Hit two birds with one stone – make a kick-ass Mother’s Day Greeting Video and get a new gadget!
Beyond the Box is running a Mother’s Day video contest. Joining is pretty easy, just submit a video of your Mother’s Day greeting for a chance at winning.
Make sure to like Beyond the Box on Facebook and follow @BeyondtheBoxPH on Twitter to qualify.
1 grand winner will be chosen among all entries submitted and will get an iPod Touch 5th Gen and a dinner for two at Umami Hambaagu House.
Special awards will be given to entries shot inside the Beyond the Box stores and each winner will get a pair of Urbanears Tanto. Entries will be accepted ’til May 11. Winners will be announced on May 12.
Last Friday night, my colleague and I were casually talking one afternoon about his general lack of shame – he named himself “Batman-yak”. I begged to differ and called him “Superman-yak”. And that snowballed to this hashtag we started on Twitter below:
I went to the Malasimbo Festival last week at Puerto Galera and the only thing I regretted was the shortage of alcohol. Jimmy Cliff and Joss Stone headlined the festival – and boy, was it worth the price tag. It can get a little expensive though. The shuttle (which is really just a big jeepney) going up from the town center to Villa Malasimbo is a 10-15 minute ride that costs from Php100-Php200, depending on the schedule. The food is also a tad expensive – one coconut costs Php50. Aside from the fact that it can get expensive, it’s all cool.
Bars along White Beach
Tipzzynaku Bar - one of the funnier bar names we saw
Opening and Setting up
Art lantern display at the event
One of the Reggae acts that kicked off Saturday night
Random French guys
Malasimbo crowd being steady
Having fun at Malasimbo
"Coconut" couple pressured into kissing by crowd
"Mr. Palm" tries to steal our drink
Joss Stone, heating up the stage
Here’s Joss Stone singing Super Duper Love, but it’s a bit shaky due to high alcohol content ingested by the camera person. Enjoy:
The energetic Jimmy Cliff spreading good vibes:
Low light photos and videos taken with a Nokia Lumia 920.
I experienced shared accommodations at my Bangkok trip a couple of months ago at the Lub’d Hostel Siam Square. It wasn’t perfect but the place was squeaky clean, the toilet had warm water and I felt secure and welcome when I stayed there. To save money and to be more adventurous, I decided to book the same shared arrangement in Cebu at Sugbutel Bed and Bath for around Php500/person for a shared room for three. I got a cab from the airport and was immediately warned by my cabbie about the hostel being unsafe – he had a passenger who lost his shorts and slippers when he just went to the toilet to brush his teeth. I didn’t have doubts at first, but now, I’m half-convinced that I should back out. Unfortunately, I already paid the hostel in full, including my friend’s, who did not make her flight that night.
The reception looked okay and I thought the place wasn’t so bad after all. When I went to the room, a couple of mosquitoes zipped by me and I was handed dirty linens, which was supposed to come free for a “premium” room:
The room had no cabinets with locks and you have to deposit your bags downstairs for a fee. The heck?
Since I already checked in late, I ordered from Mcdonald’s. At this rate, I thought, while waiting for my food to be delivered, I wouldn’t get any sleep at all. I’ve been mugged a few times and was held at gunpoint, so staying at a hostel ALONE with no lockers is starting to freak me out. Every time I brush my teeth or pee, I’d think of all the horrible things that might happen while I’m away. I was seriously thinking of not showering tomorrow morning so I won’t leave my stuff behind.
Yes, you had to sleep on your things. They had a little cubby hole at the bed so your things are secure while sleeping. It’s small and you can only fit a handbag in there. If you had bigger stuff, you’d have to lug it around everywhere so you won’t leave them lying around your room. Also, the shower rooms have no space where you can place your things. Everything will get wet once you attempt to put your bag inside the shower room. Fail.
Guests have to put on the linens themselves on these car-looking foams. They look old and dirty.
THINGS THAT FREAKED ME OUT/ WHY I WON’T GO BACK TO SUGBUTEL:
1. No locker to secure luggage inside the room. Guests have to rent a deposit box in the first floor for P25/day. Wow, what if I forget to bring out my shorts? I’d have to go all the way downstairs without my bottoms? In Bangkok, Lub’d has huge lockers where you can stow your luggage. You need to bring your own lock but that’s fine – real backpackers have padlocks!
