Monday, April 30, 2012

Spelunking: Bayukbok Cave

Spelunking (def) The exploration of caves for recreational purposes or just for fun. Spelunkers do not collect scientific data. Spelunkers are bot trained in advance cave exploration techniques. People who enter caves with the bare minimum of equipment are said to be spelunking. Spelunkers do not venture to depths beyond 300 meters, or lengths beyond 2 kilometers.

So what went into the mind of a claustrophobic/acrophobic's person like me to dare this kind of risk? Fun and experience. I really haven't the slightest idea of what's gonna happen. But as they say, what you don't know won't hurt you. So why bother myself of countless thoughts less I experience it?

My first spelunking happened inside Bayukbok Cave. We hired guides as all of us are first timers.  We have to pass a very spiky yet short trail. And the not-so prepared me suffered a lot. I might be full-geared, from the outfits down to the gadgets but not with the shoes! I am wearing a pair of chucks (it's name is Chuckielyn!). Chuckielyn endured the spiky trail, mud, sand and water. 

To get inside the cave, we have to pass a narrow passageway and climb down by means of rappelling. Rappelling is one activity I hate doing the most. I don't have control over my body weight and the thought of falling scares me to death. But I don't have a single choice but do it. My hands and legs were literally shaking. That was just the  first part. And I was told there's more to come.

The more we go inside, the more the air gets cooler and the area darker. Reminds of the movie The Descent, a group of cavers who went down on an unexplored cave, met and devoured by creepy creatures! Yikes! I am pretty much comfortable and sure that we won't experience it. That was just me and my imagination. 

Another activity inside that almost made me faint was the makeshift ladder made of bamboo and rope. The ladder's consist of 6 steps. Short as it may seem. But the climb will definitely eat the most of your time. You have to push your body up amidst the shaking of the ladder. 

Climbing and crawling combined. An experience where your flexibility and endurance get tested. The main objective is how to get out. There's no turning back once you're inside. Eat your fear or let your fear eats you.

I did not mind tracking the time it took us to explore the cave. I simply had my eyes feasted on the beautiful and sparkling stalagmites. Wander the wonder of nature. My mind's also focus on the my steps and the body movements as one false move will lead you to deep down nowhere. I did not mind getting bruises. I did not mind stretching my arms and legs. I just want to be out.

This is one experience I won't forget. My first spelunking experience, my first rappelling, my first to see crystallized rock formations. I've also met new faces and made new friends. I must say I want to try this again. I am now looking forward to my 2nd spelunking experience. 

Little by little, with the help of these outdoor activities, I get a hold of my fears. I am slowly battling them. In due time, who knows, it will all be gone. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Embarrassing Moments Need Not Be So Embarrassing!

We all get caught in embarrassing situations every now and then- but there are tried-and-true techniques to help you escape form these little troubles:

1. Stay in control. You can always deal with the situation later.

For instance, if you're dining out with friends and your mate criticizes you, just shrug and say nothing at the time. Don't increase your your embarrassment by openly quarreling with your mate and creating a scene in public that your pals will never forget.  Once you and your partner are back home, you can say, "I feel you embarrassed me for no good reason. What's the problem? Let's discuss it."

2. Laugh it off.

Former US President Ronald Reagan was good at cracking jokes to cover up flubs. Whenever he forgot something, for example, he'd say that he could remember what Abraham Lincoln told him years ago, but he couldn't recall what he heard last week!

3. Put a positive spin on the embarrassing situation.

It's a common situation. You walk out of a rest room with your fly still unzipped and someone points it out. Don't get flustered. Just smile and say: "Thanks! Sometimes I'm such a klutz."

4. Don't make a big deal of your embarrassment.

Suppose you knock a cup of coffee over while at a neighbor's home. Don't say "I'm sorry" over and over.  Instead offer to clean up the mess- and then switch the subject.


MoneySaver Magazine
Vol 3 No 6 June 1994

Sunday, April 22, 2012

iBlog8: The 8th Philippine Blogging Summit

iBlog8: The 8th Philippine Blogging Summit will be on May 25 and 26, 2012 at the Malcolm Theater, UP College of Law, UP Diliman, Quezon City from 8 am to 5 pm.

