By: Elena Grace Flores
Do you always worry to break your phone as you hurry up to do your daily activities? No need to worry now as Smartphone producers are becoming more innovative in addressing that problem. Samsung and Apple devices have tested the Gorilla Glass by Corning already – and the glass maker even enhanced the durability of their product.
BBC wrote: Dropping your smartphone when taking a selfie could soon be less risky, says specialist glass maker Corning. It has launched its next generation of Gorilla Glass – the material used in more than 70% of smartphone screens, including on Samsung and Apple devices. Corning said Gorilla Glass 5 could survive more than 80% of drops from as high as 1.6 metres.
It continued: Shattered or cracked screens are the number one cause of smartphone repairs and customer complaints globally. The new glass was tested on rough surfaces – a demo for journalists showed dummy phones being dropped from a height of 1.6 meters onto a sheet of sandpaper. Some of the phones tested survived over 20 hard drops in the lab. Typically, most phone drops are from between waist and shoulder height. As well as drops, the company said it was twice at good at resisting scratches and other damage compared to what’s currently on the market.
Device manufacturers are expected to unveil products with the new glass within the next few months.
By: Elena Grace Flores
It is not clear why Facebook named their newest venture that involves a high-powered solar aircraft flying remotely for months to beam down an internet connection – to the Philippine Eagle, Aguila but one thing is for sure, like this strong bird, Project Aguila will fly up in the sky and grace it. Facebook is indeed unique because it never stopped to innovate for their users’ benefit without members spending a dime.
BBC wrote: In a warehouse in Somerset, the latest phase in Facebook’s bid for world domination has been taking shape. Or, to put it less dramatically, the social network’s plan to connect millions in developing countries is proceeding. It is called Project Aquila and involves building solar-powered aircraft which will fly for months at a time above remote places, beaming down an internet connection. Two years ago Facebook bought small British business Ascenta, which specialises in solar-powered drones, and its owner Andy Cox is now the engineer running Project Aquila.
It added: At the end of June, the first aircraft produced in that warehouse on an industrial estate in Bridgwater was dismantled and taken in pieces to Arizona. There, it was reassembled for its first flight. The unmanned aircraft, which has the wingspan of a Boeing 737 but is only a third the weight of a typical family car, stayed airborne for 90 minutes and performed well. The fragile structure did suffer some damage when it landed in a stony field some way short of the runway. When it finally goes into service the idea is that it will come to rest on grassland.
By: Elena Grace Flores
Both President Xi and Premier Li confused official when their forceful economic messages are contradicting each other. As the cabinet waited for another’s actions to be followed in reforming China’s state-owned sector, they ended up doing inaction or not doing anything at all. Xi wanted a “stronger, better, bigger” state juggernauts, with the Communist Party doing a central role. On the other hand, Li stressed the need to “slim down” state companies and to “follow market rules” in remaking them.
Most party insiders and Chinese political experts indicated that the conflicts now and in the past between these top leaders can lead to clash in the immediate future. The restructuring of China’s economic plan will definitely suffer because of such disunity. Is this speculation part of the ongoing bizarre black propaganda against China because of their resistance with the United States? Only time can tell.
However, the local media is not agreeable to the observations of the foreign press. It denied the said disunity then criticized the international report as not addressing the actual issues.
By: Elena Grace Flores
President, Rodrigo Roa Duterte, is trying to make customs, break traditions and surpass protocols to show that he is the maker of manners. Being an iconoclast and populist which is a heady combination, the nation is watching as he make, will remake or unmake manners and many other out of the box things during his tenure.
The question is, what kind of style the president is portraying like John Fitzgerald Kennedy, built a new Camelot with distinctive elegant style as inspired by his First lady Jacqueline. Then came Ferdinand Marcos with his wife Imelda bringing a new brought a new strongman style and pomp to Malacañang and affairs of state that made him stay in power for two decades. Cory Aquino’s is not undermined at all because she was successful in painting everything yellow.
Duterte for one detested royal titles that denote respect like the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, who prefers to be addressed by the Hindu honorific “Shri”. Duterte encourages less ‘formal’ communications,” according to spokesman Ernie Abella. In fact, he ordered that his Cabinet members will be called “Secretary” instead of usual “Honorable” because not all are honorable? His fashion sense is also as confusing as his statements. He was noted wearing a “barong” which is a formal attire in a distinguished event but paired with the casual “maong” pants. He wanted to be rugged and all that perhaps to get the affection of the masses which is massive in the Philippines – but his not having a good taste for one time and a mix match with another can dub him as the President with confusing lifestyle.
