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Saturday, August 27, 2016

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5 Bisaya Phrases You Might Want To Learn When Traveling to the South


I feel that it's important to just share to you some Bisaya phrases that could be useful for any travelers who want to travel a Bisaya-speaking destination.  This need, I noticed when my Tagalog-speaking brother-in-law had a business trip in Cebu.  He coyly mentioned that he was able to go around the city, thanks to my sister who taught her a few bisaya lines.

''Dili para", he said.

Me my sister and brother bursted out laughing.  The 3 of us knew that it means the opposite of what he was trying to say, since ''dili' in Bisaya is no or don't.

For Tagalog-speaking individuals, don't fret because Bisaya people can understand Tagalog, of course.  It's just that maybe sometimes you would like to speak their language out of the fun of it.

So here are 5 phrases that for me, a Davao-bred and raised filipino, think are important.

1. Lugar lang.  For tagalog, it translates to 'Para lang'.  It means that you want to be dropped off.  It's very useful when riding a jeepney.

2.  Pila ni means how much is this.  I think it's very important when you're doing souvenir shopping.

3.  Day/Miga (younger lady), Dong/Migo (younger boy), Nang (older lady), Nong (older man), La (elderly lady), Tay/Lo (elderly man).  In the Tagalog region, people address each other by ate/kuya  for younger or maám/sir for older female and male, Nay (elderly lady), Tay (elderly man).   You might feel the need to use these references especially when talking to locals.  Like I said, it's not needed.  But at least you know just in case you feel like using them.

4. Asa ang ---? which means where is ----?  If you're lost or you want direction you can use the phrase.

5. Maayong buntag (good morning), Maayong udto (good afternoon), maayong gabii (good evening).  These phrases are important if you want to greet a local, or your hotel's receptionist or anyone and start a friendly conversation with them or even just drop them this greeting is enough to make them smile and make you feel good.

Publisher: Shy - Saturday, August 27, 2016

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

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6 Filipino Food Foreigners Need To Try

Now if you're ever new to the country, one goal of every traveler is to look into the culture and one good way to do that is through food.  So any traveler would want to try out local delicacies that one cannot find in other places.

If you're new in the Philippines, here are some few local delicacies which you might want to try.  And just like some other delicacies, require acquired taste, but some might just suit your palate.  So here is the list of some filipino dishes I would recommend any foreigner to try.

1. Adobo.  This is the quintessential filipino home dish.  This is the pad thai to Thais, the hotdogs in America, the nabe in Japan.  Now I might not be accurate but I hope you got the point.  Why it won the top spot is that it's not only delicious it is also really easy to make.  This adobo recipe has been around long time ago, and this is the type of filipino food that always almost going to get finished first.

2.  Bulad.  This is the meal counterpart of durian.  When you prepare it, it smells awful, to some, but for filipinos it's a pleasant smell.  You can never go wrong with bulad and suka, vinegar with lots of garlic and rice.

3.  Kare kare.  Pork, peanut butter, naming some of the ingredients, it is not a surprised that this is easily a hearty-meal for those who want to indulge in something delightful and sinful at the same time.  Unlike the 2 items above, this one is served in a more special occasion.  So whenever there's kare-kare served, I'm sure many filipinos would take the chance of tasting something they don't get to eat everyday.
Kare kare

4. Kakanin.  Kakanin is a collective term for desserts that's base in rice flour.  It's sticky colorful and it is great to eat especially for merienda or snack.

5.  Balot.  This is not for the faint-hearted.  Not all filipinos love this but this has become a very popular late night snack especially for drinkers.  What it is is, it's a duck egg several weeks before it reaches maturation.  There are options which you can choose.  For me, I usually go for the eggs with no fetus inside, but for the weird few they'd go for the bigger fetus.  Taste-wise it's not really bad, but what freaks people out is the texture.  Go figure.

6. Tapsilog.  Short for tapa, sinangag at itlog which means, fried marinated beef, fried rice and fried sunny side up egg.  And you by now,  filipinos love our fried food which goes to show that filipinos aren't the healthiest eaters out there.

Publisher: Shy - Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Thursday, August 11, 2016

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Sexual Harassment on the Road: Here's What You Need To Know and To Do

Sexual Harassment in  Public transportation

I've heard the DJ talk about this over the radio and I agree with what she said, although I'd sure want to elaborate more.

Not that I've experienced extreme harassment before.  The ones I've had though are those that made me feel a bit uncomfortable, examples are malicious stares at the legs and chest area, maximizing unnecessary body contacts when guy opens his legs wider so as to touch mine, or he rests his elbow on the window bars so his hand touches my back or side.  Thankfully I haven't experienced groping and I wish that wouldn't happen to me or to anyone.

This is really unfortunate.  It doesn't matter whether they're girls, women, guys, men, gays, some of us have experienced such thing.  I am just more aware and confident on dealing with it now that I am older.

Here are some reminders to people on what to do:

1.  Avoid being a victim.  Some victims become one because they're showing a bit more skin.  If you happen to be wearing short shorts, try to cover your legs anyway you can: Put your bag on your lap, spread out your bandana on your legs.

