Market Manila Eyeball !

The Blogging Families. Merry Christmas Shot 🙂

It was a great and successful eyeball, Marketman! Finally, we met MM, MMM (Mrs. MM), and the kid. The eyeball ended at 10pm, after 4 hours of chikahan and kamustahan. The time was not enough to meet everybody. I learned a lot during that night and it was a night of pleasant surprises for me. We came for the conversations with the intent to truly build online friends. We also have a lot of questions for Marketman but those would continue to be unanswered specially on the impact of blogging on the family.

Generally, we don’t enjoy buffet food that much because of the mess it creates on your plate and sometimes it is served cold. In short, I wasn’t able to really indulge myself with the food last night aside from making more acquaintances of the bloggers who were there. There were lots of desserts and for us, the winner for the night was Dimpy Camara’s Frozen Brazo de Mercedes. I can’t wait to order an entire cake all to ourselves! This was featured by Wysgal last month in her post, Icebox Brazo de Mercedes but it was Debbie who brought this awesome dessert to the party. Thanks Debbie!!

I was not able to take a lot of photos because I realized some people might not want their identities revealed. I missed a lot of foodie EBs due to travel. There have been three already — Marketman’s First EB, Lori’s Tea Party with parade of desserts, and Lori’s Nestle cooking demo. But for those who were not able to attend, here is a glimpse of what happened during that night.

Thanks to Chris for hosting the eyeball in Gourdo’s!

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The Blogging Gospel of Yuga

In my quest to promote the Philippines, I came to realize that I need to push further the envelope of alternative media. Aside from photo-blogging, I’m attempting to learn to develop creative videos that would highlight the beauty of our country. It is a long journey, and it took me a one year and a half to really learn how to blog and how to take good photos. Did you know that I only started to take photos on January 2005? Yes, that is the time when I also started my blog. The catalyst for this was my son Aidan, when he was born on January. Well, you can look at the archives and see the difference in my writing style and photography from the time I started until now.

Finally, I’m starting my video-blogging quest this month. To kick it off, I’m starting an Our Awesome Planet show entitled: “A Blogging Life: Awesome Pinoy Bloggers”. The intent is to inspire other Filipinos out there on the power of blogging and to give a glimpse on the blogging life of the blogging idols in the Philippines. I’m starting the series, with Abe Olandres known as “Yuga” in the blogging circle. He runs his personal blog at He also runs,,, and sites, among others. Yuga is one of the person I admire because of his rags to riches blogging story. For those of you who are not following his blog, just watch the video to get a glimpse of one of the pioneer pro-bloggers in the Philippines. He revealed some of his blogging secrets and keys to his success 🙂

Check this out: Clipcast Director’s Gallery: The Blogging Gospel of Yuga

If you have a slow connection, just let the video download first before playing the entire 4mins+ show. Please please let me know what you think… Thanks to my brother, Rommel for teaching me the tricks of the trade on video editing! Thanks to for hosting the video!



My First Blook (Blogs-turned-Book)! Thanks to Blurb!

Wow! I finally got my invite for the new innovative beta Blurb service that converts a blog into a bookstore-quality book!! They are currently running the beta blog-to-book service for 600+ typepad blog users and I got one of the invites 🙂 I’ve been dreaming already of converting my blog (just the Awesome Pilipinas category) to a book in its raw blog form. I intend to use it as an ultimate back-up for our 20 months family adventures with my son Aidan. This serves as an autobiography for my son, so that he can read it someday. This is the main reason I started my blog and if you look at my first month’s posts, it is about the birth of my son, Aidan 🙂 Secondly, I’m thinking of selling it to people who would want to travel to the Philippines and who would need an offline version of my blog. This would be good for that long trip from the US to the Philippines 🙂 Also, this would discipline me to be careful with my grammar and for dotting my “i” and crossing my “t”.

Also, I’m hoping that this would be one of the first Blooks (blog turned into a book) in the Philippines!! We’ll share with you the picture once I get the Our Awesome Planet Blook! Also, all your comments on the restaurant posts will be included! You guys will be part of this blook, so keep the comments coming!! The only catch right now is that each book could cost from $30 to $80 (ouch!). BTW, I can share another invite to another pinoy typepad user who would have the passion and energy to convert their blogs into a book. The only one I know that also uses typepad is Bryan Boy. Check out the Blurb Invite email below.

