Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Successful Event: Education Beyond Borders Seminar at AIM

Our company, Prime Logic, in cooperation with the world's number one job portal,, conducted the very first Education Beyond Borders seminar at the AIM Conference Center in Makati. Our purpose was to provide current insights on eLearning, and equip teachers, school heads and administrators with the proper knowledge on implementing distance education within their organization. The event was a great success, being attended by almost 100 guests from all over the country. We had expert speakers from Utah (Garin Hess of Rapid Intake), Boston (Steve Case) and New York (Fr. Jomar Legaspi) who spoke through online conferencing. We were also privileged to have Leandre Dacanay, former president of the Philippine eLearning Society as a speaker, as well as Microsoft's Head for Education Michelle Casio, JOBSDB's Marketing Manager Jane Soco and Xepto Computing's Ernie Tarroza. I also gave my talk in the afternoon, about the future of eLearning, and how it correlates with the fast evolution of the web from version 1.0 to x.0. 

The event was well-attended by school owners, heads, administrators, educators and organizational leaders who came from all over the country.

Xepto Computing provided the thin client computers which the guests used to register into the system. Amazing technology that allows schools to save on hardware and administrative costs.

We invited HARANA.PH to serenade the guests during lunch break. Vince Alaras and Nanun de Borja sang some tunes from Southborder which delighted the crowd.

I gave my talk on the future of eLearning and how the educators should prepare for it. I gave away Starbucks gift certificates to those who answered my questions correctly (that means they weren't snoozing off during my presentation).

The fantastic team of the Prime Logic, who made the event possible and a roaring success.

Since the 1st Education Beyond Borders event was successful, we are now toying with the idea of a second one, somewhere out of Metro Manila. Through these events, I want to bring distance education or eLearning in the country to a higher level. At the same time, make our company a leader in virtual education. We will make it happen!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Saturday Pampanga Food Trip

It was another sunny Saturday, which means family day! We decided to head out to San Fernando, Pampanga to hang out with my wife's cousin and his family.  I knew that there was going to be some shameless gluttony. It was inevitable. When we arrived, we devoured some home-made tacos prepared by Knorr (delicious photo above) in the morning, and after that we drove to Marquee Mall in Angeles City around lunch time to try out IKABUD, a Filipino restaurant on the ground floor. 

The place was full when we arrived, so we ordered ahead and waited for a table to be available. 

I checked out the menu and saw that the prices were not bad. But of course, that would depend on the quality of the food they would be serving us that day.

The Seafood Salpicao, which was highly recommended by my wife's cousin Bojok, was tasty and there was a unique combination of shrimp, mussels, hot dog (yes, hot dog), isaw, mushroom, baby corn, and assorted vegetables. It was smothered with a nice sauce on a sizzling plate.

We also ordered the Tokwa't Baboy (Tofu and Pork), which was just okay. The pork was a little rubbery and had more fat than meat. But what would you expect from this dish? I love Tokwa't Baboy no matter how it was prepared.

I liked the Spicy shrimp fried rice. It has the right saltiness and spiciness. It went along well with the main dishes. 

The other rice dish that we ordered was just plainly called the "Family Rice", and it was basically fried rice with shredded carrot and hotdog on top. I didn't eat much of this because I was enjoying my Spicy Shrimp Fried Rice, and I couldn't eat that much rice.

The fried chicken tasted like, well, fried chicken. The gravy was tasty but sinful of course. 

How could you not order Pork Sisig while in Pampanga? It was kind of salty, but blended well with the rice. 

The Kaldareta, or beef stew, I found out later was not beef at all, but Kambing (goat). I don't eat Kambing so it was good that I only ate the vegetables, and not the meat.

Another spicy dish came - the Bicol Express. It was a simple preparation of pork, pepper, and onions in coconut milk. It was not bad, although the pork was fatty. But who cares? Saturday is no diet day.

Overall, we had a good meal at Ikabud, and had bursting tummies afterwards. To fight off the sleepiness due to an overworked digestive track, we walked around the mall for a couple of hours. What happened next? Yes, you guessed it. More food.

Our arrival was met by a big pizza. A 30-inch pizza to be exact.

As you can see, the pizza was bigger than my son.

We enjoyed eating the pizza. I couldn't eat more than one. I was already bursting. Tomorrow is definitely cleansing day.

And to end all this gluttony - tadah! Home made blue berry cheesecake. Although I wanted to taste more of it, I could only eat a teeny tiny bit.

So the Great Pampanga Food Trip has come to an end. Til the next food trip.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Top 10 Reasons to Be in a Relationship

I happen to stumble upon this site which outlines and proudly explains why it's better for men to stay single.

Read that first, and then read this blog entry, but I also summarized it below, together with my top 10.

I decided to write the Top 10 reasons to be in a relationship (and when I say relationship, I mean marriage), not only because I am in one, but because I think there are guys are there who deserve to feel good that they are in a marriage. Oh yes, marriage is a challenging sometimes frustrating roller coaster ride, but I believe I don't speak for myself when I say, I wouldn't have it any other way.

#10 Reason to be Single: Your Career will Benefit
#10 Reason to be in a Relationship: Your Career will Soar Because You Care

My career has soared ever since I entered marriage. I believe it's because when you come home from work everyday and see your family, you feel a mix of obligation and inspiration. It's like, if I don't do well, my family will not have a good life they deserve - and it makes we want to be the best that I can be. Maybe some of you will think otherwise, but working for your family should be the best inspiration in the universe.

#9 Reason to be Single: You Never Need to Make Plans For Two
#9 Reason to be in a Relationship:  You Can Plan Fun Family Trips and Love It

I don't know about you, but I don't like making plans for just me anyway. When you plan with somebody you care about and love, it makes it more exciting, and something you look forward to.

