Sunday, June 8, 2014

Keep Calm and Watch Movies

Photo source: Wikipedia
We aim for happiness from the things that we like to do and we  expect joy from the people we truly love.
Photo source: Wikipedia
I love science fiction movies and documentaries. Tron Legacy made me smitten. The wonder of technology that it depicts a modern-day IT-surrounded environment only to end up in a somewhat unbelievable reality - being taken by the system that the player himself has developed. I value the message of love between father and son. Leaving, finding, letting go and understanding revolved round a real familial love that technology should not take away from modern-day families.

Photo source: Wikipedia
Avatar made me realize that we may never be together in our lifetime. Chances are we could be transferred in another world without the awareness of the people we care about. We may undergo hardships but we have to rely on our own. Only a few will care and he who cares till the end bears the real love in his heart.

Photo source: Wikipedia

The Notebook made my eyes pour pails of tears. It made my worry about my future. I feared that I might end up settling down with the person I don't love at all. As a result, I have not yet settled down until now; and perhaps I may never will.

I almost thought of giving up watching movies because it gives a lot of pain in me. I thought that life should be easier, lighter, funnier, happier. Well, that is what scriptwriters, director and writers are made for. We watch movies and think about the real lesson that it portrays for us.

Photo source: www.nickjr.com/dora-the-explorer/
Now that I have a growing kid, saying "no" to watching movies and children's shows is a taboo. I have to watch cartoon characters. I ask questions like, "why did they allow Dora to leave her parents at a young age?" 

Photo sourcehttp://dragonballz.com/

I have to enjoy watching my favorite "androids" again in DragonballZ or laugh like what I did about 12 years ago as Sakuragi aims for that Slam Dunk . I also have to obtain a copy of the lyrics of that famous themesong of Frozen so that I don't end up like humming all the words repeatedly as "let it go..."

Photo source: Wikipedia

Movies became part of our lives. Screens - be it flat, touched, big, small - are like ingredients in our kitchen. We can live without them before or prefer a bland taste. However, why stay that way if we can spice our foods or make our lives more meaningful?

Today, everyone is in a hurry. Whenever I have to watch a movie, I am so tired of long queues. I had to exert lots of efforts before being able to finally decide on what film to watch. I surf the net and do a lot of questioning. I ask friends and office mates as if everyone becomes aware that I am about to watch a movie.

From mere online to mobile, transactions are becoming paperless.

Previews are important to me because these will serve as my deciding factor whether to watch a particular movie on that period of time. Inevitably, I had to open the net and so on. 

I thought it was only yesterday when I presumed that the world is becoming online. Then all of a sudden, being online is no longer enough. Nowadays, the trend is "mobile" and I say - everything is becoming "mobile."
Indispensable, my smart phone is loaded with apps including GMovies.

I do a lot of things through mobile now. I buy cellphone load.  I order and pay for products and services. I obtain coupons. I post updates. I browse my mails. I find my location. I post ads. I organize things from files, pictures to travels. I do all these through mobile already. That makes my smart phone so indispensable.

From needs to wants, everything is becoming mobile. Germany already offers a prostitution app, which is so intriguing to me. Booking for plane is now through an application. Catching up for a taxi is already mobile too. Then here comes a new experience worth doing. The first mobile app that allows me to begin my movie going experience anytime, anywhere. Well, that is indeed amazing. 

I am referring to GMovies mobile application. Previews will no longer be a problem to me then because GMovies makes the ultimate pocket app for my movie fix. 

Photo source: GMovies website

Why GMovies?

A first and the only one of its kind in the country, the GMovies mobile app features services that allows me to stay updated on the current and upcoming movie releases in cinemas nationwide, check daily showtimes, reserve the best seats and book movie tickets straight from my mobile phone.

What about the payment options? 

GMovies is currently in partnership with Ayala Malls Cinemas and offers payment options using MasterCard or Visa credit cards, GCash, MyRewards, Charge to Post Paid Bill for Globe subscribers, Promo Code and Ayala Malls' MPass card.

Time-Saving

For me who gets tired of long queues and surfing the net for the previews, GMovies will work at its best. I can now plan ahead my movie date without even setting foot on the cinema. This new experience provides convenience to anyone (including me) who dreads long ticket booth queues or running out of good seats especially during blockbuster openings. With GMovies, one can now just head straight to the movie theater's door, pull out the e-ticket from the app and present it to the cinema porter. That's simple as that!

