My Observations: COVID-19’s impact on crowded fun-oriented events should be taken seriously

For the past few weeks, the coronavirus disease COVID-19 halted much of the world’s societies and economies compelling families to stay at home as the authorities struggle to prevent infections from spreading.

Community quarantine and regional lockdown have been implemented which strongly limited people from traveling around and also negatively affected truck deliveries which really hurt manufacturing and other key economic sectors like food production (and the businesses that sell food), retailing and more.

Unsurprisingly, special events that attract a lot of people as attendees have been postponed or cancelled. In the city of Parañaque here in the Philippines, the planned 2020 cityhood anniversary celebration had to be scaled down dramatically because of COVID-19-related fear. The said celebration’s most popular events such as the Bb. Parañaque beauty pageant and the Sunduan Festival could not be organized and as of this writing, no new dates for organizing such events have been announced. Under the current quarantine procedures, mass gatherings have been prohibited.

That being said, it would be best to forget about crowded fun events for the short term and just focus on being safe at home, managing your precious funds and maintaining faith in the Lord (note: study the Holy Bible and pray in tongues to Him).

Speaking of fun events, Comic Book Resources (CBR.com) published a new article that caught my attention titled Coronavirus Could Be the Beginning of the End for Super Conventions. It caught my attention because I myself had attended several pop culture events, including the gigantic Comic-Con International in San Diego, California (AKA San Diego Comic-Con).

Let’s focus on this excerpt from Comic Book Resources:

Comic conventions long have been an integral part of fan communities. Before comic-book movies and TV shows were a multibillion-dollar enterprise, fans looked forward to these annual gatherings as a chance to be surrounded by people who shared their interests. They (were) a sacred place where fans could collectively celebrate something they were really passionate about.

And they were fun. Really fun. Fans from across the country would make the pilgrimage to get up close and personal with the writers and artists they idolized. It was a dream come true for members of what was then a tight-knit community.

Over the years, that’s all changed. The conventions that were so beloved by a small group of people have ballooned into massive undertakings, drawing thousands of people from all over the world. They’re not so much fan-driven conventions anymore as much as they are trade shows for the entertainment industry.

That’s not to say these super conventions aren’t fun in their own right; they absolutely are. They offer fans a chance to witness major announcements, take part in Q&A’s with their favorite stars and celebrate pop culture on an unprecedented level. They’ve become an annual staple for the promotion of the latest film and television franchise projects, and big names continuously turn up.

Now, however, with the justifiable closure of these conventions due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s unclear how much we really need these super conventions.

To put things in perspective, any convention that is focused on fun would not be possible without the strong interest of multiple fans or enthusiasts who are not only willing to make time to attend such an event but also bring a good amount of money with them and spend on their respective interests.

The San Diego Comic-Con in California, the New York Comic Con in New York, and the AsiaPop Comicon here in the Philippines all require paying a fee (for the ticket or badge) in order to enter the venue which has most entertainment events and booths that fans can go to.

When it comes to special activities, private screenings of trailers of upcoming blockbuster movies occasionally get organized as well as Q&A panel sessions with entertainers or industry professionals, press conferences and more.

However, we are now living in the age of social media, wide access to the Internet and smartphones which enable users to take pictures or videos in high-definition and upload them for people to see online. Think about it carefully.

What good is a closed-door press conference with celebrities when a fan in attendance can capture everything on video and beat the bloggers and members of the press by releasing content on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?

What good is a private screening (which restricts attendees from taking footage) of a trailer or a short scene from a highly anticipated blockbuster movie when such content will only be released by the movie studio on YouTube, Facebook and other sites where Internet users can watch for free at the comfort of their homes?

What good is a fan convention if attendees post pictures/videos of embarrassing moments (example: someone throws a pie on the face of a movie star in front of the fans) online within minutes and become viral?

What good is buying classic comic books at the comic convention when the comic publishers themselves failed to wipe out the widespread online piracy (note: entire issues of comic books in digital form) of their comics which people can find and read for free?

One key point here is that fan conventions and other fun-oriented events that attract a lot of people are slowly losing their relevance. Convention organizers will have to come up with ways not only to stay relevant, not only to ensure exclusive stuff in their event is truly exclusive, but also innovate and raise the convention’s overall quality.

