Monday, February 28, 2011

Destination:Camarines Norte Part 4

Camarines Norte Municipal Hall and Wenceslao Vinzons' statue
After our tour in Museo Buluwan, we were introduced to Provincial Tourism Officer, Atty. Debbee Francisco. We were oriented about the three old churches in Camarines Norte which are celebrating its 400 years which is our primary purpose for the whole trip. We were also oriented with other major tourist attractions in Camarines Norte like the first Rizal Monument which we were able to visit and Daet’s Bagasbas beach, which is considered the surfer’s haven and where the hotel, Bagasbas Lighthouse Hotel Resort, where we stayed.
Bagasbas beach
Although we are staying along Bagasbas Boulevard facing the beach, our chances of seeing some surfing action is dim because of the rainy weather and strong winds. After our meeting with Atty. Francisco, we took photos along the Camarines Norte Municipal Grounds. We also took some shots of Wenceslao Vinzons’ statue, which was built for his honor as a patriot during the 2nd World War. We also visited a nearby church named St. John the Baptist Parish. It has a unique structure which was more modern. Our next stop is Paracale.

St.John the Baptist Parish

Arched gate in front of the Municipal Hall


Take a look at the edgy poster and horizonal banner of Warner Bros.' upcoming 3D action-adventure “Sucker Punch” which the studio has just released.
            “Sucker Punch” is an epic action fantasy that takes us into the vivid imagination of a young girl whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality. Unrestrained by the boundaries of time and place, she is free to go where her mind takes her, and her incredible adventures blur the lines between what’s real and what is imaginary.
            Born from the creative vision of filmmaker Zack Snyder (“Watchmen,” “300”), “Sucker Punch” features an ensemble cast of young stars, including Emily Browning (“The Uninvited”), Abbie Cornish (“Bright Star”), Jena Malone (“Into the Wild”), Vanessa Hudgens (the “High School Musical” films) and Jamie Chung (“Sorority Row”).  The film’s main cast also includes Oscar Isaac (“Robin Hood”) and Carla Gugino (“Watchmen”), with Jon Hamm (“The Town,” TV’s “Mad Men”) and Scott Glenn (“The Bourne Ultimatum”).
            Zack Snyder directed “Sucker Punch” from a screenplay he wrote with Steve Shibuya, based on Snyder’s story.  Snyder and Deborah Snyder produced, with Thomas Tull, Wesley Coller, Jon Jashni, Chris deFaria, Jim Rowe and William Fay serving as executive producers.
            The behind-the-scenes creative team includes Academy Award®-winning production designer Rick Carter (“Avatar”) and “Watchmen” and “300” veterans director of photography Larry Fong, editor William Hoy and costume designer Michael Wilkinson.  The music is by Tyler Bates and Marius DeVries.
Opening across the Philippines in March 2011,” Sucker Punch” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Alternative Living at Alveo Southside

Metro Manila is very crowded and if you are looking for a home that fits you and your family, there's a place outside the Metro that offers just the place and just as relaxing. Alveo Southside offers not just one but three choice for your alternative lifestyle.

From the Mamplasan exit coming from the South Expressway, there's a private road going one of Alveo's properties, the Verdana. The Verdana Homes is an ideal home for the family if you want to experience a relaxing atmosphere because that's what Verdana is offering: The suburban setting. Verdana was launched 2007 and was completed 2009 and currently with 30-50 residents and has three phases. The type of structure that fits Verdana is Balinese inspired.

Next to Verdana is Traveia. Traveia is almost sold out and has only few remaining units. The southernmost part of the Alveo properties is the Venare. The Venare offers living that fits your active lifestyle. The concept of Venare is like you are living in the outdoors. The Venare also has a view of the Tagaytay Ridges. The total land area of Venare is 74.4 hectares and has 1,392 units. Each unit has the lot area of 250 sqm. Venare's amenities has differents zones that will fit your active lifestyle like the cover courts, outdoor fields, a gym etc.

