Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery Museum (in Pictures)

Here are some of the pictures I took of the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery Museum in Laguna.

The Museum of the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery highlights the landmark’s heritage aspect: its material components and characteristics and the conservation techniques used by the National Historical Commission of the Philippines to restore the Cemetery’s chapel and underground crypt. (NHCP)


































Monday, August 15, 2022

How I Became A Telco Brand Ambassador

I'm a fan of forums. Before the advent of Facebook, forums are our go-to place for knowledge, particularly in the online game Ragnarok. I can spend hours reading guides on different builds, items and leveling guide for the game.


Logo taken from Feedough

Fast forward to 3 years ago. I rediscover my love for reading on forums via the website Reddit. There's a huge Pinoy Redditors on Reddit particularly in the sub-forum r/Philippines. Last time I check it's around 700,000+ I've been active ever since.

Around September last year, I went to an ISP's kiosk in Robinson's Galleria to have my prepaid number replaced. I bought the original card where the SIM was housed along with an Affidavit of Loss. When the personnel said that I can return after a few days for the new SIM, I objected saying that I have all the necessary requirements with me and that it is stated on their website that it can be replace right there and then. I even talked to the manager and yes, it was replaced a few hours instead of days.

I posted the whole story on Reddit to share the benefit of being a "reklamador" while following the process and requirements. That post caught the attention of someone at this local ISP who's looking for a go-to person on Reddit to promote the brand and at the same time, handle queries on Reddit.

She told me that even though I made a complaint about the ISP, I made it a point that it's fair, which earn her respect. Then she offered me a job as the brand's ambassador on Reddit as an ex-deal for a 2 year plan (Platinum 3799 with a mobile phone). The deal was worth 180k including an insurance if in case the gadget gets accidental damage.

It took almost 2 months before everything was signed up -- including the contract and shipment of the gadget to our home. I can't believe it actually -- probably just a stroke of luck. I mean, there are lots of people on Reddit and I got to be chosen to be the brand ambassador.
She did mentioned that she offered the post to some Redditors and she even sought out an admin / moderator of the sub-forum but they thought that she's a fake. Well, she was indeed real and is working for the ISP as someone in the high places of marketing.

Shortly after getting the gadget with a postpaid plan, I got invited to events with other brand ambassadors across all platforms. It was fun knowing that the ISP actually cared for their customers and wanted to reach out to a lot of people across all platforms. I also got a lot of perks and some credit to my digital wallet.

That's when it hit me how much ISPs spend on marketing, to their brand ambassadors / influencers alone. In that particular event, there were around 200 people from Facebook, TikTok, Twitter and other platform. How much more are ISPs paying for the advertisements?
If this ISP can spend a 2-year Platinum contract with gadget for someone on Reddit, how much more do they spend for those assigned on Facebook, TikTok and YouTube?

On the other hand, they really care about their customers and they would go as far as getting an ambassador from each platform just to monitor and assists their customers who are having issues or queries regarding the product.

The devil's advocate in me however is saying, that if these ISPs spend less money on marketing and more on improving their infrastructure itself, they would probably retain the same number of customers or even more simply by word of mouth. There's a saying that if a customer is satisfied with a product, he/she will tell 5-10 of his/her about it. But if the product is bad, he/she will tell the world about it.

For now, I'll take the most about this influencer / brand ambassador thing, help their customers as much as I can, and fight fake news regarding the products and services of the company.

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Blogging In The Time of TikTok, Fake News and Propaganda

I started blogging as a hobby and up to now, I am still blogging as a hobby. Too bad I never got to monetize my blogs during blogging's golden years. Well, it's just a hobby so I really didn't expect much from it.

Tiktok Logo


However, I did received a lot of perks and VIP treatments especially when Nuffnang Philippines is still operational. Back in those days, I would always get movie tickets and invites to such events as Blogopolis and even Blogapalooza.

Most of the movie tickets I got were to such high-end cinemas like Resorts World in Pasay City as well as Rockwell Center and Shangri La Cinema in Mandaluyong. These are sponsored by such big brands like Cadbury and we often get lots of loot bags and giveaways.

I also visit the Nuffnang Office in Bonifacio High Street before to get some goodies for review and even get to be invited to high end clubs and venues. Some were held in Novotel in Cubao, and bars in BGC.

Aside from that, my blogs did earn some money through ads from Nuffnang and Google AdSense. I have a full-time work back then so I only do all these stuff and blogging during my spare time.

I also met some fellow bloggers during these numerous events like Alex Dizon, Kumagcow, Leo Mendoza, and even models. Those were the days.

However, when Nuffnang Philippines closed, invites to events also stopped. It was like the end of blogging in the Philippines. I still continue blogging even without these perks and goodies because it was a hobby anyway.

