Nominate your bets for the Tatt Awards!

Social Media has made waves in recent years and it’s about time that someone rewarded the people who have effectively used this new tool to make a difference in the way we think and pass the time. The Tatt Awards seeks to identify those who have excelled and led the way in innovating the way Filipino netizens have used the internet and social media towards creative and worthwhile ends.

There are ten categories and all are very compelling. Another good reason to want to nominate your favorite celebrities, close friends or even yourself is the reward that awaits the winner – aside from products and services from Globe, the one who would be named the best for 2011 will win 100,000 pesos! That’s not chump change and it’s definitely a good reward for being a moving force in social media.

Nominations are set to end tomorrow (July 14) so head to the Tatt Awards site to nominate. The council that would eventually decide a good chunk of the scoring is composed of very well-respected personalities who have made their mark in social media over the past years.

Be part of history. Nominate your bets to the first ever Tatt Awards! :)

 

Wolfgang rocks the Met

Wolfgang recently had a very successful show at the historic Metropolitan Theater in Manila and I was lucky enough to have covered the event from up close. Please head over  As Oceans (the unofficial Wolfgang fan blog) to see my review of the event. Over 130 people have shared this link on Facebook. :) Please share it on your wall as well.

Wolfgang at the Metropolitan Theater – June 18, 2011

WOLFGANG will be playing their first solo show since Basti Artadi has decided to stay for good in the country. It will be a major event and it seems like the band picked the perfect venue for such a momentous occasion. The Metropolitan Theater (or the Met) has always been one of the most enduring examples of Art Deco architecture in the country but due to decades of disrepair, it has now become a shadow of its former glory – the City of Manila is trying to change that by making it more relevant to present-day events and Wolfgang’s concert will certainly breathe new life to this theater that was once one of the finest in the country.

Metropolitan Theater is located at Lawton, Manila – just next to the bridge that connects South Manila to Quiapo.

TICKET PRICES (exclusive for the FB Wolfpack and those enrolled at the Wolfgang hotline texting list)
Orchestra Center (rows 1 -20): P850
Orchestra Side (rows 1 -12): P850
Orchestra Side (rows 13 – 20): P525
Orchestra Wings (Front bleachers, free seating): P425
Orchestra Wings (Rear bleachers, free seating): P326

Tickets will be on sale starting tomorrow!

Couchsurfing Manila Summer Scramble Year 3 – From 3rd, to 5th to Last.

This is a very fitting group shot of the participants and volunteers of the third annual Couchsurfing Manila Summer Scramble. Don’t stress yourself looking for me (or my teammates Ann, Mikoy and Verge) – this shot was taken before we even arrived at the finish line.

I took the first two editions of the race very seriously. I was lucky enough to finish third during the first one despite having to face adversity in the form of an extremely uncooperative and inconsiderate teammate. I was teamed up with a very athletic trio on Year 2 (Mon, Angel and Mark de Castro) but my wrong decision to take the LRT Line 2 to get from the Chinese Cemetery to the La Mesa Eco Park cost us the race and we had to settle for a fifth place finish.

I was less enthusiastic about the third edition of the race but I guess I’m still a competitor. Unlike in previous races, I didn’t really try to psych myself up. Maybe the fact that I have failed to win despite giving it my absolute all during the first two races disheartened me a bit. I was a bit excited to find out that I was going to be on the same team as Mikoy, Ann and Verge. I would be hard pressed to name a week wherein I didn’t see at least two of them. We’ve been really good friends this year and for all it’s worth, quantitatively and in terms of time spent together, these three are definitely among my closest friends – at least for the fiscal year of 2011.

I even made a joke that we were the tallest team in  Couchsurfing Manila Summer Scramble History – with no member falling below 5’7″, I guess my unresearched remark could’ve held water.

I would love to elaborate on the things that happened during the race (maybe that’s for a later post), but to cut the long story short; my team (seen by some people as one of the stronger teams for some reason) bombed out in hilarious fashion as far as the results were concerned.

My team finished 11thout of ELEVEN TEAMS!

This didn’t come to us as a shock since we made a lot of critical errors with how we commuted around the city. None of us were that adept in taking jeeps and tricycles around Marikina and Quezon City and in a race where taking cabs was not allowed; it was certainly our undoing.

