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What No Means

11/21/2013


NO is such a negative word, right?
For me, not really.

Saying YES can instantly make you agreeable, BUT you cannot say yes to everything.
Sometimes, people tend to agree or say yes because they don't want to hurt other people's feelings.
We don't want to let people down so we end up doing things we really don't like.
I am guilty of this, sometimes. I bet, you are guilty too?

But you CAN say no.
NO to people who aren't right for you.
NO to things you don't want to do.
Have the courage to be free from doing things you resent.

6 Misconceptions About Working From Home

10/29/2013

Many people are still puzzled about work from home gigs. Some people don't believe that it even exist. Some are interested to join but just don't know how to start. So to give you an idea, I've listed six misconceptions people know about working from home. Yes, I work from home and I've dealt with these misconceptions myself. I admit, I tend to take these misconceptions negatively before, but now, I just laugh it off.


It's been 3+ years since I took the path of non-traditional work arrangement and became a freelance contractor on oDesk. I didn't realize that it's been that long since I started working for myself, at home, by doing projects online. And when I say projects, I mean WORK. I research, collect, analyze, update, review, write and curate data for my clients. It is basically building contents for my clients' businesses while doing things that interests me on the side. It is NOT the usual email, game, Facebook, selfie and chat stuff that people do on the internet. It is more than that. I've learned different skills while working online. Nothing is stagnant. Everything is always changing. My clients are changing, projects and contracts come and go. New projects, new ideas, new experiments, new people, new perspectives are always changing me. When you work for yourself, you discover things you never knew you can do. But for some people, work from home still seems like taboo. It is difficult for them to understand what a freelancer's working situation is like.

If you're a freelancer, self-employed dude, entrepreneur or a work at home mom (WAHM), I know you can definitely relate to the following:

Say Thank You! A little appreciation goes a long way.

9/22/2013
So you've been working hard since day 1. You've been putting your best on every task handed to you... but as time goes by, you suddenly feel tired and get bored.

As a result, your productivity and the quality of your services start to diminish (unconsciously). You may be unaware of it but it's starting to be evident in your product. Sounds familiar? Read on..

Well, you're not ALONE. That's a very familiar feeling (ask one of your co-workers haha). That is totally normal. It's just a phase an adult experiences every once in a while. Even though you know that you love what you're doing (worse if you do not), enjoy every bit of it and have mastered how's it done, there will always be a BLAH day at work. Admit it, WORK, or LIFE in general isn't as good as Barbie's, Cinderella's or Drew Arellano's (I just love Biyahe ni Drew).

But you know what? A little APPRECIATION can spice up your work plateau. WORK PLATEAU? Actually I just mixed these words with an intent to mean a stage of "slowing down" or "not progressing" in your work at some point in time.


Google AdSense PIN Verification Alternative

9/14/2013

What is Google AdSense?


Google AdSense is an easy (relative to each point of view, for me it's not that easy) way to earn money from your online content.

What is Google AdSense Account Verification?


For security purposes, each publisher account (Adsense) must be verified before Google can send payments. Google prefers to verify the publishers' address by sending a PIN by mail.

Why AdSense Account Verification is important?


Since payments and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) are sent to the mailing address of the account holder, it's important to confirm the accuracy of the payment address and payee name. For example, checks and Western Union payments are made out to the payee name exactly as entered in your account.

When will The PIN generate and arrive?


Google automatically generates the PIN when the account balance reaches the minimum threshold (my account earnings was put on hold after reaching $12). The PIN will be sent by standard post (mail) and will take 2-3 weeks to arrive.

What does the PIN mailer look like?


PINs are printed on PIN mailers, which are white 4.5 x 6 inch (11.4 x 15.2 cm) postcards.


photo from Google

What if the Google PIN NEVER seem to arrive?


Great news for all Google AdSense account holders, if you (just like me) experience the worst case scenario of haven't been able to receive any PIN after the third time of requesting it, we actually have an alternative way of verifying our AdSense account! We can now verify our Google AdSense account by submitting a scan or digital copy any Government issued ID, or billing statement showing our name and address as proof of identity.

The Mind Museum, Taguig

9/06/2013

Do you happen to know the product when you blend Science with Art? Fortunately, I found an answer in The Mind Museum, Taguig. You may want to find that out too.

The Mind Museum
life size replica of T-rex skeleton

Science is Fun at the Philippine Science Centrum

7/30/2013

I was browsing some old photos in my Picasa editor when I saw these funny photos of mine in the Philippine Science Centrum. I don't remember posting anything about it last year, so why not make an entry of it now! Good idea! Now I've got a post for the week.

