Yummy Eats 2012

Guys, it’s that yummy time of the year again when you can sample all sorts of yummy food items in just one place!

Last year, I attended Yummy Eats 2011 with my sons and we thoroughly enjoyed the gastronomic experience of walking from stall to stall sampling everything from beverages to pica pica to main dishes to desserts. I was especially amazed that there were so many more food stalls that were moving into healthy and organic dishes then. Maybe there will be more now as I hear there will be around 50 food concessionaires.

Throughout the day, there will be cooking demos too so that would be fun to watch for.

My post on that Yummy Eats experience in 2011 is HERE.

Brought to us by Yummy Magazine, Yummy Eats 2012 will be at The Rockwell Tent on May 26, 2012 from 10AM to 9PM. That is a LOT of hours walking around and taste testing.

Watch this TVC.


TEDx comes to Xavier School on Feb. 18, 2012

Xavier School is celebrating its 55 years in existence year-long. And one of the highlights of its celebration is the inaugural TEDxXavierSchool event which is happening this Saturday, Feb. 18, right in the Xavier School campus.

Just as a backgrounder, TEDx is an independently organized TED event which operates under license from TED. TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. At TED talks, the world’s thinkers and doers are given 18 minutes to talk about their passion. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.  These talks are provided free to the global audience at In fact, there is a TED app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch that allows you to view the videos on these devices.

In TEDx events, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. Just recently, my friend Jay Jaboneta, was invited to France to share about his Yellow Boat Foundation at TEDxMontpellier. But this TEDx event is close and dear to my heart because it is happening in the heart of my boys’ school. I am so proud that Xavier School is leading the pack when it comes to the use of technology in academe as well as in other pioneering ideas like this one.

In the heat of preparations…
(taken from TedxXavierSchool Facebook page)

The TEDxXavierSchool theme, “Innovation built on tradition”, will be a half-day event to explore ways in which we innovate based on our history and our own experiences. 
Innovators scheduled to speak in person at TEDxXavierSchool include:

Raynard Raphael Lao — a Xavier High School student, who is also a champion public speaker at both local and regional competitions 
Brian Maraña — International Programs Coordinator of Xavier School who has transformed the way students learn from the world 
Tony Meloto — Founder of Gawad Kalinga, providing countless homes to the homeless and building them into communities, and speaker at the World Economic Forum 
Dodie Ng — Games and apps creator who also founded a robotics organization and team for the youth while also being a Xavier High School student 
Mark Ruiz — Co-Founder of Hapinoy and Founder of Rags2Riches, providing social business enterprise and microenterprise development as a living means to some of the poorest people 
Brian Tenorio — Internationally-acclaimed, New York-based designer who has altered the way development is done through Design

Here’s a teaser video for TEDxXavierSchool.

For more on TEDxXavierSchool, follow their Facebook page and on Twitter via the hashtag #TEDxXS.


Co-chairs for the TEDxXavierSchool event are Galvin Radley Ngo, Coordinator of Xavier School’s Operation NExT (New Experiences with Technology), and Jessica Demegillo, Technology Integrator at Xavier School. Martin Gomez is the primary licensee for TEDxXavierSchool. This event is organized by Xavier School’s Operation NExT department, Club NExT student organization, and the Xavier School student Media Team. 


