Monday, November 25, 2013

Nothing but Praise for GrabTaxi App

GrabTaxi was one of the businesses that were at the 2013 Blogapalooza business to bloggers networking event that I attended with Maila. While some bloggers were probably just getting to know their service, I've been a Grabber already for quite some time now.

If you live in the city, then you know this already - i t can be quite a challenge to hail a cab in Metro Manila especially when you're in a hurry, it's raining or it's a Friday night or when it's all of the above! It can also be a very frustrating and harrowing experience.

Some cab drivers are selective of passengers:

Manong driver: San kayo mam? 
Me: Makati manong.  
Manong driver: Naku traffic dun. (then speeds away, leaving you behind)

Some cab drivers would take you in but he'd have a higher asking fee:

Manong driver: San kayo mam?
Me: Ortigas manong. 
Manong Driver: Traffic dun! 300php okay? (From Makati to Ortigas is only Php150-200 at the most) 

Or worse, cab drivers who turn out to have criminal intents! Scary! Riding a cab is supposed to be convenient and safe. It's not supposed to make you fear for your safety or stress you out. 

At times, you'd like to ride a cab after a long day of shopping and walking at the mall. Sure there are taxi stands in major malls around the metro nowadays but on weekends and holidays such as Christmas, you'll have to deal with the long lines with so few cabs in the line up! 

That last scenario is what led me to try the GrabTaxi app. I was with my friend, Mhay one night after work and we met up at Greenbelt to ride a cab together to go to The Fort. There was a long line of passengers at Greenbelt 1, all waiting for cabs that they can ride to bring them to their destinations. Here's my confession: I am an impatient person. I don't like waiting long especially when it involves having to deal with long lines. 

That time, I just read about the service that the GrabTaxi app offers on Rappler. Since I had a smartphone with a data plan, I figured I'd give it a try. I downloaded the app, encoded my current location and where I wanted to go then I clicked on Book Now. 

The app then went to work, locating nearby taxis that were part of the GrabTaxi circle and after a few minutes, I got a cab! 

  

What I like about the GrabTaxi App:

1) It offers convenience of getting a taxi. Now when your cab arrives, at least you don't have to tell him where you want to go and risk rejection because he already knows the destination he's supposed to take you to and he accepted!  
2) It lets you track where the taxi is already - how far or near it is from your current location through GPS tracking (if it's moving or not) and there's even an estimated time of arrival indicated on the screen. 
3) The app also gives you the following info: taxi plate number, his name which is sometimes accompanied by his photo and a way to contact him. GrabTaxi encourages calling the driver to find out his location when you can't see it on screen or to ask the driver the name of the cab you should be watching out for since that's easier to spot than the plate number. 
4) An estimate of the cab fare you will be spending (on top of the Php70php booking fee which I don't mind at all since the taxi driver does have to purposely go to your location to pick you up)
5) Plus since the cab driver also knows who booked the taxi, other passengers who might attempt to hail your taxi won't succeed because the driver is going to look for you! (VIP ang peg!

I will never forget my first try of using GrabTaxi because the first cab that Mhay and I successfully booked. The whole time we were waiting for the cab, monitoring the driver's whereabouts through the GPS Tracking, we were so amazed we kept saying "Wow! Lapit na!" "Wow! Ang galing" and when it finally reached us, the app gave a notice that the taxi driver has finally arrived and we were so thrilled because we got to cut through the long line of people waiting! 

But the most memorable part of that first booking experience was that we had to cancel our booking because as it would turn out someone else had a more pressing need for it. A lady dressed in Rustan's Supermarket uniform was in a wheelchair and she was about to give birth! I can't forget how two other guy employees of Rustan's were assisting together with the guard who got to our taxi first and how my initial thought was "Hey! Wait a minute Manong guard. That is our taxi you're trying to take!" before we noticed the woman. Naturally, as our cab driver advised, we cancelled our booking to give way to the woman in need.

We were able to get another taxi through the app which successfully took us to our desired destination though I will also never forget the looks of annoyance and confusion of the other people who were waiting in line Their thought bubbles at that time were probably "Jerks! Who do they think they are cutting in line like that?" or "Hey! How did they manage to get that taxi?" We were waiting for a cab like the rest of them near the end of the line that time before I thought of trying GrabTaxi. 

