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30 May 2007

Newly Invented Pinoy Tongue Twisters (Animal Theme)

Most of my tasks lately have required me to overuse my analytical and intellectual capabilities and underutilize my creativity. A chat with a friend earlier inspired me to take a break and shift my creative element to high gear for a change. This is also influenced by Ms. Jaymee Joaquin, host of ABS-CBN's "Games Update Live" show which keeps me awake and entertained during the early mornings, who's fond of using rhyming catch phrases like "Let's go sago" and the like.

That being said, here's my list of newly invented Pinoy Tongue Twisters bearing the theme of "Animals".

  1. Pumalpak ang palakang pumapalakpak.
  2. Butihin butiki nakikiliti.
  3. Patok ang manok sa balut.
  4. Promise, ipis manipis di makatiis.
  5. Daga may dagta, nataga ng taga-dagat.
  6. Kambing mukhang malambing.
  7. Kalabaw sa mababaw nagtampisaw mukhang mamaw.
  8. Milyun-milyong ibon nabaon kahapon.
  9. Asong napaso nanibago sa payaso.
  10. Alimango tumungo sa bangko deposito ng munggo.
  11. Nagkusa ang pusa magblusa na parusa.
  12. Maling kuting tinangay ng hangin.
  13. Pagong talon sa balon nung umaambon.

29 May 2007

How Fast Can Money Travel ?

I remember years back, during the pre-internet days, there weren't many options on how to send money to another country.

Sometimes, my dad used to ask for favors from his nephew in Chicago to buy some things which aren't readily available here in the Philippines. He then, gave instructions to have it sent here from the USA via mail, sometimes in a balikbayan box or a smaller sized-box if it wasn't that much. My cousin there had no problem granting the favors and buying the things my dad needed. The problem which usually arose was how do we get to pay him.

Slipping money in an envelope or card sent by regular postal mail was dangerous. Electronic wires from banks to banks were expensive. Also, the currency exchange rate which varied on a daily basis prevented us from paying the exact amount. It was either always more or less. So we had to send more just so our payment wouldn't be short from the actual total. There was also the option of waiting for your relatives to spend their vacation here, wherein you could hand them the payment in person... which of course, had no certainty of pushing through and could take anywhere from months to years before it would happen.

The same was also true for some of our other relatives sending money to us. They had to find ways of sending it over. Most of the time, it was through a friend of a friend who was going back to the Philippines. It felt awkward at times meeting up with a friend's friend cause you don't personally know the individual handing you over the money. And you need a great deal of trust at the least when dealing with money.

As years passed, some new options emerged. However, it still wasn't that easy. You needed to open bank accounts, fill out extensive forms, provide multiple identification and after all that, you'd be issued with limitations on how much to send or receive. You still needed to call the recipient if they got the money you sent still. So it basically involved more steps just to send money.

Come the internet era and more options are now available as technology progressed. Instant Internet Remittances using Credit Cards is a convenient and secure service of sending money now to your loved ones in the Philippines. By being equipped with just your credit card and and internet connection, you can send any amount online to a recipient with a debit card. Your card will be charged with the amount you sent as if it were any other ordinary credit card transaction while the recipient will receive the same amount as if someone has deposited money into their account. Upon receipt, the recipient can widthraw the money from any ATM. SMS notification is also available so the moment the money is added to your debit card, you'll be notified with an SMS text message.

Fast, cheap, instant, convenient... all rolled into one... now makes sending money a breeze.

22 May 2007

Trinoma, The New Mall By The Block

Trinoma is the newest mall on the block, or shall we say, literally beside The Block (within the SM City North EDSA area).

When I mentioned to my parents of this newly opened mall, they decided we should visit it. After all, it's only once a mall is new. After that, it gets older. And so last sunny Sunday, we toured the new mall.

I wasn't able to get the mall's name right as a few days before, I was trying to think what the name was. The following names were floating in my mind: Tribeka, Tribola, and Trimona. And behold, I didn't get it right until a friend pointed it out to me that it's Trinoma, short for Triangle North of Manila.

Our approach to the new mall was hindered by what seemed to be a new access road prolonging Mindanao Ave. Coming from Quezon Circle, there wasn't any left turn at the intersection leading to Trinoma. If I needed to make a U-turn at Mindanao Ave, I was definitely in the wrong lane. Afraid of being caught for swerving, I just crossed the intersection and made a U-turn at the first island break which was the break also leading vehicles from the opposite lane into SM North EDSA. Good thing there wasn't any "No U-turn" sign nor traffic enforcer ready to flag me down.