Book Launch: The Kaya Natin! Champions

My own kids can get cynical when it comes to discussions about transparency and good governance. They are old enough to be aware of how dirty and corrupt the systems are in government and even, I daresay, in pockets of the private sector and in the lives of the common Juan. 
Based on the Corruption Index 2010, the Philippines ranked 134 out of 178 countries with a grade of 2.4 out of a perfect 10. We are in that ranking together with countries like Bangladesh, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Vietnam is even doing better than the Philippines, ranking 116.
So it was quite a delight for me to be invited to the launching of a book by the Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership. Called “The Kaya Natin! Champions: Inspiring Stories of Good Governance and Leadership in the Philippines”, the book is the first in a series of books that features 10 government leaders who have embodied the values of effective and empowering leadership with integrity.
Harvey Keh, Lead Convener of Kaya Natin! gave the opening remarks, saying that with a rigorous advocacy on good governance, corruption and other transgressions in government can be alleviated.
This book is meant not only for those in government positions. More importantly, it is a way of showing the youth that there are still people in position of power who use this power responsibly and for the public good. Keh says “The objective of this book is to highlight the positive and inspiring stories of political leaders who are doing good for the country, and how this can help bring about empowerment for ordinary Filipinos who also want to make a difference.”
Each chapter covers one champion and follows them from their background to their political career and up to their leadership lessons.
In this first volume, the champions being introduced to us are the following: Kaya Natin co-founders Jesse Robredo, Grace Padaca and Ed Panlilio; former mayor Sonia Lorenzo (San Isidro, Nueva Ecija); Sen. Teofisto Guingona III; Rep. Teodoro Baguilat, Jr. (Ifugao); Rep. Bolet Banal (Quezon City); former councilor Mabel Sunga-Acosta (Davao City); Mayor Roque Verzosa, Jr. (Tagudin, Ilocos Sur); and Board Member Shirlyn Macasarte (Cotabato).
Former mayor Sonia Lorenzo (2nd from left) and Rep. Bolet Banal (center)
pose with the Kaya Natin! book’s editors and Harvey Keh

With former councilor Mabel Sunga-Acosta of Davao City

Even as the first volume is being launched, I hear the second volume is already in the works. That is great! The more people we feature, the more we can inspire ordinary citizens, the youth and those already in government to take up the advocacy for a broader base of transparency and good governance.
During the launch, we heard from 2 of the champions featured, former mayor Sonia Lorenzo and Rep. Bolet Banal. I bought myself a copy and am looking forward to reading the book itself to read their stories in greater detail as well as the stories of the other champions.
The Kaya Natin! Champions Volume 1 book is available at Fully Booked, the Kaya Natin Office (call 02-990-0928) and the Ateneo de Manila University Press (call 02-426-6001 ext. 4612).

Metro Manila Traffic Navigator launches – with more to come

Last August 1, 2011, the Metro Manila Traffic Navigator (a web-based, real-time traffic situationer) was formally introduced to the riding public by executives from both the MMDA and TV5 present, as well as media and bloggers. When I last blogged about the Metro Manila Traffic Navigator last June 29, the first day its beta version was opened to the public, I was delighted to find the page so easy to read, clean and as real-time as you can get (with updates every 5 to 15 minutes).

The Traffic Navigator was a personal savior for me. While MMDA was already doing a good job of announcing traffic situations in the Metro via their Twitter account, it was still difficult to filter the timeline. For example, in the case of Tropical Storm Falcon, I was attending a despedida for a friend and it was raining cats and dogs outside. I went online before going home and checked MMDA’s Twitter timeline to see if the route I was taking was going to be flooded. I did find out but not after some amount of scrolling through the timeline searching for the tweet specific to what I needed.

With the Traffic Navigator, you get a visual image of the initial 6 lines that are up (EDSA, Quezon Avenue, Espana, C5, Roxas Blvd and SLEX), the various points along each line and the traffic situation in any of 3 colors – red, yellow and green. Just on the homepage alone, it’s easy to check the red (heavy traffic) points and make plans for an alternate route. The Traffic Navigator has a system view, line view, and a Google Map view so you get the situation from a macro or micro level.

At the formal launch, MMDA Chairman, Atty. Francis Tolentino; TV5’s Chief of News and Information Division, Ms. Luchi Valdes;  and TV5’s editor-in-chief, Mr. Roby Alampay, talked about how the idea of Traffic Navigator was born and what they hoped it would achieve in terms of upping public service levels. MMDA’s Yves Gonzalez also explained how the app was being updated to reflect real-time traffic situations. Since it began operations, about 6,000 drivers and commuters have already consulted the Traffic Navigator.

The Traffic Navigator is so versatile that it will run on, and is optimized for, any PC-based or mobile browser. It has been tested to run smoothly on Wintel computers, Macs, Linux machines, iPhones, iPod Touches, iPads, Android phones, Windows Mobile, Opera, and any web browser currently installed on mobile gadgets.