My own thought bubble at that time, "Well peeps, we used GrabTaxi! And you can do that too if you have a smartphone with a data plan on hand!" 

Up to this time, I use GrabTaxi especially when I'm coming from a meeting with my boss that ends at around rush hour where a lot of other people are trying to get home by hailing a cab. I score brownie points with her when I use GrabTaxi to hail us a cab! 

I highly recommend this app. From all the experiences I've had using GrabTaxi, I have to say that I have nothing but praises for it. So convenient and safe just as a cab ride should be! 

  
P.S. Photos grabbed from Rappler.com and GrabTaxi Facebook page.  

  


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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Blogapalooza 2013: My fun and enlightening experience

Like I said before, I'm going to commit to blogging more now and attending Blogapalooza is a part of my action plans to learn more from the social media experts, do a bit of networking and okay to get freebies too. Ha ha! 

I did learn from the likes of Jason Cruz, Community Manager at Mcann Worldgroup Philippines and Ana Santos of Writer's Block. From Jason, I learned that to make it in the online world, you gotta know what your strengths are and harp on that i.e. Good photographer? How about creating a photo blog! Not a very good writer? How about a video blogger instead? From Ana - oh I admire this woman, - I learned that if you want to pursue your dream of freelancing, you have to first have enough savings on your bank account and emergency funds to get you through those first couple of months when you're still trying to establish your new career. That's something I wish I knew when I suddenly quit my job a couple of years back (quarter life crisis!) to try out my luck as a freelance writer. And you also have to network, network and network (also something I didn't have the guts to do back then). 

This is me joining Megaworld's contest of posting a photo of one's self on Instagram. I didn't win though. But hey, this frame reminds me of when I used to handle LINE. That was the cutest tech account I got to handle so far. 


And here is me with Maila who happily went with me to Blogapalooza. That's Vince Golangco of When in Manila, event host and also one of the organizers.
  

What I loved about the Blogapalooza event other than the freebies, learning and networking - There was a cool dance number from Project Awesome and through a collective effort of the Blogapalooza community, we raised Php82,000 in total through the Piggybank Movement which will be donated to help the victims of the Super Typhoon Yolanda. 

This was a very nice event for bloggers and businesses alike. I look forward to attending the next one again. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

All You Need is Love: Some Awesome Ways to Help Typhoon Yolanda victims

Around this time last week, the Philippines' particularly the Visayas region, was hit by Super Typhoon Haiyan otherwise known as Yolanda. According to the reports, it's the strongest typhoon ever recorded and it left some areas of the Visayas region - Tacloban city, Leyte Bantayan Islands, Eastern Samar absolutely devastated.  The news about fellow Filipinos suffering from loss of loved ones, trauma from the typhoon, loss of food, water and shelter are truly heartbreaking. 

But it is also so heartwarming to know that people from around the world are helping us out in recovering from this calamity. People with different backgrounds and races are donating money, nations lending their equipment, sending relief food, first aid and even the services of their people to help us Filipinos. So before anything else  On behalf of my fellow Filipinos, I say a BIG THANK YOU for all the support you're giving us. 


If you're looking for more awesome ways to help out our calamity stricken fellow Filipinos, here are some things you can consider: 

1. Dine for a Cause: Restaurants and Foodies for #YolandaPh victims

This weekend, eat at these restaurants for some deliciously filling meals and help out the victims of Typhoon Yolanda as the establishments in the list will be offering all or a fraction of their profits to charitable institutions that are dealing with our fellow Filipinos who survived the super storm. You can also check out Spot.ph for more info.


 
2. Buy pre-loved designer shoes 
 
If you're a shoe loving gal like me, you can also help the Typhoon Yolanda victims by buying pre-loved designer shoes from fashion icon, Liz Uy and celebrity, Bianca Gonzales. They're selling their shoes for Php15,000 each. You can check out the details at Bianca's Instagram page. So imagine, not only did you buy yourself pretty designer shoes but at the same time, you've helped our fellow Filipinos too! 



3. Watch Hunger Games 

For sure, you'll be lining up in cinemas to watch the new Hunger Games movie: Catching Fire. For only Php280, you get to enjoy a blockbuster movie next week, November 22 and at the same time you'll also get to help the Yolanda survivors because all proceeds will be donated to them. 