Going back to COVID-19, it is clear that the said virus is highly infectious and this alone defeats the purpose of organizing a huge event for as long as the risk of infection remains. As of this writing, local authorities are struggling to clean and disinfect places. Killing the virus is a costly and time-consuming affair.

Recently, the 2020 edition of the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) had to be canceled due to COVID-19 which was a huge blow to many video game and technology companies that had signed up for the event. Microsoft, which was supposed to showcase their upcoming Xbox Series X console at E3, promptly announced it will organize a digital event instead.

Think about those words: digital events. Digital events can be done by companies to make a special presentation of their products or services in the form of a lengthy and detailed pre-recorded video or by organizing privately their showcase event (held in a venue that the company has all to itself) live via livestreaming. With the access of the Internet and the massive reach that social media provides, digital events can make fan conventions even more unnecessary. Digital events are also very useful for companies because they not only have complete privacy but also a lot more control in terms of creativity as well as amount of information to be released. This also spares companies from the hassles of crowd control as well as rampant questioning from members of the news media.

Together, COVID-19, wide Internet access and social media are factors that make organizing crowded fun-oriented showcase events more challenging than ever before. Why bother attending a local beauty pageant live in Parañaque City when viral infection, live-streaming and even crime incidents could happen?

Even after the end of this COVID-19 crisis, the community quarantine and regional lockdown, I foresee that it will take a lot more time before life really goes back to normal.

By then, I don’t think enthusiasm for crowded fun-oriented events would be restored to high levels immediately. Sports events, in my opinion, have a better chance of resuming given the nature of sports competition which remains very important with Filipinos. Other events like food fairs and shopping bazaars are more important to people in the local communities than beauty pageants or fan conventions. What people clearly want once this current crisis is over is worshiping the Lord together at church on Sundays.

Attending church is more essential than a crowded beauty pageant or a fan convention. There is no doubt about that!


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

My Observations: The Official Specs of Xbox Series X

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The components of Xbox Series X. (photo source – Xbox.com)

Very recently Microsoft and some members of the gaming press revealed the official specs of the next-generation console Xbox Series X. As a long-time gamer, this newest development is nice and exciting even though I am still enjoying my basic Xbox One console a lot for my video gaming and movie viewing (note: I’m a Blu-ray movie collector). The current generation console I bought way back in 2015 still works well and so far showed no signs of breaking down or slowing down (when compared to my previous console the Xbox 360). Even so, I intend to acquire the Xbox Series X to replace my Xbox One although not necessarily during the new system’s launch. Here is hoping that Microsoft will announce a launch price of not more than $499.

So let’s get on with the specs of the next-generation Xbox starting with the CPU (central processing unit) and the GPU (graphics processing unit).

CPU: 8x Cores @ 3.8 Ghz (3.6 GHZ w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU

GPU: 12 teraflops, 52 CUs (compute units) @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU

Die Size: 360.45 mm2

Process: 7nm Enhanced

Memory: 16 Gigabytes GDDR6 w/ 320b bus

Memory Bandwidth: 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s

Internal Storage: 1 terabyte NVME SSD (solid state drive)

I/O Throughput: 2.4 GB/s (raw), 4.8 GB/s (compressed with custom hardware decompression block)

Expandable Storage: 1 terabyte Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)

External Storage: USB 3.2 External HDD Support

Optical Drive: 4K Ultra High Definition Blu-ray Drive

Performance Target: 4K @ 60 frames-per-second, up to 120 FPS.

On face value, those specs are very impressive and worthy of being referred to as next-generation at least in terms of potential. The Xbox Series X, with those specs, unsurprisingly surpassed my Xbox One and even the Xbox One X (released in 2017) which is currently the most powerful game console in the world. With a performance target of 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160) with a frame rate of 60 frames-per-second and even up to 120 FPS, now is a great time to upgrade your HDTV by means of replacing it with an UHDTV (or 4K TV).

Apart from improved speed and efficiency, the Xbox Series X will come with Xbox Velocity Architecture (XVA) which features the tight integration between hardware and software. It’s a new architecture optimized for streaming of in-game assets and should be useful for game developers who in turn will have instant access to an estimated 100 gigabytes of the said assets.

“It’s about revolutionizing how games can create vastly bigger and more compelling worlds,” Technical Fellow on Xbox Series X Andrew Goossen described XVA.

