Monday, December 24, 2012

What Can A Backpack Traveler Do In Metro Manila?

Despite the “not-so” positive feedback from people who experienced Manila, some people from other places or provinces like me still want to explore the Capital City of the Philippines. As a person who has been born and raised in the Province, a visit to Manila is something to look forward to. Everything we see on TV and movies always feature the lifestyle of people in Manila.

The provinces in the Philippines have rich natural resources that could easily attract foreigners and visitors. Davao City has Pearl Farm, Bohol has Chocolate Hills, Albay has Mayon Volcano. Manila could not offer the aforementioned attractions, but there is something about Manila that would make you want to come back for more.

For backpack travellers who would like to visit Manila and stay there for 3 days to one week, here are my “itinerary-worth” suggestions that you may want to consider:

1. Mall Tour

Manila, though congested, has a vast number of malls that can accommodate the overcrowded population of the city. SM malls are everywhere, like you can see it in every corner of the City. If you are a shopper-traveller, you would love it here because Malls are omnipresence.

I can’t exactly remember how many malls I visited when I went to Manila. I visited Market Market to meet my Mother’s cousin. 

I also passed along Greenhills Shopping Center. My Aunt said this is where celebrities and rich people shop.

I also visited several SM establishments but the most unforgettable is the visit to SM Mall of Asia.This one is very huge. It’s like having a mall inside a mall.

And my favorite tambayan is the Robinson’s Galleria as it is the only mall accessible to me.
Next time you visit Manila, check out their malls and experience amazing shopping activity.

2. Meet Relatives

As a center of commercialism and media, I’m sure every single person in the province has at least a family member in Manila. If you get a chance to travel to Manila, why not set one day of your stay or even just half day to visit long lost relatives or those family members you haven’t met yet.

In my case, I even stayed at my Aunt’s house during my one week visit in Manila. It’s nice to live under one roof with relatives eventhough you just met them for the first time.

I also went as far as Paranaque and Makati just to see some relatives that I haven’t met before. 
I had an eyeball with my cousins, Aunties and Uncles. 

It’s good meeting them all.

3. Visit Public Park

Don’t you ever dare leave Manila without even visiting even one of their Public park. A visit to Luneta or Bonifacio High Street would not really take too much of your time. 

My Aunt brought me to Luneta Park. As quoted from my Aunt, Luneta is a “Pasyalan ng mga Walang Pera”, because here, you don’t need money to enjoy.

At Luneta, you can enjoy watching dancing fountain, visit our National Hero’s grave and relax, all for FREE. You can just bring extra money to experience Kalesa, mini train and for food trip. The best time to visit Luneta is during night time so you can see the lighting effect on dancing fountain.

I was able to visit also the Makati Park and Garden. It’s just a small but clean and cute park. They have mini zoo inside the park and I think this is a perfect place for jogging, good for those who love running like me.

If you want some classy tour, go to Bonifacio High Street.

You can eat, you can walk around, you can sit and sip some coffee or even shop.

4. Commute

If you have a car or an exclusive vehicle to tour Manila, why not let it rest for just one day and try to experience Manila as an ordinary commuter?

I tried almost every means of transportation in Manila, but the most memorable one is the MRT.
Wow, that was an amazing ride. When you try MRT, prepare to stand, bump, and stumble amidst the crowd. This one is not for individuals who can grip weakly. 

The same is true with the bus. I experienced standing from the point of my departure to my destination. 

Jeepney and tricycle are also must try. You must experience traffic jam, standing position, and stumble with the crowd. Just be careful and be watchful with your belongings. Thieves and pickpocketers are everywhere.

5. Eyeball with Friends

Social Networking nowadays allows you to create a community even with the people you haven’t met yet. I have a lot of good friends and acquaintances in Manila that I just met through Twitter. When I visited Manila, I contacted them and met as many people as possible.

It was an awesome experience meeting people for the first time. But what is good about online community is that, you already know about them before you actually meet them. 

If you have friends or even college or high school classmates that reside in Manila, you can contact them and meet them. I am sure you will enjoy the chit chat.

6. Do Something that you can only do in Manila

The first 5 suggestions I mentioned can also be done in other places. Those were not only applicable for Manila but for other places also. So think of something to do that you can only do in Manila. 

For example, in my case, I visited a radio station. Yes, a radio station. I am an avid listener of RX Monster Radio  FM. This is a Manila based radio station which I can only access through livestreaming in the internet. 

I was able to meet the faces behind the cool voices in the radio. 

I can visit a radio station in other places, but I can only visit RX Monster Radio in Manila.

