Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Post-birthday posting

It's nearly Christmas and I'm posting about my birthday which happened a month ago. Well I say better late than never. Here are just some of the highlights:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

How to renew your Philippine passport the easy way

My passport expired last June but it was only last month that I was able to renew it. It turned out to be a good thing though because my passport is now machine-readable. Though it now required a personal appearance at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) to renew a passport, the process is still hassle-free if one were to use the services of DFA Passport Direct. The steps are as easy as 1-2-3-4:

Monday, December 17, 2007

What’s in a name?

Ever wondered why I chose chococherrycoco for the name of my site? Chococherrycoco came from a childhood memory. Let me explain further.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Christmas Wishlist ‘07

In the spirit of Christmas and gift-giving, I am posting my wish list for this year. I had to come up with this list for our office exchange gifts so the price of each of the items is around P500. So just in case I don't receive any of the things I want here, posting this list would serve to remind me what I can buy for myself when I hit the malls. Happy holidays, everyone!

1. Matchbox Twenty “Exile in Mainstream” CD
2. Bao Ding Balls + Fortune Plant
3. USB Paper Shredder
4. Relaxing Eyemask / Sleep mask (Available at Body Shop / Beauty Bar)
5. Emily the Strange Morphing Journal (Available at Powerbooks)
6. For One More Day by Mitch Albom

Friday, December 7, 2007

And I thought I was conceived on the love month!

Saw this on Nocturnal Blogger's Introspect and I thought I'd give it a try:

Birthday Calculator
22 November 1979

Your date of conception was on or about 1 March 1979 which was a Thursday.

You were born on a Thursday
under the astrological sign Sagittarius.
Your Life path number is 5.

Your fortune cookie reads:
Your past success will be overshadowed by your future success.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Chaotic Makati

As I'm writing this post, the SWAT are storming into the Manila Peninsula Hotel, two blocks away from our office building. I doubt if the rebel soldiers will surrender. I just hope that it will not turn into a bloodbath.

We haven't been advised to go home yet. And even if we were let off, I don't know how we're going to be able to get out of the Makati CBD. The main roads are already blocked and I don't know if there has been any rerouting. Guess there's nothing left to do but to wait.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

LSS: No One

I'm not an Alicia Keys fan (I'm more of the Norah Jones type) but this one seems to be stuck in my mind lately:

No One
by: Alicia Keys

I just want you close
Where you can stay forever
You can be sure
That it will only get better

You and me together
Through the days and nights
I don't worry 'cuz
Everything's going to be alright
People keep talking they can say what they like
But all i know is everything's going to be alright

No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I'm feeling
No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you, you, you
Can get in the way of what I feel for you

When the rain is pouring down
And my heart is hurting
You will always be around
This I know for certain

You and me together
Through the days and nights
I don't worry 'cuz
Everything's going to be alright
People keep talking they can say what they like
But all i know is everything's going to be alright

No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I'm feeling
No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you, you, you
Can get in the way of what I feel

I know some people search the world
To find something like what we have
I know people will try try to divide something so real
So til the end of time I'm telling you there is no one

No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I'm feeling
No one, no one, no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you, you, you
Can get in the way of what I feel for you

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Pussycat, pussycat, where have you been?

Definitely not to London to visit the queen. I've been busy at the office working on a project that's due this month. Yes my friends, that's what happens whenever I have a project with a tight schedule. Everything else ceases to exist until the project is finished; my health and weight suffers, my social calendar gets wiped out and my blogging stops. Aside from the lack of time, I attribute this to my one-track mindedness (and here I thought women were supposed to be multi-taskers!). With my focus on my project, I don't think of anything else, even on weekends. This time is an exception because I've got a long weekend and it's my birthday month so I decided to give myself some slack.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Receive Google Adsense earnings via Western Union

Another good news for bloggers in the Philippines: Google Adsense Payment by Western Union Quick Cash is now available. Instead of check payments, one can opt for Western Union. No more waiting for that check to arrive; no more praying that your check will not get lost in the mail, no more bank fees and other hassles that go along with encashing your check. Just cold hard cash when you go to your nearest Wester Union branch to receive your Adsense payments. Life is good!

Click here for more information.

Send and receive funds via Paypal now supported for Philippine accounts

I logged into my PayPal account this morning and saw a wonderful surprise: receiving and withdrawing funds in PayPal is now available for Philippine-based accounts! It used to be that we were only allowed to send payments through PayPal but now, they've made receiving funds possible as well. This is very exciting news for all Filipinos engaged in online trading and for bloggers like me who are trying to earn a little money online. Too bad, my PayPerPost and ClickSalary earnings got lost somewhere in cyberspace; they funded my account 2 weeks ago and they said that when they did that, they received a message from PayPal saying that receiving funds is not yet supported for Philippine-based accounts. But PayPal kept the money anyway and PPP and ClickSalary said they have no way of retrieving. I emailed PayPal about it and they said nothing shows in my History log. So who do I believe? I believe PPP and ClickSalary so I'm still pestering PayPal to find my lost money. Hope they find it 'coz $21 can go a long way in this country ;-)

Ready, Get set, Go!

As part of my weight-loss effort, I plan to exercise more regularly. This is why I decided to have my broken treadmill repaired. I have been putting it off for a while because I was afraid of the repair costs. You see, it won't power up so thought some parts may need replacing. But since my clothes are already threatening to burst every time I wear them, I decided to call the Service Department of Toby's Sports House so a repair guy can come over to my house and fix my treadmill. It turned out that I didn't have to pay a cent because he fixed it free of charge. Maybe no parts were needed to be replaced and first-time repair services are waived. Had I known this sooner, I would have called them immediately after my treadmill broke down! Anyway, what's important is that it's fixed now and I can start running to my heart's content. Add to that some weight-lifting and portion-control and I'm on my way to a slimmer body. I hope!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fun at the Arcade

Last Saturday, I went to the ComPEWter Power seminar together with my boyfriend. We just met my friend Gezelle at the venue because she had to serve as usherette, as it was her church who held the event. The seminar was fun and informative, and the speaker presented his demos in Office 2007 which was great. I even bought a book authored by the speaker, Jerry Liao, and had my picture taken with him after I got his autograph. After the seminar, we had to leave Gezelle behind because there was still another session. So my boyfriend and I headed off to the SM Mall of Asia, which was just near the venue.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The Beauty of Democracy

Much attention has been poured on the NBN (national broadband network) deal with China's ZTE Corp. over the past few weeks, as should have been the case. Just last week, the Senate concluded it's hearings with the people involved and now the contract has been suspended. Though it has not yet been fully terminated, we saw democracy happen at the proceedings. The Senators gave voice to the people who voted for them and asked their questions for them.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

This is the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Virtual Bookshelf

Found something new on the net today, Shelfari. It's a great new way to keep track of your books and let others know what you're reading. Aside from building your bookshelf, you can also make friends with booklovers like yourself and join groups. Another cool feature is the shelfari widget which you can use to showcase your books on your blog/site. Browse through mine on the left-hand side of my home page :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

WoT will happen to the Wheel of Time?

