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Gawad Kalinga Bayong ng Kabuhayan

Posted on 21 October 2009 by Flisha

Zesto Wrappers

Zesto Wrappers

What can you do with leftover plastic wrappers, the wasteful by-products of an industrialized generation?

Burn them? Bury them? Throw them into space?

You’d be surprised. Zesto does none of these. Instead, Zesto Corporation donates all their (clean but) excess doy pack materials to Gawad Kalinga, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing shelter and livelihood to financially-challenged Filipinos. In turn, GK produces beautifully woven bags from these donated scraps right in their local chapter in GK Sunshineville, BF Resort Village, Las Piñas City, Philippines.

Their product include woven handbags, laptop bags, lunch bags, envelope bags, purses, bed mats, coasters, table tops, place mats, picture frames, storage cases and more.

Last week, I and my fellow bloggers, in coordination with Nuffnang and sponsored by HSBC, got the chance to personally visit GK Sunshineville.

We met up at Starbucks Bonifacio High Street early Saturday, and rode a van towards GK Sunshineville. It was half an hour’s ride away from Makati, and upon getting there, we immediately saw the GKers hard at work weaving strips of doy pack, sewing up bags, making envelops and creating all sorts of wonderful knick knacks.

Project Director Bong Ragojos and the GK Beneficiaries

Project Director Bong Ragojos and the GK Beneficiaries

We met Brother Bong, the project director for the Gawad Kalinga Bayong ng Kabuhayan livelihood project. (Bayong in Filipino means large bag. Bayong ng kabuhayan means livelihood bags.)

He, with the help of his wife, voluntarily manages the Bayong project, as part of  his responsibilities towards Couples for Christ (CFC). The men and women of Gawad Kalinga Sunshineville choose to work for the Bayong project, as most of them are unemployed and with children.

I asked the women how many bags they produce in a day, and they said that on average, they could finish 5-7 each. They are paid about 7 pesos per bag they create. Each bag sells for about Php200-300. (But more when sold via retailers.)

Bayong ng Kabuhayan Samples

Bayong ng Kabuhayan Samples

Here are sampler bayongs from the Bayong project. Lovely, aren’t they? From afar, you can’t even see that they’re made out of Zesto materials.

The generic silver bags are Bayong’s best seller. They’re a hit locally. Interestingly, foreigners and Filipinos overseas prefer those that show the Zesto labels. I completely understand. Who wants to walk around carrying a bag that matches your buddy’s snack? However, a local product is certainly something unique abroad. :-)

I was enamored with the silver bag as well, but I’m not a fan of the handbag. I wanted a laptop bag, but the one they currently had on display had a black strap. I wanted the earthy brown strap they used for the other bags. They were only too happy to oblige, except that they couldn’t find a long enough strap to hold my laptop bag. :-( Aw. However, they said they could do it, I’d just have to follow up. GK Sunshineville, I’m holding you to your promise! ;-)

If you are interested in purchasing these bags, they do accept orders and even customizations. You can contact Mr. Bong Ragojos via mobile phone 63.2.9173907861/63.2.9196120202 or email him at ljragojos2002@yahoo.com.

My thanks goes out to Nuffnang, especially Patty, for inviting us to this event, and Abby, for buying us lunch. Thanks to Gawad Kalinga as well for giving me a bag! (More on the next post!)

To see more photos of the trip, see the gallery below.

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Blogger Comment Preview Cuts Off Word Verification Box

Posted on 11 July 2009 by Flisha

Stumbled upon a new Blogger issue today. I’d rolled out a few posts and my friend Heidee wanted to post a comment. Alas, she could not, because she could not find the word verification input box.

Here is the screenshot she sent:

As you can see, the verification word is visible but the rest of the comment box seems cut off.

I tried to duplicate her issue, but since I was logged in to Blogger, I was not asked for word verification. I logged out and tried commenting on my own blog, and was able to duplicate her issue on Firefox and IE. (My friend tried it in Safari as well and it’s broken as well.)

The cause of the issue is all too clear. Blogger is now showing a preview comment before the verification box, where before it was not. It seems that whomever approved this change did not test it out on the embedded-below-post comment forms, or failed to consider to increase the height of the pop-up word verification form, so that the input field is now inaccessible.