We didn’t really make big errors  but we made many little ones that added up to create the huge 90 minute gap between us and the eventual winners (a team that included Angel Juarez – my teammate of two years, co-blogger in Visit Sagada and hotshot travel blogger at Lakwatsero.com). Congratulations, Angel! Well deserved!

Our team (Team Midora) finished the race after a very disappointing run around the course, but it was all in good fun. I think the team’s morale was heavily affected by the things that transpired during the race (more on this on the future posts), but I don’t know if it would have made a difference. This year’s race was a lot more unforgiving – it was harder to catch up since you were taking the same train system and the clues while much harder were still being solved fairly quickly by all the teams in the game.

Finishing last this year makes me one of the few people in the history of the race to have competed three times. I’ve finished 3rd (more or less upper tier), 5th (middling) and 11th (dead last). The only thing left to be done is winning. At this point in my racing life, I don’t think I have it in me to win. I might be feeling low right now about my chances, but we’ll see next year.

Cheers to the organizers and the other racers!

Quiz Night Questions at Capriciossa Greenhills 5/11/2011

SCAMS and CRIMES

These three numbers were wrongly drawn as the winning combination in a Pepsi bottle cap promotion in the early 90s.

This man is now serving a 150-year sentence for being responsible for the largest known crime
of fraud in US and possibly world history. He was sentenced in 2009 and is a former stock
broker and chairman of the NASDAQ.
This man is the inspiration for the Academy Award-nominated film Catch Me If you Can.This
person famously pretended to be a doctor and pilot among other things.
During the golden age of Dutch history, this flower became so popular that one bulb sold for ten
times the wage of a day labourer.
This is a scam principally involving a bundle of cash padded inside with sheets of paper cut in the
size of money.
In 1973, US President Richard Nixon said this now classic quote “I am not a ______” to dispel
any rumors that had something to do with the Watergate Scandal.
In his 2004 book “My Prison Without Bars” this athlete admitted that he bet on his own team
while he was still playing – confirming rumors that he was involved in gambling during his
career. Despite claiming that he never bet against his team, he has never been allowed into the
Hall of Fame of his sport despite his great career stats.
This CNN reporter was arrested by police back in 2008 at Central Park after volunteering that he
had meth inside his pocket. To add to this, he also had a piece of rope with one end tied to his
neck and the other tied to his genitals.

 

 

PHILIPPINES

Contrary to popular belief, it was NOT Ferdinand Magellan who coined the name “Filipinas”. Magellan originally named the islands that he saw “Islas de ____ ____” because he found the Philippines during this saint’s feast day.
During the end of the Second World War, over 1 million Filipinos lost their lives as a direct
result of the war. Out of these, two hundred thousand died of an epidemic due to this disease.

This president was the one tasked to do most of the reconstruction of the country following
the Second World War. He defeated Jose P. Laurel during the first election following the war.

This bridge that spans over the Pasig River is Asia’s first ever suspension bridge.
This was the highest position in the Kataas-taasan Kagalang-galangang Katipunan na Mga Anak
ng Bayan. This post was held by Deodato Arellano and Emilio Aguinaldo.
Who was the first vice-president of the Philippines to have successfully become president later
in his/her life?
This province was the first province established under the American period. This northern Luzon
province is named for the native word that means “lake where water does not drain”.
This group of islands was reinstated as a province in March after the Supreme Court ruled that
they met the criteria for provincehood. The islands are located just off the northeastern coast of
Mindanao.
This was the term for the educated upper class during the Spanish Regime. This group was
typically composed of the gobernadorcillo, the cabeza de baranggays and the awardees of civil
merit.

SCIENCE

1. The pathogen or disease-causing agent in Mad Cow Disease is NOT a living thing and is actually

a misfolded protein that could propagate within a host cell. What is the scientific term for this
specific type of misfolded protein that is known to cause infections of the nervous system.
True or False. Ganymede is larger than Earth.
What country has the highest number of scientists per capita?
Evangelista Torricelli invented which famous scientific device?
This type of bird was the type that Charles Darwin collected while studying natural selection in
the Galapagos Island.
This tightly wound coil of wire could be turned into an electromagnet when current is passed
through it due to the generated magnetic field of the flow of electrons through the coil.

The microscope was invented in which European country?
This Siberian-born scientist was the one responsible for creating the earliest known version of
the periodic table of elements.

