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Off to Cebu City! Visayas here I come!

Mindanaoan Update, Personal, Tourism, Travel, Visayas
Mindanaoan is off to Cebu City tomorrow and will be back by Tuesday. However, I just got word that the hotel in Cebu where I'll stay in has WiFi access (hopefully it's free! *fingers crossed*) so I think I'll be able to post and entry or two while I'm in the Queen City of the South. My trip will be a combination of business and pleasure so I really hope to make the most of my time in Cebu City. While it's not my first time to travel to Cebu City, Visayas, it'll be my first time to take "better photos" (hopefully!) of the city's sights. It'll be my first time to take photos using my ever trusty Nokia DSLR, my first time since I got more engrossed with digital photography and my first time since the photography workshops, trainings and one-on-one tutorials. Pretty excited - yes I am! I...

The curious case of the CagayanCon 2009 website and a controversy?

Business, Cagayan de Oro City, Commentary, Mindanaoan Update, Opinion, Personal
The 1st Cagayan de Oro Construction Show 2009 (CagayanCon '09) was held last January 16, 17 and 18, 2009 at the Rotunda, Lim Ket Kai Mall, Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao, Philippines. The event aims to pool together stakeholders (from construction businessmen to manufacturers to suppliers to end consumers) in the construction industry. I must admit, I didn't hear about the event up until I was actually inside Limketkai Mall last Sunday, January 18, the last day of the exhibit. I was in town (CDO) for the day and I noticed the many booths at the Rotunda area of the said famous Cagayan de Oro mall. I was only able to check out 2-3 booths that day, unfortunately, so I vowed to check the event website and hopefully write about it here in Mindanaoan. Lo and behold, I found a couple of highly ...

Review: Bahia Spa and Wellness in MetroLifestyle complex Davao City

Beauty, Consumer, Davao City, Leisure, Mindanaoan Update, Personal, Society
First of all, let me just stress that this is NOT a sponsored post. I just want to share my very good experience over at the Bahia Spa and Wellness Center in Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines. Here's hoping that my review of the place could help weary travelers, spa aficionados, health buffs and perhaps Dabawenyos who still have reservations with regard to spas and health centers. Please feel free to share your thoughts :) Bahia Spa and Wellness Center is located along F. Torres Street, Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines. It's near the Davao City National High School and can be found within the Metro Lifestyle Complex, which also houses a Bo's Coffee Club franchise, a gym (MetroLifestyle Fitness Center), the Krua Thai restaurant Davao branch and a Dermalife Facial and Slimming center....

I’m now a wedding photographer here in Mindanao!

Arts, Beauty, Business, Cagayan de Oro City, Camiguin, Davao City, Fashion, General Santos City, Mindanao, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Personal, Photos, Sarangani, Society, Weddings
So I just produced the photos I took during my very first wedding photography coverage gig. I was one of the photographers (and the only female photographer, I should say) during the Prestenbach Wedding in Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao last December 28, 2008. (Yep, I guess I'm now a wedding photographer here in Mindanao! :) ) It was truly a great day - to be able to capture people and moments and to be a part of a nice couple's memorable day. The Prestenbachs, a Germany-based couple, have been together for 15 great years and they're thinking of moving here in the Philippines for good. The Prestenbachs have two lovely children. They also have this magnificent beachfront property in Baloy, Cagayan de Oro. Here are some of my wedding photography photos: * All photos are of low ...

Malipayong Pasko kaninyong tanan!

Mindanaoan Update, Personal
From my family to yours - Merry Christmas! (Malipayong Pasko) I hope the past year has been fruitful, peaceful and definitely merry for you and your family. My 2008 has been (and still is!) amazing - I have traveled to more places this year, attended more events and festivals around Mindanao, met more interesting people around the Philippines and tried my hand on more things such as photography, white water rafting and Photoshop dabbling! I intend to continue this amazing journey next year, 2009 - the Year of the Ox. Hopefully, I will travel even farther, increase my list of friends, meet more people, help more strangers, hone my talents more and just become a well-rounded, warmer, more confident, more courageous person. Expect bigger things here in Mindanaoan as well! Once again, Merry...

