Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I may not look the part, but am definitely a foodie. 
And since this blog is new, it took me some time
figuring out what ‘first’ food to post.

Until finally yesterday, I had a shot of the
now trending SILI ICE CREAM (Chili Pepper IceCream)
from Colonial Grill – a proud Bicolano Restaurant.

I was out of words when I tried it.
It’s one HOT ice cream! A sure must try folks!
So when you come and visit the place,
don’t forget to have a taste of  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

UP Education: Where is it going?

This post is a reBlog from a colleague and friend's blog post, 
who had a first hand experience of UP education. 
As a proud Atenean, I might not be able to speak 
without looking way biased 
about the recent unfortunate event that had saddened many Filipinos. 

So I’d take comfort in shouting behind 
and being an echo to my friend’s words. 
This goes to the late Kristen Tejada 
and to all of Filipino youth  - to education and a bright future!    

Last Friday I read  the news about the young woman who committed suicide because she was being asked to pay off her loan and she couldn't take it anymore.

 As one of the those students who experienced the first time the UP system used the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program  or STFAP, as it is more popularly known, I was also one of the first of thousands of students who opposed it. Supposedly, the STFAP calculates school fees based on students' family income, in a bid to minimize state support for those capable of paying full tuition and divert funds to the financially needy. It is supposed to adjust the tuition fee's based on the capacity of the student to pay. Unfortunately, getting the correct bracket is a long, complicated and tedious process, with so many supporting documents required. And sometimes it can happen that you are put in the wrong bracket.

 It makes you ask, as I used to ask, why should I be the one to worry about these things when I am supposed to be studying in the state university? Shouldn't the government be doing the worrying for me? And, why put the burden of my education to the wealthy and better-off families?

 I can understand how frustrating, how difficult, it could have been for Kristen Tejada. Yes, she could have appealed for transfer to bracket E, but then again getting all the necessary requirements would need time, effort and money. Yes, she could have appealed for extension, but then again it is a cycle that she knew she would experience over and over again. I mean being on the same bracket and not having the capacity to pay for that fee would mean applying for a new loan again and again. Yes, she could have looked for a job as a student assistant or summer job or scholarship...but then again, why?

 The UP Manila Chancellor Manuel Agulto said, "UP has and will always be a government institution that values quality education for deserving bright students of the country especially those who are underprivileged."

 Kristen Tejada falls under deserving bright student who is also underprivileged. So, why wasn't she given that much needed  opportunity for quality education that could have changed her life and the lives of her family?

   The UP students should stand as one to make sure that the UP board officials and the government study once again the mechanisms to assist the poor students in paying for their UP education as well as for them to rethink their "no late payment" policy. Let us not deprive these deserving youth the best education they can obtain simply because they do not have the capacity to pay the tuition fee. UP is a state university and it should get the correct subsidy they need in order that they can lower the tuition costs, so much lower than private schools.

Students tie black ribbons in front of University of the Philippines campus in Manila on 18 March 2013. The students demand justice for the death of Kristel Tejada, a freshman student at UP Manila, who committed suicide for after reportedly being forced to go on leave because her family could not afford to pay tuition. (Czeasar Dancel/NPPA Images) - From Yahoo News

 Kristin Tejada is an isolated case they say. Do we need more in order for them to see that need to change their policies? In a year's time, my own son is going to graduate from high school and go to college. Do I have the capacity to send him to UP? Unfortunately, no. Fortunately, Bicol University is available for him.  Is it the same? No, but at least we have options, and that option is considered today as one of the best universities in our province. Will it ensure him work? I can only hope so. I for one believes it's not the college you come from that decides whether you get work or not but hard work coupled with determination, good work attitude, the right opportunity and a little luck.
 While we cannot expect our children to find work in the Philippines easily, now or in the near future, with so many unemployed and underemployed Filipinos, there are opportunities in other places, God willing. But, first and foremost, the UP education or better yet, the Philippine education should be a priority in order to give our children all the edge they need to be able to find work and excel here or abroad

This article originally appeared in:

Monday, March 18, 2013

13 Reminders to Batch 2013

Two years ago, I bid my Alma Matter goodbye in the hope that I would join its long list of renowned graduates. I did not have any academic honor, as you know am not really that kind of guy, but I did took with me a medallion that’s quite coveted by most Ateneans. Needless to say, I was looking at a world of really great possibilities.