Just as I finished reading Book 11: The Knife of Dreams, the author of the Wheel of Time, Robert Jordan, dies. He was supposed to be writing the last installment of the series and as if playing a practical joke on his readers, he dies without us ever getting to read what happens at the Last Battle. In a way, maybe the author intended it to be this way (not the dying part) -- no Last Battle, or at least no one lives long enough to see it.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Verdict

I can't quite put a finger on it, but there seems to be something wrong with the conviction of Erap. If the Filipino people has been vindicated with the guilty sentence on his plunder case, why aren't the people dancing in the streets? Or have we become indifferent of the whole thing, thinking it does not concern us anymore? "The courts have spoken. Uphold the rule of law. Let's just move on with our lives." But how can we move on if we know that injustice has taken place. Given that Erap amassed illegal wealth, I still think that the decision was more politically motivated than it was based on hard evidences. Some say that the current presidency is better than the former administration. I don't know about that as I'm still regretting the fact that I joined Edsa Dos.

To learn more about the events that transpired regarding the Estrada Trial, visit this link: http://www.inquirer.net/specialreports/theestradatrial/archive.php

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

World of Microsoft

Sorry for not posting for the past few weeks. Aside from the hectic project schedule, my pc got hit by trojans and malwares so I had to do a reinstall. I even seriously considered using Fedora for my OS instead of Windows XP. Unfortunately, most tools we use at the office are Microsoft-based so moving to Linux would be more of a hassle than a relief.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Curse of the Black Pearls

After all those penny-pinching and trying to earn money from the Internet, I went ahead and bought myself a set of South Sea pearl earrings and necklace. I chose black pearls because they suit me better than the white ones. I bought them on installment (in my country, the term used is gives: two-gives, three-gives, etc., you get the drift) so I was able to get my jewelry immediately after I issued four post-dated checks to my boss' alahera (jeweller). I already completed the first two payments and I only have two more months to go. The problem is I've run out of funds so I decided that I will pull out my mutual fund investments. They're dollar bond funds and euro bond funds and I've held on to them for two years now. Although their NAVPS increased, I would still get negative profit because of the country's presently strong currency. Two years ago, the exchange rate was P54 to $1 and now it's P45 to a $1. This would translate to a net loss of a couple of thousand pesos so I think it would be wiser to just pull my investments out.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Postie blogs, Postie earns

I have long wondered how some people are able to become professional bloggers. I've been maintaining this blog for some time now and honestly, my earnings from the ads haven't even reached minimum payout. I guess those people who earn a substantial amount from blogging maintain lots of blogs and/or join group blogs where the revenues are divided by the members. But I don't have the time and resources to maintain lots of blogs. So I guess that's not for me.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Country’s National Bookstore

Remember my gift certificates for National Bookstore which I planned to use to buy books by Kiyosaki at the annual cut-price book sale? Well the month-long sale has started and on its very first day, I trooped over to NBS to give myself a treat. But I didn't buy any Kiyosaki book. What I bought are these:

Egay, Edsa, Eboards

It's been raining hard all week due to supertyphoon Egay. And although the Philippines is not the one directly hit, the constant rain and heavy flooding were enough reasons to suspend classes in elementary, high school and college levels. Unfortunately, employees were not spared the trouble of going to work. I was even stuck in traffic for three hours last Wednesday. Good thing I had my digicam with me so I had something to amuse me while I trudged along Edsa, inch by excruciating inch:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Listen to your Inner Voice

What is it telling you? Is it saying 'You can do it!' or just the opposite? Most of us fall prey to our negative inner talk without even realizing it. I myself am guilty of this as I tend to become a worry-wart most of the time. The good news is, we have the capability to turn ourselves around. We can choose to focus on the positive instead of the negative, to turn something bad into something good. It's just a matter of changing perspectives really, I always remind myself of this. Maybe this forwarded email can help (and I hope it helps you too):

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Watch my weight

140. For a 5'2" female, that's just slightly overweight. But try putting that in the Filipino context and that already translates to a Large size for a blouse and a pair of jeans with a waistline measurement bordering on the number of days on a calendar.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

When Pag-IBIG does not mean love

I applied for a salary loan from the Home Development Mutual Fund, otherwise known as the Pag-IBIG Fund, and I still haven't been approved. The loan amount is based on a percentage of the total contribution amount. So I thought I can loan a big amount because I have been working for 7 years already. When I got the quote from them, I was baffled because they said that I have only 13 months worth of contributions in their records. Then I thought to myself, but this only equivalent to the length of time that I've been with my current employer!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

5th, 6th and 7th

At last, I finished reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (6th Book in the Harry Potter series). I enjoyed this one and I can't wait to get my hands on the 7th book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Before reading the 6th book, I watched the 5th Harry Potter movie. It was not as fun to watch as the first three movies (not quite satisfied with the 4th movie either) and I remember I did not like the 5th book, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, so much either.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Website Monetizers Evaluation

So I've been finding ways to monetize my site by signing up with programmes offering ad placements. Hands down, Google Adsense is the easiest to set-up and use. Of course it also has its cons. Read on for the list of what I've tried and my evaluation of each.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Onli in da Pilipins: Tubero Tree Ads

I don't know if it only happens here in our country, but when one needs some plumbing fixed here, one only has to go outside and look for the nearest tree and call the number on the Tubero posting. Tubero is the tagalog word for plumber, and they don't advertise in the phone directory or the newspapers, but on trees. In my subdivision alone, I pass by fourteen trees with Tubero ads, from my home to the bus stop. Some have even adopted the tubero's tree ads; there are even ads for home tutorials and piano lessons.

You don't believe me? take a look at these pictures :)

Tubero Ads

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Blog for a cause

Got a message yesterday in my BlogCatalog shoutbox about making blog history today. In this discussion, members were called to blog about organ donations and the issues surrounding it. I thought it's a great idea using the power of the many to encourage social awareness and change. And the cause hits close to home.

Join the ranks!

Again, I'm not sure how this works and I don't know how it will benefit me but I always see it in my referrer tracking so I signed up. If you know my location then you'll see that I'm the highest ranking (and the only entry) for my country. :)
Sign-up and see how your site ranks!

Postmarked

First Postcrossing postcard




I got my first card from Postcrossing yesterday! Unfortunately, the people at the post office don't seem to understand what a postcard is. It's a card with a picture on one side and a space for the address, the message and the stamp on the other side. You're not supposed to put the postmark on the side where the picture is! Now, instead of this being a postcard of a dog, it has become a postcard of a dog AND a postmark! Bummer.

Monday, July 16, 2007

I love freebies!

NBS GC

Just by answering their survey, thenewsroom.com gave me a $50 gift certificate via globoforce.com. Good thing they have affiliated merchants in the Philippines so I was able to choose my prize to be converted to P2300 worth of National Bookstore gift certificates. This is very good news for me as I was planning to complete Kiyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad book series. But I think I'll wait for NBS' annual cut-price book sale which will be happening next month or the next so I can maximize my discounts.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Welcome to my new home!

After several weeks of painful setups and configurations, I've finally been able to move my blog to my very own domain. This site is still in beta though. Especially the design since my boyfriend is cooking up another theme. As for the content, it's still very bare but watch out in the coming days (or weeks) and this site will be brimming! Also, I wasn't able to migrate the comments so you still have to visit my blogspot for that. And oh, if you have any more ideas to add regarding my site, just post a comment. Ciao :)

This blog has moved

I can follow the redirection instructions in this site. Or I can just tell you that this blog will no longer be updated and that for my latest posts, you should visit www.chococherrycoco.com. No sweat ;-)

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Don't even ask how it went

This is consuming me. I only got to the Import-Export part when I realized that XPress does not have an Import for Wordpress XML Files. I even ranted about it in the other blog. I also tried the Import from RSS but it didn't work. Looks like I'm going to have to approach this the brute force way. Good thing I only have less than 60 posts! I'll see if I can also migrate the comments.

