November 25, 2009

"I Am Nicely! is Giving Away a Vintage Stylish Cellphone Mobile Design Watch Necklace on Her Birthday"

Woot! Another blog contest. I have to admit....nacha-challenge ako!!!  Hopefully this is the contest that breaks my online random drawer far all contests that have been drawn that way have been futile for me!

With that I would like to invite you to also participate in another blog contest that I am joining in celebration of Nicely Rom's birthday on December 7. It is so easy to join!

Here's the mechanics:

1. Copy and paste her entire post (including the necklace photo below) in your websites, blogs or facebook notes.
2. Kindly fill in the blank: All I wish for Nicely is a check or two in her things to do list (as seen in her blog's sidebar) so she can fulfill her dreams!
3. The title of your post must exactly be "I Am Nicely! is Giving Away a Vintage Stylish Cellphone Mobile Design Watch Necklace on Her Birthday"
4. To validate your entry, please leave a comment and your entry's link on this post so that I can check and get back to you as soon as possible. Please don't forget to include your full name and e-mail address, too ☺

Deadline for submission of entries will be at 11:59PM of December 6, 2009. The winner will be drawn by an online raffle device and will be announced on her birthday.
The lucky one will then receive a Vintage Stylish Cellphone Mobile Design Watch Necklace, courtesy of my sponsor, Tinatindera. The winner will be informed of his/her winning through e-mail and the item will be sent to his/her preferred mailing address not later than December 14, 2009. The prize is not refundable for cash.

Good luck and thank you for your continued support to I Am Nicely! ♥lots

Happy Birthday Nicely! to continue reading...

November 24, 2009

The Heart of a Ninja

I have always had a fascination with the ninja/trained warrior culture. I remember that when I was younger, I enjoyed the show Dark Angel a lot because it centered around the story of a young girl trained to be a fighter. I never knew, however, how deep and dark the roots of ninja culture is. And how heartless.

Such is the story of Raizo, a trained deadly Ninja Assassin. Orphaned at a young age, he was taken in my the Master of the Ozunu Clan, a mercenary group of  assassins who's very existence was thought to be a myth. As a child, he was trained to be heartless and merciless, to follow the rules no matter what, and to be void of emotions that make man week. But after being devastated by the brutal murder of a friend who was deemed a traitor by the clan, Raizo defied all rules and escaped the life he knew and vowed to avenge his friends death.The story takes an exciting turn as Mika Coretti, a Europol agent bent on proving that ninjas did exist after stumbling upon a money trail linking unsolved political murders to the secret network of untraceable assassins, stirred up enough feathers to become the next target of the clan. In the end, Raizo shows there is more to the ninja than just the fighter. 

The film was a breathtaking journey from the hidden training village of child assassins to Europe and back...literally!  I had my hands wrapped around my head for majority of the movie, peeking through my fingers for the most part! To be fair, I enjoyed the film a lot, despite all the blood, gore and guts. Admittedly action flicks are not my preferred genre, but I think if you're into it, you'd have a good time. Part of me wishes I had taken my brother, JJ, to see it with me because he LOVES films like this. 
Many thanks to Warner Bros. Pictures for the invitation to the premiere of Ninja Assassin last Friday, Nov. 20, at the Gateway Cinemas. Extra special thanks for the exclusive prize I won during the screening! My raffle malas is officially over!

Ninja Assassin Notebook autographed by Rain! to continue reading...

November 22, 2009

Math and Me.

Math and Me don't have the closest of relationships. In fact, ever since childhood, my lowest grades were always in math. No matter how much math help I received from my mom, who's an accountant, I always had difficulty with it. To be fair, I always managed to pass all my math subjects but it wasn't always painless.

In my college days, I even went as far as getting a tutor to help my with my college algebra. Sadly, I still failed the subject, thus causing me a possible cum laude award on graduation. Today's students, however, can get online math help. Not only is it online, but they can even get free online math help

The internet has definitely become a very valuable resource in learning. Through the internet, one can receive online math tutoringthrough websites and programs such as TutorVista. An online math tutor is available 24/7 and can offer one-on-one sessions in a secure web environment. No special gadgets or tools are needed, just your home computer and a reliable broadband connection.  The virtual whiteboard allows both tutor and student to communicate complete with animation and real-time solutions. Cool, huh? An added bonus is that Free online math tutoring is right at your fingertips, compared to a face-to-face tutor who you still need to schedule. While I am glad most of my math days are over, I can't help but think how different my math experience would have been if TutorVista was available back then... to continue reading...

