Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Love You but Goodbye…. For Now


Today, it’ll hurt like hell
I’m sure I won’t be able to sleep
It’ll eat through me like a disease
And no drug can make me feel at ease

I don’t think you understand
This predicament I have in hand
This life, I’ve tried to escape from
For you, I didn’t hesitate to come back to

I’ll cry at night because I can’t sleep
I’ll cry at night because I hurt too deep
But my grief, I swear, shall be short-lived
Because like my dependence, it will cease

I used to be cold, now I’m warm
I used to be a rock, but now I’m soft
You made me feel so complete
All our issues, we were able to single-handedly defeat

But now the harshness of life sets its toll
To survive, I’m once again required to be cold
See you someday, once all is well
To everything sweet, we have to say farewell

How much will a mute heart bear?
Once ice sets in, it will no longer beat
No love nor care nor tenderness for now
Not until we say our vows

Goodbye for now, my only love
It will no longer be like how it used to be
I’ll have to be strong until the end
So myself, without you, I can defend


I wrote this when I was a little depressed because of my current situation with my boyfriend.
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Monday, December 7, 2009

Adjusting to the New Environment

I arrived in Iloilo two whole weeks ago. Right now, I'm typing this in my boyfriend's laptop in a cafe providing unlimited WiFi access once you purchase a drink like bottled ice tea, bottled mineral water or a cup of coffee which I say is definitely a good deal when the connection speeds reach up to 200 kbps. Electricity's free, too. Surprisingly, even with 10 laptops connected at one time, "Facebooking" and gaming was still uninterrupted.

In front of me is my boyfriend's best friend who also used to be a close friend of mine... but we just drifted away. I got to talk to him. I'm glad I feel a little relieved now because I somehow apologized to him for not understanding his previous situations. I'm glad that happened.

Haven't that much to say right now because it's been so long since I've written. Planning to post a picture of the reunion with my elementary buddies.

I'll probably post a picture of the very nice and comfy cafe I'm usually at, as well.
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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Facebook Fever: Are you addicted to Facebook?

Note: The picture above is the property of www.farmville.com

I started using FB for the sake of keeping up my friends. It seems to be all the rage these days. And then my boyfriend asked JUST ONCE to try Farmville in order to add him as a neighbor to expand his lot. The trying-so-hard-to-be-good girlfriend that I am, I gave in to his request. Unfortunately for me, I easily get addicted to semi-simulation games especially ones available only online. Farmville grew like a contagious cold on me. I started planting a patch of strawberries and begun following each of its harvest. After two days, I had started calculating the exact minutes before harvest through percentages and approximated how long it would take before the plant whithers. A couple more days have passed and I begun computing points for leveling up and "strategic planting" I need to accomplish to advance fast.

It seriously got out of hand. It was no longer some simple game of harvesting, plowing and replanting. I made mental computations of the experience I would gain for each seed type I plant as well as each additional paraphernalia I build. I even made it a rule to myself to gain 2 levels per day.


A couple of hours ago, my sister told me that we were leaving to visit the relatives of my brother-in-law. It felt like I was in big trouble. I had to do something because my blueberries would have been fully grown by the time we arrived there. I even messaged my boyfriend to open my account just so he can harvest them. But since it is All Saints Day today, almost all cafes were closed.

To cut things short, I did the most embarrassing, rudest thing I would ever do whenever visiting another house. I killed my shame and asked to use their computer to open my Farmville, which made me realize that this has to stop. So I'm finally taking a rest from my obsession...
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Monday, October 26, 2009

A Food Lover's 9th Wonder- Banapple


Finally, the long awaited banapple review. I was dying to feature this because even with the cozy (tiny) place they were situated in, the ambiance and food had a "must try, must taste, must spend" rating. I originally heard of it from Total Girl and it did have promising potential as a one stop pasta/smoothie/pie/cake shop.


First of all, the cons (Just to somewhat make this article a little discouraging to read. I'm sure the pictures are sufficient enought to interest the typical sweet tooth). Aside from being non-commutable, the Katipunan branch can hardly accomodate more than 20 people. During weekends and fridays, waiting list can reach up to 10 reservations. Imagine waiting outside, because it's too crowded inside. The airconditioning is weak (probably because the kitchen is just behind the counter and the space it occupies is larger than the dining area). Since they don't have back-up generators during black outs, they'd have to open the doors because it'd be warm inside.

Even during such inconvenience, surprisingly they never ran out of customers. Banapple is like a diamond in the rough. Nowadays, it's already a challenge to find good tasting food and a cozy atmosphere in one package. The ambiance is perfect. The space would've been too had they just increased their seating capacity to accomodate more. The food... HEAVENLY. One should try tasting each mouth watering pie and savor the sauces and aroma of a serve of every pasta and rice meal.

By the way, this receipt was for our previous visit. The bill did not stop there. We also took home their best selling chicken pies.

To cut to the chase, allow me to show you some first hand photos of me and my family's visit. This was the third time we had gone their, and this was our second successful attempt on getting a table.

Once again, my sincerest apologies for the weak resolution of my non-DSLR camera. At 2.8 megapixels, I think it's doing a good enough job. Some of the pictures look a little too sunny because I wasn't able to adjust the settings.


This is my niece. She's currently endorsing the fudgymudgy pie (80 php) in my blog. She's the type who becomes extremely happy when she gets a taste of "good food". The pie was scrumptious. Orea flavored pie crust with more chocolate in between and a whip cream layer topped with tiny chocolate chips.


