Saturday, March 31, 2012

Butanding Festival 2012

[Photo Credits: ]
What: Butanding Festival
When: May 14 - 20, 2012
Where: Donsol, Sorsogon
How to join: Would you like to cover at least one whole day of activities within May 14-20, 2012 during the Butanding Festival in Donsol, Sorsogon? All you need to do is to help us gather sponsorships/donations for the event and we'll take care of your transportation, accommodation and meals. To signify your interest, please send a message to Mark Joseph Delgado on his Facebook account. Click here.

To see the schedule of activities, please click here.

Email: markjosephdelgado [@] ymail [.] com
Facebook:  Sleek in the City
Twitter: @sleekinthecity
YouTube: markjosephdelgado

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Intramuros Bloggers Challenge 2012: Winners

Buffet Dinner Plus Daily Cultural Presentation at Barbara's Restaurant in Intramuros, Manila
Blog by Cha Sy

Intramuros, within the walls of a historic city
Blog by Estan Cabigas

Photo by Sumi Go
Adjudged by Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation

Photo by Cha Sy

Photo by Karla Mae Brazil

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Greatness starts at home

My parents were the earliest witnesses of my insatiable thirst for blogging and social networking. I had been blogging since 2005 and I even used to blog at Tabulas back then. I also used to be online in Multiply and Yahoo! Messenger every day, especially during summer, chatting and having fun with my friends. My mom is usually the last person to go to bed (after finishing the chores) and usually is the first person to rise in the morning to prepare for breakfast. And in both instances every day during summer, she can’t fathom how I manage not to get any sleep at all and how I can stay wide awake in front of my laptop from dusk till’ dawn.

“Di ka ba natutulog?” she used to ask me every time she catches me in the morning clicking and typing in front of my laptop. I used to provide her a lot of explanations such as, “Ma, I’m nocturnal.”, “Ma, it’s summer. I have so much reserved energy.”, “Ma, this blog post can’t wait for tomorrow. This has to be posted already otherwise I’ll lose it.”

Despite my parents’s little worries about me having too much online activities and less relationship with my bed, I am so glad that they never planned, not even once, to have our internet subscription at home cut. In fact, they even bought me and siblings one of the early versions of Globe Broadband Tattoo which I am still using until now whenever I need internet outdoors.

My old but still very reliable Globe Tattoo Broadband had always been with me especially during my travels. It had been the partner of my laptop for the longest time. I use this for blogging and connecting to my social networks.  
My greatest moment of achievement started last year, 2011, when I was lucky enough to be picked to attend the online classes in the Ateneo-DigitalFilipino Certified Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur Program  (CBSMEP) for FREE! I won this from a writing contest wherein I needed to answer the question, Why do I want to become a Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur?

My greatest moment!

Last February 2012, I created a blog activation campaign called Intramuros Bloggers Challenge 2012. My objective is to promote tourism in Intramuros, the Walled City of the Philippines, through blog and social media. The idea is to let the bloggers experience Intramuros through (a) food- during a free dinner at Barbara’s Restaurant, the only restaurant in the Philippines that holds daily cultural presentations; and through (b) travel- during a one-day walking tour with top-caliber tour guiding groups in Intramuros such as Celdran Tours, Castillan Tours and Mabuhay Guides.

This photo was taken during my briefing with the bloggers before the walking tour inside the exclusive Club Intramuros. This project was supported by the Department of Tourism and by various private organizations. To know more about Intramuros Bloggers Challenge, you may click here.   
It was none other than Ms. Janette Toral, an internet marketing guru in the Philippines, who selected my work from among the many entries that participated in the writing contest. And to top it all off, she, herself, became my mentor for the nine-week intensive training in blog and social media entrepreneurship certification.

I am thankful for this program. Because of this, I am now starting to learn how to earn from a hobby that I only used to enjoy doing at home- seven years ago. I am thankful for my parents too for being an inspiration for me to continue doing what I love to do, for reading my blog from time to time (my biggest fans) and also for giving me and my siblings the great gift of being “connected” with the world- through the world wide web.

The coolest parents!

