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28 May 2015

There's Always a Reason To Have a Sale

We live near a mall and almost every weekend, we see the mall put out their huge SALE letters. And they always find a way to come up with a theme or reason to say there's a sale.  Actually, if you go to a mall, chances are you'll find a sale somewhere somehow.  And usually they brand the type of sale.

You have your typical major holiday sales like:
  • Christmas Sale
  • Easter Sale
  • New Year Sale
  • Chinese New Year Sale
  • Anniversary Sale
Then you have your seasonal sales like:
  • Summer Sale
  • End of Summer Sale
  • Mid Season Sale
  • Rainy Day Sale
  • Back To School Sale
  • Graduation Sale
  • Labor Day Sale
  • Halloween Sale
Then you have the family themes like:
  • Mother's Day Sale
  • Father's Day Sale
  • Grandparent's Day Sale
  • Kid's Sale
  • Women's Month Sale
  • Men's Month Sale
Then you have some product themes like:
  • Fashion Sale
  • Health and Beauty Sale
  • Shoes and Bags Sale
  • Our Home Sale
  • Member's Only Sale
Then there's the time based themes like:
  • Limited Time Offer Sale
  • Closing Sale
  • Clearance Sale
  • Only While Supplies Last Sale
  • 1 Day Sale
  • 2 Day Sale
  • 3 Day Sale
Then you also have combinations of different themes like:
  • Women Wednesdays Sale
  • Fashion Summer Sale
  • End of Season Finale Sale
  • One Day Shoes and Bags Sale
  • The Big South Sale
Then there are just some that are straight to the point like:
  • HUGE Sale
  • BIG Sale
  • GREAT BIG Sale
  • BIG BIG BIG SALE
  • Everything's on SALE

What's your favorite sale?  What's the strangest kind of sale you've encountered?

19 May 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama is NOW on Twitter!

U.S. President Barack Obama finally gets his own Twitter account, and that's @POTUS.  What does that stand for?  President Of The United States!
The account though is not new as the handle Twitter handle @POTUS was created in June 2013, almost 2 years before it ever got used.
In less than 24 hours, around 1.6 Million people started following @POTUS.  His 1st tweet also received over 226K retweets and 301K favorites.
With the astonishing number of engagements and followers in the hundreds of thousands,  it would be surprising to see people mentioning @POTUS.  But who's the very 1st person @POTUS replies to?  Unexpectedly, it was to @BillClinton who asked if the @POTUS Twitter handle gets handed down to the next U.S. President.  From a social media standpoint, this tweet is a brillant way of the Clintons' capitalizing from the surge of @POTUS social media traffic and making their presence known.

While @BillClinton does pose a legitimate question since Preisdent Obama's presidency is soon to end, it does so in a very wittingly way especially using the hashtag #askingforafriend as a subtle (and clever) way for referring to @HillaryClinton.
  @POTUS replies and tries to be witty too asking if anyone is interested in the @FLOTUS account which stands for First Lady of the United States.

To read more about this historical moment on Twitter, check these out:

11 May 2015

Chili's LampArt


Lamp and a sample of its menu oh so long ago

08 May 2015

Conserve, Converse...Reserve, Reverse

Whenever I type the word "conversation" I accidentally type "conservation." What words do you usually mistype too?

06 May 2015

Cebu Pacific in Singapore

Cebu Pacific flight awaiting boarding in Changi Airport, Singapore

25 April 2015

What is ketchup diversity?

This is.


16 April 2015

#ThrowbackThursdays: Marina Bay Sands in 2010

Throwback: Marina Bay Sands in Singapore was still under construction in 2010.

13 April 2015

I've Been To The Most Beautiful Starbucks Branch in the Philippines!