Warm, (super hot coming from the microwave) pecan pie. Had to fight back my tears- not because of joy but due to getting tongue burns all over. It has this cinammony taste with walnuts and a not so sweet pie crust. Definitely a good option to consider when drinking bitter tea. Forgot the cost...


Ah yes, the unbelievably tasty hickory barbeque baby back ribs (155 php). That's my older niece's hand. I actually had a hard time taking decent pictures because nobody could keep their hands off the food just for a second for me to capture its freshly cooked image. The fried rice wasn't bad either. Beside this plate is a dark chocolate smoothie (90 php). It may not be of Starbucks standard but close enough.


Last, hopefully not the least, Banapple's homemade iced tea (50+ php) and ripe mango smoothie (85 php). The delicious looking pasta below is also one of their best sellers, trio of sausages fetuccine (140 php). It's a definite must-eat-again-and-again on my list. The bread on the side has cheese in it too. My little niece was able to eat one serve of this ALONE even when infact it's good for two people. The carbonara wasn't too heavy to overcome the taste or scent of the spices and the sausage toppings. Pasta lovers, this is a highly recommended dish.

One of the best tips I could share from my first hand experience is: never pass out the chance to visit their comfort room. Eyes and noses will have a feast passing through the kitchen before reaching it. Warning: Mouths may possibly water, at worst, drool.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

Manga Mania: Suki and Confidential Confessions

The first time I started reading manga seriously was a couple of months ago (it's in my blog). I love purchasing them and enjoying every single page of one of the most graphically fulfilling paperwork in this entire world. It takes a lot to make one. You'd need talent and a whole lot of imagination to be able to successfully complete an entire volume.

Some of the mangas (I'm not sure of its plural) I'd definitely recommend are the following. I will spare the details to minimize spoiling the curiosity of searching for one in a bookstore.

1. Tramps Like Us a.k.a Kimi Wa Pet- (14 Volumes) Romance; Contrary to its suggestive title, it's actually a cute not-so ordinary love story between an older woman , a mature guy and a talented boy who's her pet (above 18).
2. Suki- (3 Volumes) Another romantic weird relationship between a naive girl and her teacher. If you're familiar with the works of Clamp, this a definite must read.
3. Crescent Moon- (5 Volumes) A girl who encounters a tribe of demons. My nieces love the drawings and the graphics are detailed.
4. Dream Saga - (5 Volumes) Like Card Captor Sakura, work of art by Megumi Tachikawa too. It's about a little girl she catches a red magic stone that mysteriously falls from the sky. My nieces love this one too.
5. Confidential Confessions - (Unsure) The manga deals with many of the hard-hitting issues that teens face today. It's very brutal but it actually has good lessons to teach. This has mature content all over.



Anyway, some of these titles are difficult to find since they are quite expensive (prices range from 160 php to 500 php, National Bookstore used to sell it at 79 php then at 50% off a little later but that was just something that happened once). If you want to read them online, I suggest you go to www.mangafox.com. They have a wide selection for the manga lovers to feast their eyes on.


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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Unpatterned Cross Stitch


I had been working on a certain image for some time now (Because I wasn't the type who finishes projects immediately. It usually takes me a year or more to complete a cross stitch pattern, no matter how small it is.)

Anyway, a couple of years ago (when anime patterns were very limited and difficult to find), I decided to make my own. Of course, without the sophistication of any cross stitch assisting software or help from an expert.


Last night, I finally finished my first chibi anime pattern which I had painstakingly placed my effort upon since I had to decide the colors I had to use as well as refining each single detail of the shapes. Using paint to place a grid on the image made me realize that it was very hard to sculpt the curves in the picture.

This was supposed to be my birthday gift to Abi, my boyfriend, but he already left for the province.

Note: Abi, if you're checking my blog, hope you like your very very late present. Love need no pattern to be beautiful. Creativity at its fullest appears when boundaries are established without strict limitations.

Moral of the Blog: I know many of us love starting projects without finishing them. It's okay to take a rest from it once in awhile. It doesn't matter whether you finish it as soon as you've started it or not, just as long as you find time to complete them.
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A Very Memorable Date: Empty Movie House

I and Abi wanted to spend more time together so last week, we went to see Surrogates at Sta. Lucia East Mall and Pandorum in Blue Wave, Marikina two days later.

Note: Took these pictures from the flash animation of Sta. Lucia's website.


Both movie houses allow multiple seating. But if you really prefer having the perfect ambiance and sound system, you should try one of Sta. Lucia's cinemas. It's worth the 100- 140 php you'd pay for a movie.

Since Marquinton is recovering from the Ondoy flood, most of the ground floor stalls were closed. However, the third floor cinema was still open which is why we went there. It was way closer to home compared to Sta. Lucia.

Upon entering the cinema, I noticed that the lights were on. I assumed it was probably because the next show was in 10 minutes. Abi and I walked in to see an empty movie house (Well, not anymore, since we were around.). We even had to wait for the air conditioning to set in because since this morning, no one had watched a movie in the said house....

First time ever that we could freely decide where we were going to sit, stretch and feel comfy on where we chose to sit on, extend our extremities towards the other chairs , run up and down the stairs and make noisy comments while the movie was playing. And we did, except for the running part.

