Archive for July, 2009




Our four-year-and-9-month-old son, Gabby who’s in kindergarten, went home from school yesterday in wet uniform.  He voluntarily voided in his shorts because he feared his teacher might scold him.  My wife called me at work during my lunch break just to inform me of what happened.  For you, this might be petty but for parents like us, it’s not a big issue either but we won’t allow a chance to pass without correcting what needs to be corrected.  

As I reached home early evening, our son narrated to us that he felt the urgency to urinate during the time that they were asked to copy writings from the board on their noteboook.  Gabby told us, “Sabi ni teacher, pag madalas umihi, may lalabas na dugo sa ihi, kaya di na ako nagsabi ng, teacher may I pee?…”

I wasted no time in writing his teacher a letter regarding the matter….


May we request your consideration and assistance whenever our son, ________(Gabby) feels the urgency to void; kindly allow him to do so.  

As medical professionals and educators too, we certainly know that controlling micturition may result to possible infection and / or urinary incontinence.  As parents, we’d like to inform you that Gabby is still adjusting on the fact that we just weaned him from wearing of diapers a couple of weeks ago as his age calls for bladder training. 

We are bringing this to your attention because our son went home yesterday complaining that he voluntarily voided at his uniform because he feared you might scold him. According to him, you’re telling your preschool class that frequent urination will result to hematuria (blood in the urine) and this is far from being factual. 

We’ll appreciate your concern with immediate response and action regarding this matter. 

Thank You.  

Dr. & Mrs. Santos

As our household help brought our kid to his school this morning, I was told that one of Gabby’s girl classmates also peed in her skirt because of the same scenario.

To say that I and my wife (who’s a nurse-educator)  are also strict with our college nursing students is an understatement.  We value time, money spent on education and efforts so we’re not power-tripping on them but inculcating discipline in every sense of the word.  We may be rigid on rules, but we’re always honest and true to our students and we’re so democratic that we allow them to respond to the “call of nature”.  We’re very unlikely Gabby’s teacher.  We hope she will consider the consequences of her acts.

If this will be repeated, she’ll get what she deserves!

Sa lahat naman ng pagsasabihan ng tungkol sa maling medikal na aspeto ng pag-ihi, anak ko pa, anak ng pating naman ‘o! 





IMG_2955Last Saturday, after a quick stop at my folks’ place in Pasig, I brought my family –Tina and Gabby to Eastwood Mall in Libis, Quezon City.   Look how crisp the interiors of the Eastwood Mall is…2Other  than having those functional and stylish lounges, Eastwood Mall boasts of having mall butlers clad in black suits who’ll offer to carry your paper bags throughout the duration of your shopping.  Although we haven’t bought anything yet from our previous visits there LOL :D,  and still to try the cinemas (we commonly go to the Eastwood City cinemas – haven’t watched a movie yet at Eastwood Mall cinemas),  we usually go there for few reasons :  to get a load of Starbucks, for my preschooler son to enjoy Timezone and what else but  to CHOW! 

Perhaps, next to Glorietta & Greenbelt in Makati, Shangri la mall in Mandaluyong,  and Gateway and TriNoma in QC, this Eastwood Mall is becoming one our favorites.  Why not?  it isn’t as crowded as Isetann Recto (patawa lang po). :D

Before deciding where and what to eat, we asked Gabby to pose as I click the cam.  He knew he had so many photos taken already from this site from our previous visits hence the awkward smile…


From its exteriors, a row of upscale restaurants always appear so inviting however last weekend, Mr. Kurosawa won our votes.

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It’s one of the chain of restaurants that the local celebrity Marvin Agustin partly owns.  One similarity between John and Yoko in Greenbelt 5, SUMO SAM in Shangri la and Power Plant Malls, with Mr. Kurosawa besides being contemporary-Japanese in the menu,  is the interiors.  All of these food places have hip and edgy atmosphere having subdued lighting, the evident constant use of purplish hues, and lots of things in black  which I like.  The servers too, wear dark sexy short dresses in heeled shoes/boots;  and you won’t expect any kimonos and obi belts just like in traditional Japanese resto. 

I like the idea of glowing Japanese posters up in the ceiling…


My wife and I noticed food is basically the same.  Their menus probably only differ in covers, but has less variations.  I don’t know about your palate, but IMO, one thing is sure – the food in those three spots are delicious if you welcome a fusion of taste between the East and the West,  however a bit reasonably pricey.