Two of my most favorite Visayan Christmas carols

Mindanaoan Update, Music, Personal
Kasadya Ni-ining Takna-a and Ani-a Kami are two of my most favorite Visayan Christmas carols. These songs bring back so many childhood memories - from my father cradling me on his lap to the glee clubs which want to raise money for their groups by singing Christmas carols around our subdivision to the children who bring their homemade musical instruments. I bet all Mindanaoans, Visayans and even Luzonians love these songs! Just in case you're also in the mood to sing Christmas carols, here are the lyrics of Kasadya Niining Takna and Ania Kami: KASADYA NIINING TAKNA-A Kasadya niining taknaa Dapit sa kahimayaan, Mao ra’y among nakita Ang panagway nga masanagon. Bulahan ug bulahan Ang tagbalay nga gi-awitan, Awit nga halandumon Sa tanang Pasko, magmalipayon. Bag-ong tuig, bag...

The one question I want to ask General Santos City Mayor Pedro “Jun” Acharon

General Santos City, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Opinion, Personal, Travel
A few months ago, my brother and I went to General Santos City, Mindanao. AFTER 14 LONG YEARS. It was a trip planned within a few days - I wanted to take pictures during the Tuna Festival and at the same time, perhaps see some of our relatives (father's side) whom we haven't seen in that long a time. What supposedly was a "reunion" turned out to be a depressing visit. My brother and I learned that some of our relatives are now homeless. Yes, HOMELESS. Their homes in Lot 2, Barangay Apopong, General Santos City have been demolished and they have been living in makeshift shanties for more than a year now. By makeshift I REALLY mean makeshift - they merely took whatever they could retrieve in the heat of the demolitions (there were two in a span of a few months) and they literally just pie...

Tips in finding gifts for men

Features, Mindanaoan Update, Personal, Society, Style
Men are not the only ones racking their brains out as to what’s the best gift for the female loved ones this Christmas season, the women are also having a hard time too! Unlike in the past where the easiest gift to pick for men are jackets or pants, women are now challenged with the fact that men are also embarking in the modern age where there’s a lot of things to choose from. Trend expert Vincent Gregoire gave some cool tips for women in what great gifts to give to their male loved ones. He suggested that before scrimping for gifts, women should think of practical and intelligent presents. • USB memory sticks or external hard drives. Men are becoming more tech savvy and providing them additional memory in storing files is a safe bet. • Items that would look good in his pad. Y...

Pacman’s win should not mask true state of RP sports

Mindanaoan Update, Opinion, Personal, Personalities, Sports
I absolutely agree with Senator Francis "Chiz" Escudero's statement that Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao's win over Oscar "Golden Boy" De La Hoya recently should not mask the real, true state of Philippine sports. While we're all happy and proud of Pacquiao's win in the recently concluded "Dream Match," (congratulations, Manny!) we should not forget that there's still so much to be done in order to really make the Filipino truly excel in different sporting fronts (and not just in boxing). It's true that Pacquiao, a certified Mindanaoan by the way (he was born in Kibawe, Bukidnon and grew up in General Santos City, Mindanao), is a genuine sports hero not only among Filipinos but among boxing aficionados all over the world. What he displayed last weekend was exemplary sportsmanship, skill and ded...

Bingo crazy at Lim Ket Kai Mall Cagayan de Oro

Cagayan de Oro City, Leisure, Mindanaoan Update, Personal
This post is the second for Mindanaoan’s “Things To Do [in a particular Mindanao city or Mindanao province]” series. Here's one thing you can do if you've done just about everything in Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao (dubbed the City of Golden Friendship) and you need something to keep yourself preoccupied - play bingo! Yup, I've been "bingo crazy" these past few weeks. First, I played at a recent charity bingo event in Casino Filipino, Grand Regal Hotel, Davao City and then a week later, I found myself playing bingo for two days (!) in Lim Ket Kai Mall, CDO. Not that all I did was play bingo, of course. I also shopped in between games, ate and watched "Twilight" (which, in my own humble opinion, by the way, was more of hype and cheesy teenybopper-kilig lines...Robert Pattinson is a bit of a...

My first Sony experience is with my Sony Ericsson K500i

Consumer, Contests, Controversial, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Opinion, Personal, Reviews, Style, Technology, Tourism, Travel
While I consider my father's Sony all-transistor radio my first Sony "encounter," (it was one of his most treasured possessions and when he installed pipe-in sound systems in Jesuit-owned buildings, he'd bring me and his precious all transistor radio along - my role was to belt out songs and he'd test the wirings and quality of sound) I consider my Sony Ericsson k500i mobile phone as my very first Sony experience. In fact, truth be told, my Sony Ericsson k500i cellular phone has been with me through so many "firsts" in my life that it has just been (and still is!) one crazy, amazing, memorable ride. This phone has also played a great part in my quest to find my niche - my very own place under the sun. I bought this Sony product at a time when I felt I badly wanted - nay, needed - a chan...

