Blogging Golden Ticket

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away you entered your email address on

We’re now inviting small groups to use and your email address was selected today!

Visit this address to get started:

While you’re on a string of good luck it might be a good day to buy a lottery ticket. Better move fast though, because this invite will expire in a week.

The Team”

I finally got my own golden ticket yesterday! What’s cool about it is that I still got — fantastic! This really means that somehow I was still early in the invite food chain. Thanks and my 40 days search for this coveted golden ticket has ended (which started on my blog post last Aug. 26)


The Coolest Town in Singapore

Visionary technology ideas in the year 2020 for the Philippines?

I wanted to write this post about my coolest town in Singapore experience. Not because I want to blog about the coolest technology stuff but to be able to recollect back in time once these technologies become available in the future. How far is that future — 5, 10, 15 years perhaps? Let us check out some of these technologies:

Digital Home. Alot of people are banking on this to happen pretty soon where the Media PC would be the center of all the devices and appliances in the digital home enabled. The digital home prototype is not impressive although it demonstrate the convergence of TV, Audio, Video, Photos, and computer in one powerful media PC and only one output LCD screen. If you look at the center of the prototype above, the LCD screen acts as both mirror and the TV which is a very neat architectural execution (which gave me an idea for my condo). The idea is that not only the appliances are fully connected but also, the home is connected to the outside world via webservices from internet sites like airline carrier, radio stations, google sites, etc. The infrared keyboard was cool as well although, it is a one finger at a time typing technique and cannot take in simultaneous keyboard strokes. Bottomline, the keywords would be Convergence, Appliance Networking, and Web Services in the future.

Virtualization. On 3d virtualization, there was an interesting demo on virtualizing a physical space (in this case, the lobby of cool town) in a tablet PC and as you move it, it changes views to where you are physically oriented or looking at. It was able to determine it by having GPS or location based detectors and respond to it accordingly. Now this is cool 🙂 We are now experiencing the power of google earth using satellite images and imagine being able to recreate the world’s environment in 3d and not use top-level satelite point of view.

Digital Pen. A digital pen where whatever you write gets recorded. You can also have a specially printed form where if you use a digital pen to write on it, it can record your actual entries and its relative location on the form.

Future Workspace. Hmmn, lets see if people will start working isolatedly in a bike or spaceship type of mode where it promotes two screens, one for business applications and one is for personal/ games so that you can work life balance 🙂 We’ll see about that.

Interactive Posters. Advertisement on posters or even billboard someday would be able to communicate with mobile phones or PDAs.

Poster Kiosks. Buying artworks (reproduced) in museums can now be done interactively with this proof-of-concept kiosks.

RF ID Cafe. The idea is that the coffee mugs in a cafe would be identified to the person drinking it so that it enables a personalized experience when you are inside enjoying your coffee. It could let the barrista know personal information about yourself and your preferences.

However, I think the best technology in this coolest town is this self-service printers in the reception lobby where you can plug in your CF card and print your own photos instantly! Maybe not a revolutionary technology but it works we had fun taking pictures and printing it. Really cool! This gaves me an idea for a business venture ….


Viaje del Sol

Viaje del Sol Review

Viaje del Sol is the newest destination 2 hours away from Manila (besides Tagaytay). I checked out all the places already and I can save you the trouble of being disappointed in going to Patio Verde or the Laguna Lake. Sorry for starting this on a sour note, but we were disappointed because the Patio Verde is a hole in the wall grilled beerhouse and even if the food is great, the whole ambiance and crowd is not appropriate. The laguna lake on the other hand, is ugly, and I do hope they are able to revitalize this lake — soo sad 🙁

I’m glad that is out of the way, here are the best of Viaje del Sol:

Collete’s Original Store — This is big and you can say that you have bought your buko pie from the original store in San Pablo. You will see this immediately after entering San Pablo along the Maharlika hi-way. There are a lot of pasalubong goodies and they opened a new cafe beside it.

>> Casa San Pablo — Cozy Place for a retreat

Casa San Pablo — A writer’s retreat place. When you enter the main city of San Pablo, you would see this. Check out my detailed blog post on this with the link above. I’m checking this out and have an overnight stay on my next trip.

