Thursday, November 28, 2013

EVENTS: jobsDB and Unlad Kabuhayan to help 80,000 Filipinos find good career opportunities!




PASIG CITY --  jobsDB, the fastest job-search engine in the Philippines, and the Unlad International Inc. today signed an agreement that will involve organizing an innovative project that aims to provide quality career opportunities for some 80,000 Filipinos.

In the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that was signed at Discovery Suites in Ortigas, jobsDB Philippines and Unlad International will organize a job fair dubbed “Unlad Kabuhayan”. It is scheduled from January 24 to 26, 2014 at the SMX Convention, Mall of Asia Grounds, Pasay City.

The Unlad Kabuhayan Jobs Fair will feature more than 200 exhibitors representing companies belonging to different sectors, and the event expects to be attended by more than 80,000 participants. The program will also include a career convention that will feature notable speakers and career-guide experts who will be announced later on.

Both organizations share a passion for empowering jobseekers and helping people advance their careers. Unlad International is a non-government organization with a long-term sustainable livelihood program that aims to equip every Filipino with tools to ultimately fight poverty and sustain his growth thereafter. One of their many efforts in doing so is the two Unlad garment factories in Dasmariñas, Cavite, and Palayan, Nueva Ecija, which continuously give employment opportunities to 2,000 people.

Unlad International also just recently launched an eco-farming in Nueva Era, Agusan Del Norte, and held the May K sa Pag-unlad seminar series that gave free education to 5,000 graduates with the help from 250 mentor volunteers. Other projects like the Ultimate Kitchen Challenge 2013, Tatak Unlad Family Hobbies Summit, Tatak Unlad Fashionista and Tatak Unlad Kiddopreneur Summit drove further empowerment for Filipinos.

With its efforts to provide the latest technology, jobsDB has established an excellent reputation in the industry and has become the largest online-recruitment platform in Asia Pacific with more than 14.6 million jobseeker members and continuously growing to at least 20% yearly and more than 220,000 corporate clients offering 60,000 jobs everyday. In order to reach more jobDB holds regular job fairs in known malls in the metro and even provinces like Laguna and Cavite where it held “jobsDB goes South” event that gave hundreds of career opportunities to people.

It also partnered with different organizations including The Association of Marketing Educators (AME) with the recent Career Caravan project that helps out graduating students find the best job opportunities. Recently, jobsDB launched a mobile app available for both iPhone and Android users to further make job seeking convenient for everyone especially for industries that has high demand in employment including Information Technology, Hospitality, F&B, Sales, Customer Service Representatives, and Building and Construction.

Combining both of their expertise and their goals, this partnership between jobsDB and Unlad International will definitely pave the way to creating and providing quality career opportunities and sustainable livelihood for more Filipinos in the coming years starting with Unlad Kabuhayan 2014.

Join and like the jobsDB Philippines Facebook Fan Page and follow them on Twitter to get more updates. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

RANDOM: What Does My "MESSY" Desk Say About Me?

You Are a Creative Worker
You are a very personally expressive person, especially outside of work. Your individuality matters to you.

You draw a lot of inspiration and energy from the outside world. You get bored easily if you spend too much time alone.

You are confident and competent. You tend to not make mistakes, and you trust your judgment.

You are down to earth and practical. You achieve success one step at a time, by paying attention to details.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

FOOD: A-gantea at Acacia Town Center, Taguig!

Even before milk tea became popular here in the Philippines, I was already obsessing about it whenever I visit my sister in Singapore before. There were actually days then when I didn't realize that I wasn't able to eat the entire day because I was chugging on milk tea and pearls all day. Just imagine the sugar rush! HAHAHA! 

Anyhoo, month after month, milk tea franchise brands flew in from different South East Asian countries and invaded every street and every corner in the metro. I've tasted a bunch of them already, but this was my first time to taste a brand from Taiwan. 

Ladies and gents... Let me introduce you to A-gantea! 


We were told that A-gantea came from the Chinese word "A-gan" meaning sweet & refreshing after taste. And based from my first encounter with their gigantic cups of milk tea, it does so! Woot! The ingredients were actually flown in from Taiwan and some were even hand picked from the peak of Taiwan's Ali mountain! 




