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LIST | Persons who can go out during mandatory COVID community quarantine

On Wednesday, the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases revealed a complete list of persons exempted f...

Saturday, November 21, 2015

TECH | Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg to take two months of paternity leave

Looks like soon-to-be dad Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is so excited to take on the role of a parent to his wife Priscilla Chan's daughter. In fact, he'll take two months of paternity leave after the birth of his daughter.

Image Courtesy: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

In an announcement to his timeline, he said:
Priscilla and I are starting to get ready for our daughter's arrival. We've been picking out our favorite childhood books and toys. 
We've also been thinking about how we're going to take time off during the first months of her life. This is a very personal decision, and I've decided to take 2 months of paternity leave when our daughter arrives. 
Studies show that when working parents take time to be with their newborns, outcomes are better for the children and families. At Facebook we offer our US employees up to 4 months of paid maternity or paternity leave which they can take throughout the year.

Every day things are getting a little more real for us, and we're excited to start this next stage in our lives.

Facebook grants US employees up to four months of paid parental leave which could be used all at once or throughout the child's first year.

Zuckerberg, however, did not say who would be replacing him at the company.

SCIENCE | Audiology Updates for October and November 2015

Progress related to Audiology continues to run at a great pace. Developments over the past 30 days range from new research outcomes to breakthrough innovative products. Here are some recent updates on the study of hearing and balance.

One study has found out that fitting suitable hearing aids on children is associated with better levels of language development. Published in a supplement of the journal Ear and Hearing, an Outcomes of Children with Hearing Loss (OCHL) study involving children aged six months to 7 years old, showed that children with mid-to-severe hearing loss have poorer language development compared to hearing peers. Furthermore, it found out that a correlation exists between the extent of hearing loss and the impact on language development. The study provides solid proof that early, active intervention helps children with all degrees of hearing impairment catch up or significantly close the gaps with their hearing peers in terms of language development.

Young people have already experienced hearing problems due to exposure to loud sound or noise, this is what a study jointly conducted by French market research specialists Ipsos and the French Week of Sound association has found out. The “Youngsters and the world of sound” study worked on three different population groups: children aged 0 to 6 years old, children aged 7 to 12 years old, and adolescents aged 13 to 19 years old. The study results also showed that earphones or headphone usage when listening to music is common practice among all groups. Those from the adolescents group say they listen with earphones or headphones on for about two hours a day. 8% of 0-to-6-year-olds use earphones, and 16% headphones, for a daily listening average of 31 minutes. Alarmingly, one in every 10 0-to-2-year-olds falls asleep while wearing headphones or earphones.

Image Source: Kickstarter

Meanwhile, a 16-year-old has designed headphones made to protect your hearing which was pitched in Kickstarter and obtained four (4) times his target amount. Kingsley Cheng, together with his electronic industry-veteran dad and a serial entrepreneur Anthony Lye, co-founded AEGIS Acoustics to come up with designs that prevent further hearing loss among headphone-using kids. Their product line, the main product of which is their AEGIS Pro headphones, now includes a hard case and high performance drivers. Their AEGIS Pro utilizes protective hardware and software solutions including its LED lights that change color to notify the user that it’s time to stop listening as per WHO recommendation of a maximum 8 hours, and its digital decibel equalizer technology that normalizes the volume at a safe level (85 dB).

VIEW | Did the PH benefit more by hosting APEC activities?

The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, also known as APEC, has been the key highlight of national media lately. This is due to the fact that world leaders from member economies of the APEC are converging at the Philippines to meet and collaborate on certain aspects ranging from specific agenda such as tackling women entrepreneurship and addressing corruption to broader topics like reducing trade and investment barriers and achieving inclusive and sustainable growth.

The Philippines, after tens of years of taking turns, has taken the responsibility to host this year’s APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting that’s about to end in several hours. One thing to remember is that with or without the APEC, the Philippines could still trade with members of the APEC. It’s not the only avenue to arrange and transact with nations from the Asia-Pacific region, but it provides opportunities to effectively come up with solutions as a lot more leaders and delegates come into economic play. This also gives the Philippines a chance to showcase what sets it apart from the rest.

Now, the question is, did the country benefit more from the APEC Meet?