Alas we got to the new access road fronting Trinoma. Although a bit confusing, the parking architechture was different from the standard mall parking. The parking lot alone had a bird's eye view of its "close" competitor, The Block.

When we got inside Trinoma, we started looking for the food outlets already in service since we hadn't eaten breakfast and it was close to noontime. We found the biggest fastfoods on the ground floor to be KFC, Jollibee and McDonalds. Interestingly enough, Jollibee had comfty couches which made it look classier than the usual swivel foodcourt-type chairs. The center was huge, similar to Glorieta and Market! Market!'s core, ideal for shows and events. There was a playground on one side for kids.

There were four floors with each section of a floor having its own theme shops. The second floor for example, contained computers, celphones, sports, and watches all bunched by their respective categories. The foodcourt had a unique shape with a balance of tables and couches for those who prefer to feel at home.

The fourth floor has huge carousel in the center dividing the play area (Timezone) and the cinemas.

If you thought this was just about it, there's more !

When you get to the top floor, there's a huge outdoor area where a lot of restaurants are soon to open. It's beautifully landscaped with several paths leading from one side to the other. When you're in this area, it doesn't seem like you're on the top floor of a mall, as this wide outdoor area has no traces of the malls exterior.

When you get to the end of this area, you'll be welcomed by an upside-down fountain, or at least water sprouting from the 3rd floor that shoots up and strategically splashes on the small pool on the fourth floor. This particular area is circular with lots of additional restaurants and coffee shops soon to open for all four floors. The two establishments already open are Gerry's Grill and Cabalen (I think). There's much more to explore in this mall especially since it's just newly opened and there aren't much stores open yet.

I have some personal comments though:

  1. Some places in the mall are hot. If the malls' airconditioning is centralized, how come Timezone and Handyman are extremely hot ?
  2. The tiles used on the ground floor don't seem too much spectacular. Okey, it's mediocre. It makes you feel that the mall isn't new. The upper floors however have better tiling.
  3. I was wondering why the food court had a lot of couches. If I would want to sit in a couch, I wouldn't want to be in a foodcourt. And if I had to eat in the foodcourt, and there were no more tables available, I wouldn't want to eat with my plate on my lap on a couch.
  4. The stoplight in the North Ave-Mindanao Ave. intersection should have left turns coming from all directions since they opened a new road extending to Trinoma.
  5. The sliding doors are great ! I couldn't find the entrance and exit signs for these sliding doors at first. No wonder, they're multi-directional. :)
  6. Some of my favorite eateries will soon open at Trinoma, Zong, Sbarro, Krispy Kreme and the one which got me really excited, Taco Bell.
  7. Landmark hasn't opened yet. And we couldn't find the bridge leading to the MRT yet. But these are big plusses once they're operational.
  8. I highly recommend trying out all the barbeques at Reyes Barbeque. My mom tell me the Reyeses' are behind Aristocrat. They taste the same even down to the java sauce.
  9. The parking attendants (inside the paybooths) seem to be tourtured with no ventilation except for an open door. They don't seem to have any electic fan or any sort of ventilation inside their booths.
  10. Some parts of the multi-level parking lot are dim. Parking space allocated for vehichles are larger than the normal. So 3 Ford Expeditions can fit side by side. Our car suddenly looked small though parked beside them.
  11. The escalators have a red & green light to their left before you get on one. I'm just not sure what they stand for. I definitely won't stop if I see it red even if the escalator isn't running.

Overall, the mall has great potential to be a one-stop shop, dine and have fun.

19 May 2007

Double Dose Day

I had a terribly hectic sched last Friday and contemplating on it (or more of still being overwhelmed from all the tasks I endured), I think I've done a lot of things twice ! Let me try to recall why so...
  • Been to two malls (Gateway, Robinsons)
  • Been to two bank ATMs (PNB, HSBC)
  • Been to two supermarkets (Shopwise and Hi Top)
  • Bought two loaves of bread (Marby and John Pullman)
  • Gone home twice (during noontime and around 6pm)
  • Had two pieces of food for a late lunch (burrito and chocolate shake)
  • Took a shower twice due to the hot weather (around 9am and 630pm)
  • Changed clothes twice (cause I was perspiring non-stop halfway through the day)
  • Bought two unplanned gifts for myself (book and shoes)
  • Experienced a power outage twice (in Club O at ABS-CBN compound)
  • Sent an important e-mail twice (just to make sure)
  • Had to access the internet from 2 public places (Netopia Internet Cafe and Club O Wifi Hotspot)

I feel that I've lived this day twice. Now, I want to try to live 48 hours in 1 day.