We  keep coming back to  SUMO SAM  once in a while because I personally like this dish that we’ve also tried ordering at John and Yoko, now tasted the plate in Mr. Kurosawa —> SEAFOOD OMELET RICE, PhP 228. 


Tina and I both agreed that Mr. Kurosawa’s version of Seafood Omelet Rice is BETTER than Sumo Sam and John and Yoko. The Japanese rice is stickier; the taste yummier.  Common among the 3 restos : generous servings for this dish.

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The serving was too large for our appetite (honestly) that we have to asked the wait staff for us to have it as to-go.  OK, I admit we have huge appetite but far from being gluttons we failed to finish this favorite because we sampled another hit from Mr. Kurosawa…

The pizza that we enjoyed after the last bite is  called IWO JIMA, PhP 279 …


It’s thin crust pizza which I like, and what made it uniquely savory from most pizzas we’ve tasted was the presence of sweetest mango cubes as one of its toppings.  Imagine the saltiness from cheese had married the sweetness of mango bits. It’s Euro-Japanese on a plate!   That  one last slice I had came from this good-for-three servings…

IMG_2971If my taste buds served me right, the mango and cheese combo in IWO JIMA pizza was also mixed with cubes of chicken teriyaki and sesame seeds.  It’s so flavorful enough for you to forget worries of daily living, lol :D IMG_2979Another must-try from the menus of either Sumo Sam, John and Yoko and Mr. Kurosawa, are  the 3 -colored-iced teas.. They’re in green (lime), red (calamansi), and my favorite – in blue (dalandan)…

They’re refillable until whatever volume you can handle at PhP 108.

Apparently, we liked our merienda last Saturday; look how my wife and our son smiled after being satiated…:D

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MR. KUROSAWA, G/F Eastwood Mall, Libis, Quezon City.



UPDATED :  I posted this entry 4 days prior to her death.  Former President of the Philippines Corazon Aquino died of Cardiorespiratory Arrest secondary to Colon Cancer, Stage IV.   She peacefully joins our Lord at 3:18 AM,  o1 August 2009.  May her soul rest in God’s embrace. 

Filipinos all over the globe will forever remember your unparalleled contribution to our democracy and freedom. 

I was in my 3rd grade when one of the world’s peaceful revolutions happened in EDSA back in 1986.  I can still vividly recall the events how she was catapulted in power, mandated by the Filipino people as a result of longing for democracy.  Needless to say, I grew up with her governance. 

I do have my highest respect for Mrs. Aquino, not only as our former president who brought back FREEDOM in our country but as a person with deep FAITH beyond religion; a responsible woman who raised her kids despite of being a widow;  a lady who stood by her man in one principle,  and someone who stood up against a formidable dictatorship on behalf of the many.

Disregarding political issues, the more I admire her. She’s a woman of strength and humility. And now that she is battling with that dreaded condition, I don’t only sympathize with her in spirit but I emphatize as well.  As a man of Medicine, I understand the pain she’s bearing.  No one deserves to suffer that long and noxious.  It’s best to pray for miracles, but for now I honestly hope for alleviation of her physical pain.   

I am one with the many Filipinos and people across races who pray for her.  It’s the least that I can do in my own gratitude for what she has done to the Philippines and to us Pinoys.  May the good Lord bless her with His mercy.  And may her condition bring UNITY to all of us again.



When I became a daddy tatay-doc to my son at the age of 28 about five years ago,  I never thought that one day, an on-line social network would be a source of wholesome fun and family bonding.   Now that almost everyone is into facebook (including the Pope, no less), our family is not an exception.  Initially, I was clueless about facebook, until my wife Tina and our 4-year-old son Gabby opened their individual accounts and introduced me to facebook applications that unobtrusively led to uncontrollable addiction!  We’re simply hooked especially to its applications – RESTAURANT CITY and FARM TOWN.  But we make sure that Gabby gets to play it only after his preschool homeworks and reviews are all done.  It serves as his reward whenever he performs well in his studies.