Let’s take a look at the costs. A latest development in the PH aviation industry has probably sent jitters down some flyers’ and businessmen’s spines as over 1,000 flights at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) have been cancelled from November 16 to 20 to accommodate the arrival of world leaders and international delegates. In losses, that’s about $2 billion affecting local and foreign carriers, the hardest hit being the budget airlines which could not afford to rebook stranded passengers immediately or give them accommodations.

Do note, however, that despite these losses for the airlines industry, it doesn’t mean NAIA wasn’t used for profitable purposes. With the influx of thousands of delegates, the government could have earned even just some millions from it. Add to that the fact that the country, as host, has been given this opportunity to be known by citizens coming from the member-economies of APEC, that including citizens from USA, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

But it’s not just the aviation industry that got hit, there’s also the cost to laborers who were given a no-work-no-pay two-day holiday. There’s also the cost to the motoring public who got stuck in traffic and to the business owners who rely on these customers.

Apart from indirect costs, news agencies have reported that the direct cost to the government for hosting APEC members has been a hefty amount of 10 billion Php. However, it should be known that this amount has been allocated for all 47 APEC-related meetings conducted across the country. And that most of this amount was spent domestically or within the country which then goes through the pockets of entrepreneurs and workers who were tasked to each contribute the best effort they could for the success of the events. Just take a look at the Filipino products (giveaways) and services (catering, logistics, entertainment, etc.) applied in this event. This money surely, if corruption has not gotten into its way, benefitted a lot.

And don’t forget the exposure that micro-businesses, small start-ups and soon-to-be leaders have gotten which definitely equates to more future transactions and cooperation. It's like the events have served as an advertising ploy for the PH to showcase what it's got, and hopefully, by word of mouth (from the delegates themselves), the country has been seen as a great investment destination. And oh, each delegate paid approximately $4,000 or 180,000 Php to join the CEO Summit that coincided with the APEC leaders' meet.

Now, did the PH stand to benefit a lot from hosting APEC members? That’s a resounding yes!

But, could have the country done better than just allocating its resources for hosting the APEC community? What about forgoing it and redistributing the resources to education, tourism, agriculture, infrastructure, and defense?

Meanwhile, here are the outcomes of the APEC Economic Leaders' Meting. Photo credits go to Rappler.com for covering the event.

Friday, November 20, 2015

VIEW | The Spoiling Dead Fans drops clues, answers, spoilers to some The Walking Dead questions

If there is one thing to know about The Spoiling Dead Fans, it's that what they almost spill (or spoil) about every season of The Walking Dead (TWD) mostly speaks of truth.

The Spoiling Dead Fans has recently released some answers, clues, and hints as to where season 6 of TWD is likely headed. Read on.

Here are the questions and answers released by The Spoiling Dead Fans in text and my views on it inside parentheses.

1. Do Sasha, Abe and Daryl make it back to Alexandria? No.

(Hopefully, it's not Daryl's demise that we're talking about here. :()

2. Do the others find out about the tied up wolf? What are their reactions and what do they decide to do with him? Yes. Denise and Carol. We don't see their reaction or any decision.

(Hmmm. This is pretty much interesting. Carol has been missing in action lately.)

3. Any sex in the episode? If so, who? No.

4. Does Abe break up with Rosita? No.

5. Does Maggie reveal her pregnancy to anyone else? No.

(Poor Maggie. Why'd she have to face it without Glenn?)

6. What causes the tower to fall? At what point in the episode does the herd make its way into the safe zone? It just collapses due to it being weakened by the truck from a few episodes back. The herd is still surrounding Alexandria.

7. Do we find out who said "Help" on the radio? If so, who? No.

(I have a bad feeling it's _____________.)

8. Does anyone go looking for Glenn? No.

(Well, didn't Maggie and Aaron attempt to look for him?)

9. How does Glenn escape? The old hide-under-the-dumpster trick. Cheap.(Glenn basically waits it out until the walkers leave. Enid spots Glenn first from a roof and throws him some water  down after he gets out.)

(Hurray! Glenn's alive [at least to TSDF]! I bet he's got more lives than cats have! Wait, how did Enid get there in the first place?)