Contact Information/ Directions:
Gomez Compound, Barangay San Roque, San Pablo City, Laguna
It is along the main road going to San Pablo city proper (see website for map)

mobile: 0917-8126687, 0917-5268628

>> Quezon Culinary Night Cap @ Kusina Salud

Kusina Salud — Bohemian atmosphere with an excellent food. Patis Tesoro was the one who started this Viaje del sol concept and I’m glad that they marketted the whole San Pablo and Tiaong as one destination rather than competing with each other. Buffet lunch on the weekend and massage is one of the things you can enjoy here.

Contact Information/ Directions:
One you are in the main highway, Maharlika along San Pablo City, There are alot of signs going to Kusina Salud. You won’t missed it.

Mobile: 0921-7726985, San Pablo: 049-2466878, Manila: 726-5058/ 59

>> Carlito’s Workshop 1– Intimidating House with Surprisingly Hospitable Host!
>> Carlito’s Workshop 2 –Photogenic House with an Outstanding Garden 🙂
>> Carlito’s Workshop 3 — Carlito’s Coffee

Carlito’s Workshop — I was smitten by this place that I had to wrote a series on this. No food here, just plain coffee, puto and rambutan/lansones during this season. But it is a must to have a good chat with Carlito and that would complete your afternoon coffee break.

Contact Information/ Directions:
Just a word of advise, there are no signs from the maharlika highway going to Carlito’s workshop. If you are coming from Manila, after passing the left turn going to kusina salud, you will make a right turn to Brgy. Sta. Ana. The only landmark is a direction going to 3j foods corp. It’s a big road with alot of tricycles in that corner.

Carlito Ortega Cellphone # 0919-837 7755 or (049) 5620351
Open on Saturdays. For the rest of the week, please call to give prior notice.

>> Quezon Culinary Series 10: Ugu Bigyan’s Secret Pottery Garden

Ugu Bigyan — This is a winner by itself and you go here for pottery, food, and ambiance. I’m raving about this place so you should check this out if you decide to venture into Tiaong, Quezon

I don’t have the passion to blog about Villa Escudero not unless there would be something new or I’m accompanying a balikbayan. But, one of the last place I want to visit would be Kinabuhayan Cafe and I’ve heard alot about this place. Maybe this coming long vacation, we’ll take the opportunity to check it out. Good luck on your own adventure!

Contact Information/ Directions:
If you plan to go here, there are no signs along the national highway because Ugu wants it to be a secret. I made a mental note of landmarks along the national highway in Tiaong, Quezon which is the Ebreo Castillo Agri Poulty Supply, Lusaca highschool, and old Petron Station.

Ugu Bigyan
Telefax: (042) 545-9144
Mla. #: 250-8416


Awesome Filipinos

We are glad you are alive Romi

Congratulations again Romi for the first Filipino (based in the Phils) for achieving and climbing Mt. Cho Oyu at 8,000m! We are glad that you are alive and your indigenious children would be very happy. Here is an excerpt of his post in his blog:

Hello from Kathmandu

Greetings from Kathmandu Nepal! Hello again, and thank you for the congratulatory notes & birthday greetings (I celebrated in ABC w/ the yaks, no beer and sisig unfortunately). We just got back in KTM last night after 2 days of fast walk from ABC, down to Chinese basecamp, then a fast jeep ride to Tingri (Tibet) then over the China-Nepal border in Zangmu then finally KTM , now on recovery and healing mode — we all looked like POWs or soldiers who just got back from war =) the injuries, the burns, malnourished bodies, etc… ;)”

see related articles:

>> New Filipino Altitude Record Set by Romi for Climbing Mt. Cho Oyu @ 26,000ft (8000m)

>> The Road to Mt. Everest by Romi Garduce

For perspective how significant this achievement is, here are the 7 peaks which are the highest mountain in each continent:

Mt. Kilimajaro (Africa) 5,895m
Mt. Denali (North America) 6,194m
Mt. Everest (Asia) 8,848m
Mt. Elbrus (Europe) 5,642m
Mt. Carstensz Pyramid (Australasia) 4,884m
Mt. Aconcagua (South America) 6,960m
Mt. Vinson (Antartica) 4,897m

As you can see, Romi is already close to Mt. Everest altitude (8000m known as the Death Zone).