I doubt if I can finish everything over the weekend. There's still the matter of themes and templates to attend to. Sigh.

From Blogger to Wordpress

Since my webhost denied my request to recompile PHP with openSSL support, I'm going to try a different approach, as suggested in this site. This means I am going via the Blogger - Free Wordpress - Wordpress for Xoops route. Not a very delightful workaround since there are many chances and points of failure, but this sure beats copy-pasting my posts from Blogger to Wordpress. Also, I just can't leave my posts here and start from scratch on my Xpress blog because I'm the sentimental type. I know, sucks to be me.

So I'm just going to take that leap of faith and press those Import - Export - Import buttons. Here goes!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

On domain name registration and blog migration

Migrating this blog is taking longer than expected. So I've installed Xpress on Xoops but when I tried the Import tool, I got an error stating: "Your web server is not properly configured to use this importer. Please enable the CURL extension for PHP and then reload this page." Googling for the solution revealed that the file to be modified is php.ini, which I don't have access to. So I emailed my webhost support and requested for the enabling of the CURL extension in php.ini. I got a reply yesterday saying that they have already enabled it so I tried the Import tool again but the same message appeared. Not to lose hope, I installed the stand-alone Wordpress and tried the Import tool. I got past the CURL extension error but when I granted access for Wordpress to connect to my Google account, I got this: "Could not connect to https://www.google.com
There was a problem opening a secure connection to Google. This is what went wrong:
Success (0)" Based on one of the comments in this post, it seems that I would have to make another request to my webhost to recompile php with openssl support.

So that's for the blog migration. As for the domain name registration part of this post, I bought several domains for the sites I want to put up (including www.chococherrycoco.com) from Namecheap. I even indicated my webhost's domain nameservers (DNS) during the registration process and waited for 48hrs for my domains to propagate on the DNS. After two days, I tried adding the domains to my account but I couldn't do it. So I emailed my webhost again and their reply was that my plan only allows for one domain. I didn't know this was so, so I checked their website again to look at the subscription plan details and sure enough, it was stated there that the plan I got allows only one domain. I was left with two choices, get individual Standard hosting for each of my domains, or upgrade to Starter Reseller (with nulimited domains). I opted for the Reseller plan since we intend to put up more sites so getting this would come out cheaper in the long run.

Anyone interested in a webhosting service?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Chris Benoit

I've always been fascinated by pro-wrestling, even when I was still a child. Of course back then I didn't know that it was all a show. When I found out that it wasn't real, I lost interest and stopped watching (during my high school years). It was only during college when I started watching again, mainly because my younger brother has started watching it too. Since then, I've become updated with the show's happenings, and the wrestlers themselves. I even wanted to watch them when Raw and Smackdown went here last year. I wasn't able to go, but my brother was able to and he even got a picture with Triple H!

When news of Eddie Guerrero's death broke out, I was shocked. Even more with Chris Benoit's murdering of his wife and son, and eventual suicide. What's more sad is that it was drugs that led to these wrestler's self-destruction. Watch the news videos to learn more about the double-murder suicide that happened in Chris Benoit's home over the weekend.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Talent Search

I'm beginning to think I have no searching talent whatsoever. It turned out the solution to my XPress module problem is to install the latest version (v2.05). I should have double checked first before I downloaded the 1.5.2 version. Could have saved me a whole lot of headache yesterday!

So I already have XPress installed, I still have to try migrating my blog. And I'm still also waiting for my new domain (Can you guess it? Hehe). Once I have everything prepared over the weekend, I plan to have my new site up and running by next week. That is if I don't get stuck again. Wish me luck!

Open-source Deja Vu

Remember my Open-source woes? I'm still having them. I decided to try another Open-source CMS available in my webhosting package which seems easier to use. However, I find myself being stuck again. I'm trying out Xoops because they have this Xpress module which is supposed to be the WordPress for XOOPS, and the reason I'm interested in this is because Wordpress is supposed to have an easy-to-use migration tool for blog content from Blogger to Wordpress (now you know where my blogpspot is headed. hehe). So I downloaded the module and installed it, but when I go to the Wordpress page, I get this: "Fatal error: Undefined class name 'xoopslocal'". Googling gave several results pointing to the module developers' site, but unfortunately they seem to have exceeded their bandwidth limit. I found a forum stating that the version I have installed (Xpress 1.5.2 only works with XOOPS 2.2 (I have v2.0.16) but that installing the Frameworks will repair the problem. It still did not work. Maybe I have to work a little harder and smarter in attacking this problem. I'll give an update as soon as I find something out.

Patience is a virtue.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Continuing Education

Don't you ever feel that you want to do so many things and you've only got so little time. I feel like that most of the time. There's so many books to read, so many movies to watch, so many hobbies to pursue, so many new things to learn. Yep, I've always loved and and enjoyed the learning process. Even now that I've finished school and have a full-time job, my thirst for knowledge still cries out to be quenched so I check out schedules of short courses or classes every now and then. Although, I haven't actually enrolled in any yet, the following are in my "To-Enroll-In" list:

  1. Philippine Center for Creative Imaging - I want to enroll in their photography classes, ranging from their basic to specialized courses. Although for starters, I would like to enroll in The Alcove because they have lower fees and have after-office schedules.
  2. Studio 116 - If there's one talent I'm sure I have, it's dancing. Unfortunately, I've always put it in the background and have never actively cultivated it. I've never joined any dance clubs in school because practices tend to finish late and I had no way of getting a ride home. At least now, I can have the chance to have formal dance training if I enroll. I want to progress through the social dances because I think I'm stuck in hip-hop. Again, classes are after-office and I won't have any problem going home late because I get home late everyday anyway (curse you EDSA traffic!).
  3. Japanese Studies Program - I took Japanese as my foreign language elective in college and I even planned to pursue a Minor in Japanese Studies. However, my JSP102 Basic Japanese 2) professor was so terrible, I didn't learn anything from her so I thought I wouldn't survive Intermediate and Advanced Japanese if my Basic Japanese education was so poor. Now, I want to resume my Japanese language studies and I even dream of taking (and passing) the Japanese Language Proficiency Test. Classes are every Saturday so I have to rethink because that will eat into my precious weeknd. Meanwhile, I'll content myself with online resources and exams.
  4. PhilNITS Exams (JITSE) Review - I've always wanted to take the Japanese IT Standards Examination ever since I graduated. I even registered for the 2003 exams but I backed out when I saw the review materials. Half of the things in there, we didn't even cover when I was studying! Now, its name has changed but I still haven't taken it. At least there's a review center I can enroll in, if and when I decide to take it. I dunno, it's just something I need to prove to myself as a Computer Science graduate.
  5. Registered Financial Planners Program - Here's something I can go into if I decide to take a career shift - becoming a Professional Financial Planner. But for now, I just wanna learn so I can better manage my personal finances. The program fees are high though, so the education is an investment in itself.
  6. Stock Market Investing - Another finance-related class, this time about investing in the stock market. Trainings are scheduled on Thursday afternoons so I would have to take a leave from work if I want to attend. No seminar fees though so that's a plus!
In a way, it's a good thing that I don't have the time yet to enroll in these courses 'coz then, I'll be worrying about the money. Hehe.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Canon Ixus 430 CCD sensor recall



I'm so glad I brought my digicam to the Canon service center at Chino Roces Ave. because it turned out that the problem I'm having with my shots (notice the reddish top border I took for the King Long and Tito Boy post) is due to the defective CCD sensors that is being recalled by Canon. I just have to wait 2-3 weeks because they say the replacement parts would still be coming from Singapore. If it would mean that my digicam will be fixed, hopefully free of charge, then I'm willing to wait.