Philippine Science Centrum Marikina
my head on a platter

It was one hot afternoon when we visited the Philippine Science Centrum in Riverbanks Mall, Marikina City last year. I actually didn't know that we have such kind of museum in Marikina. It was one of those days when you just want to wander without going too far. Thus, strolling around the city was the most viable option we had that time.

wandering around the Riverbanks Mall

Science has been one of my favourite subjects since I was in grade school. I find it very interesting unlike Math which I find really boring. Studying anything about life in general really interests me. Who wouldn't want to learn about one's origin and humanity? I think there's no one. Do you agree?

Philippine Science Centrum
Science is Fun!

The Philippine Science Centrum showcases a variety of exciting interactive science exhibits. They are presented in ways that will amaze and tickle every visitor's mind. We were able to try some of their featured interactive exhibits and I must say that it's a whole lotta fun!

I had a "hair-raising” experience with the Van de Graaff exhibit, had fun doing the “Matrix Move” at the Wonder House, felt the shake of different magnitudes of an Earthquake through the Earthquake simulator, made an illusion of floating in the air at the Anti-Gravity Mirror and saw what it’s like to have your head rest on a platter only at the Philippine Science Centrum! Check some of the evidences here. I know they aren't in great quality so please bear with the photos. These were taken over a year ago.

a "hair-raising” experience with an electrostatic generator,
the Van de Graaff!
experience what it's like be an Astronaut with the Human Gyro Ride
do the matrix pose inside the Wonder House!
such a floater at the Anti-Gravity Mirror
dancing with the colored shadows
having fun eh?!
strike a pose!

The Philippine Science Centrum is less extaravagant compared to the newly built The Mind Museum in Taguig, but staying true to their tagline "Science is fun", the Philippine Science Centrum really provides an atmosphere of learning while having fun. It is very ideal for student field trips, family activity and even barkada bonding. I browsed their official website and I can see that they continue to offer new features and exhibits year after year. They have more than 80 interactive exhibits now.


So if you're looking for a different kind of bonding activity (an inexpensive, educational, and fun experience) for the family besides going to the mall, then go to the Philippine Science Centrum. Spend some quality time and discover how fun science can be with interactive exhibits for everyone.

Admission Fees:
Maximum of 1.5 hours Additional Php 60 every hour thereafter.
Adults/s:      Php 120/head
Student/s: (private school)     Php 120/head
                (public school)      Php 95/head
Children below 2 yrs. old:       FREE
Teachers with ID:                    FREE
Senior Citizens with ID:     50% discount

*Admission fees may change without prior notice. Reservation is required for 30 persons or more.

Admission Hours: Monday to Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contact Details:
Reservation : (63 2) 942-5136
PFST Office : (63 2) 942-4137
Telefax : (63 2) 942-5091
Website: http://www.science-centrum.ph/

Location: E-Com Bldg., Riverbanks Center, Barangka, Marikina City

How to reach the PSC Museum
• Via LRT 2 (purple train) – Get a ride from the nearest LRT station and get off at Katipunan station. From the station, ride a jeepney with signboards; SSS, Calumpang and get off at Riverbanks Mall.
• Via FX or Jeepney – From Cubao area, take the FX or jeepney vehicle with signboards SSS, Calumpang and get off at Riverbanks Mall

A Birthday Climb at Mt Manalmon, Bulacan

7/23/2013
I officially turned 25 this year. What now? It's been 3 weeks since I had my LASIK procedure. My eyes are pretty well already and the next thing I wanted to do was to test how far can I go with this new vision. So I decided to go out and satisfy my need for some outdoor activity (mountain climbing perhaps?). 

I know, that seems a little risky. I remember climbing a mountain in Mayantoc, Tarlac when I was in high school. That's roughly 10 years ago but I can still feel how great the experience was. I can walk, swim, cross rivers, trek to some falls, go to places via moving vehicles but I rarely climb so I was really excited to do it again.

Mt Manalmon Dayhike

It was Saturday morning (a day before my birthday) when I dragged Olan to accompany me on a climb to Mt Manalmon in Bulacan. Ha! I love the perks of being an oDesk freelance contractor (time flexibility and location independence). I am able to travel whenever I want (of course as long as I've done my scheduled tasks already). I can't just leave some work hanging (that's very irresponsible).

[SHINAGAWA LASIK REVIEW] Back to normal Eyesight after INTRALASIK Procedure

7/07/2013
LIBERATING. For someone who's been wearing prescription glasses for years, being able to finally see your surroundings without the use of eyeglasses feels liberating.