These are the top choices that A-gantea regulars are usually clamoring about. I personally liked the Pear Fruit Tea because it was just so surprising! I've never tried ordering milk tea with fruits or fruit flavor in them because I'm already happy with the usual milk tea-pearl combo. But the Pear Fruit Tea is just a game changer in my milk tea obsession! I also liked their QQ milk tea because the pearls are just so chewy! I love 'em! 

Shout out to my blogger friends - Aldous and Hana! Woot! 


Aside from the delicious tea concoctions that I was able to sample, one of the things that I was really satisfied about was the entire customer experience. The staff was very accommodating and their store in Acacia Town Center was just divinely quiet (Well, except for me and my friends laughing and chatting about! HAHAHA!). I would say that it's really a good place to work, study or just be creative! 

Overall, I think I would love to go back here, chug on at least two cups of milk tea and actually enjoy the entire experience that A-gantea has set for all its customers. 

Like A-gantea on Facebook to get their latest products and promos. 

Crazy about milk tea? You might also like this blog post.

Friday, September 27, 2013

FASHION: Dress-to-Impress during the Rainy Season!

Since I just got back to the work-force just a few days ago, a question that's been very close to my heart has been haunting me again... And that is...

What the hell am I going to wear today?!

As a girl with a very bipolar closet and has been known for dressing all "manang", its really hard for me to piece together a whole impressive outfit ensemble. The heavy rain, the flood and all those that come with it are making it all together complicated. I love the rain, but come on, it gets crazier and crazier every week!

Just a little disclaimer.. I am no fashion blogger, apparel brand geek or anyway expert on power dressing (since the industries I've been to, namely media, events and digital marketing, doesn't really require full on corporate dressing). But I still do believe in making an excellent impression with the people you meet at the workplace. It seems like its just a minor thing, but in reality it says so much about you and your personality.

So let this be a simple guide for those girls (and even boys) who have the same fashion profile as I do or simply share the same sentiments.

1. Wear a smart looking jacket (something with a collar)
Wearing something with a collar is a classic advice since man discovered office fashion. It gives a whiff of looking professional at the same time protecting you from the heavy rains.You could probably search for Hong Kong inspired outfits for more creative ways to wear jackets and trench coats.

Me on a drizzly dress down Friday!
(Raincoat not included :P)


2. Scarf up! 
I. AM. A. FAN. OF. SCARVES. I just love them! It's my favorite accessory amongst all accesories (well, except for my "hipster" bracelets haha!). I love how simple it is to wear one, yet it gives an extra spice and personality in your entire outfit. I also think that scarves are very practical most especially in this weather because it helps you keep cozy in the freakishly cold and mala-Antartica airconditioning systems in offices here in Manila.



3. Go ahead, wear your rain boots!
I've been seeing a lot of stylish wellies or rain boots nowadays and I think some could pass for decent office footwear already. You could probably pair it with a nice trench coat, a collared jacket or a nice corporate-looking top to still exude that office girl aura. This is not really ideal to do but if you have space and proper storage area in your work area, you could probably keep an extra pair of heels just in case you have that big meeting to go to.

4. Your umbrella is your friend... Your best friend, actually!
Getting your umbrella wrecked by the strong winds amidst the heavy rains is not just a big hassle when going to work but also a possible moment where someone could video you and actually turn you into the next embarrassing icon in a viral video. Please make sure that you get the sturdiest umbrella there is in the world if you're planning (or forced? :P) to go to work during a typhoon. Going to the office all drenched, with crazy blown away hair, and rainwater-smudged eyeliner wouldn't really help you in giving an impressing image in the work place.

5. Waterproof... ney! Flood proof your stuff!
Impressing people isn't just about your outfit, but it's also how you keep and show the stuff that you use. Imagine yourself, going to a big meeting all dressed up but with items dripping in rain water. All those efforts in dressing up will just go to waste. So make sure that you use at least a waterproof bag or those bags that have thick linings inside. If you're a gadget freak, there are a lot of gadget protectors available already in the market. But if you don't have the budget, you can still opt for the classic ziplock technique. You could also opt for cling plastic wraps if you're using a smart phone or tablet. This way you could still use the almost the full functionality of your phone's touch screen.

And last but not the least, wear something fun and colorful that you think is bright enough to bring a little sunshine in the work place!

