a subject/subjects that will show us where your heart is, what you consider "home." A home is not just a place, right? Capture your interpretation of the theme with the use of your cameras! We don't
discriminate so you can use whatever camera you have, as long as you pour lots of creativity and mix in passion. :) Submit your photos (a maximum of 2) at starting today until August 1,
2011. Worthy judges will be taking a look at your photographs and your family and friend can support you through the Facebook pages of PEBA, The Pink Tarha, and the Globe Kababayan. Winners will be receiving
electronic gadgets and more prizes from our wonderful sponsors. For more information, please read THIS. (If that doesn't work because sometimes Google Docs is choosy aka nagiinarte, haha, then you can also click
here. ;)

We'll be giving away Globe TipIDD cards worth P300 each for the first 50 participants. We'll be awaiting, rather eagerly, your wonderful photos! :)

Again, don't forget to read the full mechanics and rules HERE (It's a must!). It's just four pages and font
12 so it won't be stressful to read. If you have more questions such as why there are clouds and rain in the poster above or who's that guy holding the camera or why you should join, don't hesitate to email us at or Don't be shy now. :)

Kindly share this to your family, friends, and fellow photographers. More photos, more happiness shared. :)


A FAIL Twitter Bio Info

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Wondering what's running on US Airways Social Media Specialists' minds when they put in their Twitter Bio (and in their background image) this:

"Have a complaint/compliment to share with us? Go to so we can followup directly.We aren't able to provide a proper response on Twitter.

They must still be living in a cave huh! They're turning off customers from one of the best, if not the best, social media customer service tool today. Maybe they find 140 characters a bit challenging eh. So why bother to Twit? Using Twitter in a one-way channel is a no-no.


Will you like this Facebook ad?

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Uhmm, not really sure if this Facebook ad will work. Why put a freaky image in it? Makhsoom Dubai is yet again a daily deal site which is just about to launch. I didn't get the relation of the image with deals.


What if our online life is transformed into the real life?

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Are we gonna entertain strangers who wants to befriend us on streets, or follow us? Are we gonna wear labels saying what's on our mind, or what we like? Pretty weird yeah. Here's an interesting funny video produced by the English National Opera. The video was created to promote Nico Muhley's opera 'Two Boys' which examines internet crimes.

And here's another one:


Ping Pong Dim Sum Dubai - the best dim sum restaurant in Dubai

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What a great treat to kick-off the weekend. With my wife, we visited Ping Pong Dim Sum Restaurant anew at the Dubai Mall. We had our last food at 12pm and really starving already by half past seven. She's been craving for some 'authentic' Chinese cuisine and so I thought of dim sums. Was just wondering, I thought we'll have a heavy dinner; will dim sum satisfy our BIG hunger?

It's my 4th time in the restaurant and her 2nd. We already have 'favorites' - the steamed Har Gau and the Crispy Prawn Balls. We've tried some signature dishes, and their flowering teas, but we want to try more...

On the menu, there were about 15 categories (dumplings, veggies, rice, fried, platters, etc) and 8 sets to choose from. It's so hard to choose as we both love anything dim sum. Here's what we ordered all in all:

  • 2 Har Gau (King prawns & bamboo shoots)
  • Coriander Dumpling (King prawns in translucent pastry)
  • Seafood Shu Mai (King prawns & scallops topped with carrots)
  • Seafood Roll (King prawns & fish wrapped in cabbage)
  • Char Sui Chicken Bun (Honey-roast barbecue chicken)
    • Crispy Hoi Sin Duck Roll
    • 2 Crispy Prawn Balls
    • Chocolate & Banana Spring Roll
    • Strawberry & Coconut Yin Cocktail
    • Strawberry & Vanilla Bubble Tea
    Did I say we're just 2? Haha, I know - because the way to order at Ping Pong is to tick the box of your choice on a lengthwise paper. We just couldn't stop. It took us quite to decide which to try ;-)

    Anyway, the prices range from AED 12 to AED 25 only. It's not that much, neither cheap at all. There are 3-pieces of dim sums per order served in a traditional steaming Chinese basket (if steamed).