An Early New Years Resolution

Every year I tell myself it is pointless to come up with New Years Resolutions because every year, no matter how hard I try, I do not meet my resolutions. However, for 2010, I think I HAVE to do this one:

I need to plan my days more efficiently.

Lately I've noticed that I keep forgetting things I have to do, mainly because I have so many "slash" jobs (Hindi ako slasher ha! It's just that I am a teacher-slash-professor-slash-psychologist-slash-blogger-slash-pseudomommy). That, coupled with my age, makes it difficult to remember everything. Therefore, I need a planner.

With that said, I am keeping my fingers crossed that I win the 2010 Belle de Jour planner from a contest being hosted at

Besides this being a cute planner, I think it will help in my goal to planning my year better. Oh, and the coupons in it are priceless! to continue reading...

November 18, 2009

More than Just a Caffeine Fix: Coffee 101 and My Day as a Barista

I once applied as a Barista for a popular coffee chain. No joke...I really did! Suffice it to say I didn't get the job but when I sent in my resumé, I was under the impression that there really was not that much into making a good cup of coffee. After all, as long as I could follow instructions, that should be enough, right? However, after being able to attend a Coffee 101 Workshop hosted by Ms. Pacita "Chit" Juan, co-chair the Philippine Coffee Board, I realized there is so much more to coffee than meets the eye. Or should I say nose? Good coffee goes beyond just how it smells, looks or is prepared. It starts from how and where it is grown to how it is picked, processed and roasted. Also, it depends on the variety of the coffee. In the Philippines, four varieties are grown and harvested for commercial use. These are Coffea Arabica, Coffea Canephora or Robusta, Coffea Liberica which is popularly known as Barako, and Coffea Excelsa. The flavor you get depends on the variety of the bean. Among the four species, the most fragrant is Arabica. It is also the most widely traded variety. However, the most popular variety here in the Philippines, especially for instant coffee, is the Robusta which is known for its body and strong character. This is why instant coffee gives us a jolt or makes us palpitate quickly, because of the robust quality of the bean. Interesting, huh? Liberica, on the other hand, is more earthy while Excelsa is more fruity.


There is a science behind coffee and an art to mastering it. In fact, during the seminar, I was given the chance to fulfill that dream of becoming a barista. And first attempt was a dismal failure! It seems I didn't pack or press the coffee grounds hard enough, thus when the pressurized water from the espresso machine passed through it, it did not have that good espresso quality. To be fair, when I did it over, I got it right!

Contrary to my beliefs, good coffee does not necessarily have to come from Columbia or Brazil but in truth, we can buy Philippine coffee and be proud of it's excellent quality and flavor.

Prior to the workshop, I knew nothing about the diffrent variants of coffee beans or grounds. Whether it be Arabica or Robusta, all that mattered to me was that it smelled good...and that is was affordable. To be honest, buying coffee beans (especially here in Manila) does not come cheap!  Further, I used to think that "house blend" would be the best option ALL the time. There is a thought process behind what type of coffee to buy, as well as what kind of roast or grounds to choose. For example, the kind of grounds you would choose would depend on how you will be preparing your coffee. This explains why my morning coffee always has a lot of powdery-sediment in the bottom of my cup.I definitely learned a lot about coffee and would love to learn more about preparing it better.  If you already love coffee, you will surely have a deeper appreciation of it if you attend the Coffee 101 workshop yourself. The Philippine Coffee Board also hosts other workshops such as Basic Barista Training.

The seminar was held in Le Bistro, a quiet nook along Valero Street in Salcedo Village. With it's artsy interiors and cozy ambiance, it would be great to hold meetings and Christmas parties at Le Bistro.

photo credits: Jen Juan, a.k.a. SexyNomad :-)

After enjoying the café mocha I had made myself, I was treated to a little token...a bag of Yrong Yrong Blend Coffee! This is the first time I will be sampling this blend which comes from Iloilo. I'm really looking forward to trying it! This Christmas, you may want to try giving your friends, colleagues and loved ones some of the Philipine's finest coffees, especially those who are not aware of all the available local options we have. However, if they are not coffee drinkers, you may want to buy Christmas gift baskets at Echo Store, a local eco-friendly store that aims to promote a sustainable lifestyle by supporting marginalized communities in the Philippines. to continue reading...