So that's it! My two cents worth of non-fashion-addict "tips" in dressing to impress. Hope these simple suggestions would help you not to spaz every morning about your #OOTD.

Just remember what they always say -- when you look good, you feel good! And it would be extra helpful if you're also comfortable no matter what the weather is.

Do you have other more helpful tips? Leave them on the comments section below. 


Thursday, September 26, 2013

EVENTS: MPROVE'13: Learning Series for Professional Development

This coming October and November, BBCOMM in partnership with Business World and jobsDB Philippines will be mounting an event entitled MPROVE’13: Learning series for professional development.  The event will feature topics under marketing, work ethics and power dressing to be discussed by certified experts in the mentioned fields.

Since our company support activities aimed to boost the spirits of jobseekers in the country, jobsDB Philippines will be offering a 50% discount to all its online members. 10 lucky followers of the jobsDB Philippines facebook fanpage will also get an event pass for FREE. 

Initial mechanics are as follows:
1. 10 lucky jobsDB facebook followers will get a chance to win seats to selected workshops of IMPROVE’13.
2.  Winners should also be jobsDB Philippines account holders.
3.  Names of the winners will be drawn randomly (via Rafflecopter) and will be announced on October 10, 2013 via the jobsDB Philippines facebook fanpage and website.
4.  Stay tuned on announcements on the jobsDB Philippines fanpage for updates on when the rafflecopter app will be mounted.

Join and like the jobsDB Philippines Facebook Fan Page and follow them on Twitter to get more updates on the event. You can also click here to start exploring bigger opportunities!  

Monday, August 26, 2013

FOOD: Where to eat in Bacolod City!

This topic is actually a silly thing to write about because believe me, you can practically eat ANYWHERE in Bacolod and still have a satisfied belly on your way out. You can also splurge into ordering two to three meals off the menu because food in Bacolod is fairly cheaper compared to prices here in Manila.

So let me just put it this way. Since I was only able to spend a night at Bacolod, this blog post could be classified as a guide for a "food quickie" around the city. Based from my experience, these are probably the restaurants and meals that you shouldn't miss out if you're just planning to do a side trip to Bacolod. So without further stalling, here's my rundown:



(L) Chosilog (R) The very cozy interiors of Bascon Cafe

Bascon Cafe
This is the first restaurant that I went to in Bacolod City, and boy, was I NOT disappointed. The ambiance was pretty cozy which makes me remember dining in at any cafe in Baguio. Their meal choices was very simple, but then you're in for a shock once you actually get your food in front of you. For instance, I ordered a Chosilog, short for chorizo, sinangag and itlog. The meat has this sweet taste to it and is just perfect to match with the sinangag and itlog. This was my very first meal in Bacolod and the entire experience just made me more excited for other meals lined up for the day! 




They said that there are more choices of Chicken Bacolod Inasal in Manokan Country.
I'll probably go there on my next visit!
Nena's Rose
I can say that I would never percieve a Chicken Bacolod Inasal meal the same way again after dining here at Nena's Rose. Our host said that this brand of Bacolod Chicken Inasal is one of the pioneers within the city. I've also learned that the native chickens in Bacolod have smaller frame thus the meat seems to absorb the marinate more. Hence, the yummy flavors in every bite! 




(L) Special La Paz Batchoy (R) Molo Soup from Iloilo

21 Bar and Restaurant's Kare-Kare! It's my first time to see a Kare-Kare dish presented this way. Excellent!
21 Bar and Restaurant
This is said to be the home of the best Special Batchoy in Bacolod City. And yes, it is indeed. I was also surprised because the prices of the entrees are rather cheap considering that the place has a very "sosyal" ambiance. If you're planning to dine in here, I would also recommend their Molo Soup (originally from Iloilo) and their very avant garde Kare-Kare! 




(L) Love the rainbow colored stained glass of Cafe 1925, (R) Sirloin Sandwich 
Cafe 1925
For me, this restaurant seemed to be pulled out from Cubao Expo and shipped all the way to Silay City. I love how its interiors give a very organic and "real" vibe. We got here around merienda time so I ordered their Sirloin Sandwich, one of their best sellers and a Vanilla Milkshake. The Sirloin Sandwich was really something else! I loved every bite of it! 




