Tuesday, July 5Multi-awarded Filipina blogger, publicist and social media specialist
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PHOTOS: Catching Up With Rivermaya band in Cebu

PHOTOS: Catching Up With Rivermaya band in Cebu

Cebu City, Entertainment, Music, Musings, Personalities, Photos
I will let you in on a secret: Rivermaya band, despite the multi-platinum record selling success, thousands of successful concerts here and abroad and millions of fans, is actually composed of very friendly, down-to-earth, kulit guys. (so kulit you have to be on your toes whenever they have sheepish looks on their faces :D) When you're around them, they make you feel welcome. And when they're around you, they're just themselves - no rockstar attitude at all. This is why, apart from being a fan of their songs, I love hanging out with them. Offstage, the Rivermaya guys - Mark Escueta, Mike Elgar, Norby David and Ryan Peralta - are just regular, funny and cool guys. Let me prove that by sharing some of my photos with Rivermaya in Cebu :) Spent two days with some of my favorite guys. Enj...
Mindanaoan.com declared top CDO blog by ICT Awards

Mindanaoan.com declared top CDO blog by ICT Awards

Advocacy, Announcements, Arts, Bisaya, Blogging, Business, Cagayan de Oro City, Entertainment, Events, Features, Headline, Internet, Journalism, Media, Mindanaoan Artists, Mindanaoan Update, Misamis Oriental, Musings, News, Northern Mindanao, Personal, Personalities, Society, Technology
It is with utmost humility that I announce that Mindanaoan.com has just been declared as a "Top CDO Blog" in the recently concluded 2014 ICT Awards held at the Activity Center, Centrio Mall, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines. The ICT Awards, organized by the CDO ICT Business Council, Cagayan de Oro's main information and communications technology organization, recognizes websites, individuals and organizations involved in the city's IT industry. The citation reads: "The 2014 ICT Awards, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, National Telecommunications and Communications, Department of Science and Technology - ICTO and the City Government of Cagayan de Oro, presents this Top CDO Blog Award to www.Mindanaoan.com for the creation and maintenance of an exceptional b...
That honest, taray Davao taxi driver story and things I learned when a post gets viral

That honest, taray Davao taxi driver story and things I learned when a post gets viral

Announcements, Davao City, Davao del Sur, Features, Mindanaoan Update, Musings
Hello, world. Yes, that was me. The person who posted that "taray Davao taxi driver" story on Facebook that got viral --- no, really, really viral --- was me. Google "Davao taxi driver," "taray Davao taxi driver" or "honest Davao taxi driver," chances are, most of the hits on the first page and Google images are about my post. (this is what SEO folks would die for!) And, like anybody whose post unknowingly attracted thousands of "likes," shares, retweets, reposts and comments from people around the world, I now have my own story to tell. I also learned a couple of lessons, both good and bad. Well, I want to focus on the good so trust me, there were more good than bad. Did I mention, though, that as a result, I received several TV and radio interview requests and hundreds of friend reque...
Mindanaoan In Korea travel series: Cheonggyecheon Stream

Mindanaoan In Korea travel series: Cheonggyecheon Stream

Blogging, Features, Korea, Leisure, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Personal, Travel
After visiting Deoksugung Palace and witnessing the changing of the royal guards ceremony, my brother and I then proceeded to Cheonggyecheong Stream, an 8.4 kilometer long stream that flows west to east through downtown Seoul. What used to be a neglected overpass in the 70's was restored as a massive urban renewal project worth $900 Million in 2005 and is now one of the popular tourist destinations in Seoul, South Korea. Actually, even locals love hanging out here as well. From Deoksugung Palace, we walked for about 250 meters to Cheonggyecheong Stream. If you're at Deoksugung Palace facing the Seoul City Hall, Cheonggyecheong Stream is on your left. Just go straight and look for Chongye Plaza or this cone/shell sculpture. This signifies that you're at the mouth of the stream :) ...
Mindanaoan In Korea travel series: Seoul travel tips