Before I bought my Ixus 430 in late 2005, I did a little researching on the net to find out if it belongs to the list of models with defective CCD sensors. It wasn't in the list then, but Canon came up with a new service advisory and the Ixus 430 is now included in the list. Visit the ff. links to find out which models also have defective CCD sensors:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/badccds.html
http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEWS/1128632808.html
http://www.imaging-resource.com/NEWS/1164376280.html

Monday, June 18, 2007

Technoratically yours

I have decided that I will sign-up in Technorati. Although I'm not yet completely sure what benefits it will give my blog, I've made up my mind to risk joining the bandwagon. To complete my blog claim, here goes:

Kyutbabe's Technorati Profile

If you have any ideas or suggestions how I can fully maximize my blog's membership in Technorati, just give me a holler.

Following the money trail

I'm beginning to like the sound of Numismatics, a new hobby I would like to venture into. Just like my stamp and postcard collection, my starting point is courtesy of my father's travels abroad. Just last week, I remembered that my mother has in her keeping, a small bag full of coins originating from various countries the world over. Being a ship captain, his work brought him to different ports in different countries so every time he would return from his seafaring, he would have these loose change which could not be exchanged with the banks and money changers so my mother just dumps them all in this small bag. I asked the coins from my mother and I decided that I will sort them and store them properly. I remembered that I had a classmate in college who was also into coin-collecting so I asked him for some pointers. I also found this cool site for coin-collecting newbies which has very helpful information on how to get started, minus the info overload factor. Presently, I have not finished sorting the coins by country yet. But I'm enjoying the experience so it's not a problem. What I'm seeing that would pose some problem for me is finding the proper storage materials for my coins. It's important to store the coins in non-PVC flips or albums and I'm afraid there's a shortage of that where I live. Never mind, I'll worry about that later :)

I'll let you in on a secret. The real reason why I arranged my father's postcards and why I want to sort those coins is because I want to chronicle his travels; I want to know what countries he has been to and when he was there. Who knows, someday I may be able to visit the same places he's been, retracing his footsteps in a sense. And when that happens, no doubt it will turn out to be a truly nostalgic journey for me.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Postcrossing, anyone?

Remember my postcard collection (I wrote something about it here)? I decided that aside from waiting for my friends to send me postcards (or asking them to buy some for me when they go to other places), I decided that I will add to my collection by joining the Postcard Crossing Project. It's a site that "allows anyone to receive postcards (paper ones, not electronic) from random places in the world." Of course, I will still be doing the legwork of actually mailing a postcard to someone, somewhere, but with the site's tracking mechanism, I'm assured that I will receive at least one postcard from another postcrosser somewhere in the world every time I send one to another postcrosser. I still have to read the FAQs on the site first (how to obtain an address, what to write on the postcard and what language to use, etc), then I will try to send my first postcard next week. Then all I have to do is wait for a postcard to arrive in my mailbox. Goodie :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Jok Tym!

Pagbigyan na ninyo ako, sadyang mababaw lang talaga ako :)

Mister: Kung gagawa ako ng pelikula, gusto ko, ako si ZORRO!
Misis: E ako, sino?
Mister: Si DACOS!
Misis: Dacos? Sino 'yun?
Mister: DA COS of all my ZORROs!

----------- ---------- ------------ -- ------------ - --------

Job interview:

Boss: Ano ang alam mo?
Rommel: Alam ko po kung saan kayo nakatira ng misis niyo, at kung saan nakatira ang kabit niyo.
Boss: Tanggap ka na!

------------ -- ------------ ---- ------------ - ------------ -------
Tomas: Sobrang tabatsoy ang misis ko, kaya gusto niyang magbawas ng timbang. Nag-horseback riding siya...
Jorge:
Ano'ng resulta?
Tomas: Nabawasan ng sampung kilo 'yung kabayo!

------------ ---- ------------ --- ------------ - ------------

Ama:
Kumusta ang pag-aaral mo?
Anak:
Nag-lesson at test po kami tungkol sa mga manok.
Ama:
Ano, madali ba?
Anak:
Chicken na chicken!
Ama:
Anong grade mo?
Anak:
Itlog po.

------------ -- --------- ----------- ---------- ----------

Dalawang holdaper sa bangko:

Holdaper #1: Yehey! Mayaman na tayo!
Holdaper #2:
Bilangin mo na!
Holdaper: Alam mo namang mahina ako sa math. Abangan na lang natin sa balita kung magkano!

-------- ----------- ----------- ------------ ------------

Pasyente: Okey ba ang services sa ospital na ito?
Doktor: Oo naman. Sigurado 'yon.
Pasyente: Paano kung hindi ako satisfied?
Doktor: Ibabalik namin ang sakit mo.

------------ ------------ ------------ -- ------------ -----------
*
3 tanga nagsisiksikan sa maliit na **kama**:*
TANGA1:
Pare, di tayo kasya. Bawas tayo ng isa, sa lapag na lang matulog. (Bumaba si Tanga 1.)
TANGA2:
Ayan, pare maluwag na, akyat kana dito!

***********************

Dear Dodong,
Sa susunod anak, *Nido* non-fat na lang ang ipadala mo sa tatang mo.
Nasisira kasi ang tiyan niya sa pinadala mong *Nivea Moisturing Milk*...
Nagmamahal,
Nanay

***********************

ANAK: 'Tay , penge ng pera. May project kami. Bibili ako ng "cocomban".
TATAY: Ano ka ba naman! Hangga ngayong "cocomban" pa rin tawag mo!
ANAK:
Ano po ba ang tama?
TATAY: Bomb paper!

********************************

MISIS:
Dear, iligaw mo nga tong pusa. Nakasako na. Dalhin mo sa malayo!
MISTER:
Ok!
MISIS:
Bakit ka ginabi? Niligaw mo ba ang pusa?
MISTER:
Bwisit na pusang yan! Kundi ko siya sinundan, di ako nakauwi!

*****************************

PEDRO: Galing ako sa doktor, nakabili na ako ng hearing aid.
Grabe ang linaw ngayon nang pandinig ko!
JUAN:
Wow, galing! Magkanong bili mo sa hearing aid?
PEDRO: Kahapon lang!

************************************

At a funeral...

ERAP: Tara na, Jinggoy. Alis na tayo!
JINGGOY:
Kararating pa lang natin a!
ERAP: Naku mahirap nang maiwan. Basahin mo o:
" REMAINS WILL BE CREMATED
."
*****************************

Tanga 1: Ano bang hinahanap mo diyan sa supot ng 3-in-1 coffee.
Kanina ka pa silip nang silip diyan.
Tanga 2: Hinahanap ko ung libreng asukal. Nakasulat kasi sa karton "SUGAR FREE."

****************************

JUAN: Pare, ang bilis kong nabuo 'tong puzzle!
PEDRO: Talaga?! Gaano kabilis?
JUAN: 5 months!
PEDRO: Tagal naman!
JUAN: Tagal ba 'yun? Nakalagay nga dito: "for 3 years & up"!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

Today is our National Independence Day but it's a working holiday because we were supposed to 'celebrate' it yesterday. Funny though, I didn't see the usual June 12 festivities that is happens yearly at the Rizal Park or at Kawit, Cavite, where the Philippine independence from Spain was declared on June 12, 1898. Shows you how much we Filipinos care about our freedom. Sad, noh?