Meet my new toy: Hewlett Packard Mini Note 2133

Mindanaoan Update, Personal, Technology
Ever since my Acer Travelmate laptop started acting out a few weeks ago (which was understandable since that baby has served me so well for more than a year), I knew I had to buy a new notebook. This time, however, my "back up" toy should be small enough to bring along during my frequent trips but durable and sleek enough that I can use it during power meetings with clients or if I need to beat a deadline right smack in the Senate session hall or at the gallery section in Congress. So meet Mindanaoan's new toy --- my new Hewlett Packard Mini Note 2133 laptop. I got this baby during my most recent trip to Manila. And for a very good price, too! I got a whopping P4,000.00 discount! (I'm not kidding! And yes, this one's a brand new unit and has a yearlong warranty, just in case you're curio...

Pictures taken during the Senate Nov. 17, 2008 revamp

Broadcasting, Controversial, Government, Headline, Media, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, News, Opinion, Personal, Personalities, Photos
What supposed to be was a simple, routinary visit to the Senate of the Philippines last November 17, 2008 turned out to be one very controversial occasion. It was the day when the Senate coup happened. It was the day when the Senate revamp occured. It was the day when Senate President Manny Villar got ousted by his fellow senators and was replaced by Senator Juan Ponce Enrile. And yes, it was also the day when Mindanaoan Senator Juan Miguel "Migs" Zubiri got appointed as Acting Majority Floor Leader. Although I've been receiving some tips via text messages that something "big" and "major" would occur in the next few days, I never thought that IT would happen that day, a seemingly innocent Monday. Anyways, here are the photos I took that day: (CLICK ON THE THUMBNAILS) ...

Pacman vs. Golden Boy: Pay Per View Or Not?

Events, Mindanaoan Update, Musings, Personal, Sports
Who's looking forward to the upcoming Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao - Oscar "The Golden Boy" De La Hoya bout as much as my family and I am? Can't wait to watch the exchange of jabs, hooks and upper cuts on December 6, 2008. The event, which will be held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, is dubbed the boxing match of the year! Do you think Oscar will win or will the Kibawe, Bukidnon-born Pacman deliver a knockout? Anyways, as we all know, HBO Pay Per View (PPV) will carry the bout on December 6, 2008. So now I'm a bit confused as to whether or not I should avail of the PPV. The local cable company here in my area is offering its subscribers the PPV service for P700.00 (roughly US$15.50) If I pay on or before November 30, 2008, I only need to shell out P600.00 (roughly US$13.33) Now the big que...

Huge Christmas tree at SM Mall of Asia

Mindanaoan Update, Personal, Tourism
Took this picture of the huge Christmas tree found in what's considered as the third largest shopping mall in the world, SM Mall of Asia (MOA). It's a pretty Christmas tree - it had lots of trimmings such as Christmas balls and stars, large gifts at its foot and loads of Christmas lights. The tree is located right in front of the French Baker branch and right beside the mini castle at the Entertainment Hall section of the Main Mall. I'm not too sure if this Christmas tree is larger than the one in Cubao, though. What do you think of MOA's Christmas tree? By the way, I found it rather interesting to see a lot of families milling around and about MOA that day. You see, we went there on a Tuesday morning, which is supposed to be work day, yes? Makes you hope that the parents went t...

Back from my 5-day Manila trip

Mindanaoan Update, Personal
I'm finally back home! After staying for 5 days in busy, dusty Metro Manila, Mindanaoan is back on track. I have so many things to share with y'all! Here's a quick teaser: Da Spooftacular Showdown featuring Jon Santos, Candy Pangilinan, John "Sweet" Lapus and Pohkwang Manila Ocean Park (my most recent visit was my third, though!) Grand Kapamilya Negosyo Fair at the World Trade Center (sponsored by ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs) My new digital toy! My new photography stuff! Meeting one of the people behind Nuffnang! (who happens to be a friend of a friend! Truly a small world, eh?) and for the biggest scoop as of late...Mindanaoan has exclusive shots taken during the Senate revamp last Monday (Senator Manny Villar was replaced by Senator Juan Ponce Enrile in a coup) As...

