Monday, August 19, 2013

Advice from a 90 year old

Monday, August 19, 2013

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of the local newspaper “The Plain Dealer”, Cleveland, Ohio

“To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written.”

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick.  Your friends and parents will.  Stay in touch.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don’t have to win every argument.  Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone.  It’s more healing than crying alone.
8. It’s OK to get angry with God.  He can take it.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.
12. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.
13. Don’t compare your life to others.  You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.
16. Take a deep breath.  It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.
18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.
19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.  But the second one is up to you and no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.  Don’t save it for a special occasion.  Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now.  Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important part of the body is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything.  Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Don’t take yourself so seriously.  No one else does.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.
35. Don’t audit life.  Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day.  Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time.  You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
44. Yield.
45. Life isn’t tied with a ribbon, but it’s still a gift.

Life is a gift from God and we only have one crack at it so live life well.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Warrior is a Child

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The photo of PO1 Joselito Sevilla, the crying cop, has now become viral. Photographer Rem Zamora timely captured a series of photos of Mr. Sevilla from the time he was flashing a peace sign to the protesters, to the time the Dutch protester Thomas van Beersum appears to be shouting at him, up until he was seen crying but still holding his ground until some people around him offered him a tap on the shoulder, or a word of encouragement, or a handerchief, or a hug. 

When I saw the photo above, i cried because it hit a raw nerve. It totally captured what I gave been feeling these past few days, weeks and months -- and what I really wanted to get tomorrow, later or even now. 

I can relate how he tried to project this image of strength, indifference, callousness and apathy, but when push came to shove and the inner core wass forced to come out, the child within was crying for help, understanding and support. 

Sometimes the solution to any problem is just as sweet as being listened to sincerely or a smile that wants to say everything will be alright or a simple hug that says 'it's ok to cry'.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Investing in the Stock Market

Friday, April 26, 2013

I remember back in college that whenever the topic is about stocks, stock dividends, par value, stockholders equity, retained earnings, etc., I zone out! I really, for the life of me, cannot comprehend all of these terms and what they mean in my life. For me, this is a topic discussed in the board rooms of big companies, or something only the rich can dabble on.

I graduated from college, worked in an insurance company, manufacturing company and now in a bank, and I managed somehow to avoid the intricacies of stocks, still believing it is only a game played by the rich.

Until I came upon Bo Sanchez' Truly Rich Club. 

It all started when in 2010, I attended Bo Sanchez' Truly Rich Financial Coaching Program in Valle Verde. 

There are several speakers in this 2-day seminar but the one I remembered most was the first speaker Juan ‘Juanis’ Barredo, the Vice President of then CitisecOnline (now COL Financial Philippines). COL is an online stock brokerage firm in the Philippines which cater to the masses. Juanis has under his belt 18 years of experience in the stock market. What's good about him is he speaks about stocks in a non-intimidating way, making me feel at ease with the topic, and not hyperventilate.

I can't believe when he said that less than 1% of the Philippine population invests in the stock market. I thought "..maybe I am not alone when I thought stock market is just for the rich.."

He said investing in stocks is like becoming co-owner of a business because you get to buy a portion of the business without actually investing too much on it. For me, this is a fair deal. Income is decent, loss is calculated. Right there and then, I decided I will try investing in stocks. Instead of putting my money in a bank which will give back a very minimal return, I will buy a portion of the bank (and be partly its owner) where I can earn bigger return.

I then began to read about COL Financial.

In the earlier days, one really has to be rich in order to be a stockholder. But COL Financial changed this notion by allowing one to open with only P5,000 minimum investment. Juanis said that before, when you walk in a brokerage firm with your P5,000, you will be laughed at.

Account opened, check. 
Minimum initial amount deposited, check.

Now what stocks should I buy?

In comes Bo Sanchez' Truly Rich Club.