Watch this short video to get a bird’s-eye view of Traffic Navigator:

Here’s more good news. While version 1.0 currently has 96 points and 6 lines, version 1.1 will have 140 points and 9 lines (plus an extended C5 line). Here are the additions:

* The C5 Line #4 which currently stops with Libis Flyover will be extended to include the following points: Bonny Serrano, P. Tuazon, Aurora Boulevard, Xavierville, Ateneo de Manila University, Miriam College, C.P. Garcia, UP, Capitol Hills and Tandang Sora.

* An Ortigas line will be added to include (from point to point): C5 Flyover, Greenmeadows Ave., Lanuza Ave., Medical City, Meralco Ave., San Miguel Ave., EDSA Shrine, POEA, La Salle Greenhills, Connecticut, Wilson, Club Filipino, Roosevelt, Madison, and Santolan.

* A Commonwealth line will be added to include (from point to point): Batasan, St. Peter’s Church, Ever Gotesco, Diliman Preparatory School, Zuzuaregi, Gen. Malvar Hospital, Tandang Sora Eastside, Tandang Sora Westside, Central AVe., Magsaysay Ave., University Ave., and PhilCOA.

* A Marcos Highway line will be added to include (from point to point): San Benildo School, Robinson’s Metro East, F. Mariano Ave., Amang Rodriguez, Dona Juana, LRT-2 Station and SM City Marikina.

Carlo Ople then announced another new thing coming soon: Traffic Navigator will soon become a native app for the iPad and iPhone. This means you can fire it up directly without having to open up a browser. Analysis shows that about 14% of those who use Traffic Navigator do so via a mobile device. It makes sense then to make a native app.

The app will contain TV5 news, TV5 tweets and Traffic Navigator. Social media features are included, allowing you to share the traffic situation on Twitter and Facebook for friends who may not have the same access.

First view upon firing iPad app are top stories from TV5 as well as its tweets.
Each row can scroll left-right to reveal even more news.

How the Traffic Navigator renders on an iPad

How the app renders on an iPhone

Of course, while the team behind Traffic Navigator tries their best to keep the data accurate, there will be instances when information may be inaccurate. MMDA calls on us to help them keep the information accurate by tweeting them at @MMDANavigator or texting them at 0933-7401258.

Metro Manila Traffic Navigator


Nominate your 10 bets for the Globe Tatt Awards now!

When it comes to adapting to technology, Pinoys are definitely not far behind but oftentimes, waaaay ahead! And we have taken like fish to water as well with social media, making the Philippines known as the Social Networking Capital of the world.

Recognizing that as many as 95% of online Pinoys are into social media, Globe Tattoo has launched the first ever Tatt Awards — a series of awards recognizing Filipinos who have used their passion and energy to create a strong, unforgettable social media presence.

Timed to launch last June 30 with the second annual celebration of Social Media Day, an initiative of award-winning social media and tech news site, Mashable, the Tatt Awards seek to find 10 awardees in 10 different categories to be the first to be recognized in the field of social media.

Judging will consist of social media peers as well as the Tatt Awards Council of Judges including veteran journalist and the force behind ABS-CBN’s News and Current Affairs initiatives Maria Ressa; Rock Ed Philippines founder Gang Badoy; prolific blogger and entrepreneur Cecile Zamora-Van Straten; tech blogger supreme and Tattoo ambassador Rico Mossesgeld; Flippish star and YouTube personality, director, and video blogger Kring Elenzano; RX radio DJ Chico Garcia; President of the Internet and Mobile Marketing Association (IMMAP) Hans Roxas-Chua; and Tattoo Head of Nomadic Broadband Business, Dong Ronquillo.

4 of the 8 judges (L-R): Dong Ronquillo, Gang Badoy, Rico Mossesgeld, Kring Elenzano

Nominations are already open and will run till July 14, 2011. After the nomination period, the nominees in each category will be shortlisted and will undergo another screening round with the judges.

