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Testing my #IFTTT set up. Blogging from IG to WP. I should have done this eons of years ago. #2014travelphotos #Travel #boracay2014
Testing my #IFTTT set up. Blogging from IG to WP. I should have done this eons of years ago. #2014travelphotos #Travel #boracay2014 http://instagram.com/p/xJv5eouUj8/
Today, December 8, 2012, the first World Blogathon will be happening from 1PM to 6PM at Andy Hotel, Mandaue City. This one of a kind event is spearheaded by Cebu Bloggers Society Inc.’s Outreach Committee chaired by Jaysee Pingkian, the main initiator of the activity. World Blogathon aims to highlight various advocacy-oriented organizations by letting their voices be heard through blogging and social media.
How to Join?
If you are a blogger and would like to join the activity today, you can still catch up by filling up this registration form. On the other hand, if you are like me who can’t attend the event but are willing to support the cause, you may blog about World Blogathon and share your post to your readers and network of friends.
More information about World Blogathon
To learn more about World Blogathon, you may visit the following pages.
Official Website: http://worldblogathon.org
Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/312355638865859/
What is the Twitter Account of World Blogathon?
As of now the account is still being taken care of. For the mean time, you may use this hashtag #worldblogathon every time you tweet anything related to the activity.
How about Cebu Bloggers Society? How Can I join?
I’ve been really, really planning to write about this but I only got the time, drive, and resources right now. Hopefully I can finish blogging about all the memorable and unforgetable experiences I had during those 24 days.
An Opportunity to Travel for the First Time in Batanes
It was around January or February last year when a friend asked me if I would like to go with her to Batanes. I grabbed the opportunity without a lot of thinking.
Batanes is part of my Travel bucketlist. Thus, when an opportunity came, I didn’t have any second thoughts.
There’s so little time to prepare. Our scheduled flight from Manila to Basco was on March 1. We need to be in Manila the day before our scheduled flight. This means that I needed to book an overnight accommodation near NAIA because our flight schedule was around 5 in the morning.
Unfortunately, I had the dates (of our depature to Manila and departure to Basco) jumbled, and ended up needing to book for a 2-night stay. Clumsy, disorganized me. ):
Searching for a Budget Accommodation near NAIA
Agoda is my most favorite hotel search engine when it comes to booking for accommodations that brings value for my money.
After careful filtering and scanning of guest reviews, I booked a 2-night stay at DG Budget Hotel NAIA.
You can never really find a decent accommodation in Manila under one thousand pesos.
DG Budget Hotel costs 1.3K plus per night despite the fact that it is a semi-hostel with no private bathrooms. But, despite these, the good things about this accommodation completely outweigh the bad ones.
DG Budget Hotel is only 5-minute away from NAIA Terminal 4 via taxi. Location-wise, this is one of the nearest accommodations to the airport if you are flying to Basco.
The place is near convenience stores and there is a bank and ATM at the ground floor.
Our room is quite clean and their common bathrooms are odor-free. The corridor leading to the information area is also well-maintained.
The only bad thing is, they don’t provide a trash container in our room. We have to make use of a plastic bag as a replacement.
As a budget inn, it provides enough comfort for travelers on the go. The 2 single beds room that we booked are not that spacious, but it doesn’t matter because we didn’t stay there all day long. We went out most of the day to the mall.
Their standard room with double bed though is quite comfortable. We booked that room on our last 2-day stay in Manila before we returned to Cebu.
They also provide a free hot and cold water station which is really helpful especially for someone like me who need more than 1 serving of coffee when I’m working.
The staff are okay. There’s not much things to do other than man their mini grocery area where you can buy instant coffee and cup noodles.
Because I bring my work anywhere I go, internet connection is a crucial factor I consider when booking an accommodation.
DG Budget Hotel NAIA has above average internet connection speed. It’s also satisfying that they have two WiFi connections. This is one of the major reasons why we stayed again there before we went back to Cebu.
Value for Money
Definitely one of the best choices when it comes to budget, location, and of course, internet. Be sure to book the standard room with the double bed. It’s bloody comfy.
I highly recommend this place for fellow budget travelers.
Next: My First Flight to Basco, Batanes Aboard SkyJet Air.
[Screenshot photos used in this blogpost are all from Agoda.com]
Time flies so fast. Our beloved blogging organization will be celebrating its 7th year of founding this Sunday, February 15 at Marriott Hotel. February 14 is the actual founding anniversary but we’ll celebrate it on the 15th for the obvious reason that everyone is busy during the former.
Cebu Bloggers Society 7 Years Ago
From its humble beginnings, CBSi has become a community that doesn’t only promote camaraderie within the blogging sphere but has also been inspiring its members to pursue careers in the online writing and marketing professions.
CBSi’s main vision is fueled by the passion to promote Cebu through blogging and encourage Cebuanos to know more about their native homeland.
Cebu Bloggers Society 7 years ago came into existence on Valentines Day. I’m not sure if Mark Monta (the founder) has really nothing to do on that day (no date? lol) but thanks to him, CBSi was born and from there everything became history.
This photo shows how we look like seven blogging years ago. Everyone looks so young. I mean what the heck, we really look like c^$###! Hehe!
7 Reasons Why I’m Celebrating
Cebu Bloggers Society is one of the main reasons of my big career change 5 years ago. The organization enables me to meet many amazing people who have influenced in shaping my worldview when it comes earning money and doing business through the internet.
Without further ado, here are the top 7 reasons I’m celebrating.
1. Because I owe my very first news blogging coverage with CBSi.
Seven years ago, I have no idea how to cover news via blogging. This photo was taken during US Election Watch 2008 wherein our group was invited as part of the new media.
2. I met a lot of interesting and amazing personalities through CBSi.
My active years in the organization were filled mostly with amazing and talented people. This photo was seven years ago when we guested in a local radio tech program hosted by a prominent Cebuano journalist.
Uhmmn, yes. The guy beside me is an inspiration and one of the very few that I look up to. He’s no other than Atty. Ethelbert Ouano. There’s no dull moment when you are with this person. He is CBSi irreplaceable legal adviser. (;
3. CBSi made me understand more the importance of gender equality.
The group is composed of diverse individuals from heterosexuals, homosexuals, bisexuals, and every thing in between. Every one in the group wholeheartedly embraces and respects each fellow member disregarding gender preference. And, this is what made me stick more to the group.
