November 2007

The Filipina Heart

Marie (not her real name) only knew bitterness and heartache after two failed marriages. Now 50 years old, her eyes glimmer with hope as her fiancee’s trip to the Philippines nears. I felt her excitement as I asked “How did you meet him?” and Marie replied “Filipinaheart.com”. She added “My friend is lucky she found a loving husband in the midwest. For years, she knew nothing but verbal and physical abuse from her husband-addict . She introduced me to the FilipinaHeart.com site”. I never expected Marie to resort to a dating site to find another love, a third chance to find a man for keeps. Oh yes, I understood her loneliness. “You know, even if we are 50 years old, we are still attractive to men”, she teased me. Of course I wouldn’t know that since I have dated no other man in my life other than my husband for 29 years now. If I were in her shoes, I’d date all over again though. Her eyes lit up as she shared her webcam conversations with her fiancee. It felt like high school all over again as we continued on with our girl talk. Marie is just one of the many faces of the Filipina. She is is an upper middle-class, educated, pretty and kind person. I’ve never met anyone who used a dating site so her experience really piqued my curiousity. I asked tons of questions and her answers? Well, I ‘d rather keep them to myself.

What I realized now is those photos in the Filipina dating websites are just photos. We don’t know the story of their lives. The image of a Filipina is not merely a photo as she can be your friend who’s there for you, no matter what, your sister, mom or the broken-hearted woman.

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Earthquake in Manila

A strong earthquake hit Manila at around 12:27 PM, November 27, 2007. It lasted around 5 seconds or so but it was strong. At the second floor of my home, I could see the hanging lights sway. Feeling like the world was going to collapse, I yelled at Lauren who happened to be at the phone oblivious to the earth rocking to and fro. I kept yelling “earthquake” but no she ignored me and continued yakking on the phone. Oh and as I was getting dizzy, I could hear a barrage of text message alerts spewing out of my cellphone . AJ Matela , Jeff , Marhgil and others were twittering (Aka micro-blogging) live as the earthquake shook Metro Manila.

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Shopping with my Husband, my co-homemaker

butch shopping
Yesterday I talked about my gadget shopping spree where I dragged my husband who apparently got bored and tired after walking around for four hours. All that geek-talk made him dizzy. When it was his turn to get his own shopping fix, he brought me to Ikea (Singapore). But my shopping spirt appears to have gone on a nosedive. I wasn’t interested. For the past year, I postponed gadget shopping in lieu of home improvements for our new home. I thought it was a waste of money to buy stuff in Ikea since a huge chunk of our savings went into furnishing our new home. We have all we need, anyway. How could I stop him from oogling over the low-priced goodies? Butch loves home furnishings, buying for the kitchen and grocery shopping. I am into tech stuff and making house repairs. Funny, how we have diverse interests!

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Mommy Tech Talk

dollarsNormally, I just let my dollar earnings sit in the bank because I am lazy to visit the bank and have them converted to pesos. Banks also have silly rules on dollar withdrawals. Anyway, the good side on all this is I am able to save for a rainy day. However, the strong peso got me thinking. I started to convert my dollars on “what could have been” at the old exchange rate and the current rates. I refuse to think of “what could have beens” because I should be grateful that I am still liquid. After reading Abe Olandres’ Weakening Dollar hurts Probloggers, I started to think that maybe I need to spend a little more.

That’s a net loss of Php13.13 for every dollar that I have in the bank. That loss closely amounts to a brand new car or a down payment for a house and lot.

Ugh, I did lose a lot on the conversion.

So what did I do? Oh yeah, I went on a mad shopping spree for Christmas presents.

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Best Website, Blogs Category in 10th Philippine Web Awards is….

web-awardsMy blog , this blog, Touched by an Angel… Winning last year’s Best website award for Blogs Category in the 9th Philippine Web Awards was enough recognition. Tonight, I told my husband that I was attending the [tag]10th Philippine Web Awards[/tag] to give support to my friends who were in the Finalists. I told him to stay home because I wasn’t winning it this year.
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Filipino Kids and Their Lifestyle

cartoons.jpgAre you curious about the lifestyle of 7 to 14 year old Filipino children? Sure, we know they have the inherent ability to assimilate new technology and adapt to change at such phenomenal rates but how much? Today, I attended the presentation of Cartoon Networks’ New Generations Philippines results of the first fully-localized study dedicated to Filipino kids with previous studies done in 2003 and 2005. Cartoon Network believes that such study is an integral part of its on-going quest to learn about kids, their lifestyle , opinions and behavior. The approach in conducting the study was based on face-to-face interviews with 1,000 child and parent pairs, surveying Filipino kids aged 7-14 years and their parents from socio-economics classes A to D in three metropolitan areas of Cebu, Davao and Manila in September and October 2007. Synovate Philippines was commissioned to conduct the survey.

media_consumption.jpg
The results are quite disappointing. TV is the number one choice for kids among various forms of media consumption.

