In the last day of 2009...

Thursday, December 31, 2009

...but nevertheless, happy 2010 everybody! I will post a lengthy post after this holiday hangover is over. Cheers, kids.

Before Santa Gets Drunk

Thursday, December 24, 2009

...and above everything else, let me greet everybody Merry Christmas!

Whoever said “Eat in moderation” was terribly mistaken

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I don't know about you but when someone mentions the word "Christmas", food's the first thing that comes to my mind. I'd be a total hypocrite if I say "Christ was born that day." Hey, I'm a believer but my past Christmases were all about food! Really. Since childhood, it was part of our family tradition that no matter how shitty we are financially, we still celebrate. No matter how simple it is, as long as everybody in the family's in one good piece, it's worth celebrating. It is worth eating.

So if you are someone who got used to stuffing your stomachs with God knows what on Christmas, what would you do if you'd get 8 Christmas party invitations this week and expect another 3 next week? Resist? I won't. So high-fatty foods and an impending bulging tummy, bring it on! After all, I only get to eat this much once a year. MODERATION.

Why are you in a hurry...Wait, here's a penny.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Back when I was much smaller, I used to go around our neighborhood together with some of my trusted friends to annoy our neighbors. You see, it's only during Christmas that I can be much use to my friends.

Christmas caroling was our favorite pastime. Dota was non-existent. Internet was also never heard of. We'd go out. Find small pieces of rock. Amateur voice lessons. Try to look innocent. And sing our hearts out. Earn 25 to 50 cents per household and divide the earnings among the group. This was my life aside from getting chased by dogs.

Twenty years passed by.

A few nights ago, I had to stop eating my dinner to find out who the hell was trying to wake up the other neighbors. They turned out to be young kids who were gathering outside our boarding house. And then, there was a brief moment of silence. Kids were talking to each other. Seemed to be agreeing on something. Then, wham! "We wish you a merry Christmas (3x) and a Happy New Year!" Arms extended. Asking for money.

"Holy sh*t. That was it?," asked myself.

You see when I was at their age, I mastered the art of begging during Christmas and I did it with flair. I did with so much flair that I could always go home 10 pesos richer. But times have passed. Things changed. It's not only grown-ups who are in a rush. So are the kids.

The Endless Battle between Kiko Matsing and Elmo Finally Comes to an End

Thursday, December 10, 2009

You see, my brother and I were exact opposites since we were kids. We were entirely different. It was as if both us were in the same spectrum but with different wavelengths. He was different. I was different. He's well-built. I was and still is physically deprived. I excelled both in academics and in other extra-curricular activities. He was the average. He was mischievous. I was sane. But he's good-looking though. Well as for me, let’s just say that my mom would always subtly tell me that some women “don’t go for looks”. Go figure.

Sometimes, my brother and I would exchange roles back then – taking part in being the “black sheep” in the family. I even bullied him around, too; taking things that matters most away from him – even the girl he liked. Yes. My ex-girlfriend was his crush back then. He was just simply head-over-heels but I would just laugh at his futile attempt to talk to her. And you guessed it right. I stole her away from him. (Crap. I was that harsh?) Of course, I am the KUYA and kuyas, whether you like or not, are supposed to always reign supreme over the inferior broodlings! (Okaaay, that’s it. I’m harsh.)

So anyway, my brother always dreamed to live or to study in the States. In fact back when we were kids, he would watch Sesame Street while I prefer to watch Pong Pagong and Kiko Matsing (Ate Syena, matigas na yung saging ko!) in Batibot. So, you see? We’re different.


But if there was one common thing that we got from our mom, it would be her assertiveness. My family could never afford to send him to study or to be exiled in another country but my brother never stopped looking for information in the Internet to the point of spending the rest of the night in our print shop in Davao looking for scholarships in the Internet – the sweet and glorious Internet. That’s when he learned about the Philippine-American Educational Foundation (PAEF) scholarship and applied.

And guess what? Just recently, my brother finally got his scholarship grant to study International Business in Brigham Young University in Hawaii. The lucky bastard.

But you know what? The more I see our differences, the more I come to accept that even though we are different, we both have one thing in common. Putting our differences aside, we are both dreamers. We have one thing in mind: excellence. Excel in the best way we can.

So to my brother who’s leaving right after Christmas, do your best! Make us proud! Bring home the gold! Send dollars! Don’t talk to me in English when you’ll call! Itaas ang bandera ng mga Hernandez! Whatever. Just make your k0YaH proud, you dimwit! And send me chocolates.



