FREE Lasik from American Eye Center

American Eye Center - Greenbelt 5

I was thrilled when I was informed by a friend that Daphne is giving away her FREE certificate of American Eye Center's new Lasik machine. Daphne Oseña Paez is a tv host & producer, business woman, wife and mother. She got the free certificate as a gift when she appeared in the AEC press conference. She also went under Lasik in 2005 and said that it is completely life changing. 

Daphne decided to give away this FREE Lasik certificate to one of her blog readers. You'll have to follow her instructions on how you can join. 

I initially would like to join because I thought of giving it to my mom. 

She is now 62 years old and has been near-sighted since her elementary life. She would tell me how lucky she had been to have a last name that starts with "A" because she gets to seat on the front row of the classroom. If the arrangement is not alphabetical, she's still lucky to be the class secretary. The perks of having her teachers' own notes and copying it was awesome, she said.

photo by Libertinus

But her luck stayed in school because she still got a hard time riding the right jeepney for being mistaken on the sign board. Her family was very poor and could not afford a pair of glasses. Decades later, when she got us, her kids, we bought her her spectacles. She would gaily wear them and even matched it with a beaded necklace to hold it in front of her chest when unused. She would always accidentally break it though. One time, it fell from the table, another was when her grandson sat on her lap and got it crushed. 

Mom before she got her Senior Citizen ID
She never considered wearing contact lenses and even argued that it might cause her blindness. I just wanted her to see everything else clearer. I mean,  just thinking of how sad it was not to enjoy the sight of God's creations. Especially to her who got it earlier in life. I just thought that maybe I could have her enjoy the rest of her life with a better eyesight.  

When I was about to comment on Daphne's site, I realized that there are really a lot of people who wants to improve their eyesight. So I decided to concede and give it to someone who needs it most.

To know more on how you can join Daphne's generous contest, click HERE.

Sweet Says... Someday I'll get my Lasik. 
Thanks to Daphne for a wonderful offer. 

“You're not going to learn the most tangible, applied processes in a book, or a classroom, or a lecture. It's not rocket science. All you need is good eyesight, a strong back, and good shipboard balance.” - Sean Van Sommeran

Why I Follow Saint Jude of Thaddeus in Twitter

When my youngest brother and I were still kids, our mom and dad brings us every Thursday night to the National Shrine of Saint Jude Thaddeus in Manila right beside Malacañan Palace, the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the Philippines. 

Our typical travel time usually took us an hour to reach the shrine. There was a jeepney ride to Blumentritt, another one headed to Quiapo, a long walk to the unpleasant aroma of the underpass, another jeepney ride to the palace, and last would be the long walk under the beautiful moonlight.

St. Jude, Stained Glass, Chicago IL

Memorable stories were relayed by my mom about how our devotion to St. Jude started. Here are a brief of my top two favorites: The first story was my dad's prayer of intention that he may be blessed with a job abroad to provide for our family. He devoted his Thursdays there at the Shrine and pray for his intention. "Rain or shine", he said, and even if the doors were closed when he got there late at night. The next story was my mom's. She said that she's been wanting a baby girl for so long since she got four boys already. She told me "I prayed for you there, and granted you to me".

St. Jude - Chicago, IL
I could still recall how my parents looked like as they close their eyes and whisper their prayers. I was confused then if they were either praying to Jesus or to the Saint. As I grew up, I realized that they prayed to both, but I soon got busy at the same time. I seldom come along with them because I got tied up with school and work hazards. 

I may not regularly go there every Thursday, but I still find time to visit the Shrine. 

I was exhilarated when I found out that Shrine of Saint Jude has a Twitter account. Of course, I followed it. And the first tweet that I received was "Request a Mass at the National Shrine of St. Jude for your special intention" accompanied with a link to its site hosted by The Claretians, whose mission is to exist to bring together devotees of St. Jude in a community of prayer and hope. 

Watch this video tour of the Shrine in Chicago, IL plus a special prayer that you may use daily:

Thursdays (Manila) are the official novena day of the devotees to pray their special intentions and thanksgiving.

remind us that Jesus is the light of the world.

Prayer to St. Jude:
Most holy apostle, St. Jude, faithful servant and friend of Jesus, the Church honors and invokes you universally, as the patron of hopeless cases, of things almost despaired of. Pray for me, I am so helpless and alone. Make use I implore you, of that particular privilege given to you, to bring visible and speedy help where help is almost despaired of. Come to my assistance in this great need that I may receive the consolation and help of heaven in all my necessities, tribulations, and sufferings, particularly (here make your request) and that I may praise God with you and all the elect forever. I promise, O blessed St. Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor, to always honor you as my special and powerful patron, and to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.