By: Elena Grace Flores
The Battle against Illegal Drugs will never be won in the streets, it would only be won within our homes; said Atty. Clarence Paul Oaminal over his Facebook post today. Atty Oaminal, former Undersecretary of the Dangerous Drug Board and author of a political law book did not elaborate on the quote but he has continued his advocacy to help prevent or stop the use of illegal drugs nationwide through his connections particularly in his home town, Cebu.
He is also seen supported by Senator Tito Sotto on his bid to urge cities and municipalities to establish their own rehabilitation centers for those affected by the current public menace – that has been becoming very dangerous not only to the guilty criminals but also to innocent families that are striving for their daily sustenance as extra judicial killings in the country escalate.
Atty Oaminal’s comment can easily be translated into; stop the killings of illegal drug criminals because it will not work in stopping the abuse of illegal drugs. Instead, nurture your homes so that children and adults will not resort to those deadly remedies – and the government should come up with public services that will allow family bread winners to supervise their household properly. It can be in the form of more rehabilitation centers, livelihood programs, quality health care, educational campaigns and other quality public services.
I idolized the late President Ferdinand Marcos same as I wanted to be like the late Ninoy Aquino – at least in his ability to handle public speaking and his journalistic skills. I was living in Thailand for 15 years and I was not in the country when President Marcos was ousted. When I came back for good in 2005, I began soul searching. I did not only research about my past but also about the personalities whom I looked up to. I got most of my reference materials from the Aquino museum in Tarlac for my research on Ninoy – but I was dismayed for the fact that he was using his media capabilities to rebel against the government despite not making a move to verify allegations. He was totally on the other side and believed only one-sided stories. So, I decided to look into the Marcos’ side. Believing that you can see how the parents were through the children, I was anxious to watch this video:
Posted at YouTube by: GMA PinoyTV
Is Bong Bong Marcos Presidentiable? I am not there yet to answer that question but I noted the following traits observed during the interview:
- The late President Marcos never lost his temper
- The Marcos children were protected from the traumatic experience during the Edsa revolution
- Bong Bong Marcos is a wide reader – and he also read about the enemies of his father’s regime
- There’s no sign of hatred in Bong Bong Marcos’s heart over the Aquino clan
- Bong Bong Marcos is a logistic planner when he implemented improvements in his Ilocos territory
- He is a fluent Tagalog speaker despite spending most of his young life abroad
The rest you can judge for yourself from the video. All I can say is – you can clearly see how knowledgeable Bong Bong Marcos is with what he is into, in contrast with President Noynoy Aquino’s CNN interview with Christiane Amanpour where he seems to be in limbo – answering the opposite on what is seen in the footage of the Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda aftermath. Your call!
Web Design by:Miracquel Puelong
It must have been the narrow escape from death surviving a car accident that finally led me to follow my conscience of going back to my roots through basic traveling and see for myself what has become to the lands that my forefathers entrusted me. Life is too short. It’s now or never. Never mind the 15 years of living and working in Thailand. The time has come for me to embrace the challenge.
I have always lived with the motto, “A man who risks nothing- gains nothing” and, I always deepen the stakes. So be it. Remembering Cebu and Mindanao how they were during my childhood days and the capabilities I had in terms of public relations, I was determined to show to my International media friends how these destinations really are, bearing in mind that I could raise funds for a good cause through sponsors to support this adventure travel project and I could put this on T.V. and get media attention to project the actual situation of at least a part of mainland Mindanao on a different angle away from terrorism and Cebu as the gateway to Visayas and Mindanao.
I’ve always thought what life each soul is assigned to, is a game of chance. My running buddy Finn Sorensen, an ex-Danish commando, who gained his expertise dealing with terrorism from the military just agreed in escorting me to this ultimate trip without too much convincing. He took it as a holiday offer to also visit his friends in Manila. So, Finn took the direct flight to Manila to have some time with his friends and off I went starting my backpacking spree from Bangkok’s “Hua Lumpong” Train Station going to Hatyai with the intention of visiting my younger sister quickly in Brunei after sorting some routes out in Malaysia.
Going out of Thailand…From Hatyai to Butterworth, Malaysia Getting to Hatyai by overnight sleeper train is easy, should you need or want to go there on a budget; it leaves Bangkok at 2.00 pm and arrives in Hatyai at about 7.00 am the next day. You could also order meals from the train’s menu at a very affordable cost. It is located in the south of Thailand, about 25 km inland from the east-facing coast of the central isthmus. The stopover in Hatyai was pretty fast considering the immigration procedures that passengers going to Malaysia had to undertake.