Mindanaoan In Korea travel series: Seoul travel tips

Blogging, Entertainment, Features, Flights, Korea, Leisure, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Seoul, Shopping, Society, Tourism, Travel
So before I really get down to business with my Mindanaoan in Korea travel series, please allow me to share a few travel tips and tricks that you may find helpful when you travel to Seoul, Korea. I like to be well-prepared whenever I travel and hopefully, these Seoul travel tips can help you, too. 1. Do you already have a valid visa for travel to Korea? Here's how I applied for a Korean tourist visa 2. Check the weather in Korea at the time of your trip. This way, you can bring proper clothes. 3. I suggest that you bring U.S. Dollars (instead of Philippine pesos) and have those changed to Korean won. The exchange rates at the Incheon International Airport are fair but I got the best exchange rates in Myeongdong, the famed shopping district in Seoul. Here's a handy tip: 1,000 KRW i...
How to apply for a Korean visa – requirements for Filipino tourists

How to apply for a Korean visa – requirements for Filipino tourists

Features, Flights, Government, Headline, Korea, Leisure, Mindanao, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Society, Tourism, Travel
When my friends and relatives first learned that I was set to visit Korea, all of them got really excited. Can't blame them as Korea is one of the favorite travel destinations of many Filipinos these days, thanks to the ever growing popularity of K-Pop, Koreanovelas and continuous visits to the Philippines by popular Korean celebrities. As of this writing, Filipinos still need a visa to enter Korea. Filipino tourists who intend to stay for 59 days or less can apply for a Korean tourist visa FOR FREE. The thing is, though, you must apply at the Korean embassy in Manila for you to avail of the FREE South Korea tourist visa. For people outside Metro Manila (like me and my brother!), the cheaper option is to have an accredited travel agency fix our applications. In our case, since our fligh...
Mindanaoan in Korea travel series: itinerary, tips and more

Mindanaoan in Korea travel series: itinerary, tips and more

Blogging, Culture, Entertainment, Features, Flights, Korea, Leisure, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Society, Style, Tourism, Travel
I have been traveling a lot the past few weeks! One of my recent foreign travel destinations was KOREA :) It was my very first time (and most definitely not the last!) to visit the world's only divided country and my brother (who was my travel companion) and I had the most amazing time! We stayed for a little over a week - just the perfect number of days to explore Seoul, Nami Island and a bit of North Korea (yessir!) I can't wait to share with you more details about our Korea trip! Please follow my humble Mindanaoan in Korea travel series by CLICKING ON THIS FEED and bookmarking/saving the pages :) You may also want to take a look at some of my photos on Instagram. I will share budget travel tips, very helpful travel apps, recommended hostel in Seoul, delicious Korea food finds, videos...
Got invited to speak at the Malaysia Social Media Summit 2014

Got invited to speak at the Malaysia Social Media Summit 2014

Advocacy, Announcements, Blogging, Events, Internet, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Media, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, News, Personal, Society, Technology
Very excited to share that I will be in Malaysia in a few days for the 2014 Malaysia Social Media Week! I will be one of the speakers during the World Bloggers and Social Media Summit at Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on February 24 to March 1, 2014. It's truly a huge honor and opportunity and I am looking forward to meeting the other speakers from all over the world. I will be one of the only two speakers from the Philippines (the other one is Anton Diaz, the very amiable guy behind the popular Our Awesome Planet :) ) With the theme "Engage, Educate and Entertain," the 2014 Malaysia Social Media Summit, organized by the Malaysia Social Media Chambers, aims to reflect the "role of social media as a catalyst in stirring the cultural, political, economic and s...
Mindanaoan.com wins Best Lifestyle Blog in 2013 Mindanao Blog Awards