#8 Reason to be Single: You'll Be Healthier
#8 Reason to be Single: You'll be Healthier Because your Partner Cares

My wife and I enjoy dieting together now, because we look out for each other's health. Let's face it, our bodies will eventually deteriorate whether we like it or not. Being in a loving relationship just makes being healthy a loving obligation to one another, because you would want to grow old gracefully together, and be there when your kids grow up to be adults.

#7 Reason to be Single:  Weddings are more fun
#7 Reasons to be in a Relationship: Weddings are Moments to Reminisce

When we go to weddings, it just brings back lovely memories of our wedding. 

#6 Reason to be Single: You can Enjoy Your Personal Space
#6 Reason to be in a Relationship: You will Enjoy Personal Space Even More 

It's true. When you are in a marriage, you share everything - the bed, the room, the bathroom, the remote control. You're always together, and sometimes, yes, it does invade personal space.  But when you DO get the personal space, it's bliss. Sometimes, my wife and son goes to Baguio, and I'm left alone in Manila because of work. It's gives me my personal space for a week or two, and same goes for my wife. Then, when she comes back, it's double bliss. Being in a relationship makes you appreciate your personal space, and miss your loved ones even more. Who needs personal space when I enjoy playing with my boy, laughing and talking with my wife (sometimes being scolded at haha) and doing things together. Being in your personal space everyday, well, that's just downright boring.

#5 Reason to be Single: You'll Save Money
#5 Reason to be in a Relationship: You'll Save More Money

When you're single, you don't have dependents. You don't have anyone to care about except yourself, so you can save more money. For me, that's not necessarily true. Single people spend more on personal effects, the gym, and powered body enhancing products because they have to look good to capture the opposite sex's eye. They pamper themselves with the money they earn, because obligation is non-existent. When you are in a relationship, you get to save money because you have to, for the future of your kids. You care more about investments, educational plans and health plans. Again people, not the same for some people, but just my thoughts on this matter.

#4 Reason to be Single: Sex is Better
#4 Reason to be in a Relationship: Sex is More Meaningful

They say sex is overrated. I believe this too, if there's no love or meaning. 

#3 Reason to be Single: You can Watch Whatever You Want
#3 Reason to be in a Relationship: You can Enjoy Things Together and Still Watch What you Want

Look, I don't like Tagalog movies. But I accompany my wife to the theater to watch it. But when it's my turn, she comes with me too, without saying a word. Whatever it is, we enjoy it together. We don't make a fuss out of it. Marriage is a give and take thing, and it doesn't mean that you won't get to watch any nonsense B movies anymore. Sooner or later, you both will enjoy the same things, and it doesn't really matter anymore.

#2 Reason to be Single: You Can Spend More Time With Your Friends
#2 Reason to be in a Relationship: You Gain More Friends

When you get married, you become one - and you inherit each other's friends as well. My wife and I enjoy being with each other's friends and relatives, and find out that there are more people out there who can be compatible with us. But still, we don't stop each other from seeing each other friends either. 

#1 Reason to be Single: You Learn what You Need from a Relationship
#1 Reason to be in a Relationship:  You Learn and Grow together in the Relationship

How can you learn what you need from a relationship when you're not in one? I've learned more about myself in the marriage because there's someone unbiased reprimanding me, telling me to pick up the towel off the floor, to flush the toilet, to put the toothbrush where it belongs and not to eat on the bed. It's not a walk in the park, but hey, that's what love is.

Single guys will probably not click on the LIKE button for this blog entry, but sorry, that's my opinion. What are you thoughts on this?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Pho Hoa Vermicelli Bowl: Bravissimo.

Our family is always on the lookout for something healthy and delicious to eat on our weekend bonding adventures, and if we run out of delectable options, we happily go to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant, Pho Hoa, to eat the Vermicelli Bowl. And that's exactly what we did yesterday. We invaded the little center nook at Robinson's Galleria basement area for a late lunch before our movie. In a divine and provident manner, the standee on the table was the Vietnamese Vermicelli bowl advertisement. "Well-love" indeed.

The fresh spring rolls came first, which I ordered as an appetizer.  A clean and fresh mouth explosion of mixed raw vegetables,  tiny slices of pork and vietnamese white noodles, wrapped in some kind of edible wrapper. You dip it in the sweet, brown peanut condiment, and generously mix it with the complimentary red chili sauce. A great way to start off a meal.

I also ordered the String Beans with Pork, together with a bowl of steamed rice to combat the saltiness of the dish. My taste buds were really satisfied.

Ah, finally, the star of our dining experience. I ordered the large bowl of Vermicelli so that I could share  with my wife. But if you have a large appetite, you could actually finish this yourself, since it's a very light dish.

My wife posed for the camera to prove that the bowl of Vermicelli was bigger than her head.

The Vermicelli is a wonderful mix of Vietnamese Noodles, salad greens, carrots, cucumber, fried spring rolls and slices of barbecued pork. The best part is the tangy, sweet vinaigrette dressing that's really delicious. 

Enjoy the Vermicelli! 

If you haven't tasted the Vermicelli Bowl of Pho Hoa, I recommend it, especially those watching what they eat. It's healthy, tasty and you won't get that disgustingly full feeling after devouring a meal. I have one question though. Isn't Vermicelli Italian? Oh well, call it whatever you want, it's yummy. 'Til the next blog post, folks!

Friday, July 1, 2011


Ok, PLDT, I got a 2 MBPS line from you, but look at my Speedtest result. Tsk tsk. 30 minutes has passed, and my tiny email attachment is still uploading.