Our family went on a road trip in Tagaytay last week to visit Caleruega Church as one of our Visita Iglesia churches for the year.   Since there was a lot of people going to the popular church on a hill, it took us a while to get there and get back on the road back to Tagaytay.
The entrance. Seats are one floor below with door leading to the garden facing Taal.
We were hoping to stop by somewhere for a break and we already had lunch at Bag of Beans so we were looking for somewhere else to stop over.  Then suddenly, we found a cozy new place which had only one establishment open, Starbucks!   This is the 4th Starbucks branch I know of in Tagaytay, but what sets this branch apart from the others is the astonishing view and very wide veranda area one floor down with a spectacular view of Taal.   The interiors of this branch are elegant and classy.  It doesn't look like your typical Starbucks branch.
While you're in line, this is what you'll see.
One thing that impressed me is even the barista's view while mixing drinks is a specatcular photo-like panoramic view of Taal.  This surely would add to the barista's concocting inspiration.

Eventually, when other establishments here would open, the back side with the view would also be shared.  But for now, Starbucks customers enjoy a very long stretch of a garden to roam around and find several Instagram-worthy locations.

breath-taking view of Taal from Starbucks
And to confirm how impressed I was with the location, interior of this Starbucks branch, I find out that ABS-CBN posted an article considers this branch to be the Most Beautiful Starbucks Branch in the Philippines.

This branch is located at Twin Lakes, along the main highway at Tagaytay-Nasugbu road, Alfonso, Cavite.  This is the farthest Starbucks branch in Tagaytay if coming from Manila and is a few minutes away from the Batangas border but very well worth visiting.

28 March 2015

How I Spent My Earth Hour

My family and I have been joining the world in celebrating the annual Earth Hour initiative.  Earth hour is celebrated all over the globe by turning off your lights for a hour in your local time.  Despite the different timezones, each country will have dedicated an hour of their time to this cause.   If I had a satellite view of the earth, I would visualize as if the earth were a bunch or orange slices and one slice at a time would have their light turned off.

So how did I spend Earth Hour?

Of course, I started with turning off all appliances and lights.  I also unplugged any charging devices and turned off my phones.  For me, it's not just a matter of turning off light, but also non-use of power. And any stored energy  like charged batteries in laptops and phones and power storage devices like powerbanks and generators should also be turned off.  I also moved the curtains to the side and opened the windows to get some light and ventilation in.

I was also pleased that there was an Earth Hour celebration somewhere nearby cause I heard drums being played.  Just before 8:30pm, I also heard someone using a megaphone urging people to turn off their lights.  I did take a look at some neighboring houses and unfortunately, they had lights on.  It's either they are unaware about Earth Hour or aware but just don't choose to observe it.

For the last 30 minutes, I sat at the balcony, watching the stars and pondered on Earth Hour and how can I make a difference aside from just being one of many with their lights turned off.

One hour is really not that big a deal to sacrifice.  There are things like being stuck in traffic, or falling in line at a bank or watching a movie that easily can take up more than an hour a these are things that we can bear and endure because either we have to or we want to.

Meralco won't purposely shutdown our power to observe Earth Hour.  It's purely voluntary.  But the will, effort and mindset in each of us should be there to make a conscious decision to refrain from using power for at least this one hour every year.  If each of us give up that one hour for a good cause, what more can the entire 100 million Philippine population can do.  And what a great impact if all 7 billion of Earth's residents do the same too.

Quoted from Earth Hour's YouTube Channel: "In 2014, Earth Hour broke all records of mass participation by mobilizing hundreds of millions of people to become everyday super heroes for the planet and was celebrated in 162 countries and territories and over 7000 cities and towns. More than just a lights off event, over 60 local Earth Hour campaigns achieved remarkable environmental outcomes all across the world."

This year's theme is Climate Change.  What struck me from the official Earth Hour video is U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks saying that "We are the 1st generation to feel the effects of Climate Change and the last generation that can do something about it."  That's a scary thought.  Give Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) for example:  We've felt the effects of this super typhoon.  Now we need to do something about it so we won't encounter something as dreadful as this again.


Earth Hour 2015 is about getting the crowd to use #YourPower to change climate change.
I'm using my power as a blogger and social media influencer to reach out to others and make aware of the good that Earth Hour brings and what we all can do united in goal to contribute and save our Earth.  

Lights come back on after Earth Hour but let us continue to light the path towards helping change climate change.

26 March 2015

Keep Calm And I Shall Return

but here, McArthur says Keep Calm and Google It.