Mindanaoan.com wins Best Lifestyle Blog in 2013 Mindanao Blog Awards

Announcements, Blogging, Features, Headline, Internet, Leisure, Media, Mindanao, Mindanaoan Artists, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, News, Personal, Society, Technology, United States of America
My lucky stars truly shone on me during the recently concluded Mindanao Blog Awards 2013. Apart from bagging the Mindanao Blogger of the Year award, Mindanaoan.com also won the Best Lifestyle Blog award :) Thank you so much, daghang salamat to all of my fellow Mindanao bloggers who nominated and voted for me and to all of the judges as well. I am really grateful for this recognition! Such an honor, such an honor. I remember when I won the Best Lifestyle Blog award in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and became a national finalist in the 2011 PBA. Those citations truly inspired me to help more people understand the power of blogging and social media. In just a span of 2 years, I have organized a bloggers group, organized some blogging and mapping workshops, traveled to several a...
Mindanaoan is 2013 Mindanao Blogger Of The Year

Mindanaoan is 2013 Mindanao Blogger Of The Year

Advocacy, Agriculture, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, America, Announcements, ARMM, Arts, Bacolod City, Banks, Basilan, Beauty, BIMP-EAGA, Bisaya, Bislig, Blogging, Broadcasting, Bukidnon, Business, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro City, Camiguin, Campus, Caraga, Cebu City, Commentary, Compostela Valley, Consumer, Contests, Controversial, Corporate, Cotabato, Culture, Davao City, Davao Del Norte, Davao del Sur, Dipolog, Education, Entertainment, Events, Fashion, Features, Festivals, Fiesta, Flights, Food, Freebies, General Santos City, Gifts, Government, Headline, Hongkong, Hotels, Humor, Iligan City, Internet, Island Garden City of Samal, Jobs, Journalism, Kaamulan Festival, Koronadal, Kuala Lumpur, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Leisure, Macau, Maguindanao, Make Money Online, Malaybalay City, Malaysia, Manila, Marawi City, Media, Mindanao, Mindanaoan Artists, Mindanaoan Update, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Movies, Music, Musings, Muslim Mindanao, Negros Occidental, News, North Cotabato, Northern Mindanao, Opinion, Ozamis, Pagadian, Personal, Personalities, Photos, Politics, Radio, Recipes, Religion, Resorts, Reviews, Sarangani, Shenzhen, Shopping, Sindangan, Singapore, Society, SoSCksargen, South Cotabato, Sports, Style, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Surigao, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Tacurong, Tangub City, Tawi Tawi, Technology, Television, Tourism, Travel, United States of America, Videos, Visayas, Weddings, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Peninsula, Zamboanga Sibugay
It still feels a bit surreal, truth be told. Winning the 2013 Mindanao Blogger Of The Year award and the Best Lifestyle Blog award during the Mindanao Blog Awards 2013 held last October 26, 2013 in Davao City was the farthest thing from my mind. I was there to meet my blogger friends, have a good time, maybe drink a cocktail or two and cheer for other finalists. My mindset that night was (and I actually wrote this days before the finals): Win or lose, you are a champ. What's important is that you did your best in letting more people understand and appreciate the power of social media and blogging in sparking more conversations, making better communities and harnessing better understanding. Social good, folks. Only the good. So when my name was called, you could just imagine my shock. Yup...
Excited to meet Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth and Gin Blossoms! #SugarSmashGin

Excited to meet Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth and Gin Blossoms! #SugarSmashGin

Announcements, Blogging, Entertainment, Events, Features, Music, Musings, Personal, Personalities, Society
Just a few days more and I'll finally meet and be with popular and iconic 90's bands Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth and Gin Blossoms in Manila! Yes, I am officially stoked for the #SugarSmashGin concert! Woohoo! :D I previously shared with you all that I will play a little role in the staging of the much-awaited SugarSmashGin Live In Manila concert on October 21, 2013 at the Araneta Coliseum. Yup, that's just a few days away! WHO AMONG YOU ARE COMING TO WATCH? :) Did you see Sugar Ray lead singer Mark McGrath's tweet to me in this article? :) Very sweet, right? That tweet alone was enough to send me on my little merry way for days! :D By the way, since that blog entry, the official Gin Blossoms Twitter account has followed me on Twitter, Scott Hessel of Gin Blossoms has also followed me and ...
Davao fruit shopping with Rivermaya @rivermayaband

