Wednesday, March 22, 2017

POWER RANGERS THE MOVIE 2017

I don't see what people are talking about comparing the movie with Transformers. Every element in Power Rangers the Movie screams Power Rangers series. If they're talking about the zords then let me say that the zords looked pretty much like the Power Ranger zords and nothing else. Even the way the Angel Grove sign was introduced was so Power Rangers. I loved it when Rita said "Grow my..." Ayayayayay! I'll end it right there. No spoilers here.

Our advance screening passes:




As a fan who had watched every episode of Mighty Morphin, til Kim turned the pink power to Kat, I am extremely happy with this movie. To my fellow Power Rangers fan, pay attention to all music and school scenes coz the familiar ones will make you smile. I wish I could enumerate them now but no, I'd like you to enjoy the movie as much as I did.

Thank you to all the creators of this movie.
Please make a part 2.



Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Certificate of Not the Same Person

First of all, I'd like to clarify that the poor system has been brought upon by the previous governments. The lack of proper coordination among the agencies (trial courts, police, NBI, Bureau of Immigration) and lack of use of appropriate technology in the previous governments led to the entire hassle of securing the NTSP.  (Take note of the S after government meaning I'm not being specific and I meant previous governments as is. I intend for this post to help and not cause comment war. Hopefully, President Duterte can have this fixed as well. There already have been lots of positive changes that I have personally seen under the Duterte administration and I hope this becomes one of those soon.

Now to the main topic... if you're reading this then it means you have or someone you know has a namesake with criminal record. And you've been told by airport-immigration to secure a Certificate of Not the Same Person or next time you might not be allowed to leave the country.



And since you're here, you've probably also visited 
http://www.immigration.gov.ph/services/certification/certification-for-not-the-same-person 
from which you can download the application form and a checklist. 

The site also tells you that:

You need to apply at the Bureau of Immigration's Main office. 
That it costs 500 pesos.
That you need the following:
1. Duly accomplished application for Certificate of Not the Same Person (BI Form No. CCS-A-NSTP- 2016)
2. Signed and Sealed Court Clearance duly issued by the concerned Court or Agency that issued the 
Order, Letter Request or Warrant of Arrest to include the person in the Bureau’s derogatory list. The
Court or Agency MUST CERTIFY WITH CERTAINTY that the applicant is NOT THE SAME PERSON as that of the Accused or Respondent based on their records of the case.
3. NBI Clearance

Now let me talk about what you probably don't know yet. Below are the things you need to make sure of and a list of other documents (not listed above) you need to secure before applying for a Certificate of Not the Same person or NTSP. Also, this is based on our experience and we're just sharing so you won't have to go through the same hassle that we did. 

1. You have to make sure that the Bureau of Immigration has given you the correct MTC (Municipal Trial Court) or RTC (Regional Trial Court) address. Call or go to the trial court in your area to get the information. Be ready to provide the criminal case number and the branch number. To double make sure: you may compare the information you got with the list here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regional_Trial_Court . Although, we're not sure how accurate that is either.

What happened to us was the BI officer at the airport gave us the wrong court address. So we ended up going to three cities in one day. That's not fun when you have other appointments.

2.  How to get the court clearance? We have been to 1 municipal trial court and two regional trial courts and they all have different requirements. So you may not need exactly all four but better bring them all just to be sure. Or just call concerned court about their requirements. Requirements are requirements so don't expect them to entertain you when you're lacking one.

Here's the list:
a. Affidavit of Denial - notarized and sealed (We paid 200 pesos and got four copies)
b. Cedula or Community Tax Certificate - original and photocopy
c. Police Clearance (from your place of residence) - original and photocopy
d. Valid ID/s and photocopy - Do not take the photocopies for granted. The second RTC that we went to didn't have a photocopying machine service and the nearest was about ten minutes walk-away. 

Example: In this particular RTC, the affidavit of denial is not enumerated on their list but the second RTC we went to asked for it. The second RTC however didn't ask for the cedula. Again, there's difference in the requirements.


