The Western Union Network Challenge

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Do you know how connected you are in Facebook vs the world?!
Their app can literally get that information, show it to you and more!

Life lessons can be learned from experience and we can't have enough of it. History in itself explains the who, what, when, where and how's of the country you live in and I'm glad I live in a noble one called The Philippines. Today, we have a few million people living outside the country that still send help to their relatives/friends here and it's like part of the culture. Almost every family in our 80 million strong population have one or two relatives elsewhere in the world and that plays a significant part in nation building; a fact that Western Union knows. They made a site that would graphically explain everything to the ordinary Juan/Pedro. Initiatives that impressed people like me who spends quite a lot of time in the blue collared industry.

You can also see graphical representations of different economic aspects here and around the world. You can see how ours fare versus other nations. You will see how much aid a country gets, export growth, foreign investment, remittances, GDP rates, import growth and population. This is essential to predicting and verifying the economic stability of a country. Without looking at previous data and comparing them to the current one today: not a single member would make sense.

When asked about the application and the site about its incapacity to earn or generate income, Ms. Angela Heng VP for Corporate Affairs said that they are doing this as service to help people better understand Western Union and its history. What a noble gesture from one great corporation celebrating it's 160th year in the business.

Since Western Union is one of the world's most connected corporations, they are looking for the most networked person in the world by the use of the Social Media network Facebook and a site they dedicated for this located at You can compare with your friends and show them how globally connected you are. Check out your Facebook photos after using the application and you'll get an idea how connected you are (in photos) too! Your personal score will also contribute to your respective country of residence; so the app will soon know who's the most geographically connected country.

I have my friends and family in around 29 countries around the world; and it was shown there too!

Since the Philippines is one of the most well connected people in the world, Western Union is using the data to be gathered with this application to also know how we would rank against other countries. If their theories are correct we probably would place second to one or more first world countries. Pretty amazing if you ask me. Would you want to rank first? Why don't you visit the site and use the application now; tell me how you fare against other Pinoys and people across the globe!

These guys already took the challenge; so why don't you?!


Thanks to the generous people at Western Union because we'll have a contest about this! That's coming up in a few days! Watch out for that! =)



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Maria La Del Barrio - Watch it on August 15!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Maybe you have watched this Mexican Telenovela original and grown quite amused of Thalia's antics while she battles her way through life as a peasant in Maria La Del Barrio. ABS CBN and Televisa - as part of their commitment to world class broadcasting will stage the Philippine version of this program on August 15, 2011. Aren't you guys excited?! =)
(Image from no copyright infringement intended)

Do you know who's going to play the part of Maria and Luis Fernando?! It's two of the hottest stars of Philippine Television; Erich Gonzales and Enchong Dee. It was actually my first time to see them and I wasn't disappointed. They were so nice and accommodating in spite of their very busy schedules that day.

One by one they went out of the studio and into the Red Carpet!

Ms. Angel Aquino was stunningly beautiful. I still want to have a photoshoot with her someday. Ian Veneracion was still looking so young! It was like he didn't age! The ever so gorgeous Assunta de Rossi who made waves in PNOY's SONA was there also since she portrayed the role of Maria's Mom in the flick.

Pau Diaz was nice and sunny in her yellow dress. She was excited to see all her batchmates from SCQ. They had a reunion a couple of days ago and it was nice that they still are that close even if some of them have their own lives in the states. She will play the villainess Soraya's character. Arron Villaflor plays the role of Enchong's brother who had a soft spot for Erich in this program. He's doing matured roles it seems and this is a pretty good break for him.

That's WAPAAAK! Ms. K Brosas who arrived early (so professional!) and was a ton of laughs while on stage during the press conference. She is a breath of fresh air and I'm so glad I follow her on twitter. :) She's going to make a little difficult for Erich though in the program. That's Jake Roxas on the right and he's coming back from a long hiatus because of some management problems he had in the past. Now he's going to get more acting jobs since he did quite great in the Vampire-Werewolf local flick he did a couple of months ago. Still good looking like me. :)

Playing villain is Gio Alvarez who played quite a number of roles in the movies but didn't get that much breaks on TV. He's doing this for his family and it was nice to hear that they (his real life wife) are getting married soon. Katya Santos (fresh from a breakup I think?!) was also there because she'll play a very important part in the coal factories where Maria will work in the beginning of the show. She did lose a lot of weight and followed a strict diet plus her engagements with Hotbabes made her dance quite a lot, she's very pretty still.

Banana Split regular Badjie Mortiz played the role of the household driver and love interest of Ms. K Brosas. This will surely be something hilarious when you guys get to start and see their story. Young and off her days of Going Bulilit; Jane Oineza will also have her share of love interests in the story but you have to watch it as they said. Newcomer Justin Gonzales will also be in this tv program and thanks everyone for giving him a break. This will truly be a test on his acting skills and might be a make or break thing in ABSCBN, I'm sure he'll do a pretty good job on this one!