4. It was CBSi that helped me mend my broken heart. (LOL)
A group of cheerful people plus a bit of alcohol solved it all. Well, they have no idea why I got myself drunk. Lol! Photo above was taken 6 years ago at McBilly’s house.
5. CBSi helps me polish my skills in writing, blogging, and marketing.
During my active years in the group, I learned a lot of things that help me enhanced my skills more specifically in writing, blogging, and online marketing. Photo above was taken during our monthly Board of Trustees and Committee meeting.
6. It was in CBSi that I learned how to loot for foods. LOL!
We always get invited to food parties and you know, eating is always fun when you are with a group of people. I can’t count anymore how many times I overeat when I was with CBSi peeps. (:
7. Because I experienced my very first SANDSTORM with CBSi.
Our sandstorm experience in Sumilon Island way back 2009 is still very vivid in my mind. When it hit us I thought I won’t survive and gonna die. LOL!
I really have so many things to say but I still have a lot of pending work this week. Will continue this list if I’ll get some “free time” next time.
Happy 7th Anniversary CBSi! Cheers to more years of blogging! Namaste!
This is how I describe my travel journey. A process of slowly jumping and reaching out to my dream, one precious realization at a time. (: There are a lot of times that I paused because I got so many hesitations and worries. Yet, along those hesitations, I found inspirations that helped me to jump, reach out, and just do it.
Budget travel is ideal with friends or with a group of people because you can divide the expenses, thus it would cost you less.
While traveling outside the country is great, you can also travel locally and enjoy world-class scenery that can only be found in your very own country.
Most of all, enjoy every small detail of your travels. Treasure each of them and share your stories to inspire others. At the end of the day, the things that matter the most are not your destinations but the experiences you encountered along the way. (Very “Oshoist”. I’m a fan of Rajneesh Osho. (:)
I’m so glad you decided to check my About page. My real name is Agnes Embile Jimenez but my online friends usually call me “Empress Of Drac”. I’m a true-blue Cebuana and this blog chronicles my journey on how to live frugally while traveling.
Honestly, there’s nothing frugal about how I live. This blog serves as my anchor which would help remind me the importance of saving money and to be prepared all the time.
This blog has been transformed a lot of times already. From an online diary where I post my personal rants, events blog, to a frugal living/freelance/prepping blog, and now, a blog that chronicles my quest to live a “location independent” lifestyle.
As of the writing of this page, I am still preparing to embark into a life-changing journey that would help me realize my dream – to travel…for cheap.
If you would like to contact me for guest blogging and advertising, just drop me an email at admin[at]empressofdrac[dot]com.
Wow! Is it 2013 already? I’ve been hiding in my bunker and just managed to get out now. LOL!
Seriously, I’m so happy that I have now a bit of time to blog that I can’t stop myself not to joke. The stress of overworking and settling personal matters is beyond me now. Whew! What a relief! I feel so free I can pack my bags now and travel the whole wide world (I wish, but I’m preparing for this in the very near future). LOL!
Anyway, what am I doing here writing about resolutions when the first quarter of the year is ending? Resolutions are often written in New Year’s month, right? Well, I don’t need to follow the norm and do that. Resolutions should be made every time you fail. The only thing we can do when we fail is to get back on our feet and plan again on how to succeed. At least, that’s the way I think.
Honestly, I’m a bit ashamed every time I look at the title of this blog – A Frugal Cebuana Blogger. Frugal my ASS! There’s no frugality on how I live the past few months – none and nothing at all! So what am I doing here blogging about frugality and stuff? Well, this blog is my anchor that pulls me back every time I got swayed into a different bloody direction. As overspending is a bad habit of mine, this blog would somehow remind me that I should get back to my original resolution and slowly get away from my old lifestyle.
A frugal lifestyle is not easy. It would take complete self-restrain and discipline. So here are my top 7 frugal resolutions that I should keep in my bloody head starting NOW!
1. Stop being gallant and let others pay for me. Yes, yes, yes! I have this “pride” thing in me that I often have the urge that I don’t need any one to pay for me. It’s actually a habit, and oddly I always feel satisfied every time I’m the one who pays the bill. Stupidity or generosity, this is something that I need to minimize to control my expenses.
2. STOP eating out. For God’s sake!! This habit is sooo horrendous! My partner and I often eat out and we often spend over a thousand pesos, and that’s just for the two of us – a friggin’ waste of money as we can always eat a meal worth Php200 (or lower than that) at home. Jeezzz!
3. Turn off the PC and its electric fan before dozing off. This is actually a product of my laziness. Our monthly electric bill always shocks me. Every time I went to bed, I often think that I’ll only sleep for around 3 hours and get back to work. But, that never happened. I often wake up 8 hours after that and when I checked my PC; it’s still running as well as the electric fan that I use to keep it from overheating. Aside from wasting money, I’m also endangering our lives by keeping these appliances on when we are asleep. I need to stop this right now or else…. Regret always comes at the end.
4. Learn to say NO, NO, NO! For those who know me personally, especially my family and close friends, they would definitely say that I’m the generous type. I seldom decline when a friend or a family member would ask me to give or lend them some money. Once they approached me, I often feel obliged to help them as I always think that it’s better that I’m the one who give than I’m the one who beg. Stupid or compassionate, my habit to always say yes is not helping me financially. Why? Because not all those who borrowed me some money pay me on time and a few haven’t paid their dues at all. ):
5. Start meal planning to cut back expenses in food. I often read about meal planning on some frugal blogs that I often visit. But, I never really attempted to try it. NOW is the time to start planning for our meals.
6. Create a daily expenses tracker. I’m done creating this and I just started recording our daily expenses. This will help us in minimizing our day to day expenses by giving us some clear factors which of the stuff we buy are not that important and which are the ones that are causing us to spend a lot.
7. Create a monthly savings tracker. This one is of utmost important. I really need this to track my achievement and to measure if I have maintained my resolve. For those who are like me, still struggling to get away from their overspending habit, then I strongly recommend that you create this tracker first.