There is no other place like Manila. Therefore, as a Filipino, we must love Manila including the pollution, the traffic and the long lines everywhere. 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Three Truly Amazing Facts About Trolli Candies

@TrolliPH on Twitter asked us:

“If we were to give you truckloads of gummy bears or gummy worms for free, what would you do with them?”

I answered:

"I will make a big castle made of gummy bears where smll kids can enter and play and have fun.After that, we will eat it'

That's it and I won:

So they rewarded me with awesome Trolli Candies, a lot of candies:

While enjoying the Trolli Candies, I discovered three truly amazing facts about this product.

1. Trolli- The One for Fun

If you are thinking of something fun to give to your inaanaks this Christmas or during their birthdays or even just in normal days, give them loads of Trolli Candies. Dull moments will turn into fun moment because their variety of candies comes in different colors, sizes and designs. I bet the maker of this product has only one thing in mind- FUN.

2. Fruit Flavour Jelly Shape

Whether it is in the form of caterpillar, or penguins and sunkist, or an octopus,

you will never go wrong with Trolli candies because each variety is fruit flavoured. The jelly factor of this candy makes it easier for the manufacturer to shape it in different fun forms.

So the formula is: Jelly-ish + Fruit flavoured = Fun Candies

3. Safe to eat

Worried about your kids too much eating pizza? Give them a trolli Gummi Pizza:

Keep them away from sodas, just give them Trolli Cola Bottles to eat:

Not only is it healthy and fun, but also safe to eat. Their candies, although in different forms and shape, do not contain elements like alcohol or pork products. Moms should not worry, Trolli Candies are safe to eat.

Thank you Trolli for coming up with this truly amazing product. Trolli is truly the one for fun for kids and for kids at heart.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

EXILSHAPE- The New Technology by Bioessence

Photo credit to Bioessence FB page
Innovation is the key to stay on top of the game.  Bioessence, with 18 long years in the service of beauty and wellness has committed to be in the bandwagon of new innovations and technologies. To attest to this promise, they presented to us a new technology called EXILSHAPE. It is the latest slimming treatment that helps reshape the body and rejuvenate the face through the fastest and most powerful non-invasive aesthetic device called Exilis.

Exilis is a safe device seeing that it has been approved by the US FDA. Basically, it will help reduce fats, tightens skin and reduce wrinkles in a non surgical way.

Yes, you heard right. This is a non surgical treatment. It uses safe thermal waves to heat your skin and target the fat cells. Despite the heating effect of the device, you will remain relaxed and comfortable. It has real time monitoring and constant feedback as to the skin’s temperature to ensure safe treatment.

Bioessence Gold Davao together with the celebrity endorser Nikki Gil and Dr. Emma Beleno-Guerrero explained to us the perks and benefits that customers can get from this new innovation. 

For those who want to undergo treatment for body contouring, this device is the most effective and the fastest solution. It accurately targets the deeper fat layers. The built in thermometer constantly rechecks the tissue temperature for safety and above all, it’s a risk free treatment with no side effects.

Exilshape can also help you for the reduction of wrinkles and facial remodeling. It uses Collagen refill technology based on natural healing process. If you have sensitive skin, you don’t need to worry because this is convenient for all skin types. You will notice dramatic improvement of skin density.`

Bioessence selected Nikki Gil to endorse this new product because aside from her credibility as an actress and as a host, Nikki Gil is a perfect role model for a disciplined lifestyle. Her diet, exercise and constant “me time” with Bioessence are the reasons why she looks slim and fresh all the time. When asked if she ever endorsed the product to boyfriend Billy Crawford, she will definitely endorse it if the later will ask her to. She accepted the offer to endorse the Bioessence because she has been a loyal customer ever since.

The Exilshape is the company’s way of thanking all the customers for patronizing Bioessence for 18 long years. With this new technology, Bioessence has just marked a milestone in their service.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tear-Jerker Scenes in the TV Series The Walking Dead

I would like to highlight the other side of The Walking Dead on this blogpost. As we all know, The Walking Dead TV series displays a lot of scenes that are not suitable for very young audiences (sounds familiar eh?). If you are after those gore scenes, you may not be able to appreciate the soft side of this TV series. aside from the moral values and the survival instincts that this show could teach us, it has also several tear-jerker scenes that can play with your emotion.

Here are some of the scenes from The Walking Dead that would make you shed some tears:

1. The Death of Sophia (Season 2- Episode 7)

Sophia's character in the TV series is sweet and fragile girl:

But what would you do if she turns into a walker?

