Definitely making a name in the world of audio lifestyle is A.Refinery as they celebrate their successful first-year anniversary celebration.
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Have you ever felt that unexplainable need and craving to learn new languages, to immerse yourself fully in the culture of countries not your own and to interact with locals of these different countries in their own native language?
I have. Countless times. I will admit, however, that the countries closest to my heart are Japan and Korea, because they have been important parts of my life as I was growing up.
My love for Japanese anime as a child spurred on my interest in the Japanese language and culture, and My half-Japanese seat mate in sixth grade further fueled my desire to learn Japanese whenever she would share tidbits about Japan and some useful words or phrases.
However, my learning and improvement in the language was quite limited because I had no proper resources to rely on — this was 2005, after all, where books were the go-to resource and e-books were not as widely circulated as they are today — and I had no one else except my half-Japanese seat mate to practice the language with. It was only when I entered university in 2010 that I was able to practice my Japanese and improve tremendously as I joined a Japanese culture studies organization where I was able to interact with Japanese nationals and practice conversing with them in Japanese.
It was through this experience that I realized that no matter how many vocabulary lists you master, or how many grammar concepts you understand, nothing will ever integrate a new language into your mind as constant usage and practice of the language ever will. This is why language schools today are very particular with making conversation classes or practice time a must — it is only through putting the language into good use will the speaker’s learnings be reinforced and their knowledge in the language retained.
This is why I am very thankful that I have come across Hello Pal just as I started taking interest in learning Korean seriously. It is by far the most innovative way to learn new languages and have fun meeting new, interesting friends at the same time, too! It has certainly helped people break beyond language barriers and changed the game for people who love learning languages (like me!) and for those who travel often and thus need an easy, quick way to learn the local language of wherever they’re headed.
But what is Hello Pal?
Hello Pal is a FREE social language learning app where phrase books, vocabulary lists, translation tools and an integrated social network and chatting platform are all seamlessly blended into one very light (only 20MB for Android!) language learning tool. It stays true to the principle of believing that the best way to learn a language is where speaking comes first, learning comes second and encourages its users to “learn and speak on the go.”
There is no need for you to know a single word of Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, or any language that you wish to learn. Simply install the app on your device, sign up for an account, and you’ll be on your merry way towards exchanging your first 안녕하세요 (Hello in Korean) with a new friend! Here’s a screen shot of the Sign In/Register screen that you’ll see as soon as you install the app.
Let’s explore Hello Pal!
As soon as you have registered or logged into your Hello Pal app for the first time, you need to set up your profile and set up a few preferences, including your native language, the language that you want to learn, and other languages that you can also speak. This is for their database of users that will help in filtering and matching you with people who best suit your interests when it comes to learning languages. Here are the settings I’ve chosen for mine.
Once your profile’s ready and all set, finding new pals and initiating a chat with them is as easy as pie! Make the most out of your Hello Pal experience by filtering the suggested users according to spoken language, learning language, nationality, current location and age group. This way, Hello Pal helps you connect with the pals you can truly have a language exchange with. It’s like having a social network of pen pals (like in the old days where people fancied snail mail) but with the added convenience of getting swift, immediate replies!
But wait, that’s not all. Hello Pal also contains a translation app built into the system so you can translate from your native language to your learning language as you go and as you chat with your new-found pal. Pretty convenient. Say hello to efficiently communicating with people all over the world from day one! Hello Pal truly helps users transcend borders and connect despite the language barrier.
In the short time that I’ve been on Hello Pal, I’ve had the privilege to meet several interesting personalities who were very enthusiastic to learn English. And yes, you guessed right — they’re from South Korea, which also gives me an opportunity to practice my Korean when I chat with them! Here’s a sample chat with one very interesting fellow though — he’s Korean but has lived elsewhere for a while and also speaks Japanese! How cool is that? 🙂
The one single thing that sealed the deal for me with Hello Pal, however, would be the fact that its built-in phrase books are also available as separate apps! These are useful as learning tools that I can access when I’m bored but do not have immediate access to an internet connection, which the phrase books in the main Hello Pal app are dependent on.
Depending on your display preferences for the app, there are Lite and Full Phrasebook — the difference being that the Lite one only show the most important phrases or words, while the Full Phrasebook shows a variety of words with several topics to choose from!