This photo was taken during the summer of 2011 in the beautiful island of Boracay. Actually, my parents are heavy users of internet too. My father had been working in Mexico for a couple of years now and he only returns to the Philippines once a year- during summer. The only way for my parents to stay in touch with each other is through Facebook and Skype. Thanks to the power of the internet! My dad seems to be closer- even though he's miles apart from us.
I am now only less than two weeks away from attaining my dream of becoming a Certified Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur. I know this is just the beginning of my journey towards achieving more accomplishments in the future. I wish more and more parents will be able to realize the great gift that they can give their sons and daughters by just merely giving them the advantage of staying connected, at the comforts of their home, with the bigger world that is out there- the internet.

Greatness starts at home.

Part of the perks of being a blogger and a social media entrepreneur is meeting famous celebrities and notable personalities during "work". Posing with me is Carlos Celdran during the first premiere of his disco-themed play entitled "Livin' La Imelda Loca" last February 7, 2011 at Silverlens Lab where I was invited as a blogger.

Carlos also sponsored my blog activation campaign for the Walled City, Intramuros Bloggers Challenge 2012.

[Source:  ]
About the Author
Mark Joseph Delgado is a Certified Blog and Social Media Entrepreneur in the making. He maintains three blogs namely,, and under his online marketing company called Think Marketing Group. He is madly in love with Thai dishes and loves to cook pancakes.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Puratos Carat Ganache Live Demo with Chef Hasset Go

Chef Hasset Go is in need of 10 bloggers to come to this event on March 8, 2012 at 1:00pm - 5:00pm. Witness his live demonstration on new chocolate recipes and techniques using Puratos Carat Ganache! See you there!

To register, please place your e-mail addresses at the comment box below. Thanks!

List of participating bloggers here. Congratulations and see you there!
  1. Foodie from the Metro
  2. Serial Tripper
  3. Purple and Hue
  4. Spread Some Awesome
  5. Tin Gonzaga
  6. Travel on a Shosetring
  7. High Gear Full Throttle
  8. House of JCJEE
  9. Larawan at Kape
  10. Singlemom Supermom

Email: markjosephdelgado [@] ymail [.] com
Facebook:  Sleek in the City
Twitter: @sleekinthecity
YouTube: markjosephdelgado

Manila Transitio 1945: Remembering the day that changed Manila forever

Organized by Celdran Tours, Manila Transitio 1945 is an event commemorating the Battle of Manila fought from February 3 to March 3, 1945 by American, Filipino and Japanese army. After the battle, Manila was regarded as the second most devastated city in the world, second to Warsaw, after the World War II. More than 100,000 Filipinos died in the battle, around 10% of the entire population of Manila, resulting to what is presently known as the Manila Massacre. After the war, Manila had never been the same. 

Sixty seven years after, one man led us all to remembering once again the day that changed Manila forever. 
It's going to be a sunset tour for all us last February 26, 2012 with Mr. Walk This Way, Carlos Celdran. At 4:00pm, we assembled in front of the Fort Santiago ticket booth. Minutes after, the event was started with the singing of the Philippine National Anthem.
And then Carlos started to talk. Armed with a lapel mic and visual materials, he gave us the most insightful and most amusing history class we ever have attended. In this picture, Carlos showed everyone the symbol of Manila during the Spanish Era. A Chimera, a mythological symbol for illusion, is at the center of that symbol.

More than 200 people attended the Manila Transitio 1945 event last February 26, 2012. They're from all walks of life. Most are Filipinos, some are from the US. There's even a Buddhist monk who attended the event. It's a good crowd that day!

When the Spanish came to the Philippines, they built a fortress called the Fort Santiago. An image of Santiago Matamoros or St. James of the Moors was etched at the facade of the fortress. According to the legend, St. James appeared as a warrior on his white horse to help the Christian army of King Ramiro I of Spain against the Moors. Until today, St. James is the patron saint of Spain.

Before the Spanish Era, the Pre-Hispanic Filipinos were Moslems. 
Contrary to what the Spanish did to the Filipinos, the Americans taught the Filipinos their language. They were taught English. Now this was part of a bigger strategy. Carlos said, "Because we were supposed to be made to the image of the United States. We were supposed to be the 50th state."