So, what else? I really want to add an 8th resolution but I can’t do it right now. My 8th resolution would be to stop hanging out in coffee shops. But, at the moment, I really need to go to one every time I’m not at home as my work requires me to have a stable internet connection. F*ck SmartBro! Its connectivity and speed can’t be trusted. Yes, I have a SmartBro USB Broadband stick but it’s a big failure. (I really want to elaborate this but it would take me another blog post to share my experience.)
Let’s get back to my pending 8th resolution. I really, really want to avoid coffee shops but going to my fave shops is now one of my pastimes. Also, I’m sooo addicted to anything coffee. If a doctor would examine my intestines, he will surely find remnants of coffee in there. I consume coffee daily and I can’t work without it in my system. Tsk.
N.B.: If you are reading this post up to this line, then I’m sure, just like me you’re also struggling to live frugally or you’re also planning to live as one. For sure, you have your reasons why you decided to adapt a frugal lifestyle. Share them by commenting below.
Photo above is used under Creative Commons License. Credit.
N.B.: The article below is not just helpful for freelance bloggers but to any freelancers who travel a lot. It is written by Rachel Greenberg, a fellow writer from the TheDigest.com.
Whether I’m blogging silly photos of my cat in a bunny costume or offering tips on how to be a successful entrepreneur, the beauty of blogging is that I can write from the comfort of my own home. For all of those at-home bloggers that use a residential VoIP system, they get to experience the best of both worlds: they can work in their PJs, but they also have a fully-featured phone system that gives a highly professional outward appearance.
With VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), customers get a cheap Internet home phone service that is as fully-featured and reliable as any traditional home phone service, but without the high costs associated with traditional providers. In so doing, at-home bloggers can make every penny count without sacrificing quality home phone service.
If I’m blogging just for fun, blogging full-time, or blogging for a little supplemental cash, I’m most likely in the market for a money saving telephone system.
Installing a telephone line in your home office with a traditional phone provider can result in a huge bill. Traditional phone services often charge installation fees and technician fees on top of you regular high monthly phone bill. And if you want to add a second line, that’ll cost you another pricey visit from the technician.
With a residential VoIP provider, however, you receive much cheaper monthly service, while in many cases installation is completely free of charge. VoIP services usually cost $10 to $20 per line, while traditional phone companies are notorious for charging between $20 and $40 per line.
VoIP systems can also offer your at-home business a professional outward appearance to the public. With VoIP companies, you can receive numerous free phone features, such as conference calling, call waiting, and call forwarding, which can make your residential blogging business seem more capable and efficient. Oftentimes, traditional phone companies otherwise charge you for these basic features.
Unlimited Nationwide Calls
Well-respected bloggers need to keep up to date on the latest trends, whether it’s a new technology popular among teens or a promising new anti-aging solution, you need to stay on top of the fads.
In some cases, you’ll want to receive first-hand information, and that more than likely means picking up the phone to call experts, witnesses, and other bloggers. It’s not uncommon, however, that you will need to interview someone who lives on the other side of the country.
The good news is that you don’t have to forgo valuable quotes and opinions from those subjects just because of your fear of long distance calling charges. Countless VoIP providers offer free and unlimited domestic calling on basic residential plans. These basic plans allow you to spend as much time as you want on a nationwide call, jotting down all the juicy details for must-read blog entry.
Low International Calling Rates
Some of the most successful bloggers have worldwide followers. Acquiring a readership that spans the globe means adapting to an international audience. Bloggers need to write about topics that will interest and intrigue international readers, and to do so, bloggers just may have to pick up the phone.
Regardless of whether I’m blogging about current events in China, or announcing a popular hair treatment in the UK, I’ll want to be able to cover every story without worrying about the related phone bills.
Fortunately, various residential VoIP providers offer affordable international calling rates. Many providers charge just pennies per minute for international calling, while others provide unlimited international calling plans. These international calling plans offer unlimited calling to various international destinations for a set fee each month. Residential VoIP provider ITP, for example, features a global calling plan with unlimited calling to 60 countries for a flat rate of $24.99/month.
Perhaps I’m conducting research at the library for my latest blog entry or maybe I’m just hanging out in the coffee shop while I work. With a VoIP provider, I can continue to send and receive VoIP calls even if I’m miles away from my residential landline.
One of the most convenient aspects of VoIP is that with a hosted VoIP system, you can receive your VoIP calls on virtually any mobile device, from PC and laptops to tablets and smartphones.
Simply log into your VoIP account on any of these devices, and a softphone will appear on your screen. A softphone is an on screen dialpad, which allows you to use your device to make a call through your regular landline phone number. You can also receive incoming calls to your home phone number this way.
This is a great feature for bloggers who want the freedom to blog outside of their homes and still remain accessible by their VoIP number. This feature also allows you to take advantage of those unlimited nationwide calls and low calling rates for international calls from any remote location.
Photo above is used under Creative Commons License. Credit.
About the Guest Author
Rachel Greenberg is a tech and telecom writer and editor.
N.B. This week’s freelancing guest post is brought to you by Erica Moss, a fellow writer who is also a well-seasoned freelancer. You will surely learn a lot of new stuff about Freelancing if you’ll continue reading her article below. – EOD
Being a freelancer is a very rewarding path for creative and self-motivated people. You’re not tied to a mind-numbing commute or the same drab office day in and day out. You work on different and exciting projects, and meet new people all the time. Those who choose the freelance lifestyle are generally pretty happy with their choice, but finding new clients and new projects can sometimes be the most challenging thing they do.
The one thing that a freelancer should always dread is getting into a rut. If things aren’t improving, then sometimes it can be easy to lose sight of why you even became a freelancer in the first place. It can be extremely beneficial to your career and your well-being to break through these plateaus.
One of the biggest advantages of being a freelancer is that you have control over your destiny, but sometimes it can be nice to have some help. To that end, here are five simple tips to help get out of a rut or over a plateau and to generally improve your freelancing career:
Increase Your Rates as You Gain Skill and Experience
While it may have been okay to charge rock-bottom rates when you were trying to break into the field, your compensation rise should reflect your skill and experience. There is a human psychology element to premium pricing: Those who charge more and have the skills to back it up will often land the job over the cheaper but less-experienced person.