Either you would pity her or she will eat you. You have no choice but to kill her. After long days and weeks of search and rescue to the point of compromising the rescuer's life to find Sohpia after she has gone astray in the forest, there she is, a certified zombie. 

Imagine this, killing an innocent girl in front of her mother just because she's a zombie, how would you react on that?

2. Carl Gets Shot ( Season 2 Episoe 1)

For a boy who supposed to play and have fun instead of living in fear of being attacked by a zombie, nature is the best alternative to temporarily forget the dilemma in the world. For Carl , connecting with the deer through eye to eye contact is a symbol of hope and life. But a 50 seconds heaven for this innocent boy has been replaced by tension and fear after he was shot by a hunter. Don't worry, he survived this tragedy, but what he has gone through to survive is very remarkable, and yes, emotional.

3. Dale Attacked by a Walker (Season 2 Episode 11)

The character of Dale is certainly not one of my favorite in this series. The group can survive without him. However, eventhough Dale has no contribution to the group, they need him. For me, he is like a conscience for everybody. In a world where "survival of the fittest" is the rule of the game, Dale remains to be somebody who keeps everybody's sanity. When he was attacked by a zombie, he suffered a lot. He could have chosen to die in a gun shot than having his gut ripped apart by a zombie. I cried because Dale stands as a Father of the group. Everybody lost a father in that instant.

Since The Walking Dead series is still on going, I am going to update this post from time to time. Please feel free to suggest scenes from the past episode that I could include here so I can review and may qualify in the list.

Monday, November 26, 2012

FDCP Sineng Pambansa Presents National Film Festival- Ikalawang Yugto

“Bringing Filipino Films to Filipinos”

The Sineng Pambansa encourages the creativity of the filmmakers in the Philippines. Through the National Film Festival, deserving projects from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will get a chance to share their stories through film making. This aims to showcase the vitality and the complexity of our country’s cultural heritage through film. In this competition, we will see the works of the new generation film makers.

For this year’s National Film Festival, there are 6 Full Length Features and 3 documentaries entries. The National Film Festival 2012- Ikalawang Yugto was held at the SM Lanang Premier, Davao City on November 22-24, 2012.

The National Film competition was graced by 9 talented and brilliant filmmakers. They have been through a lot of struggles and tests before they were able to come up with their respective masterpieces. The first hurdle that these filmmakers faced was the budget. As this is an independent-produced film, money plays a very crucial role in the process. Most of them prioritized food for their cast and crews. Other expenses such as travel expenses and talent fees are also being considered. But being a filmmaker, they also have the talent to scavenge and find their own means to cut the expenses. Most of them asked their family members and friends to become a cast of the film for free. If talent fee is needed, they can only offer an amount lower than the indie-film rate. These projects have survived the monetary requirement under a very limited budget.

Aside from the money matters, our filmmakers are up for the challenge to come up with a project that could offer something new to the viewers. Aside from using non-actors cast (due to budget constraint), what we could expect to their films is the honest portrayal of their subject matter. They invested so much on their characters and the story itself.

Choosing of subject is not about their own respective niches. Our contenders have opened their mind to new possibilities and new information that they could convey to the audience. After all, the reason why they joined filmmaking competition is to communicate their subject and not only to impress the viewers.

Aside from the variety of subjects and genre of entries, our contenders have also their own influences with regards to filmmaking. From the book authors like Bob Ong  to Hollywood movie directors like George Lucas, these great influences nurtured our writers and directors to come up with these brilliant entries. Most of all, it’s the passion that brought them all together in this competition. The objective to influence the viewers and to have the sense of empowerment is just few reasons why the National Film Competition was a success.

Here are the 6 entries for Feature Film

Anac Ti Pating
Written and Directed by Martin Masadao


“Anac Ti Pating” happens in one school year from June to March. Sixto Mangaoang is a Math wizard in Grade 5, he however also has the penchant for drawing and writing. For his English Class project, Sixto decides on writing a short story for children about a shark living in the forest in the Cordilleras. Sixto ‘comes-of-age’ in this school year, he develops a friendship with his neighbor, the retired Dr. Rayos, who encourages Sixto to strive hard to pursue his dreams. Sixto also befriends his Korean neighbor, a boy about the same age as he, despite their awkward first meeting. Sixto experiences first love. Sixto stands up to the school bully. Sixto discovers the truth about his birth”

Written and Directed by Aimee Apostol-Escara


“A bitter curse sets off a collision course with the lives of two girls in a remote town in Iloilo. Ana, a young paltera (midwife), is forced to deliver a baby whose birth is cloaked in mystery. Lila, living in isolation with her mother, makes a dangerous journey across the mountains to buy salt from the nearest town. There, she unravels the dark horrible secret that doomed her to a life hidden from the world.”