2.  Budge.  The one mistake victims do is that they are too scared to react.  This paralysis is a treat for the maniac.  They enjoy it.  For them, it is a go signal that they can advance on whatever malicious moves they're planning to do on you.  When you budge, it is a sign that you are aware and are irritated of the situation.  This makes the maniac second guess if he's going to continue.

3.  Stare at them.  This works every time. When you feel like they're looking at you maliciously, look at their face and stare at them.  The longer the better.  This could get awkward but it's a powerful move that says that you sense what they're doing and you are not having any of it.  This will eventually put them to shame.

4.  Speak up. When all of the above don't work, it's time to release the kraken and snap back at the maniac.  This ought to get attention of the other passengers and will put him on the spot.

Publisher: Shy - Thursday, August 11, 2016

Friday, August 5, 2016

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Foreigners Edition: How To Be A Volunteer in the Philippines for FREE or for a Very Affordable Price

Volunteer in the Philippines

I've been researching on how I could volunteer in Nepal and Vietnam and it pains me to see that some if not most of the NGO's charge a certain amount of money.  Some are quite expensive, and some are reasonably cheap.  I'm wondering if some foreigners are also interested in doing the same here in my country.  Judging from what I have seen in NGO websites, I'm sure there are interested as well.  From what I know, anyone can freely volunteer here.  You just have to inform the NGO ahead of time.  Some of them would ask you to undergo an orientation so if you're staying a bit longer, do take the time to join the orientation.  If there are any dues involve it would just be really small, say P50 to P250.  The rest of donations would really be up to you.  Bring stuff in kind or bring money, what matters most is your presence and how you could share your time in making a difference in other people's lives.

Here are some NGO's that you could volunteer for free or for a very minimal charge.

1.  iVolunteer - This is a volunteer hub where you could choose from various NGOs.  They have lists of scheduled events, so you could check which one speaks to you the most.

2. Nursing Homes - If caring for the elderly is what you seek, then you could access a list of nursing homes and contact them so you could set an appointment or orientation of some sort.

3.  Orphanage -  This one is a hit for some volunteers.  Activities included are feeding, teaching, and playing games with orphaned or abandoned children.  Most of these orphanages are connected to Department of Social Welfare and Development.  Orientations are given by a trained staff.  Try contacting them for any inquiries.

4. NGO's for environment - Volunteer activities aren't held often as the previous items on the list.  They usually ask volunteers as needed and you have to undergo training which don't happen as often too.  So if you think of staying in the Philippines longer, then go ahead and sign up.  Make sure that you'll know the dates for registration and for training.

5. For Animals - I only knows PAWS which task in helping abandoned dogs and cats, and giving them a shelter and food and practically a safe place for them to stay.  The animals here are all on standby for adoption.  Again they have a scheduled orientation so make sure you check it.  Just a heads up, they'll be having an orientation on the 16th of August 2016 so make sure you get in touch with them and block your calendar on that date.

So see, you don't have to pay a lot if you wish to volunteer here in the Philippines.  Pick an organization and do some goodwill.

Publisher: Shy - Friday, August 05, 2016

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

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Batanes Family Trip: Crossing All My Fingers for A Storm-Free Trip

Batanes' Marlboro Hills

This time I had to step up and exhaust all my powers for this trip to push through.  It's been 2 years since we had our last family trip.  Not this year.

Even when this plan ticket is more expensive than what we had previously paid for, we knew it's going to be worth it.  It's my mom's dream destination, it is also mine and I think this also goes for the rest of my brothers and sister.  I couldn't let this promo pass so even when there's a threat of cancellation as it was set at the last week of November, I still went on with it.  Now I'm just praying to the gods that I made the right decision.

I've read from other blogs that it's okay to be going to Batanes in November.  There will be some rain showers but I read that it's really not that bad.  Well I sure wish it to be true.  I hope it is.  There's really no turning back now.  

Previous trips we had, we were quite lucky weather-wise.  For example during our trip in Ilocos, July is known to be the start of the rainy season, and there was a lurking threat that it would pour down hard during our trip.  Luckily we were able to travel with the sun up, and escaped the rain by getting into a tricycle home, when it was about to pour down heavily one night in Vigan.  By then, we were able to go around the place and see calle crisologo at night.  Although it wasn't as thorough as we wanted to, we were already able to take some pics, and were already tired from going around then so we didn't  mind going home earlier.  Also I got lucky during the trip around Cambodia with my friend and brother.  We only had 1 day to go around Angkor Wat and prior that day, it rained heavily.  During our travel day though, the sun was up and was blazing happily all throughout the day.  Let's see if we still have a lucky card to spare for our trip in Batanes

I'll be praying and visualizing that everything will go well - that is all I could do for now, really.
Publisher: Shy - Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Saturday, July 30, 2016

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How to get Get a Cheaper Airplane Ticket

Booking discounted airline tickets online.

I've been booking tickets for my family, friends and for myself for years now and I have learned a thing of two on how to get a discount seat.  Now, they let me book for them because I have plenty of time to look over airline websites and check if there are promo seats available.  Aside from that, I have learned a thing or two on how to get a cheaper deal and that's what I'll be sharing with you.