    Har Gau, Seafood Shu Mai and the Char Sui Chicken Buns in their baskets
    The crunchiness of the flakes covering the savory king prawns combined with that translucent pastry, dipped in sweet and sour sauce is just so heavenly. Prawns are tender and not half-cooked (photo below).

    My favorite Crispy Prawn Balls (below)
    And... Har Gau - it's the king of all steamed king prawn dim sums. It's best when eaten right upon serving - while it is still steaming a bit.  The Coriander Dumpling is as good as well. I guess it's the mix of bamboo shoots in Har Gau that made it more tasteful for me. Ping Pong's Steamed Dim Sums are not slimy and sticky. It cuts when you bite at it. Though they come in 'tiny' bits, these dim sums are tightly and heavily wrapped.

    Har Gau - I forgot the traditional pork dim sums when I tried it.

    The Seafood Roll is again, king prawns and fish wrapped in cabbage (see below). It doesn't taste bad - maybe I'm just not a cabbage guy - but my wife appreciates it. It's best when dipped in chili soya sauce. Looks unique too!
    Seafood Rolls - wrapped in cabbage
    The rest of our food are as sumptuous. What highlighted the dinner was... well, the dessert! Yeah we've tried various banana rolls a lot of times - but their chocolate filling in the banana spring rolls are out of this world. I never actually thought it would taste that good. A bite of this hot fudgy roll plus a scoop of cool ice cream equals a luscious finale to a palatial dim sum dinner!

    Chocolate and Banana Spring Roll with Chocolate Ice Cream
    We've really had a lot, but there's a looot more to try. There's over 50 items in the menu and I've heard they'll be introducing more exciting dumplings very soon.


    I can't say a word about the service. Maybe it's the nature of dim sums that is easy to prepare so our orders came in no time - and always at the right time - not altogether. The crews are also very courteous, polite and hospitable.  We were greeted and ushered to our table by a smiling crew, January - that's the way to set a great mood for dinner.


    You'll feel a balance of a high-end and a cozy restaurant inside. I think the neon-blue on elegant black theme of the outlet is creative. You'll forget that it's inside a mall actually once you're in. The music was not loud - perfect for a hearty tete-a-tete.


    Activities? Yes there are other activities happening inside other than dining. It was 3 days before Easter when we came and at one corner, some kids are busy painting Easter Eggs guided by a friendly crew.  There are also boardgames during Sundays. I remember the last time there was a fun chopstick-oriented game too.

    Tomorrow, Friday (Lazy Fridays), there will be unlimited dim sums for a very reasonable value. Who's with me?

    So, did dim sum satisfy our BIG hunger? Yes. So much. Thank you Ping Pong Dim Sum for the treat!


    My Earth Hour Certificate

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    So Earth Hour awards a Certificate of Participation to all who registered before the day; and I got mine today. May this piece of graphic be a reminder to me and to you as well to indeed go beyond that one hour lights off. That event is merely to just create and instill awareness. We all know that we can contribute even with the simplest things - now it's time to do it.


    Review: Samsung Smart TV (Preview in Dubai)

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    From 'idiot box' into a smart box - that's how Samsung sees the Smart TV will fit. In a special Dubai bloggers meetup held March 31 at Media One Hotel, Samsung exclusively unveiled their latest innovation and let us experience some of its features, well, some.

    Basically, it is a TV that has access to the internet. Through its Smart Hub - the user menu interface, you can socialize, browse any websites, search for contents you want to watch - did I say in 3D? And like your smartphones, you can also install apps in it. So you can access Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Talk or your mail, etc while watching. Imagine while you're watching football, you're seeing your Facebook wall and you can easily exchange rants and raves with your friends. Cool huh? Also, the Smart TV recommends contents related to your interests, primarily by your browsing history.

    What we've spent a lot time on was its 3D feature. I must admit, it's really amazing. The picture quality is superb. I've also learned that it also has 3D sound system so it's definitely a shoo-in for a home theater.