Taming the Growling Stomach: Ted's LaPaz Batchoy

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

If you happen to be at Robinson's Place in Dumaguete City and if you are as broke as me just like yesterday, then I would assume that you'd look around the mall for a place where everything fits within your budget, too.

See, I was about to exit the mall when I passed by Ted's LaPaz Batchoy and decided to give it a try. Surprisingly, almost everything in their menu was below Php100.00 (which is the only money I had left yesterday thank you) and so I ordered their Beef Extra Super LaPaz Batchoy for only Php65.00.

Serving time took around 10-15 minutes (they are currently understaffed) but once you try their batchoy, you'll love it. The place is quite small, however. Only a few people can fit inside so if you're in a group, then be ready to eat at the mall's corridor where other mall goers can see you. But hey, food's great so I don't give a damn if other people can see me.

Definitely one of the best LaPaz Batchoy restaurants in Dumaguete!

The New Friendster Still Remains to be Full of Crap

Friday, December 4, 2009

By now, some of you may have already noticed about the new changes in Friendster -- that is, if you still have your account. But for those you of who decided to cancel their Friendster accounts eons ago (I know, I should have deleted mine but I guess I'm afraid I'll miss those freakin' jologs asking for testimonials.), well, your decision was right. That I tell you.


So what's new in the land of Emos and Jologs, you ask? Well, aside from the change in its logo, Friendster also rebranded to a more hippy-type user interface (but still looks like crappy. Sorry). Other new features in Friendster are the following:

The Friendster Wallet

"Along with the Friendster Gift Shop, we’ve launched the new Friendster Wallet enabling you to store money on Friendster in a currency called “Friendster Coins.” It can be spent throughout Friendster’s site for gifts, and new, upcoming goods and services. You’ve told us you don’t have a credit card, so the Friendster Wallet supports prepaid “top-up” cards, which can be purchased at readily-accessible convenience stores such as 7-Eleven. You can buy physical pre-paid card at thousands of offline locations throughout Asia with cash, and then enter the unique code from the card into the Friendster Wallet to receive the money into your account. Then users can make purchases on Friendster.com for gifts, games, goods and services." - Friendster
Friendster Gift Shop
"Now you can send gifts to friends quickly and conveniently. The new Friendster Gift Shop helps you show your friends that you care – and show off the special gifts you receive in return.

There are a variety of gifts in the Shop already and more will be added over time. All are accompanied by a note, allowing you to add a personal message. And the best part, when gifts are sent, they arrive wrapped for the recipient, which makes unwrapping the gift more fun and exciting just like the real thing." - Friendster

Improved Photo Uploading and Viewing
"We know viewing photos and sharing them with friends is one of your favorite things to do on Friendster, so we’ve improved the entire photo experience. You can now upload 1,000 photos a day and we’ve made photo comments more prominent, so sharing thoughts with friends around photos is easier." - Friendster
Okay. So, Friendster may have changed its interface, added new features, and focused more on the yuppies but my verdict? Friendster will always be Friendster. It will never be like Facebook or any other social networking site (SNS). I hate to burst Azrael Coladilla's bubble but Friendster will NOT be the next big hit.
“It will be the next big hit and for my prediction, people will go back to Friendster, while other late blommers will go to other SNS. But hearing from Ben Dunn the big change, I just saw the future of SNS.” – Azrael Coladilla, Azrael’s Merry Land
Growth of Facebook in Asia
(Source: http://www.insidefacebook.com)

Friendster had the chance before but they were already too late. People already shifted to other SNSs and are enjoying their stay on those sites. Why bother using Friendster when they are just copying other growing social networking sites? Clearly a deliberate but futile attempt to gain back they have lost.

So Friendster, you don't deserve to be bookmarked -- not even to be in my browser's history .



Maguindanao's Brand Mismanagement

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The history of Lacoste started from a tennis match when a French tennis player and founder of Lacoste, Rene Lacoste, won the 1926 US Open championship. During his match, he was seen wearing a cotton polo shirt, which was said to reduce sweat. After his win, one of Rene's friend drew a crocodile and was embroidered onto his blazer, which he wore on the court. This became to what is now known as the logo of the company.

A few decades after, the company along with the power from its logo and the name of the brand was handed over to Rene's son, Bernard Lacoste. which resulted to the growth of the company.

Later on, Bernard handed over the power of presidency to his younger brother, Michel Lacoste.