Overall, Hello Pal is a really enjoyable app to use — one that makes language learning fun and worthwhile while allowing its users to go beyond the limits of their comfort zones to connect with others. Why not join in the fun? Hello Pal is available for Android on Google Play and for iOS on the App Store.
Go on, click that ‘Install’ button, and have fun chatting away!
Adam Atler in his book “Drunk Tank Pink” said that symbols are magnets for meaning. Symbols inspire reactions much similar to labels and shape how we think, feel, and behave.
Although not as strong as visual symbols, social symbols like “having a car” can connote a host of whole other meanings.
How true is that meme nowadays? Does having a car also show a guy’s honesty, intelligence, open-mindedness, humor, thoughtfulness, ambition, understanding, spontaneity, listening skills, respectfulness, consistency, trustworthiness, humbleness, and reliability – all of which are said to be personality traits of perfect boyfriend material?
Have a car? You must be rich!
Have a car? You could easily buy me other things!
Have a car? You can pick me up from school!
Have a car? We can easily have joyrides!
Have a car? Sugton na taka!
Have a car? Yes, uyab na ta!
Valentine’s Day is just one of the best. For some of my friends, and for a lot of people out there, they’d stay online to share on their social media accounts every single moment of their celebration. And why not?! Indulge your social media obsession on this day and maximize what the online world has available for you to take advantage of. Amirite?
And if you don’t mind, I’d share to you what my timeline would be filled with come February 14:
1. Post the cheesiest messages for my crush. Customize this message to make it suitable for other social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat.
2. I may also try Tasty’s Do-It-Yourself chocolate chip cookies and post my baking progress on Facebook.
3. Talk about my loved ones in my statuses like there’s no tomorrow!
4. Reply with brilliant and romantic GIFs in Facebook chat.
5. Look for the best date spots in town using Facebook pages.
6. Head to the best romantic places in town (alone, huhu), check in on Facebook, and leave reviews on the FB pages of the places I’ll visit.
7. Follow the Hokage tips that my friend’s friend shared.
8. For the first time in my online life, respond to game requests and give them gifts just for today.
9. I’ll stop being a Jeje to not turn off my crush.
10. And just for today: Stop flooding my friends’ timeline with nonsense.
11. Stalk. Stalk. Stalk. I mean investigate crush’s wall.
12. Post a V selfie and write about love as caption.
13. Share every post in Marcelo Santos III’s page.
14. Or Senora Santibañez’s.
15. Use appropriate and popular hashtags ‘coz everybody knows making your own is lame.
16. Start reviewing my friend’s list and unfriending all people who are in a relationship. Yaz.
17. Make a comment on every post I see for no particular reason.
18. Type Amen to every post that Jesus asks for a like. And hopefully next Valentine’s I won’t be single anymore. C’mon, Jesus! I mean, please Jesus, please.
19. Pass chain messages. I mean, it’s a surefire way to avoid bad luck or bad relationships, right?
20. Start reading all text seryes in Facebook. At least now I can feel kilig-moments “for reals” and not only when I have to pee.
21. Post every hugot that I know. “Yun lang naman kasi ang alam mo. Perfect ka kasi. Akala ko ba matalino ka? Bakit hindi mo ako matutunang mahalin?” Pahk.
22. Or share cat posts. They are just so cute.
23. Show some love to my bet! Start campaigning for my presidential candidate and make myself socially-relevant.
24. Spam media pages with comments about why my candidate should win.
25. Wait a minute, it’s Sunday, so it’s a family day. I’ll spread some love to the #fambam. Love ya mom.
26. Or maybe, I should just deactivate my Facebook. #ForeverAlone
All hail to the fire monkey!
This February 8, a fifth of the world’s population will welcome the Chinese New Year with family, food, firework displays and fortune consultations.
On the Chinese calendar, 2016 is assigned to the fire monkey, the adventurous and ambitious one among the zodiac animals.
The Chinese believe that people born in the Year of the Monkey are quick-witted, curious, innovative and mischievous. But contrary to common Filipino belief of getting lucky when your zodiac year comes around, it’s actually the opposite! *gasp*
According to Chinese astrology, on your birth year, an unknown force comes out and offends the God of Age. Due to this, the God of Age will make sure that one will have bad luck on his zodiac birth year.