In the end, I really had fun screaming and making loud comments while the Pandorum was playing such as "Kuya, pakilakasan naman ang volume.", "NakaMUTE sya!", "Kuya, pakiPAUSE muna, magCCR lang ako."

I would've loved taking a picture of the empty house but cinema rule is law: No cameras or picture/video taking paraphernalia upon entering.
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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ondoy's Onslaught (A Detailed Account of my Marikina Experience)

It was 12 A.M of that day that my sister and brother-in-law had just arrived from their trip in Iloilo (attending a wedding). They had come home late because their Pajero would not start leaving them no choice but to ride a taxi home. In such case, they had also left the more heavy belongings they had brought from the trip in the airport as well.

By 10 A.M., I woke up last Saturday morning to go out of the room and see my two nieces running around outside of the house with the pouring rain and the flooded surroundings. We even freed our pet janitor so he can roam around the wider aquarium (more of a pond, if you ask me).


By 1 P.M., the water started to enter the house and was rising at an unexpected rate. Instead of seeing clear rain water, it grew murky and muddy. So we went in the house to secure all the non-flood proof things we owned. The first thing we did was remove all the plugs from the sockets to avoid further damage. Things at floor level were placed on the dining table, the very long yet empty aquarium and the beds.


We initially had setup the all the important appliances such as the refrigerator, two or three feet above the floor approximately a meter above the ground. Some appliances were still at a higher level but the water still kept on rising. It came to a point that the water was already reaching the bed. Afraid that the things placed on the mattress would get wet; my brother-in-law started looking for cans or things we could use to elevate the bed posts. He sorted two DVD casings and ice cream cans.



He also turned the main switches of certain partitions of the houses so we can avoid getting electrocuted. Outside the house, the helpers had freed the dogs from their cage. By the time the water was entering through the window, I checked out why one of our dogs was whimpering and found her trying to hang on with her front legs stuck on the top of the gate. As much as I wanted to help her, I had so much to do inside.

My two nieces were already scared. The littler of the two started to cry because she got so scared. Before which she was praying so fervently because I asked her to. The other one had told me that the car that was parked outside our gate had moved closer to us when a vehicle had passed our street. Indeed it did.

At this time the refrigerator we had placed on the top of the table was starting to wobble. I was inside the other room when my brother-in-law called out for help because the refrigerator was starting to "float" and he was supporting it so it won't topple down hard. We finally decided to have it float horizontally at the risk that all its circuits would get fried-more accurately "souped".


Upon realizing the graveness of the situation, my brother-in-law started carrying the TV, the computer, the toaster, and majority of the appliances towards the room, placing it on the top most cabinets of the house inside each room. He even asked me to help him in putting them on those spots which was more than six feet above our floor. I remember the chair I was stepping on beginning to float the moment my weight shifted away from it. I could also never forget my arms and knees weakening when we were placing the TV on the top-most shelf. It felt extremely heavy.

On the other room, we were able to communicate with the helpers through a window. Manang Femy was trying to place some of the important stuff in the kitchen in one of the metal shelves when it started to float. The floating caused an imbalance breaking the glass window. Luckily my quick hand brother-in-law caught one of its braces before it could topple down Nang Femy. I was so concerned on how he was holding it through the broken window. He may have been wounded because of the pointed glass shards that had stuck to the metal structured window.

By 4 P.M., the water was already almost chest level and we decided to leave the place already before we get stuck. There was difficulty in just opening the door because of the strong current. Our big male neighbors had come to help us out so we could transfer to the house just a block away with a 2nd floor.

Before we left, I saw my brother-in-law tossing one of the dogs on the roof (Yes, TOSS!) saying something like "I'm sure that'll do”. He also secured the other two dogs on the mango tree. We went out of our gate and held on to a rope they had tied so we can cross safely.

When we arrived there, we found a lot of our neighbors as well cramped like sardines in the wet terrace. We were extremely lucky that they had welcomed us in their house. Until now, I still feel that we couldn't thank them enough.



Once all of us were safe, brother-in-law helped the others in helping our other neighbors- a family with a white puppy spitz, a crying kid's mom, and two kids with their yaya on the corner of the street not answering their gate. I was actually able to video the rescue operation of Team Del Carmen (as I brand them). He also went back to the house to double check on the animals. The water had reached near the top of the love bird's cage, so he raised it up to keep them safe (Unfortunately, one out of the two pairs had died). He was able to spot the inside of the house to see that the aquarium was already partially leaning towards the dining table. We were expecting that by the time we came back, it would've have shattered into a million pieces (Thank God, it was still on top of its frame by some miracle. Though this time, it was lying horizontally already.).

The funniest moments I had encountered was when they were trying to raise the morale of an older woman who was no longer able to place her foot on the ground to walk towards the house because the water was more than 6 feet above the ground. One of the guys was shouting, "THINK POSITIVE. WALANG AAYAW!" There was also an instance that I heard a big splash just to overhear later that one of them dived the murky water to which he attempted to swim too. It painted a mental picture those kids that loved to swim the public rivers for fun.

Aside from their shelter, this family was even willing to share their food with us. Of course, women and children had first dibs and I was so concerned about the big guys because some of them were unable to eat. Good thing our neighbor’s rice cooker wasn't wet.

By night time, all were extremely tired. The kids were lucky because the 2nd floor had a room and a bed where they were allowed to stay in. But the older people stayed outside, waiting for the flood to subside. I remember the specific markers they were waiting for: the number 7 on the metal sign of the house, the hollow block lines painted on the gate across the street and the roof of the blue car which was not visible for a long time.

