Friday, February 21, 2014

NEWS: #AmericanIdol2013 - Fil-Ams in American Idol Season 13!



Last season, Bryant Tadeo, from Hilo, Hawaai; Adriana Latonio from Anchorage, Alaska; and Jett Hermano from Seattle were named as three of the contenders in the American Idol 2013 Top 40 hopefuls. This year, Malaya Watson from Southfield, Michigan and Marialle Sellars from Indianapolis, Indiana. The latter  don't make it to Top 13 while the former will continue to represent!


Here’s the interview video of Filipino-Americans in American Idol Season 13:












Click here if you want to know Fil-Ams who made it to American Idol Season 12!

#ISupportFilipinoPride

    For RANDOM UPDATES, You can follow me on twitter at @i626leo 
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DISCLAIMER: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The pictures or videos posted here doesn't necessarily mean that it's the owner's property. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

POV: From Strangers to Friends... and NOT the other way around!

Life is a constant search for happiness. It is a constant journey to life with fulfillment and contentment. As I experience my first ever trip as a traveler, it exposes me more to an awesome life of wandering and purpose searching.


Life wanderer...


Some people travel to unwind, leaving the busy streets of the city to relax and be with their inner self. Others do it for work. Going out of the field to attend some meetings or be present in a convention. Some people travel because they wanted to, without any itineraries or plan at all; they just go there, get lost and find out things on their own.


Chill by the beach...


My purpose in traveling does not limit to visiting historical landmarks, eating local delicacies and taking a lot of pictures for documentation. I travel because I want to know local culture and meet people from different walks of life. Last year, I’ve been part of an online community of travelers who explore different places through couch surfing. Couch surfing is a practice of moving from one locale's house to another, sleeping in whatever spare space is available, floor or couch, generally staying a few days before moving on to the next destination. The site has been founded with trust as travelers are strangers and they did not have any previous encounters. The hunger for culture exchange and learning from each ones experience pushes a surfer or a host to give that trust to travelers they’ll be accommodating.


Non stop partying and culture exchange...


I have a once in a lifetime experience as a traveler last October 2013. It was actually my birthday month and I wanted to have something different for my birthday. I planned to go to a place, far away, and discover things on my own. No particular itinerary or spots to go to. What I only prepared were the dates of the trip and secure a round trip ticket for my chosen destination. October was a busy month for Bacolod, Negros Occidental as it marks its annual Masskara festival. 2013 is Bacolod’s 75th Diamond Jubilee that’s why it has been a grand celebration for the entire city. Perfect for my first travel destination!


You will get dirty sometimes but you'll have fun!


I am a fan of festivities and celebrations. I love seeing colorful costumes and designs, hearing the beat of musical instruments, people dancing on the streets and witnessing everyone unwind and merry making. Bacolod’s Masskara Festival has been tagged as A Thousand Smiles Per Minute as the city was popularly known being City of Smiles. Each mask has been a reflection of locale’s smiling faces. Not just people from Bacolod smile a lot but as Filipinos as a nation.


It's always like a United Nations session. :)


With the help of couch surfing, I got a chance to meet an awesome set of people from different walks of life. They are travellers across the region and some from different parts of the globe. From a student who just passed the board exam, embalmer in a prestige hospital, real-state and call center agents to hospital nurse, social media addict, free lance photographers and writers, I learned a lot from their experiences since I consider myself as new born traveller.


Treating each one as real brothers and sisters...


I consider this trip as a life changing experience because it opens a lot of doors for me. It widens my perspective not only about travelling but to life itself. Hearing their adventures excite the hell out of me and want to jump start my travel escapades with them or try it solo. I don’t know each and everyone deeply but what I know is we have the common denominator here, and that is the passion to explore the world and the possibilities of finding what really makes one happy. After an awesome trip, we parted ways half-hearted. In a short span of three (3) days and two (2) nights, we’ve been treated each other like a family. Family which is rooted in one motive and that is motivation to cultivate culture through travelling. From strangers, we become real good friends.


Masskara Festival 2013 - Bacolod, Negros Occidental


As of writing, I have traveled three (3) local and one (1) foreign destination using couch surfing. It still amazed me and made me more enthusiastic with my future endeavors. I am looking forward to come back to Boracay within this year and my Masbate-Siquijor and Batanes adventure.