When it comes to video games with those large in-game environments, nothing can be more annoying than load times, delayed textures and noticeable drop of frame rates. In my experience playing Mass Effect on my Xbox 360 way back in 2007, the game’s long load time (with the overly long elevator ride designed to conceal the loading) was so bad it took me out of the game. And then there were newly loaded segments in which the polygons lacked the proper textures for the first seconds. Open-world games I played before such as Saints Row: The Third, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2 each had their own bouts of annoying load times or delayed loading of key visual elements. If the XVA delivers the promised benefits for both the game developers and the gamers, then such technical hiccups should be a thing of the past and the immersion should be much better for players. More on load times, they should not be a problem anymore in the next-generation now that the Xbox Series X will have SSDs.

Check out these official Xbox Series X videos about quick loading and quick resume.

As far as my Xbox history is concerned, I am a multi-generational Xbox LIVE user and my account has lots of Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles recorded with regards to playing history and achievements made. I also enjoy the backward compatibility feature Microsoft launched in 2015 which makes playing my old Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One possible without having to pay anything extra. I also love the fact that Xbox LIVE allows me to select and buy Xbox 360 games (via digital download) that I never played before and there are hundreds of titles of the 360 offered all the time!

That being said, the backward compatibility experience will continue with Xbox Series X guaranteeing that all the Xbox 360 and Xbox One games I have will never go to waste! For the next-generation, backward compatibility on Xbox Series X will see benefits like improved booting time, shortened loading times, improved resolution, more stable frame rates and enhanced visuals. I can imagine playing the Xbox One versions of Red Dead Redemption 2, Grand Theft Auto V, Resident Evil 2 remake (and very soon the remake of Resident Evil 3) and Gears 5 on the Xbox Series X in the near future with the technical improvements in place.

Going back to the announcement of the specs, it has been declared at long last that the memory of Xbox Series X is set at 16 gigabytes using GDDR6 which is a more advanced RAM (random access memory). By comparison, my Xbox One has 8 gigabytes of DDR3 RAM and the Xbox One X has 12 gigabytes of GDDR5. Honestly, I was anticipating that Xbox Series X would come with 24 GB GDDR6. I’m not saying that I’m disappointed with the declared 16 GB GDDR6 and I will look forward as to how that memory of the new console will be beneficial for both gamers and game makers.

The internal storage declared was 1 terabyte NVME SSD. I’m surprised that just one terabyte will be used to launch the Xbox Series X. That’s because games as well as their respective patches, expansions and other digital stuff nowadays consume a lot of storage space. My current Xbox has only 500 GB storage and the Xbox One games alone in our household could not be fitted. This means uninstalling games and other digital pieces. I was hoping that at least 2 terabytes would be offered at launch. In fairness, Microsoft announced that the storage can be expanded with an Expansion Card (1 terabyte).

The way things are right now, I intend to buy the Xbox Series X not because the specs are impressive but also because of the very bright future of games coming. Microsoft in recent years acquired a whole lot of game studios to produce content for the Xbox and Windows platforms. Already a whole lot of new games are in the pipe line being produced gradually. Clear to say, Microsoft’s 1st party games lineup in the next generation will no longer be limited to the Halo, Forza Motorsport, Forza Horizon and Gears of War game franchises. At the same time, I am also excited for new games from 3rd party developers for this coming new console generation and soon we will find out how great their games will be on Xbox Series X.

Due to the coronavirus scare happening worldwide, we won’t see a new E3 this year and it is now up to the game publishers and Microsoft to come up with new ways to announce, emphasize and promote their next-generation games. I’d watch out for the upcoming Xbox digital event from Microsoft if I were you.

If you want to immerse yourselves with the very, very technical examinations of the Xbox Series X, I highly recommend you watch these embedded videos below.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

My Observations: Ben’s Halo-Halo in BF Homes

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Laguna’s creamiest halo-halo is now in BF Homes!

For the newcomers reading this, Aguirre Avenue, the major road inside BF Homes subdivision in Parañaque City, is well known for being a major commercial stretch where people can find lots of restaurants, stores, coffee shops and the like.

Recently along the same road, the BF Homes branch of Ben’s Halo-Halo Ice Cream opened within the area of Phase 3 in the subdivision. It is located between Shakey’s and Starbucks Coffee at the same side. Just steps away from it, also from the same side, is Mini-Stop convenience store.