A Mindanaoan clinches “Project Runway Philippines” title

Beauty, Fashion, Mindanaoan Update, News, Personal
It's official. 26-year old Aries Lagat has won the Project Runway Philippines competition. Aries is from Iligan City, Lanao del Norte, Mindanao so obviously that makes him a certified Mindanaoan. While I'm not exactly a fan especially when he said that Mindanao people didn't know fashion (besides I liked Phillip Tampus' collection better; I also loved Veejay Floresca's clothes - I thought they were sellable and were easy to wear) I am pretty glad that someone from Mindanao won the competition. Let's just hope that Aries learns to speak more highly of Mindanao and its people next time. Aries Lagat, by the way, also won the 2006 Mega Young Designers Competition (Mega YDC), an annual competition for Filipino novice fashion designers sponsored by Mega magazine. He was also a former scholar ...

How to get your SSS ID card

Government, Mindanaoan Update, Personal, Society
Like I mentioned in this post, I was at the Social Security System (SSS) office in our area early this week because I had to secure my SSS ID card. Although I'm a longtime SSS member, it's only now that I finally had the time (and finally ran out of valid excuses not to go! LOL) to visit and have my picture taken and stuff. Here's the procedure on how to secure your very own SSS ID card: Go to the Forms Issuance Counter and ask for the Social Security ID form (SSS Form E-6) Fill up the form in ONE copy only Proceed to any receiving/verification counter (usually counters 1-6). The teller will validate your form. You are required to bring two (2) valid IDs for verification purposes (valid IDs include your company ID, passport, TIN etc) If the application form is in order, the te...

How to get your SSS number

Jobs, Mindanaoan Update, Personal, Society
I'm a longtime Social Security System (SSS) member but I figured I'd share these tips on how to secure your SSS number. I was at the SSS office in our area early this week because I had to get my SSS ID and found a couple of how-to tips that I hope some of you might find useful. Here are the steps on how to secure your social security (SS) number: If you're employed, get the SS form E-1. If you're self-employed, secure the SS form RS-1. Get these from the Forms Issuance Counter. Fill up the form in two (2) copies. Submit the accomplished forms together with the supporting documents at the counter. The list of supporting documents can be found at the back of the form (some of the supporting documents include your original, National Statistics Office-certified birth certificate, I...

How a single letter can make a difference

Humor, Mindanaoan Update, Opinion, Personal
I couldn't help but take a photo of this during my trip to Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao over the weekend. I was crossing the street when I spotted this sign at the back of a van. The word "Legislators" first caught my attention - the letters were huge, red and attractive. Unfortunately, when I studied the sign further, I saw something wrong. Can you find what I saw? A single misspelled word can really make or break a lot of things - even an organization's sign/placard. Just when I was supposed to be impressed, I was immediately disappointed with what I saw. I had a lot of questions, too --- who made that sign/placard? Why did the National Movement of Young Legislators allow such blunder? How much did the group spend for a misspelled sign? Didn't they check beforehand or at least reque...

Totally in love with the new Revolution themes!

Internet, Personal, Technology
If you still haven't heard, uber talented designer Brian Gardner's beautiful, popular Revolution Themes for Wordpress have already gone open source. Yay for all of us bloggers! Well, these are not the same Revolution Themes, mind you. These are totally new themes that Brian and his fellow designer Jason decided to launch under the open source/GP license. Check out the Revolution Two open source theme site here! For those of you who've already visited this website, you may have noticed that yes, I have YET AGAIN changed the blog theme. The theme I'm using right now is sure to stay for a long, long time, though! Yep, you guessed it right - I'm using one of Brian's new themes. Specifically, I'm using the Revolution Church theme. Now if you're interested to use any or all o...

Getting primped up at Jesi Mendez Salon Cagayan de Oro City

Cagayan de Oro City, Fashion, Opinion, Personal, Style
Ever since my House of Representatives days, I’ve always wanted to visit a Jesi Mendez Salon branch and see what the fuss was all about. You see, a lot of my Manila-based friends rave about how they like the salon, the hairdressers and the services. Many wives of congressmen-friends also visit the salon for their regular hair treatments. However, being the “kuripot” (cheapskate) Mindanaoan that I am, my plan just remained a plan for years until finally, I had the chance (and the money!) to go last weekend. I was in Cagayan de Oro City and I found out that there was a Jesi Mendez Salon in the area. So I went. The Jesi Mendez Salon branch there, which opened early this year (with GMA 7 actor Dingdong Dantes as guest celebrity), is located at the famed Lim Ket Kai Mall along Lapasan Highwa...