The train proceeded to its destination and arrived in Butterworth, Malaysia at around twelve in the afternoon. The normal “chopping” of passports continued and there were transports available as soon as we were heading out either going to Penang by ferry or to Kuala Lumpur by bus. I chose to continue my trip to Kuala Lumpur since I really wanted to try out these “low-cost airlines” that made KLIA (Kula Lumpur International Airport) as their hub. In a matter of 5 hours or so, I found myself in the KL Bus terminal looking for a taxi that would take me to KLIA for 30 Ringgit.
Once in the airport, I shopped around for the most convenient and affordable flight to Brunei to the point of befriending the very helpful airline counter personnel of Malaysian Airlines who was kind enough to refer me to “Air Asia”, the most successful low-cost airline in the region with the motto, “Now, everyone can fly! It could have been more convenient, immigration wise as I was told if there was a flight to Labuan which is 45 minutes by ferry away from Bandar Seri Begawan, the modernized capital of Brunei but the only choice I got at that time was to fly to Miri which is 3 hours away by land from the capital.
Without any reservations, I just lined up to get my ticket, checked in, and for 80 Ringgit (35 Ringgit if I had a reservation well in advance), I was promptly on board Flight no. AK 312 departed at 7 pm and arrived in Miri at 9:15 pm. I was lucky enough to be talking to a Malaysian woman with her two children during the flight who offered me to share their reserved car to Bandar Seri Begawan for 50 Ringgit. The picturesque sights from Miri made me realized that Miri is more than just a booming oil and timber town; it is the gateway to the northeast region, rapidly becoming Sarawak’s most popular tourist area.
Visa to Brunei is not required for visiting Filipinos if staying for not more than 15 days provided that you have a “show money” of 600 Brunei Dollars and a return ticket. At the immigration checkpoint, I got away from the show money requirement after the driver of the car lent me some Brunei dollars to show to the officer but I was not ready for my return ticket because I have not thought where to return at that time; to Thailand, my country of residence or to the Philippines, my home country. Although after a thorough investigation and too many documents I have to dig from my luggage to show that I am a desirable tourist, I was able to finally enter Brunei. Definitely not my first Brunei visit but obviously, first time coming from the “back door”, as they say.
My sister, who was fascinated with my adventurous ordeal, pampered me for two days and even bought me a direct flight ticket to Manila to catch up with my colleague, Finn Sorensen. It was during this flight that I met Jerry Manego, a Brunei based Filipino- Korean Foreign Diplomatic Missions Officer who got me acquainted with traveling from Brunei’s Serasa Ferry Terminal close to the city of Muara, to Kota Kinabalu – Sandakan – Mindanao via Zamboanga, at least for my next adventure trip.
I found Finn in Manila anxious to do the adventure in the wilderness and not even his tremendous stomach upset could stop him from traveling with me to Cebu the next day via Cebu Pacific. Upon arrival, my cousin Lani Dakay, drove us to the Northern part of Cebu, the origin of my mother’s family, passing Danao, then to Luyang, Carmen Cebu. Luyang is a fishing village rather than a tourist destination and I was amazed that our provincial way of life was enough to have this appealing effect from a foreigner like Finn, an experienced traveler. He was fascinated by the simple but happy life in the village where laughter and pure hospitality from men and women alike really excel, the exciting cockfighting gatherings also amazed him, the nipa huts also attracted his innermost sight and even just the short nap at the beach seemed like boasting his spirit is experiencing another local custom late at night – the “baile” or outdoor disco featuring the town’s after fiesta fundraising event; the Coronation of the barrio Queen and her consorts. Showing once again, one of the secrets to the seemingly boundless energy of many Filipinos is the love of music and dance.
Basic accommodations along the beach for as low as PHP 800 per night were good enough but we cannot refuse the humble offer of our host to spend the night at the comfort of their own house with full board meals for free. On the way back to Cebu City, we managed to take some artistic shots of the Magellan’s cross before embarking on the overnight Cebu Ferries Trip to Cagayan de Oro since the Superferry was not going to Ozamis that day. It was also a real experience on board the ship. The Tourist Class was not bad at all. In fact, Finn commented that it was actually too good for a back to the basic adventure. While having some beers in the entertainment outlet of the ship,
I have learned some jungle tips from Finn. To summarize, the most important thing to take on a mountain adventure is your brain – good decision-making skills, the ability to adapt to changing, even life-threatening, situations, and to make the most of the equipment and resources that you have with you.” Sometimes it takes a few mistakes to reach that ideal.