I thought to scour the web for a quick fix, but the issue seems fairly new. I found posts documenting the issue on Blogger Help here and here, logged July 10, 2009. So I doubt there’s already a fix. And since this is a Blogger issue, editing my template won’t help.

For now, I have disabled word verification on my comments. It makes me vulnerable to spam, but I have no other choice. If I revert to the default pop-up window comment form placement, my template might get messed up because I edited it before to get the embedded comment form to work.

For others encountering the same issue, you can do what I did, disable word verification. And if your blog is inundated with spam, then turn on comment moderation. The alternative is to switch from embedded comment form placement to full-page or pop-up comment form placement.

Hopefully Blogger fixes this issue fast.

P.S. Thanks for the heads up, Heids!

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Label Feeds in Blogger

Posted on 04 February 2009 by Flisha


I am sure many Blogger users out there admire the myriad plugins and functionalities of WordPress. I am one of those admirers.

I especially like that there’s a WordPress plugin for category feeds, or label feeds. It’s not immediately apparent that the same is available in Blogger, since it’s never promoted, but you can actually get label feeds in Blogger.

Why would you be interested in label feeds? Many reasons:

  1. Letting readers subscribe to a selected category
  2. Placing the latest posts from a category onto your sidebar
  3. Styling your blog into a magazine layout
  4. Creating label widgets for iGoogle

And you can probably think up more creative ways to use category feeds. These are just some of the few reasons I went looking for the label feeds in Blogger, and so far I’ve used #2 and #4, but quickly abandoned #2 because my sidebar looks busy enough as it is.

So how do you get the Blogger label feeds? It’s pretty simple. First, you have to make sure that your Site Feed is turned on. To do that, your blog’s Settings -> Site Feed -> Allow Blog Feeds -> Full. You can also use Short, if you don’t like offering full feeds. But don’t use None.

Now, if you have a regular Blogspot URL like such:

http://yourblog.blogspot.com

Then your default posts feed is this:

http://yourblog.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default/

But you probably know (and use) that already. To get the feed for an individual label, just add an -/labelName to the end of your default feed. So, for example you have a label Technology, the resulting feed would be:

http://yourblog.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default/-/Technology

A note to remember is that the feeds are case sensitive, so this feed:

http://yourblog.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default/-/technology

…won’t work.

Now let’s say you have a label like this: Things I Like. Just replace the spaces with a %20, so your feed should look like this:

http://yourblog.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default/-/
Things%20I%20Like

Again, be aware of the cases.

Say you have a customized domain like mine. This is my URL:

http://www.randomdetox.com

The rules are the same, you just change the prefix of your feeds. So, an example of my label feeds are the following:

http://www.randomdetox.com/feeds/posts/default/-/Lost
http://www.randomdetox.com/feeds/posts/default/-/Gossip%20Girl

There! Now that you know, make good use of the feeds! :)

Oh and if you’re interested, here are some of my label feeds you might like to subscribe to:

Pop Culture

Hello Kitty
Manny Pacquiao
True Blood
Ugly Betty

Tech Stuff

Blogging
Tech
Tutorial

Travel Stuff

Cebu Pacific
Dakak
Dapitan
Dipolog
Philippine Airlines
Travelogue
Zamboanga
Zest Airways

Other Stuff

Discounts
Free Stuff
Personal

Oh yeah, and here’s how my iGoogle looks like.

How might you use label feeds from Blogger? Leave a comment!

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Philippine Proposal Requires License of Bloggers (Full Text)

Posted on 22 January 2009 by Flisha

Is the Philippine government trying to tax bloggers?

That seems to be the case, judging from an inconspicuous proposal posted on the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) website. Here is the crux of the matter. They want everyone on the Internet to register through them…

Contents, Information, Applications and/or Electronic Games Providers, Contents Developers, Information Sources, Applications Developers, and Electronic Games Developers are required to have commercial presence in the country and shall secure Certificate of Registration (COR) from the Commission.

…and then pay fees. A filing fee of Php300 ($7) and an annual registration fee of Php6000 ($133). Whoa!!! I haven’t even made that much from Google Adsense in five years, and I have to pay that amount EACH YEAR just to be able to place a banner ad over my blog??? That’s just crazy!

Stop right there, you say. How do we know if we really are part of this proposal? Well, firstly let’s take a look at what is addressed by the proposal:

Contentrefers to all types of contents delivered to/accessed by the users/subscribers such as music, ring tones, logos, video clips, etc.