One of the priviliges of living in Alveo would be the Evoliving. There are commercial establishments and scenic attraction with it's very own lake and the option of taking a water cab. The area is not far from the town proper in Sta. Rosa for your basic needs. It is also not far from Manila if you are going to work. For more information, you may visit their website, or e-mail Their hotline is (632)848.5100 and 1-800-10-8485100 if you are outside Metro Manila.
More about the Southern Passions event at my food blog

Destination:Camarines Norte Part 3-Museo Buluwan

Arriving at the Provincial Capitol Complex of Daet, the capital of Camarines Norte. We first visited the Museo Buluwan.  Upon entering the first thing you will see is the smaller replica of the first Rizal monument we saw earlier. Then I saw the portrait image of Governor Vicente Lukban y Rilles of Tayabas. I was surprised to see this because Lucban’s my father’s hometown.  

Dominating the middle area are the statue busts of Camarines Norte’s historical personalities.  This explains my curiosity when I found out that the Governor Lukban was born in Labo, Camarines Norte. Besides Governor Lukban’s bust, there’s Captain Tomas M. Zaldua, former mayor of Daet during  the Spanish period, Lt. Col. Francisco Boayes aka “Turko”, a Bicolano WW2 hero who leads the Vinzons Command in Camarines Norte, and Wenceslao VInzons, Sr., governor of Camarines Norte during Japanese period that was martyred for not supporting the Imperial forces of Japan. His family suffered the same fate like the Romanovs of Russia during the uprising of the Socialist movement.

I also found the display of memorabilia displayed at the museum. There were old metal craftsmanship, a type of the camera used during the late 1800s till the first half of the 1900s, a black telephone that I recalled as the last phone with a circular dial function.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Open A BPI Family Auto Loan and Get A Free GPS Navigator

AVT GPS Navigator
Because of the positive response from applicants, the promo is extended until April 16. Please note the dates below:

Application Period: February 14 to April 15, 2011
Unit Delivery: February 14 to May 2, 2011

BPI Family Bank is giving away free a handy AVT Global Positioning System (GPS) Navigator for every successfully approved auto loan. All you have to do is to register online for an auto loan at BPI Loans . It's better that going through the trouble from a car showroom to another looking for your ideal car and the salesperson may take a while to arrange your car loan and there's no guarantee that it will be approve. Unlike in BPI, you can browse the pictures of your prospect car online at BPI Loans and it will took only the 3-8 hours for your loan to be approved.
Map on the GPS Navigator

There was a documented story about a BPI loan that a couple was looking from for a car from one showroom to another, hoping that one of them will give them assurance for a car loan to be arrange. That night, the wife was browsing on line and got to see BPI Auto Loans and applied for the car loan. The following day, there was a call from BPI and the husband, who was unaware of the transaction made by this wife, received the call that their auto loan was already approved. This is how fast BPI works.

The BPI Auto Loans website has its very own online car showroom that let's you choose which car from various car manufacturers from Audi to Volvo. This will give spare you the hassle from transferring from one showroom to another on foot. What's convenient about this website is that if your OFW relative abroad needs to invest a car loan, he/she will just browse the website and let the next of kin who also handles the decision-making locally will coordinate upon the approval of the auto-loan. The website can also help you compare car models. Another option for the auto loan is the Motorcycle Loan.
Mr. Jose Teodoro Limcaoco, president of BPI Family Savings Bank, discusses that you don't need to have an active BPI loan to be approved of the auto loan but stresses that borrowers should have a minimum amount finance of P700.000 for minimum term of 36 months. Promo of the free GPS Navigator is only until March 15, 2011. BPI Loans also handles house loans too. For inquiries about the BPI Family Auto Loans, call their hotline at (02) 845-6777 or visit or any of the 800 BPI or BPI Family Savings Bank branches near you.

Mr. Jose Teodoro Limcaoco discusses the BPI Auto Loan promo

Autodesk Entertainment Software Shines on Television

New Shows “The Cape,” “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” and Ongoing Programs “Glee,” “NCIS,” “No Ordinary Family” Benefit from Autodesk Visual Effects Tools

The visual effects and post-production teams behind top-rated television programs such as “Glee,” “NCIS,” “Bones,” “Fringe,” “The Good Wife,” “No Ordinary Family” and “Dexter” and new midseason additions “The Cape,” “Chicago Code” and “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior” regularly turn to Digital Entertainment Creation software from Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK), to help raise the bar in episodic television.

“Digital workflows have become more prevalent in episodic television, and as a result, we’re seeing our visual effects and compositing tools used heavily on a variety of programs for compositing, cleanup and beauty work on more dramatic programs to heavy visual effects sequences for more action-laden shows,” said Marc Petit, Autodesk Media & Entertainment senior vice president. “It’s great to see so much creative innovation from the television production community, and we continue to develop our tools to deliver the speed and efficiency that our customers require.”

