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Monday, July 27, 2009

Last SONA Of GMA

I won't be able to watch and listen to the live coverage of the last State of the Nation Address (SONA) of our President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Not that I don’t want to. It's just that I have other important things to attend to.

I just hope that this year's SONA of GMA, considered as her last, will tackle, not only her accomplishments, but also her plans on how to improve our already-weakened economy.

I'm not pro-GMA or anti-GMA. I'm aware that she's done quite a few significant improvements to the Philippines. She may have failed on other aspects but I think she's doing her best to lift our stagnant and crippled economy to a better place.

I can understand the complaints (objections) expressed by the opposition team. I sympathize with them. But the more we become pessimistic about our country, the more we put our nation in jeopardy, especially our economy.

Philippines is a great nation. Let's just pray that the last SONA of GMA today will put a light at the end of the tunnel to our struggling economic situation.

Other topics of interest:
Bench Blackout—Denim And Underwear Show
Pinakbet Recipe
Banco De Oro Unibank
Travel Philippines: Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park
Great News From OWWA To OFWs—Free Transportation?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bench Blackout—Denim And Underwear Show

Bench Blackout Marco Alcaraz

Bench's denim and underwear show is held every two years. And this year's theme is dubbed as Bench Blackout. This is already the fourth edition. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to witness such a big and filled-with-hot-guys event (too bad for my friend, his SD card containing photos of Bench Blackout was confiscated).

Among the Filipino celebrities turned Bench models who participated in the Bench Blackout event are Dingdong Dantes, Sam Milby, Diether Ocampo, and of course my cousin Marco Alcaraz (his father and my father are cousins).

This Bench Blackout denim and underwear show is not only for women to scream while the guys with well-chiseled abs are walking down the runway but it is also for guys to cheer on their favorite female celebrities.

Hopefully, in the next edition of Bench denims and underwear show, I'll be able to personally see and hear the screams emitted by the audience while those male models are showing off their enviable abs.

Image source: matanglawin1.blogspot.com

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Friday, July 17, 2009

A Walk To Remember

A Walk To Remember
"Jamie: You don't know the first thing about being someone's friend.
Landon: I don't want to just be your friend.
Jamie: You don't know what you want.
Landon: Neither do you. Maybe you're just too scared that someone might actually want to be with you.
Jaime: And why would that scare me?
Landon: Because then you wouldn’t be able to hide behind your books, or your frickin' telescope, or your faith. No, no, you know the real reason why you're scared? It's because maybe you want to be with me too."—Beautiful lines from the movie A Walk to Remember.


The movie, A Walk To Remember, started with a prank on a student that went terribly wrong and resulted to the student's hospitalization. Landon Carter (Shane West) who was among the students who made the prank was held responsible. As a punishment, he had to participate in an after-school community service and a school play. The said school play led him closer to Jaime Sullivan (Mandy Moore), the reverend's daughter, who cares so much about life and her telescope. The two have nothing in common except for the schools they've attended to. Eventually, Landon and Jaime fell in love with each other. Everything was perfect until the reality about Jaime's health was disclosed to Landon.


Reasons to watch A Walk To Remember:
A very wonderful love story that won three awards and two nominations.
The soundtrack of this film suits perfectly for the movie.
The cinematography was excellent.


My say:
I've seen this movie several times. And I don’t think it would make me feel nauseated if I ever watch it again. Surely, this movie depicts what true love is.


You might not know:
… that Mandy Moore's birth name is Amanda Leigh Moore.
… that Shane West is a member of a band called Jonny Was.

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Monday, July 13, 2009

Pinakbet Recipe

Ilocano Style of Pinakbet
Pakbet is another term for pinakbet. This is a Filipino cuisine, specifically an Ilocano dish. It originated from the northern regions of the Philippines. This is one of the most nutritious Filipino dishes, but not every Filipino is a fan. This is probably because some of them were not used to eat vegetables.

Pinakbet is derived from the word pinakebbet, which means shrunk or shriveled. The recipe below is said to be the Ilocano style of pinakbet.

Ingredients of Pinakbet:

1/2 cup squash, cubed
5 pcs string beans, cut 3 inches long
5 pcs okra, sliced lengthwise
1/4 cup patani (optional)
6 pcs eggplant, halved


3 pcs tomatoes, quartered
1 tbsp. ginger strips
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 pcs onions, quartered


1 tbsp. fish bagoong
1/4 kilo bagnet or pork belly
1 cup water

Place the following vegetables in a saucepan: squash, string beans, okra, patani, eggplant, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and onions. Then slowly pour bagoong and bagnet on top. Add water and bring to a boil.

Stir to make sure that everything is well-cooked. Afterwards, your pinakbet is ready to be served.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Banco De Oro Unibank

Banco De Oro Unibank (BDO) is owned by the SM Group of Companies (no wonder why every SM branch nationwide has BDO on site). It is considered as the largest bank in the Philippines.

For two consecutive years (2008 and 2009), Banco De Oro has won people's trust based on Reader's Digest Trusted Brands for Bank category, leaving behind Bank of the Philippine Islands and Metrobank.

Their minimum average daily balance requirement for peso passbook savings account (with or without ATM) is PHP 5000. With this amount, you can already secure your future.

One of the advantages of banking with Banco De Oro is its flexible bank hours. Their mall branches are open during weekends, which is beneficial for working individuals. This is probably one of the reasons more Filipinos are investing in this company. Or is it because of their image model—Piolo Pascual?

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Monday, July 06, 2009

Travel Philippines: Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park
Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park











The Philippines is not only rich in exquisite animals and flowers, but the country is also abundant in dainty marine life. For instance, the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a marine sanctuary that has been added to the World Heritage list.

Going to Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park will take approximately 10 hours from Puerto Prinsesa, Palawan, Philippines. Islanders of Cagayancillo (a municipality in Palawan, Philippines) used the term "gusong" to describe the Tubbataha Reefs.

Since Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is located at some distance away from possible exploitation, its pristine coral reefs have been protected. It is only accessible through live-aboard boats found in Puerto Prinsesa.

Best Time
You can visit Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park in the months of March to June because water currents during these months are controllable. And if you are planning to have a night diving adventure in this place, you may do so, as long as there is no current.

In order to preserve its pristine coral reefs, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park has a conservation fee of PHP 3,000 (approximately $63).

Images source: www.tubbatahareef.org

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Friday, July 03, 2009

At Last! Waiters Revealed Their Secrets—Things You Are Not Aware Of


You may know every food that your favorite restaurant serves but not the secrets of how their waiters prepare your food.

These secrets were revealed by anonymous waiters through RD Asia magazine. You may be surprised after knowing these things but they may be true.

1. Dining out during holidays is not advisable. Why? Large number of customers may cause restaurants to produce low-quality dish. Some plates may not even be washed properly during these days.

2. Sick leave is not allowed in a restaurant business. If a waiter has a flu, he needs to go out and work. Just imagine the virus that he has while preparing your food.

3. Customers are always right but do not bicker with a waiter. These waiters may spit in your food, as part of their vengeance.

4. Not all waiters are friendly. If you have found one, then always sit near his section. Tell your friends about this guy so they will ask for his service too. In this way, he will feel elated and will serve you better.

5. Do not dine in 15-30 minutes before the restaurant's closing time. During this time, dishwater is already spraying cleaning solvents near the area where your food is being prepared. So you will end up eating those carcinogenic compounds found in their cleaning materials.

These secrets of waiters may not be true to all restaurants… or I may just be in denial upon knowing these things.

Source: RD Asia Magazine
Image from flickr.com

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