It felt liberating to be able to read small fonts on billboards and posters on our way back to a LASIK center in Makati. One week out from IntraLASIK procedure with Shinagawa Lasik and it's going fantastic. I'm currently seeing 20/10 in each eye after wearing glasses for years.

I started considering LASIK for my poor eyesight when I became fed up with my glasses. Yes, I love my pair of glasses (it's been my best companion for years) but the inconvenience of wearing and updating one was really frustrating. Without my glasses, I can only see vague faces from afar. If you've been wearing glasses for years, I know you understand what I’m talking about.

farewell my glasses


LASIK PREPARATION


My approach for getting LASIK was simple. Do some research, save a fund, make a short list of Lasik Centers with good reviews, which lead me to Shinagawa Lasik & Aesthetics and finally decide when to go for it. Just in time for their 50% off milestone promo for Intralasik procedure, I have finally decided to go for it.

Shinagawa Lasik Review

With my 25th birthday fast approaching, I decided that I wanted to give myself a treat. A better vision would be perfect that time. At first, I was skeptical about LASIK because the promise of instant eyesight appears too good to be true and the idea of having your eyes poked is definitely horrible. I've also read some Lasik Eye Surgery risks (quite scary) but my will power to have a clearer vision prevailed.

Last June, I went to Shinagawa Lasik and Aesthetics to have my eyes checked and to know if I were a good candidate for LASIK surgery. They administered more than 10 series of eye tests and got the results same day. Fortunately, I was qualified to undergo LASIK procedure. Scheduled it the following week and that's it, instant clear vision a day later.

Shinagawa Lasik Review
some of Shinagawa machines used for eye screen tests



LASIK PROCEDURE


I already knew what to expect before and after the LASIK surgery so I felt well prepared. Shinagawa's staff also explained the step-by-step process of the Intralasik procedure, including the discomforts I will encounter. The doctor guided me and constantly talked during the whole process, he described what he's going to do, and kept telling me that it was going well.

The procedure lasted for an hour (including briefing, waiting and recovery time).

WAS IT PAINFUL?


Intralasik is a bladeless procedure but I wouldn't say it was painless. The burning sensation coming from the laser wasn't painful but the pressure of the eyelid retractors was very uncomfortable. I didn't feel any pain right after the procedure but I know that the anesthesia will eventually wear off. And after an hour, my eyes felt stingy and tears fell involuntarily. My eyes were super sensitive to light that time and I can barely open it. There was a sandy sensation that lasted for 2-3 hours and it was difficult to see. Good thing I'm with a companion, (thanks to my ever supportive Olan) so make sure to have someone to accompany you on the day of the procedure. After the procedure, I just wore my protective glasses, went home and slept.

AFTER LASIK PROCEDURE


They gave me a kit that includes three eye drop medication (Levofloxacin, Prednisolone Acetate and Artificial tears), eye patches and protective eyeglasses. Discharge instruction after the LASIK procedure was also provided.

Shinagawa Lasik Review
after Lasik Kit

The period of discomfort only lasted overnight. I woke up the next morning feeling normal with a clearer vision (but still a bit hazy). It felt wonderful to have woken up with a clear vision for the first time in a long time. I had my post operation follow-up consultation with Dr. Dinglasan that day and everything went well. I still need to make a follow-up consultation after a month, 3 months, 6 months and after 1 year.

Will I recommend LASIK?


Definitely Yes. I can see the world much clearer now and I can do outdoor activities without having the hassle of using eyeglasses. I can now see life in HD (high definition). Totally worth the investment.

Update: I just climb Mt Manalmon with my restored vision after three weeks. It was great!

SHINAGAWA Lasik & Aesthetics Philippines 


Mezzanine, Tower 2, The Enterprise Center,6766 Ayala Ave. cor. Paseo de Roxas, Makati City, Philippines.Shinagawa is located at Mezzanine, Tower 2, The Enterprise Center,6766 Ayala Ave. cor. Paseo de Roxas, Makati City, Philippines. Website: http://shinagawa.ph/lasik/

[PAGUDPUD NORTH AND SOUTH TOUR] Ilocos Norte

5/11/2013
Pagudpud is one of the most accessible places to travel to in the Philippines, especially if you're within Luzon. It is a coastal resort town of Ilocos Norte, a town rich in beautiful nature spots. In fact, you can visit more than 10 spots in a day. Pagudpud's beautiful sceneries and blue water makes it haven not just for tourists but also for budget travelers.

