Thursday, August 31, 2006

Geotagging in Flickr

Flickr now offers geotagging, allowing users to show where their photos were taken. Anyone can also browse all geotagged photos by place. The interface is very easy to use and navigate, so even if you don't have a Flickr account, just go and have fun.

These are the locations where the photos from my travels set are taken. I'm looking forward to having Europe geotags within the month. Explore my and everyone's geotagged photos.

For more info, click on the title of this post. (Some post titles are linked to related articles. Check them out.)

I just realized that I'm 34 photos shy of my Flickr free account limit. Will somebody give me a Pro account for Christmas? Haaay. Who knows when my 300MB of uploads in Blogger will run out? Wait, lemme check. At the rate I'm going (50kb per photo, at one photo a day), 16 years. Goody.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Japanese Junko

Earlier this month, I received a card from my Japanese penpal of 10 years, Junko. (Yes, snail mail penpal.) She used to study in an Assumption school in Japan. I don't remember who wrote who first, but we've been sending mostly greeting cards and postcards ever since.

Junko now works in a bank and we e-mail each other occasionally, but there's still nothing like the occasional card by post.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Cool, but not coolest's yearly 50 Coolest Websites tries hard to live up to its name. Sadly, the ever-changing Internet makes it difficult to be comprehensive.

First, define "cool". Second, is cool limited to English-language sites?

Don't fret, Ms. Buechner. For your efforts, The 25 Sites We can't Live Without is a commendable and, for many of us, pretty accurate attempt at enumerating sites we've already bookmarked.

Monday, August 28, 2006

First look

Just a sampling of our first few works-in-progress. The photo makes it impossible to appreciate the paintings, though. Now you know why I've been taking so many flower photos.

Can you tell which four pieces are mine?

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Good signs, bad dreams

Not another toothy nightmare! Anybody would hate to lose his teeth, more so if you had braces for four years. For the past year or so, I have had recurring dreams of my teeth falling off. In past dreams, many teeth would come off. At least last night, it was just one wobbly tooth.

Teeth dreams happen to be common and are quite vivid. When you wake up, you will really check if your teeth are still there. Interpretations vary, but Dream Moods and Spirit Community offer a number of possible meanings. My former officemate Sonee says that when she dreams of her teeth falling off, a relative dies. Creepy.

Go away! When the year started, I had a good feeling I would get a scholarship. Receiving slippers has a negative ring to it, but getting three pairs for Christmas is too much of a sign to ignore. What really got me thinking was the bag charm (above) from stylist Kat Manalo. Of course, I could be overreading.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

The case against billboards

Taken last Sunday along EDSA-Boni. A newsworthy moment.

I have nothing against billboards. As a commuter, I appreciate the distraction-slash-entertainment they give me. However, if something of this size can topple over a major thoroughfare with a gust of wind, I think Bayani Fernando has a right to take all of them down in the interest of public safety.

Lucky the billboard fell on an MRT station. No casualties, just a huge traffic jam and no electricity in the area.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Newsweek's Top 100 Global Universities

Harvard, Standford, Yale, Caltech, UC Berkeley. These are the top five universities in the world, according to Newsweek. Cambridge (#6) and Oxford (#8) are the only non-US universities in the Top Ten.

Japan still reigns in Asia, with Tokyo (#16), Kyoto (#29), Osaka (#57), Tohoku (#68), and Nagoya (#94). Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore has NUS (#36) and NTU (#71), while Hong Kong has HKU (#69), UST HK (#60), and CUHK (#96).

Switzerland, Australia and Canada each have a number of universities on the list, notably Toronto University (#18), the FIT campuses in Zurich (#21) and Lausanne (#26), and Australian National University (#38). The University of London system is represented by Imperial College (#17), UCL (#25), LSE (#34), and King's College (#85).

Do ratings matter? I think they do because it is important for schools to maintain the quality of education.

But you have to check the criteria.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Alak at bulaklak

Inspiration starts at home. Uploaded a few new photos to my Flickr sari-sari set. Feel free to leave comments on the photos or download them for personal use.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Three embassies in six weeks. The senior couple. The mother-and-daughter duo with matching pearl earrings and pointy shoes. The managers with folder upon folder of documents. The francais-speaking woman and her two teenage sons with gravity-defying hair. I observed enough characters to start writing a short play, except that I was too anxious waiting for my number to be called.

Three teachers in six days. Saw Sir Miguel (Philo) at a cafeteria, Sir Sev (PR) on an overpass, and Ma'am Aleli (Ad Management) at the mall. I wasn't able to say hi to Ma'am Aleli because she was on the phone and seemed to be in a hurry. Sir Miguel shushed me when we recognized each other, so I guess I can't divulge any details. Sir Sev, who was one of my referees for the scholarship, just said, "When you come back, see me." Will do.

