Sharing all things about pet-friendly travels and full-time work from home setup

Avon's Walk & Run Fight for Breast Cancer in SMX Mall of Asia

If you want to join this event but want to just walk, sure you can join! Just register and buy a Kiss Goodbye to Cancer Avon T-shirt for only P149.00 but if you can run, register for a 5-km race and pay for only P500. Assembly time is 5AM and will start by 5:30AM.   Registration period is until Sept. 30, 2010 only.

Main Sponsor: Avon Philippines

Beneficiaries: Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer (KGBC)

Race/Event Date: Sunday, October 3, 2010
Location: SM Mall of Asia Open Grounds

For more info, please visit AVON PHILIPPINES

A Year After Ondoy: A Volunteer's Story in Marikina

The rain hasn't stopped and it's 6AM already. I hear the wind  banging the roof and corners of the building where I used to work along Ayala Avenue, Makati producing an eerie sound. Who wouldn't forget Sept. 26th last year?  While walking in a knee-deep flood  along Legaspi Street where the weekly Sunday Market is held, "Boom!" An explosion happened. "Guys! A generator two blocks away from here exploded! Hurry, let's go to the nearest dry place. We might get electrocuted! "  Said one of the guys walking with us while we try to walk faster because if not the ripples from the flood created by the passing vehicles can make anyone stumble down. Sleepy and at my weakest as I just came out from a graveyard shift, I stomped my feet away from the flood as fast I can like there's no tomorrow. Thanks God, not a worse thing happened!

A week later an officemate invited me to join as a volunteer in a relief operation and feeding program sponsored by the Cultural Center of the Philippines. "Yes!" I said. Two vans carrying food supplies, a bus full of students from Philippine Science High School in San Pedro, Laguna and another van full of volunteers squeezing themselves in between the goods to be distributed. A woman in her 30's and an authority at CCP I forgot her name already, guided us all throughout. One thin man in his 50's, wearing his eyeglasses approached us. "He looked very familiar, can't remember though..." The woman said "Guys this is Nanding Josef, a theatrical actor, director and you see him in TV & movies." "Now I remember!" From time to time, we glance at him but he seemed not  bothered at all. We went to Marikina, not to the Providence Village but to the nearby barangays where most of the people a re poor. The sun is so high, it was so hot and the thick mud covering the road when sprayed by the sunshine does not, not smell good at all! Garbage wastes are everywhere. The line is so long.

I saw different faces and different attitude. One said 'Thank you' after we gave her a plastic bag full of canned goods and a few pieces of clothes. Another old woman said "Is this all you can give?" I just replied a smile at her. The students all wearing a blueuniform seemed to be enjoying their feeding session. I hear them laugh from time to time as one of them cracks a joke, maybe to forget that they're under a scorching heat of the sun. The barangay kagawad who guided us to the place was very charming and eventually became a tour guide as he gives the names and landmarks of every place we pass by. He generously offered his number to anyone who wanted to visit local tourist spots in Marikina.  Most of the volunteer ladies got his number. I saved his number too... well the museum of Imelda Marcos' shoes is great to visit too!

Who is Pinay According to Google and the World

Google the words ‘Filipina’ or ‘Pinay’ for short and see what the search shows: dating sites and quote- unquote scandals. Type ‘Filipina’: you’ll see Filipina hearts, Filipina dating, Filipina beauty, Filipina dating site, Filipina heart success stories. Type ‘Pinay’: you’ll see pinay sex scandal, pinay celebrities, pinay darlings and brown pinay. See? Where are the major, major accomplishments of Filipinas to our society from all fields of endeavor since then and why not much has been written about it? Don’t ask Google why these are the top searches, ask why these are the most searched about!

Alec Baldwin’s interview on The David Letterman Show joked about getting Filipina mail-order bride and Letterman himself replied back “Get one for me (also), for later.” Teri Hatcher on Desperate Housewives said she would not seek a help from a doctor graduated from a medical school in the Philippines. BBC program Harry and Paul portrayed Filipina maid in undignified and laughable postures. A Hong Kong writer also called the Philippines a “nation of servants.” How much worse now because of that ‘incident’ a few months ago?

