Saturday, September 1, 2018

Technology Makes Life Easier in Metro Manila

I have been living in Metro Manila for over 12 years already.  The reason of staying in Metro Manila is because of work. Had it not for work, I would have chosen staying in the province where cost of living in lower than in the capital city.

I do not own a car. Hence, I am pretty sure not to contribute to the scarcity of parking spaces. I am used to riding a jeepney and prefer to ride one as it is less expensive on my part. Being hazmat technician and knowing the hazards of carbon monoxide coming from fuel combustion of automobiles, I still ride a jeepney whenever available. However, I now ride, more often, a taxi.

Making my life easier and not to overburden myself, I make use of technology. To me, I need my time and it's a pity wasting too much time waiting. I have more time needed for myself to enjoy reading, rest after overworking, and even bringing work at home.

THE LAUNDROMAT. Let me start with washing clothes. I am not a fan of hand washing all of my clothes as it hurts my back so much. I used to bring my clothes to the laundry shop - however, it takes a minimum of three days to get my clothes back. Most often, the laundry shop is still close as I leave for work and already closed as I go home. So most often, I can only pick my laundry, ideally, during weekends. Or I have to go home early just to pick up the precious clothes. Nowadays, thanks to laundromat that proliferates in Quezon City and elsewhere. In the place where I live, the laundromat is just about 300 meters away. Thanks to laundromat, I can wash my clothes by myself with just an hour waiting - not 3 days. I can bring any of my plentiful books or Reader's Digest while waiting. I can also just leave my clothes for the staff to wash while I go to buy some stuff or clean the house. Then, I can be back after an hour minimum. (My wish: to be able to save for a digital personal washing machine)
Coin Laundry Express in Cebu makes one's day a good day.
I would say that the most inclusive laundromat I have been to was in Cebu City, the Coin Laundry Express. The place looks like a restaurant where there are tables and chairs for waiting customers, a free wifi, carpets, and some snacks if the customer gets hungry. Their policy line is, "laundry today or naked tomorrow."

TAXI-HAILING. I am a fan of Uber because it is premium and it more user friendly than Grab. When Uber in Southeast Asia was sold to Grab, I prayed that it's merger and acquisition be reviewed by government as I missed its services. However, it was done deal already, no way to reverse the decision anymore. I am left to use Grab than any other ride-hailing app. I tried Micab and Hype but these are to no avail due to, I can say, system difficulties. Rather than buying a car, I would say that riding other's Grab car is still less expensive on my part. For Grab, I prefer Grabpay than cash as I do not have to worry about coins. 

GCASH. When I got my postpaid account in Globe, my biggest issue was the long queue in payment centers including Globe Business Center itself. I hate waiting for too long as I should have accomplished more tasks already rather than wasting my time waiting. I used Cliqq app by 7 Eleven to pay my bills and load my GCash. Now, I only seldom pay bills using Cliqq app because GCASH has become inclusive already. I pay my bills using it and I load my and my family's phone, whether Globe or Smart, using GCASH. I have already tried paying grocery and shops using GCASH instead of pulling out my wallet. I cash in using bank online transaction. 

FOOD DELIVERY. I have tried calling the restaurant using it's number to order food. Nowadays, a mobile app that features many restaurants is already available to make food delivery more efficient. When I am sick or not feeling well, the food delivery services are heaven sent to me. I prefer Foodpanda for food delivery but Honestbee is also available which I use interchangeably if the restaurant I prefer is not available in either app.

GROCERY DELIVERY. Of course, for grocery delivery, my app is Honestbee. Aside from grocery, I have already tried Honestbee in delivering parcel within Metro Manila. Theirs is cheaper and parcel is being picked up. It lessens my time to go to the shop and it minimizes my expenses as to transportation.

If we will just study the economic losses of waiting time in Metro Manila, we might have been losing the mental assets of our people who could have accomplished more tasks efficiently if their waiting time is gone. For me, removing wasting time in waiting time from my things-to-do is happiness. Happiness means less stressful and less stress means a healthier life. A healthier life means long life.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Where Will the Filipino Jeepneys Go

Inspired from the war jeepney model, the Philippine jeepney has indeed made a part of history.  In the Philippines, phasing out of old jeepneys and replacing them with advanced model endangers the old model of jeepney.  While the new model is more expensive than the the old one, not everybody who was able to afford the old jeepney might be able to afford the new model. 