Eden FX, which provides visual effects for the new series “The Cape,” as well as “Fringe,” “Undercovers,” “Community,” “Teen Wolf” and “NCIS,” has tightly integrated Autodesk Maya, Autodesk Softimage, Autodesk 3ds Max and Autodesk Mudbox 3D animation software tools into its workflow. “It has been exciting to see the integration of Autodesks products into our pipeline. Our artists can create work that just would not have been possible with other packages, and still deliver on our traditionally ‘snug’ television schedules,” said Steve Pugh, VFX producer, Eden FX.

Los Angeles-based LOOK FX is working on the sixth season of “Bones” and also contributes visual effects to “Harry’s Law” and “No Ordinary Family” using a range of tools that includes Maya, Mudbox, Autodesk Flame and Autodesk Flare. They were also the lead visual effects house on the final season of “Lost.” LOOK 3D Supervisor Michael Capton explained, "With the short turnaround for TV production, the flexibility of Maya gives us the ability to work quickly and make changes on the fly, enabling us to handle almost any effect thrown at us."

FuseFX creates visual effects for several new and popular shows, including “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior,” “Chicago Code,” “Glee,” “No Ordinary Family,” “Lie to Me,” “Criminal Minds,” “United States of Tara,” “The Good Wife,” “The Unit” and “Mercy.” FuseFX Founder and Visual Effects Supervisor David Altenau said, “3ds Max, our primary tool for computer generated animation and effects work for both television and film, has been critical to our success as a visual effects facility. We use it in combination with V-Ray to create a multitude of CG elements, digital environments, fire, smoke, airplanes, helicopters, digital doubles and more.”

In a standout promo for Season 5 of “Dexter,” the show’s hero stands still in a living room as the world around him turns upside down. Everything from a couch to picture frames to vials of blood, microscope slides and a bowl of cereal crashes to the floor as the room spins in slow motion while Dexter stands unscathed in the center of the frame. For this promo, SWAY Studio used 3ds Max and Flame to build computer generated (CG) elements and complete heavy compositing work in each of the spot’s 30 shots. “This project was challenging because it was a mix of many complex elements integrated seamlessly into an entirely CG environment. Some of the elements were shot practically and had to be carefully keyed, and others reproduced in photoreal CG. I love the internal paint system in Flame — it allows us to have better control over the CG performance of elements,” said Aaron Powell, SWAY Studio VFX supervisor. “I am a big fan of Flame. You can experiment with layers and see them more rapidly. It is a huge savior — especially on a project like this one that involved keying and compositing of highly metallic and reflective elements.”

Keyframe Digital Productions made extensive use of 3ds Max to create visual effects for “Warehouse 13” airing on Syfy and “Lost Girl,” in Canada on Showcase. The facility does a lot of scripting, taking advantage of the open source code in 3ds Max to customize its pipelines. “Our technical director writes scripts in 3ds Max to help mold our production pipeline and continually make our workflow more efficient,” said Darren Cranford, principal at Keyframe Digital Productions.

About Autodesk
Autodesk, Inc., is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Customers across the manufacturing, architecture, building, construction, and media and entertainment industries ¾ including the last 15 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects ¾ use Autodesk software to design, visualize and simulate their ideas. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art software for global markets. For additional information about Autodesk, visit

Autodesk, AutoCAD, Flame, Flare, Maya, Mudbox, Softimage and 3ds Max are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Academy Award is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document. © 2011 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.

Friday, February 25, 2011

SPi Global's Maulik Parekh tackles building companies for the next generation BPO in Asia CEO Forum