In Restaurant City (RC), a player is given the basic requirements in a food place : a couple of tables and chairs, a stove and a set of menu – one starter, a main dish and one dessert.  As diners come and eat at your virtual restaurant, you earn coins that are needed in feeding your wait staff and cooks; coins are also useful in acquiring additional decors and other essentials of a  restaurant. Upgrades and innovation can be done not only to your menu as recipes are completed by trading an ingredient with your facebook buddies but also modification to your restaurant’s  interiors and exteriors is also exciting  thing to do.  In short,  everyone can be a restaurateur and a foodie at RC which my son, wife and I want !!! :D

Since our son Gabby, at his young age, already professed his dream of becoming an iron chef one day, enjoying RC at Fb is a pleasurable means of motivation and inspiring him more to pursue his aspiration. I think with Gabby having fun with his virtual restaurant and as we gradually exposed him to actual grand buffets in few hotels, and in various restaurants and fastfood hopping, we’re sure he’ll soon develop his own appreciation of food and everything about it, and most nice things that life can offer. :D


This was my virtual restaurant’s former exteriors.  I named it Chef Docgelo’s;  it’s an upscale carinderia, lol, with a viking’s roof before.  It took me a week before I got bored with it so I had it renovated by means of several ‘left-clicks’ at the mouse and transformed it into an all-glass food place…


But I still maintain the same interiors…


I put two ponds (made of water-tiles) surrounded by plants and awards in between a walkway to the main mess hall.

Look how diners are satisfied and satiated with the dishes I serve, lol…


It was Tina who first discovered RC and introduced it to me and Gabby.  Below is her restaurant’s present exteriors with a roof of a submarine that she bought with her virtual coins for 9,000 I guess.


 Cool, isn’t it?  Now the interiors of my wife’s food place called TINA-PIE-yan, looks like this…

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I know you’ll find our son’s restaurant the grandest cutest! I can’t blame you. :D


Because we have 2 laptops and 2 broadband connections -one with a cable and a prepaid broadband access, we can play fb’s applications all together simultaneously.  This idea of using internet as a source of family bonding had won my entry 3rd place in one of the local bloggers I follow, Anton Diaz’s Our Awesome Planet Digital Daddy Contest (see previous post below). 

As we improve our restaurants, we maintain healthy fun competition.  Actually, we help each other by trading ingredients to further our menus.

And did I already tell you we’re also in Farm Town?  Here’s the little hacienda I maintain…

I had several plants and trees that bear fruits and crops. I have to catch up with my colleagues and friends with FT. 

Do you also enjoy facebook applications ?  

Please excuse me as I update my Farm Town and Restaurant City…




It was like all the constellations of stars and the galaxy of planets in the entire universe conspired that our overdue plan to dine at SPIRAL in SOFITEL PHILIPPINE PLAZA MANILA  finally pushed through last Tuesday.

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It was another gastronomic experience; a real feast to the sense!

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Anorexia was never in my vocabulary but  food enthusiasm!  I am just grateful that I am married to a nurse who thinks and eats the same wavelength as I do.  :) And thank Heavens we’re blessed with a son who at his young age, already developed the appreciation for good food (He wants to become an iron chef someday).   My wife Tina, our four-year old-son Gabby and I have been to some of Manila’s remarkable open-kitchen-buffets in hotels and a mall  (click each item to view my previous posts)… 





It’s hard to compare one with the other because all of them are a delight to the senses.  I know that to spend more than usual these days is considered vulgar for the fact there’s global economic crisis, but life is damn too short to let these beautiful chances pass.  We’re just fortunate to experience these beyond words (gluttonous grin) :D   Going to open-kitchen-buffets in hotels has been a little scary for me, because it’s habit-forming, lol.  But can you blame me?  

I first learned about Sofitel’s SPRIAL Mad Mondays and Thrifty Tuesdays  50% discount promo from one of the blogs I follow.  And it was really a perfect timing to EAT, CELEBRATE and BE MERRY for one of our colleagues will depart to Riyadh next week to work as a medical practitioner; so it was like a despedida for her but on a dutch treat, (read : KKB / kanya-kanyang bayad, lol).


promo ad photo sourced from chuvaness.

Sofitel’s SPIRAL + 50% discount + family & friends =EUPHORIC BLISS!

Tina made the reservation for 5 adults and one kid (our son/their godson) exactly 7 days prior to our dinner date.  We met our friends and at around 4:30PM, we’re at Sofitel lobby already. Since we’re an hour and a half early before the buffet opens, we took Gabby at the pool side and had a stroll to while away time (scroll down to view former post below).