Anton Juan, professor and theatre director at the University of Notre Dam du Lac in USA and in London shared an incident in 1987 while he was a scholar in France. He was watching a game show which contestants should give correct definition of words. He heard the word ‘vaya’ and the TV host said: ‘Oh, it is an ancient Turkish word which means one who takes care of the children, but nowadays we no longer use it because we have now ‘Filipinesa.’’ In 1998, Pres. Joseph Estrada tried to protest the inclusion of word ‘Filipinesa’ in a Greek dictionary which means domestic helper. Year 2010, where are we now fellow Filipinas?

Information source from: An ‘Aswang’ in Athens Global Pinoy Editor Monica Feria Sunday Sept. 19, 2010 T
The Philippine Star > News > Entertainment Baldwin: Was his comment offensive to Filipino women? May 20, 2010

Image courtesy of

Palawan Underground River No. 1 in New Seven Wonders of Nature

Puerto Princesa's Palawan Underground River is now in the top spot among the other 27 international finalists in an online search for New Seven Wonders of the Nature. Palawan’s underground river is a unique and magnificent river located at the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, declared as a World Heritage site by UNESCO and one of the most biodiverse conservation areas in the world. As described in the New7Wonders website, this place features a limestone karst mountain landscape with an 8.2km navigable underground river, reputedly the longest subterranean river in the world with major formations of stalactites and stalagmites inside. At the mouth of the cave, a clear lagoon is framed by ancient trees growing right on the water’s edge.

Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn is calling more Filipinos here and abroad to support voting our very own Palawan underground river through Helping him are Tourism Secretary Ace Durano and mall heir Henry Sy Jr.  who launched a campaign in Mall of Asia last Aug. 13st. Globe, Smart and Sun cellular companies are also helping out for taking in votes for PPUR through text messaging. Subscribers can text PPUR, PPUR7 or PPUR15 to 2861. Palawan Underground River was in 13th slot two weeks ago and it needs more vote to stay on top of the list since the voting time is not over yet. The online contest will end officially on Nov. 11, 2011.

Joining Palawan Underground River in the list are:  Dead Sea, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Maldives, Grand Canyon, Jeju Island, Bay of Fundy, Black Forest, Iguazu Falls, Angel Falls, Yushan, Uluru, Galapagos, Milford Sound, Bu Tinah Island, Great Barrier Reef, Halong Bay, Komodo, Amazon, Mt. Vesuvius, Table Mountain, Masurian Lake District and Mud Volcano. Most of these finalists are found in Europe and Latin America. The latest ranking result was chosen by 58.38 percent of females who joined the online poll, with 41.62 percent of the voters comprised of males. Voting won’t cause Filipinos a single drop of sweat as there are two ways: either online or text messaging so please vote for the Palawan underground river!

Picture taken from and News info from Phil. Daily Inquirer's "Underground river now Nov. 1 in new 7 wonders online vote"

Spain’s Galleon Andalucia will Visit Manila for 5 Days!

History buffs! This is your chance to see the Galleon Andalucia in reality. For those who need the minds to be refreshed, two hundred fifty years ago, the Spaniards sailed to the Philippines through the galleon vessel to trade goods and spices. This galleon is a 51-meter-long replica of the Andalucia, which is currently stationed in China for the Shanghai Expo, will be docked at Pier 13 in Manila from October 5 to 9,2010. The ship will be open to the public from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Fundacion Nao Victoria in Spain created this galleon which uses wind to sail and thus is not dependent on fuel. Andalucia was the first known vessel to have successfully circumnavigated the world. This visit of the Andalucia is part of the  International Dia del Galeon Festival 2010. With the theme “Habitat, Heritage, History and Language: Continental Connectivity”, the festival will start on September 24 and will continue for two weeks with a series of interdisciplinary workshops called Artes Talleres and Spectaculos.

Sen. Edgardo Angara, chairman of the Dia del Galeon steering committee said  that ‘Through the galleon trade, the world learned about the Philippine abaca and the ylang-ylang as Manila became a global port in Asia. In turn, the Filipinos received the Mexican chocolate (tablea) and were introduced to Spanish music and arts. ‘ This is a proof that we are long civilized before and we have a rich contribution in the world history. This festival would also produce resolutions from workshops and discussions, while integrating the arts education module to the curriculum of art schools.