You can nominate anyone (or in the case of some categories, any group) and you can nominate as many people as possible. Here are the 10 categories:

1. Word Slayer: Here’s an award for a blogger whose mastery of words showed wit, humor and grit to the Philippine blogosphere. Others followed and tried to copy but can’t. The person should maintain a blog heavy with stories told dominantly through text, as opposed to photos and videos. At least 60% of the blog’s content from June 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011 should be posts with 200 words or more. It can be on any platform (Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, etc.).

2. Video Slinger: Moving pictures do not just speak a thousand words, they speak millions. This award is for that one video maker (individual or group) who shook the Pinoy web space with his creations, ignited thoughts, and entertained people online. The person can have one video or a collection of videos with original content. It can be hosted in their very own video channel like Youtube or Vimeo or embedded on a blog, Facebook page or other social media channels.

3. #Thought-Mover: Twitter ain’t for geeks. Twitter is for changing the world. Here is an award for a person that started fire in the Philippine Twittersphere and united people around one thought. In 140 characters or less! The person should have a Twitter account which started one unique hashtag between June 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011. One unique hashtag per nomination.

4. The Artiste: Hundreds if not thousands of people share their art goodness to the world via the web. We look for an inspiring person whose fiery passion for creating visual art through original graphic design, animation or photography has caught fire in the Philippine online art scene. The art can be in the form of photo or video in any format. It can be hosted in their very own photo or video channel like Flickr, Tumblr, or Youtube. It can be on a blog, Facebook page or other social media channels.

5. The Advocate: This award goes to a person or a group of individuals who worked to improve the state of a societal cause in the Philippines through social media. This person or group invested time and effort (and sometimes even money) for the betterment of other people’s lives. The nominees can have a photo/video/audio channel, a blog, a Facebook page/app or a Twitter account on environmental, political, educational and other relevant advocacies.

6. Indie Rocker: This is for musical bands and indie artists who fought hard to claim their space in the hearts of the Filipino audience who knew that webtime is better than airtime. They created, shared, and now they lead people’s hearts through original music. The person can be part of a group or a solo artist. The songs can be in the form of audio or video in any length and format. They should be dominantly original (more than 50% of musical content). The content can be hosted in their very own music or video channel like MySpace or Youtube. It can be on a blog, Facebook page or other social media channels.

7. Stylisimo: This is for that one person that not only reviewed fashion but also set one that everyone followed and loved. This covers all Philippine fashion niches like clothes, events, and personalities. S/he can have a photo/video/audio channel, a Lookbook account, a blog, a Facebook page or a Twitter account to showcase his/her stylish posts.

8. Ballbreaker: For the opinion that launched tons of comments or retweets, from the person with so much balls to make that legendary post in the first place. S/he should be a blogger or a Twitter user who started a debate or revolution of opinions with just one (1) hard-hitting post. Everyone linked to it, posted a comment, shared it on their walls and retweeted the person’s thoughts because of an idea that’s meant to trend and spread like virus. It sparked a series of conversations in the Philippine social media space that will be remembered for a very long time.

9. Tech Junkie: Informed, in tune and in check with the latest in tech, this person do not only present us with access to the latest in trends, but also the backstage of the fast pace world of e-knowledge. From ground breaking gear to life changing technology, this netizen is always in on the action. Whether a blogger, a Twitter user, or a podcaster, S/he is always on the forefront of all things tech-related in the Philippines.

10. The One: The most influential trendsetter that shaped opinion, moved people, and ultimately starting fire in Philippine internet. This person is ahead of the pack in terms of online popularity and content. S/he may come from any background and engages on any platform. S/he can have one channel of engagement or an ecosystem of social media channels that you handle under your brand or name.

Nominations are HERE.
Rules are HERE.

And here’s a short video of what it’s all about.

Come and join. Nominate your social media peer and participate in the voting!


Clear’s Total 3 Scalp Care Line

I have been buying Clear shampoo for my boys for some time now. They love the Cool Sport Menthol variant. This was an additional incentive for me to go and attend Clear’s event recently at Midas Hotel. Curious me wanted to find out why my boys would specifically ask me to buy this brand over others they’ve tried.