Honestly, I think we are still a very young nation in search for our true identity. We've been colonized for too long (377 yrs under the Spanish rule, 48 yrs under the Americans and 3 yrs under the Japanese) that we've forgotten how to stand on our own. It is only now that we are relearning to take our own steps, as guided by our own national leaders. How I wish that someone would push to change our country's name, Philippines, so that we won't have be named after a dead king anymore.

In celebration of being Filipino, I would like to share an article I found in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Here's an excerpt:

Enjoy, be Pinoy; bahala na si Batman
By Gilda Cordero-Fernando

MANILA, Philippines -- Pinoy is what Filipinos call each other, a term of endearment. You’re Pinoy from Pilipino just like you’re tisoy from mestizo or chinoy from chino.

It’s a nickname just as Minoy is from Maximo, Ninoy from Benigno, Tinay from Florentina and Kikay from Francisca. But now they’re Maxi and Ben and Tintin and Cheska.

You’ve been called indio, goo-goo, Negro, flip, noypits. Or Filipino, a biscuit that is brown outside and white inside, or a word stricken from the dictionary which means domestic. Ay, lintik!

You’re Juan de la Cruz or Mang Pandoy. You’re common tao, masa, urban poor but also Cecile Licad and Don Jaime, Jose Rizal and Tony Meloto, Shawie and Pacquiao and Nick Joaquin, galing galing.

Born June 12, 1896, the Republic of the RP is a Gemini, good at connecting, good at loving-loving, good at texting and interpersonal skills.

Filipinos like to yakap, akbay, hawak, kalong, kalabit. We sleep side by side, siping-siping, we go out kabit kabit.

There’s lots of us to go around. Someone always to listen to a sob story, even in a jeepney, to share-a-load or to share a TV.

...

The Filipino is fearless, bahala na si Batman, which actually means Bathala na or “leave all to God.” Okay lang if I die by bitay, okay lang if I live, okay lang if I survive by the skin of my teeth.

Saway ni Inay: Di ka naman Bill Gates, di ka naman French, mahirap nang magbuhat ng sarili mong bench.

Be Pinoy! Enjoy!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

King Long and Tito Boy

I rode the bus to work yesterday and as soon as I stepped in the vehicle, I noticed something different. Heck, everything was different. There were no disarrayed headrest covers, no broken armrests, no vandalisms on the backs of seats and no foams peeking out of torn leather seats. I should have expected this when I first spotted the bus from the outside. It wasn't the usual Hino or locally-built bus. It had King Long on it's side and back and it was definitely a new bus. It was probably the first bus purchased by any of the bus liners in 30 years so I just had to take a picture:

Notice the plastic still covering the seats? I noticed that too and I can't help but chuckle as I remember Rex Navarrete's comedy about Tito Boy's House. If you haven't heard or watched him yet, do try to catch him if he has shows in your area. I haven't watched him yet but I have all his CDs so I know he's really funny. Though, you'd have to be Filipino or be "related" to one in order to relate. Hehe.

To have a sample of Pinoy humor, visit his site and myspace or simple search for videos of his performances in YouTube. :-)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Is it worth it?

I'm on a roll here. Found a tool on Steve's site which tells how much a blog is worth. I followed the link and tested for my blog's worth. The result, as you can see on the left bar, is $3,951.78! Converted to our currency, that's equivalent to a whopping amount! Not bad for a blog that's roughly 3 months old.

Now, if only there's a way this can translate into real money so that I can quit my job and just blog and blog-hop all day. How I wish! :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Mashed News

If you're a regular at this blog, you'll notice that I've added a new feature which is TheNewsRoom. I first saw it in cbenc12's blog so I signed up because I wanted to have news feeds in my site. It's cool because you get to choose which news bytes to watch, and from a variety of news resources to boot. You can view them when you hang out in my blog, or you can also mash it into your site by clicking on the Mash icon in the upper right corner of the news feed. I chose the following search terms for the types of news content to display so if you want to add to it, just post a comment :)

Philippines, IT, Technology, Entertainment, Health, Finance, Business, Movies, Science, Life, Travel, Leisure, World News

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Welcome to the CCC* family!

Godzilla invited me to exchange links with him and I willingly obliged. In fact, I created another section on my left-side menu called 'linked list' to accommodate his and others' future requests for link exchanges. I separated the exchange links from my 'friends' list to distinguish between my cyber friends and my personal friends. You will have to scroll a little further down though as I only managed to squeeze it in between the areas for our sponsors (you know you want to cl!ck !t. the @ds ! mean. hehe). To be honest, this multiple scrolling makes me want to apply a different layout to my blog; I'm thinking a 3-column layout. But I like this color scheme and I'm to lazy to find another one. Hehe.

So what are you waiting for? If you think being connected through the MyBlogLog Community and Contact is not enough, and if you really, really, really, really want to be a part of this exclusive clique, add a comment to this post and state your blog's url so I can check if you've already added me to your blogroll then I'll add you to mine!

*Note: If you don't know what CCC stands for then you are not worthy of reading this blog. j/k :)

Monday, June 4, 2007

Haven't seen; haven't read

Would you believe that I haven't watched Spider-man 3 yet? Well, I've watched bits and pieces of it while working out in the gym, but not the whole movie from start to finish. It's still showing in the movie theaters here though, but I don't know if I'm going to catch it. Also, I haven't watched Shrek 3 yet. But that I'll just probably wait to show on cable. The last must-see movie I haven't seen yet is Pirates of the Carribean: At World's End. This one I still have a plan to watch at the big screen but must be scheduled because I heard it's 3-hours long. I just hope that I'll still be able to understand it because I don't remember what happened in Pirates 2 anymore. Hehe. Mr. Bean's Holiday is also showing right now. But I wasn't able to watch the first Mr. Bean movie several years ago. Though I doubt I need to have watched the first movie to be able to understand this one. But I did watch Johnny English before. Would that count? Hehe.

For the upcoming movies, the ones to watch out for are Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer and Transformers. Good thing I was able to watch the first Fantastic 4 movie. And just recently, I was also able to watch the cartoon movie of the Transformers in DVD (again, this should not be considered as a pre-requisite as I'm sure that this Transformers movie would be so much different from the '80s cartoon. Harry Potter 5 will also be showing on the 3rd quarter of the year, I think. I've also forgotten what's supposed to happen on this fifth installment of the series based on what I've read on the book so I'll just rely on the movie to refresh my memory. This would also prepare me for Book 6 which I haven't read yet but I have already borrowed copy of from my coworker. So the sequence I should follow is watch HP5 at the movies, read HP6 and then find someone who can lend me a copy of HP7 when it comes out.

Is there anything else I missed?

Thursday, May 31, 2007

8 random facts

Got tagged by Pieter. I've gotten this meme before but then, it was just 6 random facts. Anyway, I'll just add to my original 6. Here goes:


1. Popcorn and movies are my destressors.
2. I like apple juice and the scent of apples but I don't like the fruit itself.
3. I drive an automatic.
4. I love watching cooking shows but I don't cook.
5. I've never been to Baguio or Boracay.
6. I'm a morning person.
7. I have a pet Black Labrador named Lucky.
8. I'm a look-a-like of the vice mayor of our municipality.


Now, I'll tag these people so we can all learn a little something about them too :)

suray
krsgts
john_hok
jimgreer
jakethemiserable
rookiebot
DLW
SauerKraut

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

iStockPhoto. iEarn.