The water started to subside by 7 P.M. slowly. By 9:30 P.M., my brother-in-law and my sister decided to go down even when the water was still above waist level. After some minutes, I was also called so we could start cleaning the house. Within the next four hours, we tidied the room as best as we can. Mopping, scrubbing, and clearing the place as much as possible was our main goal so that we could sleep even for a short while. The thick heavy mattress was brought outside. A partially wet two-inch foam was placed on partially cleaned queen-sized bed covered with a mantle taken from the top storage and some plastic cases to prevent the wetness from permeating the bed sheet we placed last.

By 4:30 A.M., I and Lanie went back to the neighbors to pick up the kids and thank them for their hospitality. It was 5 A.M. of the Sunday following Ondoy's onslaught that we were able to lie down on the bed and get some super quick shut eye knowing that that morning, we would have to do a lot of cleaning.


Slept for two hours when I had to wake up because my boyfriend, worried as he was arrived to check our status- bringing canned sardines and Century Tuna (bless his little heart for worrying about me). Anyway, this is it for now. Will probably be adding more soon.

Videos- to follow because I don't have an Internet Connection at home. Had to go to a cafe to post this.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Completing a Puzzle

I'm extremely mad right now because I've already finished this blog. However, I used my phone in making it and unfortunately, the draft wasn't saved. So my four paragraphs has gone down the drain. Thank you, SKYFIRE!!!


As the title implies, I have completed a 1000 piece puzzle. After more than two weeks of head aches and brain drains, the Brunch- Flower Art puzzle (as of 3:20 p.m. yesterday).

I won't be adding much in the mean time. I just wanted to take into account this accomplishment.
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Monday, September 14, 2009

The Hunting Must Stop: Manga Books

A week ago we were at SM Marikina to hunt for a book my sister was dying to buy. Unfortunately to her dismay, it was out of stock. She was looking for Thirst 2 by Christopher Pike. It had gone "out-of-stock" during this time. We've actually read these books in the past (when they were still individually binded and not compiled 3 at a time), but it felt somewhat better to own one.

While I and my nieces were browsing through the 50% off priced books. We came to stumble upon tons of manga at 39.50 php only. I skimmed through them for good titles and was able to decide on purchasing Tokyopop: Confidential Confessions 4. I'm glad I did, it had good content in it. It's a series of stories about the some situations teenagers nowadays get into such as bullying, sexual compensation and even homosexual relationships (It was rated OT short for Older Teen due to its mature content.).

Due to my "life-changing" UBER wonderful experience in reading that manga, I couldn't resist finding the other volumes of the series. I searched through 3 more National Bookstores to find that particular manga but couldn't find any. During which, I found other great titles that I started to grab and pay for in the counter.

The fevered search did not stop here. Two days later, I once again went to search for more manga in other branches- bought one here, bought three there. It didn't matter that my feet were killing me or that there were instances that it got really cold due the air conditioning- not to mention the heavy pouring rain. I just had to get all the good ones (Didn't matter if it were only one volume per title).

Yesterday, I went to two more malls with three National Bookstores in them. I couldn't resist fishing out my wallet upon finding more manga titles which I had not found in the other 7 branches I went to. It felt like finding diamonds in a gold mine.

Doing the National Bookstore pseudo manga hoard wasn't enough for me to be contented. I had to buy one of the expensive ones in Book Sale to get the third volume of Dream Saga. It was four times more expensive than the regular 50% off ones I get from National Bookstore. But hey, at least I got what I wanted.

By the end of the day, I was limping due to the long walks from mall to mall. To top it off, there was this commotion in SM North Edsa that made it very crowded. Before we were able to reach the MRT, my boyfriend and I decided to do a detour at the taxi bay. For those who aren't aware of it yet, some taxis already have the pretty meter which gives out receipts.

Moral of this article: None. I guess I just wanted to remember the feeling when I used to go book hunting alone for 4 to 5 hours every weekend.

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

The EBAY Experience: Pros, Cons and some Tips in Buying and Selling


Buying and bidding in Ebay has always been something I enjoy more than shopping. Shopping online would require me to have a credit card and I don't have one. Shopping in malls makes me tired (I just love staying at home and waiting for my packages to arrive).

I'm not sure why, but I have this certain affinity for used goods. I believe my logic in purchasing preloved items is that you're getting the same goods at a cheaper price (usually 50 to 75% lower than the original).

To match my preloved phone, I also purchased a not-so-new headset. Upon receiving the item, I did the usual inspection and mentally branded it with a QC(quality checked) stamp of satisfaction. Now, I got a new trinket to add to my gadget accessories collection.

Here are some things to consider when purchasing an item through EBAY. I've experienced alot of good and bad things in EBAY. I've met buyers and sellers from different places through it, some even became good friends of mine.

Note: The things I'm going to talk about will mostly apply to the Philippine setting.

PROS:
1. There's an 80% chance you could stumble upon good merchandise at great prices.
2. Items are delivered to your doorstep after a day or 2 (maximum of 3) once payment is confirmed.
3. There's such a thing as trusted buyers and sellers. Once I've bought a touch screen PDA phone from a seller I've previously done business with. Upon winning the bidding, I had requested for him to send the item that afternoon because that was the time I would pay for it. I unable to pay it on time, but he still had the item dispatched as scheduled.
4. It's not that hard to spot a legit seller. Their feedback system is a big help, but you have to be cautious about purchasing expensive items from sellers with less than 10 feedbacks.
5. Need a blast from the past, check EBAY's vintage items. You may find what you're looking for.