I Want Them Free.

There are just a few things in life I hate having to pay for. For the most part, I understand why I have to dish out cash for services, items and the like. After all, that's the way it is, right? But one thing I really, really hate paying for is parking, especially parking fees by the hour. It's especially even more hateful when I have to pay for parking in the grocery. I feel ripped off because the purpose of my going there is not really for fun. I go there and pay them a whole bunch of cash and they can't even give me a free parking slot??? FRUSTRATING!!! I was shocked when I passed by a gas station in the corner of Makati Avenue once and found out that if I were to park in their little lot to have a snack or buy something in their Select store I have to pay for parking! NOT FAIR. In the mall, I guess I can say I kinda understand since there are a lot of different establishments there so you don't really know who can be accountable for your time in the parking lot.

*sigh* I wish there was a way that parking came free. Okay, maybe not necessarily all free...perhaps having your parking ticket validated as long as you spend a certain amount while in the establishment? That would be a good option! to continue reading...

November 15, 2009

The Future of Music at MTV Emerge

When I say I am proud to be Pinoy, it isn't hard to explain why. I come from a land that is filled with amazing beauty: both in terms of nature and in it's people. This is why no matter how much people suggest to me I apply for jobs abroad, I still choose to stay here. I believe there is still so much potential that is untapped in our country and I hope that in my own way, I am able to show the world that potential. This is also what the MTV, Jeepney Music, and Department of Tourism collaboration is doing: showing the world the hottest emerging music talents in the Philippines. Whether it be indie, hip-hop, rock or whatever other genre of music, the campaign seeks to be a cesspool of the best and the brightest of the future of Philippine Music.

New local talent were invited to register and upload their profiles, photos and original music to the MTV Emerge site during the contest period. From these, the public audience will vote for their favorites. 7 lucky talents will win a one-year recording contract with Jeepney Music where they will be under the mentorship of none other than a proud Filipino himself, Along with the contract comes a package including artist management and promotion, digital ditribution of 3-6 songs and a strategic marketing plan for these artists to break into both the local and international scenes.

mtv-emerge-jeepney-department-of-tourismCheck out all the amazing and talented artists who have uploaded their videos on MTV Emerge now. There are so many great videos! I personally voted for God Bless Philippines by Rapnophobia I loved their video, especially the imagery they used to convey the message of their song. If you like it as much as I do, do vote for them too! to continue reading...


Last Friday night, I was able to see the movie 2012 thanks to Myk and to TV5. It was one of the most intense movies I've seen in a long time! I've seen a lot of  "end of the world" and doomsday stories and each one gets more and more amazing in terms of cinematography and digital effects. With regards to the story, however, I feel that there is really a common thread uniting all these movies. There's always the unassuming, not-so-well off character who has his own personal demons to contend with (usually issues with marriage and the kids), then comes the unlikely hero who stands for humanity and calls for unity, and of course, the sheer luck that manages to save them in time. Not that that's a bad thing, but it made me anticipate what would happen next.

Anyway, what I liked about the movie (besides the cool visual imagery) is that it made me reflect on what I really believe in. I used to see myself as a very advanced and modern thinker, but the movie made me realize that deep down inside, what I really believe in is not really science, but what my faith tells me. Maybe some might find that hard to believe, even strange perhaps. But I left the cinema with a stronger faith in my God that despite the troubles of the earth, He will not abandon me. Controversial thought? What do you think? Will a 2012 scenario ever happen??? to continue reading...

November 12, 2009

A City of Romance.

Not so long ago, my cousins toured my dream destination: Paris. She came home with photo after photo that left me wishing I could have also been there. In my fantasies, I imagine myself honeymooning in Paris. There's simply something so irresistibly romantic about that city. I can just imagine myself strolling down the Champs Élysées and then standing in awe of the Eiffel Tower. As I think about it, images of Anne Hathaway as Andy Sachs in The Devil Wears Prada dance around in my head to the tune of Moonriver. Ooohh...Paris.

From now till November 19, 2009 visiting this dreamy destination is made even more plausible with British Airways November Seat Sale. Travel packages go for as low as $749! British Airways also boasts of it's world class service and is sure to offer you a highly pleasurable experience with their ergonomically designed seats which definitely will not make the long trip hard on your body. Plus expect complementary food and cocktails during your flight and over 200 in-flight entertainment options.