Gerry's Jeepney restaurant
Green groups and notable local governments campaign for electric cars to reduce carbon dioxide emission. With the recent development in the automobile industry, the old jeepney may end up somewhere else. I have seen jeepneys in Gerry's Jeepney, a restaurant in Maginhawa, Quezon City, where the jeepneys serve as shelter for fine dining. Though space is limited, customers can still eat inside a jeepney and have an experience being inside it without actually using it for public transport. Lantaw, a floating restaurant in Cordova, Cebu also has a jeepney inside a restaurant. Literally, it is a piece of floating jeepney. It is a half of the real jeepney that serves as part of an interior design. 

When the modern car has become cheaper to acquire and the electric cars coming our way, the jeepneys that made history in the Filipinos' lives may end up as collectors items and decorative mementos like what Gerry's Jeepney and Lantaw restaurants did. Other uses of old Filipino jeepney are yet to come.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Bird's Nest Fern Farming

We've been planting bird's nest fern in our yard since I was a kid. The fern grows on barks of trees around the house and in plant hangers made by my mother. My father loves plants as well that he is the one responsible for the full grown bird's nest fern in the yard. 

Plants become passion at home when we transformed the old house with barren yard into green lawn. Now, my father holds about a hundred of bird's nest ferns in the yard which he transformed into a small farm for ferns.

We are planting more in available lots around and transfer full-grown ferns in easy-to-transport pots. It takes years to have a full grown and huge bird's nest fern. We will market the ferns as these become big. Meanwhile, we can already dispatch few full grown ferns. For orders, text +63919665-9212; Email

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Recycling as an Art

Sprite soda empty plastic bottles made into a tree in Baker's Hill, Puerto Princesa City.
Nowadays when it seems there is too much trash, we do not know perhaps what is the best way to reduce them. While buying soda in bottle is irresistible, what do we usually do is collect them and wait for the garbage collectors, who separate the recyclables to be sold to junk shops. Well, one can do more than just waiting for garbage collectors to come and letting them do the rest. I like the idea of having a vintage interior design for restaurants because it makes me feel homey. Aside from being minimalist, some old stuff like disks are hung thereby having a place for itself. The odder stuff I have seen is having an old bicycle and an old typewriter hung inside Bigg's Diner in Legazpi City.

In some cases, there are towns that sponsor Christmas decoration contests in their respective barangays using indigenous materials or using recycled materials. I have seen parols made of shells, those taken from paluto in Boracay's famous Talipapa. Without throwing the shells, those were made into Christmas lanterns and hung in the restaurant's premises. In the nature-themed Baker's Hills in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan province, I have seen how the 1.5 liter bottles of Sprite soda were made into a recycled tree, greeting visitors coming in the area. Indeed, when wastes cannot be stopped because of too much consumption, we really have to think of other ways of using those trash instead of putting them in garbage bins awaiting for others to collect. We can make them into something still worthwhile like what we do in our garden at home. We use the plastic bags as seedling banks and we reuse the plastic containers as pots and hang them in the garden imitating the way plants are hung in Good Sheperd Convent in Baguio City.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

How to Obtain Fire Safety Inspection Certificate

A Fire Safety Inspection Certificate (FSIC) is a certificate being issued by the local fire department. It is required for issuance of occupancy permit and business permit.

For example, if you have a business in Makati or your newly built building in Makati is ready for occupancy, you have to secure Fire Safety Inspection Certificate from the Makati City Fire Station before your building can be occupied or before you can open a business. For existing business wherein you already have your FSIC, you still have to secure a new FSIC for renewal of business. FSIC is valid for a year.

Requirements for Issuance of FSIC:

  1. Endorsement from the Building Official or Business Permit Licensing Office
  2. Photocopy of Building Permit and Assessment of Occupancy Permit Fee/Assessment of Business Permit Fee/BPLO Assessment/Tax Bill for Business Permit, as the case maybe
  3. Copy of Fire Insurance Policy (if any)
  4. Copy of Latest Fire Safety Inspection Certificate immediately preceding the current application (if any)

When to Apply:
Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the local office of the Bureau of Fire Protection
Local office means the municipal or city fire station.

Fee for Fire Safety Inspection Certificate:
10% of all fees charged by the Building Official or by the Local Government Unit or other government agencies concerned in granting pertinent permits or licenses

Steps in Obtaining Fire Safety Inspection Certificate:

  1. Secure FSIC Application Form with the list of requirements from the Customer Relations Officer of the local BFP office.
  2. Submit duly accomplished application form with the complete requirements to the Customer Relations Officer.
  3. Wait for the Release of Order of Payment.
  4. Pay the Fire Code Fee to Government Servicing Bank or BFP Collecting Officer.
  5. Present machine validated Order of Payment or Official Receipt as basis for issuance of claim stub. (From step 5 to step 6, it will take about five days because the local fire department will still conduct fire safety inspection of the building or establishment.)
  6. Present claim stub to the Customer Relations Officer to claim Fire Safety Inspection Certificate.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Fire Safety Definition of Terms (Part 4 of 4)

Overloading - the use of one or more electrical appliances or devices which draw or consume electrical current beyond the designed capacity of the existing electrical system.