Special Birthday Brunch from a Special Chef :)

I love Chef Pat’s Food 🙂

It was my wife’s birthday last Saturday and I’ve been looking for a special place to eat. By special, I mean a cozy place that only a few people are eating, excellent food, and warm service. I’m glad I was not disappointed with our Sunday Brunch @ Chef Pat’s. I like discovering new places that people have not been into and this budding chef would someday be famous. This place is like Chef Laudico in Urdaneta where he opened his house for intimate dining with a special menu. Chef Pat is located in Northeast greenhills and just a perfect place for a Sunday Brunch — yummy 🙂 Sometimes, Pat Choa would be invited to people’s house to cook at their own home (imagine that).

The 6 course menu was fantastic and delicious 🙂 All of them a winner except for the soup which got mixed reviews:

Chicken and Saffon Soup. My dad loved this!

Pomelo and Chinese Pear Salad. This is soo delicious that we want to steal the recipe.

Sesame Crusted Lapu-Lapu with Mushroom Broth. Now this one is magical because the very thin slices of tuna flakes on top of the crust is moving and it was fun to watch like it was alive.

Beef Tenderloin with Crispy Beef Tongue and Risotto. Delicious and was gone in a few seconds.

Mandarin Orange Sorbet awith Kaffir Lime Jelly. The sorbet was homemade and you can really taste the mandarin orange.

Chocolate Hazel Nut Mousse. This is the yummy birthday cake. The crusts is worth the calories 🙂

Chef Pat — Thanks for the wonderful Sunday Brunch and for making my birthday surprise to Rache soo special. Although I would offer a few things for improvement to make it a truly mind-blowing experience because the food is already fantastic:

Overflowing signature drink. The drinks were just water and powdered ice tea. It would have been great if there was a signature drink like fresh mandarin orange that is overflowing! Or, maybe a wine would be a good compliment for these french dishes 🙂

Focus on the tiny details of the dining experience. There should be interesting talk pieces in the dining area. There are a few but we don’t know what the story is, so maybe an intruiging piece of art or cloth, or dining ware would be appropriate. One thing missing is excellent music to complement the dining experience.

Here is our family photo and this was the best among the photoshoots that we made that morning:

>> More Photos here.


Chef Patricia Choa (Chef Pat)
Northeast Greenhills, Entrance is near Chili’s Greenhills


Viaje del Sol

Casa San Pablo — Cozy Place for a retreat

Casa San Pablo is one of the destinations in the Viaje del Sol‘s San Pablo destinations and we checked it out during our Rambutan Picking adventure. We were trying to check it out if it serves dinner but it only provides food to the in-room guests. So, I ended up shooting the ambiance of the place which was suppose to be designed by Ugu Bigyan. The above photo is my favorite among the set and gives you the overall ambiance of the place.

According to the Casa San Pablo website:
“Casa San Pablo is a cozy bed-and-breakfast wrapped in a tropical setting. Designed by potter Ugu Bigyan, the main cottage has six bedrooms mos of which open up to private decks. Each bedroom is designed with eclectic wit– from folk art papaer mache’ horses and bird houses to sea shells and funky car parts.”

The rooms are nice and has it’s own theme. Although it was disappointing to see that the beds are short and hard (see beds in the photos). But if you don’t mind and you don’t miss your soft spring beds at home then you’ll feel right at home here. They have a few rooms so better book in advance.

Clockwise from top: 1. Conference and Community Room, 2. Rooms with double deck beds, 3. The swimming pool at the nearby Kay Inay Resort, and 4. the facade of the dining room.

Looks very interesting and now I know where to go to for our next teambuilding session 🙂

Gomez Compound, Barangay San Roque
San Pablo City, Laguna
It is along the main road going to San Pablo city proper (see website for map)

mobile: 0917-8126687, 0917-5268628



Where will you be this coming Long 1 Week Vacation?