Informationrefers to all types of information delivered to/accessed by the users/subscribers, e.g. road traffic information, financial information, visa application information, etc.

Now that we know, let us ask ourselves whether we, as bloggers, offer either content or information. And the answer is yes, on both counts. Content is definitely an area that some, if not most, bloggers have ventured in. Who hasn’t tried to upload a Youtube video or two? Information, on the other hand, is most definitely blogger territory. That’s what we offer our readers everyday, that’s everything we do.

So we know the kind of data addressed by the proposal. The next step is to analyze whom the proposal really pertains to. Are we actually involved? Well, here are the affected, and my comments in brackets:

Contents Providersare persons or entities offering and providing contents to the public for compensation through the networks, systems and/or facilities of authorized networks, systems and/or facilities providers [If you place advertisements on your Youtube videos, you’re a content provider. Or if you sell graphic designs or web templates, you’re also a content provider.]

Information Providersare persons or entities offering and providing information to the public for compensation through the networks, systems and/or facilities of authorized networks, systems and/or facilities providers. [Okay, we’re talking about the paid bloggers here. In fact, anybody with an ad network like Google Adsense falls under this sweeping definition, and that’s like, almost the entire blogging community.]

Contents Developersare persons or entities creating contents. [Uhhh. The only thing differentiating this term from a content provider is the issue of compensation. Meaning, a content provider is a subset of a content developer. So why even make up a “content provider” if they’re gonna tax all content developers anyway? Or do the content providers get taxed TWICE??]

Information Sourcesare persons or entities providing information to Information Providers. [Rest assured that if you have any original thought in your body, share it and get taxed.]

Applications Developerare persons or entities creating applications. [Oh, are you a programmer like me? Too bad, we’re getting taxed. Say goodbye to the opensource movement.]

Electronic Games Developerare persons or entities creating electronic games. [My, my. As though electronic games were not applications. I wonder how many times I will have to get taxed here.]

Man, that’s a whole lot of people the NTC wants to tax. The entire Internet fits in there! In fact, I alone, fit in five categories of people the NTC wants to tax. I am a content provider, an information provider, a content developer, an information source (sometimes), an applications developer and an electronic games developer. So, I guess I should pay NTC a filing fee of Php 1500 ($33) upfront and a registration of Php 30,000 ($667) from now and each year thereafter.

Then, on the matter of scope. How can we be sure that we’re talking about the Internet here? Maybe we are just simply discussing the mobile networks in the country? Well, that’s where the ambiguity of the entire document comes in. While the data and the persons addressed by this document are defined clearly, the scope is not defined at all, only the goals are:

  • Promotion of competition in the telecommunications market, where telecommunications carriers are free to make business decisions and interact with one another in providing telecommunications services, with the end in view of encouraging their financial viability while maintaining affordable rates.
  • To further encourage the development of contents, information applications and electronic games, the prevailing access charge regime between the contents, information, applications and electronic games providers and the networks providers which is revenue sharing should be replaced by fixed access charge.

Telecommunications is mentioned in the goals, but does the term “telecommunications” solely pertain to the mobile carriers like Smart and Globe? And then, these companies do not serve only the mobile market, but also the data market (they are Internet Service Providers as well), and so if these companies are involved, then are we, as data consumers of these companies, not part of them as well?

It’s nice that the NTC would like the telecommunications market to be more competitive. It’s nice that they think that by enforcing more fees from everybody, that somehow everybody else would experience lower fees (where is the logic in that?). But goals are just goals and not often the end result, especially not from such an ambiguous, all-encompassing proposal such as this.

So, is the Internet involved? Are we, bloggers, involved? Scope is not spelled clearly in this document, but if we forget that for a moment and say that yes the Internet is involved, then yes, we bloggers are definitely involved and are definitely taxable.

So let us not let this proposal be passed into a bill, in its very ambiguous state. Because if it does pass, then only a tiny misinterpretation of the law is needed to spell disaster for bloggers.

It’s the best way to curtail free speech in a third world country. Don’t let this happen.