My wife reserved the best spot in Spiral – the Chinese section!  Since it was still unpacked with hungry stomachs,  I took time to roam and click my point-and-shoot cam  (note to self: I should save for a DSLR).  Below is the immediate view where we’re seated. Looks like Iron-Chef Kitchen-come-alive! (another note to self : Why didn’t I think of becoming a chef?  Life isn’t over yet)  :D


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Here’s my first plate…

8I spared the salads and grabbed some Oriental stuffs — steamed and fried dimsums and peking duck were really appetizing.  The wrappers of steamed dimsums were just perfect! It wasn’t too mushy.  Hakao or shrimp dumplings had generous fillings….I love those plump shrimps!  There were also those yummy chives or kuchay a.k.a. vegetable dumplings…Spiral’s siomai is also a must-try. Sarap!   …Here are Peking duck and some other Chinese roasts…

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Tina had some cheese, cold cuts and those delicious super-thin-crust pizza. I swear those pizza slices are to-die-for! I may have tasted only a piece but I surely know my palate. :) If there’s one reason to go back to Spiral, definitely it’s there pizza!11

After few laughs and bites, I had my second plate : California maki, Philadelphia rolls, tuna and salmon sashimi, and some crustaceans…


I was disappointed with the spreads where I got this plate. There were FEW choices of SUSHI. The New Zealand mussels tasted bland. (Read : I hate to compare but in CIRCLES EVENTS CAFE at MAKATI SHANGRI LA HOTEL, their mussels rock!!! ).  I like it flavorful with some herbs and spices, instead of just a squeeze of lemon.  And trust me, we’ve been to Auckland, New Zealand for seven week-vacation before, mussels there really are the biggest!  Despite my discontentment, my wife still sampled Spiral’s seafoods to taste it herself…


 Here are the spread of those shellfish and sashimi…

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Commercial muna :   While people across ages and colors begin to fill Spiral, guess who we spotted ?  There were few celebrities like Ali Alejandro (son of Hadji) and tables adjacent to us had a local basketball superstar Marlou Aquino who was towering at 6 feet 9 inches might, and seated behind him was Buddy Zabala, a band member of a legend in Pinoy Pop music what else but E-heads!  My wife was too shy to ask them a photo-op with Gabby and neither I have the nerves to do it, so I just took this photo while our son Gabby was busy with his desserts without disturbing anyone.


Moving on… Let’s turn more into Japanese with these sake display and some tempura…

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If you have read some of my previous posts, you probably know now that one of my favorites is SUKIYAKI… And Spiral’s does not disappoint.  It has the marbled tender beef slices, delicately thick glass noodles, warm delicious broth, some veggies and tofu, ahhh…just writing about it makes me drool… :D

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Our son likes KANI (crab) TEMPURA so much, but there was none; there was only EBI (shrimp)…


I like Spiral’s version of Ebi tempura, I guess my wife agrees as well. The batter was thin, wasn’t too oily. 

This was my surf and turf plate…24With some cold cuts and Chinese roasts, I had spoonful of paella with tiger prawn and sausages and 2 thin slices of roast beef.  I like paella while my wife doesn’t favor it.  Spiral’s paella’s also good as their roast beef;  however the mushroom sauce of the beef was less buttery.   


All of us were almost satiated but no one resisted the sweet treats…


My sis-in-law, doc bibs had this plate… A crepe of mixed berries served with a scoop of berry-flavored ice cream, and a slice of cheesecake with tropical fruit toppings.  I failed to taste the crepe but she told me that she didn’t like the berries-with-chocoalte drizzle medley .. “To each his own.”

Now, this was my sampler… isn’t it drool-worthy  gorgeous?  30

I like that pinkish dessert at the back of my platter; it’s called Sugarfree Raspberry Panacotta – simply sublime. 

It’s never disturbing to grab a bite at each sweets because most of them were sugar-free even tasted sugarless for real!  And what’s best with desserts of Spiral, they’re in tiny bite-sized servings so it allows you to consume more and more and taste more and more… lol :D 


This was Tina’s plate. That small pumpkin-shaped dessert was from the Chinese section; it’s made of glutinous rice somewhat like kakanin to us Pinoys. 