Made a quick montage (above) because I want all posts to have a visual. Na-OC lang.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Whoa, MoA!

The Mall of Asia along Roxas Boulevard is said to be the third largest mall in the world. It is vast even though there are only two floors (any higher and it might sink into the sea). MoA has the Philippines' first IMAX theater, an open-air Music Hall with daily performances, and a lookout area with great views of Manila Bay. I think it's a cross between Eastwood City and The Podium.

When we went last Sunday, it was as if the whole of Manila was there. The crowd is a good mix of people from classes A to D, and you can see that there's an effort to look decent. Either that or the sheer size of the mall makes the people homogenous.

Having many stores in the open is unfortunate when the weather whips Manila Bay. Rain makes some walkways impassable, especially since the place is windy to begin with (be prepared for a bad hair day). Although the restaurants make the most money, the high ceilings give the other shops lots of window display space. The electricity saved on the skylights is probably poured out on airconditioning. Overall, I like Mall of Asia. The Sys have built another winner.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Seventeen years later

I first met them both in Grade One. Jenica (right) was a bully who ordered our classmates to throw her trash for her. Donna (center) was a bespectacled Chinese-looking girl (but isn't) who I called Donna DLP because it was written on her name tag.

Several section scrambles later, we became classmates again in high school. By the time we graduated, Jenica was an official bully--Battalion Commander in Citizens Army Training--girly for a top officer. Donna, also a CAT officer, was the class treasurer and was famous for calling out, "PEE-POL!" in her booming voice when asking us to pay up.

They both took up Management Engineering in college, arguably the most challenging course in our school. Now, Jenica is an assistant brand manager for a multinational corporation, while Donna supervises the family business.

I spent a few hours chitchatting with them at Dome Podium and found out that they are fans of coach tours in Europe. The trip tally to the continent is Jenica via Insight-3, Donna via Trafalgar-2.

Statement of the day: "I'm nice naman eh!"--Jenica, puzzled why guys are intimidated by her, at which point Donna and I look at each other and laugh. How many choices do strong, mature women have, anyway?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Scoop vs The Illusionist

If I were to watch just one movie, and I had to choose between Jessica, Paul and Eddie (The Illusionist), and Scarlett, Hugh and Woody (Scoop), I might not be able to make up for my mind. Thankfully, there are trailers. For me, the period drama wins over the modern-day comedy. I don't think it's just the costumes--I'm more intrigued by how The Illusionist will end.

Images from

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Do I look like a gamer to you?

I was going to say that I used to play a few PC games, but when I started listing them down, "a few" seems too few. By PC games, I don't mean Diner Dash, Lemonade Tycoon or Tradewinds, but those that require CD installation and can be played alone.

My gaming history goes back to the time of the 486 PC, with the role-playing game Ultima VIII, which was complex for its time. I had high BP whenever I would play Ultima Underworld and Syndicate Plus--darkness and spies scared me. Maybe I'm braver now, because I got past these:

Warcraft III. Still my favorite. Love the lines the characters say.

Trevor Chan's Capitalism II. Master this and you can probably run a business.

Sid Meier's Pirates. Jolly swashbuckling fun. Then again, what does piracy have to do with dancing?

Rome:Total War. Turn-based. Always skipped the battles.

Rise of Legends. This is what I'm playing now. An improvement over the previous Rise of Nations games.

No One Lives Forever: A Spy in H.A.R.M.'s Way. Only tried it out once (never got used to shoot-em-ups), but I watched my brother play it because it's so funny.

Neverwinter Nights. Weird game controls. Great concept art.

Need for Speed Underground. I hate driving, but if my ride looked this good, I'd probably reconsider. I prefer racing using the keyboard. Killer soundtrack.

Battle Realms. Very Japanese.

My mom and I got hooked on a MMORPG once, but only because it was in beta testing (read: free). MMORPGs are the online games people in Internet cafes play. Ma must have been the oldest ROSE Online player at the time. Perhaps killing fantasy creatures relieves stress.

I'm really no gamer. I always play in Easy mode.

Screenshots from

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Sticklers unite!

It's good to know you're not alone. If a misplaced punctuation mark has ever made you cringe, then Eats, Shoots & Leaves is for you. While it's not ROTFL-funny, it gave me a few LOL moments in a nearly deserted library.

What's with title? If the illustration on the cover doesn't make sense to you, here's what the back blurb says:

A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwich,eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots into the air.

"Why?" asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

"I'm a panda," he says, at the door. "Look it up."

The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.

"Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I'll (probably) be home for Christmas

It actually makes economic sense to be home for the holidays. A UBS study shows that, of the 71 cities surveyed, London is the second most expensive city in the world after Oslo. Worth noting is Copenhagen in third place, with Zurich and Tokyo rounding up the top five. Manila is 67th. For more figures, download the Prices and Earnings study.

Actually, I have to come back for my Danish visa. Wala akong kawala sa yearly dance number naming magpipinsan para kay Lola Charing sa December 31! (Charing!)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Telly toughie

My parents getting hooked on Meteor Garden is one thing (they're into Jewel in the Palace now--yes, late adopters), but my brother watching Love of the Condor Heroes (!) is another. Just look at the messianic title. Then again, the production values of this Chinese series are excellent and--possibly the biggest come-on for my brother--the female lead is very pretty. The story has been remade several times in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore with the likes of Andy Lau and Fann Wong. Sounds like a definitive Asianovela.

Not that I have impeccable TV taste--the Idol shows are my guilty pleasure. It's just that we've never had cable and we rarely watch TV. From the limited fare, I'm happy to feed my mind with Deustch Welle's euromaxx and ARTS.21 on net25. Then there's Solar Entertainment's Prime Shift on RPN 9 and Japan Video Topics re-runs, a cut above much of regular programming, even if they've been looping for years on end.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Restrictions placed on UK flights

LONDON, England (CNN) -- As a result of the alleged terror plot, the British Department of Transport implemented restrictions on all carry-on luggage Thursday.

Passengers may only take the following items through the airport security search point:

-Travel documents essential for the journey (e.g. passports, tickets and visas);

-Pocket sized wallets and pocked sized purses plus contents (for example money, credit cards and identity cards). Handbags are not permitted;

-Prescribed medicines essential for the duration of the flight, except in liquid form unless verified as authentic;

-Spectacles and sunglasses, without cases;

-Contact lenses, without bottles of solution;

-For those traveling with an infant: baby food, milk and sanitary items essential for the flight;

-Keys (but no electrical key fobs);

-Every other item must be carried in customer's hold luggage;

-For clarity, passengers are advised that no electrical or battery powered items including laptops, mobile phones, iPods, remote controls, etc. can be carried in the cabin and must be checked in as hold baggage.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Chanel No.5 revisited

I miss this commercial. Baz + Nicole + Rodrigo + reportedly the biggest TVC budget ever (mostly because of the diamonds). Take away one of those and it wouldn't be the same.

This is the two-minute version with credits. Bitin? Watch the "making of" videos.

Wednesday, August 9, 2006


Started mentoring under social realist Renato Habulan last weekend, along with some of Ato's students from previous years. Our goal is to put up an exhibit at a Megamall gallery next year. I'll try to do as many pieces as I can before I go so that I'll be well-represented in the collection.

Same subject matter, same medium, same canvas size, different painting styles. Should be interesting.

Uploaded paintings from last summer's workshop here. Yes, they're really small, doable in one sitting.

Monday, August 7, 2006

The closet editor

The closet editor is neither an editor who hasn't come out into the open nor an art director who secretly enjoys copywriting more. It's a role everyone ought to play at least once a year--taking out the filler clothes that you don't really wear but take up precious closet space.

Although I play closet editor every so often, I usually give in to sentimentality. Now I have to be more ruthless. If I'm not bringing it with me, will I wear it when I get back? No? Then off you go.

Cruel, even to clothes in good condition.

Thursday, August 3, 2006


I got into beading in college because I enjoyed crafting. I sold some pieces to friends, but didn't continue it as a business. No burst of creativity lately, but since I'm having fun with my digicam (I think I picked up a few things from going to product shoots for work), I played around with the remaining stock.

I'm running a mini-contest, open to everyone. There are six pairs of single-strand dangling earrings in the photo. If you can guess correctly which pairs have acrylic beads and which pairs are made of crystal, you can choose one pair that you want. Getting it from me is another matter, though.

For a more detailed shot and other bead photos, head over to my Flickr likhang kamay set.

Did I make you bead-hungry? Say hi to Beadlady.

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Artistic tendencies

I only took painting lessons last summer, but I had already been painting since 1999, using my mom's materials (she was taking classes then) and copying photos from wherever. Take a look at the older paintings here. I'll upload the ones from class within the month.

Ma and I would like to join a guild and produce original artwork. Soon, I hope.

Last Sunday, my dad received a text message in the afternoon, saying that his tennis partner that morning had passed away. Life is short. I hope to make the most out of it.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Kolektor ng basura

I started collecting empty beverage cans in high school. Good thing I stopped at 96 cans, or else it would be heartbreaking to throw them all away, as I will do soon.

Check out the highlights of the collection here.