* * * * *

Here is the full text of the proposal:

2 December 2008 draft

MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR
No. ______________________

SUBJECT: GUIDELINES ON THE PROVISION OF CONTENTS, INFORMATION, APPLICATIONS, AND ELECTRONIC GAMES

WHEREAS, the 1987 Constitution fully recognizes the vital role of communications in nation building and provides for the emergence of communications structures suitable to the needs and aspirations of the nation;

WHEREAS, the promotion of competition in the telecommunications market is a key objective of Republic Act No. 7925 (RA7925, for brevity), otherwise known as The Public Telecommunications Policy Act of the Philippines, which mandates that “a healthy competitive environment shall be fostered, one in which telecommunications carriers are free to make business decisions and interact with one another in providing telecommunications services, with the end in view of encouraging their financial viability while maintaining affordable rates.”

WHEREAS, RA7925 further defines the role of the government to “promote a fair, efficient and responsive market to stimulate growth and development of the telecommunications facilities and services”;

WHEREAS, the provision of contents, information, applications, and electronic games to the consumers creates demand for telecommunication networks and services – the development of contents, information, applications, and electronic games should therefore be encouraged and facilitated;

WHEREAS, the entry of more contents, information, applications and/or electronic games providers in the market will result to lower prices benefiting the consumers;

WHEREAS, to further encourage the development of contents, information applications and electronic games, the prevailing access charge regime between the contents, information, applications and electronic games providers and the networks providers which is revenue sharing should be replaced by fixed access charge;

WHEREAS, in the power sector the consumers can purchase their power requirements from independent power producers – power producers are not subject to nationality requirement;

NOW, THEREFORE, pursuant to RA7925, Executive Order (EO) No. 546 series of 1979, and in order to encourage and facilitate the development of contents and the provision thereof to the consumers, the National Telecommunications Commission (Commission) hereby promulgates the following guidelines:

A DEFINITIONS
1. The following terms as used in this Circular shall have the following definitions:
a. Content – refers to all types of contents delivered to/accessed by the users/subscribers such as music, ring tones, logos, video clips, etc.
b. Information – refers to all types of information delivered to/accessed by the users/subscribers, e.g. road traffic information, financial information, visa application information, etc.
c. Application – refers to all types of applications delivered to/accessed by the users/subscribers, e.g. mobile banking, electronic payments, point of sale service, etc.
d. Electronic Game – refers to games played online except gambling.
e. Contents Providers – are persons or entities offering and providing contents to the public for compensation through the networks, systems and/or facilities of authorized networks, systems and/or facilities providers.
f. Information Providers – are persons or entities offering and providing information to the public for compensation through the networks, systems and/or facilities of authorized networks, systems and/or facilities providers.
g. Applications Providers – are persons or entities offering and providing applications to the public for compensation through the networks, systems and/or facilities of authorized networks, systems and/or facilities providers.
h. Electronic Games Providers – are persons or entities offering and providing electronic games to the public for compensation through the networks, systems and/or facilities of authorized networks, systems and/or facilities providers.
i. Contents Developers – are persons or entities creating contents.
j. Information Sources – are persons or entities providing information to Information Providers.
k. Applications Developer – are persons or entities creating applications.
l. Electronic Games Developer – are persons or entities creating electronic games.

B REGISTRATION
1. Contents, Information, Applications and/or Electronic Games Providers, Contents Developers, Information Sources, Applications Developers, and Electronic Games Developers are required to have commercial presence in the country and shall secure Certificate of Registration (COR) from the Commission.

2. There shall be no nationality requirement for contents, information, applications and/or electronic games providers, contents, applications and/or electronic games developers and information sources.

3. The application for registration shall be filed and acted upon by the Commission not later than seven (7) working days from date of application.

4. The application shall include the following documents:
a. Valid registration from the Securities and Exchange Commission or from the Department of Trade and Industry and Articles of Incorporation;
b. Facilities lease agreement with duly enfranchised and certificated public telecommunications entity; and

5. The Certificate of Registration shall be valid for a maximum period of five (5) years. Applicants for registration may opt to apply for shorter period not shorter than one (1) year. Certificates of Registration shall be renewable.