10. Does Glenn make it back to Alexandria? Yes to the outskirts. (Glenn releases the balloons he had to signal he survived the mission.)

(Aww, at least it's great news for Maggie! Now, the question is, will they ever meet?)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

REVIEW | [FOOD] I tried San Marino Tuna Flakes in Oil and it's...

First of all, I'd like to say that this is my first time, in almost two decades, having to try canned tuna, as I lived a meat-filled foodie life. I tried eating freshly cooked tuna once before and I really didn't like it. Actually, I am not a fan of fish. There are only a number of fish that I love eating, that including skinless (I can't overemphasize this right now) bangus or milkfish, cream dory (filleted), golden threadfin bream (deep fried), tilapia, and maya-maya (snapper). 

I am not a fan of fish because most of them don't great for me and I really dislike the odor of fish in general. But, perhaps I'd try more of these for a change.

Secondly, because it's APEC week and I didn't want to spend a lot dining outside (and I really want to save), I decided to challenge myself by eating canned tuna. 

I bought five cans --- one (1) San Marino Tuna Flakes in Oil (original), two (2) San Marino Tuna Flakes (Hot & Spicy), and two (2) Mega Tuna Flakes in Oil --- all of which I will each eat every dinner from Tuesday to Saturday.

When I was shopping for canned tuna, I chose San Marino Tuna Flakes in Oil over Century Tuna Flakes in Oil because in paper, San Marino packed more protein content per gram, and in essence, was more cost-efficient to purchase it over the latter.

Today, my first eyeball night with canned tuna has come to a start. I cooked San Marino Tuna Flakes with my favorite protein source, egg. I wasn't sure if the tuna flakes were ready-to-eat already and I really did not want to take risks eating it from the can itself, so I cooked it over an electric induction cooker.

One thing I didn't like about the packaging was that it was hard to open the can up. The connector you use to pull the cover out detached easily. I had to pry it open using a can opener. Or maybe it was just bad luck.

When I opened the can and viewed it up close, I felt disappointment. It was not packed with a lot of tuna! It was, in fact, swimming in milliliters of vegetable oil. I felt cheated because I thought the 180 grams stated in the can was referring to almost 180 grams (or at least 150 grams) of tuna flakes, but it was literally drowning in vegetable oil. :( Now, I don't know with Century Tuna and I am yet to try Mega Tuna, but I wish I have researched first online and eventually realized there's a certain brand of canned tuna named Permex that has much tuna in it, it outweighs the other brands totally.

Because I didn't want to eat just pure tuna flakes and I knew that there's vegetable oil in it, I decided to cook it. Note that I removed most of the vegetable oil as I felt it was unhealthy for me to include a large volume of it in my dish. 

I pressed on the Braise button and dumped in the San Marino flakes. It was cooking hot. At the back of my mind I wanted more protein, hence, I beat two medium-sized eggs, sprinkled it with iodized salt, added Aji Ginisa (This is really funny! haha! I didn't know what I was doing at all.), and poured the egg mixture into the pan with tuna flakes after shifting from Braise to Fry button.

Using a pair of fork and spoon, I then continuously cooked the canned tuna with the egg hoping it would end up like an omelette. And it ended up frustrating hahaha. I'm no cook, but I can definitely produce omelette, but this was something hahaha. It turned out to be like a corned beef mixture probably for the reason that there were more chunks than flakes in it. I just went on and mixed the ingredients together to make sure everything was cooked (according to my instincts hehe).

I then transferred the dish into my plate and added two (2) slices of Tiffany bread with a Cheez Whiz and trooped towards my mini-dining area.

Now, the taste test. Because I have almost no experience with tuna, San Marino Tuna Flakes has then become my standard. On a rate of 1 to 10, I'm giving it an 8 because to be honest, I liked it. I really did. The flakes were soft and not hard to swallow. The dish was yummy together with the egg (which was supposed to have ended up  as an omelette, but I think I failed haha) and with bread as my substitute for rice. Just don't add Cheez Whiz! HAHA. It was too salty for me. I thought it would match with the basic San Marino Tuna Flakes with Egg dish (not an omelette by the way haha), but I really did not enjoy having Cheez Whiz as a dip haha.

