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Marcelito Pomoy is PGT's Grand Winner Season 2

I have always been a fan of Pilipinas Got Talent, where Filipinos get to show off their world-class talent. This is so evident on my Season 1 cover on Television label of my blog.

Though I was not able to watch the whole phase of PGT Season 2, I have had some faves already during the auditions and semifinals.

And when I got home last June 25-26, 2011, I dint know it was in time for PGT's Grand Finals.

I've seen some familiar faces but definitely, Marcelito Pomoy made a stand-out to the rest of the grand finalist.

This performance was so brilliant!!! If you'd notice, in every line that he sung, the crowd got wild. Araneta Coliseum gave him a standing ovation and soon declared as Pilipinas Got Talent Grand Winner for Season 2.

And I still remember his audition..

The Philippines' Embassy to Singapore

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I woke up as early as six thirty in the morning because I want to accomplish my OWWA Membership and OEC within the day or if possible, in the smallest amount of time.

*OWWA or Overseas Workers Welfare Administration is the agency under the Department of Labor and Employment that serves the interest and welfare of our modern day heroes-Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

*OEC or Overseas Employment Certificate is a requirement under POEA Rules and Regulations and the Department of Tourism to help ensure that Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) are properly documented and protected and to avail travel tax reduction for OFW dependents.

When I arrived quarter to eight at Nassim Road where Philippine Embassy is located, I already saw a crowd of our fellow kababayans. While some were lined up along the embassy gate, others were just sitting, chatting and just making tambay. I immediately joined the line up and was about on the 20th of the line waiting for the gate to open by nine. Everything was all okay since I just got in. But when the time came, here comes our ever disciplined kababayans. As the gate opens, all of a sudden everyone rushed towards the gate and the line just faded. (Pakapalan lang pala itu!)

I managed to go inside with a number of people doubled already and also, I was kinda lost as I entered the vicinity (my first time). Only one guard assisted us on the area. I asked him what to do if I am to get my OWWA membership and OEC. He told me to log in first before heading to windows 4 and 5 respectively. He was like playing patintero to some of our pasaway na kababayans prohibiting them not to approach the window area without signing the log details on the table prepared just near the gate. There were four lines so I got in line and waited my turn to sign. However, when the guard went to get some OWWA and OEC forms, our fellow kababayans took the opportunity to get to the windows proper.

*Before getting on the appropriate window, you have to get your queue number to be entertained depending on the transactions you plan to make.

When I got here, there were a lot of fingers pressing on the machine for their own transactions, paper ran out and even the machine went down. I had a hard time getting mine since the fingers were so unimaginable. (as in grabe!! wahaha) Anyhow, I got my queue stubs for OWWA and OEC transactions.

*Yes, separate transactions but you should have the OWWA membership first before having a transaction with OEC.

I was hoping I would finish processing my OWWA when I get my turn on OEC. I hunted for a seat to fill up my forms and waited for my queue. Luckily, my OWWA queue came first, I was on the 4th batch. The officers were like calling 5 queue numbers per batch.

*Upon reaching Window 4, it is recommended that your passport, equivalent work pass, OWWA membership form and payment fee of SGD42 is already prepared.

After that, you will have to wait for your name to be called to get your passport back with the OWWA membership attached already. I got mine in a matter of minutes and just in time for my queue with OEC.

*On Window 5, you also have to present your passport with the OWWA membership attached, your equivalent work pass, OEC form and your choice of travel. Either single or multiple.

I asked for Multiple travel equivalent to 2 certificates because I have plans of going home twice this year. This would be valid within a year since it was issued. After the officer have collected my documents, I went back to my seat and waited for a couple of minutes for my name to be called. Once called and have paid the corresponding amount, then you are done. Processing fee is SGD5.50 per cert payable in cash only. It took me about an hour to get the two requirements, if I'm not gonna add up the waiting time and hiatus on the gate of the embassy. In all fairness, the processing was fast.

Schedules and the availability of Passport Applications are posted on their gate.

Or you may also check updates on processes and schedules in Embassy of the Philippines in Singapore website.

While walking home, I passed by the Japanase Embassy and I was so impressed it looked like a mansion. I wasn't able to take pictures because it was not allowed. And also along the way is the Thailand Embassy and wow, it was a Villa.

Going The Distance and Taking Chances

"This nation was built by men who took risks -
pioneers who were not afraid of the wilderness,
business men who were not afraid of failure,
scientists who were not afraid of the truth,
thinkers who were not afraid of progress,
dreamers who were not afraid of action."

~Brooks Atkinson
This is about a story a few months back when I gave up my job to pursue what I felt I needed to do.

Going The Distance
We all have our dreams. I have loads of them. And one is having to work outside my country -- Philippines.