Related Posts:
From Blogger to Published Author, for $30 and Up Gets Book Smart


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Newsbreak: Pinoy Blogs in Dining and Living

Pinoy Blogs in Dining and Living (Newsbreak, October. 9, 2006) by Jet Damazo
“Slice of Manila’s Hidden Places. Travel Secrets through Word-of-Mouth. Shared through our Awesome Family Adventures. The best kept secret sale in town, the first indoor kart racing in the Philippines, the most interesting restaurants to dine in, and places to visit in and out of Manila. IT manager by day and blogger by night, Anton Diaz, has been sharing all these to thousands of readers for a year-and-a half now to, he says, “showcase the Philippines as a tropical paradise and hopefully inspire people to appreciate our country a little bit more.”

Thanks to Jet Damazo of Newsbreak for the feature!! I’m also amazed myself on our different takes on the same restaurant. If you missed the Myron’s controversy, check these posts out.
Want steak? Go to Myron’s by lori (May 31, 2006)
Myron’s at Rockwell by Marketman (June 16, 2006)
Myron’s Blogging Buzz by anton (June 19, 2006)

Other Features Index: Bah Bah Blog Feature, October 6, 2006
Pinoy Big Blogger: Online Food Critics, July 21, 2006
Anton’s Awesome Planet — BLOG-O-RAMAed 🙂, October 17, 2005


Blogging Bah Bah Blog Feature

“Finally, Our Awesome Planet, a blog maintained by Anton Diaz (who, like his peers, balances blogging with a day job) offers a little more diversity in its entries. Not only does he preview the newest restaurants in the country, but he also provides personal insights on concerts, spas and local tourist destinations. Plus you get to see pictures of his cute kid, which is part of Anton’s plan to ‘redesign’ his blog to include families as his main target audience.” – Paolo Sia, Bah Bah Blog, (Oct. 5, 2006), Click the

Thanks to for featuring us (OAP with dessertcomesfirst and Market Manila) ! I consider this an honor since we know that is the undisputed online magazine in the Metro. This is what I love about blogs or online magazines. We love each other (even if we haven’t seen one another) and you wouldn’t find us competing negatively with each other. There is no feeling of I need to be no. 1 or I can beat this other blog. I’m happy to see that there is no crab mentality in the online space. In fact, I would argue we need to have wysgal’s rantsandraves to be part of that list!

I think the formula to become a successful blog is: Personal Advocacy + Unique Personality + Writing in your own voice = Your own Blog Niche. You cannot compare the blogs since each of us has different passions, hobbies and interest. Although, I need to work on the equity of my blog. I want my blog to stand for “The Best of the Island Paradise of the Philippines” or “Capturing the pinoy word of mouth raves.” When I get featured this is one of the things I check if I get my message or equity across. Apparently, I still need to do some more work on that aspect. Maybe, I should put up a Philippine Flag in my blog. Any suggestions?

Other Features Index:
Pinoy Big Blogger: Online Food Critics, July 21, 2006
Anton’s Awesome Planet — BLOG-O-RAMAed 🙂, October 17, 2005



And the first Phil SEO Star is Gio! Congratulations!

Congratulations to Gio (Guy in red shirt) for winning the first ever Philippines SEO Contest for the term “Isulong seoPH”! Thanks to Marc, founder of SEO Philippines for taking the lead to make this contest a reality. Thanks also to lakeside technologies founder, Boris for supporting the event and for the free food during the awarding night in Pier 1 last Saturday.

Nice to meet all of you guys! Check out the pictures during last Saturday’s event.

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[Dear Awesome Planet #5] a few photography and blogging questions

Hi Anton,

I’m reading your blog for almost a week now and I must say that I’m impressed with it. The contents are very informative and the pictures are well composed (especially the food pictures). I also like taking pictures of where I’m going and what I’m doing and I’m currently using a Canon 350D to record these. But I have a few problems, First is that I’m not getting any good food photographs with my on-board flash, everything looks washed out or overexposed. The second one is I often get asked sometimes stopped by managers, store owners, waiters, guards, etc in taking photos which I find very irritating/disappointing. They often ask for some kind of permit or something.(kelangan ba talaga non?)

