Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Revisiting Friendster: Best "testimonials"

With Friendster closing its social media arm by 31st of May, I've exported all the old posts from my account for the past 8 years. I've read through most of my posts and messages, most of them are thoughtful, others are plain quirky. Here's a look back to the best Friendster "testimonials" over the past 8 years- thanks for the fond memories.

This was from my classmate in my Math 1 class written a short time after our report on Philippine ethno-mathematics. We did the report in full barong and even played sungka after - we got 1.0.

Jerick is another one of my potential actors in my future non-existent film career....If ever Jerick doesn't become a journalist or a lawyer or and economist, OR an actor (which he canpotentially could as I mentioned), he can always go back to being an ermitanyo-in-a-burka-whatever and continue being a good friend to all. (CG)
I can't remember that I have once thought of transferring to Ateneo or running for USC chair. Freshman years!

jerick parrone (pronounced pa-rown)hehe!.... siya po ay isang journ major sa unibersidad ng pilipinas, diliman! nakakalungkot nga lang kasi balak daw niyang magtransfer sa ateneo (pronounced arneo) :) naks naman! eneweyz, ka-course ko po siya at ka-bio pa (kabayo?! nyahaha!). masaya kasama yan kasi maraming kuwento at maraming alam sa maraming bagay. ang laki nga ng tulong niya sakin kasi lagi po akong clueless. hahay.... at ito pa! mr. congeniality itong si jerick! yep, balak ngang tumakbo niyan bilang isang USC chair eh... go! go! go!!! isang bagay lang ang di nakakatuwa sa kanya. ayaw niya kay BAMBOO! aaarrrggghh! hmph! bahala siya... rakista pa man din.hehehe! (D.I.)
Post from a childhood friend - good times!

naalala mo rin yung mga bahay bahay o resort resort o yung mga Happy Meal ng Mcdo o Sineskwela o origami at saranggola, lalong lalo na yung "Magandang pasko nga po?" Ang dami pa... kulang ang space. (MP)
A post from a good friend of mine right after I posted a bulletin note asking people to write me testimonial. Indeed, she was right - but I think without me asking for people to write me one, I wouldn't have good material for this post. ;-)
OMG. You are the last person I expect to -ask- for testimonials. (And it actually clicked!) I mean, come on. Do you really need people to clickie your website and tell you what a great guy you are? Just a thought.~ (BI)
What happened to Jeremy Marquez, is he still alive? LOL. 
Naalaala ko si Jeremy Marquez na kamukha mo pero lamang pa rin siya ng sampung paligo! (RC)
One of the most thoughtful post on my account. Came from a person I once considered very special to me. 
Thinking of Jerick reminds me
....of the first box of yummy brownies he shared with me during our 1st day as seatmates in Pol Sci 14 class.
....of the eccentric exchanges of shaggy dog stories and chuckles every time before discussions began.
....of the worried moments we spent reviewing for our an-hour-to-go exam or recitation maybe.
.... of the short but really fun walks down the hallways of Palma Hall after classes
.... of the sweet text messages and hearty conversations over lunch
.... of a reliable seatmate, a bright classmate, a thoughtful friend.
... of someone Ill miss fooling around with. Haha! :-D (VG)
 HAHA. Post from 2005. She's still slim - and I'm not anymore.

 jerick parrone. that's life. sometimes you get fat. sometimes you don't. we're both choco kiss adiks & we're both slim! wahaha! (KR)
 I did compete in Judo on the 50kg category. But I still miss going to judo classes.

 kahit di masyadong malaman e...keri ang judo...:P ahaha:P joke lng..kumain ka kasi..:P (MQ)

JERRRICCKKKK!!!!! I MIIIIISSSS UUUUU!!!!! hehe *summer's a bummer but peepz lyk us keep gettin hotter!* (RS)
This ad is still available. 
hear ye! hear ye! Calling all eligible  women ages 18 to 100 y/o to take a  freakin good look at this down right good  lookin man here! lucky me! i met him.. (RS)

I took it out of context, but it's just funny this way.

mating partner ko to e (DV)
High school love. LOL. 

Kakaiba rin itong magmahal - walang kapantay! kahit ginagago na  siya, sige parin! (MM)

I  mentioned to my friend, Rach, that our youth have grown in parallel with the evolution of social networks. All the awkwardness of our teenage years are imprinted online on social networks such as Friendster, Myspace, Twitter and Facebook.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Starting a travel blog: Deciding on the basics

I’ve longed to build my own travel blog and now with more free time and motivation from other travel bloggers – I decided  it’s about time to build a separate travel blog.