1. Standby for promo seats.  Sales usually land on holidays, such as valentines, independence day, and the such.  I've heard they start opening these sales at midnight.  So better go over the websites before going to sleep.

2.  Book fast.  Seats ran out pretty fast, so you are better ready with your credit card or you better decide when to have the trip and for how many days.

3. Book one way tickets separately.  I just learned about this just this morning.  There are times that 1 way cost more than the other when you pick the round trip option.  So what I do is buy the discounted one first and pray to the heavens that the other ticket going back will go on sale soon.

4. Booking months doesn't necessarily means getting cheaper deals.  Sometimes airlines would drop a better deal few months before your desired travel time.  So it's just a matter of getting lucky and being strategic with things really.

5. Take advantage of miles and discounts.  PAL has miles, Cebu Pac has Get Go.  The more you use the card/code the more you get yourself some miles.  The more travels you can book for a discounted price or for free in the future.

6. Remove unnecessary add ons.  Sometimes people just click submit not knowing that every page that they turn, there's additional add ons that is added by default.  Have the patience to remove those.  I'm talking about Cebu Pac here since I often book there.  Remove extra baggage if you don't plan to hoard stuff, remove seat selection if you don't mind seating anywhere, remove donation or insurance if you don't want to be bother by those.  In the end, you get what you just want to pay which is the ticket itself.

7. Travel in groups.  I know I know.  I may be an advocate of solo travels, but to tell you the truth, I'd rather travel by group than traveling alone.  I have really not found a comfortable ground yet.  Maybe soon, in my trip in Vietnam.  But for now, I'd choose traveling with a companion any day.   If you travel in groups and you go to a travel agent, they could give you a decent discount.

Here are the 5 ways I know that could save you some pesos.  If you know other ways, please do share in the comments section below.

Happy trip everyone! :)
Publisher: Shy - Saturday, July 30, 2016
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My First Art Exhibit at Matt Mason Gallery, Silang, Cavite Tagaytay

Sister and brother-in-law at the gallery

I think I got lucky on this one.  If this is a result of my new-found law of attraction practice, then I don't know what it is.  Just earlier this year, I've decided to get serious on painting.  And so I started applying for galleries, and lo and behold, it wasn't long that there was an open opportunity waiting for me at Silang, Cavite, Tagaytay.

And so I grabbed the chance by the horns, and found my way in it.  My fondness for painting hasn't really reached to my fondness of eating chocolate.  It's not something that I desire, although I wish to be the case so I would continually practice painting.  I just grab the brush when I feel like practicing.  It's not totally a a freeing in the sense that you still have to make good art.  It takes discipline to make sense of what you just made in a way that it better looks nice.  It is really easy to get lost in the flow and mess up what you have made because you were in the zone.  Some artist would think that as long as it's abstract, you could never go wrong.  Well at some point that's true, but it takes discipline to direct your energy and creativity in a way that's beautiful.  In the end of it all, creating artwork is just trying to explore possibilities, making a mess and trying to fix it so it would all look like a masterpiece.  It's just a bit like life, but on canvas.

Publisher: Shy - Saturday, July 30, 2016
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How to Avoid Traffic in Manila.


Traffic in Manila is the worst!  Just a couple of days ago, I made an awful mistake of starting to travel to Silang Cavite at noon, on a Friday which fell on a pay-day.  Awful! I was able to reach the gallery at 4:30pm and came back home at Cubao around 9:30pm.

Looking back I wouldn't want to go through it again.  Now the thought of doing a 9-5 job left a bitter taste in my mouth.  If this is something that I would have to go through 5 days a week, I should be feeling lucky with my current freelance job.

Here are the things that would have saved me a lot of time.

1.  Leave early and avoid rush hour.  I fell for the same mistake I did during the Pahiyas trip in May.  I left later than planned, so I had to start my day in traffic as opposed to a smooth and sailing trip with fresh and cool morning breeze.

2. You don't have to go to the bus terminal to get on a bus.  Instead, get one that's running on the road.  Chances are there are still available seats, if not, there will be some soon.  It's better that way than to go farther distance to go to the terminal, knowing that you'll have to go back to the same route you've been before.

3. Take the MRT.  The line may look intimidatingly long, but once they're accepting passengers, you'll notice that you'll get closer quickly.  You'll just have to wait for minutes.  Better that than waiting for hours in a bus.  I noticed that it has been running a lot faster than usual.  Fast enough that it made me feel scared for those people in it, at the same time, happy that at least they're moving fast unlike the bus that I was in.

4.  Try taking tricycle.  Tricycles could go to streets that's not so traffic and make its way in between cars or along sidewalks.  The point is, it's moving.  The only con is that you'll inhale more smoke from exhaust and it's more expensive.

5.Traffic is worst in roads entering Alabang but it gets better through guadalupe. Stops at ortigas and continuous well through Santolan.

When there's traffic, there's really no choice but to exercise patience. But hopefully with stricter road law implementation, and improved MRT system, it will get better.   As for now, we just have to roll with the punches. 
Publisher: Shy - Saturday, July 30, 2016
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