***UPDATE  9/22/11: The Balesin island cannot be visited anymore and membership will by invitation only. The island is now owned by Alphaland Corporation. ***

As a traveller, you look forward to these weekend holidays and I would like to remind you of the fantastic opportunity of a week long vacation this coming Halloween. Let me refresh you regarding the upcoming holidays:

October 31, Monday (Special Non-Working Holiday) Proclamation #839
November 1, Tuesday (All Saints’ Day), National Special Day
November 3, Thursday (Eidl Feitre, Last Day of Ramada), regular holiday
You just need to take a leave on November 2, and November 5 which are sandwich days and there’s your 9days vacation for you.

so, Where will you be this coming long weekend vacation? Let me offer you my options:

1. Explore the places I longed to go to Guimaras, Balesin, Sagada, Coron, or Bohol.
2. Complete Viaje del Sol: the San Pablo, Laguna and Tiaong, Quezon exploration
3. Culinary Escapades in Tagaytay and Laguna.
4. Finally go to the Pinatubo Spa and explore Mt. Pinatubo.
5. Redesign my blog and apply the techniques learned to optimize search engine results for my blog.
6. Trick or Treat Halloween in Ferndale, and visit our love ones in the cemetary.
7. Complete Christmas Shopping in a week!
8. Since manila will be empty, play badminton, eat in new restos, and just hang out with friends.

I have not decided yet, and maybe you can share your plans as well…


Awesome Filipinos

New Filipino Altitude Record Set by Romi for Climbing Mt. Cho Oyu @ 26,000ft (8200m)

The Amazing Race for the first Filipino to ever set foot on Everest!!

Romi Garduce, have set the new altitude record last September 26, 10:30AM Nepal Time by climbing Mt. Cho Oyu, the 6th Highest mountain. This record give the title to the first Filipino to reach an 8200m (26,000 ft) peak — also known as the death zone. Just to give you a perspective how high is this and how significant is this achievement:

  • Romi’s last climb was Mt. Aconcaqua at 6962m (22,800ft) set the record for the first Filipino to climb the highest peak in the western hemisphere last January 2005.
  • The Philippine Mt. Everest Expedition Team (FPMEE) led by Regie Pablo climb Mt. Muztagh Ata located between Pakistan and China at 7,546 meters (24,758ft) last August 2005.
  • Mt. Everest altitude is 8850m (29,035ft)

One more climb in summer next year and Everest here we come. We are sooo proud of you Romi and thank you for making us Filipino proud that we can accomplish this feat! I’m expecting alot of politics surrounding this first Filipino to ever set foot on Everest. I do hope that other companies would already support him after this Mt. Cho Oyu conquest, or each Filipino should contribute to his Climb-for-a-Cause Foundation.

Now, who are you betting on to be the first Filipino to climb Mt. Everest — Romi from P&G or Reggie from Globe/FPMEE? BTW, Happy Birthday Romi!!


About Philippine Mt. Everest Expedition Team
The well funded (FPMEE) everest team is composed of Regie Pablo (Globe Telecoms), Leo Oracion, Karina Dayondon, Levi Nahayangan, Ariel Ambaye, Erwin “Pastour” Emata, expedition physician Dr. Ted Esquerra with FPMEE leader Art Valdez. The team’s recent conquests of Mt. Aylmer in New Zealand and the Kiyonang Peak of India, and recently Mt. Muztagh Ata in Pakistan and China. Their ultimate goal is to climb the summit of Mt. Everest in 2007. The team is supported by Globe International Services, Philippine Airlines, ABS-CBD, The North Face, Philippine Accident Manager’s Insurance and the National Sports Grill.

About Romi Garduce

Romi is an IT manager in P&G with a passion to be the first Filipino to climb Everest. His previous mountain conquests are: Mt Uhuru, Kibo Crater, Kilimanjaro (5895m/19400ft) East Africa. Sep 2002, Mt Aconcagua (6962m/22,842ft), Andean Range, Argentina. Jan 1, 2005, and recently Mt. Cho Oyu (8000m/26000ft), Nepal, Sept. 26, 2005. He is just supported by North Face and his Climb for a Cause foundations either Bukas Sarili or Cartwheel Foundation. He funds his trips using his personal funds and his P&G manager, Mr. Greg Dawes, fully supports his passion.