So I get you. The excitement for a new life, the adrenaline to finally jump start your career, those companies waiting for your ‘yes’– all those feelings are still vivid as if it’s still happening in my heart. Cherish such moment. And take pride of what you have accomplished.
I am not any established man; I am but a simple dreamer trying to make it in the world. But I have in mind some things to share. So read on if you wish, and please share with your friends, should you like.
1.       CELEBRATE. Celebrate and take pride of this moment. To some, graduations are boring, but mind you, it took what, 15 to 16 years before we finally reach this day. So take pride, this isn’t one small thing. This is a milestone – and it’s worth a toast, a lechon and ‘balde-baldeng’ beer.

2.       THANK YOUR PARENTS (or whoever sent you to college). This isn’t just your victory, it’s a shared triumph. So don’t be a soloist, the celebration is a family’s thing. Thank those who gave you all the support you have needed. Those two simple words would go a long way, especially over a toast.

3.       Take Pictures. You wouldn’t want to miss posting this glorious moment on Instagram or uploading them on your tumblog. Moments like this are the ones that really need sharing and keeping. So snap a lot!  

4.       BREATHE. Lucky you if you have companies wanting you in, even before you graduate. I know that feeling. But let it go. Breathe for a while. Take a road trip, fly to Hong Kong, and book a weekend with your family or the one you love. Extend the celebration by allowing your mind to rest and fully grasp this unfolding of a new chapter. Do whatever you fancy.

5.       BREATHE (again, this time with friends). Take time in knowing your friends whereabouts after the G-day. Join the fun; after all, it’s a much needed thing to have good memories to perk you up once the pressures of work start to kick in. Plus, this is your first ‘professional networking’. Start being around people of your turf and industry, you’d need that soon.

6.       Now THINK. After the merriment, now it is time to think. Weigh and consider your options. Although, keep calm and choose well.

7.       CHOOSE WELL. Take it slow in applying - or in signing up with a particular company. I went through that dilemma as well, I have a few companies wanting me in, but the one I have been dreaming to work at called weeks after I got employed. Statistically, our first jobs wouldn’t be our last. Take your time and sign up with which you feel most comfortable timing in – for the first time.

8.       APPLY and get rejected. For the sake of experience, try your luck with companies that you fancy working for. Lucky you to have ‘invites’ to work at a company, but try the waters with an organization that have not shown interest in your resume. It builds confidence – and character after, especially when you get approvals. A rejection would suck, but it does the same – only in a different manner, but bottom line, it builds character.  

9.       DRESS UP. Dress up to it. While preparing for where to work and stuffs like that, don’t forget to give your wardrobe an overhaul. Have those ‘work’ clothes washed and prepped up. Buy some more if you can – and impress the world on your first day as a yuppie.

10.   PREPARE TO PLAY. Don’t consider me jaded or something – but work isn’t like school. If you had competition and cut-throat schemers during college, prepare to meet more of them at work. More often than not, they are those you’ll least expect, so play well with your cards. Trust, but don’t trust too much – and too fast.

11.   Now a YUPPIE, BE a YUPPIE. Live the part. A yuppie, after all deserves all the perks of working. Establish a career path and celebrate simple achievements each time. It is futile to work and be not happy about it. It’s a world of possibilities – and you’re way too young, know that MORE awaits! So bring on the beer!  

12.   SAVE and GIVE BACK. Money now comes easy (or maybe not) so save up as much as you can. Needs come and go – so be frugal enough. Give back to your parents (or whoever you want to) as well. Although they might not oblige you to. A simple grocery for mom or a new shirt for dad won’t hurt right?

13.   LIVE (and love), LABOR and LAUGH.
These three words sum it all! Enjoy this new chapter of your life graduate! Congrats!  

BUSY, as a kid sees it

Earlier today, I while I was prepin’ up for work, we discovered that my sister’s laptop was left turned on after last night’s blackout. So I told Lance, my nephew, who turns 10 come the 24th, to turn it off. Unfortunately the battery was drained so he’s got to plug it first so he’d be able to shut it down properly. He did follow.
It came to me that the battery might need some charging so I suggested; instead, he could plug it first and let it charge at least for the morning. His school is through so he’s gonna be at home all day with his lolo. But apparently he was busy.
To quote him, ‘I can’t do it, I am busy all day.’
Surprised of his ‘schedule’, I asked why.