D FEES AND CHARGES
1. The following fees and charges shall be imposed:

a. Filing Fee : PhP 300.00
b. Annual Registration Fee: 6,000.00
c. Surcharge for late : 50% of the annual registration fee if application
filing of application is filed within six (6) months from date of expiry
for renewal 100% if filed after six (6) months from date of expiry

E RATES
1. The rates shall be deregulated. The contents, information, applications and/or electronic games provider shall inform the Commission of the rates for each of the content, information, application or electronic game offered at least three (3) days prior to the offering of such content, information, application or electronic game. Contents, information, applications and/or electronic games providers seeking increases in rates shall inform the Commission of the details of such increases at least five (5) days prior to the implementation of the increase. The Commission in the exercise of its mandate to protect consumers may not allow the increase. If the Commission does not act on the information within five (5) days from receipt of the same, the contents, information, applications and/or electronic games provider can impose the new rates.

F ACCESS CHARGES
1. Networks, systems and/or facilities providers shall provide access to contents, information, applications and/or electronic games providers upon request and based on an access agreement. Access to the networks, systems and/or facilities of duly authorized providers by registered contents, information, applications and/or electronic games providers shall be mandatory.

2. The access charge shall be negotiated. The access charge shall be cost-oriented and shall not be higher than the prevailing retail rates, not promotional rates, for the service where the contents, information, applications and/or electronic games are offered/provided.

G CONSUMER WELFARE AND INTEREST
1. Contents, Information, Applications and/or Electronic Games Providers shall strictly comply to the provisions of MC No. 05-06-2007 (Consumer Protection Guidelines), MC No. 04-06-2007 (Data Log Retention of telecommunications traffic), and MC No. 03-03-2005 (Rules and Regulations on Broadcast Messaging Service) and its amendments.

2. Complaints from the subscribers/users shall be presumed to be valid. The burden of proof shall be upon the contents, information, applications and/or electronic games providers.

H Sanctions
1. Violation of any of the provisions of this Circular shall be a ground for the revocation or cancellation of the registration as Contents, Information, Applications and/or Electronic Games Provider.

2. The Commission may direct the disconnection of the access to the networks, systems or facilities of authorized providers pending the investigation of a complaint filed by a subscriber/user if the Commission finds that there is strong evidence against the contents, information, applications and/or electronic games provider.

3. Any violation of this circular shall be dealt with in accordance with law.

E Final Provision
1. Any circular, order, memoranda or parts thereof inconsistent herewith are deemed repealed or amended accordingly.

2. This Circular shall take effect fifteen (15) days after publication in a newspaper of general circulation and three (3) certified true copies are furnished the UP Law Center.

Quezon City, Phlippines _________________________.

RUEL V. CANOBAS
Commissioner

JORGE V. SARMIENTO
Deputy Commissioner

JAIME M. FORTES, JR.
Deputy Commissioner

* * * * *

This is not a law yet. This is just a proposal, and in fact there was a public hearing earlier this afternoon, at the NTC Executive Conference Room (3rd Floor NTC Building, BIR Road, Quezon City). (Will update you on the outcome of that.) Apparently, the hearing was cancelled. No news on whether it will be resumed later.

Please blog about this topic and air your thoughts. Let us not let the Philippines government take away our right to free speech.

Other bloggers reporting on this story:
Mike Abundo
Tech At Hand

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Fallen Tree

Posted on 30 October 2008 by Flisha

I am experimenting with new ways of presenting my photos. I think my photos look a lot more professional when they’re elegantly bordered and identified.

Initially I was just going for a watermark, to prevent any possible stealing of photos. (Not that it’s ever happened to me personally, to my knowledge anyways, but it’s a common story in my part of the world.)

But I quite dislike watermarks because they tend to ruin photos. And they give off a negative attitude, like a whiff of “I know you’re gonna steal my photo so I’m going to uglify it so you can’t use it.” I’m not dissing the ones who use it, of course. I know a lot of photobloggers only do the watermarking as a last resort, and even prominent bloggers have had to resort to it just to prevent thieves (and yet oftentimes it still doesn’t work).

So, anyways, I’ve seen this kind of bordering done on a few photo blogs so I decided to do the same. I think my photos look majorly prettified. :D

It’s a photo of a fallen tree along the coast in Dapitan, Zamboanga del Norte, Philippines. Mysteriously, the tree is still alive even though it’s been beaten down by wind and sea.

This photo is uncropped and unedited, except for the resizing and the added borders (I used FastStone Photo Resizer because it’s a very small application and it doesn’t eat up a lot of resources).