Makati, Philippines—08 February 2011—A company that is solution-centric, people-centric, and innovation-centric is what describes the DNA of the next-generation business process outsourcing company, Maulik Parekh, SPi Global's President and Chief Executive Officer told executives in the recently-held Asia CEO Forum.
The Asia CEO Forum, which is operated by the Chalre Associates and headquartered in Manila, is one of the most important regular networking events for the international business community in the Asia Pacific region. The forum provides an opportunity for the spreading of ideas that help both expatriate and Asian management personnel overseeing enterprises in Southeast Asia.
Being a seasoned executive and a recognized thought leader in the Philippine BPO industry, Maulik knows whereof he speaks. Clearly familiar with global and local BPO trends and developments, he noted that despite the impressive performance of the offshoring and outsourcing industry in the Philippines, BPO companies should not be complacent. Instead, they must still be able to create value for their clients; nurture their leaders to their full potential, taking advantage of the opportunity to employ many good ones because BPO is a people intensive business; and foster entrepreneurship and creativity that would manifest ideas into reality to ensure growth in the coming years.
The Philippine offshore market size is expected to triple by 2016 with revenues growing from US$9 billion to US$25 billion. Globally, the revenues in the BPO sector may reach US$124 billion in 2016, up from the $45 billion recorded in 2010,” Parekh said recognizing the huge potential of companies to get a bigger slice of the market if they are poised for it
With competition growing, especially in the Asia Pacific region, companies must be able to differentiate themselves and be able to offer services with increasing value for their clients. “One of the trends that we should all watch out for is the shift in the level of business that’s generated from voice to non-voice. In 2016, the non-voice sector is expected to grow to 58% from 2010's 43%, looking at the local BPO industry as an example. The ratio between voice and non-voice already showed what the future should be. Non-voice is the future.”
Expounding on value creation for clients, Parekh stated that companies must have a holistic understanding of the industry and the way products or services can be delivered not only cheaper but also better and faster. He noted that although cost-saving strategies offered by BPO vendors are essential in driving the industry's growth, it would be more helpful to look at the other side of the equation.“ Engagements are driven by clients and they have realized that creating more value with less cost is done by leveraging their existing offshoring and outsourcing partnership with companies like SPi Global,” Parekh added.
Delving deeper into how SPi is poised for the next generation BPO, Maulik shared a recent major initiative that his company is undertaking—the so called SPi Healthcare Academy, which he says is a value–centric solution to an identified industry gap. Knowing the huge potential of healthcare information management in the major markets and aware that the Philippines can play a key role in the sector the SPi Healthcare Academy aims to develop the required talent and skills that can prepare Filipinos in the healthcare industry for high-value work through Certified Professional Coding Program, Mentor Training Program, and Web-based Continuing Education.
On being people-centric, Parekh explained that BPO being a people-intensive business should foster the spirit of entrepreneurship and creativity among its people as this will help fuel company and industry growth in the coming years. To be truly people-centric, employees need to be provided an environment that has the right organizational structure that supports career advancement, the right leadership that inspires the mind and nurtures the spirit, and the right culture that rewards performers based on merits.
I really believe that if a company creates a more people-centric culture and create an environment that is sticky to the people, we won't have to worry about trying to bring in 100,000 people incrementally into the system every year,” he added.
Be innovation-centric,” the last point emphasized by Maulik as important to be ready for the next generation BPO. For SPi Global, this is about developing cutting-edge technology and solutions for the changing landscape of the publishing marketplace done through the SPi Innovation Lab.

About SPi Global
SPi Global is one of the world's largest and most diversified Knowledge Process Outsourcing and Customer Relationship Management service providers in the industry. The company has more than 14,000 employees globally, serving more than 500 clients worldwide. It is also the largest Filipino-owned BPO company employing 11,000 people in the Philippines.


Do you think you’re creative? Do you dream of making up new designs? Improve existing ones?

Here’s how you can do all of that and get the chance to win an iTouch! Just answer the following questions in 150 words or less and submit them to

1.       If you had a dream Coke pack/bottle, what would it look like? How would you make it portable? How many mL/oz.? What would you call it and why? (e.g. in the same way we call the small Coke bottle Coke “Sakto”).

2.       It’s fun to make up nicknames. How would you call a new Coke pack/bottle if it had the following characteristics and why?

“It's a new handy and re-sealable bottle which I can drink to go with my snacks, anytime, anywhere, whenever the need strikes.  It is convenient, instant refreshment whenever, and wherever I go:  be it travel, trip to the mall, gimmick, or just simply when I'm on- the-go. Truly a great companion for my mobile lifestyle.”

You have from February 18 to February 28, 2011 to submit your answers to with the following information:
·         Subject: Coke Dream Pack Contest Entry
·         Your First and Last Name
·         Your Age
·         Your Contact No.
·         Your Email Address

Easy, right? So what are you waiting for? Get those creative juices flowing now!