4. Watch an all star concert 

If you love listening to music, why not go to a concert? ABS-CBN is holding an all star benefit concert to help the calamity victims of the recent Bohol and Cebu earthquakes and Yolanda survivors called "Tulong Na, Tabang Na, Tayo Na" at the Araneta Coliseum. Some of the biggest names in the industry will be there like Leah Salonga and Gary Valenciano will be there. What's more is that the tickets are so affordable! Php1,000 for Patron seats already, not bad at all!    


My fellow Filipinos, let us stop all the negativity we are throwing out there because no matter how much you criticize, it's not going to magically change the situation. Instead, let us all do our part in rebuilding our nation. Together we can get through this. 

As the Beatles' song goes, "All you need is love, love is all you need" So my fellow Filipinos, love na lang ng love. 




Sunday, November 10, 2013

Blogs I enjoy reading

Here's another confession - I love reading.

I've been reading since I was a kid. I remember getting my parents to buy me books everytime we had a family night out. When I reached 4th grade, I added comic books to my reading collection. In my teenage years, magazines became a part of that. And when I got acquainted to the online world, I discovered I enjoy reading blogs too.

Let me just share with you some of the blogs I love reading.

Frances of Topaz Horizon.  I discovered her blog when she went as a speaker for one of Belle de Jour's events. I think the topic then was How to Make Money Online. Of course she talked about her blog and how she earns a decent amount of money from it enough for shopping. I love how she writes about the fun parts of her life. And being the former EIC of OK Magazine Philippines, she loved writing about Hollywood celebs too which I also love! She's actually my blogging inspiration. 

Ryan of Live Like a Winner. I actually know him IRL. He's my best friend. One I love his Tumblr address (astoldbyryan) because I picked that out for him! Haha! But more importantly I love looking at the photos in his blog. He's an aspiring photographer and he's using his blog to showcase his works which is a mixture of food shots, places and everything in between.








Shale of I Sole Search. Shale is also a friend IRL. But it was only during our recent trip in Bacolod did I find out that she also keeps a blog! Her blog is called I Sole Search because she likes to blog about her travels. She once went all the way to Kalinga Province to get a tattoo the old school way from an old woman they called Whang Od! What an amazing sense of adventure this girl has!!! 











Jordan of Paul Claudio. My friend Jordan is a big fan of fashion blogger, David Guison. That's his inspiration for creating his fashion blog. I've been his photographer for a couple of outfit shots and I have to say I have a huge respect for the dedication fashion bloggers like him have in doing OOTD posts. Not a very easy thing to do - on top of dressing up, gotta find good backgrounds, think of good posts, different angle shots...Tedious! While I do make an effort more now to dress up and dress well, take outfit shots every now and then and post it here for the world to see like this, I seriously doubt I'll ever be a serious fashion blogger.







I grabbed their photos from their respective blogs without permission but I hope that'll be okay with them. I'm a fan expressing my love for their blogs!

Friday, November 8, 2013

My Bacolod Adventure Part 3: A night of randomness!



My third day of stay in Bacolod was a night of randomness! And it's mostly because we woke up with a hangover from partying with tequila shots the night before. It took us quite a while to recover from that! We're gettin' old! Ha ha!

Shale took us to Bacolod's Art District where Jaton decided to play DJ for the night with his iPhone hooked up on the sound system of this near empty bar we were at. Throwback 90s playlist. Love!   

We thought of catching the Masskara parade that night but it rained hard and what do you know - none of us - not even me who actually bothered to bring one all the way to Bacolod - brought an umbrella when we went out. 

In search of a pedicab, Jaton ended up drenched! To pass the time waiting for the rain to stop, we found ourselves at a spa. Jaton wanted to dry off so he had a steam bath while Shale and I waited for him with a relaxing foot massage. Foot massage in Bacolod winner!

We wanted to party again at L'Fisher Hotel so braved a mosh pit at Lacson street! But we didn't get to do that because it had rained hard - that's one quick way to dampen the party mood on an open air venue like a roofdeck party. No pun intended!  

We ended up spending the rest of the night at The Wine Cellar instead - it's this very laid back, very nice drinking place also located in Lacson street. And guess who was there? Aga Muhlach! Still very good looking even in his 40s!   

