Taal Volcano brouhaha..

Social networking sites are very much alive again not because of the Piolo-KC’s continuing love-hate saga, or Manny Pacquiao’s supposed attendance in the baptismal of his lovechild as a Godfather or P.Noy’s latest lovelife. The buzz these days is about the proposal from the Provincial board of Batangas about erecting a sign ala-Hollywood in Taal Volcano showing B-A-T-A-N-G-A-S.

This proposal according to them would make everyone know that this popular natural attraction is in the territory of Batangas and not Tagaytay City. What the!

So what if the whole world will know that Taal Volcano is in Batangas? Will it bring millions of Pesos in the country’s coffers bec. bus loads of tourists will come upon finally knowing that Taal Volcano is located in Batangas and not Tagaytay City as they had thought all their lives? Is this matter a cause for a national or international concern like the Spratly Islands claim the reason why our beloved country decided to call South China Sea to be West Philippine Sea to claim sovereignty of the disputed area?

Gov. Vilma through the media said people should not over react because this is just a proposal.

So why are many people still reacting?

Personally, I am writing this blog post because as a Filipino (not necessarily a Batangueno or Caviteno) I feel our elected politicians should focus on projects that would benefit the critical masses not just selected or privileged few. They are spending tax payers money in deliberation sessions about a project which should not be thought of in the first place. Don’t they have better things to do or discuss? Letting the people know that Taal Volcano is part of Batangas province should be made through other initiatives not erecting a giant signage “sa isang nananahimik ngayong Bulkan”! They could spread this information through media, Dep Ed by emphasizing in textbooks and educational materials about the correct geographic location of the place, etc.

I read a news article in ABS-CBN website about this topic and I totally agree with the comments:

“Paano pag sumabog ang bulkan, e di sira na rin yan agad. Sayang ang pondo ng gobyerno, mas marami pa sanang mas kapakipakinabang na proyektong puedeng paggamitan,” Theresa Enriquez- De Asis said.

Johans Lucena said: “The Hollywood sign was put up to add character to an utterly boring hill….the taal volcano by itself has its own character, no need to put up a sign coz everyone knows right away that it is The Taal Volcano.

“Why doesn’t ms Santos use the money in improving the environment in that area instead of adding an eyesore that not only will cost so much money but will also ruin the look of the place.

The millions she’ll use for that sign can be used in planting more trees, plants, improving road works, etc. That would leave a better mark than something she merely copied from somewhere.”

The comments above is a very very big CHECK. Few months ago there were massive fish kills in various parts of the country due to water pollution and over crowding of fish pens. Taal lake is not spared of this dilemma. So why can’t these intelligent and dignified officials just spend their energy and resources in preventing said phenomena.

Gov. Vi, there is still time to scrap this useless project and do something better. The country has enough of the eyesore called giant Billboards. Pls. do not plant one in a naturally beautiful place.

I have been checking the Facebook page showing various altered pictures about spots wherein names were erected. It’s really funny and shows Philippine humor. See for yourself and enjoy!

Kala ng Batangas sila lang..Kaya din ng Cavite yan! (woahh this may likely to happen cos there are a lot of actor-politicians from both province).

Belat! Kami din.

Now this looks like a waiting shed donated by a politician

To commemorate Gov. Vi’s success as a Darna.

Funny TV Commercials (Part 2)

I first posted a set of funny TV commercials of the world in Year 2009. It’s about time to update the list of the funniest TV commercials I saw either in the boob tube or YouTube.

So here are the 2nd Honor Roll (not necessarily in order of level of humor)

1. Cafe Nature Gift (Thailand)-


2. Oishi Slim Green Tea Commercial (Thailand)-



3. Pepsi Pinas (Sa akin ang Pinas FULL Version) (Philippines)-

4. Biolink VCO Hot Oil (Philippines)-

Pumasyal sa Pilipinas kahit puno na ang Jeep…

Many Tourism promotions always highlight that the Philippines has 7,107 islands…Too many islands to explore right? But the million peso question is “Where are all the Tourist gone?”  According to a tourism report, tourist arrival grew to 5.2 million. This is actually a positive sign if compared to the past years but I believe this figure includes Balikbayans or Overseas Filipinos visiting Philippines for Holidays. So even with the positive figure, why does it sound like I am whining?