When one becomes a member, Bo will send regular emails on Stock Updates, Wealth Strategies, eBooks, and other reading materials that are really helpful. Aside from these, he also emails Buy Alerts and Sell Alerts and Hold Alerts when market dictates so. It is like having your own analysts who do the studying, speculating, analyzing and deciding for you. They will suggest the best stocks to buy, up to what price you can buy it, at what price you can sell it, etc. One just needs to trust them. I did for almost 3 years now and I don't mind referring them to people because I have proven that having mentors behind you especially in this confusing world of stock market is really beneficial.

To know more about the Truly Rich Club of Bo Sanchez, just click on the box below. Happy Investing!

Join the Truly Rich Club

Monday, March 12, 2012

Rio dela Cruz

Monday, March 12, 2012

I can still remember two years ago asking a friend if Rio is a boy or a girl since the person I saw in the billboard is that of someone sporting a long, curly, afro-like hair. I barely know Rio dela Cruz then but he is now very popular especially in the running circle. In an interview with Bianca Gonzales for Philippine Star, get to know more about Rio dela Cruz.

Nobody can miss his trademark Afro hairdo. He has personally trained some of the country’s most admired personalities like Fernando Zobel, Lance Gokongwei, and Piolo Pascual. He is the head organizer of the metro’s biggest races like the Timex Run, Milo Marathon, and Unilab Run. And in the past couple of years, his name has become synonymous with running in the Philippines. Who would’ve thought that a boy who used to run barefoot in Camarines Sur would grow up to ignite Filipinos’ passion for running and be a multi-millionaire?

Here are 10 things you should know about Rio de la Cruz.

1. Rio started running because he wanted to play but couldn’t afford computer games. He couldn’t afford running shoes either, so he ran barefoot.

“Wala akong Gameboy, yun yung uso nun eh. Since wala akong perang pambili ng ganun, yung means of entertainment ko is agawan buko, patintero, taguan,” says coach Rio of how his love for running began. He shares that his opponents back in elementary wore “spiked shoes,” and since he had no means to buy, he preferred to run with no shoes on because it felt lighter. “So mas kumapal yung,” he laughs as he strokes his soles, “yung ano, balat sa ilalim.” He was once given hand-me-downs by his neighbor but it was a size too small so he cut the part of the shoes by the toes just so his feet would fit. Later on, having saved from winning races, the very first pair he bought were Chuck Taylors, thinking that it would last long because the soles were thick. He was in sixth grade at Industrial Valley Elementary School, when his would-be high school coach spotted him and recruited him to Quirino High School, where he eventually finished on a full scholarship.

Coach Rio shares that running is what motivated him to finish his studies. “Yung parents ko, separated, at walang pang-support sa akin, so natakot ako baka hanggang high school lang matapos ko,” he recalls. At the time, he learned about students who were scholars through running, and says: “Nagkaroon ako ng idea na pwede pala yun, so I wanted to pursue running para maging stepping stone ko to finish my education.”

2. When he was a competitive runner for the University of the Philippines, he set a separate training schedule for himself where he would sleep wearing his running sando, shorts, and socks, as if ready to go.

“Sa gabi, maliligo na ako. By 8p.m. tulog na ako. 9 p.m. late na yun. Matutulog ako nakabihis na para paggising ko ng 2:50 a.m., toothbrush na lang, sapatos, derecho takbo.” he says 2:50 a.m. because by 3 a.m., he has to be running already. He would then go home by 6 a.m., sleep again, then wake up in time for his 10 a.m. class. It was in the afternoons when he would join the rest of the running team for their easy 5k and 10k runs. He even worked up the confidence to talk to the coach of the National Team back then, to train with them in Baguio. All the hard work paid off because in his freshman year, Rio won Rookie of the Year. In his sophomore year, he won one gold and one silver medal. In his third year, he won gold on all his races, which was a first for UP then.

However, things changed during his senior year. He didn’t place as much in the races, and even failed to finish one. “Mas mabilis at mas bata talaga sila noon, tapos nung time na yun, nahati na talaga yung oras ko sa school at trabaho,” he reveals. Rio shares that in his early college years, his time would be split 50-50 for school and training, but in the later years, it changed to 70-30 since he had to focus more on his grades.