Proud Directors Ms. Rory Quintos and Richard Somes assures everyone that each bit and piece of this Maria la del Barrio staging will adore the hearts of primetime viewers here and abroad! "Working with great actors and actresses who gave justice to the roles would guarantee this will be one great show" said Director Rory about Marila la del Barrio.

Did I forget anyone?!

Of course! The stars of this show!

Erich Gonzales and Enchong Dee was VERY excited to work with each other. Although they admit they wanted to be romantically involved they had an agreement to just keep the friendship they have so as to not affect their professional lives. They know that sometimes it also affects other actors and actresses if they fight (as lovers) so they wanted to do this so as to keep everything on status quo while they are young and in the prime of their careers.

Erich was so nice to stop and pose for me when I asked her in the very last bit because I didn't get to shoot them that much while a throng of reporters from other agencies were there. They are so excited about this project and was so glad it is going to be shown now on primetime. Their fans must be on their toes awaiting August 15 to come!

Here's when I wanted to shoot them while watching the trailer!

Ooops! When I shot first, only Enchong was looking LOL!

When I took another shot only Erich was looking LOL!!!

Ahhhh there we go! Perfect couple!

They hope and pray that you watch Maria la del Barrio on August 15. Don't forget the date okay?!

She's so pretty.. I even said I love her before she left LOL! Thanks Erich!

If that wasn't an OVERLOAD for you here's more!

An excerpt video of the press conference!

This was when Ms. Angel Aquino was asked about the status of Enchong and Erich! She was indeed put on the spot! :)

And need another one?! How about the full trailer!



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Questions on Weight Loss

Thursday, July 28, 2011

One fact that we established in the office is that we are getting bigger by the day. The lack of exercise, improper diet and habitual takeout orders became a norm for us that it made weight loss quite a struggle. We decided to make a contest out of it and the official weigh in started a month ago. I needed to lose quite a lot and I dare not mention my weight here. It basically falls on the obese range and it isn't funny when every physical exam that we do yearly; the prognosis is still the same. I tried a local diet pill here in our side of the world but it wasn't the best thing to take while on a work day. You kind of go into a cycle of taking it on some days and stopping for a few. The irregular visits to the comfort room were really inconvenient too. I hated it in fact because it's the last thing you need while a meeting is going on and it strikes. The food intake didn't also change because I starve myself and binge after a few days. It spelled YOYO diet all over! I'm going to try some reputable carb blockers instead and maybe that would help.

I haven't officially taken the courage to check and see if I did lose weight. I feel the weighing scales at home were hiding from me when I tried to do that. I probably would just go to our office clinic and try the official weigh in there after 3 months. The winner will get to win a few thousand bucks plus a treat to a local pizza parlor to take those shed weights back LOL! We do want to live a healthy lifestyle don't get me wrong. I will continue to go to gym even after all of these are through. I need to change my diet and my way of life. I'll be a little lighter than usual and get to finish things much faster. Our bodies need to be at par with what are brains can do. This is my personal goal for this year. My office mates did insane workouts and they lost a lot of weight during the first few weeks. I hope I can do the same with the gym time and diet pills I plan to take from here on. I hate to lose!

How about you guys?! Have you done weight loss efforts this year? What was effective for you? What didn't work? Let me know what you think so I can apply them to myself too okay?! Thanks!


Music Comes Alive with MCA Music!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

When you mix music + talent with pleasure; you can never go wrong. Last Friday was one of the best days for Philippine music as MCA artists celebrate through a spectacle dubbed "Music Comes Alive" at the Eastwood City Plaza in Quezon City.

Hosted by the not so naughty trio of Tony, Slick and Sam YG aka The boys of Boys Night Out it was destined to be one entertaining evening for everyone. It was a grand showcase of MCA Music's hottest local and foreign acts and we weren't disappointed with their lineup. I even had the chance to interview them before the show and that was real sweet! Honestly I didn't know some of the artists beforehand so this was the perfect thing to do to get to know them and their music.

The Lamars

Only one of the Lamars brothers was there but it was a delight to talk to him that evening. The duo composed of Micah and Dave Lamar is gunning for a Pop Rock Genre and they have been in the industry for three years. They have notable covers which they did on TV and youtube. Born from an Italian-German Mom and a Filipino Dad they didn't have lackluster on the looks department. Talent wise it was so nice to see and hear em perform on stage to tunes from R&B artists which he (Micah) did sing with justice bar none. He told us that they almost had the same voice and they play a lot with throwing out lines since they are a duet (second and first voice arrangements) which proved quite effective on their books. If they had a chance they would want to do a collaboration with Yeng Constantino/Nick Jonas since they've got quite a lot of similarities as far as genres are concerned. Their prod label is the same with Yeng Constantino and Sam Milby. They have an album out called "The Lamars : Kung Pwede Lang" available at all record bars nationwide! You should get it!