(L) Lots of cake selections at Calea, (R) Tired with all the road trips but still excited to eat my Lemon Merengue!

Calea 
Calea. Calea. Calea. I've never seen so much cake in one room in my entire life! Just by looking at the cafe interiors and big refrigerators with delectable cakes cures me of my monthly mood swings for a year! Its definitely a sugar merry wonderland! If you're the type who wants something that's not too sweet, try Calea's Lemon Merengue. It's still sweet but it has this tangy lemony after taste in every bite. It's also best to pair this with their brewed coffee with cream and mascuvado. (And on a side note... I was also very pleased to know that the owner of this place is a fellow Kulasa! Woot! Woot! Represent!) 




I know this is the worst food shot of a lamb burger (or any dish for that matter) but I was so excited to munch on it! 
Pepe's Restobar 
Pepe's Lamb Burger literally contains meat that melts in your mouth. Topped with melted cheese, cushioned with soft yet slightly toasted buns and served with a hefty amount of feta fries -- its one intense foodgasm in a silver platter if you ask me! This is also by far the cheapest lamb burger that I've purchased in the Philippines which is about P180.00 per order. Worth every penny!  



But of course, with all the great food that I got to eat during my stay in Negros, I would want to take home a few bites for my family. Here are the pasalubong centers that you shouldn't miss out:
Virgie's Homemade Products
Virgie's is known for its Tarts, Barquillos and Piayas. Or just get all sorts of sweets and worry about the excess baggage later on! HAHAHA!

Pendy's
This is the home of the very thin piaya! Very delicious! You should also try their other sweets! I love 'em as well!
Well, that's about it! These aren't even half of the good restaurants in Negros! But I hope this could help you find your quick fixes when you visit the region! 

Would you also like to visit The Ruins when you visit Bacolod or Negros? 

Here's my post about it to jumpstart your trip planning!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

TRAVEL: BALI-taktakan! Fly directly from Manila to Bali!

Aaah... Bali... It's calling me! (Photo credit to www.embassyofindonesia.org)
I remember my dad singing to me this old song from the broadway musical "South Pacific" entitled "Bali Ha'i" (If you're curious, click here). I remember I would always laugh my ass out because he exaggerates the way he sings. HAHAHA! Anyway. It says in the lines of the actress that Bali Ha'i means "I am your special island". 

Listening to the song -- with the smooth sound of the violins, the organic feel of the woman's voice and the gentle words singing "come to me, come to me" -- seems to always put me into a "summer trance". It makes me want to grab a tropical drink, jump into a hammock and be lazy all day! To me, it's just the perfect getaway! Ever since then, I've always perceived Bali (now the actual island) to be something similar to that -- another one of my dream paradise destinations!

Now, the dream seems to look a bit clearer because Cebu Pacific, the Philippines' largest national flag carrier, already made it possible to fly directly to Bali (Denpasar) from Manila just this year! Based from what I've read on their website, its the airline company's 20th international destination. It will serve two flights per week, Tuesdays and Saturdays, with an early MLA departure time at 4:00AM. Year-round rates for Bali is at P3,499, which is deemed to be a lot cheaper compared to other airlines. Going to paradise seems to be a whole lot easier for Filipinos now. It's literally a ticket going DIRECTLY to paradise! 

Who wouldn't go all Eat.Pray.Love in a destination like this? (Photo credit to www.embassyofindonesia.org)
 
And now for some shameless plugging. HAHA! If you're up for it, please vote for my entry in Cebu Pacific's Crazy for Bali! 
We're CUREEYZEEEH for Bali!
From T-B
Philippe dela Cruz (riding the helicopter),
Katrina Barrera (rappelling)
Lloyd Florendo (surfing)
Jonel Factor (white water rafting)
Kimmi Recuenco (snorkeling)


Here's how to vote for our entry:
1. Visit this link http://tinyurl.com/kqt9r4t

2. If you haven't liked the Cebu Pacific page, please hit LIKE on top first! (The LIKE button is at the upper right side of the page)

3. Click on the "VOTE FOR THIS ENTRY" button under our photo. Our entry is "nakaka-BALI-w!"

4. Share with your friends on Facebook & Twitter!


It's my first time ever to join a contest like this and if the energy of the universe will conspire to help us…  it would also be my first time to go to Bali. That's probably why I'm so excited about it! Lots of firsts! Hope this endeavor becomes a very memorable one! Woot! Woot!