2. No keys to the room. Guests are not given keys, so the minute you step out of the room and some unscrupulous person sees you and realize that you’re alone, there’s no stopping them from burglarizing you.
3. Scary people! I booked a premium bed so I was half expecting to bunk with tourists. But no, I’m in the same hall as other people who paid P250/night. I know, I know, judgmental, right? But a few guys I saw in the hallway looked like goons and I was so scared, I went back inside my room. LOL. I knew I should have worn pants to sleep. Sadly, I didn’t bring any.
4. Scary people in the night. I could hear some people opening doors at midnight. I swear, I wasn’t able to sleep a wink until 2 AM.
5. Mosquitoes. LOTS OF MOSQUITOES!
The verdict? No, I won’t be going back here ever, even though it’s a few minutes away from the North Bus Terminal to Bantayan.
Free landline to mobile calls and free NDD for just Php 1,299? Interested?
Okay, here’s what Globe’s offering – talk to your loved ones who are on Globe Postpaid, Globe Prepaid and TM subscribers UNLIMITED from your landline and this comes with a Tattoo@Home bundle broadband plan that runs up to 2Mbps. This is twice the speed of other broadband service providers for the same monthly fee.
If you do a quick computation, you’ll come up with this list of expenses:
Home DSL Plan – P 1,000
Landline – P 600
Mobile calls – P 649 NDD calls – P 5
Total – P 2,254 (that’s Php 1,000 in theoretical savings!)
However, if you want speeds up to 5Mbps, you can get the Tattoo@Home Plan 2,999.
If you’re an existing Tattoo@Home Broadband subscribers, get six months FREE unlicalls from your landline to any Globe/TM number by re-contracting for another six months or by paying an additional P99 per month.
Globe’s Tattoo@Home Broadband Ambassador is no other than the “Rock Maestro”, Bamboo. Check out his awesome live performances with Zack (the guitar kid prodigy on the Tattoo ad), Sunday Morning and 214:
One of the more interesting things to do in Bangkok at night is getting a 360-degree view of the city as the sun sets at Vertigo Bar at the Banyan Tree Hotel. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to catch the sunset when we got there because we were flying out that same night back to Manila and Vertigo Bar was already closed for dinner. We had to settle at the Latitude Lounge & Bar at the 52nd floor of the same hotel. The view was still breathtaking at night and one of Latitude’s expensive (just a tad) drinks are worth it.
The view of Bangkok city at Latitude Bar
The cityscape is flat but interesting, with a view of the Bhumibol Bridge, which lights up the Chao Phraya River at night.
The bar itself is filled with tourists and the usual pair of lovebirds (both of them have dicks, for sure, pardon the offensive language).
One final look at Bangkok. CHOS.
Thus, I say goodbye to my favorite Asian city with a Jack Coke in hand, for $8 a glass. Other cocktails and wines cost around the same.
Jack Coke for $8
What a perfect way to end my short but sweet vacation. <3
If you’re wondering why someone would get up early on the first day of the year, after getting wasted the night before, I’ll tell you why I climb. When I’m up the mountains, I get overwhelmed by countless stars and floating clouds, feel the life of every blade of grass and have my senses heightened to the ethereal.
The struggle of the assault and the pain of the descent always test my skill, faith, endurance and willpower, no matter how towering or seemingly unworthy a day’s climb the mountain is. I have learned to never underestimate the mountain and the elements, and that when I think I have exhausted all my strength going up, I know I still have more than enough in me to get me down. Armed with only the essential, all the noise fades away and I’m only left with the things that matter.
Climbing reminds me that I have the chance to be stronger and better every day.
And when I tread the paved streets of the city, I smile knowing I have overcome trails that are so much more difficult and maybe have the confidence to create a trail of my own one day, so others won’t get lost.
I spent the first day of this year in Mt. Kalisungan with one of my girl friends. A view of the seven lakes of San Pablo at the peak was irresistible.
So far, it was the scariest climb of my life. The elements were not on our side. It was pouring the day before and the trail was made of mud or horse dung. We weren’t prepared for a night trek – and with one headlamp, we made our way down blindly for two hours in the dark, wishing the mountain wouldn’t eat us alive.
You know those days when you want to just choose
To not get out of bed, you’re lost in your head again?
- Helena Beat, Foster the People
October 6 2012 was definitely NOT one of those days. That night, amidst the glowsticks and the fedora hats, I got to see one of my favorite bands play live in the new and improved Araneta Coliseum.
