Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Why MJ didn't make it to Miss U Top 5

The Miss Universe 2014 pageant is over but the uproar of the Filipino pageant fanatics won't just come to hush anytime soon. Facebook is still filled with so many discussions as to why MJ wasn't able to make it to the Top 5 therefore halting the consecutive years that Philippines is too close to the most coveted crown. Was it really the gowns that MJ wore in the coronation night? 

What I'd like to tackle here is the question that many have already asked: Why does the Bb. Pilipinas Charities Organization need to employ the Colombian Designer Alfredo Barraza to do the designs of the dresses that our representatives wear in the International pageant? In an interview with ABS-CBN, Araneta has this to say: "If I didn't do it for several years, it's because the designs that were given to us were not good enough for our candidates. That's the reason I went abroad."

World Class Filipino Designers

What a shame! Philippines has never and will never ever run out of creative minds in the Philippine Fashion Industry. As a Filipino I felt insulted hearing this kind of statement when in fact Filipino designers are all over the world. We have Josie Natori whose clients include Oprah Winfrey; Monique Lhuiller, Hollywood's favorite wedding gown designer whose celebrity clients include Britney Spears, Gwyneth Paltrow, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry among others. How about Francis Libiran, Michael Cinco and Rajo Laurel? No doubt that these designers will come up with a masterpiece that will showcase what Philippine Fashion truly is. 

On Alfredo Barraza's Designs

There is no question about Barraza's capability as a designer. Araneta would have not hired him through the years if he isn't on top of the line in Colombia,  however he fell short on his "fairness" having to create the dresses of both candidates from Colombia and Philippines. 

Need I spell out the difference? While the concept is similar on both creations, my heart bleeds looking at  MJ wearing this "cheap" supposedly Panagbenga inspired costume. I am no designer myself but we don't need designer's eyes to know that Miss Philippines' dress is totally inferior to that of Miss Colombia's. This is something that even my 4th year adviser in high school wouldn't allow her student to wear during "Buwan ng Wika" celebration.

And how about these?

Credits go out to MJ for giving  her best during the competition. Her beauty and oozing confidence did obviously shone during the whole period of the pageant. Would it be a different route had she been dressed by a Filipino designer who I'm sure would give it all just make it till the end with her? We could only presume. 

Filipino Designer for Filipino Miss U Rep

In one of Ariella Arida's "On the Scene" interview with Miss Venezuela, Miss USA, Miss Malaysia and Miss Philippines during the Preliminary Competition, all of them proudly announced except Miss Philippines they wore gowns that are created by designers coming from their own country. It's about time that the task of dressing our representative to the Miss Universe pageant be given to our own Filipino designers. We definitely don't need another Barazza creation in the coming years after all, Maegan Young won Miss World 2013 wearing Francis Libiran. 

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Google PH - Miss Nothing (full video)

Have you seen this video by Google PH especially dedicated for OFW's? If not, then you should play it now...and oh, don't forget to prepare some tissue before you do. 

Merry Christmas to all of us who won't be able to make it home for the holidays for the nth time. May love and peace and the true spirit of Christmas continue to reign in our hearts. 
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Monday, December 8, 2014

Vigan chosen one of New 7 Wonders Cities

VIGAN, ILOCOS SUR. Vigan, has just added another feather to its cap after being named as one of the 7 New Wonders Cities by the New7Wonders organization alongside Beirut, Lebanon; Doha, Qatar; Durban, South Africa; Havana, Cuba; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and La Paz, Bolivia.

Well-known for its cobblestone streets, and unique architecture that integrates Philippine, European, and Oriental building designs and construction, Vigan is one of the few Hispanic towns left in the Philippines and is also a World Heritage Site

The campaign for New7Wonders Cities started in 2011 with more than 1,200 nominees from 220 different countries. In October last year, the selection of the 28 Official Finalist Candidates was done by the  Panel of Experts. 

One year later, in October this year, the Top 14 cities were announced: Barcelona (Spain), Beirut (Lebanon), Chicago (United States), Doha (Qatar), Durban (South Africa), Havana (Cuba), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), La Paz (Bolivia), London (United Kingdom), Mexico City (Mexico), Perth (Australia), Quito (Ecuador), Reykjavic (Iceland) and Vigan (Philippines).