Already, Ben’s Halo-Halo has been attracting a lot of customers and their best-selling product is, unsurprisingly, their signature halo-halo. In recent times, actor Mark Anthony Fernandez (Miracle in Cell No. 7), had been visiting the BF Homes branch to take home halo-halo not once but many times already. Out of curiosity, I decided to pay a visit and find out how good or tasty their top dessert is.

For P90, I was served with their signature Ben’s Halo-Halo in a tall glass. It came with a mix of corn, ube (purple yam), macapuno, saba, white beans, milk and leche flan.

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This is the Ben’s Halo-Halo.
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At the top of Ben’s Halo-Halo.

After carefully mixing the ingredients, I took my first serving of it. The result? It tasted really good! Then I mixed it more and took another serving to find out if the resulting taste would be better or not. It still tasted good.

The halo-halo was so good and creamy, for me, there was no need to add sweetener or milk. A dessert served like this with such a good taste is a winner already for me. Of course, anyone else who wants to have their halo-halo be added with more sugar or milk will have to ask the people behind the counter. I don’t know yet if they would charge extra.

After enjoying my dessert, I decided to look further on their menu. Apart from the Ben’s Halo-Halo, they also serve Spicy Winter Halo-Halo and Salty Summer Halo-Halo. Other classic desserts include Mais Con Yelo and Macapuno Con Yelo.

They also serve rice meals (which I will try some day) like adobo, tocino, longganisa, braised beef and chicken barbeque to name some. They also have pasta and sandwiches.

As I learned during my time there, Ben’s Halo-Halo Ice Cream originally started in the city of San Pablo in the province of Laguna. It was founded by Ben Pasco who worked as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in Italy for over a decade. During his years there, he got to work as a cook in a restaurant. After making some careful observations, becoming an entrepreneur entered his mind and he decided to go home to start a new business of his own.

More on their BF Homes branch, more people have been dining there. To say the least, it is a blessing for the BF Homes community that Ben’s Halo-Halo opened within the Phase 3 area.

I highly recommend the Ben’s Halo-Halo for those who crave for something cool and sweet (don’t forget to watch your blood sugar level).

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Visit their BF Homes branch now along 287 Aguirre Avenue and don’t forget to visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/bensbfhomes/


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

My Observations: Crime Incidents in Parañaque Involving Chinese Nationals to Continue Even More?

A few weeks ago, I called Parañaque City a hot spot for criminal incidents involving foreigners from China. As far as South Metro Manila is concerned, Parañaque registered 140 crime incidents involving Chinese nationals versus 54 in Las Piñas City and 19 in Muntinlupa City as per the findings of Southern Police District (SPD).

Think about it. There were 213 crime incidents involving Chinese nationals in South Metro Manila and Parañaque (the city of BF Homes subdivision, Manila Memorial Park and those lavish casinos and hotels by the bay) got almost two-thirds of that.

The trend of such crime continues to happen in the said city as confirmed by the January 20, 2020 news report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The report was about a police raid on a sex den inside a budget hotel that resulted the apprehension of a Chinese national who allegedly managed the place and the rescue of several Chinese women who allegedly were forced into prostitution.

Below are notable excerpts from the report.

Excerpt 1: The alleged manager of the sex den, Cai Ye Gui, also from China, was arrested. He now faces charges for violation of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012.

Excerpt 2: A tip from one of the victims’ clients led to the rescue of 11 Chinese women allegedly forced into prostitution inside one of the branches of a budget hotel chain in Parañaque City on Sunday.

Excerpt 3: The victims claimed they were promised jobs in the country, but ended up being forced into prostitution.

Excerpt 4: Similar to other sex dens raided by authorities, the business catered exclusively to Chinese nationals, especially to men working in Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) companies and their service providers. Bookings could be made through the WeChat app or in person.

So the prostitution joint was handled by a male Chinese national to cater to foreigners from China and their workers were ladies also from China who were promised jobs in the Philippines only to end up working as prostitutes against their will.

As for the app called WeChat, that is the most popular messaging app in China (according to CNBC) owned by Tencent (full corporate name Tencent Holdings Limited) which is a Chinese multinational conglomerate.

