Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Back at 2011

There are just about four hours left to 2011 and looking back, this has been a wonderful year. It has been a year filled with blessings that actually began in 2010. God’s protection and faithfulness continues to be manifested even through the difficult moments – one of which was when our son contracted Dengue fever during my birthday last September. I remember spending my birthday at the hospital instead of spending it in Boracay. We were forced to cancel our trip but it was alright for as long as our son was safe. This was also the year I got hospitalized for the first time and even underwent a minor surgery.

Taken at Marikina Valley Medical Center last February

This is what was left from the fire in Guadalupe where four families from our church in Makati were affected

The tragedies like the fire in Lateral Compund in Guadalupe, Makati City and the flash floods Cagayan De Oro and Iligan City were also something we had to face together with some people we know.

Every year has always been a mixture of positive and negative experiences but the past two years (the best two years of my life so far) has been filled with more good stuff than bad ones. 2011 was a year to remember new people we met in church, a new outreach location, moments with blogger friends, personalized keepsakes received, reunions with high school friends, time spent traveling to places I’ve never been to (Hongkong), new hobbies to get engaged in (wake boarding and City Kart Racing) and special people whom we started investing in.

Hongkong Disneyland

City Kart Racing for the first time

Just recently, my son learned how to kart race as well

Our outreach at Gen. Pio Del Pilar National High School began in January 2011

I look forward to 2012 with hope that God’s blessings would continue so that we could also continue to be a blessing to people around us. As the new year unfolds, I claim the passage in Lamentations 3:22-23 where it says, “Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning (year); great is Your faithfulness.”

Friday, December 9, 2011

Oakley or Ray-Ban?

This past year, my wife and I bought our own pair of sunglasses. I got a Fives Squared Oakley and she got herself an Aviator RayBan. I have tried both and I like the aviator better. It fits me well and I think it looks good on me or anyone who wears it. Here is a photo of me wearing the RayBan Aviator sunglasses.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Anniversary Celebration in Hong Kong!

I'm here ate the Multi-function room of West Hotel in Hong Kong and am very fortunate that I was able to go online. My wife and I are celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary here and this is our first time to visit this lovely place.

So far we have already visited the Hong Kong Science Museum, Disneyland and walked on the Avenue of Stars while watching the Symphony of Lights across Victoria Harbour. The four-day vacation is perfect except that there is no WiFi in our hotel. I couldn't believe it!

West Hotel in Hong Kong seems to be a nice place to stay in and it is not among the cheap hotels that's why I was surprised that they have no free WiFi access for guests and I do not think they can't afford wireless routers. But I am just glad that they have free internet access here in this room right now so I took the time to blog away.

Tomorrow is our last night here and then we'll spend one more night at Clark, Pamapanga for our anniversary night and after logging out, we plan to go to the Temple Night Market along Temple Street which is just five blocks away from the street where our hotel is. I also plan to get a body massage because the two days that we have been going around the city with my back pack and tripods has been tiring. Good night, folks!

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Book Review of "Couples Who Pray" by Squire Rushnell and Louise DuArt

It was last month when my wife and I started to incorporate Couples Who Pray by Squire Rushnell and Louise DuArt in our daily routine. While we have used a number of books in our devotional time together in our ten years of being married, this book is actually the first that we have finished together and in such a short period of time. Give or take, a couple of weeks.

When we first read the introduction of Couples Who Pray by Squire Rushnell and Louise DuArt, it felt kind of awkward when we learned that the authors were married but have had previous marriages. But as we went along the succeeding chapters, we saw how they remedied their previous mistakes by this essential part of marriage, which they have meaningfully tagged "the most intimate act between a man and a woman."

The one chapter a day worked really well for me and my wife. We skipped a day or two, but we generally both find ourselves gleefully anticipating the reading sessions we have every night as we went along. The book has 164 pages with additional appendixes for the necessary questionnaires that the husband and wife need to answer separately. The answers to the questions reflect the perception of the husband and wife of their marriage. It was interesting as we went along discussing how we have answered differently and why. Discussing through that alone allowed for us to see through each other like we would not have done without the activity.

The book is also packed with encouraging stories of couples who took the 40 Day Prayer Challenge. A few of which are known celebrities like Denzel and Pauletta Washington, Kathie Lee and Frank Gifford. The authors made it a point that the testimonials of the couples they have interviewed are interesting to read.

In a nutshell, Couples Who Pray is kind of a campaign. Calling on husbands and wives to take the 40 Day Prayer Challenge and see how it will change their lives. A lot of couples find it uncomfortable to pray aloud together. Yes, even couples who are prayerful individuals. The idea is bearing your soul as you come in prayer. It is when you allow yourself to be totally vulnerable to God as well as your better half as you pray together that we allow our spouses to see our heart of hearts. As simple as it sounds it totally makes sense. I highly recommend Squire Rushnell and Louise DuArt's "Couples Who Pray".

Disclosure: I received Couples Who Pray by By Squire Rushnell and Louise DuArt from Thomas Nelson Publishing for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

"For Those Who Do": My Entry to the Lenovo-Intel Blog U-Rap Contest

Last August of this year, Lenovo and Intel held the Lenovo-Intel Blog U-Rap Contest which was a rap making (lyrics, music and video) contest opened to bloggers and their theme was "For Those Who Do". When I first received an email invitation to join it I really did not give much attention to it because my first reaction was that the contest mechanics and requirements were too hard. It would entail a lot of work, I thought.