Well I haven't actually earned, but my friend Jamie has. She's got graphics designing talents and I don't, that's why. But I believe I can snap up a pretty decent photo so I'm going to try that route. In the meantime, I can also benefit from the millions of pretty pictures and graphic designs which I can choose from and download, in case I would be needing images for the site I am building. So if you think you'll be needing images that are royalty-free, for your website, your printed materials, ad placements, magazine publication, company collaterals, etc., or if you're a photographer or a graphics designer who would like to earn by submitting your photos and designs, just click on the iStockphoto banner at the top of the page and sign-up as a new iStockphoto member. Remember View the Most Popular Uploads and Sign-up

A walk in the mall

I'm not one to read reviews of any kind and I'm not one to give any either. However, I just had to say something about Ayala's latest mall, Trinoma, which I've visited a couple of times already with my boyfriend. The first time we went there was the weekend after its opening on May 16. We didn't even plan to go there yet but I had to buy something from SM City North EDSA, which is just across Trinoma. So we parked at SM, and after buying what I needed, we decided to cross the street and take a peek inside Trinoma.

The first thing I noticed was that there wasn't any signage indicating that the building was indeed Trinoma. There were small streamers along the open parking lot, and of course we knew it was Trinoma, but it would have been better if the Trinoma name and logo was situated where everyone can see it. I heard that there was a signage at the building's entrance facing Mindanao Ave., but the bulk of the people will be coming from EDSA so there should be a signage there as well. Also, it didn't help that there are still some construction going on at the EDSA side but I'm thinking the mall's facade will look nicer once the construction and the painting's done.

Once inside the mall, my bf commented on the floor. I looked down and I saw that the tiles were small, (around 4" x 4"). Well, probably each tile was 1' x 1' and the 4" x 4" smaller tiles are just the design. But still, what's visible are the small tiles and that makes the whole ground floor look like a bathroom's floor. The 2nd to 4th floor tiles had varying designs, depending on the shopping area so they probably had a reason why they chose the small tiles as the design for the ground floor (probably more suitable for the heavy foot traffic).

The layout of the mall was very much like Glorietta; there's an activity center in the middle (the first time we went there, MYMP was having a concert sponsored by Skechers, and the second time, Strawberry Shortcake mascots were entertaining the kids and kids at heart. Hehe) and the boutique shops and fastfood restaurants are situated around it. As expected, most of the shops aren't open yet so we headed to the "Greenbelt area" of the mall where there are a lot of food establishments already open. I call this the "Greenbelt area" because this is where the garden and mini-ponds are located, like how it is at Greenbelt. We stayed at Giligan's Island Restaurant & Bar and ate barbeques, oysters and rice for meryenda! It was a good thing that we decided to roam around a bit before going back to SM or else we wouldn't have found out that there's a Dairy Queen outlet at the 2nd flr. I got a waffle cone with fudge and brownies toppings and my bf got a cherry cheesecake blizzard. Yummy! :)

Our second visit was more productive in a sense that we actually bought something in Trinoma aside from food (we bought a wireless router and USB flash drive from CompLink, located at the 3rf flr I think). Hehe. We still parked at SM because we heard that the parking is difficult at Trinoma so we crossed the street again, which was a hassle because it was starting to drizzle (they really should build a pedestrian overpass connecting SM and Trinoma because people will most definitely move back and forth). We roamed around and saw that more shops are open. We couldn't resist going back to the garden area and that's where we made another good tambayan find - Cafe Breton! We ordered coffee and tea and our favorite dessert, Butter & Sugar, and then we sat outside and people-watched. There were a lot of people strolling and taking pictures in the garden and I realized that we Filipinos really have a mall culture. We spend our weekends, not at home, or at the public park, but at the malls. We can shop, dine, attend mass, watch a movie, see a doctor, and stroll at a park inside a mall! Blame it on the tropical weather; it's easier to relax when you're in an airconditioned mall than when you're stuck at home fanning away (ok, we do have electric fans and a/c units. but turning on the a/c unit can jack up your electricity bill big time!) while looking for something interesting to watch on the television.

Overall, Trinoma is a great mall. Even if it is located in front of another mall, I think that people will still visit just because it has shops different from those that can be found in SM. Plus the fact that is it connected directly to the MRT station makes it all the more accessible to daily commuters. However, the real clincher is that Filipinos just love malls. We can't get enough of them so for us, there's no such thing as too many malls. Just build it and we will come :)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Chugging along the Alexa redirect train

This meme came from Pieter. I'm not yet quite sure how Alexa works but here goes (you're welcome to click any of the links here too)!

~Start Copying Here~
Alexa Redirect Train by Carl Ocab

Rules:

1. Put anything you like above this list – Chit Chat, talkies, introduce what this is. Something like that ;-)

2. Start copying on the “~Start Copying Here~” and copy all the things listed without removing the links (Of course, the train would be no use without those links)

3. Move all the sites labeled “Newbies” to the list labeled “Oldies”

4. Add 5 sites that you want to include in the train and make their link like this: http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?www.example.com then invite them to join the train.

5. Visit all the listed sites! (That’s not much work! Remember, if you plant good seeds they will also grow good) and look at your high Alexa ranking next week!

Newbies

Oldies

~End Copying Here~

Friday, May 25, 2007

I play on KONG

Did I ever mention that I like playing games? Oh yeah, I did (see About Me description)! I'm what you can call a casual gamer and yes, I do have a collection of PopCap games. Just this morning though, I tried Kongregate and I was instantly hooked! Aside from the non-stop online playing and huge collection of flash games, there's also a point system and a chance to collect virtual cards. What's also interesting is that the games are developed by the members themselves so you can interact with the game developers, make feature requests and give feedback and ratings.

Did I also mention that I'm a programmer? Hehe. Unfortunately, I haven't tried programming using Flash, much more game programming. But I do want to rise from the ranks of being a casual gamer to being a developer of casual games that's why I'm doing some self-study from available tutorials online. Someday, I'd like to be able to upload my own game and have others play it. Also Kongregate's advertising revenue sharing wouldn't hurt ;-)

So if you also wanna play or if you're a flash game developer who would like to earn, sign up at Kongregate! Kongregate logo

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

We want to get out of the rat race!

If you take a peek at our cubicles here in the office, you won't see a single technical or programming book. Instead, you'll find newspapers, magazines and books about business and finance. It's funny because we are all programmers yet we're more interested in reading about personal finance management and how-to's in starting and running a business. I guess this is because most of us have been in IT too long; or if not too long, burned out too early. We want to try something else, but we can't afford to let go of our current earnings just for the sake of a radical career shift. And so we see business and finance management as our ticket to the other real world out there.

I subscribe to MoneySense and my colleague regularly buys Entrepreneur Philippines. I also have Pwede Na! The Complete Pinoy Guide to Personal Finance and another colleague has Wealth Within Your Reach: Pera Mo, Palaguin Mo! These books and magazines are in constant borrowing-lending rotation and we're delighted when we are able to convert an officemate into a believer. Our latest "victim" is our junior programmer who just graduated this April and is enjoying and celebrating her new-found purchasing power with clothes/shoes shopping at Greenhills and even on the Internet! Mind you, we didn't force her to read on personal finance management, she just realized on her own that she needs to get a hold of her expenses, before it gets too late and she becomes one of us (did anyone say disgruntled? hehe). This is good because no amount of preaching can force anyone to change one's ways. It has to come from within and that's exactly what she experienced - the realization that she needs to change and the desire to be helped.

