UBER: Everyone’s Personal Driver

 

I know how to commute using public utility jeepney/bus but I still prefer taking the taxi because it makes my everyday travel easier and faster.  It’s a bit expensive but it’s more convenient than taking a jeepney – especially when you are from Cavite and you are working in Mckinley Area – it takes 3-4 rides before I can get to my destination.

 

After bumping in to a blog post about UBER yesterday, I immediately downloaded the application, explored it and checked reviews about it.

 

UBER Application

 

 

After my research, I decided on trying it out. :)  After work, I launched the app and made a pick up request. Ten minutes after it was confirmed, the driver arrived. Irish was very polite and was always smiling. He also made sure that I was comfortable throughout the trip.

 

The application shows the name of the driver, type of car, plate number and how long you have to wait for the car/driver to arrive.

 

 

I got a new black Toyota Altis. They also have  Ford Focus, Toyota Camry, Mercedes Benz, and BMW.

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MASTERCHEF (Pinoy Edition) – 365 days after

 

Yesterday was a long day. I was with my cousin, Manang Joan touring Intramuros while waiting for her son, Harley, to finish his medical requirements for his college application. Once all the waiting and walking were done – I brought them to Quiapo Church before they head back to Baguio. It struck me that right about the same hour of last year – I was also there – praying my heart out for the next day’s Finale. I then whispered to Manang Joan: “This is where I asked for the Masterchef title”.
Today, I had to go and get me some strong chemicals to take out the molds that have already taken over the rubber mat I had for my nephew, Michael Dominic, so he wouldnt slip whenever he had to take a leak. While I was dashing in and out of the counters, the “Diba si Masterchef un?” and “Huy, diba ikaw si…” were more frequent than usual. I was like: “Wow! Imagine, a year has passed and yet people would still recognize me”. My wonted shy, weak smile has always been my response to acknowledge the flattery so my cheeks were somewhat stiff when I reached home. Unbeknownst to my awaken state, i slowly cruised to recalling the things that have happened after February 9, 2013.

 

WHAT I HAVE BEEN UP TO
I often get asked howcome I was not taking advantage of the “fame” – strike while the iron is hot they say. You see, before the finale, I always claim during interviews that becoming the first Pinoy Masterchef is going to be a huge RESPONSIBILITY. That after winning, I would work my ass off to make sure that I give justice to this humbling prestige. I felt that becoming the best home cook in the country will never be enough if I want the Filipino flavors to be recognized globally. I needed to learn Culinary Arts. Like what God has always done for me in the past – he gave me the best! Part of the prize was a scholarship grant in one of the premier culinary schools in the country – the CENTER FOR ASIAN CULINARY STUDIES.

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Why I Would Watch Maxie The Musicale

 

I’m sure a lot of you heard of an indie film that stirred up some emotions when it invaded the theaters. It was 2005 (supposedly the dawn of the new millennia – when human thinking should have evolved into a more enlightened frequency) and yet the plot proved how immature most Filipinos were when it comes to the topic of homosexuality.  The hypocrites and bigots gasped in unison – shouting blasphemy while the critics hailed Auraeus Solito’s Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros). It was fresh and dare I say an Epic… SUCCESS!

 

Heck, I’m not a movie critic nor would I claim to be an expert so you won’t hear me complain about the script or the acting. One thing stood out when I finally get to see this classic – for a straight guy to watch a film about a 12-year-old boy who developed a crush on Kuya Victor and not get queasy, awkward or whatever you would feel whenever you witness an inappropriate cheesy scene – then that tells me they already achieved something spectacular. I laughed, got teary-eyed and downright enjoyed the whole ride. My favorite part was when Maxie was shown getting primped for his first day at school. It was an honest scene that will always give me hope. That despite adversities and shortcomings – there will always be happy endings, if only you would work for it.

 

Just like a normal human being who would try to make good things last – I clamored for more!  The brethren prayed long and hard … then the clouds roared in a drumroll-like symphony – as Bit by Bit Company slowly came down from heaven – bearing the good news.  Finally, an exclusive event last August 23, 2013 at Cultural Center of the Philippines was held to officially launch MAXIE THE MUSICALE: ang pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros.

 

Invitation and Ticket to Patikim ng Shlight

 

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Haiyan – From [A Very Safe] Distance

The Calm Before the Storm

 

I was comfortably flattened on our bed when i fired my television. As I slowly drifted to a deep concentration, well, actually, more of going to a deep sleep – the little remaining consciousness was able to vaguely pick an announcement from our President, something about a super typhoon and that he is urging everybody to prepare. I drifted, slowly drifted – then there was peace. I woke up early for I had a consultancy gig to attend to. Not really paying attention to whatever has lingered in my slumber and went about my normal routine. I was too busy that day that I practically cut out any outside communication – even a wee bit of concern to a creeping disaster in our horizon… and she came.

 

Even children had to get food from abandoned stores in Tacloban city to survive.
(Grabbed from rappler.com)

 

Storm Surge in Samar.
(grabbed from philstar.com)

 

A street in northern Cebu after being hit by Typhoon Yolanda.
(grabbed from newsinfo.inquirer.net)

 

Tears fell, my heart sank and you would just want to call everybody in your phonebook and tell them you love them. We only felt I guess a fart of Yolanda while she was pounding other areas but you can sense in my Kababayans that they were (and still are) very concerned.   Everybody, and I mean everybody I came across with wore this aura of great loss. Social media was even worse. I’ll just shake my head in utter disappointment to netizens who did not help improve the situation. I wouldn’t even dare say that I can imagine how the victims felt after. When we are in pain, instinctively, we would want to ease the burden by sharing it. Though some won’t admit, but we long for sympathetic ears, warm hugs and kind words. But how can our victims unload when everybody around them is in the same situation. Where even the air you breathe gives you pain and everywhere you look -there’s anguish staring right back at you. Again, I wouldn’t even dare say I can imagine what they went and are going through – it’s just unfair to do so.

 

A family as they go to an evacuation center in Cebu City. (Grabbed from http://globalnation.inquirer.net)

 

Sheena Junia literally surfed Haiyan’s waves to survive.
(Photo grabbed from Sheena’s Facebook Account)

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Masterchef Pinoy Edition: A Quick Overview of My Masterchef Journey

COOKING BACKGROUND

Just like most home cooks, my foundation started at home. I grew up in a family who loves to eat – which is true to every Filipino household. I honestly cannot remember when I made my first dish nor do I remember telling myself that I wanted to learn how to cook – it just felt, well, natural for me so I just went at it.

 

My mom is one proud Igorota (from Barlig, Mt. Province) and my dad is an Uragon  from Caramoan- so imagine the diversity of our table.  I was born in Tuba, Benguet and resided at Camp 6 until our house got caught in a fire. From Benguet, we moved with our grandparents who were staying in Pantalan, Mansalay (Oriental Mindoro). This is where I had my fondest memories as a child. Our house was literally a stone-throw away from the shoreline and having the mountains as our back draft. This is where I learned how to fish, swim, scour the mountains for rare fruits and spiders. I just recently realized why my mom was always mad at me – even then, I have always been a free soul. Ask her about this day that I went fishing with a local boy while she was going nuts and worried about where on earth could her son be at 7 pm (this is considered super late when you are in the province… specially for an 8 year old headache!).

My parents then decided to move back to the city – with my sisters in Las Pinas. After I graduated highschool, life took  another drastic turn that we had to move to Namboongan, La Union. Like Mansalay – I had tons of great memories and found extra ordinary people – people whom I can call friends for life!

 

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