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Italy, Korea and Philippines :) - Boracay Island, Aklan
My sister, me, and Marianne - Puerto Princesa, Palawan


I want to end up this blog post with a quote from an article entitled The Truth About Travelers:
“And so here’s the truth. We travel not just to travel and marvel at people, places, things. That’s not just it. That was never just it for us. We travel to learn, to experience, and to feel all the spectrums of being human in this world.”


DISCLAIMER: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The pictures or videos posted here doesn't necessarily mean that it's the owner's property. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. 

TECH: Battle of the OCTA-Cores: Cherry Mobile Cosmos Z2 vs Starmobile Diamond X1 vs THL T100

I'm considering to buy a new smart phone any time soon but having difficulties to decide which one. So I made my research and come across this comparisons:



All three smartphones have their strengths and drawbacks. Let me know what you think.


DISCLAIMER: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The pictures or videos posted here doesn't necessarily mean that it's the owner's property. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

EXPERIENCE: Scream Park Manila

February 13, 2014
Scream Park - Manila
Pasay City, Philippines



It has been a series of reschedules before we finally get a chance to have a glance at Manila Scream Park boasting it to be the first in Asia. It is a Halloween-inspired theme park where you have to survive Scare Mazes: The White House – Curse of the White Lady, and The Undead - Hungry for your Flesh at the Graveyard. 

Team OSOM at Scream Park Manila

Deadly street performers will entertain, frighten and haunt you from the moment you walk through Hell’s Gate, wander through the different scare zones around the scream park but beware… you never know who will scare you. There are also live acts/shows for those too scared to wander the streets of Halloween Haunts where you can eat and drink and try to hide. 

Team OSOM at the Ruins!

Awesome zombie dancers!
I would like to commend the performers for being so professional. It's hard to be in character and at the same time dancing to a good set of playlist.

With two of the zombies and James

when I say in character, he got the AWARD for it!


Foretaste of the performance you shouldn't miss! It's better to watch it LIVE!



Over all, it has been a good experience! Conquering the dark and scary mazes of Scream Park made extra special with like minded people, Team Osom! Hope to visit again with more friends.


For those who wants to experience Scream Park Manila, it is located at Diosdado Macapagal Avenue cor. Gil Puyat Avenue (near World Trade Center, Manila) Pasay City until 31st of May 2014.


DISCLAIMER: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The pictures or videos posted here doesn't necessarily mean that it's the owner's property. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

POV: The TRUTH about TRAVELERS!



As I browsed the internet, I come across an article which talks about the truth about travelers published in http://infinitesatori.org/. I can't add more words to it as it perfectly describes myself as traveler.



We have been called many things. Travelers, by default. But we like to be called nomads. Explorers. Vagabonds. Adventurers. Wayfarers. Modern gypsies. Wanderers. We’ve adopted them all. A growing breed of humans with restless feet and the inability to stay still, the inability to stay in one place.

That is who we are. And that’s just the gist of it.

We come from all walks of life, from bustling gray colored cities, sleepy beach towns, snow-covered metropolises, small villages nestled in between lush green mountains, we come from everywhere. But our inner gravity always brings us to the same place… the road.

We deem courage weighs more than money when it comes to travel. We’re not rich, not financially well-off and we don’t travel for luxury. Our money does not come from rich parents, trust funds, or whatever privileges you think we have in order to maintain a life of travel. We work hard, or work while we travel and save whatever means we make. We travel at the cost of sacrifices. We’re happy living with just barely enough as long as we’re on the road. This means that we have given up plenty of comforts for the sake of travel. We would rather choose a dorm bed in a cheap hostel, a couch, a hammock, a tent, or concrete floor. We’ve slept in night boats, century old huts, train stations, in bamboo huts with indigenous tribes, in a house built on stilts in shantytowns and god knows where else.

We have learned to live in depth without comforts. The uncomfortable becomes comfortable to us. Most of us don’t own homes, or if some of us do, they’re probably renting it out to use that money to travel & explore. We don’t spend our money lavishly on things we don’t need. We don’t buy many things, we don’t let things own us. We’ve learned that the less things we have, the better we live.

We feel the most alive when we’re out there. Living nomadically with nothing but our possessions in a backpack and moving as our only constant. Anything is possible when we are given a brand new day in a place we have never been as we surrender ourselves to the currents of the universe.



