Awesome Filipinos

Awesome Filipinos

FROM HEAVEN TO HELL AND BACK: Surviving Supertyphoon Yolanda & the Struggle to Find our Way Home… by Edeline (Edz) J. Payawal

I'm republishing my friend Edz's first-hand survival account of Typhoon Yolanda with her permission.
Download the PDF: Our Fight to Survive by Edeline (Edz) J. Payawal,CCG Managing Director

My best friend Nika and I are surf addicts. Our obsession began two years ago, after a spontaneous trip to Baler, Aurora. Since that day, we were absolutely hooked.

For two years, we never tried surfing anywhere else other than Baler. But if we wanted to get better at it, we had to go out of our comfort zone and push ourselves. This motivated us to seek new surf spots… that eventually led us to Borongan via Tacloban.

November 4, 2013, Monday.

Nika and I boarded the plane expecting a trip of lifetime. Our work gave us the privilege to marry our work with our surfing obsession. We had no worries, no hesitation. I felt like we deserve this break… a chance to recuperate from the endless all-nighters and coffee comma. Imaging the sound of the waves gave me a calm that will never be matched by anything.

We landed at the Tacloban Airport with high hopes and silly smiles plastered on our faces. Ate Charlotte, our friend in the city, met us with the same excitement. We told her about the first time we were in Tacloban and how we ended up in Biliran with no money back in 2011. We were innocently laughing about our antics while making plans to meet up again on Friday, so she can show us around the city.

Ate Charlotte dropped us off the van terminal that would take us to our primary destination: Borongan, Eastern Samar. It was a surfing haven. Beautiful waves and perfect weather welcomed us in Borongan. The beach stretch was quiet, untouched by the modern world. In a distance, there was an island that you can just walk to during low tide. They had a lagoon, and more than a dozen surf spots like Pasikat and 16-point. We couldn’t wait to explore them all.

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Awesome Filipinos

Romi Garduce’s Seventh Summit Quest: Vinson Massif, Antarctica

PITO para sa PILIPINO-2.jpg

I’ve been supporting and blogging about Romi Garduce’s quest to conquer the seven summits ever since OAP started. (See: 21 posts categorized “Filipino Seven Summiter)

He is a former IT colleague from Procter & Gamble Philippines. I can still remember my first-ever fun climb to the summit of Mt. Maculot in Batangas, which he initiated. He’s always loved the mountains and  “kinikilig” when he is on top of the summit.

He became popular when he and his two other Filipino companions successfully reached the top of Mt. Everest in May 2006. He personally inspired me when he shared with us an experiential account and inspirational talk about his successful climb up Everest. (see: Romi’s Everest and My One Big Dream. What’s your Everest?)

In the office, Romi is known as a happy-go-lucky person, but when it comes to mountain climbing or diving, he is the take-charge guy, the person you want to be with because you know you’ll be safe with him.

This Christmas 2011/New Year 2012, he is finally completing his 10-year quest to be the First Filipino to ever reach the seven highest summits in the seven continents!

Here is a photo timeline of Romi’s “Seven Summits” Quest:

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Awesome Filipinos

Michael Cacnio – LEGO INSPIRED (Part 1)

Ever since Benji introduced me to the awesome art works of Filipino Artists like Michael Cacnio, I’m starting to fall in love with Filipino art. Here is Michael’s latest exhibit in collaboration with LEGO. 

Don’t miss to see this exhibit!

Most of them are sold already and this is the last time you’ll see all these art pieces in one location. 

For those OAP readers who are not based in Manila, enjoy Michael Cacnio’s LEGO-inspired exhibit:

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Awesome Filipinos


Official Press Release


Michael Cacnio’s reputation as a pillar of social realism in Philippine sculpture was builtover time through his leitmotif of quotidian Filipino scenes inspired by his childhood in Malabon. 2006 TOYM awardee and a Fine Arts alumnus of UP Diliman, Cacnio’s careeras a professional sculptor in brass spans twenty years, marked by more than 50 well-received solo exhibits, an even greater number of commissioned works, and numerous sold-out shows staged here and abroad.

He did not only carve a spot in the global art scene for his country, but was the only Filipino to be featured in a solo exhibit in the European Commission’s headquartersin Berlaymont, Brussels and has a permanent display in the Fukuyama Museum in Hiroshima Japan.


INSPIRED is a unique collaboration of world class sculptor Michael Cacnio with the
much-acclaimed global brand LEGO to advocate the importance of imagination, creativity and knowledge.

Michael Cacnio reimagines and recreates his trademark brass sculptures with the LEGO bricks that colored his childhood days while keeping the rustic and naturalistic air that animates his works.

Through the unexpected fusion of brass and plastic, Michael Cacnio’s upcoming works aim to challenge the norm, rouse one’s imagination, and invite people to ask and answer “Why?” and “What if?” which are the very foundations of learning andinspiration.

Originality, inventiveness, simple joys of childhood and family life brought Michael Cacnio and LEGO together.

Source: Official Press Release

Awesome Filipinos

Nora Daza, A Living Tribute

I only “encountered” Nora Daza when Rache and I got married because we only had one cookbook at home — “Let’s Cook with Nora”. Nora Daza is revered by the generations before us, and she’s one of the pioneers in culinary TV shows and Filipino cookbooks here in the Philippines.

Basix is honoring her by doing a week-long special buffet from The BEST RECIPES from Nora Daza’s Culinary Life. It started last November 26 and will end on December 3.

The best time to go is on December 2 (dinner time), which is the 82nd birthday of Nora Daza. If your birthday falls on the same date, you’ll enjoy 50% off on Dinner Buffet and even have the opportunity to cut the birthday cake with Nora Daza herself. 

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Awesome Filipinos

8 Most Admired Upcoming Filipina Bloggers

These are the Filipina bloggers I admire for starting to create a difference in the Manila Blogging Scene. They are highly respected and no doubt, they will be the next blogging superstars in Manila!

1. Tricia of Tricia Goes PlacesNow, the Number 1 Fashion Blogger in Manila. 

Tricia Gosingtian has a cult-following in the fashion blog scene. She was a co-awardee in Go Negosyo’s Most Inspiring Young Entrepreneur of 2010. She is the daughter of Josiah Go, a marketing icon in Manila.

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Awesome Filipinos

Masawa Hong Butuan

A 24.7 meter-long second balangay named “Masawa Hong Butuan was built in the historic Butuan City where the first Balangay relics were discovered. It was named after the place where the first Christian Mass was held in the Masawa delta in Agusan River (with Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan). This is to put a stake on Butuan’s claim and to correct the history books that the first mass was held in Masawa and not in Limasawa in Southern Leyte.

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Awesome Filipinos

Pinoys Did it Again in CNN/You Tube Copenhagen Debates Contest!

Remember this: Raise The Filipino Voice in Copenhagen
(I'm sharing the official press release from Paul. Congratulations! Thanks to all who voted. 🙂


A week after Efren Peñaflorida was hailed as the CNN Hero of the Year, two Pinoys again reigned in an online competition when they won the CNN/YouTube Debates contest for climate change. The contest encouraged individuals to send videos with their views, opinions, and questions about the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. The online voting took place between November 6 and 30.

According to the YouTube channel designed for the event, the global YouTube community “has voted on the strongest voices to send them to Copenhagen.
The two Pinoys, Paul Darwynn Garilao and Alfonso Orioste, Jr., will be part of the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15)
and attend the live debate sponsored by CNN and YouTube. CNN News Anchor Becky Anderson will host the live debate that will be participated in by global leaders from 193 countries.

Out of the 600 entries,
another entry — Global Warming Project from Brazil — also made the cut.

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