    Trying the LED 3D viewing 
    Another cool feature of the Smart TV is converting 2D videos into 3D - any video - be it from YouTube, a DVD or even a mobile phone video.

    File Transfer
    Transferring photos, videos or music from your mobile device to the TV is so effortless. Thru AllShare, you can wirelessly transfer files from any compatible media such as Samsung Galaxy Tab or other Smartphones and hard drives.

    Input Mode
    The presenter used what appears like a typical remote control to navigate through during the presentation. Although they say, a remote control with a trackball on the front and a QWERTY keyboard at the back is coming out. There's also an Android app to download on your smartphone that you can use as remote control.

    What apps does Samsung Smart TV support?
    You can download Samsung Apps - which according to the presenter have around 300 apps to date. I know right! This is also what most of the bloggers cry about. But Samsung sees the number to grow byat least a  thousand by the end of the year. If you're an applications developer, you can contribute via their Samsung TV apps SDK.

    The Expert Panel's Clamor
    One of the most evident clamor from the bloggers is pointed to the lack of Bluetooth support. It's just an uncool idea to have a wireless smart device that doesn't support one of the basics and first in short-range connectivity.

    While currently it doesn't have a built-in web cam, I hope it would support a 3rd-party webcam plugin too.

    Nevertheless, I'm excited to pimp my living room with a Samsung Smart TV. It's like having a YouTube on a boob tube - and more than that. Did I say you can also play your favorite games, and you can convert them into 3D as well?

    More photos from the Bloggers Meetup:


    Dubai Comedy: Funny Customer Service

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    So I posted this video from Dubomedy about a skit portraying how Customer Service in Dubai could go funny... uhmm, punny at times.

    One of my friends couldn't help but notice some specific content of the video. He commented,

    sorry ion. don't find this funny though. filipinos may be crazy at times but not as stupid as this. there are some pinoys/nays who don't speak good english but they have excellent comprehension skills. i find this skit an insult to our capabilities whatever level in life you're on, whatever your educational background is, and whatever your english scale is too. i acknowledge that some have gender confusion, alternating "she and he" but not as bonkers as confusing "ma'am" and "sir".Cguro, these guys experienced customer service from a Filipino na "sobrang tanga" talaga pero this doesn't, in reality" represent the "in general" customer service that we or they, who work in dubai, provide. tsk.tsk.

    Cheer up bro! That's why it's called Comedy - nothing to feel serious about. And besides, it's pun intended for Dubai and not for Filipinos. It just so happened that too many Filipinos work in service-oriented professions here. What the actors in this skit portray is actually the 'lack of proper and ethical customer service' AND NOT being a Filipino. This shit happens everywhere, even in our own country. Let's face it, stupidity is shared by all nationalities, race, color profession, etc. There's just no place here on earth that doesn't have equal share of stupids and the not-so stupids.


    Are websites becoming irrelevant?

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    Now on paper bags, Facebook replaces the spot of then web address. No surprises though. Why wouldn't any brand come to where the people already is - and costs less, if not free.


    What is home?

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    Home creates an environment where we, since childhood, are exposed to new thinking, first idealism and first beliefs. Everything that happens at home are most likely regarded as the right ones. By the time we go out to the real world, we discover a lot more, we realize further and we investigate. Home is always our first reference. Home is where our character and values are formed. It is where we get our identity - identity that we will bring wherever we may be.

    Home is not the physical structure, not the house, but a state of mind where you are comfortable and relaxed to do whatever you want. At home, you are limitless.

    We are always longing to be at home. During work or school or wherever, we feel that time moves sooo slowly. But when at home, we don't mind time. We can do whatever we want to do. We can live our dreams at home. We crank out loud with the stereo and have our own concerts. We dance like it's the last night gracefully. Home is where we interpret how we really wanted to be in the real world. In short, home sets our dreams.


    Covering a Filipino Rock Concert in Dubai

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    As a blogger, and a social media campaign advocate, I've got an opportunity to cover the concert of Rico Blanco, General Luna and 6Cycle Mind tonight at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Can't wait!

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