Based on the details of the Inquirer report, it seems that WeChat is used for communication and business for the raided sex den. This brings me to an excerpt from CNBC’s article…

Excerpt 1: One of the primary uses of WeChat is messaging. Just like WhatsApp, you have a list of conversations that you’re engaged in.

You can add people in a variety of ways.

When people exchange contact details in China, you often see one person scanning the other person’s phone. Each WeChat user has a unique barcode known as a QR code. One person can scan the other user’s QR code to add them to WeChat. You can also use a phone number or ID to add a person and search for people nearby.

WeChat is one of the main ways people communicate in China. Even when doing business, people prefer WeChat to email. It’s even more prevalent because services like Facebook are blocked here.

And here is a look at the commercial side of WeChat.

Excerpt 2: If you’re buying something online in China, there will be an option to purchase with WeChat Pay. You will need to put in a passcode or use a biometric authentication tool to authorize the transaction.

Instant money transfers to your WeChat contacts can also be made via the messaging function, which makes it easy to split bills or just move money around China. It is possible to be nearly cashless in China and actually go out for the day without a wallet.

If WeChat was actually used for payments (in addition to booking) for services at the sex den by Chinese users who are physically present here in the Philippine, how were they able to make it work locally? WeChat’s financial transaction feature was supposed to work only in China.

To say the least, the app made bookings convenient for Chinese nationals before visiting the illegal joint in Parañaque City. The name of the budget hotel (which had the sex den inside) was not revealed in the Inquirer report but it was described to be located near the corner of Quirino Avenue and NAIA Road.

As for the legal aspect of the latest Parañaque sex den raid involving Chinese nationals, the law enforcers and lawyers will have to figure out how to effectively apply the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 on the suspects and other violators.

If found guilty, the suspects will be penalized for twenty years imprisonment and a fine of P1 million to 2P million for the act of trafficking, 15 years imprisonment and a fine of P500,000 to P1 million for attempted trafficking, and life imprisonment and a fine of P2 million to P5 million for qualified trafficking.

This latest crime makes Parañaque look bad and it is a fact that there are lots of Chinese nationals living and working in the said city.

Also let me add here the December 23, 2019 the city sisterhood agreement between Parañaque and the Chinese city of Anshan. On face value, the agreement looks like a pretty and promising way of the two cities becoming closer together. According to a Manila Standard report, the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Parañaque and Anshan should “create opportunities for mutual growth, since both cities share similar environmental protection and tourism endeavors.”

There were other objectives that include “providing for better cooperation in conducting reciprocally planned and sanctioned programs geared towards the improvement of government administration, tourism, cultural preservation, environmental protection, education, technology, arts, and the holding of various endeavors mutually beneficial to both parties.”

What needs examining here is how many tourists from Anshan (a city of more than 3 million people) will come to Parañaque for tourism, how many of those same tourists will be setting up businesses locally, how many of them will take residence in the city, and are they all willing to follow the local and nationals laws at all.

What guarantee is there that Anshan tourists will not commit any crimes in Parañaque or anywhere else in the Philippines?

If there is anything that will prevent a city or a nation from prospering and becoming more competitive with others, it is crime. Other factors that will do the same include corruption, sinister propaganda, misuse of taxpayers’ money, sub-par public service and lack of financial discipline.

It is a sad truth that Parañaque is not too competitive with other Philippine cities and was not heralded for local governance. Now the city has a crime wave involving foreigners from China.

For those of you reading this who have genuine love for the country, start praying to the Lord that the crime wave will not harm Filipino families living inside the villages. Start reading the Holy Bible and apply its lessons on your life by heart.

My Observations: Ash Monday

Here in the Philippines, Taal Volcano erupted on January 12 pushing a massive amount of volcanic ash high up into the air. A short time later, the ash spread around and reached parts of Metro Manila.

The next morning, I went out for my usual hike here in Muntinlupa City going to Filinvest City. Along the way while inside our village, the volcanic ash were around me – on the side of the roads, the sidewalks, on top the leaves of some trees and over the surfaces of vehicles parked nearby. There was also collected ash that got wet as it rained the previous night.

Then I visited the local village park and saw the following…

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At the park.
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Volcanic ash still somewhat wet on this slide.
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Look at all that wet ash.