For updates on exciting promos and offers by Cebu Pacific, like their facebook fanpage, follow them on twitter or visit their website at www.cebupacificair.com

Did you vote for my team? Leave a message in my chatbox! :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

TRAVEL: The Ruins at Talisay City, Negros Occidental

The Ruins at Talisay City, Bacolod
The moment I saw images of The Ruins on photos and social networks, I vowed to myself that I will visit this magnificent place before I die. Lo and behold, I was very fortunate enough to fit a side trip to Bacolod in our eventful Cebu escapade. 

My experience was rather embarrassing. Really. I was literally screaming my lungs out at the sight of The Ruin's chimney. Apparently, I was also shouting out phrases that I didn't know were inside my freaking mind! A sample phrase would be "Gusto ko na magpakasal! Now na!" ("I want to get married right at this very moment!") and other embarrassing statements that I choose not to disclose in this blog. HAHAHA! I was thankful that none of my friends (and also the parents of our host whom I just met a few hours before I started acting all possessed) who were with me inside the car didn't disown me or condemned me to death. 

Anyhoo, before I go berserk with excitement again let me tell you the top 10 interesting facts that I learned about The Ruins:

1. The beautiful mansion was owned by Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson and his first wife, Maria Braga Lacson. It was the biggest structure in Talisay City at that time and it housed furniture and home items from different parts of Europe and Asia. 

2. The owners originally had an azucarera (sugar plantation) within their lot hence the sight of the tall and beautiful brick chimney in front of the mansion. 


Superb building and construction skills, people! Two thumbs up! 
3. The mixture of cement used to build the the mansion had eggshells on them. That's probably why its walls will still feel very smooth when you touch them.

4. During World War II, the locals together with the Americans burnt the mansion down so as to prevent the Japanese from converting it to their very own headquarters and fortress. The other house that the owners evacuated to was also taken down together with the nice furniture and most of its photos, hence you will never find a photo of the mansion in its full form. 


These steps used to have thick planks of wood. It was mentioned that even the bolts and screws used here are made out of wood. 
Would you believe that the embellishments of the structure was able to survive 3 days of burning?
5. It took approximately 3 long days to burn the structure down primarily because of the wood used in building the mansion. Despite the long hours of burning the mansion down, its main frame and some of the intricate details are still present. Just imagine how sturdy are the materials used in building this house!

Love that would last for eternity! It's written all over The Ruins!
6. Cheesy fact: If you look closely at the mansion's pillars, you will see patterns that would resemble a letter "E" and a number "3". These are actually two letter Ms facing each other which stands for the first letter of the first names of the owners, Don Mariano Ledesma Lacson and Maria Braga. It was believed to symbolize their eternal love and adoration for each other. And as cheesy as it sounds, the pillars and its markings are still here and will forever stand the test of time. Aaaawww... 

7. It was also mentioned during the tour that the children of the mansion owners had to move out right away if they choose to marry. Marrying also voids the children's shares and ownership of the mansion and other land properties. 


The facade of the mansion naturally emits romance and passion. 
8. You can actually rent out the place for pre-nups, weddings, events and concerts. Woot! Woot! And yes, when we were there I mentioned (like a hundred times) that I want to have ONE OF MY pre-nup photo shoots at that place. HAHAHA! 

9. Mr. Ramon Hofileña, by far the best tourist guide I've ever met, helped discover and revive this landmark a few years back. He said that he found this spot all cluttered with a few informal settlers within its premises. He insisted to do a clean up and actually turn it into a tourist spot. Good job! 

10. At present, The Ruins is considered the "Taj Majal" of Bacolod and is recognized as one of the best ruins both locally and worldwide.


In any angle, The Ruins just seems very perfect to me. I love it! 

