The picturesque alpine resorts high above sea level, nestled in the stunning mountain ranges of Europe, aren’t just a skier’s Mecca.

Sweet Lie or Bitter Truth

If you're given a chance to choose in a situation which involves knowing a lie and truth, would you be happy to hear the sweetness of a lie or choose to get hurt as long as you're hearing the truth?

Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA) a.k.a Traitor In Action

TIA or Transient Ischemic Attack is a sudden onset of a focal neurologic symptom and/or sign lasting less than 24 hours.

When You Played The Music

Your music is very nice, very nice. However, I don't know when will it stay nice.I don't know when will it stay as a music to my ears.

Zabadani Cafe In Layers and More

Zabadani Cafe offers Layered Coffee, Soda and Milk Tea and whole lot more. Great place, great food.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

LIVING NICE Chapter One: First Inspiration

Let the setting of the story be rewinded few years back.

A little girl was all set to attend her first ever school day. Everything’s new: shoes, uniform, bag, pencils, notebooks, crayons and lot of kiddie school stuff that a typical kindergarten student would have. Her favorite among her school things was that grayish, rectangular paper pad with red and blue lines on it. It was where she learned how to draw that first straight line, not so perfect circle, the crooked big and small letters of the ABC as well as 123. The basics that she learned amazingly fast. Maybe she’s gifted or maybe she’s just motivated, no one knows.

One day her teacher told them to memorize the first ten numbers for an oral recitation test the next day. She’s excited as usual and even forced her mom to let her memorize not only the first ten numbers but the first hundred. She just can’t wait for the sun to rise the next day and be in school for the oral recitation.

“One, two, three, four... eight, nine, ten!”, she said pronouncing every word properly infront of her amazed classmates and teacher. Then they applauded, but wait, she’s not finish yet as she continued reciting. “Eleven, twelve, thirteen... twenty!” she said proudly. “Wow!, very good, very good, you may now take your seat, you are very good,” her teacher said to politely stop her.

She’s proud of herself, and even at the back of her mind she continued counting up to the hundredth without even bothering to listen to her other classmates’ recitation.

The entire school year was all about her having perfect scores in almost all subjects. She used to get the highest rank every Honors’ Day holding her father’s hand up the stage to get her Honors’ Card. Not until one day, her “yaya” (nanny) told her that in the coming Honors’ Day, she won't be having the first rank. With her eyes wide open, heart pounding so fast and tears starting to fall from her eyes, at the back of her mind she said “no! it couldn’t be! What did I do?”. Her nanny continued to tease her and when they arrived home her talkative nanny shared the sad news to her parents. 

She can clearly see the upset look of her father and her mother approached her. Before her mom could say anything, she started crying. Her mom calmed her down and told her that she should avoid watching TV during the night because that might have caused the decrease in her grades.

That night she couldn’t sleep. She’s clearly hurt and continued crying and was not even excited for the Honors’ Day the next day. She’s too shy to get the second rank card and she knows that the audience would be whispering at that moment against her.

Honors’ Day came and everyone’s ready for the event, her talkative nanny was also attending at her dismay. The top five students of the academic period would be given recognition during Honors’ Day and for the first time, she noticed every detail of the event. During the previous Honors’ Day, her mind usually focused on that moment that her name would be called to get the first rank and nothing more. She usually ignore the other students who will be getting the other award because she simply didn’t care. However, on that particular Honors’ day, she observed each and every student up on stage and the boy who went up to get the third rank caught her attention. He’s accompanied by his mom and his eyes was sparkling with so much joy. Sincere happiness was all over his aura and it seems that his rank wasn’t that much of an issue to him. 

A certain feeling of guilt covered her entire self that time thinking about what she’s feeling. The boy on the third rank was very happy while she's hating herself for getting the second rank. The boy’s happiness and attitude on that day has become her inspiration since then. That failure that her nanny had been ranting to her everyday had become a blessing in disguise instead. Because of that failure, she learned to humble herself and accept that sometimes you’re not always on top.

From then on, she was able to notice her classmates and pays attention whenever they share something in front. She continued to study hard and even finished her kindergarten with the highest rank. Of course she can’t foget that 3rd rank boy on stage with positive aura as he ramained to be her inspiration.

Now she’s confident enough that wherever elementary school she will be placed, she can survive the pressure. With her parents’ support and that inspiration that she had during her kindergarten years is more than enough for her.

Up Next: Chapter Two: The Intelligent Crowd -niceurdaneta-

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Socially Empowered Individuals Can Do A Lot; Social Media For Social Change by Move.PH

Everything started because of my eagerness to see and get to hear one of my favorite journalists, Maria Ressa, speak live. She's one of the speakers for 'Baha! Kitay Bahala' part of "Social Media for Social Change" campaign of Move.PH. The event happened yesterday at the auditorium of Ateneo De Davao University.