Need a sample? Here you go! (One of my favorites when I got to listen to them!)

You can subscribe to them on Youtube here! CLICK THIS


Discovered on a TV show by THE Phil Collins in Switzerland, this young 14 yo Filipina singer would delight you with hiphop and RnB songs in this side of the world. She's Lica and she's here for the promotional tour of her album "All I Want To Be" under MCA Music and it looks very promising. It was released February this year. Her family hails from Davao (Mom) and Manila (Dad) so you guys better be ready to represent and get her album! Her fans are of different age brackets and I'm not surprised why she even got on stage with the likes of Ms. Lea Salonga, Phil Collins, Bryan Adams and Lara Fabian. She's fluent in French too so in time you'll hear some great songs in that language from her soon!

Here she is in a nice video with crooner Richard Poon! Amazing!


No I'm not part of the 1:43 but they are a nice bunch of good looking guys. As you may have thought, these guys have been singing their hearts out since December when they released their single Merry Christmas Na, of course they had a lot of airplay and screaming girls at their doorstep... to tell you honestly I wouldn't be surprised. They told me though that they even have haters but they thank them a lot for the media mileage they got from that too. Turning the bad things into positive is pretty neat. They have doing mall shows, going to schools and campuses that they said is their main market. A fact that made them realize that is when they checked out record bars near universities their albums always run out of stock in those locations. They are coming out with more albums soon but in the meantime enjoy TIME FOR LOVE that they just recently launched last April 27; it's out in your favorite record bars now! I listened to them sing before the program and they are quite good; a force to reckon with. They have different musical backgrounds and they admit every day is a learning thing. They don't have that much airplay on public radio but thankful that their connections through social media made them who they are today. If all boybands in the Philippines were this good looking there wouldn't be a single war we have to worry about. If given the chance to pose for Cosmo, they didn't say no! So YES Girls, please take it easy hehe!

Mang Inasal is also supporting local artists and they said they were so lucky to be part of that!

Here you go!

Krissy and Ericka

Charming, cute, sassy, feminine yet VERY powerful voices when seen live, that's Krissy and Ericka. I thought I haven't heard these guys sing before but when I went home and watched their video I remember it being played quite a lot in MYX; and in a nutshell I really like them. It was a treat to have been able to see them in the flesh and not faint (because I was so bad about remembering faces) but that was all good, nobody would catch me if I did that anyway LOL! They've got millions of views on Youtube alone and actually that's where they got discovered. These talented ladies deserve all of these and I'm kinda a short witness to that. They are still young (that's 17 and 18 to you) and got a pretty good future ahead of them. They grew up with teen songs but eventually they want to have more of an acoustic-pop genre. Trivia: One of them has a boyfriend and the other is NBSB. Suitors are around, in and out of showbiz but they make it a point to concentrate on creating music. They adore a lot of songs but Adelle for them is the bomb. They foresee themselves with separate careers soon but for now they are enjoying the ride. They are having the time of their life!

Here's the video I was talking about! Pretty neat!

Tricia Garcia

One of the best memories I had about the 90's (no pun intended to myself about the age!) was actually watching one of those teeny bopper shows in ABS CBN. Tabing Ilog was one of the staple shows in the afternoon and you kinda relate in one or two characters. Now that song is being sung now by Tricia Garcia. She was so nice and talented. She can play the Piano, Guitar and even compose songs! With tracks like Tubig, Walang Salita, Sana Naman and Mamahalin Kita on her latest album... people will surely find their way through her songs. You may find this cliche but when we specifically tried to ask her about her genre she didn't tell us any. She said her brand of music is Honest and Soulful. I believe her in that. Just take a short break from your usual thing and listen... watch this video...

Honest and soulful indeed. For those who want to get a copy of her latest album it's already out on stores. Check her out now!

International Artists Represented Through Fashion

He's a friend and a great fashion designer Lonix Abanil. He's one of the few designers we invited to represent MCA's International Artists through a fashion show in this event. With the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, Jessie J, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and other great artists, one can find inspiration on their music and transform them into great creations. A dose of fashion never hurt anyone in these kind of events, it made it even worthwhile as music from these great artists came to life thorough their dresses and gowns. Sorry I didn't get to meet the other designers, they were very busy at the back stage. Here's a peek at some of them!

Peg: Jennifer Lopez

Peg: Jessie J

Peg: Rihanna

Peg: Lady Gaga

If that wasn't enough they brought Lady Gagita to bring the house down!

See what Music from MCA can do for you?! Congratulations to all their local artists, we have something to look forward to in the Philippine Music Industry! Congratulations MCA!