Don’t sell yourself short! You are really good at what you do, better than you used to be, and your rates should reflect that. Try not to let longstanding clients bully you or guilt you into keeping your rates low, either. You need to upgrade your tools and skills over the years, and they secretly know that. And on that note …
Upgrade Your Tools and Skills
Whether it’s learning a new version of the software you use or upgrading your hardware, tools or materials to reflect changing trends, it really helps to keep on top of things. Announcing that you now use a new version of a popular software package or have upgraded to a new device that can help you express yourself better can actually bring in new clientele.
Think about people in your field who are stuck in a rut and keep churning out the same thing over and over again — you don’t want to be that guy. Trends change, and you need to change with them to stay relevant.
Invest in an Online Portfolio
There are so many great online portfolio sites out there that no matter what you freelance in, there’s bound to be a perfect site for you. Many of the high-end portfolio sites have free basic services, but to really connect with others and make it worth the time, you should probably invest in the premium paid service.
If you’re an artist or designer, for example, Behance offers a premium service that can put you in front of serious prospective clients. Photographers might want to try selling their work on 500px or Smugmug. No matter what you do, having the right portfolio site might be the difference between a slow month and a busy one — and sometimes you have to spend money to make money.
Take Your Social Media Networking to the Next Level
Whether you love it or hate it, social networking was “the future” of marketing a couple of years ago; now it’s the present. You’ll have a very hard time finding new clients online without the important connections that social media provides. At the bare minimum, having a current and modern website, Facebook profile and Twitter account is required. If you cannot or will not make these profiles and use these services, it might even be worth hiring someone to do it for you.
For every kind of freelancer, there is a valid and important social network. Image-based networks such as Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest can be incredibly beneficial for artists and photographers, while Facebook and Twitter are tremendously important for bloggers and writers — freelance journalists, for example, are expected to have active Twitter accounts at this point. No matter what your discipline or social network of choice, putting effort into your social media outreach will only benefit you.
Find a Mentor
There is nothing like a kick in the pants from someone you respect to get a fire lit under you. Sometimes only that human touch can get us to snap out of a rut. Find someone who is successful in your field or someone you respect and reach out to them. Ask them for advice; be humble; thank them. Remember that some day, someone might ask the same favor of you.
Hopefully these tips will help you stay on track. Remember: You are a freelancer, and the world is your oyster!
Photo above is used under Creative Commons License. Credit.
About the Guest Author
Erica Moss is the community manager for Georgetown University’s online graduate nursing programs, which partners with Nursing License Map to provide valuable nursing license information. She enjoys blogging, TV, pop culture and tweeting @ericajmoss.
In the Queen City of the South, there’s only one award-giving body in blogging that consistently recognizes Cebuano and Cebu-based bloggers for five years now – the Best Cebu Blogs Awards. And, I’m very proud that I’m part of its core organizing team. The Best Cebu Blogs Awards has been pooling the best and finest bloggers in Cebu since 2008, and for this year, we are proud to present our top 30 qualified nominated blogs from various niches, authored by the finest Cebuano and Cebu-based bloggers. (These blogs are judged by some of the most respected names in the media and leaders of various online communities all over the country.)
The Awarding Night will be held this Sunday, December 9, 6 to 9PM at Insular Square Mandaue.
The Top 30 Qualified Nominees for BCBA 2012
- mynomadichabits.com by Gino Go (Travel & Personal)
- herbertkikoy.info by Herbert Kikoy (Personal & Technology)
- rockinerrol.blogspot.com by Jan Errol Duazo (Personal & Lifestyle)
- food-diary.net by Jeanne Miraflor (Personal & Food)
- babydesertwolf.blogspot.com by James Arnold Nogra (Technology, Events, & Entertainment)
- bigfoodforlife.blogspot.com by Joyceren Miyah Genibaña (Food & Personal)
- babeforfood.blogspot.com by Justinne Go (Food)
- finlust.blogspot.com by Rabsin Dela Cruz (Fashion & Lifestyle)
- aroundtheflexure.com by Ken Taarup (Personal, Events, & Entertainment)
- techbuzz.ph by Robert Mancelita Jr. (Technology)
- everythingcebu.com by Burt Lao (Travel & Lifestyle)
- thepausesbetween.wordpress.com by Jewey Ann Torrefranca (Personal & Travel)
- backpackingwithabook.com by Jona Branzuela Bering (Travel & Photoblog)
- laagannacebuana.me by Kareen Satorre (Travel & Lifestyle)
- instylecebu.com by Kristine Roa (Fashion & Lifestyle)
- lamikaayo.com by Marco Diala (Food)
- philippinestreetfashion.com by Marco Diala (Fashion & Lifestyle)
- marrylallwrite.com by Marryl Giela Erojo (Personal & Food)
- travelerscouch.blogspot.com by Moon Ray Lo (Travel)
- onethirdpoundpatty.com by Maria Patricia Rosario Zosa (Fashion & Lifestyle)
- iamalexa.biz by Alexa Martin (Personal, Lifestyle, & Fashion)
- foodiecraft.com by Mary Angeli Bas (Food)
- boyerz.tumblr.com by Brandon Gibson (Events & Entertainment)
- damselindopeness.blogspot.com by Carla Alferez (Personal, Lifestyle, & Fashion)
- from-seatosummit.blogspot.com by Cindy Solon (Personal & Travel)
- dumaraos.com by Daniel Dumaraos (Personal)
- cebuphotolog.blogspot.com by Gerrymie Tampus (Photoblog)
- istoryadista.blogspot.com by John Canonigo (Personal & Travel)
- kernelscorner.blogspot.com by John Ross Castano (Events & Entertainment)
- vergegamotan.com/blog by Verge Gamotan (Photoblog)
Sponsors and Partners
The 5th Best Cebu Blogs Awards will not be possible without the help of our sponsors and partners.
A Frugal Cebuana Blogger is a proud blog partner of BCBA 2012.
Yes. I can’t recall the exact date when I posted a really personal post on this blog. It’s been a while…this four-word phrase makes me look back what have I been doing all these years that I only managed to write a personal blog post now. I must be very busy that I don’t have any time to drop even a one-paragraph post to update how I’ve been doing. Since this is my personal blog, this site should have been filled with my personal ramblings, but I chose to avoid sharing my personal stuff here (at least this is only applicable in the past).