Owner - any person who holds the legal right of possession or title to a building or real property.

Oxidizing Material - a material that readily yields oxygen in quantities sufficient to stimulate or support combustion.

Pressurized or Forced Draft Burning Equipment - type of burner where the fuel is subjected to pressure prior to discharge into the combustion chamber and/or which includes fans or other provisions for the introduction of air at above normal atmospheric pressure into the same combustion chamber.

Public Assembly Building - any building or structure where fifty (50) or more people congregate, gather, or assemble for any purpose.

Public Way - any street, alley or other strip of land unobstructed from the ground to the sky, deeded, dedicated or otherwise permanently appropriated for public use.

Pyrophoric - descriptive of any substance that  ignites spontaneously when exposed to air.

Refining - a process where impurities and/or deleterious materials are removed from a mixture in order to produce a pure element of compound. It shall also refer to partial distillation and electrolysis.

Self-closing Doors - automatic closing doors that are designed to confine smoke and heat and delay the spread of fire.

Smelting - melting or fusing of metallic ores or compounds so as to separate impurities from pure metals.

Sprinkler System - an integrated network of hydraulically designed piping installed in a building, structure or area with outlets arranged in a systematic pattern which automatically discharges water when activated by heat or combustion products from fire.

Standpipe System - a system of vertical pipes in a building to which fire hoses can be attached on each floor, including a system by which water is made available to those outlets as needed.

Vestibule - a passage hall or antechamber between the outer doors and the interior parts of a house or building.

Vertical Shaft - an enclosed vertical space of passage that extends from floor to floor, as well as from the base to the top of the building.

Source: RA 9514

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Fire Safety Definition of Terms (Part 3 of 4)

Flash Point - the minimum temperature at which any material gives off vapor in sufficient concentration to form an ignitable mixture with air.

Forcing - a process where a piece of metal is heated prior to changing its shape or dimensions.

Fulminate - a kind of stable explosive compound which explodes by percussion.

Hazardous Operations or Process - any act of manufacturing, fabrication, conversion, etc., that uses or produces materials which are likely to cause fires or explosions.

Horizontal Exit - passageway from one building to another or through or around a wall in approximately the same floor level.

Hose Box - a box or cabinet where fire hoses, valves and other equipment are stored and arranged for fire fighting.

Hose Reel - a cylindrical device turning on an axis around which a fire hose is wound and connected.

Hypergolic Fuel - a rocket or liquid propellant which consist of combinations of fuels and oxidizers which ignite spontaneously on contact with each other.

Industrial Baking and Drying - the industrial process of subjecting materials to heat for the purpose of removing solvents or moisture from the same, and/or to fuse certain chemical salts to form a uniform glazing on the surface of materials being treated.

Jumper - a piece of metal or an electrical conductor used to bypass a safety device in an electrical system.

Occupancy - the purpose for which a building or portion thereof is used or intended to be used.

Occupant - any person actually occupying and using a building or portions thereof by virtue of a lease contract with the owner or administrator or by permission or sufferance of the latter.

Organic Peroxide - a strong oxidizing organic compound which releases oxygen readily. It causes fire when in contact with combustible materials especially under conditions of high temperature.

Source: RA 9514

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Fire Safety Definition of Terms (Part 2 of 4)

Electric Arc - an extremely hot luminous bridge formed by passage of an electric current across a space between two conductors or terminals due to the incandescence of the conducting vapor.

Ember - a hot piece or lump that remains after a material has partially burned, and is still oxidizing without the manifestation of flames.

Finishes - materials used as final coating of a surface for ornamental or protective purposes

Fire - the active principle of burning, characterized by the heat and light of combustion.

Fire Trap - a building unsafe in case of fire because it will burn easily or because it lacks adequate exits or fire escapes.

Fire Alarm - any visual or audible signal produced by a device or system to warn the occupants of the building or fire fighting elements of the presence or danger of fire to enable them to undertake immediate action to save life and property and to suppress the fire.

Fire Door - a fire-resistive door prescribed for openings in fire separation walls or partitions.

Fire Hazard - any condition or act which increases or may cause an increase in probability of the occurrence of fire, or which may obstruct, delay, hinder or interfere with fire fighting operations and the safeguarding of life and property.

Fire Lane - the portion of a roadway or public-way that should be kept opened and unobstructed at all times for the expedient operation of fire fighting units.