The 7 winners that was announced via You Tube today,December 8 were determined through voting.

Bernard Weber, Founder-President of New7Wonders said on the official site, "We congratulate each of these cities on achieving their New7Wonders status, and we look forward to celebrating their selection to the "canon of 7" with their citizens in 2015," adding, "The New7Wonders Cities will now join the New7Wonders of Nature and the New7Wonders of the World in becoming part of Global Memory for humanity for ever."

The City of Vigan is a fourth class city in the province of Ilocos Sur, Philippines. It is located on the western coast of the island of Luzon. 

Source: World of New 7 Wonders, Wikipedia
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Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Happy Birthday, King Bhumibol!

On December 5, King Bhumibol Adulyadej (read as: Phumiphon Adunyadet), also known as King Rama IX  will be celebrating his 87th birthday. King Bhumibol, the heart and the inspiration of the Thai people holds the record of being the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history, serving for over 68 years. He ascended his throne on June 9, 1946 and is now the world's longest-serving current head of state.

As the man of the month, let's get to know more interesting facts about him:

* King Bhumibol was born at the Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the USA registered only as 'Baby Songkla' since his parents - HRH Prince Mahidol Adulyadej, the Prince of Songkla and Princess Srinagarinda had to consult for an auspicious Thai royal name.

* The name Bhumibol Adulyadej means: 'Strength of the Land, Incomparable Power' 

* He briefly attended school in Bangkok then continued his education at the Ecole Nouvelle de la Suisse Romande in Lausanne, Switzerland after his family's move in 1933. He received the 'baccalaureate des letters' (high school diploma with major in French Literature, Latin and Greek) from Gymnase Classique Cantonal of Lausanne and studied Science at the University of Lausanne.

* The king is into photography and music. He is a jazz enthusiast and plays the saxophone. 

* King Bhumibol got married on 28 April 1950, just a week before his coronation, to Mom Rajawongse Sirikit Kitiyaka, daughter of the Thai Ambassador to France. They have four children.

* He was crowned King of Thailand on May 5, 1950 at the Royal Palace in Bangkok.

* Although King Bhumibol is sometimes referred to as King Rama IX, Thais refer to him as Nai Luang or Phra Chao Yu Hua (both mean; "the King" or " Lord upon our Heads").

* He is also called Chao Chiwit (Lord of Life) and formally he would be referred to as: Phrabat Somdet Phra Chao Yu Hua or in legal documents: Phrabat Somdet Phra Paraminthara Maha Bhumibol Adulyadej and in English His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Source: Wikipedia
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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Christmas Away from Home

Facebook has been filled with pre-Christmas posts these days; photos of redecorated Christmas trees at home, windows adorned with multi-colored Christmas lanterns and doors decked with glittery Christmas wreaths. In the local shopping malls here in Phitsanulok (Thailand), giant Christmas trees are already standing tall and proud and Christmas songs are starting to fill the air. As the Yuletide holidays drew closer I'm beginning to feel the same melancholy I felt five years ago - my first Christmas miles and miles away from home.

First Christmas in Thailand

December 25 is nothing but an ordinary working day so it was the same routine as the rest of the days. I went to work and did things as scheduled except that there was a tinge of inexplicable sadness deep inside. The day went on and although there were teachers who remembered to greet me 'Merry Christmas', I still felt there was something void in those greetings. After attending the Christmas Eve mass that night, I went back to my apartment. When I called home, I lost it and cried my heart out as soon as I heard my mother's voice. It was the saddest Christmas I've ever had.

It was Christmas and the only thing that reminded me of the occasion was my little blue Christmas tree at a corner of my solitary room. The whole neighborhood was all the same. There was no "puto" or "suman" nor "pansit" on the table. There were no carolers, no Christmas greetings from the people passing through, there were no expected visitors. It was a perfect blue Christmas.