HOW TO GO TO PAGUDPUD


From Manila, you can reach Pagudpud by bus or private transport. The travel time can be very long, 10-12 hours. If you want to save time, you can fly by plane to Laoag City and just ride a bus to Pagudpud for another two hours. Laoag City is 2 hours away from Pagudpud. Fortunately, I was able to book promo tickets to Laoag via SEAIR. I was contemplating whether to drop by Vigan or not. Due to time constraints, we've decided to just visit Pagudpud. We'll be back for Vigan next time.


Pagudpud North & South Tour

We arrived at Laoag International Airport at around 4 in the afternoon. The free airport shuttle wasn't available that day so we chartered a tricycle to bring us to Laoag town proper. I was surprised to find lots of modern establishments in Laoag. We went for a short walking tour and stayed overnight at Balay da Blas Pension House.

laoag international airport
Sinking Bell Tower Laoag
Sinking Bell Tower

We left for Pagudpud at around 7am the next day. As instructed by our contact (Kuya Arnel), we disembarked at Mawini, a small town in Pagudpud. He was already there when we arrived. He greeted us cheerfully and headed straight for our North and South Pagudpud Tour. It's time for tricycle tour once again.

WHAT TO SEE IN PAGUDPUD


There are two tours offered by guides/drivers in Pagudpud, the Pagudpud North Tour and the Pagudpud South Tour. These two tours can be done in a day or split up in two days, depending on tourist preferences. We opted to do both tours on the same day to save more time to relax the next day.

SOUTH PAGUDPUD TOUR


We started off with visits to the places included in the Pagudpud South Tour (Bangui Windmills, Kapurpurawan Rock Formation and the Cape Bojeador Light House).

Bangui Windmills


Bangui Windmills

Our first stop was Bangui Windmills. Officially known as the North Wind Bangui Bay Project, it consists of 20 wind turbines facing the South China Sea and serves as source of renewable energy in Ilocos. From a distance, those wind turbines look very small, I didn't really expected that they were that huge up-close.

Bangui Windmills

Kapurpurawan Rock


Kuya Arnel transferred us to a local Burgos tour guide for the rest of Pagudpud South Tour. This is to give the local Burgos guides a chance to showcase their own place. Kuya Benj was the one who accompanied us in Kapurpurawan Rock. “Kapurpurawan” is an Ilocano term which means “white”, an adjective that best describes the bright and sparkling color of the huge limestone rock formation. Kapurpurawan really rocks.

Kapurpurawan Rock

Kapurpurawan Rock

Kapurpurawan Rock

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse


Not far from Kapurpurawan rock was the picturesque Cape Bojeador Lighthouse. It's a pretty old structure that exhibits a lot about history.

Cape Bojeador Lighthouse Ilocos



We took a short break and had some lunch at a local carinderia. After that, we continued with the second part of tour. We're back with Kuya Arnel this time.

NORTH PAGUDPUD TOUR


The North Pagudpud Tour includes Kabigan Falls, Saud Beach, Patapat Viaduct, Bantay Abot Cave, Timangtang Rock, Blue Lagoon Beach and Dos Hermanos Islands.

Saud Beach


Our first stop for the North Pagudpud tour was Saud Beach. It is dubbed as the "Boracay of the North". I find the beach very calm and serene. The water looks inviting but we still have a lot of places to visit, so swimming wasn't an option that time. I'll make sure to spend a night here next time.

Saud Beach

Kabigan Falls


The tour continued with a 30 minute trek to Kabigan Falls. The trail to Kabigan Falls was easy but really tiring because of the scorching heat.

Kabigan Falls, Pagudpud

We reached the waterfalls within 30 minutes in a relaxed speed. But our weariness eventually disappeared when we finally reached the majestic waterfalls. The water coming from the falls was cold and refreshing.

Kabigan Falls, Pagudpud Ilocos

Patapat Viaduct


Our next stop was the famous Patapat Viaduct. It's a 1.3 kilometer bridge connecting Pagudpud and Cagayan Valley. It has this snaky shape that gracefully follows the contour of Cordillera Mountains. Beautiful isn't it?

Patapat Viaduct



Aqua Grande


We passed through Paraiso ni Anton and Aqua Grande but didn't stayed long because there's nothing much to see. We just took some photos and headed to Bantay Abot Cave.

Agua Grande

Walang Hanggan's Burol


Before reaching Bantay Abot Cave, Kuya Arnel took us to a hill which is said to be a location for the very popular teleserye "Walang Hanggan". We climbed up the hill like kids and stayed there for a while. I must say that this was my favorite among the spots in Pagudpud. I really enjoyed the breathtaking view of the sea and the the warm breeze on top of the hill. It was heavenly.


