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Nasaan Si Aga?

Do you remember a PC-based game called Carmen San Diego? My whole family loved that one. It’s too bad that the company that brought it to fame is now closed. We loved guessing where Carmen would show up next.

But wait…in this age of texts and Twitter, TV5 came up with a promo that is sure to test the geographical mettle of anyone.

None other than Aga Muhlach is the Pinoy Explorer of the latest promo “Nasaan Si Aga?” which will run from August 10 to September 1, 2011.

There are 2 challenges within this promo:
1. Text Promo
2. Twitter Promo
You can join one or both challenges.
Text Promo
Clues can be found in newspaper print ads as well as through the promo’s official site, www.nasaansiaga.com. Participants first need to register FOR FREE by texting AGA REG to 2929. You earn one raffle entry per answer sent. Smart, Sun and Globe subscribers can join.
Twitter Promo
Participants need to register contact info first at www.nasaansiaga.com. Then he/she can start tweeting and using the promo hashtag #nasaansiaga. Each Twitter user can earn only one raffle entry regardless of how many tweets were made. All participants who successfully tweet with the #nasaansiaga hashtag will have their profile photos collated by a program to form a mosaic on the official website. This mosaic will gradually reveal Aga’s location. The faster tweets come in, the sooner the image will be completed. Upon reaching 10,000 tweets, the complete image will be revealed.
www.nasaansiaga.com site, as of this posting
What Can You Win?
The promo is only till September 1, 2011.
The winner of the “Nasaan Si Aga” text promo will be awarded an Asian adventure for 2. The Twitter user chosen from the mosaic will win a brand new Apple iPad 2.
For more details on the mechanics, visit www.nasaansiaga.com. Here too is a YouTube TVC.

DTI permit no. 5733 (for mobile promo)
DTI permit no. 5913 (for Twitter promo)

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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 Interaksyon.com’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
http://mmdatraffic.interaksyon.com

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MMDA + Interaksyon 5 = Metro Manila Traffic Navigator

(UPDATE: Read my newer post, featuring the Traffic Navigator during its public launch, by clicking HERE.)

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has been getting a lot of praise as one of the government agencies that has been in the social media forefront, rendering public service via Twitter and Facebook. Now, they’ve levelled up once more! Partnering with Interaksyon (TV5), they have created a web-based, real-time Metro Manila Traffic Navigator.

When you go to the homepage, you are presented with the System View. At first glance, it reminds me of a subway map but it covers the major thoroughfares where the MMDA cameras (I presume) are located.

Using the red, green, yellow colors to signify heavy, moderate and light traffic, you can see at a glance where traffic is bad and where it is okay.
To get greater detail, you can also choose the Line View. In this view you can select any of several lines: EDSA, Quezon Ave., Espana, C5, Roxas Blvd, or SLEX. In this screencap, I had chosen EDSA and was presented with several streets intersecting with EDSA and their color-coded traffic status.
And when you click the Google Map icon on the extreme right of each street, this is what you see (in this case, I chose Quezon Ave.):
The website is interactive. At almost any page view, you have the chance to share the info via Facebook and Twitter as well as chat interactively with MMDA. You don’t need to open Twitter or Facebook as a separate window or tab anymore. 
I was told that updates to the website are done every 15 to 30 minutes. That’s not bad at all!
At the height of Tropical Storm Falcon, I was out of the house attending a despedida. Following the tweets of MMDA then helped me plan my route home. But this is one-up over the MMDA tweets. Why? Because if you want to check the status of EDSA-Shaw Boulevard, like I wanted to, it took a while to scroll through all the MMDA tweets to find one that reported on EDSA-Shaw. But with a visual map like this one, you can immediately check the EDSA line view and see the status of Shaw Blvd. there.
In the works also is the mobile app version of this so that it is easier for those with mobile phones to use the application.
The website is still in beta (as it says in the logo) and I think that’s because some links are not yet working. For example, I clicked on their About, FAQ and Contact Us links and was directed to the System View page. Looks like those links are still under construction.
Try it out now and see for yourselves. If you love MMDA already, you’ll love them even more after this. And thanks to Interaksyon TV5 for making this possible.
To go to Metro Manila Traffic Navigator, click HERE.
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Meeting Ana Julaton – WBO World Champion

WBO Champion and Pinay Ana Julaton

She’s of pure Filipino stock (she traces her roots to Pozorrubio, Pangasinan).

She’s gorgeous in person – tall, svelte, and ultra feminine in long tresses.
And that boxing champion belt around her belt is the real thing – she’s the reigning WBO world champion in the super-bantamweight division. And her coach is none other than THE Freddie Roach (Manny Pacquiao’s trainer)!
Her name is ANA “The Hurricane” JULATON.
I personally was interested in meeting her. I must confess this was the first time I was hearing about her because I really am not a boxing aficionado (least of all women’s boxing). But it intrigued me that a Pinay was making a name for herself in a realm normally associated with men.

Truth be told, I expected a manly female boxer with huge leg and arm muscles and a face that was more masculine than feminine. I think my reference was the female wrestlers I’d catch on TV every so often. But the moment I saw Ana, I was dumbfounded. In front of me was a beautiful (and I am not exaggerating), long-haired, feminine lady in a sleeveless blouse over maong pants and high heels. Her figure was more appropriate for a catwalk and she really looked fit and toned. And with a constant, radiant smile, she just made an awesome first impression on me.

I got to throw the first question at her: Why boxing?

And she explained that she was really into a lot of martial arts, including taekwondo, and when she tried boxing, she just naturally fell in love with it.

Here are some pictures I took of her. See for yourselves what the combination of beauty, brains AND brawn looks like…

Ana first visited the country last July 2010 after winning the vacant SBO 122-pound title belt with a split decision over Mexican Maria Elena Villalobos in Ontario, Canada. In that visit, she was able to meet Pres. Aquino at Malacanang, where she personally presented him with the Everlast gloves she used in winning the WBO super-bantamweight title.
Ana will defend her WBO title this coming February 25 at the Craneway Pavilion, Point Richmond, California against a tough and skillful veteran, Francesca Alcanter, who has a boxing record of 18-9-1. The fight, set over 10 rounds, has been dubbed “The Return of the Hurricane” (so titled because Ana is known as ‘The Hurricane’).
A native of San Francisco, California, Ana owns a record of 7-2-1. Despite a few fights to her name, it is truly proof of her boxing talent that she has already defeated female boxers with more boxing fights and longer fighting experiences under their belts. She begins her training with Freddie Roach next week at the famed Wild Card gym.
This fight will be telecast LIVE on TV5 and its soon-to-be-launched Aksyon TV UHF Channel 41, the Kapatid network’s sports and news channel.
Let’s all support our kababayan, Ana, on Feb. 25. Here’s another Pinay that all of us can truly be proud of.