Thailand enjoys over 14 Million visitors a year, Singapore in March alone enjoyed a brisk arrival of 928,000 and projects tourist arrival to 12.5 million at the end of this year especially with the opening of new Integrated resorts like Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands. Malaysia tops the list of SEA countries in terms of visitor’s arrival at about 21.5 Million in 2009.

Figures don’t  lie ayt?

Why am I highlighting these facts? Simply because the Philippines has all the factors to be the Tourism Haven in Southeast Asia (perhaps even whole Asia).

1.) We are the 2nd largest English-speaking nation in Asia (2nd to India). Everywhere you go even on the boondocks, locals can more or less communicate or understand English. Very Tourist friendly. In Thailand, some of those working in the hotels or restaurants cannot converse fluently in English. But Tourist still flock.

2.) We have the Sun, Sea, Sand and smiles. Activities and attractions are endless. Boracay still remains a big draw to tourist with its talcum powder-like sand and party atmosphere all day and night. Palawan is simply the best and so is Bohol, and Batanes, and Camiguin and Cebu and Davao..the list goes on and on.

3.) We are a melting pot of cultures. It’s true some countries have very strong and easily recognizable culture and heritage like that of China, India, Japan, Thailand. However our uniqueness lies on so many cultures and traditions to explore and experience at such a smaller place than the former mentioned places.

4.) We have several of the biggest shopping malls in the World. The newly renovated SM City North EDSA is the 3rd biggest mall in the world. SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall and many others are also included in the biggest mall list.  Why simply can’t we be the Shopping Haven of Asia? Why are so many Pinoy businessmen into retail business buy clothes and accessories in Bangkok, Hong Kong or mainland China?

5.) Our country has the geographic advantage.  We are in the heart of Asia and the Pacific. Easily accessible to the rest of the world.

On the other hand, there are also critical reasons why we do not get the numbers that we want:

1.) Lack of infrastructure- our Airports and sea ports cannot compete with our neighbors. Singapore, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Incheon Airports are highly recognized for efficient service, cleanliness and all the awards you can think of. Not to mention the size of these airport are simply humongous. Our road network also needs face lift. Few years ago, I was on the way to the Underground River in Puerto Princesa. The scenery is simply breath taking if not out of this world. Imagine a river traversing under a mountain and tourist is underneath this mountain for about 45 minutes going in and another 45 minutes going out. Really awesome. But to reach that spot, you have to travel by land for about 2 hours from the city and an hour of which is on a very bumpy road. The tour guide would always joke it is a natural body massage cos you are literally shaken and twisted by the rough road. Even thousands of tourist flock the Underground River, the road badly needs cementing or even asphalt for many years now.

Our public transport like MRT, LRT and even Bus or Jeepney transport are not tourist friendly. Either it is too crowded, or needs to be pulled to the garage especially a lot of public Buses and taxis.

2.) Lack of Promotion. Some months ago, I was dining in a Seafood Restaurant in Bangkok with a friend and beside our table are a couple of Hong Kong citizens. We tried to be friendly and asked if it is their first time in Bangkok and what is the purpose of their trip. We were surprised on their answer. They said it was not their first time and the purpose of their trip is just to eat Seafoods! WTF! Eating seafoods but you have to spend on airfare, hotel and travel 3 hours? But it is understandable because seafood in Hong Kong is very expensive. They can enjoy seafood dinner ever day or night while they are in Bangkok but the price is nothing compared to having just one full seafood meal in their country. And Thailand is actually earning a lot on Culinary Tourism. Cooking schools in Chiang Mai are very popular. Thai cuisine has been one of the factors why tourist visit this country.

