Archive for the ‘Living in Manila’ Category

Super Typhoon may hit Manila!


Be warned people, PAGASA says the super typhoon Mina (which has an area that blocks out the entire Luzon!) will be making land fall over the weekend. Stock up on emergency supplies like cash, water, batteries and food. Mina might be the next Milenyo. Signal no. 3 is already up in most of Region 5 and these areas are expected to be worst hit, provinces closer to Manila are only up to Signal no. 1 while Manila may already have a Signal raised by Sunday.

As a precaution, why not try to board up windows and trim trees before Sunday just to stay safe. A lot of problems caused during Milenyo was due to trees falling on power lines, call Meralco if needed. If you have Ad Billboards still up in your area, you may try to report them to the MMDA. Stay safe everyone.

Battle of The Christmas Planners

Three of the biggest coffee chains in the Metro are going head to head with their Christmas Planner Giveaway. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is giving out a notebook (available in 3 designs), Starbucks Coffee is giving out a planner (leather bound with ball pen) while Seattle’s Best Coffee is giving out a tote bag, notebook, mug, ball pen, gift coupons and metal casing (kitchen sink not included). Here’s a quick guide on the three Holiday promos.

Starbucks Planner
Stickers to collect: 12 Christmas Blends, 12 Regular Drinks
Cheapest way to collect: P130.00 Short Cup Peppermint Mocha, P75.00 Brewed Coffee
Total Expenses: P2,460.00
Estimated Cost of Planner: P550.00

Feel good Factor? Starbucks Coffee has had a long tradition with their Christmas Planner which started around 2004. A contribution to the foundation Spark Hope is made when you complete your planner.


Instant Cure to Gloomy Weather

It’s 4pm on a gloomy Thursday afternoon and you’ve had separation anxiety with your bed since you left your home. What would help you through the rest of the day? Is it that chicken mami cup noodle? Or some sort of instant champurado? Why not skip the pre-packed copy cats and have a nice hot bowl of Congee and Tokwa’t Baboy (Tofu with Pork), Metblog’s guaranteed instant cure to gloomy weather.

Instant Cure to Gloomy Weather

(Note: This blog post was not paid for by any third party which just so happens to deliver Congee and Tokwa’t Baboy to most parts of the Metro *wink wink*)

Poetry in Motion


Have you taken the LRT recently? Well – we all should…if only to wax poetic during the ride.

The Instituto Cervantes de Manila, led by Director Jose Rodriguez, and the Light Rail Transit Authority have collaborated to install posters inside the carriages of LRT – all of which contain celebrated Spanish-language poems by such writers as national hero Jose Rizal, Jesús Balmori, Claro M. Recto, José Palma, and Fernando Maria Guerrero; Spanish poets Calderón de la Barca, Lope de Vega, García Lorca, Antonio Machado, Luis Cernuda, Luis Rosales, Miguel Hernández and Gil de Biedma; and Latin American writers Pablo Neruda and César Vallejo. The poems, of course, have Filipino translations (so we can stop ogling at strangers and start memorizing some fine verse).

This new promotional campaign, entitled “Verse in the Metro”, was launched recently to encourage reading among Filipino commuters, as well as to strengthen the ties between Spain and the Philippines, two countries that share a common past that spanned more than 300 years.

“With almost one million commuters riding the train every day, it provides a great opportunity for the reading campaign to reach as many people as possible,” Rodriguez (rightmost in the photo) said.

Instituto Cervantes is the cultural arm of the Spanish government that promotes and teaches the Spanish language and culture. It is the largest Spanish teaching organization worldwide, with more than 70 centers in 4 continents. With its collection of classic and contemporary Spanish Institute, movies and music, the Instituto library has become an important agent in promoting the Spanish language in the Philippines and is an indispensable source for those who are interested in Spanish and Latin American cultures.

(Photo courtesy of The Manila Times.)

The Hapi Bus

Finally, buses that are good for the environment. According to the article, these buses (called “Hapi Bus”) run on compressed natural gas a.k.a. non-toxic. Cleaner air for Manila roads!

While that’s good news, I’m hoping that the gas isn’t the only thing that’s clean about them. How about some clean driving? While some buses are terrible smoke-belchers, most buses are also hazardous to your health because of the drivers’ terrible road skills. Clean air and clean driving from these buses would be even better for Manila!