For me, this landmark is beyond the elegant structure, greenery and ambiance. Its all about the energy that you get from the stories of glory, downfall and redemption wrapped around its premises. Its walls just seems to house so much emotion and culture that naturally inspires me to fall in love with life altogether. :)

Blogoblab Tip: If you're planning to go and visit The Ruins, it's best if you rent out your personal vehicle and driver since its situated inside a village. Make sure you also check the schedule of the tour first so that you won't miss out on the explanations and stories about the landmark. For more information, you can visit their website here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

FOOD: Where to Eat in Cebu City

Aside from the visual and auditory delights that I experienced in Cebu, I must say that one of the unforgettable highlights that I got to experience in the entire trip was through my mouth. (No green connotation intended!). For the past few months, I was actually struggling to get into a rather strict diet since my sister is getting married soon. But all those weight-gain-worries were all forgotten at the sight of all those freaking delectable food!

So let me give you my two cents worth of the gastronomical stops that you can try out if you're planning to go on a trip to that big city down south.





Larsian
This reminded me of Newton Circus in Singapore except that it has all types of pinoy street food instead of full on dishes. The location and ambiance of the place doesn't feel really secured (so make sure you don't bring so much valuables when going here), but then you can still feel the richness of its culture and the authenticity of the flavors the moment you walk in. Its very overwhelming at first because all these store owners would flock you and try to convince you to buy from them, but the "mechanics" in eating at Larsian is very simple -- (1) pick a store, (2) choose what you want them to grill, (3) take a seat and mix your sawsawans (4) get as many puso rice as you like and (5) when your gets off the grill, ATTACK! 

Location: Capitol Site, Cebu City
Price Range: P50.00 to P80.00 per person 




Rico's Lechon
Aside from the known brands of Cebu Lechon (Zubuchon and CNT), I could probably say that I was able to enjoy this brand just the same. When we dined in, we ordered two types -- 1/2 kilo of the spicy lechon and 1/2 kilo of the regular lechon. For a group of three girls, this was too much for us (too much to eat and too much high blood pressure attacks). Also, just like the other known Cebu Lechon stores, Rico's Lechon also knows how to travel pack orders so that it would be safe for travel. 

Location: Unit 4&5, Ridges, Commercial Complex, F. Cabahug St., 6000 Mabolo, Cebu City, Philippines 
Price Range: P300.00 to P600.00 per person 




Dessert Factory
If you're with your girl friends hanging out in Metro Cebu, then this would be the perfect place to sit down and have that long overdue PMS / Love Life / Quarter Life Crisis talks. Anything sweet and could calm down your raging feminine hormones are basically on their menu like ice cream cakes, a la modes, cookies, sponge cakes, milk shakes, espressos and banana splits. Name it! I also like the ambiance of the place because of all the pastel shades of green and purple -- it makes me feel like a girl. HAHAHA! 

Location: 3/F Ayala Center Cebu, Cebu City 
Price Range: P180.00 to P250.00 per serving of cake / coffee




Paolito's STK
This has always been one of my favorites ever since my ex-boss introduced this to me one faithful business trip. I've always loved what I would like to call "pink rice" (which is written in their menu as bagoong rice). It's "bagoong" flavor is just very subtle which makes it ideal to mix with other dishes. I also like their baked scallops which I admit, I could finish like three plates of it. The location of this restaurant is also not known to most taxi drivers or van drivers in Metro Cebu, but you can mention to them that the street is near the Dynasty Tourist Inn. I must say, this is a really go-to place when you're in Cebu. 

Location: 6 Orchid Street Capitol Site. Cebu City.
Price Range: P200.00 to P300.00 per dish 




Mooon Cafe
For all those self-diagnosed OC people, yes, it really has three letter Os! Mooon Cafe is a Mexican fusion inspired restaurant that could more or less be at par with similar restaurants here in Manila such as Agave or Cantina. They are very known for their hardcore Tacos, Nachos, Fajitas, Baby Back Ribs, Burritos and what not. I've seen this food chain in different spots in Visayas region, but I've read that they will open somewhere in Manila. 

Location: 2/F Ayala Center Cebu, Cebu City  
Price Range: P250.00 to P400.00 per dish 




Sunburst Chicken
If you're in for quality quick meals, Sunburst Chicken is the place to dine in. What I liked about on the menu is their hefty order of Chicken Skin. I really didn't care if I ate Cebu Lechon earlier that day and munched on those crispy skins after. I just YOLO-ed my way to having a high blood attack! There are a whole lot of combo meals to choose from which I think is really good for families and big groups. 