As for his famous hair, he shares that he grew it because of a peso-sized bald spot on the right side of his forehead. Since long hair wasn’t allowed in elementary and high school, he finally got to grow it out in college, and has kept it ever since.

3. Rio has worked hard to give himself a better life, and now, he is helping his family better their lives by teaching them to help themselves.

“Kung baga, teach them how to fish,” says Rio who is the youngest of his siblings but seems to be acting like the eldest. He is the youngest of seven siblings, and he has another seven younger half siblings. He shares that his siblings now take on different roles during the races he organizes, from putting up the banners, to manning registration, and just recently, cooking for the catering of events. “Mahirap yung bibigyan mo lang o aabutan mo lang, gusto ko matutunan nila na bago nila makuha, paghihirapan muna.” His siblings were not able to finish school like he did, and so now, Rio is helping his nephews and nieces so they can finish school. He recalls that when he was a child, his carpenter father took him and his siblings to help out in the construction sites he would be working on, and now, they are all working together again. They all grew up away from each other, and now, his ultimate goal is for them to live in houses right beside each other.

4. Coach Rio in numbers:

10: age he started running

2007: year he put up his company, Run Rio Inc.

32: length in kilometers of the “Afroman distance,” a race distance he created to be the in-between of the 21k half marathon and the 42k full marathon.

50-plus: number of running shoes he has on rotation. “Dati 100, pero hindi ko nagagamit lahat tapos napamigay ko yung iba.”

1,000 to 1,500: pesos estimate cost per runner in the races he organizes.

His personal best times:

5k: 16 minutes, 10 seconds

10k: 29 minutes, 34 seconds

21k: 1 hour, 11 minutes

42k: 2 hours, 31 minutes

5. On his fiance Nicole: “Na-realize ko na kailangan ko ng isang tao na pwedeng mag-support at makaka-understand sa lahat ng gagawin ko. At siya yun.”

They met in 2004, when Rio was lost in the middle of the race, and she was the one who pointed him in the direction of the finish line. He won that race. A week later, he rode the jeep in UP only to find her seated in front of him. They became friends since, but were in touch with each other on and off. “Pag single siya, ako may girlfriend, pag ako single, siya naman may boyfriend,” he recalls. He says that what he learned from his experiences with his exes helped him make this relationship stronger, and in fact, he has been praying for him and Nicole to be together. “Sabi ko, kung hindi kami magkatuluyan, feeling ko wala na. Kaya nung sinagot niya ako nung October, sabi ko, ‘This is it!’”

Rio popped the question to Nicole on Dec. 22, 2011, and the proposal video currently has 416,525 views on Youtube. (It is a must-see slash tear-jerker, and if you haven’t seen it yet, look up “Tadhana: Coach Rio’s Proposal” online.)

6. When he had difficulty juggling all his priorities at the same time, he asked himself, “Ano ba yung gusto ko? Ano ba yung mas marami ang makikinabang?”

He recalls a time that he had to wake up at 4 a.m., would start coaching students at 5 a.m., finish those sessions by 10 a.m., take a quick break and rest, then go on to attend meetings, then start coaching again at 5 p.m., and would often get home at 11 p.m. or even midnight. “Nagkakasakit na ako, kaya inisip ko kung ano ba talaga ang magiging focus ko,” he recalls. That was when he slowly let go of coaching and put his time into race organizing. Since then he has been training running coaches, and eventually when he could no longer handle his clients, they would go to these coaches. “I’m very happy na merong mga runner na kasamahan ko dati, na nagkaroon ng trabaho na connected pa din sa running,” he happily shares. “Sabi nila, kung di daw dahil sa mga races na ino-organize ko, di sila magkakaroon sila ng job. I felt good, at nag-motivate ito sa akin to think kung ano pang magagawa ko para sa community.”

7. Coach Rio’s tips for beginner runners:

1) Set your goal. “Ito yung magmo-motivate sa iyo to wake up in the morning and ito yung magpu-push sayo para tumakbo.”