CONS:
1. ALOT of bogus sellers. Their filtering system is not perfect. I've read about stories of sellers who threaten winning bidders that they wouldn't send the item if the buyer won't give them positive feedback. Worst case scenario when these sellers don't send the item at all.

I have two awful experiences with bogus sellers. The first was someone I placed my trust on because his mode of payment was through a bank account. Who would've thought that exposing his real name and bank account was perfectly fine for him just to con people? After not sending the item, I reported him to his bank authorities- just to know I wasn't the only person he had done it to. Anyway, it was a good thing that I had reported this incident. His name is now posted in that bank and his account got frozen because they were setting him up.

The second was awful. This person was very cunning, smart and patient enough to be able to trick alot of ebayers. What he did was gain credibility through the feedback system. He bought items from sellers with very high feedback scores. After awhile, he sold a gadget to a person with high feedback as well. This person commended him because he was a good seller. One way a seller can secure his/her item's pictures and prove that he/she has this certain item was to place their EBAY user name on the merchandise. This is what he did. After paying up, I waited for the item but it never came. I even tried to warn the winning bidder but I was too late. They had also paid for an item that would never arrive. Upon investigation, I was shocked to discover that he was able to trick 3 more people in purchasing this particular gadget.

2. Pictures sometimes aren't sufficient enough for us to be able to decide if the item is worth purchasing.
3. Some item descriptions are just candy coated from the ugly truth.
4. No warranty for used stuff. If a warranty is placed on the item, shipping becomes costly once it has unexpected defects.
5. Pay now, ship later. Although Paypal is a good alternative, even their systems aren't perfect. And you also need to have a credit card to use it. I've heard that you can also use a bank account so I tried that but I wasn't successful in enrolling it.
6. Once the item is dispatched, the seller will no longer be responsible for the item's condition. If it got broken during shipping, sellers aren't liable for it unless an insurance fee was paid prior to dispatch.
7. Ebay no longer allows sellers to give negative feedbacks for bogus buyers or joy bidders.

SOME BASIC TIPS in BUYING:
1. If the price is too good to be true e.g. way cheaper than the usual prices of similar items then double check the seller's credibility. Check his/her feedbacks. Or you could try to contact the people they had transacted with. Most ebayers are kind enough to give you some information about their experiences about your seller.
2. Be cautious in doing wireless transfers. Do not fall for the typical "Payment Mode: GCASH/ SMART MONEY/ LBC/ WESTERN UNION/ ML KWARTA PADALA ONLY...If you do not agree to my terms and conditions do not bid." statement on sellers with low feedback scores.
3. Get to know your seller and more about the item you wish to purchase. Make sure that you know what you bid on. Used means used. Do not expect it to be in mint condition or brand new looking unless stated.
4. Be aware of the seller's shipping rate. Some may have very cheap items but unreasonable shipping fees.
5. Upon the package's arrival, double check its contents. Sometimes the problem will not lie on the seller but the courier service itself.
6. Respect the seller's terms. If it says "No Haggling." then don't. However, if you really are desperate to obtain an item, send the seller a message of your price offer and ask him or her to contact you if he/she is interested in accepting the offer. No Message- Not Interested. Message- Read it First!
6. For newbies in ebay, if the seller requests for specific information as to express your intent of buying, comply with it
6. Give honest feedbacks.

BASIC TIPS for SELLING:
1. Make sure to give the exact item description. Do not hide the item's defects or physical issues (such as scratches, dents, fading, etc) because eventually, the winning bidder will contact you like hell if he/she discovers these unmentioned information.
2. Never forget to place your terms and conditions such as having the right to terminate the auction early, payment and shipping, or responsibility/liability scopes.
3. Give the winning bidders some time respond to you. There are instances that they may be busy or have important events to attend to. For them to not respond/reply through text message or accept your calls within 4 or 5 hours after you've contacted them doesn't mean that they are no longer interested in paying for what they won.
4. As much as possible, give the buyer different modes of payment available such as wireless transfer, bank transfer, COD, etc.
5. For expensive items, make reasonable meet-ups possible.

There's alot more to learn... just be careful and not too hasty on deciding.
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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Gadgets Galore: Hacking Eseries

If there be an office supply addict blogger, then why not a gadget addict. I love gadgets. I love spending on them and taking care of them like babies. I'm not the type of person who prefers brand new ones. I settle for second hand before of which I purchase I do a thorough inspection of first. Of course, not all of them are second hand.

My resume for gadget lust currently include an HP laptop, a Samsung dual sim phone, a Nokia PDA phone, a JVC Camcorder, a desktop computer, an mp3 player and a Gameboy Advance SP (since we lost the PSP). Previously I've also owned a Nokia 6630, a Palm Tungsten 3 PDA, a Motorola A1000 touchscreen phone, three dual-sim china phones, an 02 XDA Stealth, PS 1 and 2 (I'm unsure if those are gadgets), an mp3 player and an annual cellular phone replacement plan (I love having my phone replaced every year.)

It'd be rude if I wouldn't pamper these things, so I do my best to install the best firmwares, upgrades, programs, games, movies and mp3s to the majority of them. I used to love the challenge of fixing series 60 phones. I did troubleshooting, reformatting, virus removals (Remember the commwarrior?), and the likes for a minimal price of a thank you or an I.O.U note (In other words, I do it for FREE.).