Note that the first 300 registered participants to come early (on or before 9 am) will be given food stub and participant kit. Afterwards, remaining food stubs and participant kits shall be given to early walk-ins.
iBlog8 is a 2-day FREE event. The first day (May 25) is targeted for bloggers, marketers, businesses and entrepreneurs wanting to understand how to tap blogs as a medium to promote their products and services. Also as a means to generate income. Day 1 also tackles advance topics on blogging – taking blogs to the next level. The second day (May 26) is meant to everyone interested about blogging.

Day 1 AGENDA (May 25)

8:45 Introductions of bloggers in the audience, National Anthem
9:00 – 9:20 Unboxing the true potential of your blog (Carlo Ople)
How to get direct advertisers and investors in your blog. How to turn it into a full fledged online publishing business.
9:30 – 9:50 Creating a Blog Activation Campaign (Mark Joseph Delgado)
Today, blogs and social media networks in the Philippines are not just mere online marketing tools – they already evolved towards becoming effective platforms or springboards in creating activation campaigns for brands. Brand Activation, in the point of view of marketing practitioners, is simply about bringing brands to come to life. Today, blogs (like brands) can come to life too – in both online and offline world. This is achieved through contests, events, promos and other experiential marketing activities.
10:00 – 10:15 BREAK
10:15 – 11:00 SEO and Social Media Marketing Panel
  • On Site Optimization 101 (Sean Patrick Si)
  • Inbound Marketing – Merging SEO, Social, Content Marketing, Conversion Optimization and Online Branding (Jason Acidre)
  • Utilizing Blog Networks for SEO and Social Media Traffic (Kim Tyrone Agapito)
11:20 Keynote Talk: UNILAB
1:00 – 1:20 Blogging, social media and journalism: The use, misuse and abuse of freedom of expression (Danilo Arao)
- Responsibility vs anarchy: Is there such a thing as “borderless” freedom?
- Limited freedom amid absolute control of social media and blogging accounts.
- Dos, don’ts and maybes in blogging and social media.
- Yes-yes and no-nos in blogging and online journalism.
1:30 – 1:50 Social Media and Social Change (Tonyo Cruz)
Social media, especially blogging, play a role in propelling advocacies and causes, whether by individuals or organizations. What the trends and tools in the arsenal of social media that have been and could be used for social change. The age of social also brings about new causes — like #betterinternet, bridging the worsening digital divide and making governments and business more accountable to the public.
2:00 – 2:20 Unwritten Blogging Etiquettes (Gellie Anne Abogado)
Unlike journalism, blogging doesn’t have its own specific code of ethics that is why there would be times when some companies think that bloggers have been becoming abusive of their title as a blogger. Internet is a free space and owning a blog is as simple as 1,2,3. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the fancy buttons and banners in your blog because once you post a controversial write-up, it will definitely create a stir. Will discuss the importance of researching a topic first before blogging about it, thinking twice before posting that blog post, attending events and why we should blog about it, and what is expected from bloggers.
2:30 – 3:00 Youth and Blogging: The Next Generation Bloggers Are Here (Lloyd Salac)
Fresh perspectives about the youth and their impact on the blogging community and social media. What’s next for the blogging community and social media with youth bloggers.
3:00 – 3:15 BREAK
3:15 – 3:35 Grow Your Blog, Keep Your Voice: Maintain Quality While Expanding Your Blog’s Reach and Brand (Martine de Luna)
Many people begin blogs as an outlet, not chiefly as an income generator. With review blogs, niche blogs and monetized blogs sprouting up like mushrooms, how can YOUR blog stand out in the saturated blog-world. Though ONE key ingredient: quality. Quality writing, quality voice, quality that is YOUR brand, online. Maintaining your unique voice online can be used to build an expansive online space that is uniquely YOU. Talk will look at: How to make quality, intentional, meaningful blog-writing that helps amplify your brand. How to develop and transition content from a blog to other potential platforms that can help expand your brand.
3:45 – 4:05 Bloggers the new PR community (Boris Joaquin)
Marketers and PR peeps nowadays spend a lot of time, money, energy and creativity to actually put together a plausible and meaningful PR campaign to track bloggers top post and promote. Bloggers did not fall off a turnip truck. If they don’t see the value in the pitch, they won’t post. If they fancy that you’re just asking them to post because you want to vampire bat on their Google juice, then you’re likely to be in a whole lot of #fail and possibly a whole lot of pain. The white-hat link-farm organic SEO pwn effect is only secondary if you are, the entire way along, a total Mensch and have amazing assets, viral-quality video, a great pitch, an accurate target, and a gentle, kind and generous follow-through.
4:15 – 4:35 Financial Planning for Bloggers (Garry Zaldy De Castro)
Each blogger should be equipped with financial education as early as possible. Bloggers can also help spread financial literacy even more.
Raffle of sponsor items, iBlog8 shirts, and group photo shot.