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Bohol Tour Part V: Panglao Island Beach Resort

Posted on 23 September 2008 by Flisha

Infinity pools. I only see them on MTV Cribs.

But someday, when I am filthy rich, I shall have one too!

Of course, a pool can’t really be infinite by itself (can it?). It needs the help of a larger body of water, like the ocean, so you can pretend your pool extends all the way to the horizon and beyond.

Well I can say I finally have bathed in an infinity pool! Yay me!

After getting all sweaty and smelly (of bat poo) at the Hinagdanan Cave, Gim and I badly needed some refreshment! We had two choices. Bohol Beach Club or Panglao Island Beach Resort. We were only in Bohol for a day, so we couldn’t choose both. Panglao Resort was right beside Hinagdanan, so that made the choice much easier. (I recently saw some pictures of Bohol Beach Club and it’s amazing, so we’re definitely reserving that for next year.)

Panglao Island Beach Resort looks very ordinary from the outside. We weren’t planning to go inside, we just stopped by to take a picture before we headed on to Hinagdanan, so I could post it on my blog and say I’d been there but I really hadn’t.

I know. I am awful blogger. I was gonna lie to you all.

Thankfully, Nards, our guide from the cave, told us Panglao was a very nice resort, with an infinity pool.

I was sold. By these very words. And because it was cheap, too. The entrance cost P350 ($8) per person, very cheap! P200 of that was consumable. So the entrance was really just P150.

There was a shoot going on when we got there. There was this very pretty girl with a skimpy two-piece bikini on, lying on the edge of the pool against a backdrop of infinite water and she was oiled and slutting it up for the camera. And NO, I did NOT take a picture of her.

There was a large tripod and a huge camera pointed at her, and a director barking orders at the crew. At the same time placating the star.

I was quite disappointed they were there, because I didn’t want to ruin the shoot by jumping into the pool or anything. *Heh* It was tempting. Very very tempting. So Gim and I just sat on the bamboo benches and laid out our stuff.

Then we changed into our swimwear… Hee. It was my first time to wear swimwear. And even then, well, it wasn’t exactly swimwear. I wore shorts and a sports top. Heh. (Trust me, you don’t want to see me reveal anything!!!)

Thank you, water, for enveloping me very nicely. Anyways by the time we’d finished changing, the shoot had wrapped up so we were free to splash and play and jump into the pool! But shower first, of course! And then — yipee!!! Splash, splash, splash!

Here’s the breathtaking view. Click the pics for bigger resolutions!

Beautiful, huh? And the great thing was that we had the place ALL to ourselves! Nobody was there but us! (Since the shoot people were done.) It was so much fun just lying around and playing in the pool! There were these little jets of water that shot from holes on the pool wall, they were soooo much fun…. And NO it was not THAT strong.

Then I asked Gim to pose like that girl in the shoot. Hee hee hee hee!!!! So he did.

Isn’t he the cutest???? LOL!!!

He’s gonna kill me for posting these. Hehehe!! So I’ll pose one he likes. He thinks he looks very sexy and “manly” here. Hee hee hee!!

Some more pics of him trying to look “manly”.

Hehehehe!!! And then we have the “clambering-up-over-pools” pics. Just because. Haha.

Oh and the pool is made up of smaller pools but they all share the same water. I like the parts that are right beside the plants, like these:

Oh and now it’s my turn for picture-taking! Humor me while I hide underneath the water.

And since I duly embarassed Gim in the pictures above, I will allow a bit of embarrassment for myself. Hee. (Gim made me do it!!!!)

And since I cannot swim, nor float in freshwater, well, er… this is the way I enjoyed myself.

Whee! Hahahaha.

Oh and another thing that’s cute about the resort is that it has a snack bar right at the edge of the pool, where the bar stools are cemented right inside the pool! How fun! Loved the concept! :-)

Unfortunately forgot to take a picture of the seats. But we did get the snack bar girl to take a pic of us! Don’t we look cute? Hahahaha!

More?

Hehehehe. We wanted to have lunch at the snack bar but we couldn’t. It was only for snacks daw. Hmph. We had to go to the second floor to eat lunch. But we were so hungry we didn’t mind.

Here’s what we ordered.

Fried chicken! Mmm!

Mmm, pasta with clams and garlic, and garlic bread! And mango shakes! It was a great meal!