2) Make objectives to achieve your goal. “For example, your goal is 3K. Your objective will be gumising ng ganitong oras para tumakbo. Think na regardless kung naglakad ako o tumakbo, I just want to finish the 3k. So jog ka, walk ka. Next, you want to finish 3k without walking, so nag-improve ka. Next, you want to finish 3k in a specific time. Motivate mo yung sarili mo to achieve your goal.”

3) Get the proper equipment. “Meron three types of feet. Flat-footed, high-arched, or neutral. Kung mali yung gamit mong shoes magco-contribute siya to injuries. Yung watch, susunod na lang yun pag may extra ka, kasi dun mo malalaman kung nagi-improve ka.” Coach Rio cites the big number of specialty running stores now, including his very own store Riovana that just opened late last year.

8. It was his foster father “Lolo Boy” who took him into his care during high school and onwards, and now, it is Rio’s turn to take care of him.

Engineer Juan Ramos, who he more fondly calls “Lolo Boy,” met Rio during his high school days when he would run in Marikina Sports Complex. Lolo Boy saw the potential and passion that Rio had, and after some time, he invited Rio to live with him and his family, and offered to support whatever he needed for school. “Hindi ko ine-expect, may sarili akong room, air-conditioned pa, minsan ipapahatid ako sa school, tapos pag may races abroad siya nagsu-support sa akin,” he fondly recalls. In return, Rio focused on improving in running and getting good grades. “Ngayon naman, baliktad na, mag-70 na siya, so kaming mga tinulungan niya dati ang nag-aalaga sa kanya ngayon,” Rio shares. In fact, Rio proudly announces that he will be running the Paris Marathon this April with co-runners and his Lolo Boy. “Yung natutunan ko sa kanya is how to be humble, down to earth, and hindi ka mag-stop na tulungan yung ibang tao na kahit na nahihirapan ka na.”

9. Of all the hardships he experienced in life, the hardest for him was: “Yung hindi mo alam kung kailan yung next meal mo, o kung saan ka matutulog next.”

“I was 11, 12 years old, yung wala kaming makunan o mahingian, so you have to work on your own,” Rio reveals. This, and having grown up in a community where people had all sorts of money-making gimmicks, is what made Rio the 27-year-old entrepreneurial mind that he is. He thought of all kinds of ways to earn money, from competing in Tex and jolens games, to going from door to door to throw people’s trash (from which he would get a peso or two per home), to selling ice (that he would sell as ice water later in the day), to collecting old wires (that he would burn all together) to sell in junk shops.

Today, he organizes a race almost every week for some of the biggest companies in the country, at times to raise funds for a cause, with thousands of health-conscious participants in attendance.

10. Coach Rio now realizes that his main purpose in life is to inspire people to live a healthier lifestyle.

He cannot answer for sure which achievement he is most proud of, because he says the fulfillment comes on different levels. As an athlete, it’s very fulfilling to stand on a podium and receive an award. As a coach, it is very rewarding to see your student transform physically and live a balanced, healthy life. As an event organizer, he is motivated by people who are inspired by his story and those who keep coming back to the races that he organizes. “Siyempre natatakot ako na bumalik kung saan ako before. Although I’m ready kung mangyari man yun kasi sanay ako sa wala, hindi ko naman papayagang mapunta sa ganun,” coach Rio shares. “Very thankful ako na kahit papano na yung mga dreams ko lang before, nandito na ngayon, at yung makita ko yung ibang tao na nag-iimprove din yung life nila.”

* * *

Just like his system in training runners, his life goals and achievements also seem to go from small to big, and even to biggest. In every interview of his that we read, his dreams seem to get bigger and bigger, and though he very often uses the phrase “di ko ine-expect,” we who watch his life can’t help but expect and claim only greater things to happen in Coach Rio’s life. He met people in his life that helped him become the success he is today, and he is now giving back by doing exactly the same thing for many other people.