Location: Annex Building, SM City Cebu
Price Range: P150.00 to P200.00 per dish

Are you in Cebu City but can't decide where to go to? Check out my previous posts about the city's landmarks here and here

Friday, July 5, 2013

JUST IN: DOT Kicks Off More Fun Activities in Intramuros

I've visited Intramuros and Fort Santiago this year about 3 or 4 times already just for the sake of appreciating its greatness (and because there are a lot of portals there and I'm trying to level up. Read about it here.) It's good to know that the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Intramuros Administration already have programs lined up for that one heck of a fortress! And to jumpstart their campaign entitled "Kultura... Musika... Saya!", both groups are throwing a free-admission rock concert at the Maestranza Park of the Walled City today, July 5, 2013! Check out the details below! 


The Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Intramuros Administration launch “Kultura…Musika…Saya!” featuring Intramuros Rocks, a free-admission concert at the Maestranza Park of the Walled City scheduled on 5 July 2013.

Intramuros Rocks serves as a kick-off activity of the many programs and events under the Intramuros Redevelopment Plan, aimed at promoting cultural appreciation and heritage awareness to the public,
especially the youth. The concert will feature bands and artists including Shamrock, Spirit of ‘67, Pilipinas Got Talent finalist Zilent Overload, and many others. There will also be a bazaar featuring food stalls and booths selling local handicraft, tribal arts, and other novelty items within the newly restored Maestranza Park.

The venue, also called Almacenes Curtain Wall, is situated right beside the Pasig River and was a former storehouse and soldier’s quarter during the Spanish time. Formerly the seat of Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines, Intramuros is home to important historical sites and tourist spots such as Fort Santiago, Manila Cathedral, San Agustin Church and Casa Manila.

“Intramuros, as a historical and cultural center, plays an important role in the promotion of Manila as a premier destination. The walls of Intramuros tell a beautiful story of our resilience. It is not only an important cultural landmark, but also one of the historical treasures we Filipinos must protect,” Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. said.

“It would be fulfilling to see our youth of today discover new reasons to appreciate the Walled City and become active participants in its promotion,” the tourism chief added.

For event details, interested parties may contact the DOT-NCR Product Development and Research Unit at 524-8311 and 523-8823 or the Tourist Information & Special Projects Unit at 525-2000 and 524-2384.

From the Office of Marketing Communications of the Department of Tourism

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

EVENTS: Wicked: The Untold Stories of the Witches of Oz is coming to Manila!

Where will she strike next? Here in Manila I tells yah! WOOHOO!

I've already seen the award winning musical "Wicked: The Untold Stories of the Witches of Oz", not once but twice already. Exaggerated as it may seem but I'm always at awe every time I watch it live, watch snippets over Youtube or just plainly listen to its soundtrack over my iPod. It just never gets old!

The first time that I was able to watch it was at the Apollo Victoria Theater at London's West End during my family euro trip back in 2009.


The second time that I got to watch it was just last year (2012) when the Australian cast performed at Singapore's Marina Bay Sands Theatre.

And lo and behold, the show is finally coming to the Philippines! Ticket selling will start in August 2013 and the actual show dates will be from January 2014 to March 2014 (the show will roughly run about 6 weeks). The award winning musical will be housed at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Main Theatre. There are no announcements yet on the cast, ticket prices and exact show dates. But will definitely keep an eye on Ticket World's website for further announcements.

I literally teared up during the scene of "Defying Gravity" in both shows that I've seen and I'm pretty sure I'll do so again when I watch its run here in Manila.

So... Are you guys watching?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

JUST IN: I.T. Competition For Intelligent Trip-Planning by DOTC!

To all my geeky and brilliant friends out there... The on-going project of DOTC just gets more exciting! Soak up all the information below and join the competition! 

So who's going to pave the way to the all-new Philippine Transit Information Service (PTIS) App? 

THE PHILIPPINE TRANSIT APP CHALLENGE:
I.T. COMPETITION FOR INTELLIGENT TRIP-PLANNING BY THE DOTC

Manila, Philippines – The launch of the first national transport application (app) development competition led by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) will be held today, July 2, 2013, in partnership with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and the Cebu City Government.