Davao fruit shopping with Rivermaya @rivermayaband

Davao City, Davao Del Norte, Davao del Sur, Entertainment, Events, Features, Mindanaoan Update, Music, Musings, Personalities, Shopping, Society, Tourism
Was scanning my files earlier today and I found these! Very timely - since my Rivermaya band boys are currently in Dubai as of this writing and I miss them :) I will be in Manila in a few days, actually, but I'm not sure if I could watch any of their gigs. Oh well, c'est la vie. Anyway, here's the kuwento behind these photos. Hours before that Rivermaya Live In Davao show I co-produced with Apo View Hotel and The Blue Room not too long ago, Explore Davao treated Rivermaya band members Mark Escueta, Mike Elgar, Norby David and Ryan Peralta, the Rivermaya band management (led by Raymond) and I to a fun Samal Island trip! The boys looked pretty excited that morning :) Of course, what good is a beach/island outing without baon? Davao Congressman Karlo Nograles and his lovely wife ...
Mindanaoan.com is a finalist in the 2013 Mindanao Blog Awards

Mindanaoan.com is a finalist in the 2013 Mindanao Blog Awards

Advocacy, Announcements, Blogging, Features, Internet, Mindanaoan Artists, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Society, Technology
Hi everyone! So excited to share with you all a piece of good news. My humble blog, Mindanaoan, has officially been recognized as a finalist in the Mindanao Blog Awards 2013 (MBA 2013)! Woot woot! Mindanaoan.com is one of the Best Lifestyle Blog 2013 finalists :) You can find the official announcement here. Thank you so much, daghang salamat gyud kaayo to everyone who voted in order for Mindanaoan to be among the finalists. There will still be a final round of voting (I hope I can still count on your support ;) ) but win or lose, I am already extremely proud and grateful! Thank you :) I remember when I won the Best Lifestyle Blog award in the 2010 Philippine Blog Awards and became a national finalist in the 2011 leg. The recognitions truly inspired me to help more people understa...

Krispy Kreme CDO: 7 things you will like #KrispyKremeCDO

Blogging, Business, Cagayan de Oro City, Consumer, Corporate, Events, Features, Food, Musings, Shopping, Society
Who doesn't have a love relationship with Krispy Kreme? It's the home of my favorite Original Glazed Doughnuts, good signature coffee and delicious chilled drinks. In other words, Krispy Kreme is the home of good stuff and good vibes. And for people in Cagayan de Oro, the good stuff and the good vibes are heading their way real soon! Krispy Kreme CDO will soon open a stand-alone store at Rosario Crescent, Lim Ket Kai Mall, Lapasan! Krispy Kreme at Limketkai Cagayan de Oro is set to open its doors and light their "Fresh Doughnuts Here" sign come mid-November. Are you excited? I know I am! During a bloggers conference with Krispy Kreme Philippines Marketing Manager Mark Gamboa and Assistant Marketing Manager for Visayas and Mindanao Nadia Shami, I found out a couple of things about...
Speaking about social media in a US Embassy event in Palawan

Speaking about social media in a US Embassy event in Palawan

Advocacy, America, Arts, Blogging, Education, Features, Government, Headline, Internet, Media, Mindanao, Mindanaoan Artists, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Personal, Society, Technology, Tourism, United States of America, Visayas
This Mindanao blogger received a special invitation not too long ago. The US Embassy Manila folks asked if I wanted to speak about social media, blogging and citizen journalism in a two-day, all expenses paid eco-tourism workshop in Palawan. As an International Visitor Leadership Program alumnus, I was invited to share my knowledge to outstanding students from various schools in Brooke's Point, Palawan. Who can say no to that kind of invitation? So last August 22, 2013, I flew to Manila from Mindanao and then to Puerto Princesa, Palawan - all on the same day. My flight to Manila got delayed for about 3 hours because of Typhoon Maring. The delayed flight was both boon and bane. Boon because I was able to chat with a city mayor-friend of mine (you know, get the inside juicy stuff I can wr...