I hiked on to Filinvest City. As light from the sun was bright enough, the ash on the road and the sidewalk became clearer. There were also prints of shoes, slippers and tire tracks spotted. I took the opportunity to photograph them.

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Lots of ash on the surface of the road in Filinvest City, Alabang.
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The view outside Commercenter.
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This guy was the first Filinvest City cleaner (he wore a Filinvest City uniform) I saw along Commerce Avenue.

I went further to Festival Mall. Unsurprisingly their roads and parking lots had lots of ash around. As I walked on, I wondered how many people with equipment they will deploy to clean up their parking spaces.

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At one of the parking lots of Festival Mall.

So I saw a lot about the volcanic ash in Alabang that morning. Certain things I saw during my morning hike reminded me a bit of what I saw back in 1991 regarding the volcanic ash Mount Pinatubo released. Metro Manila was not spared back then.

 Still nothing prepared me for the volcanic ash that I saw as I drove from Alabang to our office in Laguna via the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). As many vehicles moved both ways along the highway, there as a lot of Taal Volcano’s ash the view became less visible on certain stretches.

Then I took a short stopover at one of the gas stations along the SLEX. Here is what I saw.

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So much volcanic ash on the open space.
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A maintenance worker struggles to collect the volcanic ash.

The gas station was dirty with the volcanic ash. Many cars that were there were also dirty and people, including the maintenance workers, were seen wearing face masks. I witnessed one maintenance worker near me doing clean-up work by moving the volcanic ash into a pile and then collecting them and storing them into a black garbage bag.

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More of the ash collected at the place.

Seeing him work like that made me pray that he and all other personnel assigned to do cleaning will get compensated well by their respective employers. There is so much Taal Volcano ash around, it will take quite some time and effort before achieving cleanliness.

I also pray that the victims – those who live in close proximity to Taal Volcano – will receive sufficient assistance from the local authorities as well as private donors or groups doing charity work. This is because those victims’ lives got disrupted and many of them had to leave their homes temporarily.

One credible organization to donate to is Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines which announced already its campaign to help Taal Volcano victims. Visit their website right here. Another worthy organization accepting donations is New Life Community Care.

The victims of the natural disaster need our help and prayers. Remember that.

So that’s it. January 13, 2020 will be remembered as one of the most unusual Mondays I had in many years. Given the tremendous amount of volcanic ash spotted EVERYWHERE I went that day, it is fitting for me to call the day as Ash Monday.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

 

My Observations: Not a Single Parañaque Resident Among The Many Philippine Athletes Who Won Medals in the 2019 SEA Games?

It’s been almost a month since the 2019 edition of the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) hosted by the Philippines ended with resounding success. The Philippines won a total of three hundred and eighty-seven medals to finish #1 among all Southeast Asian nations. The 387 medals won are composed of 149 gold medals, 117 silver medals and 121 bronze medals.

Here in South Metro Manila (composed mainly of the cities of Parañaque, Muntinlupa and Las Piñas) there were indeed Philippine team athletes who won medals at the SEA Games who reside locally.

Shortly after the end of the premier sports event of the Southeast Asian region, the City of Las Piñas honored the SEA Games medalists among its residents by showcasing them in a special ceremony at City Hall in the presence of Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar, Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery, City Councilors and more.

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The Las Piñas-based Philippine athletes who won at the SEA Games appeared in their respective sports uniforms and showed their medals and certificates of appreciation with the City Government officials led by Mayor Imelda Aguilar. (source – City of Las Piñas Facebook page)

The local resident athletes honored were Joseph Arcilla (Gold Medalist – Soft Tennis), Anna Alicia Katrina Castillo (Gold Medalist Women’s Basketball), Mikoff Manduriao (Gold Medalist – Soft Tennis), Russ Ashley Monville (Gold Medalist – Arnis), Erdilyn Peralta (Bronze Medalist – Soft Tennis), and Aljon Salonga (Silver Medalist – Water Polo). Not only did they attend the special ceremony at City Hall with their sports uniforms, they also brought the SEA Games medals they won. They received certificates from the City Government.

Over at the City of Muntinlupa, the City Government led by Mayor Jaime Fresnedi did its part doing the same and their SEA Games medalists attended a special ceremony – which was mainly about the City’s 102nd anniversary celebration – held at the Sports Complex in Barangay Tunasan.