Carlos also said, "Thanks to the United States! We now have a national hero!" Now this is insightful. Jose Rizal was an artist, a doctor, a poet, a scientist, a writer and etc. In short, he was westernized. For an ordinary Filipino during that time, his image was boring. Remember that the Filipinos were clamoring for a revolution, for a real change. Why would the Filipinos choose him as the national hero?

But we didn't! It was the United States. But the question is why? Why the diplomatic, the educated and the peace-loving Jose Rizal? Why not the revolutionary Andres Bonifacio? Was this part of a bigger picture again? Was the United States "softening" our warring tendencies during that time?

This got me thinking. 
We offered a short prayer for the souls of the more than a hundred thousand Filipinos who were killed in Manila during the World War II. Across us actually stood a white cross which was dedicated to the many Filipinos who were buried there, nameless.
Carlos enlarged this picture of an American bomb landing somewhere in Manila. Apparently, it wasn't just the Japs doing all the killings of the Filipinos during the Battle of Manila. This American bomb, along with the other armaments which devastated the former "Pearl of the Orient", has its own share of murder.
Carlos was mimicking Gen. Douglas McArthur complete with a hat, a pipe and the infamous photo which was even made a life-sized replica in Leyte. The photo showed Gen. Douglas McArthur along with his troops dramatically stepping unto the Philippine shores to fulfill the promise he made more than two years before the photo was taken. "I shall return."

Apparently, this photo had to be taken thrice. It's part of the drama.  
We walked upon the walls of Intramuros. I wonder how the Walled City looked like before the Battle of Manila. The Philippines was the "Pearl of the Orient". It must be THAT beautiful and prosperous during that time. I yearned for Manila of the past which I haven't even seen.

This was the prison cell where Jose Rizal was jailed before the day of his execution.
On the other side of the river is Binondo, home of the Filipino-Chinese in Manila. During the Spanish Era, Binondo was called Parian. As said, the Parian is one canon ball away from Intramuros. It was a place where non-Christian Chinese settled. The Spanish had to keep them in one place due to the alarming growth of their population during the 16th century. They were allowed residency in Manila as long as they convert to being Christians. Those who refused conversion had to settle at Parian.
Carlos stood at the tranvia with an enlarged image of the San Agustin Church. During the World War II, this was the only structure in Intramuros that was spared. All the rest had to be flattened. It was said that someone placed a red cross on top of the church- symbolizing that the structure had to be spared. It'll be a great war crime to destroy it.

San Agustin Church is now regarded as the oldest church in the Philippines.

To cap off the whole walking tour, we were treated with halo-halo! The Philippines was compared by Carlos to this all-time favorite Filipino dessert. Like a melting pot of many culture and ethnicity, the Philippines can be compared to the halo-halo which is composed of many ingredients and flavorings. Yum!

That night, the beautiful music of the Mabuhay Singers filled the air in the heart of Manila again. They sang a lot of Kundiman songs that the younger ones like me may not be familiar with, but truly enjoyed listening to. It was so much fun to see them perform!
After a short while, Carlos showed us how to light the flying paper lamps or the spirit balloons to be released in a short while. This is one of the highlights we all awaited for.
We held our spirit balloons in front of Fort Santiago.

And then one by one, the spirit balloons all rose to the air and into the night sky!
Like stars at night, they shone. It was truly an amazing experience!
While the spirit balloons all rose above the ground, a beautiful rendition of the patriotic song, "Ang Bayan Ko" was given by the awesome Mabuhay Singers. They were the real stars that night!
My spirit balloon took a couple of minutes more before it took off. And when it finally did, the feeling was inexplicable. It was actually the last lamp to rise. I think I might join Manila Transitio 1945 again next year.

Special thanks to Carlos and his team for organizing this wonderful event.

God bless Manila! Long live the Philippines!

Follow IntramurosManila.Asia!
Email: markjosephdelgado [@] ymail [.] com
Facebook: Intramuros Manila
YouTube: intramurosmanila