Right now, what I want to talk about is my not-so-new E61 phone. A couple of weeks ago, I had another of those gadget-cravings I get almost in a monthly basis and I wasn't able to resist it. I had to get a new one (be it used or pre-loved as they say it to make it sound more sophisticated). Anyway, I was really lucky because I got it at a very good price @ 4300 php and later discovered that it actually came from a post paid plan which made it even better. So far, it's working like a charm.

So I got all excited about placing a lot of games in it. After browsing a certain website and downloading some games I wanted to try out, I installed them instantly. Everything went okay until I started searching for applications such as an antivirus, an office and a movie player. While I was searching, I noticed that most of the applications had the word UNSIGNED attached to it. Still, I downloaded them (assuming that installation was the same as for any regular series 60 phones). Unfortunately when I attempted installing them, it gave out a certificate error message. So I checked the forums about this issue, to find out that I had to hack my phone.

Note: Yet again, Nokia and its fellow Symbian companies had figured out a way for us to not fully enjoy cracked applications without a sweat. Most phones are unhacked. In order for you to be able to install the unsigned applications, you have to have it hacked. Without the hack (or crack), only signed applications are installable.

It actually took me a day to figure out how to do it.

OPTION 1: HELLO CARBIDE
Hello Carbide is a program for you to be able install unsigned applications. However, you will need X-plore so that you could browse through some of your phone's hidden folders. I'm not sure if you'll be able to find a signed X-plore but if you do, problem solved. I wasn't able to try downloading a trial version to temporarily install Hello Carbide. You can try this.


OPTION 2:HELLO0X
1. Get a Certificate (some websites hand it for free. They will ask for your phone model and your IMEI).

2. Download Hello0x (I think the latest is 2.02. You can download it for free buy they charge 5 dollars for a certificate.)
3. Attach the certificate to the HelloOx application and install it to your phone.

OPTION 3: DRAKKARIOUS (effective but a little risky. Had to reformat my phone 3 times to get this one right).
1. Download Drakkarious application for you phone (This will include an X-plore, Hello Carbide, Caps ON, Caps Off).
2. Install and make sure you select the correct model of your phone. (For the Eseries, the reason why I had to reformat was because after installing Drakkarious and following all the instructions, I kept losing the "bin" folder and I could not install any unsigned applications- it just shows a white screen and goes back to normal. The trick is to select PRE-FP1 instead of OTHERS/ SPECIFICS).
3. There are times that X-plore included in the package will say "Update Error". All you have to do is uninstall X-Plore and reinstall a newly cracked one. It will say that Drakkarious will be uninstalled, do not panic. Just say OK and reinstall it later.

Hope this helps. I am not a programmer, hacker or cracker. I'm just a technician. Rather than spending money on those Cellular Phone Techs at Greenhills or wherever, try doing it yourself. Believe me, it'll give you a sense of accomplishment. In addition, you'll even get to realize what a rip-off they are for their unreasonable service fee for uploading something into your phone that they just downloaded from the net.
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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Food for Thought: CIBO Comfort


So after I failed the interview, I called my boyfriend and asked him to "Play Hookie" so that I could talk to someone about my frustrations. The good, loving and supportive person that he is, he immediately took off from where he's at and rode a taxi to where I was waiting for him. He was supposed to attend a review class (as mandated by their school. Weird? Now, nursing schools are requiring their students to review in a specific review center because 50% of their grades depended on it).

The point of this post is to document our eating escapades. The picture was taken from CIBO in Gateway. It's not a fast food joint like the ones on the 3rd Level of the mall. Their food is a little pricey for the normal food enthusiast. But it's worth every penny.

As we enter the joint, we were greeted by a nice looking waiter- clad in white, neat, clean and effortlessly charming. Aside from being well- mannered, the guided us to the table with the a good view (window seat)and even talked in English upon explaining the details of the pasta we wanted to try.

The drinks were good. I selected a PESCA ICED TEA at 90php (peach flavored ice tea) while my boyfriend got a pretty mean shake (I forgot the name but it was grapes- made from the real ones, not powder).

For our main course (the one and only course), we ate a family-sized carbonara-sauced penne pasta with complementary garlic bread lavished with a mixture of butter, garlic(of course!) and something green (some fragrant spice) @ 430 php. He, on the other hand, ordered a chicken meal with half a grilled chicken (soft and tasty meat) with 3 cucumber slices and garnished with a lemon topping @ 465 php.

In the end, we had a hard time finishing it up. The food was scrumptious and it satiated more than our hunger. I guess what I'm trying to say is, "It was all worth it. The food is good and the price is right."

PS. Sorry about the picture. My phone doesn't have any DSLR capabilities.
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A Job Interview Failed... why??? Below Employee's Requirements: Salary

I think it's everyone's dream to work in their ideal environment. My previous job had such, so I really didn't want to settle for anything less. But my sister's patience was nearing it's limit. The pressure imposed upon me about needing to find a job soon was thickening the invisible emotional atmosphere surrounding the house. So two weeks ago, i applied for a Technical Support Engineer position (specifically as a Senior Technical Specialist) in one of the larger IT companies here in the Philippines. I passed the initial phone interview.