I then completely, yet gradually, devoured the meal, but right before I was about to consume all of it, I have already eaten all two (2) Tiffany bread slices and still had two spoonfuls of San Marino Tuna Flakes with Egg remaining. So I had to eat it as it is, and I almost threw up. HAHA. This is probably because my hunger was already satiated or because my mind wasn't able to fully adapt to the idea that I was almost able to consume 1 can of tuna flakes. I would prefer the former though.

To end this post, I'd like to say that San Marino Tuna Flakes in Oil is quite yummy when cooked with egg to form a "fail" omelette, but you have to pair it with sliced bread so that the "umay" factor fades away. You can also try it fresh from the can! Just let me know how it tastes like.

P.S. Will let you know soon how it fares against the canned Mega Tuna Flakes brand. Hope you enjoyed this San Marino Tuna Flakes review and story of my "fail" cooking adventures. Also, I apologize I didn't get to place photos --- actually, I wasn't able to take shots of the whole dish-making haha --- because I was already excited (more of starving) to consume all of it. Next time, I'll capture the dish and add them in my future posts. :)

TIPS | What happens when you withdraw Paypal cash to BPI with the wrong account number (used card number instead)? Here is what you should do.

So, I made a withdrawal transaction from Paypal to my local bank account, Bank of the Philippine Islands through the following processes listed below and Paypal said that the transaction is now completed.

  1. Log-in to your Paypal account > Profile > Add/Edit Bank Account.
  2. Enter the Bank Name (in my case, Bank of the Philippine Islands).
  3. Input the Bank Code (for BPI, it's 010040018).
  4. Then, go to My Account > Withdraw > Withdraw Funds to Your Account
  5. You will then enter the amount you wish to withdraw (if you have amounts in different currencies, you'd be asked to choose only one of them per transaction).
  6. Then, pick which bank account you'd like the money to go to and then you're done. A reference number will be provided, and you will be given an option to return to your Paypal main area.

Now, All you need to do is wait for 2-4 business days for the transaction to be "Completed". 

And then, the waiting began. But, there's one problem. At the time I opened my account, I mistook the card number for the account number. The reason I entered the card number for my Paypal account is because its interface stated (1-16 digits) which is the number of digits of my card number. My account number is only 10 digits! And I was naive at that time and forgot to correct it.

What made me panic more was that the Paypal transaction has already been completed. I thought about the things that I  should do because in that moment, I was thinking the money won't be returned.

Now, the problem's solved! The solution to this is do not panic. I realized it was going to be returned, and indeed, it was! It took a few more days to be returned, with no deduction from Paypal since I inputted the legit BPI bank details, just not the right one (account number). The money will arrive though with a deduction of 150 Php from BPI, regardless if you made a mistake or not.

So, that's it. Don't panic. It will be returned minus a fee of 150 Php. :)

Sunday, November 15, 2015

INSPIRE | 10 Filipino entrepreneur success stories (Part 1 of 2)

Any entrepreneur would want to be branded as the next Henry Sy, founder of SM group of companies, or Soccoro C. Ramos of National Book Store for they have established an imprint of their hard work in the Philippine industry. Both of these business leviathans are defined as the role models of success which we, Filipinos, want to become. Along with these successful tycoons are Atty. Felipe L. Gozon of GMA Network and Alfredo Yao of Zesto Corporation which most likely, have already been included in everyone's "Top Ten List of Most Successful Businessmen in the Philippines" but aren't they recognized more than enough already?

If you’re a fiction fanatic, what if you knew that the impossible could transform to reality? Let's also give credit and applause to some of the "less media-covered (the silent ones)" (that everyone most likely doesn't include in their top ten list) yet amazing and hardworking entrepreneurs who paved their way from being a janitor or a maid to earning lots of bucks. Also, who could've known that only from having twenty pesos, you could turn it to millions? Not only have they earned those checks in their wallets, but also the hearts of the people with their inspiring stories still continuing to provide service and careers to the Philippine community.