Community

Still can't get enough of movies even outside the cinema doors? GMovies offers an avenue for both movie lovers and movie goers, and places the spotlight on you. In its belief that movies are shared experiences through the feel life and from this passion, their (GMovies') dream of creating a community of movie lovers by movie lovers sprouted and materialized. Both the app and GMovies official website, www.gmovies.ph, are online havens to anything and everything about movies and lets one voice out his musings, rants and realizations through the reviews section. Anyone can be a Greeler (pronounced as gri-lers) and be part of Gmovies' circle of movie critics, participate in exciting promos and grow one's network of friends through his or her love for movies.

Front Seat

A front seat awaits you. GMovies is a truly filmtastic all-in-one pocket app to satisfy your movie cravings and takes you to the front and center of the film entertainment buzz. With GMovies, one is being brought a click closer to the silver screen and given a voice in the movie scene.

Download the app and start the fun. Go to the AppStore or Google Play to download or text GMOVIES to 8888. To fully enjoy GMovies experience, follow GMovies on Facebook, Twittter, Instagram and Youtube.

So what are you waiting for? With the GMovies mobile app, you will always be updated. Enjoy to watch movies. Ask yourself the same question I asked myself: What movie did you fall in love with watching movies?

Sources: 
Nuffnang Blogpost on Keep Calm and Watch Movies contest
About GMovies from its homepage, www.gmovies.ph

Special thanks to Nuffnang Philippines

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Ten Reasons to Retire in the Philippines



Why retire in the Philippines?

After writing something about a question on leaving for greener pastures abroad, I am sharing a page taken from the Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA). The texts belong to PRA while I put numbers in it.

Smile is Life in the Philippines. 
This is our (PRA's) invitation to our former Filipino citizens and foreign nationals to choose the Philippines as their second home. Famous for our vibrant culture, hospitality, friendly English-speaking population, natural attractions, and tropical climate, retirees can expect the good life in the Philippines at an affordable cost.

1. Geography. The Philippines is an archipelagic nation made up of 7, 107 islands spanning 1, 840 kilometers north to south. It is part of the Southeast Asian region and is bordered by Taiwan to the north, Indonesia and Malaysian Borneo to the south,  the South China Sea (or West Philippine Sea) on the west and the Pacific Ocean to the east. The three main Philippine island groups are Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The capital is Manila. Time zone is GMT +8 hours.

2. Climate. Generally, Philippines has a tropical climate. March to May is hot and dry. June to October is rainy. November to February is cool. Average temperatures: 78F/25C to 90F/32C; humidity is 77 percent.

3. Language. Understanding each other will not be a problem between the retirees and our people. Almost every Filipino can understand and speak some English. In fact, we are the third largest English-speaking nation in terms of population. Two official languages are Filipino and English. Filipino, which is based on Tagalog, is the national language. English is widely used and is the medium of instruction in higher education. Eight (8) major dialects spoken by majority of the Filipinos: Tagalog, Cebuano, Ilocano, Hiligaynon or Ilonggo, Bicol, Waray, Pampango and Pangasinense.

4. Religions. Some 83 percent of Filipinos are Catholic. About five percent are Muslim. The rest are made up of similar smaller Christian denominations and Buddhist.

5. Cost of living. The principal appeal for retirement in the Philippines is the lower cost of living. Housing, food and labor costs are quite reasonable. Global Filipinos and foreign retirees can retire in the Philippines and enjoy not only the lower cost of living but also the very favorable currency exchange rate.

The Philippines' monetary unit is Peso. Foreign currency may be exchanged at any hotels, most large department stores, banks and authorized money changing shops accredited by the Central Bank of the Philippines. International credit cards such as Visa, Diners Club, Bank Americard, Master Card and American Express are accepted in major establishments.

6. World-class medical and health services. In terms of medical services, our facilities are comparable to the best anywhere else. Our highly trained medical personnel and caregivers are in demand all over the world not only for their competence and expertise but most especially for the care and compassion they show to their wards. Healthcare, a top priority of the senior market, is an expertise of the Filipino who is world-renowned for his excellent healthcare practitioners.

7. Filipino hospitality. Filipinos are naturally warm, friendly and hospitable. We have a ready smile for everybody and our religious background that is predominantly Catholic makes service to others an innate trait.

8. Telecommunication edge. Every retiree can avail of the country's continuously improving telecommunication facilities. They can keep abreast of what is happening around the world and keep in touch  with their relatives and friends back home.