GEOGRAPHY

1. After Palawan, this is largest island in the Philippines that is only comprised of one province.

Addis Ababa is the capital of this Northern African country that is also the second most populous
country in the continent.
This European country that is not in the Euro-zone is known as Teyrnas Unedig in one of the
nation’s major languages.
This is the smallest sovereign state in South America with an area of around 64 000 sq mi.
In terms of land area, this peninsular country in Europe is the closest to the Philippines. The
margin is less than 1% of the relative total of their land areas. According to the 2010 report of
the IMF, this country had the fifth largest economy in Europe and the tenth largest in the world.
This Asian nation is only behind Lithuania in terms of the highest suicide rates in the world. It is
estimated that 31 out of 100,000 people in this country will commit suicide.
Excluding countries with abbreviated names like USA and UK, the shortest country names are
the ones with four letters. Name four of the ten nations with four-lettered names.
This nation can also be called Bharat in its citizens’ native tongue.

Top ten songs of the 2000s [OPM]

It’s always a daunting task to come up with a list that would encompass a span of time that stretches through a vast expanse of experiences, sensations and sentiments. Memory and recall can be quite selective at times and the things that are at the top of your head may not necessarily be the best picks. This list only reflects my personal preference and I do not wish to impose this standard on anyone. I know my taste can be quite quirky and a bit offensive for some but I just can’t help loving the songs that I put on this compilation.

To ensure more or less equal representation, only one song per band will be mentioned.
With that obligatory disclaimer out of the way, let’s go down to business.

No Falter – Wolfgang

There will definitely be a Wolfgang song in this list so I’m choosing to mention this song right off the bat. “No Falter” is one of my favorite songs of all time and Black Mantra is certainly the most underrated album in Wolfgang’s discography. Hearing it live during last year’s concert was an almost surreal experience. The band didn’t get to play the songs from Black Mantra a lot since they broke up less than two years after the release of the album.

Hallelujah Bamboo

This song is on the list not just because I was totally over the moon when this song came out (no judgment) but also because I can wail out this song almost effortlessly (again, NO judgment! haha). It sounded really fresh right off the bat and even if the album it came in did sound a bit one-dimensional, ‘Hallelujah’ sure was a welcome addition to the wealth of discography that the past 11 years has seen. No one is saying it but Bamboo single-handedly kept Pinoy rock relevant after the disbandment of the Eraserheads and the quasi-disbandment of Wolfgang.

Continue reading

The biggest bands in the Philippines – according to Facebook

Social media has changed the game in many fronts and that includes the way that bands engage their fans. Before, artists would set up exclusive clubs and mailing list to somehow limit the amount of people who would get updates from them. With the explosion of the Facebook and Twitter phenomenon, the game has been more about building larger communities to ensure that the message does get across to as many fans as possible.

I scanned through the local bands who maintain a Facebook page and ranked them according to the number of members of each community. Before, popularity was based on whose songs stay on top of the charts for the longest time. Now, there’s a better and more tangible and comparative metric to really gauge the breadth of influence of artists.

Feel free to tell me if I missed anyone. The stats are as of April 5, 2011.

Here are the top ten artists in the Philippines according to Facebook: Continue reading

How dangerous is it to live in the Philippines: Earthquake mapping and risk assessment

Baguio City 1990

I find it amusing that two of my foreigner friends (Risto and Hugo) almost posted this link from CNN that reveals that Manila would be unprepared on the event of a devastating earthquake. Manila has a major fault running along the eastern spine of the city and thousands of homes and buildings are currently standing on top or right next to the fault line.

There was a study done by Japanese experts from 2002 to 2004 projects that over 50 000 deaths could result from a 7.2-magnitude earthquake. Aside from this, the experts also predicted that well over 1.3 million buildings could be destroyed and 500 fires could be simultaneously ignited due to the tremors. Given how the Philippine government responded to the Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) aftermath, it’s very likely that the federal response to a disaster of a greater scale and magnitude would be as negligible.  Continue reading

Balut – and the Couchsurfing Manila Experience

Only a few delicacies in Southeast Asia could rival the balut’s (also called balot) reputation for being a gastronomical rite of passage.   It is very common to see night vendors selling this delicious egg in street corners and there are even some who walk all night to search for potential buyers. A quick internet search would reveal that people in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand also consider balut as a nice treat. The term balut is the one that stuck because it was the one used in popular culture the most. The reality show series Fear Factor has routinely used the mysterious egg as one of the hurdles contestants must face to win the 50 000 USD cash prize.

Continue reading