Also, the courts have dress codes. Do NOT wear shorts, sleeveless tops, and slippers (← not indicated in this RTC but was so in the other RTC we went to.) They will not let you in even if you came from Mars or another universe. It doesn't matter if it's a scorching hot day either. For ladies, if you're wearing a sleeveless top, you might be able to get away by putting a shawl over just like I did. But now that you know about it, why risk it? 




We paid 50 pesos/page for the Certificate of Not the Same Person.

Please note the cashier closes at exactly 4 pm on their clock. Even if it's 3:59 pm on your watch but 4 p.m. on theirs, they will not accept your payment and you will have to go back the next working day even if you came from Neptune or hell. You need the O.R. attached or the O.R. number written on your court clearance otherwise it's still invalid even if it's signed and sealed.

It's possible to secure the court clearance in one day but sometimes the signing officer is not present (just like in the first RTC that we went to but it was the wrong RTC anyway). They won't allow anyone else to sign and they can't mail the document to you either. Again, better call the concerned court and ask if signing officer is present before actually going.

I don't how many times I mentioned "just to be sure" but that should give you an idea of the trouble we went through. Again, this is based on our experience. There's no need to compare it with yours. We just hope, you have it much easier and hope this post helps even in the littlest way.

That's all for now. Keep smiling!

p.s. We'd like to thank the ladies at the Clerk's office of San Mateo RTC for helping us out and pointing us to our correct RTC.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Bolinao Pangasinan

Although Pangasinan is more famous for its Hundred Islands in Alaminos, we drove past that and went straight to Bolinao two weeks ago. We wanted a more secluded location and we thought that it would be since it's an hour more away. We were right. Baguio to Bolinao is only around 4 hours away. Manila to Bolinao is 5 hours +++ depending on traffic.


This trip was sudden so we weren't able to book a hotel room in advance. I did check booking.com the night before the trip but we were left with the expensive ones so we decided to just look for a hotel once we got there. And that didn't become a problem at all because there were new hotels that didn't have a website or that weren't on booking sites yet. Also it was a sunny weekend but it was December so there weren't that many tourists. We even had the whole resort to ourselves. We stayed at Sea View. We personally checked out several resorts there but we chose to stay here because the check-in time was 24/7. That means if you checked in at 5 pm, you can check out at 5 pm the next day unlike in most resorts where check-out time is definite (usually 12 pm) no matter what. Also, they allowed us to extend our stay for twelve hours more and we only paid half as well. In most resorts, you'll have to pay full already.

Sorry, we were having too much fun that we forgot to take a photo of the resort during daytime. This was taken after checking out. The man in the photo is the caretaker seeing us off. Rate of the room we got was PhP3000/day.


And before you complain about the room prices, please consider that most of the rooms there are designed to accommodate a large group. The room we got, which was already the smallest at the resort, had two double size beds. Perhaps that's one thing that makes Bolinao more of a local family or group destination. 

Please make sure to bring cash with you. As of the first weekend of December 2016, there's only one ATM at the town proper and some hotels don't accept credit or debit cards. Also, there's no 24-hour anything, not even a gas station, in Bolinao.

This is the closest to a convenience store you'll get. Some resorts like the one we stayed at don't have minibars or restaurant so make sure you check such information ahead. Naldo and I always bring food during road trips so that wasn't a problem either.

Most of the online hotel brochures boast of white sand beaches but actually Patar beach sand is mocha-colored which we also love. The color of sand just like skin color doesn't really matter to us. I don't even have a favorite color. I think it's torture to choose just one. So yeah, what's important is that the beach is clean. Thankfully, the stretch was impressively clean and we hope that's also how it is during peak season. What's sad about it though is that the beach that you see in the photo was once a coral reef. The destruction seems recent. :-(

We went to Bolinao just for the beach but we got extra surprises too. Below are other places that you can visit in Bolinao.