A Big Thank You to My Guest Post Contributors
This blog should have been put into extinction if not because of the help of some great guest bloggers. Their contributions help sustained the blogging drought that I went through and keeps this online portal going. Fortunately, starting from now, I proclaim that the drought is officially over! Hooray!
Empress of Drac Gearing towards a New Direction
I decided to slowly let go of the “living-in-the-moment” and “enjoy-the-present” me. My experiences from these past few years have taught me how to obtain real happiness and contentment through frugal living and by solely relying on myself. If you are a close-friend of mine, you must be really surprise but I’m quite serious this time. I will be using this blog to keep track of my progress and also to share my newly discovered ideas in living frugally and independently.
FARMING, My Newly-Found Ambition
Would you believe that FARMING is my newly-found ambition in life? I can see the old me raising a vegetable, poultry, and animal farm. The mere thought of this makes me feel happy and motivated. If I have to choose between living in the city and in the province, without a blink of an eye I would choose the latter. During these past few years, I discovered how living in the city can make a person more aggressive, depressed, anxious, unhappy, and most of all OLD. (I will discuss this realization in more details in my next blog post.)
Making a Living through Freelancing
Everyone in the Philippines goes ABROAD (to work). At least, that’s how I can describe it in a more exaggerated way. But, seriously speaking, going abroad is the only way most of my country men can find good opportunities to improve their way of living. Here in the Philippines, the government is filled of corrupt officials who are not busy serving the people but are occupied in fattening their pockets (BAD KARMA may be with THEM).
Since I graduated from college a few years ago, I’ve been hounded by colleagues and friends to go abroad. Well, who won’t be tempted if you can get your total worth of annual salary here in just a month by working there? But, the thought of being away from my loved ones was unbearable and I was quite contented with my salary. But then, a few years of working in the office makes me realize one thing – I don’t want to be like this forever. Sitting in the office 8 hours a day and receiving a salary bimonthly, and most of all working under close-minded superiors and bosses – can’t just tolerate it. Thus, I went full-time (flexi-time) freelancing. And I must say – I found freedom in working for the very first time, and the income? It’s just like you’re working abroad. (I will be featuring a lot about Freelancing on this blog, so keep on visiting.)
Other Topics that will be featured
Aside from Frugal Living, Self-Reliance, and Freelancing, I will also be featuring more about my other interest such as Cebu, Foods, Books, KDrama, North Korea, Gore and Horror Movies, and Health & Fitness. I’m also planning to start some advocacies (hope I can make them happen).
Have a Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year! Aja!
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Azkals Sports Bar and Grill is the official event venue partner of Cebu Bloggers Society, Inc.’s 4th anniversary dinner party. Azkals is one of Cebu’s hippest and newest restaurant-bar located at Treehouse Bldg.,Ramon Aboitiz Street – just right next to back-gate of St. Theresa’s College.
The sports bar is named after the Philippine Football team “Azkals”. The owners themselves are pure-blooded Azkals fans. Sports enthusiasts, Azkaleros, and anyone who want to experience a cool dining and hang out experience are invited to check and have fun in the sports bar.
Aside from the usual sports bar and restaurant accommodation, Askals Sports Bar and Grill also accommodates small events like kids and adults birthday parties, business assemblies, meetings and group gatherings. The bar can accommodate 40 to 50 persons.
And, good news for bloggers or anyone who loves to always go online, Azkals Sports Bar offers free Wifi and it also has its own car park area.
For reservation or inquiry, you may contact these numbers – 9153433251 and 2391967, or email email@example.com. You can also check Azkals Sports Bar in Twitter or their Facebook fan page.
About Cebu Bloggers
There is only one blogging group in Cebu that continues to thrive in reshaping the online publishing norm in the locality, and introduces a new form of media to the locales, bringing citizen journalism and independent online publishing to the next level. Cebu Bloggers Society, Inc. empowers the common people to know their rights and capabilities toward information dissemination which also changes the way they consume them.
Read the rest of the article here.
The official list of registered participants was already released by the Secretariat Committee yesterday. Double check if you can find your name in the final list (the list is arranged alphabetically by name). Read more notes and instructions here.
Be sure to be there on time. The first 50 walk-in registrants will receive special prizes. This is part of the event’s Early Bird promo. Be there in SM Trade Hall as early as 7:30AM. SM’s Gate 5 will be open by then. Read the Entrance Instruction here.
Don’t forget to bring your wifi devices. SM Trade Hall area is a wifi zone. Spread the news about Visayas Blogging Summit 2011 by using #vbs2011 as your twitter hashtag. You can also use it as a marker if you are posting in Facebook and other social networking accounts.
And, DON’T forget to CHECK-IN the moment you arrive in the venue. Let your friends know that you are attending one of the country’s largest social media summits by checking in at Visayas Blogging Summit 2011 in foursquare.
Excited much? Check VBS 2011 website to learn more about the people behind the event.
See you. (:
N.B.: Also, get your cameras ready all the time. Miss Earth Candidates will be dropping by at the summit at around 11 AM.
Yes, you read this right. I now accept guest posts from fellow bloggers and even from company writers or PR firms who wanted to publish their recent stories or articles here. Publishing works from other talented people here on my blog is something I’ve been wanting to do.
Guest Posting is beneficial to both parties and most especially to guest bloggers or writers. Aside from creating better and more quality contents, guest posting is important for your website’s link-building needs.
Before submitting anything, kindly read the Guest Post Submission Guidelines below.
Guest Post Submission Guidelines
1. Contents – I prefer articles with topics related to Cebu or of news of any happenings or events in Cebu. But, I also accept articles with topics under the following categories: News, Technology, Blogging, Entertainment, Health, Foods, & Places.
2. Article Length – Post should not be lesser than 350 words but should not exceed 800 words.
3. Originality – Post should be original and has NOT been submitted anywhere else. Plagiarized articles will not be accepted.
4. Back-links – Two back-links are allowed per post.
5. Author – All posts should have an author byline. This byline should tell something about the author/writer/blogger.
If you think you have an article that’s worth publishing here on my blog and it meets the guidelines above, kindly send it to my email empressofdrac(@)gmail(.)com. You can include the post on the body of the email itself , or as a .doc attachment.