08 March 2015

Panoramic Japan

My family and I spent the New Year's in Japan.  It was my first time to visit Tokyo and nearby areas.   There's so much scenery to admire and photograph. Here are some panoramic images I took in my attempt to get as much scenery in one photo.
Birds eye view of Narita Airport

Odaiba and Tokyo Bay at night
 
Entrance to the Great Buddha of Kamakura (Daibutsu) 
Kamakura Beach at close to zero degrees celsius

Toontown in Tokyo Disneyland
Giant Gundam in front of DiverCity’s Tokyo Plaza, in Odaiba

Great Buddha of Kamakura (Daibutsu) 

28 February 2015

5 Supermarket & Grocery Apps and Gadgets We'd Like To See

Going to the supermarket is one of the things that gives good use to a calculator, a pen and paper.  But with the advent of technology, there are so many things that can make your grocery experience more convenient.  Here are 5 supermarket and grocery apps and gadgets we'd like to see:

1. Shopping Cart Scale - The shopping cart is a scale on wheels.  Every time you put something in, it adds it to the total weight of your groceries and displays it on an LED display at the cart's handle.  This is especially useful if you're going to carry all the groceries yourself after paying.  Additional features include a real-time calculation of how many bags will your groceries consume. Options to input paper or plastic bag will recalculate and consider bag's maximum breaking point which is lower for paper bags.  Level of difficulty also appears in the calculation.  Carrying 6 paper bags without any handles to hold on to is considered "difficulty level high."

2.  Mobile Shopping Scanner and Grocery inventory app - Each cart or basket comes with a bluetooth scanner which connects to your grocery inventory app.  Current contents of ref and cabinets are all stored in a database in the app. A running total of the prices also appear. No need to find which aisle that supermarket scanner was located at.

Each time you place an item in your grocery cart, it informs you if you already have it at home.  Click on "yes" to include in the case that you need more or want extra stock.   App also notifies you of expiring items at home so it would be easier to decide to buy or not.  Extra feature of the grocery app is that it adds expiration dates to a Google calendar and auto alerts you of expiring perishables.  Now, you'll be notified when your cheese is about to expire and you can either buy a new pack or finish the one at home before it expires.

3.  Price Comparison app - Automatically checks price of scanned item and shows the price of the same item from different supermarkets.  A lot of online sites already do this but only compare online prices from other websites.  This one does that for groceries and also includes quantity available from each supermarket.  Is that wine cheaper in the other supermarket but there's only one left?  Then may be it's worth buying the one in your hand than risking going to the other supermarket but got beaten by someone else.  Bonus feature is the app will tell you what time the supermarket with the cheaper price closes and how long it would take you to get there from the current supermarket you're in.

4.  Waze for Supermarkets - In case there's a huge number of people at the supermarket, this app will show (and tell) you the fastest way to the item you're looking for.  Don't know where the milk shelf is?  Use the voice activated feature and say "go to softdrinks" and the app will show you a map with directions.  Voice commands will provide guides like "at the 3rd aisle, turn left" or "in 10 steps, look at the 3rd shelf to yur right.  You have reached your destination."   This is especially useful for those 1st timers in a supermarket  It is also PWD friendly with voice commands.  Crowd sourcing data is also available.  So you can receive updates like "Spilled milk ahead. Proceed with caution."

5. Nutrition Calculator - Familiar with the MyFitness app?  It tells you how much calories you've consumed in a day based on what you ate.  It also shows breakdowns like sodium, cholesterol, vitamins and other nutrients.  The Nutrition Calculator app auto computes the same thing only for the groceries you buy.  If you see all your groceries total 10,000 calories, you may want to put back some items.  The app will also rank items based on calories and show in red the top 5 items that highly contribute to your calorie total.   The app also awards you with points every time you buy groceries under a defined maximum threshold for calories.

Some existing apps may already have some of these features but it would be nice to have these apps and gadgets all integrated.  Hopefully some developers or supermarket owners read these suggestions and come up with new apps which would benefit just about anybody who goes to the supermarket.
What supermarket app features do you want?


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