A Feature: We Don’t Change


(co-authored by sportswriter Kirby Garlitos, in lieu of Oktoberfest)


Change pervades the world of the Filipino, and it has become, so to speak, a norm of life. It dictates the lives of our people. As such, Filipinos have been – for a lack of a better term – forced to go with it or be left behind. Eat or be eaten. Hunt or be hunted.

Such kind of life has, in turn, spawned an attitude of ‘what-you-can-do-I-can-do-better’, and conceived a behavioral exercise which may best be described as one-upsmanship. Indeed, Filipinos have always aspired to be at the head of the game.

But fads come and go, fashions roll through and past, and today’s trends will eventually dissipate into yesterday. Very few transcend the realm of vogue and, in the minds and hearts of Filipinos, even fewer enter the rare air of tradition.

At first glance, basketball and beer seem to have little connection. Maybe none at all. The first is a sport involving the fundamentally physical activity of putting inflated orange balls in a hoop despite a host of defenders. The other is an alcoholic beverage best enjoyed chilled, with a group of friends, in pursuit of relaxation. The disparity may seem obvious, but in confronting this seemingly stark contradiction, one will realize that basketball and beer are uniquely intertwined.

A Dark Horse Prospect Throws His Hat into the PBL Ring

The highly-anticipated Philippine Basketball League (PBL draft) is next week. And as it appears so far, there is no shortage of Filipino talents showing up to enhance the level of play in Philippine basketball.

Here’s one of them.

Allan Aguilar, a 24 year-old point guard from San Diego, California, announces that he is declaring his intention to enter the draft this Friday, September 28, 2007. He has already turned in his application to the PBL office and has been cleared to participate in the PBL Rookie Camp on September 26.

When asked about this opportunity, Allan said that he has been preparing to focus make a career out of basketball all his life, and is anxious for the chance to play against the best amateur players in the Philippines. A graphic arts student who is finishing his degree this year, Allan has decided to put his education on hold so that he can follow his dream.

My Wednesday

So yesterday I spent one and a half hours on a FX bound for Quiapo and another 2 hours on a jeep going home. Fifteen minutes was spent waiting for said FX, while close to 30 minutes was my wait for a jeep that wasn’t packed with passengers.

I walked for 8 minutes, from where the FX dropped me off to my destination getting lost in the process, while the walk back to where they jeepneys are took just 6 minutes.

All that just so I can spend 30 seconds at the NBI office in Carriedo to get my clearance.

Hour-long downpour + Quezon Boulevard + rush hour = a very tiring day.

Flying U-Turns soon in Metro!

U-turns that currently dot the metro’s amjor throughfares will soon have your cars flying – that is they’ll be turning into elevated u-turns. The first one will be placed in the heavily clogged C5-Kalayaan interchange (which causes a daily serving of Southbound traffic from Quezon City to Pasig and Makati). The MMDA is targeting the project to be completed April of next year.

I guess the only question left here is if the flyover will be pink?

No U-Turn at C-5; Let’s Go to the 28th MIBF


While everyone (myself included) is going gaga over the 28th Manila International Book Fair this August 29 to September 2, others (myself included) are muttering the same word -though you’d have to replace the last letter with an o– as the adjective with which they would describe MMDA Chair Bayani Fernando after his latest implemented rule.

No more U-turn slots along C-5.

Whether you’re coming from Greenmeadows Avenue or from Santolan, you’re going to have to go all the way to the corner of Ortigas Avenue, under the flyover, to arrive at your C-5 destination (Eastwood City for most) – that is, if the place happens to be on the other side of the road. The result of this, as I’ve observed during the several times I had to go to City Walk last week, can be severe symptoms of road rage – for motorists, public utility vehicle drivers, pedestrians, commuters, call center employees, and (allegedly) Fernando’s own wife. (If you click on the link to this ABS-CBN Interactive story, you’ll enjoy a bit of whimsy about the MMDA Chair noting aloud that the turn is “malayo pala.”)

I am reserving further comment – at least until this and next week. Anyway I’ll be joining the rest of the Manilenyos at the World Trade Center for the book fair, far away from the congestion at C-5. (By the way, the wonderful and groundbreaking digest, Philippine Genre Stories, will be making its third issue available at the Anvil Publishing Booth.)

Happy reading and see you there!

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