Visit Resorts World Manila for the 105-day Thrillathon

Blogging, Corporate, Hotels, Leisure, Manila, Mindanaoan Artists, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Resorts, Shopping, Society
Resorts World Manila will always be special to me. Not only did my first few articles about Resorts World Manila garnered so many views from people all over the world (one of them was the most read article back in 2010), I also had one ultra lucky night there. It was so lucky that I was able to bring my mother and three younger brothers to Singapore and Hong Kong :) That's why I try my best to visit Resorts World whenever I'm in Manila. And now I actually have more reason to visit again because Resorts World Manila has prepared an exciting mix of events and surprises for everyone - from foodies to concertgoers, movie fans, bookworms, shopaholics, photo hobbyists, jetsetters, toy enthusiasts, gamers and sportsmen! They're calling it "Thrillathon - Non Stop Events, Shows And Pulse Poundin...
Judging at ABS CBN’s Barangay Gwapo 2013

Judging at ABS CBN’s Barangay Gwapo 2013

Announcements, Beauty, Bisaya, Blogging, Cagayan de Oro City, Entertainment, Events, Mindanaoan Artists, Mindanaoan Update, Misamis Oriental, Musings, Northern Mindanao, Society
How do you help find the fairest of them all? Well I'm about to find out when I'm set to become one of the judges during the finals night of Barangay Gwapo 2013, an ABS CBN Northern Mindanao-organized and produced men's pageant. Yes, folks, Mindanaoan Irene got invited to be one of the Barangay Gwapo 2013 CDO finals night judges on August 17, 2013, 6 PM at the Capitol University Gymnasium, Cagayan de Oro City. This should be fun ;) * photo by my friend Mark Edson Valledor Pagaspas The Barangay Gwapo 2013 CDO finalists are Joseph Ryan Mar (Patag), Paul James Pagalan (Bulua), Phillip John Mamac (Iponan), Marc Paul Adame (Kauswagan), Michael James Cheshire (Macasandig), Val Anthony Araneta (Balulang), Lloyd Sacala (Bugo), Elpidio Murillo, Jr. (Kauswagan), Jethro Noel Danos (Patag...
Will be part of Sugar Ray Smash Mouth Gin Blossoms Live In Manila #SugarSmashGin

Will be part of Sugar Ray Smash Mouth Gin Blossoms Live In Manila #SugarSmashGin

Advocacy, America, Announcements, Blogging, Culture, Entertainment, Events, Features, Headline, Internet, Leisure, Manila, Media, Mindanaoan Update, Music, Musings, News, Personal, Personalities, Society, United States of America
Hold your breath, folks. Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth AND Gin Blossoms are heading to Manila this October 21, 2013! Yes, Mindanaoan.com can exclusively confirm that popular 90's bands Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth and Gin Blossoms will headline a very special 3-in-1 concert #SugarSmashGin on October 21, 2013, Araneta Coliseum, Manila! Actually, I first shared the good news in an earlier blog post but only Sugar Ray and Smash Mouth were the confirmed acts then :) And I am also very excited to let you guys know that, thanks to my amazing friends over at Random Minds Production, I will be with Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth and Gin Blossoms when they arrive in Manila! That means I will frequently be dishing out updates, exclusive photos and videos! Stoked :D So are you ready for #SugarSmashGin? I...
Speaking during Social Media Day 2013

Speaking during Social Media Day 2013

Advocacy, BIMP-EAGA, Blogging, Cagayan de Oro City, Campus, Education, Events, Features, Headline, Internet, Journalism, Media, Mindanaoan Artists, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Northern Mindanao, Personal, Society, Technology
I was invited to be the keynote speaker during a Social Media Day 2013 event held at SM City Cagayan de Oro last Sunday, June 30, 2013. The said Social Media Day or SMDay event was just one of the hundreds being celebrated all over the world that day. I immediately said yes, since this is part of my ongoing advocacy as IVLP alumnae. Social Media Day is an annual international event that recognizes the digital revolution happening around the world. It is a global celebration (in more than 487 cities) of the technological advancements that have given rise to the connected generation. The CDO Bloggers group invited me to speak about responsible social media as well as social media for social good. I also shared some tips on how to use social media to spread positive vibes, encourage vol...

