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 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

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 .