Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy 5th Birthday, Nuffnang!

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I am proud to say I am a Nuffnanger! It's been a little over a year since I joined Nuffnang PH and I am now on my 2nd year and still going strong...

Nuffnang is Asia-Pacific's first blog advertising community consisting of hundreds of bloggers who write about everything and anything under the sun (and under the sea). In the Philippines alone, they count several hundred bloggers under their wing.

Nuffnang will be celebrating its 5th birthday on Feb. 27. Wow, have they been here that long already? I do remember first encountering them at the very first Word Camp of Wordpress here in Manila and wondering what Nuffnang was all about. In fact, I still have their Nuffnang mug here (it holds all my pens).

Celebrating one's 5th birthday is a milestone indeed and Nuffnang will be celebrating at Borough, The Podium Mall. I hope to be able to attend this and get to meet not only my blogger friends who are also Nuffnangers but also get to meet those I have not met yet.

Happy, happy 5th birthday, my dear Nuffnang! Here's one for you.

(greeting card courtesy of Photobucket)

And thanks to Nuffnang sponsors, without whom our celebration won't be possible.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Seattle's Best: Love in the Key of Teas and Cookies

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When you hear the name Seattle's Best, I bet you immediately think COFFEE, right? Guess what. They are doing something new for the first quarter of 2012. Can you guess?

You guessed it. They have a MILK TEA variant! But for a limited time only!

We got to taste both the hot and cold variants. At first, I thought I preferred the cold variant but the hot variant was also good, actually. Their milk tea is a blend of black and green tea infused with caramel for sweetness. The cold variant comes over-ice with red, chewy tapioca pearls.

The milk tea will only be available till early March 2012 so go and get yourself one already.

Cold variant 

Hot variant

For the season of hearts, Seattle's Best is also offering 4 different heart cookies. Each one can be taken out in its own box if you are planning to give it as a gift to a special someone. There's a chocolate flavored butter cookie while the three others are classic butter cookie. Each cookie is covered in fondant and has a different design. These cookies are available only until Feb. 21, 2012.

Catch these goodies at the nearest Seattle's Best outlet near you.

Dolcelatte: More than the usual cafe

Their facade doesn't tell you the whole story and maybe many, like me, who go there for the first time will think that Dolcelatte is yet another cafe in the metro. Well, it turns out that I was the one pleasantly surprised to find out that it was a lot more than just a cafe.

I cannot blog about what we ate the day a few of us gathered. We were taste testing some new dishes and for now it's a shhhhhhhh....But do watch out for another post once they've finalized their offerings.

But let me tell you now what Dolcelatte is and what more it offers.

Dolcelatte's facade

The interiors impressed me. They were tasteful, done in vibrant colors with subtle lighting touches. To one side was a tiny fountain area that provided the relaxing sounds of running water.

Their breads and cakes are made by their very own commissary that manages the restaurant's supply chain and looking out for consistency and quality of their products.

View from the front 
View from the back

Bread and cookies pillar

Running water under the stairs leading to 2nd floor. Nice!

Friday, February 17, 2012

TEDx comes to Xavier School on Feb. 18, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

Innovators scheduled to speak in person at TEDxXavierSchool include:

Raynard Raphael Lao — a Xavier High School student, who is also a champion public speaker at both local and regional competitions 

Brian MaraƱa — International Programs Coordinator of Xavier School who has transformed the way students learn from the world 

Tony Meloto — Founder of Gawad Kalinga, providing countless homes to the homeless and building them into communities, and speaker at the World Economic Forum 

Dodie Ng — Games and apps creator who also founded a robotics organization and team for the youth while also being a Xavier High School student 

Mark Ruiz — Co-Founder of Hapinoy and Founder of Rags2Riches, providing social business enterprise and microenterprise development as a living means to some of the poorest people 

Brian Tenorio — Internationally-acclaimed, New York-based designer who has altered the way development is done through Design

Here's a teaser video for TEDxXavierSchool.

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


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

Sunday, February 5, 2012

3D Vizion: 3D without the glasses

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Do you love to watch 3D movies but hate having to don those red and blue glasses? Join the club!

My kids don't particularly like 3D glasses either. We donned them when we watched Avatar and while the ones we got were the expensive, sunglasses type, they were heavy. Besides, if you already wear glasses, how can you put another pair of glasses over your glasses?

Now, think of what this company did. Imagine that instead of putting those 3D glasses over your eyes, they put a giant pair of those glasses over your TV screen? And now you can sit in the comfort of your home or watch similar screens in advertising walls, glasses-free? Well, if you already wear glasses, you need not take them off. How about that?

In a nutshell, that's what 3D Vizion has done.

Taking a ground-breaking technology that uses the best of high-definition 2D technology and the latest in 3D technology, it came up with a platform that uses glasses-free 3D screens. While TV screens are flat, glasses-free 3D screens redefine one's viewing experience. The screen is now transformed into a living playground that emphasizes colors and redefines the depth of field. Everything comes alive.

Over the years, the influence of TV has diminished as more people now turn to the internet and even YouTube for many things that used to be TV's monopoly. By introducing 3D screens, interest can be drawn back to TV. Advertising can be that much more interesting.

According to Katrina Bantug, President and CEO of 3D Vizion, this product is so revolutionary as of now that 99.8% of the world has not yet seen these screens. Their company has caught the attention of advertisers, most of all, because of the audience-gathering potential that it shows. Katrina says "A US study discovered that when used in a mall, the sales of the brand featured in the glasses-free 3D screen went up at least 12% in addition to the store reporting a 34% increase in consumer traffic."

Katrina Bantug
Bloggers were treated to a wall of 3D screens that played several commercials in a loop. I would have wanted to post here what it looked like but apparently, my videocam could not replicate the effect of the 3D screens. Suffice it to say that we were all awed at how commercials seemed to jump out of the screen. We watched an iPhone turn on its base, coins seemed to jump out of a treasure chest, a cartoon clip, a forest path, and many more come alive on 3D.

Another surprise was finding out that this company is a fully-operational Filipino firm. Why the Philippines and not some other more developed Southeast Asian country? Katrina answers back, why not the Philippines? Truly, why not!

Naturally, as of now, advertising costs on 3D screens are more expensive than regular advertising on LED screens. But Katrina says that it is not just a matter of comparing pesos with pesos; rather, the added attraction of watching a product commercial on 3D translates into more sales as their study shows. And economies of scale are sure to bring these costs down over time as more companies discover the drawing power of 3D screens.

3D Vizion is founded by Katrina Bantug, Mohan Kulkarni and backed by DEMIKK Holdings, Inc., represented by Ruben Tiu. For more information about the company, its products and services, contact Susana Eslava at (02) 695-1111 or (02) 706-7999 or visit their website,