Local electronica trio Techy Romantics did a short but sweet set to open the show, and their music proved to be a great intro for the night ahead. The audience had to wait for what seemed like hours (it’s probably just 20-30 minutes, but you get the point), but none of that seemed to matter when Mark Pontius and Cubbie Fink started to play the intro to “Miss You”. Mark Foster’s stage presence started to become more and more evident in every dance-infused beat, but when he finally started singing the first line “Forget your problems, lay it down and start up”, we all knew we were in for a treat. They couldn’t have picked a more perfect opening song to play in their first show here in Manila.
In between songs, Mr. Foster himself took his sweet time in talking to his Filipino fans. He seemed to know a lot about the Philippines, actually. He couldn’t believe that he is performing in Pacquiao’s home country (“the greatest boxer since Ali”), and he couldn’t help but gush about performing in the same place where Ali beat Frazier some 37 years ago, also in the same venue where his dad watched a concert back when he was still in the Philippines. I find it crazy how Araneta Coliseum managed to stay intact even after all these years – it’s actually gotten better in my opinion. The place now has a new lobby/ reception area, cleaner restrooms, and better acoustics than any other concert venues in the country. It takes years and experience to master a craft, and with all that history I guess Araneta Coliseum knows what they’re doing. “You guys got history, man. You guys got passion”… and we love you for doing research, Mark. J
The band went on into playing the fan favorites – Don’t Stop, Houdini, Life On the Nickel, I Would Do Anything for You, Helena Beat, and their single Love – they’ve pretty much covered all the songs in Torches in the most magical manner. They got the crowd going and moving and dancing and singing, and it was apparent that they have their own brand of magnetic energy that makes everyone go all out in every song they play. Mark held no restrictions on stage – guitars were thrown, keyboards were propelled to the floor, and fancy footwork was definitely rendered. To see and hear them play live seemed surreal, and they’re one of the very few bands we have today who can put together a great show live. Don’t get me wrong – Torches is amazing in itself, but the album tracks sounded nothing compared to what was sung onstage. They’re THAT good live.
For the encore, Mark came out to do a dramatic keyboard solo of the first stanza of Ruby. His voice stood out amidst the “Oh my gods” and screams of fan girls and boys alike. The rest of the band followed shortly after, giving the song the great ending it deserved. Everyone knew at that point that the finale song is Pumped Up Kicks, but the band managed to surprise the audience by covering it in 3 different versions – it started out with a Mark Foster- trademarked keyboard solo, leading to the better-known album version, then finally capping it all off with a crazy Dubstep mix of their breakthrough track. The characters on the Torches album cover were revealed on-stage to join the party, and it was a riot until the finish.
I’ve been to a lot of concerts, but this is definitely one of the best I’ve been to in Manila yet. I didn’t expect them to be really good live, but they pretty much proved that they’ve come a long way since they starting telling us about Robert’s bizarre story with his father’s gun. Little did I know back in 2011 when I was downloading “Pumped Up Kicks” for free on their website (and when I finally bought their album in iTunes early this year) that I was going to see them play live here in the country. The whole show was an experience, and it’s definitely one for the books.
Traveling isn’t always stress-free. I usually forget a lot of stuff, even if I have already listed them down. One time, I’ve already printed out my airfare tickets days before my flight, but on the day of my departure, I forgot to put them in my bag. Fail. And I only realized this when I was on the way to the airport, so I whipped out my phone and hurriedly downloaded a copy of my airfare tickets to my phone. Good thing I was on an unlimited mobile data service (with Globe) so I didn’t need to think about counting minutes or data. However, if you’re on prepaid, you can get Globe’s Supersurf plans here.
Downloaded my flight itinerary from my e-mail to my phone.
I downloaded this on a Nokia Lumia 710, so I needed to install Adobe Reader from the Marketplace while I was in transit. I didn’t have any problems with connectivity and was even able to download a couple of podcasts (I’m using the Podcast app) to listen to while flying. Next time, I won’t be printing any of my tickets and I only intend to use my mobile device to keep track of my flight details – it’s much more convenient and environmentally-friendly! Going paperless is awesome!
Since I travel every chance I get, I might skip on researching my next destination especially when I’ve already gone there previously, like my Cebu trip last week. I looked for a hotel room the day before my flight and called the first budget hotel I read about. Unfortunately, I only found out it was a sleazy motel when I got there. Too bad I didn’t get to read this tip from Foursquare.