'Paskong Pinoy' in Thailand

You are Cordially Invited:
P'lok Pinoyz Christmas 2014
Here in Phitsanulok, We, Pinoys, start to put up our Christmas Trees at home as early as September as a way to keep the spirit of Christmas afloat in our midst. Each tree has its own theme; Leah Doysabas has gold, the Narajos have purple, the Benliros have gold, blue and pink in one, the Lunarias - green and mine is a reissue of last year's blue, pink and silver.

Annually, the P'lok Pinoyz, a Filipino organization here in Phitsanulok, Thailand, organizes a big gathering attended by Filipinos from the three big organizations in the province; Saint Nicholas Church Foreign Community (SNCFC), Seventh Day Adventists (SDA), and the Mission Beyond Boarders (MBB).

In Bangkok, Paskong Pinoy event is also held every December at the Philippine Embassy grounds spearheaded by the 10 Filipino organizations collectively called the Filipino Copmmunity Organizing Committee (FCOC). While it gives Filipinos opportunity to bond with fellow 'kababayans' it is also a time to shop Pinoy products, and gorge on Pinoy foods and delicacies.

What OFW's miss most about Christmas in the Philippines

Mercy Lawan, now a resident in Canada for 8 years and has never been home for Christmas since 2009, said that she missed the family bonding most. "I missed the time when no matter how tired we get, we have to wait till the clock strikes 12 to greet each other Merry Christmas and share the Noche Buena," she quipped.

For Arrianne Balinton, a Foreign Language Teacher in China for 6 years, attending the 'Misa de Gallo' early in the morning and the caroling are two things she definitely missed since like here in Thailand, Christmas is also not celebrated in China.

Noel Itaas, currently based in Abu Dhabi, UAE,  who has been away from home for 7 years,  misses the traditional 'Exchanging of Gifts'. "It's a good feeling to give a gift of thanks to your loved ones and in return you can also receive from them. No matter how simple the gift, it is valuable for me and considers it a treasure knowing the fact that somebody cares and remembers me," he said.

Ted: "I'm missing home"
"When I was in the Philippines, my greatest joy was seeing my family being together during Christmas Eve doing the traditional 'exchanging of gifts' and sharing thoughts of love for each other," Ted Bagsican said. A nurse by profession who has found his niche in Saudi Arabia for 4 years now, Ted, finds solace in the love of his friends whom he considers his family abroad. "Christmas carols, dazzling lights and beautiful decorations that fill every place boosting the feeling of Christmas everywhere. and the sumptuous food that is being shared. These are the things that I miss most about the most awesome time of the year in the Philippines," he added.

Like most Filipinos abroad, John Escrin, now residing in South Australia, still can't get over and still misses the caroling, and the 'misa de gallo' though he has already lived in Australia for 9 years now.

Statistics show that in 2013, during the period of April to September, there were about 2.3 million Overseas Filipino Workers whose thoughts and hearts are right back home during this season. If only these thoughts can be converted into cash, Philippines will be far richer country.

Five Years and Counting

Christmas 2014 is the 5th year that I will be spending Christmas in Thailand, however it still feels like the first Christmas I've spent here. Like all the rest of the millions of Filipinos around the globe, there is no getting used to it because Christmas in the Philippines is definitely one of a kind. 'Paskong Pinoy' starts the earliest at the fall of BER months and finishes the last. We have the liveliest and the grandest celebrations which make us wish to have Christmas all year round.

It's been five years and I'm missing home terribly. As to when can I finally celebrate Christmas in the Philippines again?

Only time will tell.

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

7 Year Old Boy Escapes Flood by Climbing Coconut Tree

CEBU CITY. A 7 year old boy named Jason Baldado who was caught in a video climbing a coconut tree to keep himself safe from the flood in Malabuyoc, Cebu has earned the netizens' praises and admiration for his genuine bravery. 

Tropical depression 'Quennie' brought heavy rains in many parts of the Philippines and triggered flooding in some areas in Southern Cebu. The video which was recorded and posted by Janetta Fabrigar Obiasada earlier today, November 27,  has the boy getting orders from the people around him to climb the coconut tree to escape from the raging waters of the flooded Saliring River.