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Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi (3rd from right) awarded plaques of recognition to Muntinlupa athletes who snagged medals in the 2019 SEA Games last December 19 at Muntinlupa Sports Complex, Tunasan. Shown in the photo: (L-R) Congressman Ruffy Biazon, Kodo Nakano (Bronze, Judo), Keisei Nakano (Bronze, Judo), Shugen Nakano (Gold Medalist, Judo), Daryl Mercado (Bronze, Judo), Ryssa Jezzel Sanchez (Silver, Arnis), Rick Jayson Constantino Senales (Bronze, Kurash and Judo), Vice-mayor Temy Simundac, and City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela. (photo released by City Government of Muntinlupa – PIO)

The Muntinlupa-based SEA Games medalists who received honors and shared the stage with the Mayor, Vice Mayor Temy Simundac, Congressman Ruffy Biazon and City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela were Kodo Nakano (Bronze, Judo), Keisei Nakano (Bronze, Judo), Shugen Nakano (Gold Medalist, Judo), Daryl Mercado (Bronze, Judo), Ryssa Jezzel Sanchez (Silver, Arnis), and Rick Jayson Constantino Senales (Bronze, Kurash and Judo). Incentives for the said achievers were promised by the City Government.

Meanwhile in Parañaque City, there have been no signs so far that there were any Parañaque residents among the many Philippine athletes who won 2019 SEA Games medals.

Twice, I inquired about this to City Administrator Fernando “Ding” Soriano plus my other contact at the City Government. It was only yesterday that I finally received a reply from City Admin Soriano. Below is his response.

Soriano: The moment there (are) residents from (Parañaque), we will certainly give recognition and awards. 

Analyzing the words of the City Administrator, it seems that the City Government still has not yet found a single local resident among the 2019 SEA Games medalists who represented the Philippines. Previously the City Government promised rewards for any 2019 SEA Games medalist verified as a resident.

The hot questions here are:

  1. Has the City Government of Parañaque approached the 2019 SEA Games organizers for a list of Philippine Team athletes (who won medals specifically) with city addresses?
  2. If there are indeed any 2019 SEA Games medalist living in Parañaque City who  just learned about the promised rewards and recognition from the City Government, which specific office should he or she go to? Who should he or she look for?
  3. Does mayor Edwin Olivarez have time to meet Parañaque-based SEA Games medalists?

If any new updates come up, I’ll post them right here.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

 

 

 

 

My Observations: BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair plus Bazaar was a Fun Experience

Hey everyone! I want to share to you all that there is nothing like community building and social interaction through the organizing of an in-village event that emphasized food and beverages which brought people together. Which people specifically? The local residents, the non-resident visitors, government officials and the cooks and entrepreneurs who did their best offering food and drinks for sale.

That specifically happened during the recent BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar which was held on December 7 and 8 by the facilities (open-air basketball court plus the covered stretch nearby) just steps away from the village clubhouse along D.Jakarta street, BF NorthWest, BF Homes Subdivision, Parañaque City. For those who are new to this website, the successful event was previously published here (with an update on November 17).

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A portion of the food fair at the open-air basketball court of BF NorthWest.
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Food and beverage vendors selling at the covered section just beside the basketball court.

Before sharing my personal experiences and observations, I want to announce to you all that the BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar was, indeed, a big success pulled off nicely by the organizers such as the BF NorthWest Homeowners Association, Inc., the BF HomeSarap Facebook group (visit their group by clicking here) and other supporters and stakeholders.

According to BF NorthWest Governor-at-Large Lorea Miren, the 2-day event attracted between two hundred fifty to three hundred visitors and 90% of the vendors (whose food and beverage offerings were of good quality and nice variety) sold out! Speaking of visitors, the fair was visited on December 7 by Paranaque City Councilor Wahoo Sotto during the day while his fellow Councilor Jackie Bustamante-Mendoza (accompanied with her son) arrived during the evening. Wow! BF HomeSarap’s event was graced by two highly important people from the City Government!

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Parañaque City Councilor Jackie Bustamante-Mendoza (middle) with her son Juancho (left) and BF NorthWest Governor-at-Large Lorea Miren posed for this website during the evening of December 7.
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Special food by the bilao offered.