Sweet Says... take time to reflect on a lot of things especially the blessings we receive everyday. Experience serenity and deepen our devotion through the help of St. Jude, a faithful friend in times of difficulty.

To follow on Twitter, click HERE.

Don't Give Up: The Imagine Project

Fighting Global Warming has always been a constant signature to my email. It is my simple way to remind my recipients to do their share in saving our planet from doom. I usually incorporate songs to every aspect of my life particularly on how to maintain positive against all odds, and as an advocate of green living, one of my inspiration has been a song composed by Herbie Hancock featuring Pink and John Legend, Don't Give Up

I got curious when I first encountered this song. Upon a few clicks of research, I was lead to Herbert Jefferey "Herbie" Hancock. and The Imagine Project. 

The Imagine Project

"Herbie Hancock's Imagine Project is an unprecedented international recording and film project featuring collaborations between music legend Herbie Hancock and a dozen superstars from every region of the planet. It utilizes the universal language of music to express its central themes of peace and global responsibility. The Imagine Project embodies an extraordinary lineup of international superstars from all corners of the world. Artists include Dave Matthews, Anoushka Shankar, Jeff Beck, The Chieftains, John Legend, India Arie, Seal, Pink, Juanes, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Chaka Khan, K'Naan, Wayne Shorter, James Morrison, and Lisa Hannigan. The album and film stands, on one level, as powerful testaments for the goals of world peace, humanity and tolerance, and respect for our planet, but The Imagine Project shall remain at its core, entertainment content that is creatively and emotionally deeply fulfilling."

Here's the LYRICS and VIDEO:

in this proud land we grew up strong 
we were wanted all along 
I was taught to fight, taught to win 
I never thought I could fail 
no fight left or so it seems 
I am a man whose dreams have all deserted 
I've changed my face, I've changed my name 
but no one wants you when you lose 

don't give up '
cos you have friends 
don't give up you're not beaten yet 
don't give up I know you can make it good 

though I saw it all around 
never thought that I could be affected 
thought that we'd be the last to go 
it is so strange the way things turn 
drove the night toward my home 
the place that I was born, on the lakeside 
as daylight broke, I saw the earth 
the trees had burned down to the ground 

don't give up 
you still have us 
don't give up 
we don't need much of anything 
don't give up 
'cause somewhere there's a place 
where we belong 

rest your head 
you worry too much 
it's going to be alright 

when times get rough 
you can fall back on us
don't give up 
please don't give up 
got to walk out of here 
I can't take anymore 
going to stand on that bridge 
keep my eyes down below 

whatever may come 
and whatever may go 
that river's flowing 
that river's flowing
moved on to another town 
tried hard to settle down 
for every job, so many men 
so many men no-one needs 

don't give up '
cause you have friends 
don't give up 
you're not the only one 
don't give up 
no reason to be ashamed 
don't give up you 
still have us 
don't give up 
now we're proud of who you are 
don't give up you 
know it's never been easy 
don't give up '
cause I believe there's the a place 
there's a place where we belong 

Sweet Says... being inspired by songs especially those with depth and advocacy brings a more positive impact to people. A whole new level of maturity can be conveyed. When we surround ourselves with optimism, we are more motivated and productive. So let's sing to ourselves "Don't Give Up" and be reminded that we can overcome whatever it is we are facing right now. I pray we do too with our fight against Global Warming.

Hunger Games: The Burning Mockingjay Countdown Begins!

Wow! This is stunning! 
I am now burning with excitement!

"Posters for Hunger Games will soon be popping up in your local movie theaters, but Lionsgate has already released a special “motion poster” that features Katniss’s mockingjay pin engulfed in crackling flames. Not only is the dynamic poster cool — I’ve been basking in its warm glow for a good 20 minutes — but the Obi-Wan-esque tagline and the Precious-like forged “ring” conjures up at least two classic blockbuster franchises."
Sweet Says... may the odds be ever in your favor.

"Could your idea paint a healthier future for the Philippines?" - Unilab Ideas Positive

Unilab Ideas Positive is an idea generation and competition-in-one on social marketing initiatives that promote health and wellness in communities. 


I've learned about it when I took a YOCard free postcard on the corner of Kopi Roti - The Columns branch - while waiting for my hot choco, Kopi Bun (the house specialty. Soft bread with coffee flavored crust and sweet buttery filing), and Kaya Toast (thinly sliced toasted bread served with Kaya spread and butter).

Kopi Bun and Kaya Toast from Kopi Roti

Don't let your appetite distract you now and let's go on with the topic, shall we?

I am impressed with this campaign as it invites the youth to unleash the power of an idea to create positive change. 