Day 2 (May 26)

8:45 Introductions of bloggers in the audience, National Anthem
9:00 – 9:20 The Soul of Blogging (Rem Tanauan)
We have been learning about blogging from only one side of the coin: blogging as a marketing and money-making tool to grow one’s business and organization. To balance the equation, we must also explore the other side. The Soul of Blogging focuses on how to tap this deep inspiration to write, share and blog, how to see and unfold those insights, and how to use blogging as a tool not just to connect, but also to share oneself to the other.
9:30 – 9:50 How NOT to blog (Jay Jaboneta)
“In late 2009, I started blogging using Posterous. The idea that inspired it is the quote that Steve Jobs made famous: Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish. I wanted it to be a blog about people and books for people who are “hungry” for these new ideas. Because of the nature of my work in the corporate world, I really didn’t have much time to think through things and blog about it. So I had an idea! I would ask other people to write for me. But I didn’t actually ask other people to write for my blog. Instead, I interview a few dozen people about what makes them tick and what made them successful. Unfortunately, I had to stop it for an unforeseen career change. I still get some hits from that blog. I want to share how that brief blogging experience changed my life and the life of a few other people. And how it led me to my current path.”
10:00 – 10:15 BREAK
10:15 – 11:00 Blog Writing Panel
11:20 Keynote Talk: McDonald’s Philippines
1:00 – 1:20 Teaching and Learning through EduBlogging (Noel Feria)
1:30 – 1:50 How to make your blog stand out from the crowd (Victorino Q. Abrugar)
Guide aspiring bloggers on ensuring that their blogs will become competitive amidst the tough competition in the blogosphere. It will have a quick yet intense discussion on building up the foundation of a blogger, which include acquiring the right personal attributes, choosing the right investments, becoming unique and influential, achieving world-class quality and excellence, leveraging SEO and social media marketing, and ensuring consistency.
2:00 – 3:00 Social Media Panel
3:15 – 3:30 BREAK
3:30 – 3:50 Leveraging Video for More Traffic and Conversions (Glen S. Dimaandal)
Covers the importance of video blogging, the opportunities that it brings to the table and how you can create simple videos and market them to your target audience.
4:00 – 4:20 Increasing Health Information Access through Blogging (Alvin Cloyd Dakis)
Health Professionals like doctors, nurses and midwives are the front liners in healthcare. They provide health services directly to their clients. But with the advent of “telemedicine” wherein health & medical services can now be accessed online, how are health professionals gearing themselves to include blogging as their means of educating their clients? How is blogging an essential tool in providing accurate and sound health information of health providers to the general public? How can health professionals maintain patient confidentiality & professional ethics especially when they blog about their experiences or even use social media as their tool? How can blogging help in advancing the issues faced by health professionals?
Raffle of sponsor items, iBlog8 shirts, and group photo shot.

DAY 1 & 2 EMCEES / Co-Host are: Flow Galindez and Rod Magaru.

Major sponsors: UNILAB and McDonald’s Philippines.
Silver sponsors: Villar Foundation and TV5.
Patron sponsors: Proactiv Solutions Philippines,, and Gizmo Pro Computers and Gadgets.

For more information, please visit the site:

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