But as the registration deadline for Lenovo and Intel's Blog U Rap contest came closer I started to consider joining the contest. So, to make the long story short, I made my own lyrics using Lenovo's theme "For Those Who Do" and used it as the title of the rap I created. I cooked up some grooves and beats using the Garage Band app in my iPad and then went to the recording venue as scheduled.

There were actually three recordings of the video, one was before the contest where I used a slower tempo for the music I created. In that video, we wore head costumes; the back up did not wear a nurse uniform or some hip hop clothing. The second video was after I was notified that I won first place (the one embedded below) and the third was a live recording during Lenovo's celebration for being #2 globally.

So, enough of the introduction. Here are the lyrics and the video. Credits to Lenovo, Intel, the sweet ladies of Ardent Comm and my three back up vocalists (Tin Tin, Cla and Pochi).

For Those Who Do
By Jeffrey Aspacio for the Lenovo-Intel Blog U Rap Contest

Verse 1:
The world revolves, we’re all involved
In each other’s lives, that’s how we thrive and stay alive
But suffering is never ending
And all around, problems abound, the crying sounds
Poverty. Atrocity. Our apathy
Is no solution, cause of indignation
We have a choice to be a voice
Speak out for them, or just ignore ‘em.
Add to the problem

Complainers, whiners, moaners or nit-pickers
You ain’t doin’ anything, so back off from the winners
For those who do, the catalyst and movers
Show ‘em what you’re made of and keep on bein’ doers

Chorus 1:
Lean over, lean over (pronounced as Lenovo)
This is what I’ve got to say
Don’t wait too long, this is your day

Lean over, lean over
Stop thinking that you don’t know how
Go make your move, the time is now

Verse 2:
Lend me your ears, volunteer, with your peers
Make a difference, don’t be indiff’rent
Realize, look with your heart, not just your eyes
It’s getting’ to ya’, this music moves ya’
As the sun gets higher, these words will catch fire
Our passion and desire to get up from the mire
We have hope, so look up and don’t mope
By loving and living and more than existing
The world that we live in, is gonna be changin’

Complainers, whiners, moaners or nit-pickers
You ain’t doin’ anything, so back off from the winners
For those who do, the catalyst and movers
Show ‘em what you’re made of and keep on bein’ doers

Chorus 1:
(pronounced as Lenovo) Lean over, lean over
This is what I’ve got to say
Don’t wait too long, this is your day

Lean over, lean over
Stop thinking that you don’t know how
Go make your move, the time is now

Chorus 2:
Lean over, lean over
It’s your resolve to get involved
Your story’s yet to be told

Lean over, lean over
It’s not too late, to seal your fate
So get up now, and prove you’re great

Chorus 1:
Lean over, lean over
This is what I’ve got to say
Don’t wait too long, this is your day

Lean over, lean over
Stop thinking that you don’t know how
Go make your move, the time is now

By loving and living and more than existing
The world that we live in, is gonna be changin’
For those who do, the catalyst and movers
Show ‘em what you’re made of and keep on bein’ doers, Peace!

"For Those Who Do": Rap video - music and lyrics by Jeff Aspacio

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Where to Buy Tickets to the Azkals vs LA Galaxy Match

I purchased two bleacher tickets for the LA Galaxy vs Azkals football match on December 3, 2011 and if you are wondering where to buy tickets like I did before, then let me share with you how easy it is. But first, let me tell you about the other events that come with this special football match at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium; Rizal Memorial Sports Complex. M. Adriatico - Vito Cruz, Manila.

The Azkals vs LA Galaxy football match is a Saturday but there are two other events prior to the match that are also worth watching. LA Galaxy will have their open practice and a football clinic the day before the match. Tickets are available for the three events.

Schedule of events:

LA Galaxy's Open Practice: Friday, December 2, 2011; 9-11AM

Football Clinic for children: Friday, December 2, 2011; 2-4PM

The Azkals-LA Galaxy match: Saturday, December 3, 2011; 7:30PM

They are available at Ticketworld and ticket prices are as follows (inclusive of extra fees):

Ticket Prices for the Azkals-LA Galaxy football match:
PhP 15,965.00
PhP 12,875.00
PhP 10,815.00
PhP 9,785.00
PhP 5,150.00
PhP 2,060.00

Ticket prices for the Football Clinic and Open Practice: (Audience)
PhP 3,090.00
PhP 1,545.00

There are three ways to purchase tickets for the Azkals-LA Galaxy match:

1) Visit the and purchase your tickets online using your credit card. You will be prompted to create an account with them if you do not have one yet.

2) You can call (0632) 891-9999 and make your purchase over the phone. You need to be ready with your credit card details.

3) You can visit any ticket world outlet. Here is a list of TicketWorld outlets.