GoodX to send a Mindanaoan indigenous student to U.S.

Advocacy, Bukidnon, Davao City, Davao Del Norte, Davao del Sur, Mindanao, Mindanaoan Artists, Musings, Society
Last year, this Mindanaoan blogger had the most amazing opportunity to tour the USA courtesy of the US Embassy. I was chosen for the U.S. State Department's International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP), a program launched in 1940 that seeks to build mutual understanding between the U.S. and other nations through carefully-designed short-term visits to the U.S. for current and emerging foreign leaders. This year, a fellow Mindanaoan will have the chance to visit America. This time, to attend an international summer camp in the U.S. called "Camp Up With People." And what's also special about this is that the Mindanaoan is a young indigenous student :) Meet Arjean Marie Belco, who is from the Talaandig tribe in Bukidnon, Mindanao. GoodX, a project started by experiential travel advoc...
Co-producing a Rivermaya band gig at Blue Room, Apo View Davao

Co-producing a Rivermaya band gig at Blue Room, Apo View Davao

Announcements, Arts, Entertainment, Events, Features, Island Garden City of Samal, Leisure, Media, Mindanao, Mindanaoan Update, Music, Musings, News, Radio, Society, Videos
Like most things that end up being hands-down epic, my being a co-producer of a recent Rivermaya band gig at Blue Room, Apo View Hotel Davao all started with two phone calls and a Facebook message. Yep. A phone call from the Rivermaya band manager, a phone call to a former classmate in Ateneo and a Facebook message to his cousin (who also happens to be a batchmate). That's all it took. A day and a half later, the Rivermaya Live At Blue Room, Apo View Hotel Davao City was a go. Things moved pretty quickly. My assistant and I were on the phone, calling a few friends who may want to sponsor the show. Fortunately, everyone we got in touch with all said yes. Who wouldn't? It's RIVERMAYA - the Banda ng Bayan - the very band responsible for the monster hits "Kisapmata," "Umaaraw, Umuulan," "Yo...

Clean low cost electricity in Philippines? Yes!

Advocacy, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, ARMM, Bacolod City, BIMP-EAGA, Blogging, Bukidnon, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro City, Camiguin, Caraga, Cebu City, Commentary, Compostela Valley, Consumer, Corporate, Cotabato, Davao City, Davao Del Norte, Davao del Sur, Dipolog, Education, Features, General Santos City, Government, Headline, Hongkong, Iligan City, Island Garden City of Samal, Koronadal, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Malaybalay City, Manila, Marawi City, Mindanao, Mindanaoan Update, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Musings, Muslim Mindanao, Negros Occidental, News, North Cotabato, Northern Mindanao, Ozamis, Pagadian, Personal, Politics, Sarangani, Sindangan, Society, SoSCksargen, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sulu, Surigao, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Tacurong, Tangub City, Tawi Tawi, Technology, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Peninsula, Zamboanga Sibugay
I have so much respect for people and organizations that champion alternative sources of energy for clean and reliable electrical power production! Currently, we depend largely on hydropower plants. Some electric cooperatives also use several solar panels to augment their sources of energy (Cagayan de Oro’s CEPALCO has a solar panel area) and we all know about the Bangui Wind Farm in Ilocos Norte. But what about production of electricity without doing much harm to the environment? What about affordable electricity brought about by alternative-energy technologies? Gasification is a solution! Gasification is a process of converting organic or carbon-containing matter into synthetic gas or syngas which could be used to generate electricity. I’m particularly interested with this because ...