Midas Hotel (which, I found out later, was a renovated Hyatt Regency Hotel) sported a unique, yuppie kind of look at the lobby, with a grand piano on a raised dais and modern glass and orange-accented decor
Midas Hotel lobby
Entrance to Midas Hotel
I was ushered by receptionists to an escalator and took an express ride all the way to the penthouse of the hotel. Good thing I had just washed my hair because it would have been totally embarrassing. I found out, upon reaching the penthouse, that like everyone else there, I was going to have a… SCALP TEST!
A hair analyzing probe was rolled over a portion of my scalp. Thankfully, I had no dandruff and no sebum (the oily substance secreted which, if in excess, can cause very oily hair and odor if bacteria feeds on it. But because of other hair concerns like dryness and hairfall, my overall score was an acceptable 70%.
My scalp test score – 70%!

After some canapes and cocktails, we were led into the main area to wait for the program to begin. Fortunately, we got a good place in the front of the stage with no cameras blocking our view.

Borgy Manotoc and Bianca Valerio were the hosts for the event and we all had such a good time listening to them because they were very casual, joked around a lot and were simply entertaining.
Borgy Manotoc and Bianca Valerio hosted the event
Clear’s brand ambassadors, Piolo Pascual and Bea Alonzo, were introduced. Finally, I got to set my eyes on dreamy Piolo and really admired how utterly straight and beautiful Bea’s hair was!
But on to the real VIPs of the day — the Clear Total 3 line of scalp care. Here’s the total line.

– that dandruff is primarily a fungal disease caused by Malasezzia?
– that we all have Malasezzia and when our scalp is unhealthy, the fungi could take over and cause flakes to appear?
– that our scalp is just like our normal skin except that it has more hair follicles, more sebum, more nerves and a lot of Malasezzia?
– that scalp damage can be caused by harsh shampoos, microbes, stress and poor diet habits?
– that dandruff is worse in cold season than in the summer?
– women’s scalps are tougher than men’s but get easily damaged due to more frequent styling and is prone to hairfall
– men’s scalps are weaker, have more sebum than women’s and so are more prone to dandruff?
With extensive research, the people behind Clear incorporated two nutrients into their Total 3 scalp care products that do not just wash away flakes from the surface of the scalp but penetrate deep down — to be exact, 3 layers down into the scalp — to give:
1. No Dandruff
2. No Dryness
3. Less Hair Fall
These nutrients are Nutrium 10 for women and Pro-Nutrium 10 for men. There are 10 vitamins and mineral nutrients inside Nutrium 10. And in Pro-Nutrium 10, there are two powerful anti-dandruff actives: Zinc Pyrithione and Climbazole. 

Unisex/Women (4 variants)
Complete Soft Care 2 in 1 – for all scalp and hair types; transforms hair from dry to soft and shiny
Ice Cool Menthol – for all scalp and hair types; refreshes and revives scalp and hair with a burst of menthol freshness
Dry Scalp & Itch Control – for dry, itchy scalp
Anti-Hair Fall – for weakened scalp and hair’ strengthens hair from roots to tips and increases hair’s defense against hair fall
Men (3 variants)
Cool Sport Menthol – for all scalp and hair types; the ultimate anti-dandruff refreshment
Anti-Hair Fall – for weakened hair fiber; strengthens hair and defends against hair fall
Cooling Itch Control – for dry, itchy scalp
I’ve seen Clear in action already. Right after the event, I gave the Cooling Itch Control variant for men to one of my boys who was showing signs of dandruff from another brand’s shampoo (it was something I picked off the shelf randomly but which turned out very ineffective). It hasn’t even been a month yet since he started his regimen on Clear but last time I looked, his dandruff was gone. Yay!
I’m excited to try the variant for hair fall. With my super long hair now, I need to make sure I keep the roots really strong and the tips soft.
Thanks to Unilever’s Clear team and to Bridges for this event.