I have always thought of working in a whole new environment - new place, new culture, new people, as in everything is all-new. Though a lot of my friends say how hard it is to be away from their loved ones just to seek for greener pastures and soon a better life. It was not new to me - I mean I have been used to living in the metro for a long time but still I managed to grow more closer and closer to them. It's really hard missing a lot of them -- their love and care, the joys and laughters, and everything about home plus of course, the food. I was just up to every possibilities on what is out there in the world. I guess, its all about the sacrifice and the dream.

Taking Chances
I have prepared myself from every tangible factors I needed for this bigger goal. But then came, the ramblings on my mind.

I have raised some questions on what it is that I have risk letting go of my current job. More importantly is my expense for day-to-day life, and also the obligations that needs to be attended to.

I have been asking myself these questions,

What if I don't find any job?

What if I go home empty-handed?

Would it be worth the risk?

But remembering the words one of my friends told me, "it's how bad you want it, so you really have to risk some things. And hey, if you'd gonna make it, the feeling would really be remarkable.".

I started to fight it. I am not gonna let that happen. And I am the type who wants to see the brighter side of things. On the first place, the reason I was leaving is more of the possibilities. And this time, more positive what ifs.

What if there's something out there for me?

What if this is the BIG BREAK I've been waiting for?

What if this would make me better? 

..besides, it was my dream.

They say if you never chase your dream, then you'll never gonna catch them. So I stood up and said to myself, I have already planned this. I will have to go. I want to do this now 'cause if I don't, I may never find the answers anymore. It was more of prepping my mind to all the positive views and I was so glad I have readied my feelings just in time before my resignation day. 

With all confidence and positivities, I dared to find the answers. Now, it's no dream no more, but reality.

Global Pinoy Singing Idol Grand Finals

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Yesterday (June 19, 2011) - Marking the 25th year of radio broadcasting news and services, DZMM's Silveradyo in cooperation with the Filipino Association of Singapore (FAS) presents the first ever singing caravan in Singapore. Sixteen talents compete on Global Pinoy Singing Idol Grand Finals held at NTUC Auditorium Level 7 Singapore.

Here are the Pinoy Singing Idols and their Tagalog Songs:
(First Batch)
Julius Candelaria - Giliw
Francis Alegre - Ikaw Ang Aking Pangarap
Cindy Azur - Habang May Buhay
Philip Peñaflor - Kailangan Kita
Gerson Lapid Jr - Hindi Magbabago
Zanie Caroy - Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin
Orville Alderite - Sana Maulit Muli
Gedelia Leyte - Kung Maibabalik Mo Lang

The acoustic guy and singer-composer Jimmy Bondoc was cool and entertaining. He sang The Man Who Can't Be Moved, Let Me Be The One, and his own rendition of Kanlungan.

(Second Batch)
Mayo Ong - Paano
Ronald Maranan - Kastilyong Buhangin
Dempy Dumdum - Patuloy ang Pangarap
Gerard Gonzales - Ikaw Lamang
Billy Calili - Panalangin
Jerus del Soccoro - Lipad Ng Pangarap
Asher Gad Cacho - Paguwi
Rodel Miguel - Dati Rati

Dempy Dumdum bags the Most Popular Award.

Here are the Top 6 Pinoy Singing Idols as they render their English songs.
Francis Alegre - This Is The Moment
Orville Alderite - Home
Dempy Dumdum - One Moment In Time
Asher Gad Cacho - Goodbye's Not Forever
Gerson Lapid Jr - And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going
Jerus del Soccoro - I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing

Star Power Angeline Quinto was pretty in pink. When she sang 'I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing' on stage, it's true -- she sounded like Regine Velasquez. She got the powerful voice but hers is more bolder.

Asher Gad Cacho and Jerus del Soccoro took home SGD1000 and won the Global Pinoy Singing Idol.

Lunar Eclipse 2011: Moon Turning Red

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Everyone is talking about the moon turning red yesterday (June 15, 2011). Lunar eclipse happens when the Earth cast her shadow over the moon. And too bad, I missed it. I was having a long convo with my Indonesian friend just down the open streets and it just slip on my mind and even I never gazed the skies. LOL

Cool thing, internet giant Google is also getting in the hype of this one time RED event with a short clip of the lunar eclipse on their logo.

The Heritage City of Vigan

Ever wonder how it feels like in Spanish times?

Way back 16th century at the time of Spanish colonisation, calesa, a horse-driven carriage was used as mode of transportation that only nobles and high ranked officials could afford.

Vigan City will definitely let you experience and enjoy the calesa that will tour you around the city. But you don't have to be bigtime, or elite, you just have to pay Php200 and you'll be able to see the beauty of the place. So let's begin our tour.