Apart from the organizing of the 2-day food fair and bazaar, a major factor in the event’s success was the wide variety of goods offered for sale by the sellers and makers who participated. According to Lorea Miren, many applied to be part of the fair and she and the organizers carefully curated what each seller offered before granting their approval. This was a painstaking process as the organizers aimed high with both variety and quality that consumers can benefit from.

In my personal experience of enjoying the food fair and bazaar, I can confirm to you all that the variety of the food and beverage products was great while the selection of non-food items (at the bazaar) was interesting.

For the food, there were burgers with fries, fresh meat, roasted pig from Cebu, brownies, potato chips, sushi rolls, fresh vegetables, comfort food in jars, buttered shrimp, chili garlic crabs, fruit jam, tuyo, Spanish-style sardines, grilled squid, barbeque, salted duck eggs, Angus beef tapsilog, pies, cereals, cookies, oatmeal bars, deli meat and a whole more! The variety was so great, there was indeed always something that someone can enjoy. The many food makers/sellers belonging to the BF HomeSarap FB group (whose founder Ditas Antenor personally monitored the event and kept in touch with the people) really delivered great stuff from their respective kitchen to the tables at the food fair! For the newcomers reading this, Antenor founded BF HomeSarap on the social network on April 2019 and, as of this writing, the FB group now has over eight thousand members!

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Comfort food in jars!
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This burger was tasty and filling.
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Cebu lechon caught the attention of many.

With regards to the non-food items that formed the bazaar, those items were not as numerous as the food but what was offered for sale was varied enough and interesting. There were clothes, bags, shoes, toys and other household items that were good enough for Christmas gift-giving. There were also some premium products such as imported thermal water bottles, kitchenware, fragrances, etc.

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Some interesting items for sale.
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Shoppers looking for the best deals.

My companion and I arrived at the food fair during the first hour of opening of the food fair on the afternoon of December 7. Together we had a nice time not just checking out the food for sale but also talking with the vendors who were gentle, helpful and informative to talk with. After buying some snacks and drinks, we sat at the available chairs and table and had a nice talk just as more people visited the food fair. I noticed that, as time passed, each vendor had guests to entertain and sold something to. There were also families, barkadas and others who visited checking out what were on sale, lining up to buy something and enjoy socializing. It was, indeed, a lively food fair that was driven by community interaction.

The next day, after attending worship at our church, I revisited the food fair and brought home some really tasty sushi rolls for lunch. Really tasty and fresh!

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Demand for Angus beef tapsilog was so strong, it got sold out!
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Nothing like ordering burgers and fries by the van!
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Fine food products nicely displayed.

Overall, the BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar was a big success and I personally had a nice time there. With a very nice variety of products to choose from and enjoy, the BF HomeSarap vendors (and the non-food item sellers) were not only pretty good but also deserving of being discovered. Truly the BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar is easily the most special food and beverage event of the entire BF Homes community (and even on the Barangay BF Homes level) for 2019.

Here are some good news: there is a plan to organize another BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar in the summer of 2020. That is something we should all look forward to. As such, to really be very updated and be able to reach out to the many food specialists, you are all encouraged to visit BF HomeSarap at https://www.facebook.com/groups/987695754755106/

And finally, here are some words from BF NorthWest Governor-at-Large Lorea Miren regarding the BF HomeSarap Community Food Fair and Bazaar that went from concept into an actually realized event.

“The BF HomeSarap Food Fair was one of those opportunities that allowed the sellers, organizers and anyone around us the chance to feel what a community affair can bring – home cooked food and the joy it brings. Thank you to all the sellers, who not only ‘brought it’, but rocked it!  For their ability to adapt, enjoy and show off their culinary talents,” Miren stated. “It takes one cook to have a meal, but it takes a community to serve it.”

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Walking through the tables of vendors in this covered section was always worth doing.
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BF HomeSarap Food Fair is a nice way for food makers and new entrepreneurs in the food industry to come out and reach out to new customers to help their business grow.
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Nothing like being offered deli meat on the weekend. (photo contributed by Lorea Miren)

For more BF Homes community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

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To others reading this, if you are dissatisfied with print media and you want your community/organization/business/special event or project to be featured on this website, please contact me locally via mobile number 0905-3350831 or via email at Carlo.Carrasco@gmail.com

You can check out my varied marketing services (including Twitter boosting) right here.

We can negotiate, work together and be achievers together.


Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com