Carrier launches its Designer Series airconditioners

Concepcion-Carrier Air Conditioning Company (CCAC) has long been a known name in air conditioning. At a recent launch I was invited to, I heard the Carrier executives explain why they decided to open up a designer line and what its intelligent features were.
For the longest time, airconditioners came in just one color – silver. Then in recent years, some brands came out with shell-white framed airconditioners. After doing a customer survey, Jojo Concepcion (CEO of CCAC) said that they were surprised to find out that for women, the color of choice was….BLACK!!! 
Well, I’m not surprised. Fashion-wise, black is THE color you see for daytime and nighttime wear. Whether worn in a casual gathering or in a formal occasion, black does look nice. Why not have an airconditioner that comes in black? It would look good and add class to the ambience of modern homes.
Midnight Black, Twilight Silver and Winter White are the colors of this series.

But not only do these designer airconditioners look good. They come with features that not only cool all the nooks and crannies of your home but also comes with an 8-in-1 filter (whoa!) and is supposed to save you energy costs because of its built-in intelligence.
Here are some of those features:
1. 8-in-1 filtering system – I only have 1 3M filter now in one airconditioner while with the others, I regularly take out and wash the filter that comes with the unit. But these designer series units have not 1 but 8 filters!
  • Anti-mold filter that prevents molds and other fungi from causing allergies, infections and toxicity
  • Zeolite filter/activated carbon filter – a natural earth mineral which remove volatile organic compounds and bacteria
  • Vitamin C filter – neutralizes free radicals and converts active oxygen to oxygen, preventing the increase of melanin which is the cause of dark spots on skin
  • Catechin filter – a bioflavonoid in green tea with antiviral/antioxidant qualities
  • Super sterilizer filter – harnesses the power of the 3 other filters (Sasa, Bio-Enzyme, Gingko Extract) to alleviate allergies and keep your family safe from harmful germs
  • Sasa – a bamboo extract with bacterial and viral deactivation properties
  • Bio-Enzyme – helps eliminate bacteria, viruses and molds
  • Gingko Extract – reduces agents that cause allergic reactions

2. Run-hour timer – This is similar to your prepaid card. You can automatically program your airconditioner to run according to a monthly budget and target energy consumption. 
3. Econo feature – when room temperature reaches a desired level, the unit shuts off and the electric fan turns on (used together with the Energy Savings Plug).
4. Cycle timer – you can program your unit to turn on and off at 30-minute intervals for a maximum of 24 hours.
5. Auto on/off – you can program your unit to turn on and off at preset times.
They also come with diagnostic features that alert you if the unit is not cooling, stops when ice forms on the coils, shows an error warning when the sensor has an open/short circuit, delayed start-up in case of power outage, and even a reminder when filters need changing or replacing. They come also with a 5-year compressor warranty and after-sales service.
These designer units are about the same price as most current standard airconditioning units. Here are the SRPs:

0.75 HP – Php 18,700
1.0 HP – Php 21,900
1.25 HP – Php 22,200
1.5 HP – Php 25,500

The Carrier designer series is available as window-type units or standalone slim variant for businesses and establishments.

Carrier executives at the launch with emcee, Tessa Prieto-Valdes

Yummy Eats: A cooking and eating fair this May

(click to enlarge image)
I love good food but before I try out restaurants, I always check my foodie friends for recommendations and feedback. Now, here is a painless way to try good food because everything under the NBC Tent, Fort on May 21, 2011 will represent the best food finds specially chosen by Team Yummy of Yummy Magazine.
Yummy Eats is a cooking and eating (I love that combination!) fair that will run from 10am to 6pm. Not only will you get to check out Team Yummy’s recommended food but there are activities running throughout the day.
In fact, I got a Facebook invite from LowCal Cafe to Yummy Eats just today as they are one of the best food finds. LowCal Cafe is behind those sugar-free but still delish dessert concoctions which even diabetics can take. I am actually hoping they will have their Sansrival at the fair. Their Sansrival is sweetened with Suchero (coco sugar) which I tried at the Suchero event some time back and I tell you, it tasted just as good as the sugar version (my post on Suchero is HERE).

I am looking forward to a day of eating because I am sure I’ll bump into my foodie friends there as well as get to taste some of the best food in town. And yes, I’ll do my workouts before and after this event.

The entrance fee is Php150 but pay only Php100 when you present the May issue of Yummy Magazine at the door.