So go and select your method of purchase and secure your tickets for the match. I got mine yesterday will just need to claim them in a RedEnvelope from an outlet. When I bought my pair yesterday, tickets were still very much available. I checked the TicketWorld site this morning while writing this post and the availability of tickets for the Azkals-LA Galaxy match is still high.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Traffic Along Ortigas Avenue

It is another long weekend and as I was driving home last night along Ortigas Avenue, traffic was so bad. I thought that maybe people were taking advantage of the start of a long break and flocked to entertainment areas and malls. Maybe they opted to spend the long weekend in the city instead of the going out of town and sending holiday photo cards to their loved ones. I was just glad that I was able to find an alternative but a longer route home but driving was way faster.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Can One Triumph in the Midst of Tribulation?

I preached on the life of Joseph yesterday. He had a very difficult life for he was rejected in his complicated home situation, he experienced injustice, and was disappointed by friends. But there were three things I learned about him which were the reasons why “the Lord was with him” and “whatever he did prospered.” (Genesis 39:2)

First, he was faithful in the least of responsibilities despite his difficult circumstances. Wherever he went, he got promoted and his quality of work was incredible. The challenge for us is to give our best whatever we do – whether it’s shining shoes of fulfilling responsibilities for System Engineer Jobs.

Second, Joseph had great loyalty to his authorities and he loved and feared God. Even though he could have many excuses to give in to the sexual advances of his boss’s wife, he maintained purity because he did not want to break the trust of his authority. He also loved God and did not want to sin against Him.

Third, he trusted that God was in control. Even though during the first thirty years of his life, people tried to hurt him, tempt him and disappoint him he saw the big picture and displayed obedience – the greatest evidence of trusting God. Towards the end of his life he saw the pains, sufferings and tribulations in his life from God’s point of view.

Genesis 50:19-20 “But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Friday, October 21, 2011

City Kart Racing is Where You Can Go Kart Racing In Metro Manila

City Kart Racing is the place where you can go kart racing in Metro Manila, Philippines, particularly in the City of Makati. It is right in the heart of the Makati business district - on Level 7 of Park Square 1. Yes, it may not seem to be a place where you can find a race track because you would think that all the cars in that building will be parked. Well, they are, but there is a floor dedicated solely for burning rubber and for giving you that adrenaline rush when you race.

On kart number 45, my first kart

Blogger Blaze 2011

Those who went kart racing in Metro Manila used to do so in City Kart Racing's previous location which was along SLEX but they have already transferred. Actually, last Saturday, I was able to try out their Fun Karts which you can rent for 12 minutes on their track (about 10-11 laps if you can do about a minute per lap) for only PHP 560. They also have a Pro Kart available for PHP 700 per heat. I tried it out with other bloggers who were invited to the City Kart Racing Blogger Blaze 2011. We were all given a free balaclava, usually costs PHP 150, to use under our helmets. Racers can also opt to wear overalls to really get a feel of a real racing experience.

Wearing a balaclava (also available in orange, green and pink)

All of us bloggers, around thirty in number, were grouped into 3 groups of 10 and tried out one heat on the fun kart. In each heat, there were about 10 racers in the track trying to accomplish their best time.

It was fun and exciting indeed especially when I found out after our turn ended that I had the best time in our heat.

Heat 19 results

About to make a U-turn

The most awesome thing about City Kart Racing is that they have integrated the race on the track to their City Kart Racing Facebook app. The cool thing about this is that every time you finish a heat, two things happen. First, your best time for that heat is automatically posted on your FB wall. So when you use their facilities for the first time, you will be asked to register with your Facebook account details. Second, you will automatically receive an email of your race stats which include details as your best time, your time for each lap, your average time for all the laps in that heat and a history of your best times compared to other people who raced that day, the past week or even the past month. Their FB app actually has the capability to show you your race stats compared to other people's stats as well, FB friends or not.

Screen capture of my latest racing stats, Heat 47

Moving on, after getting our individual best times, we were then grouped into 10 groups of three for some team racing. Each team was composed of individuals with fast, average and not so fast times based on the first three heats in the Blogger Blaze 2011. In this team event, each group was given an hour in the track where each member spent 10 minutes and then replaced by another team member and so on until the 60 minutes of race time is over. The team who made the most number of laps won. Our team, Sharpshooters, won third place and had 46.715 seconds as our best time. Team Extraodinary placed second and were the champions.

Third place

I brought home the throphy

City Kart Racing's Location and Operating Hours

City Kart Racing Makati
7th Level car park, Park Square 1,
Ayala Center, Makati City

They are open everyday except for Christmas and Good Friday:

Monday to Thursday: 3pm to 10pm
Friday to Saturday: 10am to 12mn
Sunday and Holidays: 10am to 10pm

For more information visit or please call +(632) 856-9155 or +(63917) 585-9155

(Credits to Mauie Flores for the other photos)

If you are in search of where to get a real racing experience,then City Kart Racing is definitely it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Haircut Time is Quality Time with My Son

My past two haircuts were performed by hairstylists from my favorite salon and my son was with me. He always makes sure that we get our haircut together. I think that’s sweet of him. But there was a time when he really wanted to go with me to the barber shop however, we did not have a chance because of my busy schedule so I ended up growing my hair longer but not long enough to get my hair styled at herstyler 3p. I’m thankful that I can enjoy getting a haircut because it is a chance to spend quality time with my son.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Message for Teachers on World Teacher's Day

This morning, I had the privilege of giving an inspirational message to the teachers of Gen. Pio Del Pilar National High School for the "My Teacher, My Hero" World Teacher's Day celebration. I would like to share with everyone the message I delivered which, I hope, would encourage teachers to continue because God sees their efforts as they change the lives of students.