Photo from: Maria Reyes-McDavis
After a bit of reading – I summarised three key recommendations for starting bloggers like me:
  1. Blog Concept:  Figure out your focus. What will be your unique selling point and will make you different from other travel sites?
  2. Title: Once the concept is ready, decide on the title and domain name. Make it catchy & SEO friendly. For Wordpress domain hosting, some suggested (feel free to give others)
  3. Look and Feel – This is crucial as it sets the tone of your blog. For beginners, I suggest using free themes first. Free themes from or Woothemes are worth checking.
After this, you should be ready to blog. As for me, I hope to be ready by next week.

I would also recommend these links:
  1. W3schools CSS tutorial (for CSS support)
  2. Build your own Travel Blog ebook by Nomadic Matt  - a good tutorial but you have to pay to download though it’s worth the download fee .

Monday, January 24, 2011

How I gained 40 pounds in Belgium? :-)

I've recently been asked to write about my experience from my internship in Belgium. I decided to look at it from another angle and here's what I have written. You can view the original post from the AIESEC UPD site here.

We all heard of it. An AIESEC internship will bring you places, introduce new cultures, give your professional career a boost and allow you to meet new people. And after spending two unforgettable years in Belgium, I can confirm that all of them are true. But if there’s one thing that the brochures didn’t include was that there is a good chance that you’ll gain weight.

I left the Philippines for my internship in September 2008 roughly weighing 120 pounds and came back two years after with 40 pounds extra baggage.

It may just be my experience, given that I had my internship in Belgium, a country known for its fries, chocolates and beers. Belgium is a nation divided between the French-speaking region (Wallonia) and the Dutch-speaking region (Flanders). I lived in Brussels, the capital of Belgium , and despite dominated by the French way of life, I never had tasted the cliché French foods like escargot, coq a vin or ratatouille. But then again, it’s Belgium not France.

One lesson that I learned was that fries, actually should never be called “French”. The Belgians claim that it originated from Belgium and would correct you if you call it ‘French fries’. The best frites place in Brussels is in a place called Place Jourdan. The fries are huge and usually placed in a cornet (paper rolled into a cone).  Plain frites is already delicious but what makes the frites more special is the sauce. Most fritkots (fries place) offer more than 20 kinds of sauces. There are the classics like ketchup & mayo, the uniquely Belgian sauce like andalouse, tartar, piquant, curry ketchup and the outrageously named yet interesting concoctions like sauce Brazilian and sauce Samurai.

Any good frites won’t be complete without drinks to drown it down. And AIESEC interns, your experience won’t be complete without the crazy nightouts, the never ending AIESEC parties and intern’s drinks. And Belgium’s diversed selection of beers, makes it a great place to be an intern!  In the supermarket, there are aisles specifically dedicated for beers – and even a well-known bar in Brussels called Delirium that serves more than 2000+ kinds of beers.  There are the fruit beers pêche (peach), kriek (cherry) and framboise (strawberry). There’s also the bière blanche (Hoeegarden), blondes (Duvel, Leffe Blonde), pales (Stella Artois, Jupiler) and the bruin (Triple Westmalle, Orval, Kasteel). Alcohol content level ranges from 4.3% to 12% and each beer has to be drank from its own specific glass. Going out for a drink is  staple to most interns’ activity.

Finally, chocolates, the most known Belgian delicacy worldwide, is practically available anywhere. It comes with your coffee, your bread, and even outrageously in your beer (there is a chocolate flavoured beer, never tried it). I did my internship in Microsoft, and aside from the abundance of laptop PCs & Windows paraphernalia – the office pantry also has an overflowing chocolate supply. The Red Cote d’Or milk chocolates were my lifeline on those long meetings & strict project deadlines.

Those three foods plus the never ending social night outs and reliance on frozen food (since you work & party, hardly having time to cook) had made gaining weight fast and easy.

But despite gaining 40 pounds, I look down into my increased waistline not with a sad disposition but a consideration that the food I consumed came with memories. And perhaps a portion of this increased weight was just my mind getting heavier from the global professional mindset, key business learnings and of course the unforgettable internship memories that I have captured from probably the best years of my life. But then again, it may really be the food and alcohol – mais non, je ne regrette rien.