Before you throw yourself off the bridge, there is a way to break the curse! Block the bad luck from coming by wearing something red given by an elder (relative), such as socks, a neck cord, underwear, a waistband, a bracelet, or an anklet. Whew!
For a more comprehensive guide on getting lucky, check this infographic from travelguidechina.com:
Now, on to the celebrations! May we all have a prosperous new year!
Sabur, R., & Macphail, C. (2016, January 26). When is Chinese New Year 2016: Everything you need to know about the Year of the Monkey. Retrieved from The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/12072836/When-is-Chinese-New-Year.html
Van Hinsbergh, G. (2016, January 26). 10 Interesting Facts about Chinese New Year. Retrieved from China Highlights: http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/festivals/new-year-facts.htm
Wu, A. (2016, January 26). The Chinese Zodiac. Retrieved from China Highlights: http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-zodiac/
Working as an intern in Third Team Media was fun and educational. At first, it was intimidating because I was in a new environment, with new faces and new assignments that were alien to me! Alien but wicked. =) As my internship went on, I realized that I have learned a lot about Digital Marketing – especially how it keeps helping businesses make an impact on a daily basis.
Working as an intern in a social media management company changed my social media perception little by little. Where before I only used Facebook and Instagram for fun, I consider social media now as more than a means to pass the time.
My job as an intern was simply this — assist the digital marketing managers in their tasks like content curation and campaign creations. With my days revolving around Facebook data, Twitter updates, blog writing, and Instagram campaigns, I become more conscious with my own social media footprint. I learned about privacy and of content quality and applied it to my own social media use.
My favorite task was perhaps curating for content. It was fun surfing the internet and discovering new things for our different clients who come from very diverse industries from different parts of the world. It got tiresome at times and frustrating too especially if you can’t seem to find the exact content you need. But it sure was challenging and pushed me to think outside the box.
For all the students my age, my advice to you is know your own limits in using social media for it is not a toy, but a tool. If I learned anything at all during my stint, it would be that, “On social media, the whole world is watching you and you must be ready to face criticisms if it comes to that.” Remember that great power is often coupled with great responsibilities. That great power in our generation is social media.
As I say goodbye to my life as a social media intern and go back to my life as a now #hashtagsavvy student, I intend to apply all that I have learned. Perhaps in a more concrete manner, I would say that harnessing the power of a single social media post will perhaps take months of expert precision with consideration of various data to optimize that specific content. But this is what I intend to do! #Wicked, ey?
This has probably been one of the busiest years of our lives, but we’re far from done just yet. With Christmas over and the New Year just ’round corner, The Outlets at Pueblo Verde is bringing a strong year-end finish with Fork in the Road – an all-new wing that will host a range of enticing food offerings!
Fork in the Road restaurants are all Cebu homegrown restaurants that include the ff:
(1) Pigafetta feat. an Italian concept and named after one of the first European explorers who arrived in Cebu.
(2) Big Flat Bread famous for its 30-inch pizza.
(3) Zubuchon the widely hailed name in Cebu’s tastiest lechon.
(4) Manggahan Restobar A new Cebuano fave that specializes in grilled meat & seafood dishes.
(5) Choobi Choobi best known for its house specialty, Shrimp and Seafood in a Bag!
(6) Kogi-Q sought for its all-you-can-eat yakiniku.
And lastly, (7) Tea Kingdom A refreshing respite from the humidity of the islands where they serve organic milk tea drinks.
These fresh food options add to the current establishments at the complex: Bo’s Coffee, Calda Pizza, Black Pearl, Cherry’s Nutritional Value Juice and Smoothie Bar, Famous Belgian Waffle, and Baba’s.
With the launching of the new wing, additional outlet stores are also opening and these fave 8 are accounted for:
- Oakley Vault
- Onitsuka Tiger Outlet
- Asics Outlet
- Fusion, which carries Keds and Merrell
- The Bench Depot outlet, which offers brands such as Cotton On, F&X, Celio, La Senza Aldo, Call It Sprint, New Look, Pedro, and Kashieca
- Red Tag by Rustans carrying the brands Armani Exchane, Reiss, Ralph Lauren Kids, Roots, Women’s Secret, DKNY, Diesel, A2, Castell, and Amazonas
The Outlets’ second year of Everything on Sale, 365 Days a year is even more grander when they made that split into a fork!