Now, if only I can charge a rental rate for those resource materials I lend out ;-)

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

My mother is an activist

As I've said in my pre-elections post, I'll just vote the senators whom my mother told me to vote. And that's what I did. Back then, I didn't know why she wanted to vote for just those two for senator. Now, I've come across this Inquirer article now I know why.

What does the Honasan-Trillanes vote mean?


Here are some excerpts:

But if the senatorial elections were a referendum on Ms Arroyo, what was the implied referendum question? Was it “Do you approve of the government of President Arroyo?” (I shudder when I recall the Ferdinand Marcos-era referendum question: “Would you like President Marcos to continue the reforms needed to build a New Society?” - and a supine nation resoundingly voted, “Yes, please!”)

If it was, the impending victory of 10 non-administration candidates should tell us that the answer is, “No, we reject Gloria Arroyo.” But the expected triumph of Gringo - the poll group Social Weather Stations placed him in the magic 12, ranking him 7th overall, as against his current rank of 8th in the partial results - and the probable upset victory of Trillanes answer an entirely different question altogether. It pertains not to whether we reject Ms. Arroyo. It pertains rather to the “how” of rejection.

The Honasan-Trillanes vote shows a voter prepared to get rid of President Arroyo whatever it takes. It helps that the two are Philippine Military Academy graduates, untainted by graft and corruption, and who embodied to the lay public certain ideals for which they have made personal sacrifices. At least 1.3 million voters so far have cast their lot with two former coup plotters and, irony of ironies, would now reward them a fully constitutional way of expressing their rage.

Yet that doesn’t explain the Honasan-Trillanes vote completely. This attitude is but a symptom of a deeper malaise that has “numbed the Filipino” to the dangers of taking legal shortcuts. The Arroyo government has so strained the fabric of the rule of law, and pushed legal technicalities to breaking point, that it has undercut the legitimating power of the Constitution.

If MalacaƱang can repeatedly flout the law, why should it matter if we all flouted the law ourselves, but for good causes rather than bad? Why should Gloria have a monopoly on short-circuiting the Constitution, while the rest of us scrupulously but helplessly chant the Bill of Rights? Two can play the game, plus Honasan and Trillanes’ 1.3 million and counting.

I am not a great fan of PGMA either. Although, I appreciate her 8 by '08 program, which is her administration's national agenda focusing on eight priority investments (job creation; a better cost of living; a strong peso; more investments; pro-poor education; pro-poor healthcare, housing, food; green Philippines and Anti-terrorism), I feel that she is so consumed by greed for power, and that doesn't sit too well with me. I see her and I remember the saying, "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely." Not a good thing to associate your nation's president with, I tell you.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Blog-hopping

I am so loving my communities at MyBlogLog! I'm quite picky with the communities I join because I don't want to clutter my Communities page with blogs that I won't be visiting regularly anyway. However, I can't keep the number of my communities from growing because there really are a lot of interesting blogs out there. I usually just visit my communities and those who have visited my site; but the next thing I know, I've hopped from one blog to the next, and the next, and the next! And if I really like the blog's content, or if I think I may find the need to contact the author in the future, or if I'm simply amazed by the blogger, I just go ahead and add them to my Contacts list. This list is even shorter than my communities so I'd like to give them special mention:

I'm sure there will be additions to this list in the future. I'm even thinking of adding a link list at my side menu but I think this will do for now :)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Out with the Old, In with the New



When my father was alive, he bought an old, beaten 6-cylinder 1966 Ford Mustang coupe with plans of restoring it. He and my brother set to work and had it appear as good as new. Too bad he didn't live long enough to be able to drive it around. There was still a problem with the alternator when he passed away. My brother worked doubly hard to get it fixed and I even pitched in some money for the repairs, just so that we can complete what my father started. And now, we're selling it. That's it, the blue car on the top picture.

The reason why we're selling it is because my brother saw a V8 1970 Ford Mustang coupe (which was upgraded to a Mach1 by the previous owner) on the Internet, being sold by an American (or British, I'm not sure) who was leaving for the States to have an operation. His initial intention was to buy and sell it. So he borrowed money from my mother and together with an uncle, they went to Subic where the owner and the car was. The owner already prepared the necessary papers so that if my brother decides to buy it, they can already bring home the car. My brother inspected it to be good, and even found out that the registration is current. He paid the owner, signed the papers, and was able to drive the yellow car from Subic to Manila without any problems. Seeing that it's in very good running condition, plus the fact that it has a more powerful engine than our blue one, he decides that he's not going to sell the yellow car; instead he would be restoring it. And the money that he is going to use for the restoration and for paying my mother is the money he will receive by selling th blue car. He even justifies it by saying that my dad would have done the same thing, because he really wanted a V8 but just couldn't find any so he just bought the 6-cylinder (it was not color blue then, more of rusty-orange). And I do agree with that. Plus, after my brother restores the V8 and he decides to sell it, it would fetch a far greater price than the 6-cylinder ever could. But that's just the practical side of me convincing myself that it's ok to sell the blue Mustang. The other part of me doesn't want to let it go. My father bought and restored that car, and I remember he even intended to give it to me because he doesn't want me to drive a Japanese car that could easily crumple (with me in it) in case of collision. Sad to say, my father died, I'm driving a Mitsubishi, and we're selling our blue Mustang (I even have a name for it already, Lalaine).

If I just have the money, I would pay my mother what my brother owes, pay for the yellow car's restoration, and keep Lalaine for myself. Then everybody would be happy.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Here's a good news ... I think


DTI to issue regulations protecting online buyers


Since they are still drafting the implementing rules and regulations, there's a long way to go. But it's a step.

Monday, May 14, 2007

We've been duped!

Below is a sad story of my brother's experience with online trading. Pardon my French for the any cuss words you may find within my narration. Apologies also to anyone who might get offended, as long as you are not guilty or party to any offenses stated herein.

My brother does a lot of buy-and-sell over the internet and he's been pretty successful in snatching up good deals and and selling the items for some profit. The last time however, he got burned pretty bad when he ventured into cellphone trading and decided to choose a Chinese supplier to transact with. Before contacting the supplier, my brother did his usual investigation by checking the websites and viewing the customer feedbacks and rating. Comforted by the positive feedback and high rating, my brother emailed the supplier at this site to inquire about available phone models and price list. A certain Jeff Li of Fuzhou Wolong replied to my brother with the following:

Dear sir.
Thanks for your esteemed enquiry.As the first-hand supplier,we own the abundant various styles in stock and can offer you the best competitive price.

[Price list of Motorola, Sony Ericsson and Nokia models inserted here]

You are welcome to visit our official website: www.ec0101.com .Any interest or question plz don't hesitate to write me,we shall do our best to serve you.

As a golden supplier of tradekey.com (http://www.tradekey.com/profile_view/uid/616822/Fuzhou-Wolong-Networking-Co-Ltd.htm)do the business with us,means that you can get more high quality goods, secure and honest business and also the fast delivery time.

Anything plz feel free to contact us.

Thanks and best regards.