Sources:
http://ezinearticles.com/?History-of-Lacoste&id=523140
http://www.fondationrenelacoste.org/renelacoste_en.html

* * * * *

The crocodile is a large aquatic reptile that is seen in almost all parts of the globe. Crocodiles mostly feed on fish, other reptiles, and mammals (although there are accounts that the crocodiles also feed on humans).

Interestingly to some, the crocodile is revered and worshiped in other parts of the world, particularly in Maguindanao and in other provinces in Mindanao. Below is an article from Newsflash.org:

I met Abdul, an Iranun from Basilan, who taught me the crocodile worship his parents from Zamboanga del Sur perform a month after a woman gives birth. It is pretty much the same as the Maguindanaoans, except that in Maguindanao the crocodile is placed on a small raft to sail down the river as an offering.

Here are the preparations from Abdul.

The figure of a crocodile is formed from boiled tapul sticky rice and placed on top of banana leaves. Chicken is cleaned and boiled. Four eggs were hard-boiled. The crocodile’s head is special, so it is made of yellow rice, the color of royalty.

The hard-boiled eggs are placed on the crocodile’s eye and two more below the crocodile’s neck because they believe the crocodile has four eyes. How else would he see in the blackish waters when he wallows in?

On the back of the crocodile’s neck near the front leg the boiled chicken is placed with its breast upward. Bananas form his claws, placed on each of his four legs. If there are no bananas, the elongated sugar candy called lukot-lukot formed like an egg roll simulates the claws.

The scales of the buaya are made of the pancakes called paƱalam made of flour and red sugar piled bit by bit on the crocodile’s back one on top of each other, sometimes covering the crocodile completely, or placed edge to edge in a line all over his back. Chicken blood is placed in front of the buaya inside a coconut shell.

Cigarettes are placed under the leaves holding the crocodile in case anyone wants to smoke after eating the "crocodile." Prayers are uttered by the imam or pandita. The chicken blood is placed on top of the mother’s hands. She turns around the crocodile a few times and sits to eat first. Others follow after her.

* * * *

In light of the recent massacre in Maguindanao, Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. is coincidentally seen here wearing a tubaw with the Lacoste crocodile symbol. The mayor is allegedly behind the massacre, killing at least 57 innocent people in Maguindanao.

* * * *

Crocodiles are also found in the zoo. No matter how people try to tame these crocodiles, some crocodiles -- particularly those that pose a threat to a community -- are better left caged where some are stuck and should be stuck to rot.

The Super-Mega-Ultimate Guide for Pest Control

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The household mouse is one of the most cunning and the cleverest creatures in this planet. They eat anything from wood to cheese to underwear, which makes them the worst pest for any household but no matter how cunning or clever or how their bodies are built for destruction, inside that body is a small brain, and just like any creature, they have a weakness and that, my friends, is FOOD. They will do anything just to stuff their god-forsaken bodies with food. So, I wrote this guide for you guys to show them who the real boss is and who should reign supreme over the other. (I deserve the Nobel Prize for this.)

Anyway, here are the things you need:
1 bar Kit-Kat (as bait)

1 Baygon fly trap

10-15 minutes of your patience



L.A., I already have all the things I need. What should I do next?

1. Peel one Bagyon fly trap and arrange the now two sheets of fly trap side-by-side.
2. Place strategically in places where mice would most likely prowl at night (Hint: Locate where most mouse shit is dropped and no matter how appealing it may look, do not touch it if you want to live)
3. Place the bait (a bar of Kit-Kat) nice and dandy at the middle of each sheet. Sprinkle small crumbles of Kit-Kat around the fly trap. Make it seductive for the mouse.
4. Leave the trap.
5. Wait. Watch TV. Sleep. Anything. Just do anything. You will know if you successfully caught a mouse if you hear squeaking sounds. For the mouse, the squeak is like calling 911– calling other mouse for help. The more mice you will catch, the bigger your grin will be.



L.A., you are so great and I caught them all but what the hell should I do with the mice?

Disposal is probably the most challenging part of any pest control. You can throw it in the trash or if you are one if those green-minded freaks, burying it as compost is a good way of helping the environment but, personally, watching them burn is one of the most gratifying things any pest control method can give you.

This guide claims to be the cheapest and the most effective way of pest control and works best for the most common pests in our country. Results may vary. Ktnxbai.




The Hope of my Fatherland Lies in the Hands of a Boxer

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Who would have thought that this guy who grew up in the slums would become one of the few Filipinos whose face got plastered in Time Magazine's cover and have his life story printed in 5 pages?

Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao is undeniably one of the greatest boxers ever lived. I may not be his greatest fan when he sings or when he acts in front of the camera but I sure do rejoice whenever his punches land on the faces of other great boxers that would make them go home and whine to their mothers.

Manny, you have truly inspired us, Filipinos, and you are worthy to be called as the "The Great Hope" of our country because of what you have shown in the ring but to become the country's only "hope", politically speaking, well, that's another story.

Pacquiao is set to fight Miguel Cotto in Las Vegas, Nevada next Sunday (Manila Time). Good luck, Packy.

Books that Byte

Friday, November 6, 2009

Huway hello thar! It appears that the second semester just started and that means that I have to teach again!

Last Tuesday, I got my two teaching loads for this semester: CS 2 and LIS 26. CS 2 is about the basic multimedia stuff (video and photo editing, and other multimedia stuff). LIS 26, on the other hand, is about the basic I.T. stuff (information storage and retrieval and library systems) for my Bachelor of Science in Library and Information Systems (BLIS) students.

For this very reason, I made a blog site to provide my students a venue to view all of my lectures online. I will also be sharing teaching strategies with the use of I.T. to my fellow teachers and librarians.

If you have questions, comments, and suggestions for Books that Byte, feel free to contact me at lordallenhernandez@yahoo.com.

Thanks.

Commemorating the Dead By Means of Doing Forced Laundry and Facebook

Sunday, November 1, 2009

So, today’s All Souls’ Day…or is it All Saints’ Day? Never mind. Bottom line here is I’m stuck in the boarding house. To top it off, my labandera is missing in action. I was forced to do all the dirty work earlier. Right. Thanks, manang.

Fortunately, Nicole's kind enough to share a modded version of Opera Mini (with a few minor tweaks). This means I can surf the Internet using my phone via WAP. And holy sheet, access is FREE! So hey, I don’t mind if I’m stuck in my boarding house and stare at the ceiling grinning like a fucknut as long as I have Facebook (mGa k0Ya’t aTi, aDd nY0 p0h AkUh).







For those schmucks who will ask for the link to this wicked app, Google is your friend.

For my long-departed ancestors, hey, I haven’t forgotten you. In fact, you are all in my mind as I am writing this post … and so are these pictures of Olivia Munn I am currently downloading.

Ktnxbai.

Rediscovering the Jologs in Me: The Buglasan Festival Experience

Saturday, October 24, 2009

FOREPLAY

The Province of Negros Oriental is celebrating its Buglasan Festival this week up to October 25, 2009 with the theme "Building Stronger Alliance Among Tourism Stakeholders of Negros Oriental". Different towns and cities around the province showcase the best of what they have to offer. From their different agricultural produce, delicacies, to their handicrafts, they're selling their STUFF at a low price (bought frozen Durian for Php80.00)!

You can still visit the Sidlakang Negros Village and catch the remaining activities lined up for tonight and tomorrow. You can check this site for the remaining activities.

THE EXPERIENCE

Last night, I was effin' bored in my room (as always). So, I decided to check out the booths myself at the Sidlakan Negros Village. I had to nail down first the pedicab driver who over-charged me with the pamasahe. Maybe he thought I was a tourist since I was holding a camera and was tourist-ishly dressed.

Anyway when I arrived, I was surprised that the place was packed with people from the National Highway down to the Village. I had no choice but to literally brush elbows with them. So there I was brushing elbows (and my other body parts) while checking out the booths of the different towns and cities. The pictures below show the different sights you can see in the Village.


The booth of Valencia is a crowd magnet. Fruits (papaya, mango, rambutan, lanzones, etc.) are being sold at a low price.

These are real squashes, by the way.


I heard that the governor wanted to ban smoking and drinking inside the Village. But as you can see in the picture above, people were drinking beer while watching the program. Can you spot my fellow jologers?



The two kids were probably helping their parents earn money. Tats, anyone?


Okay. So I got thirsty while walking around the booth area. I decided to go inside one of the booths and ordered iced tea. I thought I paid for one glass of iced tea but instead, look at what the lady gave me - a pitcher of Lipton Iced Tea for only Php20.00. Talk about getting your money's worth!










I never went inside Pamplona's booth. Got intimidated with the crowd inside.

Another crowd magnet. If you want to experience caving, visit the Mabinay booth. They have this cool replica of a cave. Entrance is free, by the way. Just be patient to fall in line.

Canlaon's booth was one of the best. They have this cool exhibit inside plus an accommodating Tourism Officer. (rawr)


Truly enjoyed my evening even if I was alone!