Kudos to my neighbor and foodie friend, Fran of who is the force behind this event.

Hope to see you there!


Make Miracles Happen with the Miracle Machine

Kraft, through Miracle Whip, wants to whip up miracles outside the kitchen for this Christmas. It is inspired by the collective efforts during Typhoon Ondoy last year when many people turned to social networking sites like Facebook to mobilize rescue, feeding and rehabilitation efforts.

Out of this inspiration, they created the Miracle Machine, a Facebook application whose objective is quite simple: to get people, their friends, and their friends’ friends working together to make miracles happen for the less fortunate.

11 beneficiary organizations were selected after a screening process. Each organization was asked what their Christmas wish was. Beginning December 1 and every day thereafter, an organization will be featured by the Miracle Machine with a list of tasks that volunteers like us can fulfill if it is within our capabilities.

The idea is that each of us is a working part of this machine. For every task that each of us can do for any or all of these beneficiaries, your name will be put on a cog and added to the Miracle Machine. If all tasks are fulfilled by the end of the 12 days, the Miracle Machine will work perfectly and all 11 beneficiary organizations would have their Christmas wishes fulfilled.
Will you help whip up miracles for these 11 beneficiaries? It’s very simple.

1. Join the Miracle Machine on Facebook and click ‘Like’ to be a follower.
2. Go to the Miracle Machine tab. To go to the Miracle Machine application, click the image of the machine (similar to the one above). When prompted, click ‘Allow’.
3. Check the tasks under each beneficiary’s page and see which is do-able for you. Most are not difficult at all. The task could be as simple as donating something needed which you have at home already. Or rallying friends to donate or support. 
(Note: When you volunteer to fulfill a task, someone from the beneficiary organization will contact you to verify the task you wish to fulfill and make arrangements if logistics are needed.)
If you get your friends on Facebook to join the Miracle Machine as well, we can collectively grant the wishes of these beneficiaries. The more people who join and become part of the Miracle Machine, the more amazing things can happen.
Below are the wishes of the 11 beneficiaries as well as the tasks needed to make them come true. Do look over the tasks and see which ones you can volunteer for or donate to. Or which ones you can get family and friends to pitch in for. I’m sure you can pick out several from the list that you yourself can fulfill.


The Pacman Up Close

The whole Philippines stands still today. Very few vehicles were on the road when I went out earlier. Almost the entire country is at home, at pay-per-view establishments or on the internet intently looking for livestreaming links.
I had the chance to meet Manny Pacquiao a few months back. He was shooting a TV commercial for a pain-relieving drug, Alaxan FR, and I stayed quietly in the background watching him go through the shoots, joking with the staff in between takes, and noting how lean and muscular, absolutely no excess fat, and lithe his body was (a sign of the rigorous training and care he had for his body).

After his commercial takes, Manny came to the room where a few of us were waiting, and eagerly sat down on a sofa to field our questions. I was just an arms-length away from him — the closest I probably could ever get. Question after question was shot at him and he answered them all, even discreetly evading having to answer the then controversial issue between him and a lady actress.

I threw some questions at him (and yes, my speaking in Filipino was challenged, hehehe).

On how politics will affect his being a spiritual person and on how leading a Congressman’s life will affect his family, this is what Manny has to say:

My first closeup impression of Manny? What you see on TV is how he is in real life. He is humble. Low profile. Always smiling. Comes across as sincere in wanting to help his constituents in Saranggani. Loves the Philippines and God.

Today, Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao will go for his 8th title. Physically, he is way disadvantaged compared to Antonio Margarito in terms of height, reach and weight. But that has never stopped Manny Pacquiao from going for his dreams.

Today, everyone in the Philippines wishes him well and will be praying for him. And if he does get to win this fight, he will come back to the Philippines an even greater David who overcame (literally) the giant Goliath. And an even greater idol in everyone’s eyes.

We’re rooting for you, Manny!

(HAPPY UPDATE (sorry for spoilers for some people if you’re not on pay-per-view): Manny Pacquiao won the fight!!! This is boxing history in the making. It will be a happy day when the Pacman returns to the warmest welcome ever.)