We are mesmerized by every culture. We act like sponges when we go to a new country we’ve never been to, we immerse ourselves into every experience and soak our souls with its depth. We believe that smiles are universal and no matter what language fills our ears, we can see people’s stories through a smile.

We’ve learned to not let small annoyances, adversities, and misadventures get the best of us and we don’t let it ruin our days. We believe that in any given moment, we have the choice to suffer from whatever problems come our way, or just simply accept it. We’ve grown to choose the latter. We’re not afraid of troubles coming our way even if we are traveling alone most of the time. We’ve learned to face our fears and unlearn them so we grace through our days with courage. No matter whatever fears people project on us, we smile and look right past it. We have learned that if we constantly keep a sunny disposition and keep our light bright then we won’t see the shadows.

We follow wherever the next sunrise and sunset takes us. We are guided by moon cycles and stardusts. We look up the the night sky, gaze up at the cosmos, and know that wherever we are and whoever we’re without, we are never really alone. And we are comforted by this very notion.



We have dedicated our hearts to the road. Even when we’re not on it we’re working to save up for our next trip, every time we hear an airplane, we look up, smile and imagine ourselves on it. We know that the day is coming soon, and we are fueled by that thought. We go to bookstores to browse through the travel section, pick out travel guides and sit there skimming through the pages and daydreaming about our future travels. Our minds constantly drift away to the next destination on our list. Our wanderlust is insatiable and even when we feel it’s slaked, it doesn’t take long at all until we’re hungry again. And we’re hungry all the time.

We travel not just to go, we travel to evolve. Embracing new experiences, endlessly changing horizons, and each brand new day as a way of living. We live for airports, planes, buses, boats, trains, road trips. We find clarity in the blur of the places zooming past us as we look through the window. This is our home. This will always be our home.

These are the stories we will tell people, the ones we love, the ones we just met, the ones who come and ago, the perfect strangers. We will keep showing the others that we were born wanderers, that wanderlust resides within every single one of us. And that no matter who we are, where we are, what we do, and what we have we can always choose to follow it.



We’re not saying that you should give up everything in your life this second, buy a ticket, and pack your backpack. Although you can if really want to, if everything inside of you is telling you to do so you should listen. But we’re saying that when you choose to strip away years of unnecessary baggage, you’ll find freedom. We’re not saying that you should take the risk and leap, then everything will always be peachy and perfect. It’s never like that. But what we’re saying is, you should allow yourself to be free. You should allow yourself to stand on the fringes of life, and dive into its alluring ambiguity. Even if it means facing your fears. Even if it means making sacrifices. Even if it means letting go of things you’ve held onto for so long. Even if it means having to let go of people you love. Even if it all terrifies you. We’re saying open yourself up to the world. Embrace all of its worth. Let its teachings seep into all that you are. When you do that, all your layers will peel off and you will discover your true self.

And so here’s the truth. We travel not just to travel and marvel at people, places, things. That’s not just it. That was never just it for us. We travel to learn, to experience, and to feel all the spectrums of being human in this world.



One day, when we are old with silver hair, freckles, creases, and laugh wrinkles from many years of wandering drenched under sunlight. Our children’s children will lay out with us under the stars by a campfire on a moonlit beach elsewhere. We will tell them stories of wild adventures, of lived dreams, of enchanting places, of conquered fears, of lessons that turned into gold, lessons that we’ve learned from the road, and a full life lived. Our journeys will inspire their own.

Our journey is our truth. It’s the truth that illuminates us, as we continue on where we thrive and wander, on the road we call our home.


    For RANDOM UPDATES,  
    You can follow me on twitter at @i626leo 
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DISCLAIMER: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The pictures or videos posted here doesn't necessarily mean that it's the owner's property. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

EXPERIENCE: Discovering Puerto Princesa, Palawan

 

The City of Puerto Princesa in Palawan, Philippines is located 306 nautical miles southwest of Manila, 205 nautical miles from Panay and about 250 nautical miles from Zamboanga. It is bounded on the North by the Municipality of San Vicente and Roxas and on the the South by the Municipality of Aborlan. Its western side faces the South China Sea while in its eastern coast lays the Sulu Sea

Puerto Princesa City has a total land area of 253,982 hectares making it the largest City in the country.