Malaysia is very good in their PR campaigns to promote their tourist spots. Every time I meet a foreigner and I told them I am from Philippines or Manila, they usually ask me, what can you do in Manila or Philippines? Is Manila in an Island or near the beach? Many other questions. It is due to the fact that our Tourism related campaign is either insufficient or lacking of magnets to lure the tourists.

3.) Traveling in the Philippines is expensive. It is good now that Cebu Pacific has started the trend of budget airfare across the country which paved the way for the healthy growth of Domestic Tourism. Hotel accommodations in tourist spots in the Philippines are very expensive and so are foods and souvenirs in these areas. Going back to my story earlier about the couple traveling to Bangkok just to eat, I believe many of our fresh sea foods are being exported to Hong Kong, Japan, China and nearby countries wherein the prices if served on the table are triple or quadruple than the local price before being sent overseas. If we can only find a way for these seafoods or even fruits to be enjoyed here in the Philippines and no need to be sent for export, not only will the prices be cheaper but everyone will be able to enjoy (tourist and locals alike). If tourist go to the Philippines, airlines will be full, hotels will be occupied, restaurants can cook. Many establishments will benefit.

There are many more advantage and disadvantages. Maybe my blog is not enough. However, I still believe our country is great and we can show it to the world. The Aquino administration is coming in and there was a recent controversy about a rumor that President-elect Noynoy Aquino is considering Talent Manager, Boy Abunda to become the next Department of Tourism Secretary which got some nods and some flak from supporters and critics alike. But come to think of it, why not put former DOT Secretary Richard Gordon in this post again? Not so familiar if the law would allow it, but if this is possible then he is the best man for this post since he is outgoing Senator anyway and I believe he performed well during his stint in the DOT or even at Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority. Btw, He was my Presidential bet. Unfortunately, he lost.

Tourism is very important. Tourism creates business. Tourism brings money to our coffers and contributes to our GDP. I just wish the time would come that tourist arrivals will full our sights to the rafters similar to the picture above..and so us OFW will not have to work abroad cos many jobs are waiting for us.

So bring in the millions (of tourists).  🙂

Ask me anything…

My friends posted something in their Facebook giving their friends the opportunity to ask them anything random either anonymous or their profile known (if they are registered). The website providing this service is called Formspring.

I got curious and find it amusing to be able to ask someone anything. In addition, you get to know them more with the way they answer questions..usual questions I see are from funny or cute to personal or naughty questions and even question about politics or business..the list goes on and on..

So anyone out there…I’m giving you the opportunity to ask me questions…I will try to answer as boldly as possible (if it is not damaging to my so-called reputation..lol).

Here is the link to my formspring: http://www.formspring.me/kikomatching

Ask me anything…

Kiko’s Kitchen is now open…

Wow, another post before 2009 comes to an end..Well, what a great way to start the New Year with the opening of Kiko’s Kitchen my 2nd blog which is basically a food blog. Lately, I’ve been trying to prepare foods I’ve never cooked before be it Pinoy recipe or even Thai foods. With the opening of Kiko’s Kitchen, I will be able to share it with you through my blog posts.

Have you seen the logo of Kiko’s Kitchen? Cool isn’t it? I’m proud to create it myself..I have not used Photoshop for such a long time and I think whatever skills I have (if there is!) is almost rusting now…so it’s about time to refresh my photoshop talent..lol.

In Kiko’s Kitchen, you will be virtually served foods I personally prepare which sometime I may be able to share with my friends for Lunch or Dinner. Moreover, suggestions are welcome as to what foods you, my good (and considerate) readers would like to see and i’ll try my very best to prepare it as soon as I can. Better yet, generosity is always welcome if someone can send ingredients to the food I’m about to cook. He he he!

The good thing about Kiko’s Kitchen is that it’s open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The bad side is that you are not able to taste it for real but just salivate seeing the pictures..(am I being rude here?). LOL. But seriously, if you happen to be in Bangkok, I’d be glad to offer you a serving or two. 🙂

So all you food lovers out there, please take a chance to visit Kiko’s Kitchen. Surely, I will always have a seat available for you!