"Young minds coming together can spark great ideas.
Believing that great ideas should be shared, not contained, Unilab Ideas Positive, a social marketing clinic and competition-in-one, invites college students to share their innovative, exciting, and sustainable ideas to address the health and wellness concerns of the Philippines, one community at a time.
Now on its second year, Unilab Ideas Positive continues to provide not just an avenue to learn and understand social marketing, but more importantly, an opportunity for our youth to see their ideas come to life. To prepare them for the bigger challenge of implementing their ideas, semi-finalists will undergo an intensive three-day clinic, where they will be taught social marketing approaches by a pool of experts using current and relevant social marketing practices and case studies.
UNILAB will provide a total of P250,000 seed money to jumpstart the winning student groups' social marketing projects and help contribute to a healthier Philippines. Bigger prizes are also at stake with a total cash prize of P95,000 for the winning student groups and faculty coaches."

UNILAB Ideas Positive
courtesy of unilabph via YouTube

The submission of entries has been closed, however, we can still participate in voting for your favorite mural design. Click Mural Design Contest tab on their Facebook page.

Sweet Says... "I am not that old but not too young either. But when fun and creative things like these come up, I miss my school days when I was still crazy over conceptualizing, brainstorming with my team mates, cramming with project deadlines, etc. Hmm.. those were the days, and being a student of life is far more challenging. Holding this YOCard postcard reminded me, that when it comes to the youth, their talent or creativeness, and most of all their character: optimism and involvement,  everyone will be glamoured and everything will be recognized. This is the ultimate formula to a brighter future. Positivity is contagious. Let's bring it on!

Free Postcards let you know about whats hot in the Metro

As a Mass Communication graduate, I am most impressed with advertising companies who pulled off a great message to the public through the brilliance of their ads. The innovative ideas to promote their clients and the effectiveness of their campaign to the public are remarkably fascinating. 

At the mall, on a coffee shop, in a school -- you may have seen or have taken, YOCard, a postcard advertisement that you can pick up for FREE all around Metro Manila.

YOCard for FREE

"With more than 180 partner establishments hosting YOCard displays all over the metro; YOCards keep you up-to-date on what’s going on by letting you know about the latest events and promotions, the hottest brands, products, and local scene news.

Funky and artsy, sexy and cool – each postcard has a unique edge that grabs your attention and speaks to you. Mail it, put it on display, share it with a friend – when you pick up a YOCard, what you do with it is entirely in your hands!

YOCard is a refreshing way to achieve advertising impact by offering edgy and captivating postcards that act as entertainment hooks."

via YOCard

Some of my NEW favorites, usually about different advocacies, I got from Kopi Roti at The Columns in Buendia are these:

Transforming Communities With The Filipino Youth
ACT Responsible
launched a call to the creative community to create pro bono ads in support of Japanese people.
It's goal is to express the solidarity of the world advertising community
with the Japanese after the earthquakes. tsunami and nuclear radiations that hit Japan in March.
The call was answered all over the world.
Point. Shoot. Let Loose. Experiment.
Lomography Embassy Manila
Expect the unexpected with LOMOGRAPHY!
"The Future is Analogue"

YOCard has a showcase of ingenious designs and concepts from Food & Beverages, Beauty & Wellness, Events, Fashion & Accessories, name it! 

As always, a Vision is always that secret ingredient to every success. In YOCard's case, their vision is not only to bring advertising creativity to every material it publishes; it is also dedicated to delivering positive messages and bringing about public awareness on relevant social issues. 

If interested to advertise, click HERE for more information. "With a vision to further develop alternative advertising tools available in the Philippines and expanding our pool of options; YOCard brings postcard advertising that speak to you straight to your hands – where you want it, when you want it."

via YOCard

Sweet Says... it may be cliche but the best things in life are free. Receiving free exquisite postcards is relatively big help - in building public awareness - and also a charming souvenir.

"Gitara" by Parokya ni Edgar used by orphans to serenade jeepney commuters in Buendia

A different mood swayed me one rainy Monday night as I head to my workplace at RCBC, situated at the corner of Ayala corner Gil Puyat Ave. I took my usual route by riding a jeepney from Buendia LRT bound to Guadalupe. 

Reaching a stoplight right before the railroad tracks towards Mayapis, two young girls, approximately 8 years old and the other one about twelve, back ride the full jeepney. Their clothes were dirty, the younger one wore no slippers. 

The older one holds a tall plastic cup of what seemed to be a left over cola shake, which they sip alternately while laughing and cursing. The younger girl went inside and handed us - the commuters, short white envelopes, with hand-written note begging for alms to buy food. I knew this "Modus Operandi" already, but I still give them coins whenever I can. 