A huge part of our identity as teachers is our leadership role, and we have a tendency to want to be in control of everything that happens. As influencers, it’s critical for us to remember that while we may be leaders in our classrooms, we’re still servants of the almighty God. The Bible provides a great illustration of how to be both a leader and a servant in Joshua 5:13-15.

Joshua 5:13-14 “Now when Joshua was near Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with a drawn sword in his hand. Joshua went up to him and asked, "Are you for us or for our enemies?" 14 "Neither," he replied, "but as commander of the army of the Lord I have now come." Then Joshua fell facedown to the ground in reverence, and asked him, "What message does my Lord have for his servant?"”

Joshua was preparing his troops for the battle of Jericho. Of course, he had no way of knowing just how God was going to cause the walls to come crashing down- he went purely on faith. As they waited, a man came up to Joshua and identified himself as ‘commander of the army of the Lord’. Joshua immediately fell facedown in reverence and asked, “What message does my Lord have for His servant?”. Even though Joshua was a great warrior who was in charge of leading all of the people of Israel, he knew who was in charge and called himself a servant of the Lord. What a wonderful example for us: to put aside our own agenda and pre-determined ideas about the next course of action and ask, What would the Lord have me do?

Before each day starts let me encourage you to take time to think about who you want to lead your classroom. We all know we’re not going to have a perfect day: there will be behavioral issues with students who against the citizen watch in the community, paperwork overloads, and complaint sessions with coworkers. Why not decide now to put God in charge of everything that happens to you? As John Piper wrote in his book Taste and See, “As soon as we discover we have a problem, God has already been working on it and the solution is on it’s way”.

Have you ever purposefully turned your classroom over to the Lord? Sure, you’ve prayed to Him intermittently throughout the day (mostly when you felt ready to strangle one the kids!). You’ve probably encountered situations in which you were powerless and sighed, “Oh, well, it’s in God’s hands now. Nothing else I can do”. It’s certainly convenient (and scriptural) to turn problems over to God when we’re in the thick of them. But what if we take our faith to the next level and give a situation over to God before it even happens?

The deeper question is, Have you ever purposefully turned your life over to the Lord? Life is a lot like the classrooms we handle. It can go out of control, we’ll have relationship problems, budget problems, we’ll encounter difficulties when other people make wrong decisions even when we try to do the right thing. As in the classroom, unexpected things can happen which are beyond our control.

But a wise teacher, or any person, would recognize that there is thatGreater Being who is in charge of everything. He is in control. And it is up to you to decide if you will allow Him to be in charge of your life, and not just your classroom.

James 3:1-2 “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

We will all give an account to Him someday. So why not choose to let Him be the Boss right now and follow His ways. Admit you are powerless, Believe that Christ can change the situation and your life by trusting Him as your Savior and Commit your life to Him.

Happy World Teacher's Day!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Praying for Our Countrymen's Safety

Yesterday, while I was at Great Wall Cars North Edsa waiting for some papers to endorse the repairs of our Peri, I saw on the news the flooding in Calumpit, Bulacan. I posted status updates about how sad the condition of our fellow Filipinos in Calumpit and learned that Hagonoy was also hit by floods. People were stranded on their roofs as some were being evacuated using rubber boats, something like clawfoot tubs make shift boats. With typhoon Quiel approaching, I just pray for the safety of Filipinos.

Flooding in Bulacan

Evacuation of Calumpit flood victims

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Need Some Time for Blog Set Up

I have overlooked one of my domains which has something to do with diamonds and jewelry. I will need to set up a blog on it and put content. It’s either I write the content by doing some research or I hire someone to write about jewelry making tools, diamonds, designs, fashion jewelry and other related topics. I just don’t know when I can find time to do that with my busy schedule.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Long Overdue Car Repairs

These past two months I‘ve had problems with “Lady Rouge”, our Peri car which we have purchased Great Wall Cars Philippines more than a year ago. The problem was not the car itself but were from other external causes.

The first was its side mirror on the driver’s side got stolen – twice, actually. The first time it was stolen, Great Wall Cars Philippines gave us a temporary replacement for it which eventually got stolen, too. The second problem came when a storm hit a few weeks ago. While driving home from our church in Guadalupe, Makati, a strong wind blew which caused a branch of a tree to fall on the Peri’s windshield.

It was a blessing that the branch did not break through the glass and that the accident is covered by our insurance. We are now just waiting for the parts to be available so the repairs will me made soon. I hope it won’t take too long anymore because it has been 2 months already since the side mirror got stolen. It’s not like we’re getting a motorhome repair because our car is just a regular 4-door hatchback.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Add Healthy Deals Philippines to the List of Group Buying Sites in the Philippines

The past two years have been such a blessing for me and my family as we have had a bit of success in our personal online campaigns, not having any need for any payday loan. This September, with the scheduled launch of, a deals or a group buying niche site whose focus is on coupons and discounts that has to do with health and wellness, my wife and I were tapped to represent the company as part time Social Media Consultants. I am excited to help this new baby get on its feet.