Rags to riches stories do exist, and coach Rio’s is one we can all learn from, running enthusiast or not. “Palagi natin naririnig na hindi hadlang ang kahirapan sa tagumpay, at napatunayan ko sa sarili ko na hindi talaga ito hadlang.”

Friday, March 9, 2012

iPad 2 prices cheaper by Php5,000

Friday, March 9, 2012

Apple yesterday unveiled the New Ipad (not Ipad 3 or Ipad HD as previously guessed). Just hours after the announcement, prices of the old iPad 2 have been cut by Php5,000 to Php6,000 on the Apple Online Store. While the Apple store was kept busy by millions of visitors trying to make the pre-orders, the iPad 2 price on the Apple Philippine Store was updated.

Here are the previous prices of the iPad 2:

16GB WiFi – Php23,990
32GB WiFi – Php28,990
64GB WiFi – Php33,990
16GB 3G+WiFi – Php30,990
32GB 3G+WiFi – Php35,990
64GB 3G+WiFi – Php40,990

Currently, prices are the following:

16GB WiFi – Php18,990
32GB WiFi – Php23,990
64GB WiFi – Php28,990
16GB 3G+WiFi – Php24,990
32GB 3G+WiFi – Php29,990
64GB 3G+WiFi – Php34,990

Easily Php5,000 off of the original prices.
SRP of the upcoming New iPad will take the original figures.

Jessica Sanchez - I Will Always Love You

Jessica Sanchez is the girl of the hour. This Filipino-Mexican-American lady from San Diego, California is the newest American Idol sensation. Now down to 13, she is the most favored finalist especially after that seat-gripping singing of Whitney Houston's iconic "I Will Always Love You"

She is so far the strongest filipino contestant of American Idol to date. I was on the edge of my seat with tension for fear she'd croak for even a fraction of a millisecond. But she didn't! She did the most difficult song in vocal requirement and with tributes to Whitney Houston left and right, the world can be unforgiving should she failed to give justice to the song.

"Jessica is a vocal powerhouse with a breathtakingly beautiful voice; the judges were enraptured and covered in goosies as they gave a standing ovation, the audience collectively wept over the blessing that is her voice, and American Idol critics everywhere put Jessica's name in their headline, knowing it would optimize their web traffic." one article said.

Even Jennifer Hudson tweeted “Yes Jessica! That’s it!!”

Good luck Jessica Sanchez! Make the filipinos proud!

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Man Who Thinks He Can

Monday, November 21, 2011

If you think you are beaten, you are
If you think you dare not, you don’t
If you would like to win but you think you can’t 
it’s almost a cinch you won’t

If you think you’ll lose ,you’re lost
For out in the world we find:
Success begins with a fellow’s will,
Its all in the state of mind

If you think your outclassed, you are
You’ve got to think high to rise
You’ve got to be sure of yourself
Before you can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or the faster man,
But sooner or later, the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.

 from think and grow rich

Friday, October 21, 2011


Friday, October 21, 2011

I like Oprah's quotable quotes and recently I came across another nice one:

“When you’ve worked as hard and done as much and strived and tried and given and pled and bargained and hoped…surrender. When you have done all that you can do, and there is nothing left for you to do…give it up. Give it up to that thing that is greater than yourself and let it then become a part of the flow..”

Anyone who has ever dreamt and the dream remain unrealized can relate. I also have things in my plate which I wanted so bad and they are still like that until now - unrealized. All these years, I was learning and sharing in my own little way how we can get what we want in our life, but here is one reason explaining why we can't get what we want in life:

"God can dream a bigger dream for me, for you, than you can ever do for yourself"

I am a believer of the law of attraction. And I was able to witness different ways people proved that it works. But hand in hand with the belief in the law of attraction should be the belief in the law of detachment.

The law of detachment says that in order to successfully attract something, one must be detached to the outcome. If we are attached, we project negative emotions of fear, doubt, or craving which actually attracts the opposite of our desire. We are then operating from a position of worry, fear and doubt rather than serenity, trust and faith. Of course there are times when negative emotions are meant to be felt and acted upon, but our dominant emotions should be positive ones.