British Airways flies to many other destinations around Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa. So if Paris is not your cup of tea, why not check out their holiday guides to Cairo, Dubai, Hong Kong, the Maldives and so much more. So what are you waiting for? Whip out those passports and start booking your trips!Click Here

Post?slot_id=84832&url=http%3a%2f%2fsocialspark to continue reading...

A Matter of Perspective.

Sometimes I get tired of hearing the phrase "it's all a matter of perspective". Similarly, people always try to cheer you up by saying something like look at the bright side or it could have been worse. While I know that these are true, at times it can get infuriating, especially when you feel that changing the way you view things is not enough.

I guess what I've learned over the past few months since is that beyond changing my point of view is recognizing that one needs to be proactive about what it is he or she wants to change in themselves. It's more than just a matter of perspective.

Wala lang. Thought of the day lang. to continue reading...


Today I will rant.

Or maybe I shouldn't.

There are too many conversations in my head that should go shhhhhhhh......

*sigh* to continue reading...

November 8, 2009

Mobile Banking and More.

Nowadays there are so many ways to settle whatever bills pop into your mailbox. Gone are the days of standing in queue in multiple banks, service centers and what not..Today, one does not even need to leave the comforts of their own homes to settle utility bills, pay for school tuition or even make payroll disbursements. And yes, you don't even need a computer to do all these and more.

Globe GCASH sponsors the 2009 E-Commerce Summit
With just a mobile phone, not only are those transactions settled, you can also do online purchases via GCASH Click, pay for airplane tickets, make donations to various institutions or organizations, pay for your insurance and make loan payments as well. Powered by BPI Mobile Banking, Globe and TM subscribers have a new handy way of managing their banking transactions.Families of OFW's can also maximize their hard-earned money from abroad with GCASH REMIT which enables their families here to instantly claim their remittances in over 2,500 locations around the country.

However, if doing online banking was a big step forward for a person like me (yes, despite my being a child of modern technology!) I still have some fears and trepidations about mobile banking. In fact, one thing I still consider when online shopping, such as in Multiply, is how payments are made. I still feel a bit confused about how these GCASH and mobile money transferring works.Also, I am the type of person who feels more at ease when someone explains to me how things work over reading it from a webpage. It makes me feel more secure about what I'm doing. To clarify these issues, Globe GCASH is sponsoring the upcoming DigitalFilipino E-Commerce Summit on November 12 and 13 where the president of G-Xchange, Inc, Ms. Rizza Maniego-Eala will talk about the challenges and opportunities in mobile money transfers. to continue reading...

November 3, 2009

Anticipating: Starbucks Planner 2010!!!!

In less than 12 hours (oo na, adik na kung adik) Starbucks will launch it's Red Cups and Starbucks Planner for 2010. I can barely wait! In the meantime, I dusted off my shelf and decided to take stock of my current collection. At present I'm at 46 and counting! I realized I lost 2 tumblers in the past few monthsl: the DIY tumbler and an orange one my stepdad brought me home from the States. I think I left them in the school cafeteria :-(

Anyway, tomorrow, I will foolishly troop to the nearest Starbucks to start my new quest. I wish I can afford to claim all three designs they are launching. I wonder how many stickers I will many calories I will consume...and how many nights I'll be up due to all that caffeine.

Oh Lordy...someone give me a Belle De Jour planner and tell me to shut up already.

Yeah right. See you in Starbucks tomorrow. Last year it took me all of 8 days to get my first planner. Let's see how this one goes. to continue reading...

Finding the Right Router.

One of my favorite features on my Nokia E63 is its wifi capability. I love how it makes the world wide web so handy. However, I don't have a wireless router at home. Well, I guess I never really needed it before but now that I have a handheld wifi-enabled device, it would make sense to get a router, right? The problem is I can't decide what to get!!! First there's the issue of wireless n's or wireless g's. Then comes the brand and model issues!!! There's Linksys, D-Link, TP Link and now I come across a Belkin! Argh!!!! Couldn't there just be one obvious choice??? Okay, okay, most recomment linksys but it costs much more!!! Put it this way: a Linksys Wireless G or a Belkin Wireless N? Both cost roughly the same. Opinions? to continue reading...

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