Afraid to jinx these types of opportunities, I'm the type who never tells my family if i get possible life changing events such as these. Unfortunately, my brother-in-law overheard my phone interview and declared it to the entire family. I was so mad at that point because i wanted this to be private. And it made me more angry because i felt compelled to lie to them about it(which i did!)

On the big day, since I wasn't familiar of the company's location, i left home early to avoid morning traffic. I arrived there two hours before my scheduled appointment. When I reached the receiving area, a receptionist greeted me and assumed I was a walk-in applicant. I guess she never heard me saying I had an appointment, which was where the problem started. I was not able to check if they had placed my application in the Senior Technical Specialist pile or Sales Support Division (which was where they normally placed the walk-in applicants' resumes.)

After passing the first interview, I was really confident that i could pass the mock call phase (which is where i failed). I had placed in my salary expectation as 18,000 a month (my previous job salary) so the HR person asked me if I was willing to work at a lower pay and I answered I can go as low as 15,000 (Note: This was WAY TOO LOW for a Senior Technical Specialist position). Before the call ended, she complimented my communication skills and asked me if i had any questions. I said, "Yes." I was desperate to know the position I was designated to have applied for. And she answered, "You'll be in tech support. However, That'll be as a level 2."- and level 2 was perfect because i used to be a level 1 and that was one of my goals-to apply for a higher position. (Level 2 is like handling a corporate account/ solving tougher problems that most level 1s aren't capable of).

So as instructed, I waited in the lobby for my result. When my name was called, I received THE THIN LETTER saying I failed due to scoring law in my salary expectation...THAT SUCKED. I wanted to rant and rave. I was applying for a job which required experience and specific troubleshooting skills and I failed because I gave an honest salary expectation! I wanted to tell them that for an international company, it was outrageously unbelievable that there's a possibility that they could be giving out a salary lower than the 15000 I said for a Level 2. This wasn't just some typical call center job!!!

BUT THAT'S LIFE...so I sucked it up, pouted a little, thanked the receptionist for lending me a pen and left to get some ice cream shake in a mall along the way.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Betrayal: Which of the two scenarios would hurt more...

I've been thinking of what to add to my blog today. And this is one of those things I tend to ask myself.

Example, you're a married person. And you've been married for 8 years or longer. You and your husband (or wife) are all lovey-dovey for the first couple of years. However since passion does not tend to linger that long and responsibilities with the kids became a full time position, you eventually stop having time for each other. Although you still do family things together, it wasn't like it used to be...

You've noticed that he/she has grown a little distant from you (Definitely, one of the signs of a failing marriage.) . Getting home late from work, keeping her/his phone away from your prying eyes (saying that you should respect each other's privacy) and staying away from your loving hugs and embraces combined with subtle excuses such as "I'M really tired/ busy/ stressed." or "NOT feeling good/ in the mood/ into it right now" (Highlight the best answer from the choices). - those lines are 90% infidelity implications!!!

To cut to the chase, you felt something was going on and decided to INVESTIGATE what was currently keeping your spouse busy- discovering that he/she was having an affair for a couple of months already.

Now my question is, which would hurt more:

a) He/ She having an affair with a friend of yours (perhaps a family friend/ a relative of yours/ your best friend or worst a sister/brother) or;

b) He/She having an affair with a person he/she met in a bar or strip club that grew into a relationship of constant communication, tender affection and blazing passion.

A typical answer would be, DEFINITELY A- a classic case of betrayal. Why wouldn't your heart be broken upon knowing you were betrayed by two people who you loved and trusted? It's even more painful if the person you talked to about your problems and marriage failures was the one your partner had an affair with.

On the contrary (in a sick and twisted sense), B is a pride crusher. What dignity is left to learn of your spouse's desperation for temporary earthly satisfactions given by someone he/she used to compensate (need not be monetary at all. It could be a house, a deal, a promise of security, financial /personal aid or the poor man's bribe- I'm willing to leave my family to be with you.)?
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Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Day (DATE!!!) Gone Bad

So here's the thing... I'm currently an unemployed stay-at-home person because I resigned from my previous job. I must've been crazy to resign from such a good company. But that's how my life goes.

Since I don't work, I just stay at home and WALLOW- trying to figure out my next move. I see my boyfriend less than twice a week and there are even times that we don't see each other at all. Last Sunday, we had planned for him to visit me at home so that we could spend time together. But today, he called me saying that he was arriving late since he had an oral defense. I said it was okay (It was ever so obvious that this was more important.). But of course, I had already worn my usual "let's date" outfit. (I don't think he figured that out.)

Anyway, I was really hoping that we could talk or go out. When he arrived though, he was quite tired and to add to his fatigue, I talked to him about something he had no interest on. The gentleman that he is, he tried to listen with a little zest but to no success. He called it "Information Overload".

I try to share his affinites but I end up talking about the past things I did with my ex (OUCH!). I even showed him an essay which was supposedly to kept from him. But he said that talking about the things I write is more interesting. (APPARENTLY NOT!)

To cut things short, he got so tired that I knew it was time to throw in the towels. Stress has defeated the girlfriend's charm. So I told him to go sleep on the couch (AND HE DID). But I really wished (SO HARD!) that he would stay awake since we only had a limited period of time together (BUT HE DIDN'T). I got really mad and sad at the same time. And before he left, I told him how I felt.