All guest post submissions will be checked weekly so expect a reply or feedback every weekend. If you’re post is getting rejected, I will email you the reasons and what you need to do so that it will be published.
For the sake of giving back and spreading the link-love, I decided to turn this site into a DoFollow blog. It’s now time to share the link juice and make everyone (with the exception of spammers and malicious bots) happy.
What the heck is DoFollow?
DoFollow is actually a SEO jargon which is used to label a link that passes a value through a link-back from (i.e. your comments) to your website. All blog-sites and websites are NoFollow by default and it’s up to the site admin or blogger if he wanted to change the link attribute to DoFollow.
Benefits of DoFollow Blogs
DoFollow blogs exist to encourage commenting and discussions but it can also be very beneficial especially to people who just launched their blogs/websites. If you have a new blog and wanted to promote it, you can just look for blogs that are Do-Follow and try to comment on their post. Every back-link of your approved comment passes a value to your blog-site giving it a good reputation and value to search engines. Back-links are just like friends, the more friends you have the more popular you are. Same with your blog-site. The more back-links it has the more popular it become to search engines. Being popular to search engines means it’s well-indexed and is ranked higher in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).
Abuse on DoFollow Blogs
Because DoFollow blogs passes link-juice and popularity, lots of netizens called spammers attacked unaware DoFollow blog owners spamming blog posts with nonsense comments to create key-word oriented back-links to their commercial websites. This, is the very reason why lots of website/blog admins prefer NoFollow over DoFollow.
Comment moderation on DoFollow blogs is very strict. Kindly read the comment policy of this blog before posting your feedback. Happy blogging and don’t abuse the DoFollow feature.
Thanks for giving a bit of your time to read this page. For those who don’t know, this blog is already DoFollow. And since this is already DoFollow, I need to set rules to avoid abuse especially from spammers whose only intention is to promote their links without giving any real contribution.
Rule #1: Don’t comment if you don’t have anything worthy to post. Before commenting, please try to read the entire post first so that you will have the best idea how to make a worthy discussion.
Rule #2: Comments which are not related to the blog post will automatically be deleted. I can smell spam even a mile away. Believe me. (:
Rule #3: I don’t approve comments with links to porn, tobacco, and gambling or casino websites.
Rule #4: I allow keywords user-names as long as your comment has value and in line with the blog entry. A 3-sentenced comment is more preferable than a one-liner.
Rule #5: Link-dropping is only allowed if it is needed. Dropping links just for the purpose of advertising links will automatically be deleted and your IP will be banned forever.
The above rules can be changed without prior notice. Happy blogging and let’s make the Blogosphere a better place for everyone. Cheers! (:
I would like to apologize for this very late thank-you post. I was preoccupied with lots of stuff in the past few days that I only manage to update my blog today.
Last 2nd of May, World Bloggers’ Day 2011 was successfully celebrated by bloggers from around the world and I’m so proud to tell the whole blogosphere that it was made possible through the efforts of World Bloggers’ Day – Cebu Team. This team is composed of Cebu Bloggers Society, Inc. members who selflessly contributed their time in making the online and offline WBD events successful.
I would like to especially mention Bjorn Bernales, CBSi’s new VP for Content Management for his huge contribution on this project. Without him, I can’t really tell if the event will be pushed through. Organizing an event is a very tedious task and it’s very difficult to find people who will stick with you all the way. Bjorn is responsible in scouting sponsors and he has also helped me in setting up the official World Bloggers’ Day website.
I’m so thankful and would love to work again with the following people in the next World Bloggers’ Day events to come.
Jim Villaflores – The one who is responsible for the overall World Bloggers’ Day designs – logos, banners, photo-wall, and the likes. He’s the graphic artist behind World Bloggers’ Day 2010 & 2011. The official WBD logo is his original design. Jim is a very efficient person. Though he’s busy with his work, he still manages to squeeze the designing task and can promptly implement changes at an admirable speed. It’s definitely rare to find someone who can work wholeheartedly without expecting anything in return.
Michelle Maglasang – Mikyu is CBSi’s former VP for Content Management. This little woman left a strong impression on me. Despite being busy in school (she’s graduating from college during the event preparation), she still manages to insert WBD-related writing tasks in her schedule. She’s very prompt in publishing and editing Press Releases. She’s in-charged in proof-reading all the contents of the World Bloggers’ Day website.
Milafel Hope Dacanay – Lemski is one of the best writers in the Cebu Bloggers Society, Inc. family. Aside from being the main Press Release writer for World Bloggers’ Day 2010 – 2011, she’s also the one who’s responsible in every PR article CBSi releases every time the organization has an upcoming event. CBSi owes a lot from her.
Ken Michael Jon | Gezelle Mae Tapangan – Ken & Gezelle are CBSi’s newest members who took part in the preparation of World Bloggers’ Day 2011. Both of them are in-charged in writing themed articles for the World Bloggers’ Day website. Ken is the author of the article “The Roles of Blggers“. On the other hand, Geezelle is the one who wrote the article about the history of blogging (unpublished). Ken is the official event photographer during the actual World Bloggers’ Day – Cebu event.
Dr. Narciso Tapia – Dr. Buboy is the one in-charged in scouting for sponsorship and in the finalization of the World Bloggers’ Day Audio Visual Presentation – Offline and Online versions. His WBD-Cebu event Invocation is really cool. Attendees and speakers asked for a copy of the “Bloggers’ Prayer”. Doc Buboy is a very meticulous person which is actually a blessing because he’s now the newly elected CBSi Auditor.
Ruben Rallos | Jaysee Pingkian – Sir Ruben Rallos is the best graphic designer in the CBSi Family. He’s the one responsible for the org’s ID design and has contributed his WBD-Philippines logo for World Bloggers’ Day 2011. On the other hand, Jaysee has helped a lot on the graphics-related tasks in the last few events of the org. At a very young age, Jaysee has a raw talent in web and graphic design. He’s currently a member of the org’s Board of Trustees.
