Monday, October 22, 2012

Im Back!

.....will be posting again, if you happen to miss me, thank you! :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Let's Help Save Lives

I'm at home again to Atcha.

I Thank God for the safe trip and a chance to be with my family again even just for the holidays. And for the past week since I arrived home, have never been busier during the Christmas shopping rush. Well, as on being thrifty as I ám now, I just bought gifts for my nephews and nieces.

And while people keep on buying gifts to family and friends, last 2 days, Mindanao area of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan are hit by typhoon Sendong that left houses, buildings and bridges destroyed, and 713 dead and 563 missing (latest update as of moment). Most of the victims are children, as the flash flood went through their houses and swept them with mud, big rocks and wooden logs. Its so heartbreaking to see people still searching for their missing loved-ones, though on the verge of losing hope to see their family member alive, at least recovering their remains for a decent burial.

For the moment, those who survived barely make it through after the disaster. Evacuation centers are filled up. Food, medicine and most of all, clean water for drinking are needed. You might have a spare money for the moment, please help.

Here are ways we can help (From PNRC website):

Cash or Check Donations

Please send cash or check donations to the PRC National Headquarters in Manila. Checks should be made payable to The Philippine Red Cross. We can also arrange for donation pick-up.

We now accept cash donations for the Philippine Red Cross at any 7-11 store or Cebuana Lhuillier Pawnshop nationwide.

Bank Deposit

Bank accounts for Donations
Banco De Oro
Peso: 00-453-0018647
Dollar: 10-453-0039482

Bank of the Philippine Islands
Peso: 4991-0036-52
Dollar: 004994-0103-15

Peso: 151-3-041631228
Dollar: 151-2-15100218-2

Philippine National Bank
Peso: 3752 8350 0034
Dollar: 3752 8350 0042

Unionbank of the Philippines
Peso: 1015 4000 0201
Dollar: 1315 4000 0090

All Check/Cash for the account of Philippine Red Cross (Swift Codes)
Banco De Oro

Bank of the Philippine Islands


Philippine National Bank

Unionbank of the Philippines

For your donations to be properly acknowledged, please fax the bank transaction slip at nos. +63.2.527.0575 or +63.2.404.0979 with your name, address and contact number.

SMS and G-Cash

Text REDAMOUNT to 2899 (Globe) or 4143 (Smart)


You can donate the following denominations:
Globe: 5, 25, 100, 300, 500 or 1000
Smart: 10, 25, 50, 100, 300, 500 or 1000

Through your generosity, we can stand prepared for disasters. We appreciate your continuous and unwavering support. Thank you.

Email us:

Call Hotline 143
or (+632) 527.0000

Bonifacio Drive, Port Area
Manila 1018, Philippines

I've postponed my getaway vacation and shopping for myself, and instead about to donate the money. Please do the same. We may not alleviate totally the way of living of the victims right away, but at least, to help them survive for days until such time they can rebuild their lives again and start anew...May God bless us all!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

24 Hour Hotline against Kotong

Its Christmas season. In the Philippines, this season starts as early as "BER" months start. Bonuses keep coming in for regular employees. Mall sales are sprouting everywhere. And so are the crocodiles on streets preying on helpless motorists to earn extra with their Kotong operations.

(photo credit from anti kotong fb page)

It is when you are driving peacefully on any time of the day, whilst on being a good motorist and seems when everything is ok since you followed all rules, when all of a sudden a crocodile in a blue uniform called your attention for violating a rule.Most of the time, victims are jeepney/taxi drivers whose mere income is just enough for a family of four, and with a boundary quota to meet. As you wouldn't want to get into the hassle of getting back your license at the LTO office, those crocodiles will just ask for some money to let you go. For such incidents, local agencies now launched an anti-bribery drive as you may send an SMS on their 24-hour hotline: 0918-8882749. You may want to send your details as anonymous as well.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Selamat Datang Indonesia: Bandung Kota

I have this love-hate relationship with Bandung, West Java's capital, a city 140 km away from Jakarta. Having stayed most of the time during my work in Indonesia, it is where Jakarta people go during weekends that traffic is so horrible starting from the toll entrance to anywhere. Here you find factory outlet shops, for brand-conscious people, its heaven. Last time I shopped for gifts when I had my break from work, I paid extra for my overweight baggage, so all the discounts I've saved gone into thin air! The climate is way better than hot Jakarta, scenery far more good, and my love for pork cuisine was never missed since the place I've stayed in had small canteens serving my favorite babi!

Going around Bandung, if by taxi, is a nightmare. Drivers don't use meters, they'll charge you for a crazy fee. On worst case you tneed a cab, negotiate on a rate first.If you can, use Angkutan Kota, as public mode of transportation, an open van. Say "Kiri" is when you want to stop, they are colored coded depending on the route, and having a fixed fee of 2000 Rp. On my day offs these are my usual hang outs in Bandung to give myself a reward for a hard week of workloads:

Paris Van Java Mall:
A refreshing mall, this one's my favorite among the malls I've been in Bandung. With high-end brands of shops, restaurants and cinema, you might like it here to spoil yourself once in awhile. I usually frequent the Breadtalk store and Pepper Steak restaurant. You can also your grocery as there is a Carrefour outlet at the basement of the mall.

This is an interior of Braga City Walk, located at the back of Aston hotel. It's a mall as well, but not much of shops here, mostly of restaurants at the ground floor. However, what makes me come back here often is whenever i crave for a quality and affordable seafood dishes, "The Cost" seafood restaurant is my most recommended, thumbs up for the service and so affordable dishes, ambiance is plain but clean plus you get unlimited servings of rice :).

Walking the street of Braga, you'll see unmaintained Dutch influence structures as remnants of its colonial past. Arrays of coffee shops and French & Dutch inspired bakeries could be found here, art collectors frequent this place for antiques and paintings by local artists. At night, the place is said to be lively as there are bars and clubs. I don't usually go out alone at night, as I'm more of looking through the cultural experience, I find Braga street as less of a heritage spot. Sayang...

Gedung Sate, a place for the current governor of West Java. Sate, is an Bahasa word for "satay", a traditional Indonesian dish, and the building was named after it was actually shaped in resemblance to it. This place is near my former office. At the park square nearby, events are celebrated often.

Selamat Datang Indonesia: Kawah Putih

As to fully maximize our last stay in West Java, E and me decided to rent a car to roam around. We headed next to Kawah Puti, a tourist spot of crater lake about 50 km south of Bandung. Temperature that time is low, that caused the acid lake to turn greenish blue. The smell of sulfur is strong when we arrived, and a pathway was made from the park to the crater entrance.

A note in the entrance to the crater, just that I wished it has an English translation for non-Bahasa speakers:

visit the crater center facility, max 15 minutes
if you have:
dry mouth or throat
dizziness and nausea

leave the area immediately and contact a health post

My shoe after i stepped into the lake, then covered with sulfur sand.

Shelters are built near the lake, but since we cant stand much the smell of the sulfur that we left the area in less than an hour after taking some shots. More stores and restaurants could be found near the entrance gate.