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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?


17 February 2015

Clouds and Cars

One sun, one tree, several clouds and cars.

Got the new 5 peso coin? Then Join the 70th Liberation Coin Photo Challenge!

In commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Philippines, the U.S. Embassy is holding a search for the most creative photos or drawings using the new five peso commemorative coin (70th Anniversary of Leyte Landing) that best interprets the theme “Valuing the Past, Present and Future.”

To join, go the U.S. Embassy Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/manila.usembassy , upload an original drawing or photo including the new five peso commemorative coin, depicting the theme ““Valuing the Past, Present and Future,” on the Embassy’s Facebook event page entitled “70th Liberation Coin Photo Challenge.”

Any Philippine resident age 13 and above may upload their photo and include a photo title and short caption. Deadline for submission of entries is at 11:59pm February 22, 2015.

All qualified entries will be reposted in a Facebook photo gallery, wherein the Top 10 photos with the most number of “likes” will win a 70th Liberation Gift Bag which includes an exclusive 70th Liberation Shirt, and Embassy merchandise. Voting starts from February 23 12:00pm to February 26, 12pm. U.S. Embassy will shoulder shipping of prizes to all winners.

The five peso limited edition commemorative coin features the Leyte Landing, which was a turning point for the liberation of the Philippines during World War II, started its circulation last December 22, 2014.

For complete details on the photo challenge, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/1469979369918292

28 January 2015

Mall Band Plays Cool Medley of Eraserheads Songs


I usually pass by this Department Store every weekend and there's a band that regularly plays at the entrance. This is the first time though I heard them play Eraserheads songs. Awesome rendition. They played Kaliwete and other Eraserheads hits but unfortunately this was the only song I caught on video.  Imagine me hearing this from the basement.  I had to rush one floor up to see them up front and personal.  Awesome rendition.  Kudos to the Landmark band!

22 January 2015

Celebs + Selfie Stick + Unlimited Posing = Triggerhappy Photography


Had so much fun at Madame Tussauds in Odaiba,Tokyo.
Best to be equipped with a selfie stick and take lots of photos! Here's just some of the celebrities you'll see there.

27 December 2014

Branding Your Product

Spotted this on a shelf at the grocery. They were compressed side by side and so I saw only part of the packaging until I got curious and reached for one. Wonders if marketers of this product intentionally named it this way. The "er" makes a whole difference.

27 November 2014

Big Show sings Happy Birthday to Ric Flair in Manila - Triple H interrupts celebration

Found this in my archives and realized I never uploaded this. 
This is a rare moment as this wasn't televised.
After the main event when WWE RAW went to Manila in 2006, Trish Stratus brought a cake to the ring and told everyone it was Ric Flair's birthday.  Big Show led singing Happy Birthday along with the other wrestlers.  Triple H, who was their opponent in the main event, entered the ring afterwards and after a stare down, and out of character, eventually greeted Ric Flair a Happy Birthday and even hailed to him.

26 October 2014

7 What-if Scenes We May Have Wanted To See In The Finale of "Ikaw Lamang"

Did you catch the finale episode of "Ikaw Lamang?" Did you tweet using #ILFullCircle? Did you like the ending?  Did it leave you with some unanswered questions?  Well, we can't do anything about it since that what the producer/director/scriptwriter decided to go with. But I feel that there was more that could've been added to make the finale a greater ending than it already was.
I had a lot of wishes and what if's that I think it's worth sharing.   So here's some scenes we may have wanted to see in the finale.
  1. Isabel has got to stop thinking that she should surrender to Franco's bidding to make all this hatred, violence and chaos stop.  Isabela, can't you accept the fact that people are fighting for your independence?  Don't waste that.  
  2. Tessa got away too easy.  Arrested by police and nothing to say?  Not even a fight?  Ikaw Lamang invested so much airtime and story plot on her as Franco's all-around secretary that her quick demise in the storyline isn't justified.  She's the intelligent woman you just want to hate and I'm sure everybody does hate her.   I wanted to see her strapped in a chair and a long line of angry people ready to slap her, That lines includes every single cast member from Natalia to Roman, the Sanggalang family, and hell yeah, add the entire town of Salvacion to the line. Last but not least to slap Tessa is Natalia's yaya, who gets unlimited slapping opportunities.  Then have everybody line up again and repeat process.
  3. Too many critical seconds lost in saving Andrea.   I know they have to add dialogue in their scenes, but in reality in a situation like that, valuable time is wasted and every second counts.   If they had spent more time telling each other how they are "The One", any one of Franco's goons could have easily shut and lock the door, and scoring 2 point in recapturing Andrea and capturing Gabriel.
  4. I think a lot of people would've wanted to see Franco go through due diligence and see him in court charged guilty for all accounts. A lot of people would've been happy, not just the Obrero's of Salvacion but the audience as well.  And if that actually happened, Tessa: what would you do? WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
  5. Speaking of Franco, his death scene is very similar to a Mortal Kombat fatality (reference to "The Pit" if you're an MK gamer).  It's kinda gruesome for prime time.  And we were all waiting for Franco's last words... if he still would still stick to his stubborn self that he will always get his way (even if he's all "hung" up), or would finally say sorry (even if nobody would hear it).  A flashback of his entire evil life would've also been a nice touch to his demise.
  6. So Gabriel and Andrea tied the knot after all.  Wouldn't it have been nice to see the ghost of Samuel as opposed to an urn of Samuel held tight by Isabel?  While you're at it, how about Franco's ghost too?  Andrea is still his daughter anyway.
  7. Some movies end by showing each character and what happened to them or where did they end up.  That would've been a nice ending for this telenovela ... unless there are plans to come up with a sequel in the future.
Overall, the entire telenovela is great and sad that it's ended. Congrats to the Ikaw lamang cast & crew for a great telenovela.
So what did you think about the ending?  What have you wanted to see?

It's All About Timing

While waiting for our plane to arrive, I saw these 3 kids anxiously waiting to see an actual plane take off.  They stood there for around 10 minutes.
And just when the plane was about to take off, this happened.





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