At first, my main goal for attending the event is just to hear Ressa speak, later did I know that her co-speakers are equally empowered just like her. I arrived at the venue earlier than most of the crowd because I want to sit as near the speakers are as possible. 

Few minutes later, students from different schools started to fill in the venue while I stayed in my seat patiently. I prepared all the necessary gadgets that I need. Not that much though because I only have a digital camera for candid pictures and my Blackberry to update everything in my social networking sites. I promised some of the friends who can't make it in the event that I would be sharing everything in real time. And that's what you call pressure! Thanks to technology. I also brought my laptop with me so that I can blog everything immediately which I failed to do because I got overwhelmed of the entire event afterwards. Good thing ADDU has campus-wide wifi and being online is not problem.

The event started with a minute of silence for the Maguindanao massacre followed by introduction of speakers by Gail Ilagan of Move.PH. First to step on the stage is Patricia Evangelista, she's part of Move.PH and according to my debater/ADDU professor Philip Garlitos, Patricia represented our country during the 2004 International Public Speaking Contest held in London wherein she bagged the highest award. Her topic is about telling stories and how can these stories change lives. She presented a video clip of her interview with "Agua Bendita" a.k.a Andi Eigenmann and Andi's story. It silenced the crowd and at the back of mind I keep on saying "Oo nga naman..." (yeah *nod... nod*). What I've learned in her topic is that each of us has our own story and if we're not going to tell it, someone else will and it might be in a version that we don't like. Patricia ended her part by encouraging everyone to tell their story and be heard.

Next up on stage was Ateneo's Fr. Dan McNamara,S.J. who talked about "Understanding Floods and Disasters". Basically he imparted the scientific side of the series of floods that we are experiencing right now and in the future. Davao City just had a fair share of a deadly flood in Matina Pangi few months ago. In my entire stay in Davao City, that was the first time I've heard the city facing that kind of calamity. A day after that, me and my friends helped the people in DSWD-Davao packed relief goods for the victims. Some of my friends who lived in the area told me that their entire family stayed at the second floor of their house and that everything in the first floor were under the brown water. Local news keeps on updating everyone and unfortunately there were quite a number of people who lost not only their houses but their loved ones as well, 31 people to be exact.

Following Fr. McNamara is Pepito Capili of Davao City Central 911. He tackled about the effective disaster response of the unit. He presented several analysis on how the flood happened and how will the unit face it the next time it will touch down the city. He also made mention that since Dabawenyos were not used to these situations, it is very hard to convince them to follow stat orders. He ended his topic by saying "We (911) are prepared, how about you?".

In line with the topic of Disaster Management, Chay Hofileña of Move.PH took the microphone and imparted her topic in the midst of the interested audience. She shared about using Social Media for Disaster Management and Reporting. She said that there are approximately 26.8 million Filipinos on Facebook and we ranked 8th globally in terms of Twitter users, the very reason why Move.PH is in Twitter and Facebook. 

During times of disaster these social networking sites would be the most reliable source of information that we could have. It updates on real time, provided of course that internet connection is present in the place, and it brings more trust from friends and family. It has wider reach and even cheaper than texting and calling as well. She also highlighted the utilization of hashtags and tweetdeck to have a more organized view of tweets. 
(I'm so proud because Hofileña mentioned in the middle of her topic that Davao City is the only city with a functional 911.)

Next up on stage is the multimedia journalist Ayee Macaraig to share the fun and challenge of being a multimedia reporter. She's basically from Davao City that's why she can relate to the audience more than anyone else. She keeps on switching languages (Tagalog and Bisaya) and even had a "Miriam Quiambao-Moment" (slipped and gracefully stood up) while sharing her topic. Being a multimedia reporter is doing a job of many people. She said that you're alone most of the time and all that you have is your amazing iPhone, tripod and a backpack containing your laptop. She also added that you may not have the quality of gadgets that your co-media men have during an exclusive moment, above everyone else, you've got the speed. Still you are using the skills of traditional journalists but this time you're faster. I call it giving the news through on the spot Twittering and Facebooking =)

Last person on the podium is definitely not the least. Maria Ressa's speech is the one I've been longing to hear. I believed that in my previous post, I was able to present her very well. Her topic is about Social Media For Social Change and she started it by presenting three quotable quotes about choosing FRIENDS. 

She shared about the importance of choosing our circle of friends because eventually, they're the ones who will be used to know who we are. She imparted the Three Degrees Of Influence Rule which is about the capacity of social networks to transmit ideas, emotions and subliminal signal that influence behavior up to the third degree. "Everything we say or do ripples through our social network, affecting our friends, friends' friends and our friends' friends' friends," she added. Then she talked about Crowd-Sourcing along with its 4 criteria; Diversity of Opinion, Independence, Decentralization and Aggregation. 

Towards the end, she summed up the placement of Move.PH by showing a diagram of three interconnected circles. The circles are professional journalism, the wisdom of crowds and the rich media. Move.PH is right at the middle, as the combination of the three. 