14 May 2007

When Your Celphone Puts on Weight

Some people accessorize their mobile phones by adding various cases, colorful straps, flashing lights, cute pouches to the unit. Others are fond of personalizing the phone internally by customizing ringtones, wallpapers, pictures and video. I prefer my flavor to be plain... as plain as the standard unit you see when it's being displayed in a store. I don't carry a celphone to show off to people... just the basics, to use as a tool for communication and transferring data.

A couple of days ago, my celphone unusually morphed itself; or as I pointed it out, gained weight.

I was experiencing frequent charging since my battery would go from 100% to 25% in less than a day. On days with heavy use, a 10 minute phone call would drain half of my battery immediately. It was frustrating enough to have to conserve my phone's battery by turning it off randomly just so I'd be able to use the phone before I could get home and charge. (I don't have a car charger). So I decided it was time to buy a new battery.

I inquired in a nearby mall and got oriented to different classes of batteries. I didn't know this prior to buying. There's a Class B, Class A and the original. They all look the same. Some are made from Finland or China. Some say they were manufactured Korea but finished in China. When I asked the saleslady what's the different, she'd say the exact same thing... this one is made in China, the other one is from Korea, that one is from Finland. It really didn't help me at all so I just based my selection on what my budget could handle.

So I got myself a Class A BST-37 Sony Ericsson which is good for my K608i unit and a K750.

When the saleslady opened my unit, we were both surprised to discover my phone breeding a bloated battery. It looked bulky enough to suspect its either pregnant or mutating. I did ask the lady if that was the reason my phone would easily drain. She concurred and in addition told me it's the combination of overcharging practices and frequent bumps, hits or falls to the ground that could bring a battery's life to a screeching low. She advised me not to use my old battery anymore too cause it might spark a fire or something like that.

I was pretty happy with the new battery's performance which was way better than my old one if you'd compare the two. I did decide to keep the worn out battery in my bag as a spare just in case I need it.

One day, I was out the entire day and forgot to charge it before leaving the house and so by early evening, my phone was already "lowbatt". I remembered the spare battery of mine and took it out of my bag. I was shocked to see that it bloated even more from the last time I saw it. It wasn't flat anymore. It was starting to have curves and wouldn't fit in my phone's compartment like a person trying to squeeze into tight jeans. I wanted to use a hammer to flatten it again.. but that was just the scientist in me wanting to experiment knowing the battery was rendered useless at this point. I knew though that since the battery is unstable, chances are, it would explode the moment it would be struck. I think the reason why my battery bloated even more was becuase I left it in the car one day exposed to the intense summer heat. That's when I suddenly scared myself of that thought. Because of that, I was even scared to throw it away in our garbage can.

So now, I'm trying to practice more strict charging habits. Gotta take care of your battery or it might gain weight.

10 May 2007

Info You Retain and Lose

Funny how you'd remember certain things, lessons, events and somehow at the same time forget things, lessons and events. How does your brain pick which to remember and forget ?

The other night, me and a batchmate of mine were talking and the subject moved to his kids taking Tae Kwon Do lessons. Since he wasn't very familiar with the martial art, I told him a couple of things like the belt colors, stances, kicks, discipline and some bits of useful info. The other night, a colleague of mine also had his kid enrolled in summer Tae Kwon Do classes and while his daughter was present, I was able to tell her if she knew certain kicks like the roundhouse, 45 kick, in-out kick, out-in kick, etc...

I haven't been practising Tae Kwon Do for the past 5 years and prior to that I stopped for 9 years. But most of the skills and methods taught still seem very fresh to me. It's like riding a bicycle.. you know how to ride one even though you may haven't been riding one for a long time.

On the other hand, I attended a press conference last month, and I saw a journalist taking down notes using stenography. I was amazed. I remember that we were taught steno for half a schoolyear in high school. Yet as much as tried to recall what was taught, I couldn't remember a single character, stroke or meaning from it. All I could remember is that you can buy a steno notebook which has a unique dimension than a regular notebook or pad. That's about it !

I don't want to ponder on what I still remember from my Theology and Philosophy classes in college. I might get disappointed for not remembering anything but the teacher's name.
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