Healthy Deals (PH) Philippines logo

I just would like to drop a hint on our upcoming launch where we will be holding a bloggers raffle contest. Interested bloggers will be asked to blog about Healthy Deals Philippines, like and follow our social media accounts and promote the contest. It will be an exciting contest that will be running for a month. Let’s just say that this has something to do with an iPad 2. So, watch out for the launch of Healthy Deals Philippines and add it your list of group buying sites in the Philippines.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Multi Effect 8 Products of Nivea for Men: I'm a New User

I am not one who uses facial cleansers, washes or gels, but after attending the Nivea for Men Multi Effect 8 event last night at the 360 Degree Fitness Club in Makati, I became curious about it and as soon as I got home, I tried the Nivea for Men Multi Effect 8 Face Wash and the Multi Effect 8 Moisture Gel. When I woke up this morning, I used the products again (the recommended use is every morning and evening) and it's no joke, I really felt the difference on my skin right away - that's after two uses! I guess that's why these new products claim to fight 8 main problems of oily skin.

I was shocked to find the skin on my face so supple and moisturized after using the Nivea for Men Multi Effect 8 products twice. I guess this is how ladies feel as well after discovering new beauty products that provide noticeable effects right away.

Ms. Jamie Sanico, Nivea for Men and Nivea Sun's Assistant Brand Manager addressing participants in the event at 360 Degree Fitness Club

At last night events, I received two sets of Nivea for Men products and when I got home, I started sorting them and set aside the ones that I can use regularly. I thought that since I got them for free, I might as well try them and see how effective they are. So, I was really positively surprised of its immediate effect on my face that I had to write this post right away.

My Nivea for Men loot

According to Nivea's research, men encounter problems with their face too. In fact they identified eight (8) main problems of having oily skin (which is the kind of skin I have):

1. Excessive Oiliness
2. Oily Shine on Face/Skin
3. Enlarged & Clogged Pores
4. Dry skin feeling after cleansing
5. Uneven & impure look
6. Formation of blackheads
7. Formation of whiteheads
8. Acne

Against these problems, Nivea for Men Philippines launched the Multi Effect 8 line of products, particularly the Face Wash and the Moisture Gel, the two products I curiously set aside even before getting to read what they can do for me.

Nivea for Men Multi Effect 8 Face Wash

Nivea for Men Multi Effect 8 Moisture Gel

The Multi Effect 8 line of products claim these benefits:

1. Long-lasting control of skin oiliness
2. Remove oily shine
3. Prevent blackheads & whiteheads
4. Help to prevent pimples
5. Unclog, tighten and refine pores
6. Refresh the skin
7. Prevent dry and taut skin feeling
8. Smoothen and even out the skin

I would say that I immediately felt benefits 5,6,7 and 8 after using the Nivea for Men Multi Effect 8 Face Wash and Moisture Gel. As for the other benefits, I plan to continue using the two products to find out if they will indeed take effect.

To know more about the new Nivea for Men Multi Effect 8 products, visit and like the Nivea for Men Philippines page on FB. You can view more pictures of the Nivea for Men Multi Effect 8 event at the FB album I created.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cortal SQR Continues Support for Philippine Football

Last Wednesday, two football teams under the Philippine flag were present in a press conference as Cortal SQR continued to show their support for Philippine football. The teams were the Philippines' national football team, the Azkals and the Homeless World Cup football team who will be competing in the Long Teng Cup in Taiwan this September and the Homeless World Cup in Paris, France.

Pharma-Rex, Inc., Cortal SQR's official marketer, turned over PHP 500,000 to the Azkals as continued support for the team's upcoming games, whose main focus is next year's South Eeast Asian Games in Indonesia. PHP 200,000 was also turned over to the Philippine team for the Homeless World Cup who are being managed by Urban Opportunities for Change Foundation, an organization that depend on sponsors and donors as they finance the team's training and operations.

Cortal SQR was also launched as the official pain reliever of the two Philippine football teams. With its advance formulation, a combination of Ibuprofen and Paracetamol, Cortal SQR provides the safest and quickest pain relief at only PHP 6.50 per tablet. The recommended dosage is 1 tablet every 6 hours as prescribed by a Physician.

With Nate Burkey

With Chieffy Caligdong

With Ian Araneta

With Azkals Coach Hans Michael Weiss

It was exciting to finally meet my favorite team, the Azkals and have photos taken with my football heroes, but what was more inspiring was to seeing the participation of private organizations like Cortal SQR in supporting the popular Philippines Azkals and the rising stars of the Homeless World Cup Philipine football team.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Old and New

I have been experimenting with my hair for the past couple of months. Usually, I comb my hair to my left and that’s how my hair is styled and my hair type is not as straight as it used to be during my childhood days (it’s not super curly) when I really had hair that falls and bounces as if it went through a lot of hair straighteners.