Ruben Licera – Sir Ruben is CBSi’s mentor and adviser. He helps the WBD-Cebu event financially. He’s the one who bought the hosting & domain service for wordlbloggersday.com and worldbloggers.org. He also shouldered some of the expenses for the WBD-Cebu offline programme. Though he’s not always present in every CBSi activity (he’s a very busy man), he always finds time to join major and important events of the organization. One thing I learned from him is that, we should not judge other people according to our standards or perspectives because we don’t have any ideas what they are going through. Every individual has his own reason why he ch0oses to act indifferently and we have no right to bring him down just for the fact that our expectations towards him/her are not met.
Orville Tadle – The homegrown SEO guy of the CBSi family. Despite his busy schedule he finds time to do some onsite optimization for the WBD website. Thank you so much, Sir Orvz. Orville is currently the head of Cebu SEO, an organization of SEO specialists all over Cebu.
Fleire Castro | Bert Padilla – Thank you so much, guys for the support. Though you are originally tasked to scout for sponsors, I’m still thankful for the support you give for World Bloggers’ Day. Thanks Fleire for encouraging the Illigan Bloggers to join WBD 2011. Bert, we can work for a better WBD next year since we already have you as the VP for Committee on Ways & Means.
Mark Monta | Kevin Ray Chua – Mark, CBSi founder and my WBD co-initiator; and Kevin, the newly elected CBSi president, are the ones in-charged in checking the venue set-up and logistics. Mark’s natural leadership skills and amicability proves to be very useful in times of “crisis”. Kevin, on the other hand, has extended his full support to WBD by promoting the event both offline and online. The organization has high hopes for the next three years to come having him as the org’s leader.
I hope I didn’t miss any team members. Anyway, I would like to congratulate Mr. Ronnell Padillo, CITs Supreme Student Council President, for a job well done. Despite the short notice, he managed to host the 5-hour World Bloggers’ Day program well. Can’t imagine how the program would continue without his help. Thank you so much, Nell. You’re the best!
Also, before I will end this post, I would also want to thanks Mark Razonable for the effort he exerted during the offline registration process. Thank you so much, Mr. Tambay. Until next time. (:
In my next post, I will be posting some photos of the offline WBD events held in some key locations. So long and happy blogging. (:
Though blogging has already made a significant mark here in Cebu, there are still some niches that Cebuano bloggers haven’t explored yet. One of this niches is political blogging.
In my estimate, there are already hundreds of bloggers all over Cebu but the ones who focus on political writing can only be counted by my fingers. Most Cebuano bloggers are focused on writing about events, businesses, foods, travels, lifestyle & leisures and the likes. It seems like Cebuanos are not that interested in blogging about local politics. Is it because of our laid back lifestyle or it’s just that most of us are not inclined to politics?
The Filipino Blogosphere: Political Expression, Communication, and Participation after the forum photo
Last 5th of March, Miss Mary Grace P. Mirandilla-Santos, a researcher from SIRCA (Strengthening ICTD Research Capacity in Asia) shared the result of her research and study about the A-List Filipino Political Bloggers and their Readers in a 3-hour forum attended by local media and members of Cebu Bloggers’ Society, Inc.. Her study reveals that Filipino Political bloggers are mostly males with ages ranging from 25 to 34 y/o, based in Metro Manila, college educated, employed with high income, veteran internet users, and have broadband internet connection both at home and at work. These findings show that political blogging is not rampant here in Cebu or in any other parts of the Philippines.
Political blogging may not be rampant here in Cebu but we do have significant and extremely influential political bloggers here. They are Mr. Jerry Gervacio of Ambot Lang and Kevin Ray Chua of Mar Roxas for 2010. I know them personally because they are my colleagues in CBSi, an organization of premier bloggers all over Cebu. Sir Jerry’s and Kevin’s blogs can become a blueprint or inspiration for all Cebuanos who are planning to start a political blog.
The Yahoo PH team, headed by Mr. Jack Madrid, Yahoo Philippines Country Manager, and Mr. Erwin Lemuel Oliva, Yahoo PH’s Chief Editor, initiated the very first Yahoo meet-up here in Cebu last 2nd of December 2010 at TGI Fridays, Ayala Center. Yahoo Philippines will be launching their new website features and services for the year 2011.
As part of their nationwide launching, they invited technology bloggers here in Cebu to assess the online information needs of the Cebuano internet users. Yahoo PH recognizes the relevance of Cebu’s online scene to the general cyber community in the Philippines.
Yahoo PH, a division of Yahoo Search (one of the leading portals and search engines in the world), is a content-oriented website dedicated to serve the online information needs of the Filipino people.
Early this year, Yahoo PH had successfully launched their Purple Thumb, an election website that focuses on teaching Pinoys how to vote automatically last May 2010 election. The website started covering news from the start of the campaign period to the day the elected president made his state of the nation address.
Yahoo PH focuses more on building local relevant content dedicated to the 29,700,000 million internet users in the Philippines. Last November, they did a full coverage of Manny Pacquaio’s boxing fight through live blogging. This, according to Mr. Jack Madrid, changes the way Filipino follow a fight or a game.
On the year 2011, Yahoo will be launching it’s official entertainment portal, OMG! PH. Yahoo PH sees entertainment as one of the most important parts of the Filipino way of living.
Fit to Post, Yahoo PH’s official blog, will also be launched next year. This blog site features regionally relevant contents to its audience. Fit to Post is composed of a team of expert bloggers all around the Philippines.
And, another big collaboration every search user should watch out for next year, is the partnership of the two biggest internet search engines: Bing and Yahoo Search. These two internet innovators will combine forces to fully compete with Google in the search engine market game.
Yahoo PH has more exciting surprises for the Filipino people next year. Aside from partnering with Microsoft’s Bing, they are also inviting bloggers all around the Philippine archipelago to become contributors of their official blog-site, Fit to Post. They recognize the importance of bloggers in disseminating useful information online.
Photo Credit: Jerome Locson
Lenovo Philippines launched a new global campaign dubbed as “Make Life More Fun” last 24th of May, 2010 at Olio Bar and Restaurant, Banilad, Cebu City. The Fun Launch introduced their new range of idea brand of consumer PCs and notebooks: IdeaPad and IdeaCentre. The global campaign’s core message is based on connecting with spontaneous moments of fun experienced by Lenovo consumers.