We were just sitting there at the bar, minding our own business while everyone else outside the bar who saw him asked for a photo opp with him. Apparently in Bacolod, celebs are a big deal. After all, it's not like here in Manila where the chances of bumping into a celebrity while walking in the mall somewhere are high. Gotta give it to Aga - he was very cool about it. 

And so who would've thought we'd end up not just seeing him there in person but even getting to talk to him? He asked our names, he shook our hands, he sat down with us for awhile and talked to us! So surreal but seriously a nice experience.

And while we acted cool around his presence, we couldn't help but feel starstruck as well. Syempre! Big celebrity + gwapo pa niya! We just couldn't let that moment pass us by without getting a photo narin! Otherwise, people probably wouldn't believe us. Ha ha!  



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Helloooo Mr. Grey!


I soooo love the new actor who's going to play Christian Grey of Fifty Shades of Grey! If you've been reading this blog for awhile now, then you know that I am a fan of the book trilogy. When I heard that Hollywood wanted to turn it into a movie, I was absolutely ecstatic!

I rooted for Ian Somerhalder to play Christian Grey. He's so perfect for the role - he looks like a sex god. But then they announced that Charlie Hunnam was going to portray Mr. Grey. I was definitely not pleased with that casting...

But just when I thought I just had to suck it up and hope he does the character justice, he drops out of the film to my relief and delight!

I still wanted Ian Somerhalder for the role but I know he's most likely not going to be able to take on the project because he's busy with The Vampire Diaries. But Jamie Dornan as Mr. Grey? I'm all for it!!! Let me show you why!

Jamie's definitely got the looks to play Christian. Just look at those eyes! Smoldering! <3 nbsp="" td="">

Jamie looks very dapper in a suit like the very handsome, very successful businessman, Christian Grey.

Jamie looks so boyishly handsome just like 27 year old Christian Grey.

Oh and he's definitely got the body for all those steamy sex scenes he's gotta do with Dakota as Anastasia Steele!  

I'm excited to see the book come to life on the big screen. I'm looking forward to seeing the first trailer for this film. You can bet your boots I'm gonna be raving about it in this blog!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Back in the Blogging Habit

Retracing all the posts I've published since this blog started, I've only had 142 posts in total and this blog started four years ago - year 2009! Wow that's sooo few ha!

Actually, when I first started blogging (way back when blogging was not as popular as it is today) it was because I wanted an avenue in the online world where I wanted to share my life and my thoughts with the world. Then I decided to delete that! And then I missed it and so I started this blog. But somewhere along the road, I started neglecting it because I got super busy with work and then I hit a writing snag. I found myself not knowing what to say anymore because I started over analyzing my posts. I didn't feel my writing was good enough. I didn't feel that the stuff I enjoyed were stuff worthy to blog about. And I briefly considered blogging about stuff that I thought might bring me money even though they weren't something I was passionate about and even considered putting a lot of banner ads in this. And then I felt so lost that I almost deleted this blog too!

But I've been blogging more often now because I no longer feel lost. Thanks in part to the LEAP program I joined at the start of this year, I have found my reason for blogging again. Like I said, I started blogging because I wanted an avenue in the online world where I could share the stuff I enjoyed doing in my life and I've been blogging again because this is a practice of openness for me. I still want to earn money from this as well (so do click on the Google ads and Nuffnang ads you see here okay? (",) ) but that part is no longer my main motivation for blogging!

My goal is to keep on blogging about the stuff that I like, blog about my adventures in life and hopefully you will enjoy reading it too! I want to grow my blog's readership so keep coming back and do leave a comment or two in my posts, yeah? (",) And I also want to meet fellow bloggers too so if you have a blog, let me know? I'm always on the lookout for enjoyable blogs to read. 

And so, this is why I'm going to attend the upcoming Blogapalooza event which I would like to invite you to attend as well if you're a fellow blogger who lives in the Philippines.   

  

What is Blogapalooza? To describe it briefly, it's a community. It's a link between big and small businesses who have something cool to share and the online community of people who love to share. Blogapalooza is a blogger event on crack! Lots of giveaways for the bloggers and online community and a chance for big and small businesses to present their product/brand/thingamajig to hundreds of influential bloggers and online social media influencers. 

Sign up here. Or read more about it here