My usual hairstyle

The new hairstyle I'm experimenting with

So, these past two months I started combing my hair (with my fingers as I usually do) to the right and the effect was, my hair stood and it appeared a little too loud. It made me feel different because I’m really used to having my hair worn with good, clean style. The experiment makes me look like a bad boy and makes me want to wear a pair of jeans, a shirt and a leather jacket. But, I’ve started getting used to it, but I’m sure, the circle of people I’m usually with will take a bit of time to get used to this new hairstyle.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I Availed of a Metrodeal Coupon: Unlimited Pass to Active Fun for PHP 175


I'm here to attest that Metrodeal is real and the Metrodeal scam is not true! Well, I haven’t really come across any blog posts about this Metrodeal fraud issue but I just wanted to say it. And why the boldness in talking about Metrodeal this way? Because I have experienced using one of the vouchers I got from them and my son enjoyed it!

I got my son an unlimited pass at SM City North EDSA and we used it yesterday. An unlimited pass usually costs PHP 500 but thanks to Metrodeal, we got it for only PHP 175. I had no problems using the Metrodeal coupon. There were no questions asked by the cashier at Active Fun – they honored the coupon right away. I didn’t have to call the Metrodeal customer service for assistance. So, the birthday celebration of my wife's cousin was hassle-free.

As I write this Metrodeal review, there was about 11 hours left to buy this unlimited pass to Active Fun at SM City North EDSA. So if you want to avail of the PHP 375 discount then hurry and visit the Metrodeal site (one of the biggest and top group buying websites in the Philippines) and like the Metrodeal Facebook page. I can’t wait to avail of my next Metrodeal coupon.

Chat Transcript of Bloggers Discussion with IMMAP About DTI Issue via Google+ Hangout


Just a few minutes ago, there was a discussion of document among bloggers at Max's Restaurant Greenbelt. IMMAP President, Hans Roxas Chua, Director Michael Palacios and Exec. Secretary Danny Eguia were said to be at the meeting and other bloggers like me who are not part of IMMAP joined the discussion thru Aileen Apolo-De Jesus Google+ Hang Out. Other bloggers I saw joining in the Google+ Hangout were, Noemi Dado, Sonnie Santos, Jane Uymatiao, Rico Mossesgeld, Dani Salasalan, Faith Salazar, Jeric Aquino, Jab Escutin, Jasper Ong, Rommel Santiago, and Glenn Richmond Ong.

This is not the complete transcript since I joined in the Hangout a bit late but you can see here some of the questions that were raised by bloggers who are not part of IMMAP and who disagree with the DTI sales promotion permit requirement. The meeting concluded with an agreement to 1)hold a Webinar so that more bloggers can participate online and 2)to create a position paper/document that raises valid and legitimate questions for DTI and where all bloggers who wish to contribute can do so.

Here is the chat transcript:

Jane Uymatiao: Got email. Noted.
Sonnie Santos: eto yung link ng postponement
Sent at 12:36 PM on Tuesday
Faith Salazar joined group chat.
jeric aquino joined group chat.
jeric aquino left group chat.

Jane Uymatiao: If meeting ended well, then why do Janette's tweets seem to paint picture that bloggers are subject to dti permit even if no purchase is made?
Sent at 12:46 PM on Tuesday

Noemi Dado: move mike closer. background noise louder
Jeffrey Aspacio joined group chat.
Sent at 12:47 PM on Tuesday
Jeffrey Aspacio left group chat.
jeric aquino joined group chat.
jeric aquino left group chat.
Jab Escutin joined group chat.
Jeffrey Aspacio joined group chat.
Rommel Santiago joined group chat.
Jeffrey Aspacio left group chat.
Jeffrey Aspacio joined group chat.
Jeffrey Aspacio left group chat.

Jab Escutin: Hi Jane! Congratulations on the iPad2 last night!

me: can we raise questions? how?

Aileen Apolo-De Jesus: sorry, how what?

me: how to raise questions? do we just butt in?

Jab Escutin: I think through chat would be the easiest...

me: ok

Aileen Apolo-De Jesus: You can just send questions through the chat
Break daw, sandali lang

me: this is Jeff Aspacio btw using my wife's Google+ acct

Aileen Apolo-De Jesus: They will go through the questions posted on the public document

Jane Uymatiao: Thanks, Jab!

me: That's great, Aileen, I posted the question I want to raise in the doc

Aileen Apolo-De Jesus: You can also submit questions and vote for questions at
or post it here na lang, rico will moderate
Sent at 12:59 PM on Tuesday

Sonnie Santos: need to leave muna guys, will have another meeting

Aileen Apolo-De Jesus: guy do you want to hold a group chat session daw?

me: I'm ok with chat
Sonnie Santos left group chat.

Noemi Dado: so is it status quo right now based on the 2008 DTI FAQ where bloggers are exempted?

Aileen Apolo-De Jesus: hold on

Faith Salazar: Who's birthday is it? LOL

Aileen Apolo-De Jesus: omeone's singing happy berday

Jab Escutin: Happy birthday!

Aileen Apolo-De Jesus: -someone

Rommel Santiago: happy bday
Rommel Santiago left group chat.
Sent at 1:04 PM on Tuesday

me: Question for DTI: Aren’t blogs just the media for ad placement, advertorial posts, revenue from click, text link or any other similar programs? So if a blogger registers his/her blog as a business, what he/she is offering are actually online advertising services. So when a blogger who has a business registration holds a raffle contest to promote his/her blog through back links, FB page likes, followers, etc., should it not be considered just as plain online advertising which does not need a DTI permit rather than a sales promotion? Also, since the online advertising services (the product of the business/blog) are not the ones directly being promoted but the medium (the blog) is, shouldn’t the same be the case?
Sent at 1:05 PM on Tuesday

me: I guess I'm saying most promos are not actually sales promotions
so they shouldnt be covered by the sales promotion permit requirement
Jasper Ong joined group chat.
Sent at 1:07 PM on Tuesday

me: thank you

Noemi Dado: if you have no sponsors (you're giving away your own stuff) DTI should exempt your contest from permits.