One man in his late 20's wore formal attire - a pink long sleeves, and mighty shiny black leather shoes, got irked up with the other girl who sat by the "estribo" (foot board) leaning over his slacks. When the younger girl handed him the envelope, he abruptly rejected it by pushing the girl's hand away from him and then smirked on her.

Constant rejection from crowds made these girls used to it and looked unconcerned on what other people have to say or think as long as they accomplished getting those precious alms from us. 

photo by -miguelito-

After lending the envelopes, the older girl sang a familiar song. I felt like a contestant from the game "Name That Tune" where you will guess the title of the song by listening to the tune. I followed the tune and sang it on my mind before I concluded that it was indeed one of Parokya Ni Edgar's song, Gitara. 

I listened in closer, appreciating the girl's talent before the younger one could reclaim the envelopes. I gave Php10 and soon enough, my live MP3 stopped and hopped off the jeepney just like that.

After a couple of nights, on almost the exact place, a different face of a young girl, alone this time, aboard the jeepney. The white envelopes were predictable and present. Then I heard the song again. I prepared the coins as if on cue before she could even hand the envelope over to me. I listened intently to her and knew that I was correct. It was definitely "Gitara" ("guitar" in English; see bottom page for lyrics and video).

I thought "Wow!" They must have been living under the same roof to be able to sing the same song, same stanza, same style. Then after she claimed our money, she hopped off the jeepney ready to aboard the one right next to us.

Before I could fully forget those two Gitara nights, I rode a jeepney one morning en route to LRT headed home, when another young girl around 12 years old, did the same routine - aboard, envelopes, sing Gitara, envelopes, leave. 

Then another night, a young girl around 10 years old, with a baby approximately 8 months old in her arms. 

The next night, a boy around 6 years old. Same story.

photo by Roberto Verzo

Though I am enjoying the beauty of their voice, it saddens me that they have to sing to beg and not because they simply enjoy to do it.

Now whenever I hear Gitara, these kids' faces appear to me. My reaction to these kinds of things is usually a list of questions that I don't know where to get answers from; how cruel their nights could be, where are their parents, how did they become like that, do they do this every night, why they chose Gitara to sing, what will happen to their future?

My coins may have helped them last the night, but it wouldn't surely build a bright future for them.

If only they could all go to a place such as "He Cares Foundation", a street children caring center where they get them off the streets and into loving homes. 

Watch this:

World Focus Feature: Filipino Children 
Worldfocus correspondent Mark Litke and producer Ara Ayer report from the Philippines, 
where they encounter one man — a former child of the streets himself named Joe Dean  Sola 
— who has dedicated himself to improving the lives of street kids.

Sweet Says ... We could help other people everyday. These Buendia Kids' singing Gitara every night may be their battle cry to their involuntary poverty and being victims of the world's cruelty. One thing is for sure, they need our help. Let's help whichever way we can instead of ignoring them. Even if its just giving your spare time to listen when they serenade you with Gitara.

"GITARA" Lyrics & Video:

Bakit pa kailangang magbihis
Sayang din naman ang porma
Lagi lang namang may sisingit
Sa tuwing tayo'y magkasama

Bakit pa kailangan ang rosas
Kung marami namang nag-aalay sayo
Uupo na lang at aawit
Maghihintay ng pagkakataon
Hahayaan na lang silang
Magkandarapa na manligaw sa'yo
Idadaan na lang kita sa awitin kong ito
Sabay ang tugtog ng gitara
Idadaan na lang sa gitara

Mapapagod lang sa kakatingin
Kong marami namang nakaharang
Aawit na lang at magpaparinig
Ng lahat ng aking nadarama
Pagbibigyan na lang silang
Magkandarapa na manligaw sayo
Idadaan na lang kita sa awitin kong ito
Sabay ang tugtog ng gitara
Idadaan na lang sa gitara

Pagbibigyan na lang silang
Magkandarapa na manligaw sayo
Idadaan na lang kita sa awitin kong ito
Sabay ang tugtog ng gitara

Idadaan na lang...
Sa gitara


Parokya Ni Edgar
"(English translation: Parish of Edgar) is a Filipino band that was formed in 1993 by a group of college students.
The band is famous and most lauded for its original rock novelty songs and often satirical covers of popular songs. 
The band has since transcended musical genres, varying styles from one song to another 
alternative rock to pop rockfunk to rapcore, and so on - while providing comic relief to their listeners. 
Despite having "Edgar" in the band's name, none of the members go by it."
Members: Chito Miranda, Buhawi Meneses, Vinci Montaner, Darius Semana, Gab Chee Kee and Dindin Moreno

To make PNE's "Pangarap Lang Kita" video, hit #1 spot in MYX:

Please send "myx request pangarap lang kita" to 2366