#Travel, Food

My Singapore Adventures 1: Are you a Chili Crab or Pepper Crab lover?

Asia Band 3 College, Singapore ( September, 26-30, 2005 )

Singapore has been my second work home. All of my trips this year have been in Singapore and this week is no exception. We had a leadership training for all the senior managers in our company in the asia region. Whenever I travel, I bring my hobby with me: Photography, Badminton and Culinary Adventures.

Night Photography. My first attempt at night photography of Clarke Quay, Singapore. I wished pasig river could be as beautiful as this. This place have always been a tourist winner ever since.

Chili Crab or Pepper Crab? I’ve always craved about these singapore favorites that nobody can match in the Philippines resto. For some reason, ever the Palm Beach in the Fort or Singapura Rasa cannot even compare to these authentic dishes from Jumbo Seafood Restaurant. The JUMBO chili crab has always been a winner over the JUMBO pepper crab because of its rich yummy sauce with fried or steam buns! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re missing on one of the culinary adventures of your life.

I can’t imagine that I’ve eaten in a Jumbo restaurant on two consecutive nights both in Clarke Quay. Their most famous restaurant is in East Coast — most of the taxi drivers know this place. Recently, I learned that there are other recommended dishes that are sooo delicious in Jumbo. Don’t forget to order Bamboo Clams with minced garlic and Crispy Baby Squid!! Equally Yummy!

Badminton. When visiting Singapore, I always make a point to play Badminton. Also, I always bring my badminton racket when I travel. It affects my game if I don’t use my Armortek 800. There’s a certain feel to it that I’m able to make excellent drop shots or control the flick of my wrist.

RC Airplane. On my way to Jumbo, I saw these Singaporeans flying RC plances that look like UFO sightings in the photo above. One day, I’ll take up this hobby 🙂

Official Photographer. The problem with having photography as your hobby is the fact that people will leverage your hobby during meetings and ask you to be THE official photographer. One of my difficulty is asking a group to do a fun shot aside from the normal formal shots. I’m happy that I was able to talk some sense into the team and inspire them to have this wacky pose. (I’m the middle person on the first row)


Beat Ateneo, ANIMO Lasalle!

Yet Another La Salle – Ateneo PBA Games!

I thought, I’ve seen the last time time we beat Ateneo this year but here’s one last chance 🙂 hehehe

DLSU – Ateneo Dream Games set for 08 Dec

DLSAA invitesbasketball fans to the PBA La Salle –
Ateneo Dream Games (preliminary billing)on Thu, 08 Dec
05, at the Araneta Coliseum. Lasallian and Ateneo
hoop legendsfrom the past and present will meet in a
two-game event: The first willfeature seven former
NCAA players each from the 60s, 70s, and 80s and
thesecond will see eight active PBA and four current
UAAP players in each team.

In the first game,PASARELLE rules will be followed,
with the first, second, and third quartersallowing
only players of the 60s, 70s, and 80s, respectively.
The fourthquarter will be a free for all. Coaches for
the first game are yet to bedetermined.

For the night’s mainevent – the second game – amateur
rules will be followed and PBA coaches werechosen to
head the teams per request of the PBA Commissioner.
La Salle’s team will be coached by San Miguel’s Jong
Uichico and Ateneo’s, by Coca-Cola’sChot Reyes.
Coaches Franz Pumaren and Yeng Guiao were requested to
join the La Salle team’s coaching staff.

As of late, Uichicohas already indicated his eight PBA
players. Lasallians expected to join fromthe PBA side
are: Don Allado, Mac Mac Cardona, Mike Cortez, Mac
Cuan, JunLimport, Noli Locsin, Ren Ren Ritualo, and
Mark Telan. The line-up for UAAPplayer slots is still
to be decided.

The PBA La Salle – Ateneo Dream Games is co-sponsored
by LSGH Batch ’81, Ateneo Batch ’81, thePhilippine
Basketball Association, and Vintage Sports. The La
Sallians’primary beneficiary will be the De La Salle
Brothers – Philippine District’snewly established
Jaime Hilario School in Bagac, Bataan.

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