In a move to maximize the conveniences made possible by modern technology in delivering its services to the people, the transport agency is opening its database on bus, train, and jeepney routes in Metro Manila, called the Philippine Transit Information Service (PTIS), to the public, via the Philippine Transit App Challenge.

The competition will be a three (3)-month long hack-at-home event – a new trend in the IT community which allows software developers to create apps at their own pace and on their own time, using the same datasets provided to them.  Based on the international experience, hack-at-home events lead to the development of a broad spectrum of apps, many of which were not previously conceived and which give end-users a wide range of products to utilize and enjoy.

“We are very excited about the Challenge and we expect it to bring out a lot of innovation from software developers.  The goal is to create all sorts of apps which will make commuting in Metro Manila much more convenient,” said DOTC spokesperson Migs Sagcal.

The PTIS database contains previously-unavailable data gathered from participating agencies such as the MMDA, the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA), the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT-3), the Philippine National Railways (PNR), the Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB), and the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management (CITOM).

It will contain two (2) kinds of datasets: regularly-updated geographic location and service information on bus, train, and jeepney routes in Metro Manila, as well as live traffic incident data streams in both Metro Manila and Cebu City.

This means that the commuters will now be able to easily check the various routes available to take from one point to another, including how many transfers each route will require, how much fare will be needed, and how much travel time will be involved.  This will allow the public to make better-informed decisions when they plan their trips, resulting in more convenience and efficiency, and a better passenger experience overall.

“The point is to empower the public with better decision-making abilities using our data.  This project stems from government’s effort to look at public service delivery from the viewpoint of the end-user, and to make commuting better for everyone,” Sagcal remarked.

The Philippine Transit App Challenge, which will be open to all interested app developers, will be launched at the Toyota Auditorium of the University of the Philippines’ Asia Learning Center in Diliman, Quezon City, on July 2, 2013, 9:30AM.  More details about the event are available on the competition’s official website, http://philippine-transit.hackathome.com/.

Monday, July 1, 2013

JUST IN: Good news to all Metro Manila commuters!

Good news to all commuters in the metro! Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) is cooking up something that would make our Manila commuting lives a little bit better! Read the official press release below to know more about it! 

"Using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, the DOTC gathered data on more than nine hundred (900) bus, train, and jeepney routes."

DOTC TO MAKE COMMUTING IN METRO MANILA MORE CONVENIENT
Previously-unavailable Transit Data Now Ready, Organized

Manila, Philippines – An exhaustive, two (2)-year effort to gather and organize previously-unavailable data on buses, jeepneys, and trains in Metro Manila has been completed by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), now making it possible for commuters to plan their trips more efficiently and conveniently.

The initiative of building the Philippine Transit Information Service (PTIS) began in 2011, at a time when the Transport agency could not immediately provide certain essential information to commuters, such as the best route to take at a particular time, as well as the travel times involved. 

“The need to gather reliable data at that time in order to deliver convenient and efficient services to the public was immediately recognized and pursued,” explained DOTC spokesperson Migs Sagcal.

Using Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, the DOTC gathered data on more than nine hundred (900) bus, train, and jeepney routes.  It also collected useful information such as the fares and amounts of time required to take these various modes of transport.

Following this, the data was organized and analyzed by the DOTC along with other concerned offices such as the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), the Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA), and the Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC).

As a result, it will now be possible to find out what a commuter’s options are to get from one point to another in Metro Manila, what types of transportation and how many transfers will be involved, and how much money and time each option will require.

“Our next step is to make the PTIS accessible to the public.  The intention has always been to use modern technology in empowering people to make well-informed decisions on their commute,” added Sagcal.

The two (2)-year data gathering and analysis effort was made possible by a grant from the World Bank, which also funded a similar project of the Cebu City Government to make its traffic management efforts more advanced.


The DOTC, MMDA, and the Cebu City Government will be hosting a three month-long competition called the Philippine Transit App Challenge along with other government agencies beginning this month, where individuals and groups mainly from the Information Technology (IT) industry will compete to develop applications using the PTIS database, which the public may then use to choose their best routes at any given time.

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This reminds me of the commuting system / online portal of Singapore. I've always been impressed on how organized and efficient this process is, most especially for tourists. In all honesty, I'm very excited to see a similar practice here in the Philippines. 

What do you guys think?