Fire Protective and Fire Safety Device - any device intended for the protection of buildings or persons, to include, but not limited to, built-in protection system such as sprinklers and other automatic extinguishing system, detectors for heat, smoke and combustion products and other warning system components, personal protective equipment such as fire blankets, helmets, fire suits, gloves and other garments that may be put on or worn by persons to protect themselves during fire.

Fire Safety Constructions - refers to design and installation of walls, barriers, doors, windows, vents, means of egress etc., integral to and incorporated into a building or structure in order to minimize danger to life from fire, smoke, fumes or panic before the building is evacuated. These features are also designed to achieve, among others, safe and rapid evacuation of people through means of egress on construction which are sealed from smoke or fire, the confinement of fire or smoke in the room or floor of origin and delay their spread to other parts of the building by means of smoke sealed and fire-resistant doors, walls and floors. It shall also mean to include the treatment of building components or contents with flame-retardant chemicals. 

Source: RA 9514

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Fire Safety Definition of Terms (Part 1 of 4)

Under Republic Act No. 9514, otherwise known as the "Fire Code of the Philippines of 2008," there are over 50 terms on fire safety defined. Most of the definitions from the old Fire Code (PD 1185) were carried over in the new Fire Code. The definition of terms is placed under Section 3 of the code. Here are the most important definition of terms:

  • Abatement - any act that would remove or neutralize a fire hazard.
  • Administrator - any person who acts as agent of the owner and manages the use of a building for him.
  • Blasting Agent - any material of mixture consisting of a fuel and oxidizer used to set off explosives.
  • Cellulose Nitrate or Nitro Cellulose - a highly combustible and explosive compound produced by the reaction of nitric acid with a cellulose material.
  • Cellulose Nitrate Plastic (Pyroxylin) - any plastic substance, materials or compound having cellulose nitrate (nitro cellulose) as base.
  • Combustible Flammable or Inflammable - descriptive of materials that are easily set on fire.
  • Combustible Fiber - any readily ignitable and free burning fiber such as cotton, oakum, rags, waste cloth, waste paper, kapok, hay, straw, Spanish moss, excelsior and other similar materials commonly used in commerce.
  • Combustible Liquid - any liquid having a flash point at or above 37.8 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Corrosive Liquid - any liquid which causes fire when in contact with organic matter or with certain chemicals.
  • Curtain Board - a vertical panel of non-combustible or fire-resistive materials attached to and extending below the bottom chord of the roof trusses, to divide the underside of the roof into separate compartments so that heat and smoke will be directed upwards to a roof vent.
  • Cryogenic - descriptive of any material which by its nature or as a result of its reaction with other elements produces a rapid drop in temperature of the immediate surroundings.
  • Damper - a normally open device installed inside air duct system which automatically closes to restrict the passage of smoke or fire.
  • Distillation - the process of first raising the temperature in separating the more volatile from the less volatile parts and then cooling and condensing the resulting vapor so as to produce a nearly purified substance.
  • Duct System - a continuous passageway for the transmission of air.
  • Dust - a finely powdered substance which, when mixed with air in the proper proportion and ignited, will cause an explosion.

What is the Fire Code?

The Fire Code of the Philippines is a law that governs all fire safety requirements in the land. It is provided under Republic Act No. 9514, otherwise known as the "Revised Fire Code of the Philippines of 2008." President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo approved the new Fire Code in December 19, 2008. The new law is entitled, "An Act Establishing a Comprehensive Fire Code of the Philippines, Repealing Presidential Decree No. 1185, and for Other Purposes." Prior to this the Fire Code of the Philippines was Presidential Decree No. 1185 issued by President Ferdinand Marcos in August 26, 1977. 

The Fire Code is being implemented by none other than the Bureau of Fire Protection, a line agency under the Department of the Interior and Local Government.

The basic law, RA 9514, can be downloaded online. On the other hand, the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Fire Code, a book of 532 pages can be downloaded from the website of the Bureau of Fire Protection. As of the moment, only BFP has a copy of the Fire Code book - a manual that includes the basic law and its IRR. It is not available in bookstores.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Kalayaan, Karapatan sa Karagatan ‪#‎WestPHSeaAtinTo‬

Let us help spread the fact that the West Philippine Sea is part of the Philippines. Let us join together in condemning all acts including bullying and destroying marine life and biodiversity in the rich Philippine seas. The Philippines is in the heart of Coral Triangle, a global center of marine biodiversity (Wikipedia). The protection of the Philippine Seas from intruders is not simply about political power. More importantly, it is about environmental protection and sustainability of highly vulnerable countries like the Philippines.

Technology Makes Life Easier in Metro Manila

I have been living in Metro Manila for over 12 years already.  The reason of staying in Metro Manila is because of work. Had it not for wo...