The Galleon ‘AndalucĂ­a’ is a  17th-century ships which sailed in Spain, America and Asia. The replica Andalucia which was launched in Punta Umbria in Huelva last December by the Nao Victoria Foundation, will travel to the Universal Exhibition in Shanghai to show ‘the potential and reality’ that AndalucĂ­a and companies from the region can develop in China. The ship has a total of 40 crews.

News and pictures taken from Yahoo Philippines and Typically Spanish

Pinay Wins International Photo Contest about Democracy Challenge 2010

Mikas Matsuzawa, a UP Diliman student taking Journalism is one of the twelve (12) winners of an international photography contest “The Democracy Photo Challenge 2010” organized by the State Department. She submitted a photograph of a young boy in school uniform, carrying a (parol) Christmas lantern as a school project, walking to school along a narrow dirt road lined with dense foliage and riddled with puddles. A proud Pinay, she said the boy in the photo is from the Dumagat tribe in the mountains of Eastern Rizal who along with other children had to walk for about two hours, some of them barefooted, just to get to the nearest school.

Matsuzawa said that the education in the Philippines should be like Democracy… for everyone but unfortunately it appears not. Matsuzawa mentioned her own school, UP as an example. Though UP is the country’s premier state institution for tertiary education, the yearly budget cut is depriving the students to a better education. The Democracy Photo Challenge shows the power of 21st century technology in engaging people from across the globe in meaningful conversations,” said Moustafa Mourad, Interim President of One Economy Corporation. “This exchange of ideas and cultures is at the heart of democracy."

Three thousand (3,000) entries from one-hundred thirty-one countries participated and were narrowed to thirty-six (36) finalists representing each region in the world. The thirty-six (36) finalists’ entries are then presented online and five-hundred thousand (500,000) people joined to decide the top twelve winners which Matsuzawa is one of them. This pinay student must be very lucky then! For more information about Democracy Photo Challenge please click here and the pictures of the eleven winners please click here.

Information and picture source from: Digital Photographer and Yahoo Philippines

Teodulo Protomartir: How his Photos of Manila in Ruins during World WarII made Him the Father of Philippine Photography

TV Director of comedy show “Bubble Gang”, Uro dela Cruz and celebrated Manila tour guide Carlos Celdran talked about “Images of Manila – Then (1946) and Now (2010)” through the efforts of Museum Foundation of the Philippines Inc. Uro, who is a camera collector shares how he serendipitously bought a camera from an antique-selling store in Escolta which is owned by a man said to be the Father of Philippine Photography.  He talked about the almost unbearable bad smell of the crumpled and wet negatives from Teodulo’s camera and how they painstakingly save his pictures from ‘extinction’.

Teodulo worked in a camera - importing company during his time. By 1930, he led a group of photographers scouring the old Manila taking pictures. Few photos that surprised Uro, was taken somewhere in Lucban, Quezon his hometown, in a place where he used to walk every day when he was a kid. Teodulo traveled outside Manila to take pictures too. He even took a photo of Mayon Volcano in Legazpi, Albay. His negatives usually have notes on it, like what level of exposure, the speed or what kind of film he used. Every week, his group would gather to discuss matters about their hobby which at that time is only for the rich, conduct photo exhibits and a radio show.

Carlos, an authority on Manila’s history guided by Teodulo’s photographs, visited again these places and took pictures of how it looked like today. He said that Manila is a reflection of the world: a hodge - podge of cultures from the East and West. One touching photo shown is an old and skinny Teodoro wearing sunglasses to hide his eyes that is nearly succumbing to blindness. He died shortly before two of his daughters became professional ophthalmologists.  But his photos of Manila are priceless and forever will be historical pieces to the Filipinos. He is indeed worthy to be the Father of Philippine Photography. Below are some of pictures he took around 1940's.

Teodulo getting blind because of old age with his priced cameras

Quirino Grandstand

Santa Mesa

Plaza Miranda

Lucban, Quezon

35 Mm Camera Club
Note: The talk was conducted last Sept. 8, 2010 at Silverlens Gallery, Makati