The Enchanted Cave is around 5 minutes away from the resort. If you're after the cave pool, the best time to go would be in the morning. The cave pool is natural but it's small - fifteen people is enough to make it crowded. 

 Here are the fees:


This was at the garden within the Enchanted Cave vicinity.

Cape Bolinao Lighthouse is around ten minutes away from the resort we stayed at. We've only been to two light houses in the country and so far this is our favorite. 

Bolinao Falls 1 is about an hour away from the resort we stayed at. Despite the rough road, we really enjoyed going here the most because we saw different kinds of birds we've never seen before. Our favorite was the blue-tailed bee eater. Please check my instagram @mashiloa for the bird photos. I got a cool sunset photo there too. :-)

Also based on our experience, the signs didn't really indicate the way to Bolinao Falls. If it's still the same in your case, please take note of this. Once you reach this fork  (let this building and several hotels signs to its right be your landmark), road on the right goes to Patar Beach and Cape Bolinao Light House. Road on the left goes to Bolinao Falls 1. There won't be any signs on the way either so ask a local if you must. 

If you're looking for a very rural escapade, Bolinao might just be the place for you. We'll definitely go back to check out Bangrin Marine Protected Area. Next time, we'll go and spend a day exclusively for bird watching. And we missed the chance to buy "Tupeg", a local delicacy, so we'll come back for that too. 

That's it for now! Keep smiling!






Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Holiday Party Games 2016

I was game master at our company year-end party this year. I'm sharing the party game ideas for those looking. I simply modified already-known party games. I chose these games because they don't require much materials and they're easy to play. And just to make sure everyone gets the chance to play, including the shy ones, we draw lots for the participants. 

The first game I named "Dancing Caterpillar." Its game play is a combined Musical Statue Parlor Game and Lozano Balloon Game. If you're not familiar with these two party games, musical statue is a game where players dance when music plays and they freeze when the same music stops. The Lozano balloon game (that's the search name in youtube) is a relay race where one member passes a balloon to the second member who in turn places the balloon in between them right at the tummy area. Then together they walk while making sure they keep the balloon in place without touching it at all. They walk to get the second balloon which they pass to the third member and this goes on until all members finish the task.

Special Rule:
The team who drops a balloon gets penalty freeze time.

Materials needed:
Balloons
Dance music - to be paused and played anytime during the game

WARNING: Audio might be too loud so please adjust your audio settings before playing video file.


The second game is another relay race and I named it "Santa D'rag Race". The game play is a modified Minute to Win It: Magic Carpet Ride.

Special Rule: 
While riding the rag, player must ring a bell while singing "Jingle Bells".

Materials needed:
Foot rags
Bells
Santa Hats
Santa Beards
*** You may add Santa Costumes for more fun if your budget permits.

 

I'm including screenshots in case videos above don't play. And sorry for the video quality; had to reduce file size to its lowest.






Oh and checkout my blinking hair clip! It is actually a ring. I was going to put more but I was short in time.


By the way, our party's theme was Black and White and Wig. The wig was optional just to have color. I was the one who suggested black and white and Naldo suggested the wig idea. I specifically proposed the idea because I wanted to make it easy for everyone. I didn't like the idea of someone not being able to attend just because he/she doesn't have anything to wear. Thankfully, the rest of the party committee approved. 

That's all for now. Happy Holidays!




Friday, November 11, 2016

Grasshopper Snacks

What's special about today is that Naldo gave me grasshoppers to eat. It's both our first time to eat fried grasshoppers. I'm surprised I didn't hesitate. Well, I probably would have hesitated if someone else offered it to me. 

Anyway, this delicacy is called Chapulin al Ajo . A colleague brought it from Mexico. 

So how did it taste like? The chapulines were garlic-flavored so that's what. Someone told me before that it tasted like chicken but now that I have eaten it myself, to me it doesn't taste like chicken at all. It tasted like how I imagined insects would taste like. It was crunchy so it' was easy to chew and swallow. I don't think I'll take it so well if it was gummy or slimy. 