The City is comprised of 35 urban barangays and 31 rural barangays. The total area of the urban barangays is 14,716 hectares or only 5.7941% of the total land area of the City. The largest land area of the City is comprised of the rural barangays with a total land area 239,266 hectares or 94.2059% of the total land area of the City.  Source: www.visitpuertoprincesa.com

As part of my Christmas gift to my youngest sister, I booked a round trip ticket  to Puerto Princesa last February 08 to 10, 2014. Come and join us as we discover things to do and eat at Puerto Princesa, Palawan.


Joining us in this trip is one of my office mates, Marianne. It's her first domestic flight trip as well as my sister.


We left Manila Domestic Airport (NAIA IV) around 7:25 am and arrived at Puerto Princesa Airport at around 9:00 am. The flight ride was smooth and fast. No delays at all. Our chosen flight carrier for this trip is Air Asia Zest.

The Right Way To Fly!
We partnered with a local travelling agency called Spur Travel and Tours - Palawan. They arranged everything and quoted us the cheapest package possible for our 3 days/2 nights trip. If you're looking for someone who will arrange you a hassle free trip, I strongly recommend this agency. Great service oriented staff and set of travel guides.

Ate Rita, our tour guide

Kuya Donald, our driver


So much for the miscellaneous, now let's start with OUR adventure.

What to do: Puerto Princesa, Palawan (blogpost underway)

Related Posts:

Planning to visit Kuala Lumpur? Click here for What to do and Where to eat guide.

    For RANDOM UPDATES,  
    You can follow me on twitter at @i626leo 
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DISCLAIMER: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The pictures or videos posted here doesn't necessarily mean that it's the owner's property. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. 

EXPERIENCE: Where To Eat: Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Balinsasayaw Restaurant
Where: Rizal Street, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Contact Number: (048) 434 5804
Experience: Its name was derived from the famous Balinsasayaw birds which were popularly known for their bird's nest soup. Balinsasayaw Restaurant has a good ambiance as it depicts a laid back setting in the province. The food is very affordable. The service was not that good as food usually prepared within 45 to 75 minutes and service staffs won't inform you about that. We made a follow up a couple of times.



French Toast

Spaghetti with Meat Balls

Chicken Barbeque

Mango Float



La Terrasse
Where: Rizal Avenue, Bancao Bancao Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Contact Number: (048) 434 7387
Experience: La Terrasse is a French fine dining restaurant situated in the heart of Rizal Avenue. It is strategically located near the airport. We were amazed with the service they provided. Food is great as well as it's price. If you want a gastronomic experience, don't miss to dine here.

simple yet elegant vibe

organic light. made out of salt, oil and carrot.

complimentary snack: bread sticks with pesto sauce

Shrimp Gambas


Baked spinach topped with cheese

Crunchy flat pork belly with squash puree

Before
After

We really enjoy the FOOD!

Definitely more than OKAY! :)


Penao Restaurant
Where: Sitio Sabang, Bgy. Cabayugan, Puerto Princesa City‎
Contact Number: 0927-937-4657
Experience: Penao Restaurant is located near Sabang port going to Puerto Princesa Underground River. They offer typical Filipino buffet lunch.





Itoy's Coffee Haus
Where: Rizal Street, Puerto Princesa, Palawan
Contact Number: (048) 433 5182
Experience: Itoy's Coffee Haus is the Starbucks-like coffee shop in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.






Other Food Try-outs

Crocodile Meat at Crocodile Farm
Crocodile meat is a succulent white meat with a delicious and unique flavour. The meat is low in fat and high in protein and the best way of cooking it is similar to how lean pork or chicken is cooked. 

Crocodile Sisig


Tamilok
The tamilok, a wood worm which tastes like your familiar oyster, is a famous delicacy found in Palawan. Although it looks like a worm, it is actually a mollusk found inside rotting mangroves. The word ‘tamilok’ was surprisingly coined by two Americans. They started calling one of their friends - "Tommy, look!", after seeing the locals eating the tree worm. The locals adopted this term to refer to this wood worm delicacy.




Discover: Puerto Princesa, Palawan
What to do: Puerto Princesa, Palawan


Related Posts:

Planning to visit Kuala LumpurClick here for What to do and Where to eat guide.
    For RANDOM UPDATES,  
    You can follow me on twitter at @i626leo 
    You can also LIKE, SHARE & COMMENT. 
    Thank you!

DISCLAIMER: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The pictures or videos posted here doesn't necessarily mean that it's the owner's property. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.