Huling Byahe
Written by Sigfreid B. Sanchez and Directed by Sigreid B. Sanchez and Racquel Z. Sanchez


“Two aging couples, a linear film editor (Noel Trinidad) and an ex-dubber (Tessie Tomas), part ways at the twilight of their years to see what's missing in their lives. The woman finds comfort in a school janitor (Ronnie Lazaro) who she sees as having a parallelism to her life. The man, in attending his high school reunion, gets an interest in a 20 year old barrio lass who is the daughter of his bestfriend (Jun Urbano). The film, which stars the members of the 80s defunct gag show "Champoy", is also a tribute to the last days of linear editing in the Philippines and the men and women who once work in this department of the film industry.”

Kapitan Basura
Written and Directed by Dominic Lim


“Bobet is a junk shop owner in a dingy garbage town at the outskirts of Manila where everything and everyone thrown away by society resides. He is joined by an overly dramatic mother fueled by telenovela antics, a blind sister with super-hearing powers, a childhood sweetheart with roller coaster mood swings, and a riff raff cono best friend among other equally wacky individuals that litter the streets of Purok Ocho.

Bobet discovers superhuman strength and trash manipulation capabilities and becomes…Kapitan Basura, at your service.  Tumatanggap din po ng labada.

Each successful feat of Kapitan Basura elevates him to more fame but not necessarily fortune. Nevertheless, Bobet continues to battle crime and avert disasters. Meanwhile, the nation is plagued by an unknown creature randomly devouring facial treatment patients in all hospitals owned by the mysterious but alluring Dr, Chupacabra Sanchez.

In this trippy and useless comedy, we see the rise and fall of a superhero amidst a society of filth, garbage, and poverty.

This year’s crappiest and trashiest film. Truly, a magnificent work of garbage.
Kapitan Basura. The hero Manila deserves, but not the one it needs. Ever.”

Limang Dipang Tao
Directed by Eseng Cruz


“13 individuals, 13 lives. Based on the song of Ryan Cayabyab, of the same title, this film talks about the different conflicts and realities of the Filipino individual.”

Written by Agustin Pagusara
Directed by Benji Garcia


“YEAR 1967. Anton was a student of the Lyceum of the Philippines taking up a course in Political Science, while working as a clerk in a furniture factory in Caloocan City. He showed extraordinary writing skills which qualified him to become part of the editorial staff of the school paper. He also got involved in activism in those years approaching the decade of the 70s.

Spurred by nationalist ideals he took initiative in organizing a workers union in the factory he was employed in to counter the company union formed by the factory owner. This angered the owner who soon started to conduct “union busting activities” that resulted in the violent death of one of Anton’s union members. Anton’s own life was endangered.”

For the Documentary Category:

Ang Babae sa Likod ng Mambabatok
Written and Directed by Lauren Sevilla Faustino


“Ang Babae sa Likod ng Mambabatok unravels the multiple layers of the almost mythological figure-living legend, Fang Od, a 92 year old woman who has been called the ‘Last [Traditional] Tattoo Artist of Kalinga.’ The first layer of the story is the one she is most famous for-being a tattoo artist. At her eyes, she continues to exhibit sharpness and precision in the very demanding art and skill of tattooing. The second layer shows her many stories as woman who has reached the age of looking back. She regales us with stories of her many suitors, of her youth, the dancing and the feasts. She also looks back with not just a tinge of regret that she never married nor had children of her own. Her body covered in tattoos is a landscape on its own mirroring the map of a woman who has chosen wittingly or unwittingly a road diverging from convention and in the process became a culture-bearer.”

Chasing Fireflies
Written and Directed by Sheron Dayoc


“Chasing Fireflies focuses on the narratives of young female children who were victimized by human trafficking and their eventual captivity to child prostitution.”

Ang Pagbabalik ng Bituin
Written by Sheryl Manalastas
Directed by Sherbien Dacalanio


“Ang Pagbabalik ng Bituin tells the story of Estrelita “star” Saco, a teenager who has been employed as household to help in Manila for close to ten years. Every so often, Star pays a visit to her hometown of Cabadbabaran, Agusan del Norte. Everytime he visits, she is treated as a star by the townsfolk- not because she is a celebrity but because of the gifts that she brings: DVDs.”