Did we like it? It's not bad but at the same time it's not something we'd crave for. 

After this, I won't be so afraid to try the ones in Thailand. I heard they serve scorpions there. 


That's all for now. Stay happy!


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Mount Pinatubo Tour 2016

Last October 30, we went on a Mount Pinatubo private tour with TRIPinas.

I will not be giving any recommendations but I'll try to tell you as much about our Mount Pinatubo trip as I can. And perhaps from my story, you can assess how you'd plan your trip. After all, the destination may be the same but the experience will always be different.

We arrived at McDonald's Capas around 4 a.m. We thought Bong's parking/meeting point was just around the area but it was still 18 km away. Don't be fooled by the map. If you are using waze, don't type the name of the parking area. Instead, type "Mount Pinatubo Base Camp". You will know you're almost there because you'll encounter a checkpoint. The checkpoint officers will ask for your ID and you're good to go.



There are a few parking areas at the Mount Pinatubo Sta Juliana base camp so bringing your own vehicle shouldn't be a problem. It wasn't a problem for us. Parking fee was 50 pesos and we paid that after the tour. There will be kids selling walking sticks for only 20 pesos at the parking area. I got one; I thought it would help me but found it useless later on. But, that's just me.

We arrived at the parking area around 4:15 a.m. We met with the tour coordinator past 5 am. We were given an orientation 30-45 minutes later. After the orientation, we got on the 4x4. We were the first to leave the base camp but our 4x4 had engine trouble which was okay because we managed to enjoy the sunrise while waiting for the replacement.



Prior booking the trip, we carefully considered whether we were going to take a SHARED or PRIVATE tour. We decided to go for the private tour even though it was more expensive because:
1. We wanted it to be just the two of us.
2. Since, we don't exercise- we thought we might be too slow for a group and we didn't want to delay anybody else.
3. At the same time, we didn't want to wait for anyone else.
4. Aside from the landscapes, we also wanted to checkout the wildlife in the area. So we wanted the tour to as much as possible be at our own pace.
5. We even made sure to bring our own car so we can leave as early or as late as possible.

What I did not like about the TRIPinas tour was being asked TWICE if we wanted other people to join us. The first time we were asked was via text message before the trip and that was okay. I replied to that message and I thought I already made it clear that we wanted a private tour. But during the tour, at the crater, we were asked AGAIN if it's okay if somebody joined us. There we were enjoying our private tour and suddenly being put in a situation wherein we have to consider somebody else joining us was just a bit uncomfortable. It's a simple yes or no decision but I thought the fact that we paid for private tour already answered that question in the first place. It was a choice between seeming like total snobs by saying no or having a third wheel on our date by saying yes. Anyway, we said no. We are after all on a date and we did choose and pay for a private tour.

Aside from that, everything in the tour went as expected. Our tour guide, Ramil, did an amazing job taking care of us. He was consistently thoughtful and he understood our needs.



So, if you're planning to go to Mt.Pinatubo PLEASE think carefully about what you want to happen. And do have some expectations. Don't just consider the cost; consider your comfort as well. After all, you get what you pay for. In our experience, there were tourists who finished their tour early but couldn't leave yet because they had to wait for their group. There were also some tourists who wanted to stay a bit longer but they couldn't because they had to be back at the base camp at a certain time.

BELOW ARE THINGS THAT WE EACH BROUGHT plus a few notes

1. I brought the lightest backpack I have; Naldo brought a drawstring backpack.

2. disposable poncho (sold at R.O.X; sorry forgot the price) - in case it rains although the weather forecast said sunny in the a.m. and sunny in the p.m. You know what, we experienced showers and quick rain on the way back.

3. duct tape - in case our locally-made boots came apart. Luckily, they didn't.

4. small towel - to dry our feet after crossing streams. We crossed two "major" above-ankle deep streams. We saw some people crossed the streams with their shoes on and they seemed okay. We, on the other hand, took our shoes off and just walked barefoot after. Bringing extra flip flops was added weight for us and thankfully we didn't bring them. The walk on the sand felt amazing and brought back nice island memories.