Jeff
Fuzhou Wolong
Tel: 011-86-591-22650360
Website: www.ec0101.com

After a few more email exchanges to verify the phone specs and negotiate the prices, my brother decided to get 6 units of Nokia N95 (6 units was the minimum placement order). He asked how he can send the payment and this was Jeff's reply:

Dear sir .
Thanks for your reply.The spec of N95 as below:
Item Specifics - Mobile Phones
Brand: Nokia Type: Smartphone
Model: N95 Condition: New
Network Standard: UMTS Simlock: Unlocked
Camera: 5 Megapixels Bundled Items: Adapter, Cable, Battery, Hands-free Kit,
Headset, Software, Wall Charger
Features: Bluetooth, Color Screen, Email / Web, GPRS, GPS, IRDA, Infrared, Java
enabled, MMS enabled, MP3 Player, Streaming video, USB, Vibration
Warranty:1Year.
The delivery time is about 4-6working days to Philippines.It's ofcos can be available in Philippines.
[Agreed price of the 6 units of Nokia N95, plus shipping, plus insurance inserted here]
The payment info as below,you can choose one of the ways to pay it .
Western Union info (It's the prior payment way,the fastest)as follows:
First name: Juan Xiu
Last name: Chen
City: Fuzhou
Province: Fujian
Country: China
When paid,plz write me the MTCN # ,the total amount.And also the sender name of payment !
Moneygram info :
First name: Juan Xiu
Last name: Chen
City: Fuzhou
Province: Fujian
Country: China
When paid,plz write me the Reference Number,the total amount .And also the sender name of payment !
Band transfer info:(It need 3-5working days to withdraw the funds.)
Beneficiary: Chen JuanXiu
A/C No. 6013821600601934798(USD Account)
Bank Name: BANK OF CHINA FUJIAN BRANCH
Bank Address: NO.136 WUSI ROAD,FUZHOU,FUJIAN PROV,CHINA
SWIFT Code : BKCHCNBJ720¡¡
All order will have a tracking number available and will have delivery confirmation to insure arrival.When paid,plz inform us,we shall do the shipment in the day when get your funds.
Thanks and best regards.

Jeff Li.
Fuzhou Wolong.
Tel: 011-86-591-22650360
Website: www.ec0101.com

Because his money is short, my brother even had to borrow some money from my mother just so that he can pay for the goods already. After sending the payment, he emailed the payment details to Jeff, then Jeff emailed the tracking number and shipment details of the goods and then we waited.

After 5 days, we received a letter from the courier saying that we have to pickup our package at their office because it was put on-hold by the Customs office. It turned out that packages containing electronic items are considered "hot items" by the Customs office, especially if the origin of the package is also within the Asian region. So my brother, together with my mother, went to the airport where the courier's office and the Customs office are also located. Lo and behold, when the package was opened for inspection and tax computation, two of the boxes didn't have the N95 phones in it. My brother and my mother argued with the courier that the package should contain six units instead of four. Then the customs officer showed that the weight of the package matched with the declared weight before it was shipped. Baffled and angry, my brother couldn't do anything but to pay the computed tax and left together with my mother.

Our troubles didn't end there though. When they got home and my brother inspected the phones, he found out that they were not genuine Nokia N95 phones! Only the front looks like N95 but the back doesn't. Even the features did not meet the phone specs. What we got were Nokia N95 clones, very similar to this. My brother immediately emailed the supplier and related missing 2 units and the 4 FAKE N95 units which he got. It took a couple of days before Jeff responded. He said that he will get in touch with his courier, but failed to mention anything about the fact that he sent fake N95s. A couple more days later, he replied with the following:

Dear sir.
The weight of the package can speak the fact.We really shipped you the 6 pcs .
The china EMS replied it's stolen by your local mail carrier.
For the insurance,it's the Customs insurance.If the goods detained by Customs,the express company shall resend the goods.Hope you can understand.
Also,if the goods are missed in china,then the express comany also can resend it .Whether you pay the insurance or not.
You can call your local postal company to investigate it .
Best regards.
Jeff Li.

Just a curt response, putting the blame on our Customs office and then that was it. Again, no reply as to the items he sold being fake phones. Until now, my brother is still trying to contact him, but without any success.

Due to that very unfortunate incident, I searched the net and found out that we were not the first ones who have been victimized by Chinese suppliers selling fake phones and gadgets. There's even a term for it, "Keeping it real fake phone/iPod/etc." The modus operandi is also very typical; they'll sell you the items as if they were the genuine articles, they'll take your money, send you the fake goods (or should I say bads), and then walk away. My brother paid that son-of-a-bitch Jeff Li of damned Fuzhou Wolong Networking Co.,Ltd a big sum of money for those 6 Nokia N95 phone units, thinking that he was buying the real deal, only to receive clones. To add insult to injury, that motherfucker Chinese supplier didn't even honor the insurance (to cover any damage, mishandling or loss of the items before it reaches our doorstep) my brother paid on top of the shipping cost.

What puzzles me is that the supplier has a high rating. Maybe he rigged it, or maybe his previous buyers were really satisfied with their transactions with him because they really wanted to buy fake items. Well sorry if we didn't know that buying fake/imitation/clone of branded products, especially mobile phones, iPods and other electronic items, is perfectly normal in China. In our country, NOBODY BUYS FAKE NOKIA N95 PHONES, so we find that practice just a little odd. If we can't afford the really expensive phone models, we will just buy the lower-end ones. You go and enjoy your (FAKE) status symbol; don't mind us, we're happy with our (GENUINE) basic phones, thank you very much.

In a few more years, China will become a global economic power. The US cannot stop that from happening. The world cannot stop that from happening. But what the companies and corporations who value their brands (and I'm sure they all do) can do, is to run after those unscrupulous Chinese manufacturers who imitate their products. China has a whole industry for imitation products (probably because they have a market for these imitation products) so if they don't act now, the world will be flooded with fakes, imitations and clones. Sooner than later, they won't be able to tell the difference between their products and the fake ones. And ultimately, it will be us consumers who will suffer.

For our part, us consumers should be vigilant and diligent in doing our homework before buying anything. I sent my brother the following links to help him assess the risks and scrutinize would-be suppliers before transacting with them. I hope you would find them helpful as well, especially if you engage in online trading.

http://resources.alibaba.com/topic/28661/Can_I_buy_Branded_Products_Answering_the_question_once_and_for_all_.htm
http://resources.alibaba.com/topic/21766/No_authentic_iPod_suppliers_in_China_true_/2.htm
http://resources.alibaba.com/topic/17492/5_How_to_check_your_Supplier_before_ordering.htm
http://resources.alibaba.com/topic/18839/STOP_BEING_LAZY_handle_your_own_due_diligence.htm
http://resources.alibaba.com/discussion_board/110/Due_Diligence.htm

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Lolo SB



Given the sorry state of Philippine politics, especially with the coming National Elections, I am tempted to NOT participate in the upcoming electoral process. I would rather NOT exercise my right to vote than be at the receiving end of the mockery of the Filipino people that occurs every election, as manifested in the rampant vote-buying and blatant cheating at the polls. However, despite my determination to boycott tomorrow's election, you would probably see me at the voting precincts first thing in the morning tomorrow, lining up to cast my votes. What can I do, voting is a family affair in our household. My mother, being a model citizen, would probably drag us down to the voting precincts if needed, just to make sure that we vote.

Needless to say, I don't have a list of who I'm going to vote yet. I'll probably vote whoever my mother wants me to vote for senator. At least I have a name in mind for our municipality's mayoralty post, the incumbent mayor, Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte. In fact, there is no other name I can write for mayor because he, together with most of the QC SB Team candidates, is running unopposed. Look at his picture, doesn't he remind you of a kind and gentle lolo, the kind who would give you money and sweets when your mommy's not looking? I'm sure he would win and I hope he does do he can continue the programs he has started for QC.

Note: Photo lifted from the National Statistics Office website.