However, these events and promos were also sources of materials to my blog. My blog is all about local travel, events, and some personal stuff like gaming (Ragnarok, Dota), movies, food and restaurant. Typical ordinary guy stuff.

Doing blogging as a hobby really doesn't focus on the site visits, views, etc. Blogging for me is more of a public journal of the things that I'm doing and things that interests me at the time.
So when short videos started popping up via Dubsmash and Musically, I just continue blogging. I seldom took videos and upload them on the YouTube because vlogging is a different thing.

Then came the time of propaganda and fake news during the campaign period of Duterte. I could have go with the flow and started a political blog but I have little time for that. Then all these influencers and troll armies rose to fame.

A few years ago, TikTok dominated the social platform and it now rivals Facebook in terms of popularity. Everyone's into dancing and short videos and it seems that people's attention to the written words were gone. People's attention span only gotten shorter.
It's sad to see that most bloggers before were no longer actively writing and that their blogs were discontinued. I remember reading Mikael Daez's blog before. Good thing is, I will still keep on writing on my blog.
At the same time, I'll try to learn these new social media platform. In fact, I also created a TikTok account and did upload some videos and tried these available template. I still have lots of things to learn to be able to master this new platform and be a certified TikTokterist.

I will continue blogging since it's easier to search for stories on blog. Also searching through TikTok seems to be the norm these days, it's still convenient to search via Google. The search results are still from blogs, websites, etc.

Also, it's easier to search for blog articles by date and keywords compared to pots on Facebook. In fact, I only get to see the posts I made on Facebook if it's being displayed via it's Today On Facebook algorithm. Searching for previous post on FB is a pain in the butt.

The thing that's happening to blogging right now is exactly what happened to film photography before. Less and less people are into film but it didn't die out completely. It still has followers and enthusiasts even though digital and mobile photography is the dominant "species" these days.

Blogging I believe will not die out. It will just have less and less readers but it will go on. Same way that painting is still around even though there's cameras that can take real life photos. Blogging is not for everyone but it still has audience, aside from myself. So I'll keep on blogging since I started it as a hobby anyway.

Kudos BTW to The Coconuter, Recycle Bin of a Middle Child, and The Geeky Guide to Nearly Everything for still being around. These are blogs that still exists up to now. I guess I should stick around with these bloggers and still be part of the blogging community.

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Trip to Nagcarlan, Laguna (Pre-Pandemic)

Nagcarlan is a municipality in the landlocked province of Laguna.

The municipality has a land area of 78.10 square kilometers or 30.15 square miles which constitutes 4.05% of Laguna's total area. Its population as determined by the 2020 Census was 64,866. This represented 1.92% of the total population of Laguna province, or 0.40% of the overall population of the CALABARZON region. Based on these figures, the population density is computed at 831 inhabitants per square kilometer or 2,151 inhabitants per square mile.

Nagcarlan has 52 barangays (PhilAtlas)

Last 2019 was my first time in Nagcarlan, Laguna. It’s quite famous for its underground cemetery. We had a team building (swimming) in Los Banos and after that, I decided to visit this famous landmark. It didn’t disappoint. The place is worth the visit.



There’s a marker describing the Nagcarlan Underground Cemetery:

Sementeryo sa Ilalim ng Lupa ng Nagcarlan

Ang naiiba at nag-iisang sementeryong ito sa Pilipinas ay itinayo ng mga misyonaryong Pransiskano sa pangangasiwa ni Padre Vicente Velloc noong 1845, kasabay ng pagtatayong-muli ng pinalaking simbahan ni San Bartolome at pagtatayo ng kumbento.

Dito nagpulong nang palihim ang mga pinuno ng himagsikan sa Laguna noong 1896.

Sa bias ng kautusan ng pangulo bilang 260, Agosto 1, 1973, na sinusugan ng kautusan bialng 1505, Hunyo 11, 1978, ang sementeryong ito ay ipinahayag na pambansang palatandaang makasaysayan.

Unfortunately, during my visit in 2019, the underground cemetery itself is off limits to tourist due to some repair or maintenance. Good thing there’s a small museum near the cemetery that provides more information about this underground cemetery.

Here are some of the pictures I took of this famous cemetery in Nagcarlan, Laguna.


