1. The Infamous Heritage Village

It all starts at the Heritage Village or Calle Crisologo, a long stretch of the famous Spanish houses cobbled narrow streets wherein you can take the photo ops, walk and shop variety of antiques, accessories and souvenirs.

2. St. Paul Metropolitan Cathedral or Vigan Cathedral

Not afar from Heritage Village is the St. Paul Cathedral. Not only is the seat of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia, but it has fascinating altar and interior to allure the tourists.

Vigan Bell Tower

Its bell tower is separated from the cathedral for the reason that one of the structure can be left standing if ever an earthquake strikes.

3. Plaza Salcedo

Infront of the cathedral is Plaza Salcedo dedicated in memory of the great Spanish conquistador Juan de Salcedo.

4. Baluarte

A mini-zoo that let's you experience riding a camel, taking a picture with a tiger and roam around with several animal creatures.

5. Hidden Garden

If you love nature and the greeneries, find out a variety of plants and flowers around the Hidden Garden.

6. Pagburnayan

You might wanna try molding your own jars or vase too. Then you can drop by to Pagburnayan and make the art you always wanted but definitely will not lead you to the Demi Moore-Patrick Swayze ghost scene. LOL

7. Empanada, Longganisa, Bibingka
After a whole day's tour, you can hangout along Plaza Burgos and enjoy a variety of local treats such as sinanglao, arroz caldo, miki, empanada and okoy. Marsha's Delicacies serves bibingka, a very popular pasalubong in Ilocos.

All this and more can be seen in Vigan City, a place back in time preserve with beauty up until now. That is why it is considered World Heritage Site by UNESCO for being one of the numerous Hispanic towns in the Philippines.

Vigan City is located in North Luzon province of Ilocos Sur. It is an 8-hour travel by bus from Cubao, Quezon City bus terminal. Regular Fare should be around 400-500 pesos. Or you can opt to a more comfy travel with a deluxe bus about 600-700 pesos.

Here are bus contacts from Manila - Vigan:
#816 Aurora Boulevard cor P. Bernardo St., Cubao QC
Tel. No.: (02) 725-1740 (02) 725-1740
New York Street, Cubao, Quezon City
Tel. No.: (02) 741-4146 (02) 741-4146, 731-4180
#1209 Blumentritt Cor. Dapitan St., Sampaloc 1000 Manila
Tel. No.: (02) 741-0405 (02) 741-0405
819 Oroquieta Street 1000 Manila
Tel. No.: (02) 734-9836 (02) 734-9836
Laong Laan corner M dela Fuente Street, Sampaloc, Manila
Tel. No.: (02) 743-8582 (02) 743-8582
Gelinos Street 1000 Manila
Tel. No.: (02) 731-4907 (02) 731-4907

NOTE: Buses that will originate in Vigan have limited travel schedules depending on which transit lines. Usually they have it daily from 6AM to 10PM. Every hour, the bus would vary by destination.

This is a repost from my now-defunct website.

Best iPhone 4 Apps for Photography

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I have been exploring alot of iPhone apps lately but aside from doing my usual rounds -- answering emails, doing bank transactions, travelling with map locator and bus transit guides, converting currencies and having my own translator while listening to a good music, I have been interested on photography.

I was looking for the best iPhone 4 apps to maximize its features and here are the best iPhone 4 apps so far that I use:

What's cool with this app is it provides you a various selection of filters or design and also focuses or highlights the object you want to capture. Easy uploading of pictures and it is already integrated to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, Foursquare, Posterous and your own email of choice.

This is awesomeness. You can do a lot of quick editing on your pictures like doodle, cut or resize. If you got a portrait, you can also add some extra skin, lip, eyes and of course the hair. After that, you can choose a frame in a numerous selections or feast with unique sceneries for the final touch.

PS Express
A product of Adobe that lets you improve your pictures with basic editing -- crop, straighten, rotate, flip. Or you can try a different style -- exposure, saturation, tint, black and white, contrast and many other effects and borders. You can share to your friends on Facebook, Twitpic or your own Photoshop account.

You want to create a caption on whereever the place the photo is taken or make your own story line behind your photos? Labelbox have unique tapes that will do that instantly and would really pleased you.

...and they all come for FREE.. :)

Green Lantern 2011 Showing

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In brightest day, in blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight
Let those who worship evil's might,
Beware my power... Green Lantern's light!

I really can't wait to watch this film. After Marvel has amazed most viewers with X-Men: First Class, a DC character will finally make way in the coming week. The much-awaited Green Lantern from DC and with Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan, this superhero film is surely gonna give you a blast too.

For now, here's a trailer for the movie.

Green Lantern is scheduled to be released on June 17, 2011 in 3D.