Just this week, I made a decision which I thought was right. I followed the rules, I checked and cross-checked the bullet points and yet I lost. I was very frustrated with myself. But I decided not to dwell too much on the frustration and I clearly remember praying to God minutes after to remove the bad feeling I have and to just nudge me to let go and move on. I again prayed the same prayer during our prayer meeting, and again before I went to bed. Lo and behold, in less than 36 hours I was able to turn the negative around and I gained more than what I lost. Coincidence? I don't think so.

I could have romanticized what happened and call it a random coincidence, but I believe this is more than coincidence. I believe it was a lesson at letting go. I still have a long way to go from learning this letting go thing but I will get there soon. I have the tendency to be a control freak and I easily lose sight of the goal when a speed bump presents itself along the way. But this thought is comforting: that you give it all you got, since that’s all you can really do now, then leave the results to a Higher Power. You don’t fail until you stop trying. But sometimes, to stop trying is the best thing you can do.
So here I am now doing everything I can just like what Corrinne May said - "Take my five loaves and two fishes, do with it as you will. I surrender", then whisper to God my dreams, then let go - with the thought that God is doing some maneuevering in the universe to make everything perfect in His time.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Cirque du Soleil: Varekai in Manila

Friday, July 29, 2011

When I was young,  I loved watching the circus shows they show on tv. The jugglers. The lions and the tamer. The wire-walkers. The fire-eaters. The flying trapeze. But the part I really loved was the clowns. The moment they enter the ring, I was always excited. They never failed to entertain me.

So I was really happy when I learned Cirque du Soleil is in Manila and I have the chance to watch their Varekai production. Thank you SunLife!

It was my first time to watch a production of Cirque du Soleil and my first time to watch a circus live. I cannot think of one word to describe the show but several words might capture it: astounding, amazing, spectacular, mind-boggling, exciting, out-of-this-world, terrific, fantastic, and for me, the greatest show on earth. The performers moved and danced and glided from one end of the stage to the other and flew around like birds, they somersaulted in mouth-dropping precision as if they didn’t have bones, then landing either on the floor or on the palms of fellow performers effortlessly, and gracefully bending and contorting their bodies forward and backward with so much fluid facility as if they were made of rubbers.

    Grand Chapiteau (photo courtesy of Chuvaness)

    Cirque du Soleil in English means "Circus of the Sun".  Cirque du Soleil began in 1984. Guy Laliberté created the enterprise based on a project involving 20 street performers and the Canadian circus. Currently, Cirque du Soleil employs more than 4000 staff members, including 1000 artists from 40 different countries.

    Cirque du Soleil, one of the world’s most famous modern circus troupes originated from Canada. Though the 21st century is the era of advancing modern technology, Varekai is still being performed inside a big tent with elaborate costumes, popcorn and traditional acts of wonder and awe.

    Here are some trivia about The Grand Chapiteau
    •     The Cirque du Soleil mobile "village" includes the Grand Chapiteau (Big Top), artistic tent, entrance  tents, VIP tent, box office, kitchen, school, office trailers, warehouses and more.
    •     180,000 square feet (4.2 Acres or 17,000 square meters) is needed to house the entire site including the tents and trailers.
    •     The artistic tent is 1,300 square feet (120 square meters) and houses areas for: wardrobe, warm up and training, physiotherapy and dressing rooms.
    •     It takes 11 days for more than 200 workers, including 100 hired locally, to complete a city to city transfer of the infrastructures.
    •     It takes 7 days to set up the site and all the infrastructures and it takes 2 days to completely tear it down.
    •     This represents at least 11 000 man hours which represents 5.5 years of work if one guy did it alone!
    •     An average of 55 tractor trailers are needed to carry more than 2 million pounds of equipment from city to city.
    •     Completely self-sufficient for electrical power, the site relies only on a local water supply and telecommunication facilities to support its infrastructure.
    •     The Grand Chapiteau measures 165 feet (50 meters) in diameter and is supported by four 82-foot-high (25 meters) steel masts.
    •     The Grand Chapiteau is comprised of 18 pieces of flame retardant vinyl canvas and is manufactured in Bordeaux, France by Voileries du Sud-Ouest, internationally renowned for their big tops.
    •     The climate-controlled Grand Chapiteau seats more than 2,500 people.
    •     The Big Top is held down by roughly 400 stakes, 5' (1.5 meters) nails.
    •     The cupola is 52 ft (16 meters) above the ground.
    •     The Big Top can support winds up to 75 miles/h (120 km/h).
    •     A Big Top lifespan is about ten years, depending on the conditions of use (storage, temperature and frequency of setup/tear-down).
    •     The Big Top infrastructure costs roughly $1.6 million. This does not include the stands or the other tents.