He said; ‘I will be BUSY all day, because I would go to my friend’s house and we’re going to PLAY. I’d be here by lunch and then gone again for the afternoon (to play)’
Well, what do you expect with a kid like him? The world is but a big, big, big playground. And BUSY could mean being at school – or playing all day.
He (and that conversation) sort of made me think about how I see my BUSY life.
Over breakfast he was talking to his mom, my sister, who flew to and back from Manila the past weekend. And Lance was so concern why she was ‘late’ when they picked her up at the airport.
She said it was because the plane left Manila quite late as scheduled.
In my adult’s mind, that delay was a hindrance to my BUSY life, so it is to my sister’s. We are both adults living a BUSY life – apparently. This is how we view our BUSY lives; it’s a well scheduled routine that we have to accomplish. Our BUSY lives include lists, and deadlines and nagging bosses. BUSY, apparently means STRESS to most of us.

But my nephew took it like a normal thing – and shouldn’t it be?
He was not concern about the delay, instead he went asking about how was the trip. From where did my sister enter the plane- was it from the big tube? Or was it from the tarmac? He was so engrossed with other things, he did not mind what we, adults, would have spent our time, and lost our temper with – the delay
Our BUSY lives are so systematic and planned, that delays aren’t even welcomed. We dread them – as much as we dread our BUSY lives.
But, behold, here is my nephew up about to ‘enjoy’ his BUSY life.
Apparently, it depends entirely on how we see our lives, our BUSY lives.
Mine might be filled with deadlines and editing, office politics and avoiding memos – but should I try to look at it differently, am pretty much living a BUSY life like that of him. He’s gonna be BUSY playing – and so would I, that is, if I look at it that way.    

I decided to be a writer because I love writing – ain’t that enough to be happy? No matter how BUSY it may ask me to be, am doing something I like (err LOVE) – and that should be enough of a consolation, shouldn’t it?
IKAW? How busy are you? Cheer up dude (and gal), it’s all about perspective.
TARA LARO TAYO! (Com’on let’s PLAY)      

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

viva madrid

No more words needed! Viva Madrid!

and oh, for the record, 
although Ronaldo is really amazing,

Kaka is just my man! He just blows!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Mila Kunis 
Sexiest Woman Alive
Hollywood Siren in LA 2012 

RHIAN RAMOS // Rogue March 2013

Rhian Ramos
on the cover of Rogue Magazine
// March 2013

more of my kind of gals here
(Share this post! Go!)

Monday, March 4, 2013

LOUD SUMMER NIGHTS // 10 Great Summer Songs

While the west is busy with the perks of spring, we here in the tropics are obviously anticipating for the heat! Summer is almost around the corner. That actually explains why I have been posting summer themed articles and style guides as early as now. Talk about the sand, the sea and yes, booze and parties!

 So as you plan for the next big weekend at Caramoan or Puerto Galera, here are some of my favorite jams to complement the hot summer nights and fun days under the sun.

10 Great Summer Songs

1.       Sun is Shining – Bob Marley
 Lazy after noon cocktail? This sets the mood!

2.       Three Little Birds –Bob Marley
Talk about driving to the country! 
Play this on, and the good time starts – coz every little thing would be alright!

3.       Good Life (Girl on the Run) –Kanye West Ft. T-pain

      Miami, LA, New York, Manila or Ibiza 
– good-lifers are sure to find this chill song a great ambient score.

4.       Party Rock Anthem – LMFAO
PARTY! bow

5.       Reyna ng Quezon City - Juana
Prepin’ up for the a wild night at the metro? Run this track!

6.       First of Summer – Urbandub
Rock and edgy? This is just the one!

7.      Young Wild and Free –Mac and Devin (ft. Bruno Mars)
Early evening jams
– great starter for a chill night on the sand and under the stars

8.     Give Me Everything Tonight – Pittbull and Neyo
For what we know, we might not have tomorrow.
On the beach, the bar or that penthouse party, this is just a TURN ON!

9.      Turn Me On – 
David Guetta and Nikki M.
Boozed or not, this just know how to take the ‘wild’ notch turn.

10.   Sexy Bitch – David Guetta
Turn the lights low and let the sea see little secrets made
 – naughty and such a turn on, this track is really a must have on your summer playlist.