For every competition, there is a sole Victor. Here is the list of minor and major awards given to the winner last November 24, 2012 at the Awarding Ceremony at SM Lanang Premier

Feature Film:

Best Artistic Contribution for Music: Huling Byahe
Best Performance by an Actress: Tessie Tomas (Huling Byahe)
Best Performance by an  Actor: Deuel Raynon Ladia (Anac Ti Pating)
Special Jury Prize: Malan
Grand Jury Prize: Huling Byahe
Grand Festival Prize: Anac Ti Pating


2nd Prize: Chasing Firelies
First Prize: Ang Babae sa Likod ng Mambabatok
Best Documentary : Ang Pagbabalik ng Bituin 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Four “Welcome Home” Treats of JavaJive Davao

A new home has been opened here in Davao city and we call it JavaJive. With the commitment to promote safety, wellness and health through their products, it welcomes us all to this new home. This is not simply a coffee shop, this is a place where the elements of Coffee, Tea, Soda and Music unite to make you feel at home. 

photo credit to Natalie Jill Lim
Here are the four “welcome home” treats that JavaJive could offer to all Davaoenos and visitors from other cities:

1. 100% Filipino Care


Java Jive is proud to showcase Filipino drinks, Filipino food, and Filipino music hence we are - Proudly Pinoy.

We Filipinos are known for our hospitality. JavaJive would like to treat every customer in a Filipino way. You will not only enjoy Filipino food, drinks and music but also the Filipino way of ushering visitors.

Photo Credit to RedPin

You will be greeted with smiling staffs:

photo credit to RedPin

Since we are also music lovers, it would like to entertain visitors by using Filipino Themed music and musical ambiance as manifested on their logo and interior design.

I am not in any way connected to this coffee shop but I am proud of this because you can see a trace of being Filipino in any aspect, may it be in the field of Food, Fashion, Hospitality and/or in Entertainment.

2. Home-inspired ambiance

Tag Phrase: “WELCOME HOME!”

“Java Jive is your home-away-from-home and our family welcomes you warmly.”

This is a home-inspired café. It aims to make you feel at home. When you get inside the café, you will be greeted with friendly staffs with “Welcome Home!!!” 

Just like a home, JavaJive is open 24/7. You can enter anytime you want and chat with friends or family over a cup of coffee. 

photo credit to RedPin

To make it more “homey”, you can enjoy the soothing background music and peaceful ambiance. It has comfortable chairs and tables where you can relax and feel good. When you are inside this coffee shop, everyone will become a part of the family.

It extends At-Home Experience to all customers, that is why they strive to look at everybody’s unique needs and preferences. Aside from the fully air conditioned room, they also have WiFi and a parking area that could accommodate up to 20 vehicles.

Everything they do for the welfare of the customers.

3. Great Food, Drinks and Music


“JavaJive is proud to serve tasteful coffee, tea, soda, and Filipino music.”

I’ll ask you, what are the elements that would make a café stand out?

Coffee, Tea, soda and music- All of these can be found here.

What is good about their food and drinks product is that, it promotes safety, health and wellness. Every product has been carefully prepared to achieve high quality standard.

They have  Iced Cafe Pinoy & Brewed Davao Civet Coffee, Durian Espresso Chill and Classical Cappuccino

                                                                                              photo credit to RedPin

They also have Hot Tea Pot Elegant Earl Grey,  Almond Vanilla Milk Tea & Wintermelon Milk Tea and Premium Hot Chocolate

                                                                                          Photo Credit to RedPin

And my favorite Black Forest Mocha, Black Forest Serenade and Blue Note Raspberry Soda & Classic Caramel Soda

                                                                                       Photo Credit to RedPin

They also serve Rice toppings:

                                                                                     Photo Credit to RedPin

And for the entertainment, it uses the talent of the Davaoeno youth. We have a lot of good singers here in Davao City and you will get to know them if you will visit JavaJive:

                                                                                          Photo Credit to RedPin
 4. LOVE


“This phrase is taken from the 1940’s song of the Inkspots entitled Java Jive. These lyrics have become part of the JavaJive team’s inspirational and motivational maxims.”

The reason why it treats us with all these goodies is because of love. When at JavaJive, you will really feel that love is in the air. And because it loves the community, one of their frontline goals is the program called Coffee for the Stars: JavaJive Scholarship Program. It aims to develop strong fundraising program, which will build partnerships with schools and community partners in order to help send deserving less-privileged kids to school.

Juris, a proud Davaoena singer and the soothing voice of Asia has been chosen as JavaJive ambassadress for this cause.

                                                                               Photo Credit to RedPin

If you want to experience these four “Welcome Home” treats from JavaJive, go visit them at 1.18 Centron Building, Quirino Avenue, Davao City. You may contact them at (082) 321-2247 or email them at

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