5. wet wipes and paper towels - We weren't able to use the paper towels. Wet wipes helped us cool down a bit.

6. swiss knife - We weren't able to use this.

7. personalized first aid kit - For some reason, I don't find the ones sold at the market practical. Thankfully, we didn't use this as well. Well, we don't really bring emergency things just so we can use them. In fact, we always pray we don't ever use them. We bring them just in case.

8. food, water (1.25L) and tootsie rolls for Aeta kids - FYI, you will meet around 24-30 aeta kids. The largest group (12-15) will be at the "toblerone-mountain range" area. The second group (6-10) will be on the way to the 4x4 parking where you will begin your trek. The third group (5-8) will be on the way up the crater. So if you're going to be bringing them snacks, save some for the later groups.

We included our tour guide in our food count. So we got

3 Mcdo Burgers - We didn't want to bring too much so we decided to settle for burgers as baon for
                             lunch. Honestly, it was bitin but it gave us enough energy on the hike back.
6 small buns with hotdog filling - This we got from a convenience store.
4 large Snickers bars -   this is a must in our travel list.
1 toblerone bar - I actually brought this as prop to my "toblerone-mountain range" photo but gave it
                      to the third group of aeta kids.

If you're planning on taking a shared tour, we suggest you bring more food just in case your group takes longer than expected.

9. camera: Naldo brought his Nikon D90 macro set. I brought my Canon SX60 HS. Camera gear seemed wrong but we were more concerned about seeing interesting insects and birds and not having the right gear.


10. mobile phone - not sure if Globe was having technical issues that day but we didn't have service the whole day

WE ALSO BROUGHT


11. really small tripod - We were able to achieve some really cool jump shots without having to bother our guide or anyone else.


12. one small camping chair with back rest in case one of us suddenly feels extreme fatigue. I always prefer a backrest so to me bringing this one was worth it. - There are lots of rocks in the area that you can sit on so you don't really have to bring a chair. Again, I prefer a backrest which is why we brought one.

13. and one power bank that is as thin and big as a smart phone - We weren't able to use this at all.

It may seem like we brought a lot but each of our bags weighed 2.5 to 3 kg only and half of that on the way back.

WHAT WE WORE

Top: Naldo wore a dri-fit shirt while I just wore a spaghetti-strapped top - I don't really have any sports wear.

Bottom: I knew we would be crossing streams so I considered us wearing shorts. But the bush trek/possible sharp grass blades/possible insect bites on the way up the crater changed my mind. We decided to go in trek pants with wide legs that we could easily roll up during stream crossings instead.

Footwear: We wore locally-made/Marikina boots. We considered wearing sneakers but we wanted to test the durability of our inexpensive boots plus there are also snakes in the area so they're added protection. We didn't have trekking sandals but even if we did, we wont wear them coz no socks for such a long hike increases the risk of blisters. And I also didn't want to have dusty or cold feet. Also, we are clumsy walkers. The thought of loose rocks falling on our feet or hitting rocks with our toes makes trekking sandals an absolute no-no for us. I tell you the marikina boots were very impressive. We managed to hop from rock to rock during the stream crossings and not a drop of water got in. Nor did we slip. The boots got a nice grip; even our tour guide was impressed.

Each of us also had:

leg/knee support - As much as I hate to admit, we pretty much have a sedentary lifestyle and we needed this to prevent muscle cramps.

shawls - sun/wind shield. One perk of living in Baguio City is we're used to cold weather by Philippine standard so shawls are quite enough to keep us warm. I used my shawl as extra protection from the sun.

two paracord bracelets each (24 ft total) - I saw a video of Mt. Pinatubo tourists who encountered flash floods on their way back. I couldn't ignore the possibility of afternoon showers turning to heavy rain.

sun protection gear - hat (Naldo); cap (Shirl), sunglasses, arm sleeves

WHY MOUNT PINATUBO TOUR IS WORTH IT

1. The whole experience is unique. There's no boring moment. The tour is adventure-packed from the     4x4 ride to the trek.
2. The landscape is amazing and it's not all the same. The mountain formation is different every time.
     The lahar mountains are beautiful and scary at the same time.