Here’s my Gim!

And then there’s me!

Then afterwards we went right back to the pool again!

And I’ll not say the part where I wanted to pee so much I almost ran towards the toilet which I thought was a shower but it wasn’t, it was just a toilet, and there wasn’t any place to put my clean clothes anywhere and I was soooo in need I peed all over myself but there was no water (which is so kainis, hello it was a toilet!) so I gingerly sneaked out, made sure nobody was looking, carefully closed the door behind me so no one would smell anything and then, head help up unnaturally high, walked steadily to the shower room.

The end.

Read the other Bohol posts…
Bohol Tour Part IV: Hinagdanan Cave
Bohol Tour Part VI: Philippine Tarsiers
Bohol Tour Part VII: Statues and Churches
Bohol Tour Part VIII: Snakes and Flying Lemurs

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An Ad Network for the Philippines

Posted on 09 September 2008 by Flisha

So far, there is Asia Century Multi-Advertising (terrible interface, incessant login problems) and AuctionPH (terribly low commission fees – P6 for an actual purchase!).

Now comes Nuffnang Philippines, created by Timothy Tiah and Cheo Ming Shen. Judging from interface and features alone, I think this ad network will blow away the other two to smithereens.

Nuffnang bills itself as Asia’s First Blog Advertising Community and started serving ads in Malaysia and Singapore early 2007. Its advertiser list is impressive, including big names like Nike, Honda, Nokia and Nescafe. This year it planted roots in the Philippines and started the call for interested bloggers.

I like that Nuffnang has its own stats analysis without having to ask the blogger to install any additional code other than an ad unit. It is for this reason that if you’re a Nuffnang blogger but aren’t serving ads, you won’t see any data in your Nuffnang Analytics page. The data comes from the number of times your ad units were displayed. Sure enough, not 15 minutes after I had uploaded the Nuffnang ad unit to my blog, I started seeing some Referral data on my Nuffnang page (Analytics data is delayed by an hour, though).

Ad units come in three forms, leaderboard (728 x 90), skyscraper (160 x 300) and large rectangle (336 x 280). My ad unit is in the form of skyscraper, but so far it doesn’t seem to serving anything other than Nuffnang ads. Hmm. Looking forward to seeing a big name ad on my site soon. Wouldn’t it be cool advertising Nokia? Hehehe! Whoops I forgot I just blogged about Sony Ericsson a few posts ago, hahaha. Guess I won’t see Nokia on my sidebar anytime soon, aww, hahaha.

Exlusive Nuffnang bloggers (defined as bloggers not serving any other Southeast Asian ads apart from Nuffnang) get to be part of the Glitterati club (how posh!) and get higher earnings than non-exclusive members. They are also paid earlier (a month verses two for ordinary members, but I think a month is still too long!!), they get more prizes in contests and they get to bring their boyfriends to community events. Hahaha, I think it definitely pays to be loyal to Nuffnang.

Except that it currently says on my profile I’m not exclusive to Nuffnang. No, Nuffnang, don’t say that! I am! Well, we’ll see, maybe it will change within the week. It does say 48 hours to get the Nuffnang crawl update.

Oh, and they’re giving away P500 to the first 68 Nuffnang-exclusive bloggers to share the good news. Go on, sign up now at Nuffnang.

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How to Use a GoDaddy Domain with Blogger

Posted on 21 July 2008 by Flisha

Had a bit of trouble setting up the domain I impulsively bought last night so I decided to create a tutorial for all of you who might be thinking of setting up a GoDaddy domain with Blogger.

First, log in your GoDaddy account. Then, hover your mouse over the Domains tab and click on My Domains.

That will bring you to the Domains page. Click on your domain name. That will bring you to the page below. Click on Total DNS Control and MX Records.

You should now be inside the Domain Manager. You will be modifying one and adding another CNAME here. Do not delete or alter your A Record (Host). (Some tutorials will tell you to do that, but it will only cause trouble later on.)

Modify the CNAME for the host (alias) named www and point it to ghs.google.com. This means that if a user types in www.yourdomain.com, Google will dynamically point the user to any Google server that’s available and loads your page fastest.

So now your www.yourdomain.com should work fine upon publishing in Google (it won’t yet, you haven’t set up Blogger yet). But what if a user decides to just type yourdomain.com, without the www prefix? It will probably load up the GoDaddy parked website. So you have to add another CNAME with the host as yourdomain.com and point it also to ghs.google.com.