1. Rosiell and Rudy de Leon - Bianca’s Special

Rosiell and Rudy beside their ice candy "Bianca's Special". Courtesy of April 2015 issue of Entrepreneur.com.ph magazine

Anong magagawa ng bente pesos mo? (What can your P20 do?) You’ll probably buy a Cornetto because of the TV commercial which Filipinos have been fond of way back 2009; but in 2011, Rosiell and Rudy decided to spend the down-to-earth P20 left inside their wallet to earn millions unknowingly. Well, let's set aside luck in lotto but appreciate a surer way to earn more with the couple’s story.

When they fell to the nadir of their life, the only goal was just to feed and to send the child they've conceived when they were in Freshmen College to school in addition to paying numerous bills. As young parents, it was tormenting for them to see their own child being strapped in hardships; and it was definitely depressing to see a timid P20 peso bill sitting around your wallet when all of your bank accounts have gone bankrupt. Instead of giving up on life, it gave them the drive to do whatever they can.

Seeing that they were the only ones that owned a refrigerator in their neighborhood when they transferred to Antipolo, they took it to their advantage and bought 100 pieces of plastic bags to act as a container for water (which was all they had too) and froze them, producing ice. After selling them to their neighbors, they earned a P300 profit and from this, they started an ice candy business.

"Huwag silang susuko. I-decline man sila, hindi naman lahat ‘yan, aayaw. Tsaka ang negosyo kasi hindi laging may kita. Kailangan lang nilang mag-tiyaga, magsikap." (Don't give up. Even if you get declined, not all of them would. And not all business have profits. Hard work is really needed.) said Rosiell now that she's stable and earning much more; which is of course an advice that they conformed to.

It was a slow process at first that needed patience and hard work, lots and lots of the two. For opening the ice candy business, they earned a P500 daily profit then it expanded to a P15,000 monthly profit. After doing the same process for almost four years, the couple now earns P15,000 daily, the value they only earned in a monthly back then. Now, their monthly income adds up P450,000 which estimates to over P5 Million in over a year.

2. Gian Scottie Javelona - OrangeApps

Gian Scottie Javelona wanted to change lives by making revolutionary products. 
Photo courtesy of OrangeApps

"Sometimes, you need to break some rules to make big things happen." quoted Gian, a graduate of computer engineering at Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) who really lived up to his words based on how he fulfilled his dreams.

Being inspired from Steve Jobs, he established the first mobile portal app at the age of 19. He was also our very own Pinoy Zuckerberg who founded Facemash (the pre-Facebook application) by getting pictures from Harvard’s websites without asking for any copyright permission. Just like what Zuckerberg did, Gian created the PUP Mobile Portal without seeking permission from PUP. Eventually, he got caught and the President let him present his creation to be utilized for education.

After releasing his application, he soon founded his first company, the OrangeApps to change the lives of people thought his products. He made it by earning the trust of investors and being funded by numerous powerful groups like the Angel Investors, Microsoft Corporation, Idea Space Foundation and others in the country.

"When I was in high school, I told myself that one day I am going to build my own company, a Filipino version of Apple and will name it Orange Apps. Here I am now living that dream." he stated from an interview from TechInAsia. No one supported him initially but he let no one block him from doing what he wanted to create.

3. Steve Tamayo - Tamayo’s Catering and Services

Steve Tamayo satisfied with his hard work.
Photo courtesy of Tamayo’s Catering and Services (tamayos.com.ph)

Steve isn’t a graduate of hotel and restaurant management or even culinary arts but how come he owns a successful catering company? Well, sometimes everything just doesn't seem to match up with our backgrounds but if it’s meant to be, everything would eventually fall in its rightful place.

Burried in poverty from Hagonoy Bulacan, Steve faced all the struggles of life at a young age. His family was originally rich because his father was a former kapitan (captain) and had numerous business in the fishing industry. Unfortunately, his father experienced stroke which made all of their earned money and properties vanish in thin air. He could've experienced a good life before struggling but he was born the eleventh out of twelve, forcing him to venture to Manila after finishing high school to work as a janitor. Having the task to clean toilets everyday just to desperately earn money for his education, he did his best to earn money without being involved in any illegal matters.

Grabbing the opportunity given to him, he traveled to Kuwait and accepted the job of being a waiter even if it was irrelevant from his current course, accounting. After four years, he traveled to Saudi Arabia as a manager but still did sidelines like cleaning just to earn more. Unfortunately, a war occurred back in 1990 which decimated all of his properties and earnings. All of the blood and sweat that he strived for profit disappeared. Despite being trapped in the war, he was still able to safely go back to his hometown even with zero earnings in his hands.