Lenovo’s idea brand of laptops and PCs offer a new range of features that complement users’ wide range of personalities and ideas of having fun. These products are designed as tools for having fun, whether that means being on the go, playing video games, or running a small business. The following computers have clever features that inspire fun and creativity.
- · IdeaCentre A300 ultra-thin all-in-one desktop – A stylish multimedia AIO.
- · IdeaPad Z460 entertainment laptop – Affordable multimedia notebook.
- · IdeaPad U460 – An ultraportable laptop.
- · Lenovo V460 – An IdeaPad laptop for small business.
- · Lenovo B460 – And IdeaPad for small business and home office laptop
- · ThinkCentre A70z – An all-in-one desktop for business.
- · ThinkPad Edge 14” laptop
These new models have fun features which include Veriface Facial Recognition Technology, Long Battery Life, You Cam, Direct Share, OneKey Theatre II, FingerPrint Reader, SlideNav, Lenovo Security Suite, and Switchable Graphics. Also, these products are powered by the new 2010 Intel Core Processor Family: Intel Core i7, i5 and i3.
What is Your Idea of Fun?
During the Fun Launch, Lenovo also announced their newest blogging contest: “What is your IDEA of FUN?” Lenovo Blog Contest. The Lucky winner of this contest will receive a Lenovo IdeaPad S10-2 netbook. This contest is open only to all registered media guests of the Lenovo Fun Launch.
Lenovo is dedicated to building exceptionally engineered personal computers. Lenovo’s business model is built on innovation, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction as well as a focus on investment in emerging markets. Formed by the Lenovo Group’s acquisition of the former IBM Personal Computing Division, the company develops, manufacturers and markets reliable, high-quality, secure and easy-to-use technology products and services.
This is my very first attempt in Video Blogging. As part of Cebu Bloggers Society Inc.’s election coverage, I conducted a few interviews a while ago, asking feedback from voters about Election 2010. This is the first video that I uploaded because the guy I interviewed has detailed answers. I inserted a transcript in this video because there’s a feedback that the audio quality is not that good and also, the language is in Cebuano.
Aside from this video, you can still catch up the latest 2010 Election news by visiting our cebu bloggers homepage. CBS members are also simulcasting from different social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Plurk, and Yahoo to bring you the latest Election 2010 updates. You can also follow me in Twitter to get the latest Election happenings from my point of view.
By the way, here’s the detailed transcript of the video above.
>>What can you say about Election 2010?
It’s not organized and it’s very crowded.
The past elections were more okay since you only have to go inside your precinct’s room and vote.
Now, you have to line up and get a priority number and wait.
>>Any feedback about the PCOS machine?
It’s okay. Actually, this election is nice if each precinct has its own PCOS machine. 1 PCOS machine serves 5 precincts, the main reason of the delay in voting.
>>What is your overall rating for Election 2010?
Well, it’s okay but I cannot tell if all can cast their vote. There are some people who plan not to vote anymore because of the slow process.
>>Can you now conclude that the election is cheat-free because it’s automated?
I think it’s difficult for someone to cheat because the ballots are inside the machine.
At first glance, the thought of initiating a worldwide event is like a vagary. People are raising their eyebrows, some are pessimistic, and some don’t even give a deal. The main point here is that, we successfully initiated something which would result to a global impact later on. We don’t need to expect a lot because this is the first, and though we have some failures, we surely can learn from it.
I wanted to congratulate Cebu Bloggers Society Inc. for successfully launching the very first World Bloggers’ Day event at Parkmall Cebu just a while ago. It’s actually the very first time that all blogging communities around the Philippines made representations for each group.
The event started with an Invocation led by Willand Cuna (CBS member), followed by a welcome address by Miss Ma. Carla Estella, PR Officer of Parkmall, Cebu. This was followed by the presentation of the blogging communities from around the Phillippines by Mark Monta, founder of Cebu Bloggers Society Inc.. Three blogging communities sent in their presentations: Manila Bloggers’ Network (headed by Azrael Coladilla), SOCKSARGEN Bloggers (headed by Avel Mananzala), and Davao Bloggers (headed by Ria Jose). And, of course, Cebu Bloggers Society Inc. had also presented a short AVP about their organization.
After the blogging community presentations, Mark Monta presented the newly elected CBSI officers to the public. The following are Cebu Bloggers Society Inc.’s newly elected officers.
President - Vernon Joseph Go VP for Content Management - Michelle Louise Maglasang VP for Corporate Affairs - Agnes E. Jimenez VP for Education - Jerry Gervacio VP for Marketing - Michael Sinjin Pineda VP Membership - Clarence Andrew Mongado VP for Ways and Means - Mark Monta Treasurer - Bryan Karl Yuson Secretary - Wilhelmina Sarawi Auditor - Jorich Ponio BOTs for Special Projects - Gerrymie Tampus - Guada Conception Esmena - Mark Alessandrew Abitona - Prince Ryan Gilig - Ruben Licera Jr. Ombudsman/Legal Counsel - Atty. Ethelbert Ouano
The presentation of officers was then followed by the unveiling of Parkmall’s monthly blogging contest. Agnes Jimenez, the Events Coordinator, presented the contest’s guideline and mechanics. This blogging competition is open to all Cebu-based bloggers.
The bloggers then enjoyed a sumptuous dinner prepared by Parkmall’s best food tenants. The event ended with the awarding of the blogger of the day, the one with the best cast-away outfit, and a closing remark by CBSI’s new president, Mr. Vernon Joseph Go.
A lot of raffle prizes were also given during the event. By the way, Ricky dela Cruz of Rabsing.com, won the best cast-away outfit contest. Atty. Ethelbert Ouano and Doyzkie Buenaviajie were the men of the event (emcees). Thanks a lot to Parkmall’s Marketing Team, headed by Madam Judith Letty Sellner for the major support and sponsorship.
N.B.: Before ending this post, I would also want to give special thanks to the special team behind World Bloggers’ Day’s online launching.
Graphics and Design - Jim Villaflores Press Release - Bert Padilla Post & RSVP - Michelle Louise Maglasang Article - Milafel Hope Dacanay Wikipedia Release - Jerry Gervacio (to be published later) Others - Mark Monta, Agnes Jimenez
Photos will follow later.