Being socially empowered is very challenging yet very fulfilling. There is no need to become professional journalists to be one, because through our own little ways we can impart information by just being socially active. Instead of just sharing what you feel or what you're currently eating in your social networking sites, why not share something useful or informative. All we have to do is to be sensitive and observant.

Hearing And Meeting Maria Ressa Live; For The First Time

Who would have thought that by simply checking my social networking accounts (Facebook and Twitter), would lead me to an event of seeing one of the best renowned journalists of Southeast Asia, Maria Ressa.

For those who are not familiar with her, here's a brief background from Wikipedia:

She is a Filipino journalist who worked for Cable News Network (CNN) as Manila Bureau Chief from 1988–1995 and as Jakarta Bureau Chief from 1995-2005. As CNN’s lead investigative reporter in Asia, she specialized in investigating terrorist networks including videotape coverage of what experts believed to be Osama bin Laden’s private videotape collection in Afghanistan. Ressa also spent six years in ABS-CBN (2004-2010) as head of the News and Current Affairs. She is now an author-in-residence at The International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) of Nanyang Technological University's S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.

I first saw her in a local news and right at that moment I was fascinated with the way she speaks. Soft, clear, elite-sounding and very convincing that anyone would really stick their eyes on TV and listen. Well, that's exactly what happened to me. From then on, I became curious of who she is and finally decided to include her in my "A moment with..." photo collection. It is just a dream collection of great people who I want to have a picture with if given a chance.

One of my college friends shared a link in Facebook which is an article entitled, 'Maria Ressa: Courage makes a woman sexy' 10 Things You Should Know About Maria Ressa by Bianca Gonzales in philstar.com. After reading it, I checked Maria Ressa's twitter account just to find out her reactions for the article. Then I noticed one her RT'd (Retweeted) tweets mentioned my place (Davao) and suddenly my heart started to beat fast when I discovered that she's going to have a speech in Ateneo De Davao University for the Move.PH organization entitled "Baha! Kami Bahala, Social Media for Social Change". 

The super excited "ME" did all the research to confirm the event. Then I came across Move.Ph's Facebook account and asked for details including the fee that I need to pay to witness the event. They immediately replied and said that I would be very welcome to attend and that the event is for FREE (a yehey for that!).

I immediately cancelled all my appointments the next day and prepared for it. I strongly believed that a camera would be necessary. Though I can use my phone to take pictures and immediately upload it my Facebook and Twitter accounts, it could drain my battery that fast. So I saved my phone for Twittering and Facebooking and just borrowed a digital camera from my friend.

I arrived at the venue early and was able to have a seat right at the back of Maria Ressa! Isn't that great?! =)

The entire event was very amazing, I've learned a lot not only from Maria Ressa but from the rest of the speakers as well. 

There would be a separate post for the event so that I can clearly share what I learned from each of the speakers. -niceurdaneta-

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Happiness Of Being PR1

I know for some legendary bloggers out there, my happiness is purely nothing but for an amateur blogger like me who started from scratch, being able to discover that your blog's page rank finally reached the first level is truly a moment of a lifetime.

I can purely say that I'm a writer and not a blogger by heart. For me, all bloggers are writers but not all writers are bloggers. I'm just so glad that I finally discovered how to become both. I have a lot of blogger friends and seeing their blogs online influenced me to have one too. Of course it isn't just a simple article writing that I used to do in Microsoft Word before. It would also involve a little bit of web designing and understanding the confusing world of HTML for your widgets/gadgets. Well, thank you for the existence of www.blogspot.com for the ready-to-use templates. Thank you as well to Google, that has been always there to answer my ever confused mind. 

It has been always my dream to have my own domain but it's just that I honestly don't know how it works. As of now, I'm enjoying this free blog that I have wherein I can post anything that I want. Frankly speaking, I also don't know what will this PR do to your blog in general. Accordingly, the higher your PR, the more popular your blog is. Google.com is PR 10, however, I just discovered recently that their rank dropped to 9 but still their rank is high. If that's the case then my blog is not that popular yet. I really don't care about it anyway because my purpose in blogging is not to become popular in the first place. I just want to have a space in the world wide web wherein I can place and keep my write-ups.

I've been googling what is this PR thing all about but found some PR checker sites instead. Out of curiosity, I checked my status. Most of the time I get a zero(0) rank results but now, I'm surprised that finally my blog reached the first level yehey! :) -niceurdaneta-

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

For Your Grieving Heart

Dear You,

God will definitely show you the way to smiling again. I know this experience will change you forever. Just remember all the good times you shared with your father and all the love he gave you throughout the years. He is not gone. He will live in your heart forever.

Your strength inspires me. I know the loss of your father is not easy to deal with. But the way your are handling it and helping your family is truly amazing.Your father would be so proud of the person you have become.

I will always be here for you. *hugs*

Your friend,