  • 46% are internet users of which three quarters have their own homepage.
  • More than 75% go to malls with their parents at least once a month.
  • They’ve got PHP 37 billion to spend annually.

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A Visit to Doctor Fish

doctor fishThe walking and the shopping took a toll on our poor tired feet. My husband gave up on the Funan Digital Mall while I gave up walking through history lane at the National Museum. I thought of calling it a day but… my thoughtful sister-in-law suggested we visit Dr. Fish. Uh-oh, the first time I saw Dr. Fish was at an Ugly Betty episode chomping Betty’s feet. Dr. Fish eating away my feet seemed such a squeamish idea at first. Then again, pampering our feet at the latest spa place in Singapore called the Kampong Fish Therapy piqued my curiousity more than my feelings of ickiness. If you haven’t met Dr. Fish, it’s a fun, natural, painless skin exfoliating treatment. How?

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Just the Two of Us

hubby and meI just realized that it’s the first time Butch and I are travelling without the kids. The last time we were by ourselves was our honeymoon twenty-two years ago. Since then, our children have always been the number 1 priority in our lives next to us. We have been planning for a family vacation for some time now but our schedules never match. Either one kid is busy with school activities or the other has work obligations. Butch and I just decided to travel on our own without them. He didn’t want the kids to be home alone even when I assure him that my aunt is just a block away for emergency. After all security precautions, we took the weekend off to burn our devalued dollars for Christmas shopping in Singapore. The plane fare alone will be paid from the savings of the gadgets we intend to buy for the two girls. Of course, the most important thing of all is Butch and I will have a lot of romantic moments together getting lost in Singapore.

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Future Happy Broadband User

Stay-at-home-moms (SAHM) are so lucky these days. Online job and income opportunities such as a virtual assistant, researcher , problogger or web content writer now transforms them to work-at-home moms (WAHM). Moms get to balance family time, work and personal satisfaction. Now what is the main resource that online users need? A reliable, fast broadband connection, right? Slow connection means low productivity. High productivity means one is able to balance work load and mommy work. Mom’s work gets done fast. No connection at all might even cost loss of opportunities or risk getting replaced. I know of a web content writer working on rush job but missed a deadline because the internet connection died on her. That cost her to lose an income opportunity and reliability as a web content writer. That’s how bad our internet connection is in the Philippines.

Over six months ago, I wrote about my three new Broadband internet providers (Globelines Broadband, Smart Bro and PLDT Mydsl) for which I pay around 4,000 pesos (or $95.00) a month. Am I happy with my three internet providers? I wrote a brief review about these providers a month ago. The ratings I gave those three providers are as follows:

1. Globe Broadband (best)
2. Smart Bro
3. PLDT MyDSL (Worst)

I’m about to file a complaint at the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for PLDT’s mydsl intermittent connection every 10 minutes or so. Come on, can you do better than that? I pay 1,520 pesos a month and I deserve a seamless connection at least 99% of the time. But what do they give me? Dropped connections every 10 minutes?

Smart Bro has really been so good to me ever since I threatened to report them to NTC for non-existent connection for 2 months. Since then, connection has been excellent for over two months now. (knock on wood)

Even if I rated Globelines Broadband as the best among the three, I am not quite happy with their up to 1 mbps connection speed since half the time, it’s 60% of 1mbps. I feel cheated that these three providers con us into :

1. believing that “up to” is substantial. “Up to” is the maximum possible bandwidth promised.
Why can’t you just say that your connection is 600kbps? You want us to believe that we can attain 1Mbps most of the time when in fact, it’s 20% of the time.

2. Their connection is faster than dial up.
Really now? Are we supposed to believe that we should continue to live in the dark ages of dial up? Stop using the byline line faster than dial-up when you promote your broadband ads . You can’t fool someone like me who has been using cable internet for 8 years now. Yes, you can fool the dialup users but how long can you fool them?

So let’s see, when a new internet provider will dispel all the above marketing gimmicks of our current internet service providers, what will happen now? These unhappy internet users will definitely move to the new reliable internet provider who will make them happy broadband users.

Who is this possible internet provider?

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