Facebook Resolution for New Year

In a few days (or should I say hours), we will be celebrating the New Year and bade 2009 goodbye. 2009 has been very challenging for many with lots of natural disasters, economic problems, health risks and the like. Since 2009 was also the year I got hooked up in Facebook, I will be posting my Facebook Resolution for the incoming year. No pun intended, and just enjoy reading. 🙂

Funny and apps-related resolutions:
1. I will help my Mafia win wars as often as I can and rally for help every time I participate even if the opponent is level 1 Mafia. 🙂
2. I will not expect to get hired to harvest or plow if I cannot reciprocate the job in Farm Town and I expect the same thing from my neighbors.
3. I will take good care of my close Mafia by giving them Energy packs and gifts often. But please be considerate and reciprocate the generosity..
4. I will not let my customers feel bored with my cafe for I will continuously have variety in my menu and not only 1 dish.
5. I will give excitement to the visitors of my Roller Coaster Theme Park with various rides to choose from.
6. If I steal some crops in Barn Buddy, I will replace it with Bugs and Weeds as long as the dog won’t bite me so my neighbor can have coins or chance for level up.

Real resolutions:
7. I will not overly publish activities in my wall just to gain attention. In short, I will avoid SPAMMING.
8. I will not flood my friends with numerous requests like neighbor request, group add request, hug request, cool pet request. Their interest may be different from me and vice-versa so I will be considerate.
9. I will not let Facebook control my activities or schedule especially even at night or during weekends. There will not be an incident that I worry that my crops will be gone to waste while watching a movie or dining out with friends.
10. I will not tag a picture of a friend if they will be in trouble or put on the spot.
11. I will not be engaged or hooked in some more apps. I had enough this year.
12. Lastly but probably the most difficult, I will limit my Facebook usage per day to 2 hours!

Enjoy the New Year ahead!

Merry Christmas to all!

Yesterday, the world celebrated Christmas Day- Christiamdom’s biggest and happiest celebration of all. Filipinos traditionally celebrate it the longest, generally starting when the calendar announced the coming of the BER month (September, October, November then finally December).  Many houses starts putting decor like Christmas Tree, Lanterns and Christmas lights as early as September. Kids starts singing Christmas carols in the street when December comes. Truly, it is such a joyous season.

It is just too bad that I am unable to attend the Christmas Eve or Christmas Day mass here in Bangkok because the English mass is too limited and the timing doesn’t match. You see, I had to work on Christmas Day because it is not considered a holiday in Thailand.

Last Christmas Eve, we trooped to one of my friends’ Condo to celebrate the day and have Noche Buena with friends. We decided to do pot-luck instead of just one or two persons cooking the food. I think it is better since we are able to taste the specialty recipe of each. I decided to share Spaghetti and Beef steak. We prepared our favorite foods like Kare-Kare, Adobo, Grilled Pork, Grilled Squid, Fried Chicken, Macaroni Salad and a secret recipe of spicy squid from one of them.

We started dinner early, around 8:30 PM then we had Karaoke and sang to our heart’s content while sharing a glass of liquor.

It was a truly enjoyable night….

When the clock ticked midnight, we greeted each other Merry Christmas and exchanged gifts then continued eating, singing, drinking and chatting..the party lasted till the wee hours of the morning.

Finally, I arrived home quarter before 6AM. After 2 hours of sleep, rushed to work. What a memorable day it really was! Surely, I missed home cos this is the 2nd year I am celebrating Christmas and New Year away from them but I was able to call them early on before the network gets busy that day so it’s good enough for now.

We haven’t finalized our New Year’s Eve plans as there are many propositions. Hopefully soon we are able to decide the right venue and activity for that day.

I am sharing the pictures of our food taken during Christmas Eve. Sorry, I had to skip our own face pictures cos it will be very evident that we eat a lot! Ha ha ha! I think I am able to post our latest pictures after the holidays when the big eating is over..LOL.

A Blessed Christmas and bountiful New Year to all. May the season bring us peace, good health and contentment. Let us not forget the reason for the season..our Lord Almighty!