    The Acts

    Flight of Icarus

    Icarus performs astounding dives and contortions in the net that holds him captive. With agility, deftness and sensitivity, Icarus performs astounding dives and contortions using this net.

    Icarian Games

    Foot-juggling is one of the oldest circus arts disciplines. The bearer lies on his back and twirls the other on his feet. The Icarian Games is an ancient discipline of the circus arts rarely seen in today’s contemporary circus culture. This act is generally presented by members of the same family. In tribute to this custom, the Icarians along with other acrobats synthesize in this spectacular display of human juggling. The human body becomes catapult and catcher in an elaborate, explosive and highly choreographed presentation of strength, balance and agility.

    Water Meteors

    Three young acrobats twirl ropes high above their heads with metal cups attached to the ends, simultaneously performing virtuosic acrobatic feats. Handling their ropes with rare agility, they perform impressive acrobatic figures at the same time.

    Triple Trapeze

    On an elevated trapeze apparatus, four young women perform a series of striking acrobatic moves, displaying grace, sensuality and impeccable timing.

    Georgian dance 

    This act takes its inspiration from the Republic of Georgia, where inhabitants took to battle with numerous invaders over the centuries. The movements of the dancers recall the Georgians’ struggles against powers that sought to dominate their land. Endurance, precision and more than a hint of frenzy mark this act.

    There is a 25-minute intermission. From my seat high above the venue, I talked to one of the ushers if I can move to an empty seat nearer the stage. And he agreed! He even looked for an empty seat for me! So for the second set, I am at a premiere seat. Thank you, Lord! =)

    Slippery Surface
    Darting and intertwining on a specially designed sliding surface, the artists fling and catch each other, creating an illusion of skating.

    Aerial Hoop
    Suspended high above the stage or flying through the air on her hoop, a young woman performs a series of movements displaying her flexibility and strength.

    Solo on crutches

     Like a jointed puppet, the Limping Angel dances on crutches while background performers teeter on canes in a dance that reignites Icarus's desire to fly again. Hands down, this is my favorite act. The “solo on crutches” act was done by a physically-challenged performer Dergin Tokmak. He appeared as the Limping Angel, moving across the stage effortlessly even while on crutches. He did those difficult moves any able-bodied dancer can find difficult to do. A really amazing performance.

    Aerial straps

    Two flyers suspended by wrist straps glide gracefully above the stage, performing original acrobatic figures in a synchronized display of precision and power. With a double strap, the two artists meld midair, becoming one in a series of striking acrobatic silhouettes. I love the part where they smiled to each other before taking a bow.

    Handbalancing on canes 

    The performer achieves a variety of contortions and poses while balancing on a series of canes. Grace, strength and flexibility are exhibited, as a young woman balances on a series of strategically placed canes. Poised now on her feet, now on her hands, she contorts herself on these canes, maintaining a delicate equilibrium.

    Russian swings

    The audience watched with eager anticipation as they ushered in two, big Russian swings where later acrobats are hurled high into the air, alighting on their partners' wrists or on a landing canvas, sometimes even flying from one moving swing to the other. Breathtaking! A really swell act to cap the show!