These experiences became his capital to initiate his own business and rebuild his life instead of losing everything as it is. He sold packed lunch wrapped in plastic to students in a Private School and other goods in front of his wife's beauty Parlor. Being offered with jobs from here and in abroad, he didn't let go of them even if it was a slow process that needs lots of will and patience to start over again. He earned his investments back after working hard, opened a restaurant which he named Tamayo's Catering and Services which has now more than 13 outlets throughout the country.

4. Au Soriano - PinoyTravel

Photo credits: TechInAsia

“I was already a mother and a wife when I became an entrepreneur. It’s a constant battle about prioritization. Work consumes you physically, emotionally, financially. You just have to deal with what's urgent on a daily basis, while keeping an eye on the target... Difficult, but overall, fulfilling.” stated Au Soriano from PinoyTravel. The way she seeks for opportunities just like an eagle hunting for its prey could be the reason of her success now. 

I know we're all exhausted of the seemingly traffic that handcuffs us from our destination especially when we're running late to work or to our families waiting for our arrival. Let's add the agitating rivalry of finding a space but thanks to her, the terrifying stampede that could occur when physically racing over a seat was lessened.

Au Soriano hailed from Bauang La Union and was raised always commuting by bus with her family, thus witnessing the daily advancement of the telecommunications industry by seeing lots of distinct people who similarly utilize gadgets while traveling. This sparked her alertness and creativity during a normal fateful day of the 2012 Holy Week when a brilliant idea conquered her. Being a holiday with lots of workers in thirst of seeing their families just to hug them tightly when they arrive home, crowds were quarreling over where to seat. Along with the pool of commuters were gadgets, either phones tablets or laptops paired with each individual. This kindled her idea of forming PinoyTravel with different organizations that funded her by seemingly being like a clairvoyant who projected the digital future while holding a crystal ball. 

Along with hard work, we should have an alert mind. Who knows? You might be a president of a successful company if you just look at your surroundings no matter how small the issue seems.

5. Aisa A. Mijeno - SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting)

Photo credits: de la Salle University Lipa

Aisa isn’t just an entrepreneur but also our very own female Pinoy Thomas Edison who created a lamp that could use salt and water! Imagine being able to have electricity whenever there's a power shortage in your location? There's even a charging outlet under the lamp where you could connect your phone with.

Photo taken from SALts’s Facebook Page

Aisa was in the IT industry until she quit on 2008 to do volunteer work in Greenpeace Philippines as a direct dialogue campaigner. Being enthused as a volunteer worker, she visited a lot of rural areas in need of help, thus experiencing first-hand how everyday life while immersing was different to the light-studded city she came from.

Visiting the Kalinga highlands, she stayed with the Butbut tribe located at Buscalan. Just like the primitive times, day was for work and night was just for resting until the cycle repeats when the sun rises again. Of course there were lamps but they had to walk 12 hours to reach Bontoc, the nearest town which was approximately 50 kilometers away just to get kerosene to ignite their fuel-hungry lamps. It was time consuming and ofcourse for them, expensive.

Going back with a vibe of responsibility, she experimented with IdeaSpace with too much motivation and perseverance even with her continuous failure that she was even called a "mad scientist" by the President. Her experience with the ethnic groups led to the idea of discovering Sustainable Alternative Lighting (SALt), the lamp that doesn't require fuel, batteries or electricity to work but just salt and water. This would not only help a lot in the rural places she visited but also with the Philippine economy.

Aisa Mijeno with her SALt. Photo courtesy of Aisa Mijeno.

"Go out and experience the world. There will be more real eureka moments when you are out there. And once you find that important eureka, do not be afraid to grow it into a business. You will be surprised that there are people who need your innovation." advises Aisa; so to all youthful brains out there, never be afraid but be excited to discover and feel your own moment of "Eureka!" (I have found it!) just like how Archimedes did.

Want to know more stories about local Filipino entrepreneurs? Check out five (5) more entrepreneurial stories in the coming days.