Walang Hanggan's Burol Pagudpud

Timangtang Rock


great view from the hill, you can also spot Timangtang rock right there

Bantay Abot Cave


We didn't bother to stop at Timangtang Rock and just went to see Bantay Abot Cave up close. Here, we saw how the waves hit the rocks of Bantay Abot Cave. It's like a hill with an unusual hole in the middle.

Bantay Abot Cave
Bantay Abot Cave
Bantay Abot Cave

After the Pagudpud South tour, we headed straight to Casa Consuelo. A beautiful accommodation located in the Blue Lagoon area and near Dos Hermanos Islands.

Casa Consuelo Pagudpud Ilocos
Casa Consuelo

Dos Hermanos Islands



Pagudpud was definitely the highlight of our Ilocos trip. It was a tiring but visually satisfying nature adventure. We've visited a lot interesting places there and met some of its friendly people. Definitely one of the best places to go in the North.

[CASA CONSUELO PAGUDPUD] Home Away from Home in Ilocos Norte

5/09/2013
Casa Consuelo is a quaint accommodation located at the end of Blue Lagoon's road.

It may not be the most popular accommodation in Pagudpud but it's definitely one of the most beautiful laid back hideaways in Ilocos. I've read some great reviews about the Casa and have decided to book it for our Pagudpud travel.


Casa Consuelo Pagudpud

Casa Consuelo

After our jam-packed Pagudpud North and South Tour, Kuya Arnel brought us to Casa Consuelo, our temporary home in the Blue Lagoon area. Going around different places in Ilocos was a lot of fun but really tiring at the same time. I was glad to have found a peaceful place where we could stay and rest our bone-tired bodies. I must say that the resort is as beautiful as it is in photographs. Very charming and well kept. The place is surrounded with tall coconut trees and breezy lounges. Perfect for some retreat and recreation.

Casa Consuelo Ilocos

pagudpud beach resort

Casa Consuelo Ilocos

We were welcomed by Chad (the manager) and showed us our room. The room is simple and elegantly styled with native decors. It is clean and very cozy. They also have rooms that can accommodate a family.

casa consuelo rates

Casa Consuelo Ilocos

Casa Consuelo's location has both advantage and disadvantage. Being tucked in the Maira-ira Cove (Blue Lagoon), you can enjoy peace and solitude anytime of the day. It's just you, the unspoiled nature and the beach. You can definitely experience pure leisure. But if you don't enjoy that kind of ambiance then Casa Consuelo may not be the place for you.

Casa Consuelo Pagudpud

If you're worrying about where and what to eat, don't fret because Casa Consuelo has its own restaurant that serves home-cooked meals. Nothing fancy but it's good enough to satisfy our gastronomic cravings. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

casa consuelo resort island reef

We spent the next morning strolling at the beach and taking photographs. We were able to take a dip at Casa Consuelo's beachfront but the shore is very rocky and may not be suitable for swimming. The shore is made up of mixed sand, pebbles, crushed corals and rocks. If you want to swim in a more comfortable water and fine sand, the swimmable part of Blue Lagoon is just a nice 10 minute walk down the road.


Casa Consuelo Pagudpud

Casa Consuelo Pagudpud

An added attraction to Casa Consuelo is the wonderful view of the Dos Hermanos Islands. These are two identical islands in the Maira-ira Cove. Literally in front of Casa Consuelo. During low tide season, I think it is possible to walk across the shore to see the islands up-close.

Casa Consuelo Pagudpud

Casa Consuelo Blue Lagoon

Casa Consuelo Blue Lagoon

Casa Consuelo has very accommodating staff. They treat you like family, cater to your requests and give you your own space. One more thing that I like to commend is their good customer service. I left my 2nd pair of eyes (my eyeglasses) when we checked out from the resort (my bad). Good thing that we haven't boarded the bus to Laoag yet and they were able to send the eyeglasses back to me. It saved me the hassle of buying a new pair of spectacles and most of all from not seeing my surroundings clearly on our way home (I have a poor eyesight, if you may ask). Thanks CasaCon!

Casa Consuelo Blue Lagoon agudpud Ilocos

casa consuelo blue lagoon

If you're planning to visit Pagudpod anytime soon, consider staying at Casa Consuelo. It is charming, serene and quiet. A perfect place for total relaxation. It has elegantly designed rooms and very attentive staff. I love the place. It's definitely my kind of secret hideaway.

Check out Casa Consuelo Rates here.

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