Terms and Conditions

1)      You may send as many unique and valid entries as you want to increase your chances of winning provided that these entries fall within the duration of the promo period
2)      You waive any and all rights to your entries to this contest (winning and non-winning). Coca-Cola is free to use the entries/suggested names/nicknames you submitted (whether or not the name/nickname was chosen as a winning entry) in any way it deems fit without need of or obligation to pay or compensate you thereof
3)      You grant Coca-Cola the right to use your name and entry details for advertising and promotional purposes related to this contest
4)      Entries will be judged solely by The Coca-Cola Export Corporation’s (TCCEC) and its agency based on creativity and originality of ideas
5)      Should duplicate answers arise, the winning entry will be determined based on how well participant defends his/her answers
6)      Winner will be notified via official email and verified through a phone call by The Coca-Cola Export Corporation’s (TCCEC) Third Party Supplier. Winner will be acknowledged on the official Coca-Cola Facebook Fan Page at on March 7, 2011
7)      Winner shall receive one 4th Generation 64GB iTouch 4Gen with Philips Headphone SHM7110 as his/her prize
a.       Winner should present a print out of the notification email sent and at least 2 valid IDs to claim the prize. Details of how to claim the prize will be indicated in the official email sent
b.      If the winner is (1) a minor (18 years old and below) he/she must be accompanied by legal guardian, or legal guardian claims on his/her behalf (presenting all necessary documents); and, if the winner is (2) unable to claim the prize him/herself, a representative must present the necessary documents:
                                                               i.      A letter of authorization duly signed by the winner, nominating the parent/legal guardian, or representative as the acknowledged recipient of the prize on the winners behalf
                                                             ii.      Two (2) original IDs of the winner with picture (acceptable/valid ID’s are SSS, TIN, Passport, Office or School I.D.)
                                                            iii.      Two (2) original IDs of the representative/legal guardian
                                                           iv.      Print out of notification email
8)      Employees of TCCEC and McCann Worldgroup Philippines, including those of their parent companies, affiliates, their third party suppliers, FDA and their relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity and affinity are disqualified from joining this promotion

Thursday, February 24, 2011

SPSF, LGU’s, the PCGA and PCG join forces to aid stranded Indonesian vessel

The Save Palawan Seas Foundation (SPSF) in cooperation with local government units, private citizens of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Philippine Coast Guard have been attempting to aid stranded Indonesian barge Ivan Batam since it first entered a Marine Sanctuary off the coast of Taytay, Palawan last Tuesday, December 30, 2010.
Agus Priyanto, captain of the vessel towing over 8,000 metric tons of coal reported that they ran out of fuel en route to Batangas and had entered the waters of the marine sanctuary to seek shelter from rough waters. Fearing the adverse effects of prolonged exposure of coal on marine life, the foundation sold diesel to the vessel. Ivan Batam left the sanctuary and docked in a nearby island instead to await the arrival of more fuel from Manila.
On January 2, 2011, the barge was spotted temporarily grounded near the Southwest of Maytigued Island due to choppy waters. After being lent more fuel, they left the site the following day.
Members of LGU’s of Taytay Palawan, PCGA , PCG and SPSF spotted the tugboat anchored in a nearby island, apparently having left the barge and coal near Binatican Island, also a part of the marine sanctuary.
Unburnt coal, when present in marine environments in sufficient quantities, can cause abrasion, smothering, alteration of sediment texture and stability, reduced availability of light, and clogging of respiratory and feeding organs of marine life (Ahrens and Morrisey, 2005)[1]
Members of LGU’s of Taytay Palawan, PCGA , PCG and SPSF continue to monitor the situation closely because they are concerned by the potential environmental calamity should the barge be damaged and its cargo spilled onto the surrounding coral beds.
To date, a salvage team has gone to the site of the grounded barge to assess the situation. It appears that there has been some damage to the barge that would require minor repairs before it could be towed. Time is of the essence as it is feared that further delay would cause greater damage to the barge’s hull as the vessel is continuously battered by both current and rocks, which would cause the coal spill, endangering surrounding marine life.
Save Palawan Seas Foundation is a non-profit organization that works alongside LGU's and the Philippine Coast Guard to vigilantly monitor the environmental situation in the province.

[1]   Ahrens, Michael J and Morrisey, Donald J. 2005. Oceanography and Marine Biology. Boca Raton: CRC Press.