9. Eco-tourism destination. Philippines can provide the retirees with endless choices of world-class destinations that will bring them closer to Mother Nature with clear air and beautiful sceneries. The white sand beach of Boracay and Panglao and the virgin islands of Palawan, often referred to as "the last frontier" are truly unforgettable places that entice the visitors to come back in the Philippines.

10. PRA service. The Philippine Retirement Authority (PRA) prides itself on the after-membership service that it provides to the retirees. During their stay in the country, they can consider PRA as their second family. PRA helps them to address their needs. If and when they encounter any problem, PRA is with them every inch of the way.

Thinking about retiring in the Philippines now? For more information, visit the website of Philippine Retirement Authority at www.pra.gov.ph


Source: Philippine Retirement Authority website

Greener Pastures Abroad: To Leave or to Stay in the Philippines?


We hear about the Philippines promoting the country as a retirement capital. We also heard about meteorologists of the government's Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) leaving the country in favor of high-paying jobs abroad. In the Bureau of Fire Protection, some firefighters leave in favor of public safety jobs (as firefighters too) in Qatar and other Middle East countries. What about you? What about me? Shall I stay or shall I leave the country for good?

I was once asked with a very powerful question" "if you will be given the chance to live abroad for life, will you be able to make it?" I paused for a moment before my reply. I answered: maybe....provided my family is with me - people so important in my life should be with me. Then I continued with...howevers. "However, I will always go back home and nobody can prevent me from doing that." My home is the Philippines.

Going back to the question, "if you will be given the chance to live abroad for life, will you be able to make it?", it is really a difficult one to answer. Yes, I may live in other countries but what about the pain of renouncing my citizenship in favor of another citizenship? My cousin left her Filipino citizenship in favor of citizenship in a North American country. She told me she was crying when she did it and then she had to cry a lot.

My cousin was a long-time breadwinner for her family here in the Philippines. She worked abroad for a very long time and had her dollars sent back home. She had lived in several countries as young as in her early 20's before finally choosing Canada. She shed her tears in bidding goodbye to her original country in favor of a new state to be her home. If she he had shed lots of tears, how much more for me? How much more for a uniformed officer like me who vowed my loyalty to the Filipino people? I took oath not just once but several times in my career. My oath says to protect and serve the Filipino people even if at the cause of my life. I vowed allegiance to the Philippine Constitution. 

Whenever I have to go out of the country to represent the Philippines, there is always that very strong sense of pride in me. That makes me remember that I should be at my best always just like making my mama proud. Every Monday during our flag raising ceremonies, I always have that unexplained feeling whenever Lupang Hinirang is being played. There are times when I noticed my teary eyes after lowering my hands from a salute rendered during the singing of the Philippine National Anthem. I suppressed tears when not so long after singing Lupang Hinirang, a part of a following audio visual presentation gave a tribute in honor of our fallen government firefighters who lost their lives saving children in the middle of typhoon Haiyan (Philippine name is Yolanda). Indeed, there is honor in serving this country at the cause of our lives.

It is the pride that keeps me going - of serving our people, of serving the public in my own little way as an officer. I feel that pride that of the the millions of Filipinos looking for jobs, I had landed in the government. Not everyone deserves to be here and not everyone is destined to be here. For me, I have the honor to serve my country with dignity and pride. I should do my job amid the noise of government issues. I always feel the urge of helping the Filipino people - though in my little humble way. 

There is a growing "unimaginable opulence that can be found side by side with poverty." We always thought of a better life. Who else does not want it anyway? We sometimes think of greener pastures outside the country. Literally, there could indeed be greener pastures outside than here in our country nowadays when our forests are denuded, where mining is allowed, where land use conversion is unavoidable, when peat lands are opened. However, why  seek for lands greener than ours? To reach financial freedom. To have our ends met. To get away from poverty. Many other reasons. What about the many Filipinos who are poor and live below the poverty line? What about the shrinking middle class? What about us? 

For the beginning and end of riches is charity; let us not forget to serve and help others in our own little (or big ways), whichever we can, whether we choose to leave the country or stay here in the Philippines for good in our lifetime.


Special thanks for some quotes: 
Rev. Fr. Philip Bernabe for his talk on The Holy Use of Money
Merriam-Webster dictionary

Can a hotel look like a factory?

While gathering for the kick off ceremony of the Manila Bay rehabilitation at the Quirino Grandstand, I was surprised to see this.  ...