And that is all we have to do on the GoDaddy front. Let’s now move on to your Blogger account. Login to your Blogger account, select your blog, and go to the Settings tab and then click on the Publishing subtab.

Right now you’re publishing on Blogger, but we want to use your new domain name so go ahead and click on Custom Domain.

 

Okay, that will bring you to the page below.

On the same page, click on Switch to Advanced Settings, like in the screenshot below.

On the Advanced Settings page, type your domain name in the box. Don’t forget the www prefix. Then press the Save Settings button.

  

Now your domain which is www.yourdomain.com should be working. However the URL yourdomain.com is probably still parked at GoDaddy. Let’s remedy that, shall we? Check the checkbox that will allow Google to redirect yourdomain.com to www.yourdomain.com, like in the screenshot. Then Save Settings again.

 

Voila! Now both ways of typing in your URL are working! Yay!

Okay no. It might not work RIGHT away. Or maybe it will. This one: www.yourdomain.com will probably work right away. But this one: yourdomain.com might take a few minutes to an hour or maybe more, not sure. So if it’s not working, give it a couple of hours.

Don’t go tweaking all your other settings in vain. Don’t listen to people telling you to delete your A record, forward this, redirect that… Because I did and it caused me a lot of headache last night! Until I figured out the meaning of patience. Hahaha.

Good luck!

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I Bought a Domain!

Posted on 11 July 2008 by Flisha

Well, I up and did it. ;) I’ve been stalling for the longest time, ‘coz I’m quite comfy here in Blogger. I’ve been here, what, 3 years now? I’m not sure… I don’t celebrate anniversaries (…should I?). Anyways, it’s been a fun free ride.

But having your own domain just looks so cool. A few years ago you’d have to pay $35 a year and that was just registration. Now registration only costs $6 a year while hosting costs as little as $3 a month… or less!

Anyways I decided on getting the domain name BodySoulDetox.com. I didn’t get RandomDetox.com, but maybe I should too. I just feel that the word “Random” is used far too much among blog names, so I thought maybe I’d try something new. (I’m so not good at making up blog titles! My last title was Self Absorbed Female, hehe.)

I’m still testing the domain thing so I’m not gonna be moving yet. Or maybe I won’t move at all, I’ll just use my domain with Blogger. We’ll see.

I feel like a child — no, no… I feel like myself — in a grocery store. Hehe. Excited.

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How to Embed a Comment Box in Blogger

Posted on 29 June 2008 by Flisha

First of all you must have enabled Blogger in Draft in your dashboard to be able to use this service. If you are using a basic Blogger template without customizations, go to Settings -> Comments and in the section for Comment Form Placement, select “Embedded below post”.

If, however, you downloaded a customized Blogger template from another site or made your own changes to the template, doing this won’t work. So let’s get down and dirty again. This is much easier than placing star ratings.

Okay, now go to Layout -> Edit HTML and mark the box Expand Widget Templates. Look for this piece of code:

<p class=’comment-footer’>
<a expr:href=’data:post.addCommentUrl’ expr:onclick=’data:post.addCommentOnclick’>
<data:postCommentMsg/></a>
</p>
</b:if>

You can find it easily by searching for the term “addCommentUrl”. There are two instances of this in your template, choose the one that matches the above code. In my template, the next line after this code was <div id=’backlinks-container’> so that might help you a bit.

Then delete the code I made you look for and replace it with this:

<p class=’comment-footer’>
<b:if cond=’data:post.embedCommentForm’>
<b:include data=’post’ name=’comment-form’/>
<b:else/>
<b:if cond=’data:post.allowComments’>
<a expr:href=’data:post.addCommentUrl’ expr:onclick=’data:post.addCommentOnclick’>
<data:postCommentMsg/></a>
</b:if>
</b:if>
</p>
</b:if>

Save your template and refresh your blog! Hope your frustrated readers will no longer be able to see the pop-up comment box ever again! :-)

P.S. Amanda from Blogger Buster has similar instructions, but they didn’t work for me. My blog’s base template is the minimalist theme from Blogger, perhaps that has something to do with it. But anyway, if this code doesn’t work for you, you might want to check out Amanda’s tutorial.

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