I found out about this tip too late.
Foursquare is a great app to have especially when you absolutely have no idea where to eat or where to get that massage. I use 4th & Mayor, a metro-style Foursquare app for Windows Phone, rather than the native Foursquare app, because it loads faster and isn’t too overdecorated. I also left tips of my own:
Left my own tips to help out fellow travelers.
If you want a more accurate view of what to do, where to eat and where to go on foot, try Nokia City Lens. Sweep through your view with your camera to see restaurants and other places nearby.
Nokia City Lens lets you view places augmented reality style through a camera interface. It works locally too!
You can also use your phone’s native maps app so you won’t get tricked into paying much more when you’re in a cab ride and you don’t know where your next destination is exactly. It works on Nokia Drive, Blackberry Maps and Google Maps. You’ll actually see where you are on the map and you can get directions from one point to another. Very handy! Here’s a snapshot of the Nokia Drive providing directions:
Photo of Nokia Drive on the Nokia Lumia 710 from Jam Online
Would you believe I was “semi-hydrophobic” (I just came up with that word, sorry) a couple of years ago?
I love the beach and the sea, but I wouldn’t dare venture out into deep waters and would just often sit or lie on the shore to read, take photos and just be generally lazy. I was only able to overcome my fear exactly a year ago when I visited the islands of Gigantes in Iloilo when I discovered that the sea wouldn’t eat me as long as I was paddling face down into the water. I can’t even imagine myself diving because I only recently reconciled with my long-time frenemy – the open sea. But I was always envious of my friends who keep posting their underwater shots on Facebook. One of my divemaster friends, Noel, who I met during my application at a mountaineering organization, motivated me to try it and I was pretty confident he wouldn’t kill me or leave me to the dogs (in this case, sea snakes) while we were underwater.
My very manly diving instructor
When I had the chance to book some cheap-ass flights to Cebu, I immediately planned to do my intro dive there with Noel. I wasn’t expecting to travel solo this time, but some unexpected circumstances left me with no choice. I almost backed out because I didn’t want to dive alone and had made plans to go to Bantayan, but good thing I was talked out of it and we made hasty plans to dive in Mactan the day after I landed in Cebu.
At first, I was really psyching myself ***NOT TO PANIC*** if ever I see or feel something scary. I already knew the signs, what my equipment are and what they do, it’s just a matter of adjusting to the water. I was like a giddy and anxious little girl learning how to ride a bike.
All smiles before taking the plunge
I didn’t do my intro dive in a pool, like most beginners. We suited up, put on weights and just walked into the water like a boss in a resort called Fun and Sun. We were supposed to dive in Kontiki, also a nearby resort in Mactan, but they didn’t have enough tanks. Sadly, we didn’t catch the school of Jacks in Kontiki that time, although that might make me too excited.
I got the hang of it!
The first time we were completely submerged, I forgot I was actually underwater and I tried to talk, so I swallowed some seawater, panicked and went up. It didn’t happen again while we were on our “real dive” and everything was almost smooth-sailing, except the part when I had problems with the building pressure in my ear and it was so hard to swallow to equalize because I was so dehydrated because we didn’t come up for two hours. Also, I’m proud that I didn’t panic after seeing a large worm on the seabed. The sea creatures and I were all good!
This is my most epic underwater shot.
We saw Nemo, striped fish, sea urchins, corals, crabs – very beginner lang ang peg, ‘di alam ang pangalan ng mga sea creatures!
One of the more colorful stuff we found
If you’re curious about diving and still haven’t made plans, I recommend you get someone who’s your friend or a friend of a friend, who is passionate about diving and the sea; and would not just teach you to calm the fuck down and not panic, but also put appreciating nature first. I’m thankful I had one.
Underwater Jeje Shot!
Look, someone made me a video!
Now I know what’s underneath! MYSTERY BUSTED! I know I’ve only gone 25 feet deep, but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating the beauty of the Philippine sea. Like Anna Oposa, an environmental activist and diver, always says during her talks – “Basta diver, sweet lover” este “The Philippines is worth diving for“. And it is.
So, if ever you’re in Cebu and interested to dive, I recommend you contact my divemaster friend Noel. You can post on his wall here, he’s also a radio jock at Y101.