Saturday, August 13, 2022

Backlog (Again)

It’s August 2022 and I still have tons of backlog as far as publishing pictures taken from my Pentax K-S1. I haven’t started with the pictures taken with the iPhone 12. I really should publish more often, even if it’s just pictures:

  • · Biggest Losers Mayon Edition
  • · San Fernando City, La Union
  • · Aurora Boulevard, Cubao, QC
  • · Kenneth Road 2022 Edition (111_1016, 110_1010, 109_0904, 225_0305, 101_0227, 131_0223)
  • · PasigLaban 2022 (Leni’s Pasig Campaign)
  • · ARTA Complain
  • · NTC Complain
  • · Boso Boso Church
  • · Quezon Memorial Circle Flowers
  • · Marikina River, SM and Loyola
  • · Lakeside Eco Park. Angono, Rizal
  • · Tondo, San Miguel Churches
  • · Trip to Baras


Mirrorless M10 and Canon 1100D

  • · Bridgetowne
  • · Pangasinan Trip 2019
  • · Boracay, Puerto, Batangas Port
  • · Nagcarlan
  • · Pride March 2019
  • · Tramo 2019
  • · Pasig Palengke Simbahan 2019
  • · Quiapo, Chinese New Year 2019
  • · Napindan 2019
  • · Versatility 3.0

I hope I could published all these photos ASAP. Wish me luck.

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Happy 2nd Reddit Anniversary To Me

Yes, I just turned 2 years on the popular forum website Reddit. My karma is currently around 40k and I've been active on r/philippines r/internetph subs (sub-threads)



Prior to Reddit, I've always been on forums (pre-Facebook days). In 2004 I discovered this online game called Ragnarok Online and most of the information about this game were available via Forums. Thus, I frequent gaming forums that has information about this online game.

Then came Pinoy Exchange where a lot of Pinoys post topics and gets replies. However, the replies are almost, always, very late. This is probably because Facebook is more popular when it comes to exchange of ideas and topics.

I was also a frequent visitor of Pinoy Guy Guide Forum. I love to see things and topics that most guys are talking about or is interested with. Like PInoy Exchange, the replies also were seldom.

I rediscovered my love of posting on Forums when I discovered Reddit. It's a US website but there's a community of Pinoy Redditors that are active on r/philippines specially during the campaign and election period 2022.

Reddit is almost like Twitter as far as breaking news is concerned. The posting of current events is almost real time and the replies were fast and frequent. I also discovered that there were a lot of smart Pinoys on r/philippines

I guess there are a lot of law students on this platform because they give very detailed replies as if they do thesis on a daily basis. I like Reddit better than Facebook in terms of exchanging ideas because of the power to down vote a topic or reply.

If a certain topic or reply gets enough down vote, it will be hidden from the thread thus the platform doesn't appeal to trolls and those unintelligent life forms on Facebook.

In that two years on Reddit, I almost always reply to stories of Filipinas having a foreigner boyfriend or husband as "isa na namang kababayan natin ang nakaahon sa hirap". Some Redditors have known me for that.

M Ponce Reddit Avatar


These days, I pretty much use the forum to see if there are some customers of the ISP that I represent that is having issues with their broadband connection. Good thing that it's not frequent like on Facebook. Mostly it's just queries on advance configuration with their modems.
I'm glad that I discovered this forum. Surely this is a great source of ideas and information.

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Over $4.2 million Worth of Items were Sold Out in 30 Minutes of Freelife Zero NFT's Private Sale!

Even though the game hasn’t even started the CBT yet, the Private Sale event already ended as it was sold out.

Only 30 minutes in, the Private Sale event of the upcoming game Freelife Zero NFT blew up, having sold out with a total of $424,800 worth of items sold, with 4500 boxes. And this happened when the game was not yet up for download!

Freelife NFT Zero Private Sale


Last Saturday, August 13 at 9:00 p.m. (UTC+8), Freelife Zero NFT opens its Private Sale exclusively to Freelife's games' players. And as it happened, the fans were too eager to get their hands on items that'll only be available for that specific event.

This goes to show that the Freelife team was trusted by its players and were expected they can deliver their promise once Freelife Zero NFT is already released. The team has been in service in the gaming industry for around a decade, and the fruits of their labor show in the massive result of the Private Sale.

If you're curious enough what made the Private Sale boom, you'll still have the chance to experience another sale in the Pre-sale event after the CBT. The Closed Beta Test, as previously announced, will start on August 16 and will last until 21. CBT participants who will reach level 50 and above will be eligible to join the next event which would be the Pre-sale event. It's something to keep an eye on since it might blow up like the previous sale especially when players at this point already get to have a taste of what the game offers when it comes to experience.

The team announced that they will be releasing a pre-downloadable client on the evening of August 14, 2022 in preparation for the Closed Beta Test that is to come soon. For those who had their interest piqued and want to find out what the fuss is all about, check out this link to download the client:

Will you also be in the waiting room of this game?

Check out more of news and events of Freelife NFT Zero through the links below:

White Paper:

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