There were mostly cheesecakes which I like best.  But as I was looking for some variety they somewhat tasted similar. :(

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Gabby munched on these delectable treats on the left, while the photo on the right shows Sprial chocolate fondue – as if one is not enough! you have the options of dipping fruits and mallows at  melted white or usual chocolate! Two thumbs up according to our son. :)  

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We didn’t end the nice dinner without photo-op with doc shiny who will leave the country for FAR better earnings.


Note to doc shiny :  Good luck shine, bilangin mo na ang mga buhangin sa Riyadh, lol… Don’t forget to buy us Saudi Gold and more of it! Papicture ka din sa kamelyo, lol :)

Doctors All : my dates last Tuesday…

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With all of those delectable desserts and whatnot, nothing beats the sweetest smiles of my family.

LOVE KO ‘TO…. :)

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Till our next food adventure;  happy eating ! 

Burp :)

SOFITEL PHILIPPINE PLAZA SPIRAL, CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City / (63-2) 832-6988.

For Mad Mondays, Thrifty Tuesdays promo that runs until July 27-28, we spent PhP 1122 nett per pax. My son ate for FREE as per usual local hotel buffet ruling for kids age less than 5. :) Kids rule!!!



It was only last week when I learned from a friend through SMS that one of our classmates in med school is about to leave for Riyadh next week to work as a medical practictioner. Both of them are not just our  friends of 12 years and counting but happen to be our son’s godparents too.  Although we seldom rarely see them because of our schedules, we usually keep in touch via the wonders of cell phones and e-mails.

After my wife and I decided to meet up with our 2 friends, I also texted my sister-in-law who’s also our classmate in med school and their barkada actually, to join us in the “despedida”  on a dutch treat, (read : KKB a.k.a. kanya-kanyang bayad, lol) :)

Of course, we brought our son Gabby to the meeting place for him to see his ninangs claim his overdue-gifts for all the occasions that they’ve intentionally missed.  And Gabby wasn’t disappointed because he received a huge Transformer action figure and a deadly weapon water gun to his delight. :) 

It was around 4:30 PM last Tuesday when we reached this place…


No kids, this isn’t FARM TOWN of facebook, lol. :D


Upon seeing the totally renovated pool side of this hotel in Pasay City after so many years that I haven’t been there, I suddenly remembered something… NO, not that alleged Piolo Pascual-Sam Milby-holding hands by the pool-tsismis  lol :D but fun memories of my childhood years flashed vividly.


My mom used to bring us here for a weekend stay whenever my dad had his short days off from work. My dad used to work in Riyadh too, and the other key cities in K.S.A., Kuwait and U.A.E. for 17 years as a supermaket manager (read : bagong bayani, lol).

During those times, we usually checked in hotels in Manila to as far as Crowne Peak in Subic, and Venus hotel (my mom’s favorite because of cheap rates and accessibility) in Baguio City.

But this hotel is exceptionally grand…

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However, since the pool side is at Manila Bay area, the only unfavorable thing was the unpleasant  sea breeze that’s  salty fishy to the senses (paging Manila Bay authorities, you may want to further your clean up program!).  Nevertheless, this luxurious hotel was upgraded to its finest!  One of its major advantages is freely given to anyone who becomes a guest in any of their 609 rooms and suites – that’s the spectacular view of the most beautiful sunset in the world.  Manila Bay sunset is still breathtaking. :)

It was nice that we had taken a stroll while waiting for my sister-in-law who was caught in traffic on way to the venue.  I felt good remiscing a part of my growing up years now that I am a parent too.  I am more grateful to my parents on how they’ve tried their best raising us as kids.  With these occasional hotel hopping and few travels abroad and in some provinces here, all four of us boys had an early appreciation of good things that life can offer. I just wish I can also do it to my own family.  It’s so nice to share wonderful childhood memories to my own kid. :)

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No, we didn’t get a room to check in this time but we went there to meet up with our friends to enjoy the feast at the hotel’s buffet that I will feature next.


Now that you have an idea of the venue of our get-together, swing by again soon as I post the feast we had for dinner last Tuesday.  :)




Blogging has been part of my quintessential social life.  It’s one of the coolest benefits that the world wide web has offered.  You don’t have any idea how smiley I am whenever you (yes, you!) drop comments on my posts.   And reading someone’s posts is not only informative but entertaining as well, that has been a party of my daily routine to while away time especially after a day’s work.