    The Clown Acts
    No circus show would be complete without clowns! Joanna and Steven amuse the audience with acts that are simply absurd.

    The audience gave the troupe a standing ovation and loud rounds of applause. Most applauded was of course Icarus (Mark Halasi) and the Solo on Crutches (Dergin Tokmak). Even the troupe themselves appreciated Dergin's unique performance.

    It was a very good experience. Up to now I'm still watching snippets of Varekai from youtube.

    Coming Varekai shows:
    São Paulo, BR - From 15 September 2011 to 27 November 2011
    SA   Rio de Janeiro, BR - From 8 December 2011 to 8 January 2012

    Cirque du Soleil currently has 22 shows. I hope I will be given the chance to watch more of Cirque du Soleil:
    1. Alegria 
    2. Criss Angel - Believe
    3. Corteo
    4. Dralion
    5. Ka
    6. Kooza
    7. La Nouba
    8. The Beatles - Love
    9. Iris
    10. Michael Jackson - The Immortal
    11. Mystere
    12. O
    13. Ovo
    14. Quidam
    15. Saltimbanco
    16. Totem
    17. Varekai
    18. Viva Elvis
    19. Zaia
    20. Zarkana
    21. Zed
    22. Zumanity

    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    Philippine Group Buying Sites

    Thursday, July 28, 2011

    Group buying, also known as collective buying, offers products and services at significantly reduced prices on the condition that a minimum number of buyers would make the purchase.

    They are sometimes called collective online buying, social buying,  crowd buying -- but they all mean one and the same thing: getting good deals and significant discounts by the power of bulk buying.

    Note that this is not the typical department store or mall sale promo, but the discounts are really enormouse with deals going up as high as 90% less the original price.

    So next time you are planning to have a massage, eat out in a restaurant, watch a play or movie, buy some new clothes, get the latest gadget, stay in a five-star hotel or but anything else, try first to visit these group buying websites first and see if they have the right offer for you.

    Below is a list of the group buying websites available in the country today. Although most of those in the list  cater to the residents of Metro Manila, some offer deals that are also available for those in other parts of the country like Cebu and Davao.

    500 Peso Deals

    500pesodeals List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines


    atcrazy List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines


    awesome List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Beeconomic – Groupon Philippines

    beeconomic List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines


    buyanihan List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines
    Cash Cash Pinoy

    cash cash pinoy List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Catch the Deal

    catch the deal List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines


    cheapipay List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines


    citypoynt List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines


    clever buy2 List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Crazy Deals

    crazy deals List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Cuponz Philippines

    cuponz1 List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Deal Dozen

    dealdozen List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Deal Grocer

    deal grocer List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Deal Spot

    deal spot List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Deals Tent

    dealstent List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Discount Pilipinas

    discountpilipinas List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    E-Deals To Go

    edealstogo List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Ensogo Philippines

    ensogo List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines Kuponan

    ebay kuponan List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines


    gupo1 List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Halo-Halo Deals

    halohalo List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines


    highlife List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Local Roam

    localroam List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Lucky 7

    lucky 7 List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Mega Deals PH

    megadeals List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Metro Deal

    metro deal List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines


    muraito1 List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    My City Counts

    mycitycounts List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Nakamura Ka

    nakamuraka List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines


    pakyaw List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Pilipinas Best Buys

    pilipinasbestbuys List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Pinoy Vouchers

    pinoyvouchers List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines


    plejee List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    salamat List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Save on Pinoy

    saveonpinoy List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    TipidTo Deals

    tipidto List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Twangoo Manila

    twangoo List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines


    weemall List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    Wow Deals

    wow deals List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines


    yugadeals List of Group Buying Websites in the Philippines

    I have friends who gave positive reviews about these group buying sites, especially Ensogo, Megadeals and Cash Cash Pinoy.

    If you know of any new group buying website that has emerged, kindly let me know so I can add it to the list once confirmed legitimate. And let me know too if you have tried buying from any of these groups so we can all be guided on who offers the best service and best deal.