I would just like to ask, are you using any kind of setup/equipment for this food shots like some backlight, reflector cards, etc or are you just using available light inside the resto? And also, how do you gain access to these restos. I mean, do they really allow you to take pics of their menu, food and interior. Do you have any pre-arrangements with the owners/managers or you just walk-in like any regular customer and take pictures.

For now I’m resorting to landscape and travel photography because of that no-taking-of-picures-unless-you-have-a-permit thing in malls and most establishments in Metro Manila (tourist destinations are easier to photographers)


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Plagiarism is the highest form of flattery? Website Jacking is Not!

Original article:
Our Awesome Planet: The Perfect “Dampa” in Seaside Macapagal Blvd! (Dec. 23, 2005)

Plagiarized article: Dampa at Macapagal Ave – Shylin Tating Restaurant (April 19, 2006)

Have you been plagiarized before? How did you deal with it?


UPDATE 8/22/06 — Finally the guy revised all the posts already! Even just an apology would do but I guess he is scared. I’m glad he also changed the plagiarized Lori’s posts and starting to come clean. The google DMCA complaint did it 🙂

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Pinoy Big Blogger: Online Food Critics

We were having lunch in Filos last Saturday and while waiting for the food, I make it a point to check out the free city guides available in the restaurant. I got a copy of 24/7 July edition with Tim Yap as the main cover and with Pinoy Big Blogger as one of the headlines. Since the topic is about blogging, I immediately got curious and I thought it would feature the bloggers that covered Pinoy Big Brother. Here is the description of the featured article:

Pinoy Big Blogger: Gastronomic adventures (and then some) in the Philippine Blogosphere. Gone are the days of the undercover food critic and their covert gastronomic missions. Thanks to the advent of online journals and weblogs (popularly known as “blogs”), just about any amateur reviewer can dish out their unabashed opinions for … uh… public consumption. We handpicked a few hot blogs you can browse through before dining out. Welcome to the mouthwatering world of Filipino food bloggers! “

We were pleasantly surprised to get handpicked by 24/7 staff as one of the hot blogs around together with my favorite bloggers wysgal (rants and raves), lori ( and marketman ( There is also a chat transcript interview with wysgal. Thanks Janine Dario and staff for including us in the list! It is truly an honor to be featured by mag 24/7 which is recommended by the 9th edition of the latest Lonely Planet as Manila’s best city guide!!

By the way, Happy 3rd Year anniversary to the staff of mag 24/7 in Aug!! Here is the directory of restaurants and bars where you can get a copy of 24/7 for free. If you run out of copies, I have a few since I hoarded them to share with family and friends 🙂 I’m happy since this is the first time I got mentioned in any printed media.


On Being Discovered:

Anton’s Awesome Planet — BLOG-O-RAMAed 🙂


[Dear Awesome Planet #3 ] My Favorite Blogs about the PhilippinesI

Dear Awesome Planet,

Hello there!

came across your blog recently (When I was checking out info for the Philippines) and ended up trying the 5-hour-massage of Bing. It was great referral. Thank you so much.

I am an expat living in Manila and would like to explore what more this city has to offer, outside of big malls and Greenbelts. I would be grateful if you could refer me to other blogs from where I can get additional info. Thank you and have a nice day!


Dear Ben,

I’m sharing with you my favorite blogs about the Philippines. I love these blogs because of the personality of the people behind these blogs and they would truly give you an honest-to-goodness perspective about what Manila has to offer:

desserts comes first blog by Lori ( )
rants and raves by wysgal ( )
writings on the wall by aj ( )
marketmanila by marketman ( )
celdran tours by carlos ( )
ironwulf by ferdz ( )
old manila walks by ivan ( )
my sari sari story by sydney ( )
pinoy travel blog group led by abe ( )
awesome Pilipinas! by anton ( my compilation: )

Let me know if these helps!



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