My point is I don't know what to feel. I don't know if I was immature or if I had done the right thing. All I know is I should've expressed how much I miss him more (AND THAT HE SHOULDN'T HAVE SLEPT!). What should've I felt?
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Monday, August 17, 2009

OUTCOME: The Santan's Success Story (3/8/2006)



Storms come and go. They destroy almost everything weak and helpless along their way. They are like obstacles hindering the growth of plants and animals.
With all these deaths in the world, one should be sad. Yet, life is full of storms coming and leaving. As the law of survival says, survival of the fittest. Those who are weak die but those who survive grow stronger, more beautiful and more adaptable to the remaining trials that they will encounter.


Santan plants have been used to beautify gates, fences and gardens. They are cut, flooded and even exposed to heavy typhoons. In spite of that, they grow back and continue to strive. The outcome of which are the beautiful buds that grow in clusters. With the trials to come, remember the santan plant.


note: This image was taken from flickr.com.


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FLEXIBILITY: A Tribute to Imperfection (3/8/2006)

Nobody is perfect. The world isn’t a perfect sphere. The sun cannot perfectly rise at the same moment each day. But the Lord is smart. For in imperfections do we see joy and happiness. What is a world without the definition of success? What is a world,without serendipity and technological advances? What is a love without problems to strengthen the relationship? That is why imperfections exist.

Without imperfections, life would be boring. Though we strive to have perfect lives, we know it would never be like that. Reason why one must be flexible to survive.

(As an engineer) Flexibility can be compared to elasticity. Garters do a good job of demonstrating how it springs back as if nothing happened after it was stretched. Like garters, we experience tensions in forms of setbacks, and we retract to cope.

To minimize damage, people have learned the essence of ‘plan Bs’. In a power plant, plan B is called a contingency plan. In a person’s life, it is called a ‘back-up’. There is no exact science in how people plan their back-up. But if ever someone asks you what you'd do incase all else fails, there's a perfect answer for that, which is to to get up again and start all over.

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DISCIPLINE : The Parent's Rule/Role (3/8/2006)


Change is something inevitable. Aging and maturity, as well, so let us embrace these alterations but remember the limitations that were taught to us by our parents. For sure they would never jeopardize us, so even with one’s own set of disciplinary codes, a parent’s word is always a parent’s word.


I have my own set of rules - some I picked up from experience while others I learned from my friends and family- but for me, Nanay’s word is also rule. I know my mom loves me so she would never ask me to do anything harmful to others and myself. That is why I respect her and I would be proud to share to my future children the discipline she has bestowed upon me.
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MOTIVATION: Food for a Purpose (poem)

What is a motivator?

It is something, which ‘turns you on’. It is the drive to obtain what one desires. For others, it may be just for the love of the game or to prove one self’s worth. Otherwise, in dire moments of our existence, it may be the urge to live and love. My motivation? Still speculating to what it may be? Here’s a poem to make you see.


(Please bear with me folks. I wrote this when I was 20 (3/8/2006). Back then, I was so addicted to frappucinos.)

To you, I give my loyalty
To which I treat like royalty
You’re one of my priorities
Yet you exist just to please

You tempt me with coffee and whip cream
With chocolate chips, it’s likely a dream
Driving me with each frappe
Caffeine combined with chocolate frothé

You make smile with each sweet taste
With salty tears I used to waste
Ice cream shakes or healthy corn flakes
Don’t like sweets? Choose juicy steaks

This is the end of my ordeal
‘Til here, I say, I need to stop
This feeling in me is definitely real
I think I need another meal
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Depression Education

I’m a 23 year-old female experiencing non-permanent, weather and event independent depression. What is there to say? Right now, I’m feeling it again.


Have you ever felt that your world is crumbling in front of you because you’re a failure? Or experienced not wanting to get out of the bed upon waking up because it seems that room is closing in? What about feeling that everybody’s looking at you, criticizing your every move? Without you knowing the answer, that is qualified as unexplained depression.


It’s hard for me to explain what this feeling is. I just know I have to press the keys of the keyboard for me to at least reduce the heavy weight pinning my breathing lungs and crushing my blood-pumping heart.


I’m sure a lot of people are saying that I’m not normal (Indeed, I’m not!) and that I should learn to deal with it. But hell, how can you cope with something you don’t exactly understand? It drives me crazy when someone close advises me to breathe in and out, relax, and take it one step at a time. It just wants me to cry and scream, “You’re not helping at all!!!


Now, what? I guess I just wanted to let that out. A word of advice for those who are attempting to help depressed people: if you haven’t experienced genuine depression, there is nothing you can say to make them feel better. And please stop talking about us being able to successfully overcome depression without some decent guidance.


Never compare us to you. You may have conquered heavy obstacles in your lives but this is different. The problem exists within us and our principles and mindsets are not capable of helping us- no matter how strong or intelligent we are. You’ll just have to accept that it’s not always in your capacity to push us through these ordeals and all you can do is support.

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Men and Sex

"Men are polygamous by nature" is a very common quote used by men to encourage their lustful urges. It no longer applies to married men only but also to committed ones. Another common line I've heard is the "Well, she asked for it." line which also means that "It's not my fault because she seduced me".

Honestly, girls! Do we deserve this kind of treatment? We're not perfect. We even sometimes fall for the wrong guys- a.k.a TAKEN. But are we at fault? If you haven't experienced this, GOOD FOR YOU!

About 70% of the male population have more or less cheated in some form or way which their partners aren't (weren't) aware of. The times are changing, my friend.

I'll get back to you on this issue. I don't have thoughts about it yet. :)
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