3. If you pay close attention, you'll notice the wildlife and plant life are pretty cool.

















We saw two Brahminy kites (bottom right) and they were just on the ground and was only about thirty feet away from us. It was the closest I got to a wild kite and I got too excited. Only remembered to take a photo when they were  already in flight. Brahminy kites are often mistaken as eagles.

Sorry for the bad quality photos. These birds were really, really, really far. I'm just glad I was able to take photos that give me enough detail to identify them.

Top left: Little ringed-plover; Bottom left: Purple needle-tail
 


The best time to go would be any day with clear skies. Crater lake water is at its best color when the sun is hitting it directly.



More photos at my instagram diary @mashiloa

We hope this post helps you in a little way. Stay happy!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Bakuman Live Action

Dear Anime and Manga Friends,

I'm sure you've already heard but this is for those who don't know yet. Takeru Satoh as "Mashiro" is perfection! Teaser and more photos at Crunchyroll. Release date is October 2015. Excited!!! Plus there'll be Titans a month before this. Excited, excited! Don't forget to mark your calendars!



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Stolen Shots

I really love it when friends take photos of us without our knowledge. These are my top five favorite stolen shots (of us) so far. Also, below are quotes about true love and happiness by yours truly. If there are already similar quotes out there, then I'm just happy that we share the same thought.

 To have true happiness is to have the right mindset.
To have true love is to have a good heart.
To find the right partner is to be a good judge of character.


You know you are happy for real when your heart no longer has space for hate or envy.
                                 

True love is not limited to what you've read in books or what you've seen in movies. It is never just between two people or between man and woman. It goes beyond religion, race, gender, or tradition. It is so much more than any person's idea of it. But no matter how it is defined, true love's ways and means are of kindness and honesty.


 True love is like a fairy. It only exists when you believe.


 True love is not supposed to be rare just as
true happiness is not meant to be elusive. 
The world is vast and is home to all kinds of wonderful.



*This is a bit late... still, we'd like to congratulate everyone who participated in the Go Green in the City 2015 contest. You guys rock for doing something that truly matters and that's truly helpful! Congrats to all the winners: Mohamad Meraj Shaikh (India), Marie-Laure Piednoir (France), John Paul Santos (Philippines), and Hüseyin Fırat Güldür (Turkey). You guys are real-life heroes and may you keep inventing more cool stuff. :-)

*Special thanks to our dear friends: Kevin, Reymand, Al, and Sylvia for our photos! 

*Oh! The photos are not really relevant to the quotes. Just wanted to share all these in one go instead of having two separate posts. ;-* 




The Oil Paint Store

When it comes to art supplies, Deovir is the go-to store in Metro Manila but you might also want to visit The Oil Paint Store. Please click << link to go to their website. Yes, you may buy their products online and they deliver anywhere in the Philippines.


Have a creative day lovelies!!!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Recycling Bottle Caps 1

With Papa Wave Store comes abundant supply of bottle caps and boxes.
For most people they're trash but for us they're VERY useful. It's because we use the bottle caps as paint palette and we're always painting.

At first, we thought of just sticking the caps directly on the board but the paint can't be really washed off. That would make the palette disposable and that'd be such a waste of glue and effort.

So to make the palette re-usable, we attached magnets on the board for the caps to stick on instead. This way, we can replace the bottle caps whenever we need to. It's a simple idea and that's what makes it great.

But... what's really awesome about this recycled paint palette is that we don't have to wash or clean it. We didn't only get to recycle, we also get to conserve water. It's truly earth-friendly and time-efficient. Plus, we can make different designs.

Anyway, we still have so many ideas on how to recycle bottle caps and we can't wait to make them. That's it for now. Cheers!