One of the blogs I follow is Anton Diaz’ s  OUR AWESOME PLANET.  Do I need to explain why? :)  His widely read site is all about my interests –  food and dining, traveling and the thing that I like best – enjoying life with family.  I only started reading his posts early this year and it became a habit.  I usually comment on his entries whenever the topic catches my interest.

Last weekend, he’s one of the speakers of this EXPO DAD event at Rockwell, Makati which I failed to attend.  A week prior to his talk, he conducted a blog contest to help him elaborate on his topic for the event.  Anton asked his readers to voluntarily answer a question and the 3 entries with best answers win prizes.  The question was “How are you creatively using the internet to help you in raising your kids?”  


My simple entry revolved on how we use internet particularly facebook-ing as a source of our family bonding.  My 4-year-old son has an account in facebook and uses one of its applications specifically Restaurant City where he becomes a chef and a restaurateur who finds ingredients and updates menu every now and then. Gabby enjoys it so much and it enriches and motivates his early-childhood dream of becoming a “Wolfgang Puck” or “Mario Batali or Anthony Bourdain” someday. —–> This was the synopsis of my short answer that won me 3RD PRIZE ! (applause, applause!) :) 

And to quote OAP , PRIZES INCLUDE:

1st Prize: Overnight accommodation in a One-bedrrom suite for 2 people in Astoria Plaza inclusive of breakfast buffet (worth P5,279++) valid until Nov 2009.  Astoria Plaza is located along J. Escriva Drive, Pasig City

2nd Prize: Regular Lunch or Dinner Buffet for 2 people at Cafe Astoria (worth P1,318++ ) valid until Nov 2009

Nevermind the first two top prizes, because my wife and I have been invited by Astoria Plaza staff few months ago for a FREE DINNER (which was nothing special to be honest) via a mobile call but the ‘catch’ was the fact that we’re invited to attend a promotional talk with the sales agents of that condo-hotel, or whatever they call their establishment  for 2 HOURS!!! convincing us to sign and purchase a room to be paid on monthly basis etc. etc… How’s that for a modus operandi?  Going back to the topic…God is really BEST because He knows I am more interested with the 3rd prize which I won…

The 3RD prize was GYMBOREE  Annual membership Gift Certificate (worth P1,800) valid until May 10, 2010

To quote  again OAP :  On top of the top 3 prizes, I’m giving away one (1) complimentary seat to one Maven Secrets Hands-on Workshop of your choice for all the quality answers that I can use for my presentation in Expo Dad. You can choose from any of these Maven Hands-ON workshops:

August 8, Saturday: Photoblogging Workshop: The Art and Science of Story 
Telling through photos (Fee: $99 or P5,000.00) 

August 15, Saturday: Mastering the Google Adsense Game and Advertising 
through Blogs (Fee: $99 or P5,000.00) 

September 5, Saturday: Professional Blogging Workshop: Writing Timeless and 
Viral Articles Online and WordPress 101 (Fee: $99 or P5,000.00)

August 22, Saturday: Mastering Pay Per Click Marketing through Google 
Adwords (Fee: $99 or P5,000.00) 

According to the blog post, winner will be announce July 16, Thursday.

As I religiously follow my favorite sites including his,  I am NOT SURE if I missed out as his postings the names of winners in the COMMENT thread on his OAP site in his entry with title Digital Daddy Blog Contest.   Also, one of the rules in his contest was to CLAIM the PRIZE/S  ONLY during the expo.  In short, I failed to know that I am one of the 3 winners (out of 13  or so, submitted entries) and my prize was already forfeited for failing to claim it personally last Saturday at the expo’s venue.

I’m not pointing fingers at anyone, neither blaming myself  for, the lack of better term, petty negligence on my part (???) to miss out the posting of the names of the blog contest winners.  Actually, I’m posting this because despite the fact that I cannot claim my prize anymore, (I could have join them in that photoblogging workshop next month!) I am still glad because the blogger I follow have chosen my simple entry to his contest as one of the 3 winners and perhaps I can say that I have humbly contributed an idea to his talk last weekend.  It’s really a pleasure. :)  



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