According to reports, Jason was eventually rescued, however his mother, Alona Baldado, who was reportedly behind the bamboo sheet where the boy was earlier situated didn't survive.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Duran Sisters of Butuan City make online waves worldwide

From Duran Sisters FB Page
BUTUAN CITY. After Jason Dy earning a spot in The Voice Philippines Season 2, another Butuanon name is making waves worldwide this time with the Duran Sisters whose covers of the hit songs Chandelier, All About that Base and Bang Bang among others, generated raves and earned  massive followers on line. 

Recently, ABS CBN NEWS.COM featured the singing duo - Elaine Duran and Elaijane Duran in its November 11 issue and were again on the spotlight in GMA 7's Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho on its November 23 episode. As of this posting, the sisters have already more than 30,000 combined followers in Facebook.

For the meantime here's the viral videos of the Duran Siblings and if you want more, you can follow them at their Facebook Page: Duran Sisters for more of their past and latest covers.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

WATCH: Kasadya Ning Taknaa Cover - Hey Joe Show (Maayong Pasko!)

'Cebuano' speaking pinoys or the 'Bisdaks' who are active in the social media are definitely familiar with these five awe-inspiring gentlemen from the United States whose passion is to create videos using the Cebuano vernacular. 

Hey Joe is a group of five young Americans composed of Sumner, Connor, Jake, Tylan and Davis who are members of The Church of Latter Day Saints and were once assigned as missionaries in Cebu thus explaining why these youngsters speak 'Bisaya" almost perfectly.

In October 1 this year, the group posted its first video entitled 'Amerikanong Bisaya' which took Facebook and You Tube by storm. Since then, it has produced more interesting videos and the video below is the fifth of their releases. 

Kasadya Ning Taknaa is a Cebuano Christmas carol composed in 1933 by Vicente Rubi with lyrics by Mariano Vestil. It's famous counterpart is Ang Pasko ay Sumapit, a modified version of the song written by Levi Celerio with lyrics in Tagalog (but not as a translation of the original); however, Celerio is often given all songwriting credits without any acknowledgement of Rubi and Vestil. (Source: Wikipedia)

The Lyrics:

Kasadya ning taknaa
Dapit sa kahimayaan
Mao ay akong nakita
Ang panagway nga masanglagon
Bulahan ug bulahan
Ang tagbalay nga giawitan
Awit nga halangdonon sa tanang Pasko


Repeat Preface
Bag-ong tuig
Bag-ong kinabuhi
Duyog sa atong mga pagbati
Atong awiton ug atong laylayon
aron magmalipayon!


Awit nga halangdonon ug sa tanang Pasko magmalipayon

If you want to check out more videos of Hey Joe, you can check their website: Hey Joe Show , follow them in Facebook, or subscribe in the their You Tube Channel

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WATCH: Cebuano Karaoke Singer becomes You Tube Sensation

Rolando Abante a.k.a 'Bunot', a Cebuano who hails from Santander, has recently been making rounds in the online community when a video of him singing "To Love Somebody" posted by a certain Tricia Mendoza earned admiration and positive feedback from its growing viewers all over the globe. 

Apparently, the first video got more demands for more so Mendoza posted another on November 18, 2014 and as of this posting, it has already earned more than 160,000 viewers. 

Here's Bunot's version of 'You're the Inspiration' by Peter Cetera.

Most viewers believe that Bunot has a natural talent and urge him to join reality singing competitions while others expressed that his voice is nothing but ordinary. 

What do you think? Share to us what you think by writing your comments below. 
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Thursday, November 20, 2014

AirAsia to offer low ASEAN travel air pass

Does hopping to the 10 ASEAN nations for only 4,800 baht impossible? 

Definitely not as AirAsia launches regional air pass by 2015 to allow tourists to visit the 10 different ASEAN destinations in one whole month for only 499 ringgit (4,800 baht).

This announcement was made by Chief Executive Tony Fernandes on Thursday, November 20, to increase revenue and boost tourism in Southeast Asia. "It will be the 'catalyst' for increased travel within Southeast Asia and also lure foreign tourists," he said.

AirAsia, a Malaysian low cost airline, caters domestic and international flights to 100 destinations covering 22 countries. 

Though there are no other details provided, airline executives revealed that the pass will be sold from January 15 next year. 

News Source: Bangkok Post
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