Cheers to more food trips this 2016!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… and Cebu City Marriott Hotel certainly summoned the perfect look and feel of Christmas this year.
Last Nov 26, 2015, Cebu City Marriott Hotel welcomed the holiday season with their annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. The day isn’t complete without the sparkling lights, the dreamy music, the wonderful carollers, and of course, the star of the show, their massive Christmas tree!
The massive and iconic Christmas tree currently towers over the hotel’s lobby area, greeting and casting holiday cheer to their guests that come and go. It is a beauty that shouldn’t be missed so I’d invite you to drop by their lobby if you’re in the area and witness the grandeur.
The lighting of the Christmas tree was led by Ms. Ingrid Santamaria, the award-winning classical pianist, together with the Cebu City Marriott Hotel heads. It was a performance that lulls you to thoughts of Christmas Eve, family, and gift-giving.
Also, the best of performer group in town — the Celestial Voices Chorale and Ballet Center of Cebu together with the nation’s celebrated concert pianist – Ingrid Santamaria, executed fantastic performances which made the night more relaxing and memorable.
Guests were at the lobby helping themselves with some refreshments served by the hotel crew. You should have been there, too!
Visit the Cebu City Marriot Hotel today and witness the gigantic Christmas tree. Grab a photo or two, too! Have a merry #MarriottChristmas2015 ahead! 😀
If you have been following the #AlDub phenomenon, chances are, you already know that Yaya Dub’s Twitter got hijacked for a couple of hours by Anonymous Philippines.
What or who is/are Anonymous, really? Anon, as they are nicknamed, are hacktivists whose causes range from the promotion of free speech, unimpeded access to information, and transparency in government and corporate activities. The group has maintained that they did it for a cause.
So, who are the people behind Anonymous?
They are many and they are from all over the world. They go by the motto, “We are legion” and are fond of using the Guy Fawkes mask to brand themselves as part of the hacker group.
These masks were inspired by Alan Moore’s dystopian ‘V for Vendetta’, the 1988 graphic novel which is loosely based on the story of Guy Fawkes to protect their identity. Guy Fawkes is a member of the Gunpowder Plot, who was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords.
But these “kids” are not your average punks. The international collective of hackers had, over the years, done good for the world: taking down a white supremacist radio show host’s website, Project Chanology, exposing Chinese made cyber-attacks against the US, Operation DarkNet against child pornography, and Free Korea campaign urging Kim Jung On to resign. .
Our own PH based Anonymous group had achieved notoriety with their anti-China campaign against China’s occupation of Philippine territory.
Hackers are not all bad. But they can be, of course. Was Anon PH justified in hi jacking Maine’s account? Let’s hear it from these netizens:
What’s your opinion on online activism?
Looking for a relaxing yet elegant place to spend #TGIF nights? Well, aside from KTVs, disco bars and other luxurious clubs, a five star hotel is also worth a try. Cebu City Marriott Hotel should be one of your must go to destress corners, precisely because on Fridays and Saturdays, they’re serving their own unique blends of signature mojito drinks. Why not give it a shot? Pun not intended.
Aside from the luxury and comfort that the Cebu City Marriott Hotel offers, they take the word customer service seriously and kick it up a notch as you are made to feel at home by the warmest welcome given by their PR officer Mr. Nico Ivan Velasquez.
Last October 16, 2015 (Friday) we were given the chance to experience Marriot Hotel’s Mojito Night together with other Cebu bloggers. We were served with various exciting mojito mixes, particularly the Dragon Fruit, Strawberry and Guyabano mojitos.
Each drink has its distinct taste that surely would make you enjoy every single drop of it. The live band was a perfect complement for the night’s gathering.
The Dragon Fruit was the first drink we had. Its delightful albeit sour taste perfectly blended with the light touch of alcohol.
Then, we sampled the Strawberry mojito. It was sweet and very light, we couldn’t even tell that it had alcohol in it.
Lastly, we had the Guyabano. We expected it to be sour, but it wasn’t. Instead, it was sweet and tangy, and the alcohol taste came out quite strong. Nonetheless, it was pretty good.