Jane Uymatiao: Aileen, can you also type excerpt of answers to Qs here? Medyo choppy kasi.
Sent at 1:09 PM on Tuesday

Aileen Apolo-De Jesus: re: noemi's question
we'll need to navigate through this together since we'll need to draw the line somewhere
Sent at 1:11 PM on Tuesday

Faith Salazar: Why would you need customer protection if there's no money out from them?

Jane Uymatiao: Maybe full disclosure of contest mechanics will suffice, including how contest winners are chosen. Many bloggers already do that. Para sure lang na di lutong makaw ang winners.

me: but isn't it right that participants in the contest are not direct consumers because they are advertising targets not buyers of our services as bloggers?

Faith Salazar: Is it to make sure the information customers disclosed remain private?

me: I agree Faith
Sent at 1:13 PM on Tuesday

me: The promo requirements are mostly not requiring participants to shell out money diba?
usually FB likes, links, blog posts, etc.
Sent at 1:14 PM on Tuesday

Noemi Dado: If you look at Consumer act article 4 (bm) and articles 116 through 124 is vague to cover online contests and subject to a lot of interpretation.
Sent at 1:16 PM on Tuesday

Faith Salazar: DTI's role should be just reactive. If an online promoter fails to fulfill his/her promise, DTI should just be there to do something about it.

Jab Escutin: +1 on Faith.
Sent at 1:18 PM on Tuesday
Glenn Richmond Ong joined group chat.

Jane Uymatiao: Faith, actually there shld be some amt of proactive consumer protection. not just reactive. For ex, not everyone knows that when a product carries wrong price label, the store is bound to honor that price, even if it is lower than actual price.

me: We understand the importance of "accountability". I guess a blogger's risk of destroying his/her reputation should be enough to keep him/her accountable

Jane Uymatiao: That protection was put in place ahead of consumers actually complaining.

Faith Salazar: True, but at this point, our world is too versatile to be policed by an agency that doesn't even understand it.
Glenn Richmond Ong left group chat.

Noemi Dado: also never heard of complaints on bloggers contest.

Jane Uymatiao: DTI also needs to be reeducated on how online people do things these days so regulations can be crafted accordingly.

me: there is not much to protect among participants kasi di naman sila naglalabas ng pera, in fact, bloggers pa ang mas napapagastos

Noemi Dado: more like DTI should monitor ecommerce business, group buying sites...our contests are so small time if ever

me: I agree, Noemi

Faith Salazar: Yes
+1 LOL

me: and the contests are not sales promos but advertising, Noemi

Jane Uymatiao: In terms of value of stuff, a lot of blog contests are pipichugin and probably not worth the time of DTI. But on macro level, their position is consumer protection in any form, even things like lutong makaw na winners.

Faith Salazar: No, thank YOU.

Jasper Ong: Question, did DTI express any intention of coming out with an Official Guideline?

Noemi Dado: position paper is good but also good if we post it online so more can sign

Jane Uymatiao: Appreciate very much IMMAP trying to help us out. We really appreciate you, guys.

Noemi Dado: IMMAP should realize bloggers are not organized. And no one person represents bloggers. I think I felt left out when only one person talked to DTI. this should never happen again

Jane Uymatiao: Agree with Noemi.

Jab Escutin: +1 on Noemi

Noemi Dado: one tweet is enough to do a call out to bloggers and our network of network

Jasper Ong: Hi IMMAP people, if you read the collaborative document

me: Noemi's right

Jasper Ong: I contributed around 50% of it especially Part 5. Even the confrontational questions and I appreciate your candidness of discussing this openly.

Jane Uymatiao: I think the document needs to be compartmentalized into the different types of blog promos and how we think DTI should see it. Para clearer.

Jasper Ong: I just hope the other party is here

me: but how fast can this doc/position paper be created, tomorrow na ang DTI briefing

Jasper Ong: Nothing personal, but you know how ethics and conflict of interest has been cleared by IMMAP.

Jane Uymatiao: We've got good stuff to start with. We just need to improve the presentation/layout. One section per type of blog promo.
Dani Salasalan joined group chat.
Jab Escutin left group chat.
Sent at 1:27 PM on Tuesday

Jane Uymatiao: Webinar sounds good. To include what will be discussed in DTI mtg this week.

Faith Salazar: Webinar's sounds awesome

Jane Uymatiao: Jennie, DTI meeting was moved na naman daw to Aug. 4, not tomorrow.

me: ok, Jane. Jeff po ito

Jane Uymatiao: Sonnie forwarded an email from DTI. Oh hi Jeff.
Sent at 1:29 PM on Tuesday

me: What is the new schedule for the DTI briefing?