The early docking of the ship at the arrival pier was greeted by native people on bangkas (small boats) asking for some “pasalubong” (gifts) perhaps. Some passengers threw coins to the sea and to our great astonishment, the natives hurriedly dived down to the deep to search for it and they seemed to have collected them all; coins, snacks, candies, and personal items. Bornean Access to the Philippines Backpacking Tips The beauty of the trip to Ozamis was actually not the destination but certainly “the way” to the destination. It was not at all a problem asking our way around and we were never in trouble due perhaps to our casual but decent looks and politeness. The “Rural” bus brought us down passing Iligan halfway of the trip and as far as Tubod where we have to cross the barge to Ozamis. It helps traveling light with a knapsack by land wearing a comfortable shirt and pants with a hat. It fits rain or shine and enhances easy mobility under strenuous circumstances.
Few more hours on the bus going to our destination in Mindanao, Calamba, Misamis Occidental really gave me much pride in how beautiful Mindanao is. Abundant rivers with clear waters, green, natural forest, endless rice plantation, orchards, and ambiance very close to nature that you can smell the freshness of the earth. The house that I remembered as my grandparents’ big house on my father’s side is now a ruined old house. Nevertheless, familiar faces still linger, only, they are a lot older plus many more young additions. To make the most of our trip there, it was crucial to start moving to the forest so that we could accomplish something before sundown. The family’s over 17 hectares-Bitibut hills in Sapang Dalaga was my favorite. This is where I dreamed of having my native resort someday. It was composed of seven hills with a source of spring water dripping the whole year round since time immemorial. On the second hill, we met one of the families looking after the land.
The picture of the old man riding his young horse with his family on the background was a breath-taking angle. The reward of reaching the peak of the 3rd hill was the spectacular view of the island of Siquijor. As we hurtle down the hill to get to the next one, we came across men harvesting some of the coconuts for copra trading. The only surviving means of income of the land. Enough to pay land taxes and the shares of the people looking after them. The combination of lush forest, hilly slopes, creeks, and plateaus could make this place an ideal site for an adventure run. A refreshing fresh young coconut break was our reward that afternoon, which we gleefully shared with the locals.
The night set in and our intention of sleeping under our tents did not materialize since it was safer from the snakes to take a nap in the nipa hut but only after having our survival dinner – bread and canned goods. The journey continued early that morning surveying other adjacent family properties such as the 28 hectares shrimp farm area, orchard sites, and paying respect to the private grave of my grandparents. At last, we were treated to a sumptuous seafood home-cooked meal that did justice to our energy-draining schedule. The smooth sailing
WG& A’s Superferry trip from Ozamis back to Cebu allowed us to regain our inertia. Here, we re-counted our backpacking experience summing up the most convenient route for the planned trip of our adventurers from Bangkok over a few bottles of San Miguel beer in the music and disco lounge of the ship. Finn went back to Thailand pretty much the same as when he came into the Philippines but I still had to sort out going back to Brunei by sea via Zamboanga, then, hopefully back to Thailand. This was not as smooth as by land coming into Brunei.
At first, I was a little hesitant about doing most trips alone, but I took a chance and found it to be the most rewarding experience of my life. It has changed me in a way that I never thought possible. It opened up my eyes to a lot of new things in life. It’s amazing how much we can learn from other cultures and re-discover our own, seeing through the gradual transitions of the travel from borders to border. I encourage everyone that reads my travel experience to go and find your roots by means of basic travel modes and backpacking to gather the most detailed information. THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER DONE!!! Unbeatable freedom in exploring our very own and great way of knowing what we could offer in terms of tourism and discover our uniqueness from our neighboring countries. If we do not explore our country first,who would?
- Never leave without a map
- Make a research about your destination before going
- Know most if not all of the transport means of the area and its alternatives
- Budget your trip. Do not bring excessive cash and do not rely on credit cards
- Be fit. Exercise daily. Stretching and meditation helps
- Travel Light
- Include Diarrhea tablets in your medical kit
- Take daily dosage of Vitamin C
- Bring food and water supply
- Wear comfortable but decent gear
- Be flexible
- Wear a hat
- Bring a rain coat
- Bring extra footwear
- Do not wear jewelries or bring expensive accessories
- Never leave your belongings unattended
- Do not trust a new friend you happen to meet along the way
- Travel with an open mind
- Do not hesitate to ask the locals for any information
- Be friendly and polite
- Bring small tokens for the nice and helpful people you meet along the way
Please note that this article was written in between 2005 to 2006 – so, the details may differ slightly compared to the present time – but the whole essence should be the same.
Image Source: MTholyoke