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What You Shouldn’t Miss From #HomeReady AboitizLand Home Fair

Trust us, you won’t regret visiting us at SM City Cebu Northwing Atrium this August 26-28, 2016 because everything you’ll ever need in your search for your dream home will be there for you to see.

In a couple of hours, the biggest Home Fair brought to you by AboitizLand will commence. This home fair is especially geared towards first-time homeowners, startup families and investors looking into making a prime investment that would surely be worth their money.

How about you? Are you #HomeReady?

This is AboitizLand, Inc.’s second home fair event for the #HomeReady event series – a home fair and one-stop shop for families and individuals who desire to make that next big step towards owning a home, getting an upgrade or investing in real estate. Banking on the huge success of their first #HomeReady event in April 2016, they will be hosting the event at the same venue — the SM City Cebu Northwing Atrium.

In its second home fair, the AboitizLand team is bringing in several activities that will help you become #HomeReady:

Of course, there will be an exhibit of all AboitizLand developments that cater to varying needs and purchase capacity:  houses and lots for young, start up families or those looking to move to a better home; and lots for those looking to invest in real estate or build a second home.  There are also condominium units for young, modern individuals who wish to live at the heart of the city and closer to both work and play.

The exhibit will include several AboitizLand projects located in Cebu:

But what would an event be if it doesn’t involve the whole family? The team also has several activities aside from the free consultations: live musical performances, Housey mascot meet-and greet, free sweets, and to top it off, amazing deals and discounts!

Watch the video below to see all that’s in store for you this August 26-28! Or better yet, you could give the Marketing Team a call 411-1620 for more information before heading off to #HomeReady. See you there!

Hello Pal: Going Beyond Borders

hello pal cover

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 google play

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.

hello pal sign

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.

hello pal language

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!

hello pal search

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? 🙂

hello pal chat

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!

hello pal phrasebook

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!

Cebu Mall Hours for Holy Week 2016

Holy Week Schedule The Outlets at Pueblo Verde

The Holy Week in the Philippines is marked with a lot of religious activities. In this light, establishments close their doors particularly on Maundy Thursday (March 24th) and Good Friday (March 25th).

Here in Cebu though, major malls have announced that they will remain open on Maundy Thursday and Black Saturday.

If you’re in Cebu and you have plans to hit the malls for some shopping food trip or just to get a bite to eat, take note of the following mall hours:

 

Mall Hours Holy Week

Cebu Mall Hours for Holy Week 2016

 

Thursday, March 24

SM Supermalls, Robinsons Malls, Parkmall, and J Center Mall will be closed on Maundy Thursday.

Ayala Malls Cebu is open from 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

Pacific Mall Mandaue is open from 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM.

 

Friday, March 25

All malls have announced that they will be closed on Good Friday.

 

Saturday, March 26

Most of the malls will open and will go back to their regular operation hours. Take note of the following schedules:

SM Supermalls (10:00 AM – 9:00 PM)

  • SM CITY CEBU
  • SM SEASIDE
  • SM CONSOLACION

Ayala Malls (10:00 AM – 9:00 PM)

Robinsons Malls (10:00 AM – 9:00 PM)

  • Robinsons Fuente
  • Robinsons Cybergate
  • Robinsons Galleria Cebu

Parkmall (12:00 NN – 9:00 PM)

J Center Mall (9:30 AM – 9:00 PM)

Pacific Mall Mandaue (9:00 AM – 9:00 PM)

 

Colonnade Mall, however, announced that they are still closed on a Black Saturday.

 

 

Meanwhile, The Outlets at Pueblo Verde in Lapu-Lapu City, have said that several of their stores are still open for Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Check out their schedule, here:

Holy Week Schedule: The Outlets at Pueblo Verde

Holy Week Schedule: The Outlets at Pueblo Verde

 

All malls are back to normal operating hours on Easter Sunday.

 

Enjoy the Holy Week everyone!

“Naa koy car” and the Power of Symbols

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.

 Having a car might mean you are person (or you belong to a well-off family) who can afford the costs of having a car – downpayments, monthly amortizations, maintenance, upkeep, repairs. It also means you have or live in a home that actually has a garage.
 In purchasing real estate, homes with carports can mean that the feature adds up to the cost in floor areas of a house. Condominium developments even charge you an amount that could almost equal a new home if you decide to have parking space for your vehicle.

 

 Thus, the merits of having car brings to a person. It’s the symbol of a car that associates you with wealth or being “may kaya”. The symbol is a magnet for meaning and has the power to shape the thoughts, feelings, and behavior towards other people.

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Like other symbols, having a car will lack meaning unless tied to an existing meaningful concept. One concept is that having a car is a ticket for guys to “get girls”. This is especially true here in the Philippines where car is considered a luxury and not a necessity. Thus, the current meme of “naa kay car” which seems to show that girls nowadays will only date guys if they have a car.

 

 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?

 

 As the book Drunk Tank Pink mentioned, “symbols and images are so powerful because we perceive them so effortlessly and so rapidly”. It helps us easily process our thoughts and behaviours by priming and preparing us.
  • 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!

Ignore perhaps that fact that the person “nga naay car” (with a car) may be nothing more than just another tenant still living in his parents home, borrowing his parent’s car with the illusion that driving a borrowed car can somehow win him favors and hearts. How’s that for meaning?

 

Naa koy car

 

This one example along with a whole lot of other social symbols influence us in a way that makes us think that the curated self is nothing but a farce. The self that we project on Snapchat or Facebook is nothing short of a curation of the concepts that show how much we value superficiality.

 

Symbols are definitely forces that shape how we think, feel, and behave. Especially in this digital era with people having the attention span of a goldfish.
Img sources:

https://web.facebook.com/129369090516276/photos/a.389558387830677.1073741825.129369090516276/953948751391635/?type=3&theater

https://web.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=989372321156714&set=gm.946345648795494&type=3&theater

26 Things to do on Facebook this Valentine’s Day

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:

bitter

 

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

Get Lucky this Year of the Monkey!

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*

cute

The zodiac animals are either closely related to ancient Chinese people’s daily lives, or have lucky meanings. The ox, horse, goat, rooster, pig, and dog are six of the main domestic animals raised by Chinese people. The other six animals: rat, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, and monkey are all loved by the Chinese people.

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:

Untitled

Now, on to the celebrations! May we all have a prosperous new year!

zodiac

The 12 Chinese Zodiac animals are in a fixed order according to Chinese Yin and Yang Theory and perceived attributes.

 

Sources:

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/

Making Coffee For The Boss While on Facebook

interns

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.

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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.

who-is-running-your-social-media-strategy-comic

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.

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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?

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