Jane Uymatiao: Aug. 4, 10:30 AM, DTI Penthouse. Noted.
Sent at 1:31 PM on Tuesday

me: Thanks for organizing this hang out

Dani Salasalan: thanks Aileen!

Jane Uymatiao: We can use all our social network connections to announce webinar. Just give us the details.
Thanks Aileen!!!
Jasper Ong left group chat.

Noemi Dado: thanks all
Noemi Dado left group chat.

Aileen Apolo-De Jesus: thanks, please just wait for the announcement later

Friday, July 29, 2011

The DTI Sales Promotion Permit Issue: My Two Cents

I have been reading about the issue on the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) sales promotion permit which, according to existing policies is supposed to cover not just businesses but bloggers and individuals as well. Ms. Janette Toral wrote an article about this based on DigitalFilipino Club and IMMAP members’briefing on online promotion with the DTI.

My first reaction upon reading about this DTI sales promotion permit topic was, “Why should individuals/bloggers be covered when there is no “sale” taking place. Thus, there is no seller-consumer relationship. And even though by definition, a consumer is “a natural person who is a purchaser, lessee, recipient or prospective purchaser, lessor or recipient of consumer products, services or credit,” according to the Consumer Act of the Philippines, since online promotions conducted by most bloggers do not require participants to buy anything from the blog (with the exception of online stores), then those involved in the promotion are not consumers or prospective consumers. Therefore, blog promotions are not to be under the sales promotion policy in the first place.

According to the Consumer Act of the Philippines , "Sales Promotion" is defined as techniques intended for broad consumer participation which contain promises of gain such as prizes, in cash or in kind, as reward for the purchase of a product, security, service or winning in contest, game, tournament and other similar competitions which involve determination of winner/s and which utilize mass media or other widespread media of information.

A blog that runs online promotions, whether to increase its own or its advertiser’s popularity and reach through backlinks, fans and/or followers, is just the advertising medium - not the business itself that needs to be under the jurisdiction of DTI. Advertisers of consumer products, services or credit, I believe, are the ones that need to seek the sales promotion permit from DTI.

What needs to happen is that DTI should listen to the voice of more bloggers, whether or not we are organized into a group/organization/alliance/association so they can better understand the different cases of bloggers and come up with a sound policy about sales promotion permits.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Not Using Free Anti-Virus Software

I can’t believe that after more than a year of getting a virus on my 1TB external hard drive I still haven’t recovered any important files from it. I have, since then, purchased a virus scanner software and have not depended too much on free antivirus software because I do not want to risk having to lose important files again. I am still hoping though that I would be able to recover lost files from my hard drive.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Shop for a Celebrity’s Pre-loved Item and Help Build Classrooms

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to buy something unique because it was once owned by a celebrity, still in good shape but sells at a low price? These were my thoughts after finding out that items like Ogie Alcasid’s Korg Karma Music Workstation is up for bidding on July 15, 2011 at Ogie and Regine’s Celebrity Ukay Ukay. You don’t have to wake up early, travel and wait in line to have a chance to buy this item because it will be available on eBay on the said date.

Ogie Alcasid's Korg Karma Music Workstation

The best thing about this opportunity, aside from the fact that you will be able to get a hold of a celebrity’s pre-loved clothing, accessory, toy, etc. for a low price is that you won’t have to feel guilty when you shop for them or if you bid a high price for them because the proceeds of the sale will actually help build classrooms for students from the poorest and remotest areas in the Philippines. You are shopping online for a good cause.

This is actually a two-fold project of GMA Kapuso Foundation (GMAKF) through its Kapuso School Development project which aims to raise funds so they can build at least 50 classrooms every year. GMAKF has already done this in the past when they built/repaired 89 classrooms in Luzon in areas that were affected by Ondoy and Pepeng.

Mel Tiangco sharing and explaining GMA Kapuso Foundation's Kapuso School Development project

GMA Kapuso Foundation's Executive Director, Jeronimo "Henry" L. Perez

But GMAKF not only want to raise funds but also awareness of the country’s shortage of classrooms which can’t be handled by DepEd alone as shared by Henry Perez, GMAKF’s Executive Director, during the bloggers press con yesterday. The Philippines’ classroom shortage is now at 146,946 countrywide. And to give you an idea of how large the task of meeting this need is, one classroom actually costs around PHP 650,000 to build according to DepEd.

For this price, GMAKF endeavors to provide classrooms that are conducive for student’s learning, have proper water distribution and sanitation facilities which most likely be the only properly working facilities in the selected areas where they will be built.

Thanks to GMAKF and the celebrities who donated their pre-loved items, we can now partner with them in investing in the education of children around the country by building classrooms for them. And this can be done in a very fun way – by shopping online via eBay Philippines.

Some of the other items that will be available for bidding on July 15, 2011 are below. (Photos provided)

Christ Tiu’s Team Pilipinas jersey
Starting bid is PHP 499

Dingdong Dantes’ Party Pilipinas jacket
Starting bid is PHP 499

John Lapuz’s Andy Warhol Seiko wrist watch
Starting bid is PHP 5,999

Kris Aquino’s Fire Engine Red Bustler gown
Starting bid is PHP 9,999

Regine Velasquez’s Prada purse
Starting bid is PHP 5,999

There are a few other items available for bidding and there will be another batch of items on July 25, 2011 at