Outdoor Instameet with IGersManila

Been missing some of IGersManila’s events lately because of my crazy schedule, but I can’t be skipping this invite-only instameet, hosted and sponsored by Outdoor Products Philippines, and especially since it’s held at one of our favorite food-tripping spots, Chef Arch’s Lime, the famous restaurant and bar in Mandaluyong City where you can feast on “street food na pina-sosyal.”

Attended by fellow Instagram’ers and blogger guests, it felt like a throwback of school memories of sorts as we were treated to a showcase of stylishly durable Outdoor backpacks. We were challenged to try to rip one, and true to its unique design, it was really tough and resilient, and that convinced me I needed to buy these for both my teens! These backpacks can definitely keep up with the day-to-day demands of school work (or even commuting to the office or for out of town misadventures), so it’s really worth the price!

Outdoor Instameet with IGersManila

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IGersManila at Preview’s Fashion X Art

It was October of 2012 when IGersManila first joined a live portraiture session via Preview X Claudio Bravo and last Friday, February 21st, we got invited once again by Preview Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Pauline Juan to cover Preview’s Fashion X Art, featuring the works of Rajo Laurel, Leeroy New, and Nikki Luna, in partnership with Art Fair Philippines 2014.

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Advocacy and social media talk at the Buklod-UPLB forum

imageIt was an invitation I initially wanted to decline, but at the same time wanted to do, as it’s been a while since I had a speaking engagement, and I didn’t want to let this opportunity pass knowing that the talk’s target audience are students. It’s scheduled on a Monday the 17th of February and the location is about 2 to 3 hours from our residence – that means waking up as early as 2 in the morning because my car’s coding that day - but it was the former student leader in me that got me convinced it’s worth the long trip, and missing a few hours of sleep.

Actually it was my wife that got me into this, who’s friend’s daughter, Inah Peralta, is studying at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, and who happens to be a member and the Program Committee Head of Buklod-UPLB‘s forum entitled “Youth Republic V” with the theme “#GamerGeneration: Youth Creativity and Innovation” that aims to raise the level of social and political awareness, leadership and nationalistic passion of students. Tagging along my fellow IGersManila moderators Ed Calaycay and Petim Maminta as co-speakers, and of course Mommy A, we reached Los Baños Laguna by sunrise, and started snapping photos as soon as we set foot at the park where the iconic UP oblation stood, marveling at the towering trees surrounding the campus. Continue reading

It’s been 6 years with Facebook

Facebook just turned 10 years old last 04-February-2014 and don’t be surprised if your Facebook friends have been posting “Look Back” movies, which is actually a new Facebook feature that lets you create personalized videos that highlight your shared content over the years, sort of letting you in on the celebratory mood of the social network this February, doesn’t matter whether you’re an old-timer or new to the community.

Unlike its previous Year In Review feature which showcases your content in static pages, the Look Back movie recounts the year you joined Facebook, showing your “first moments” and your most liked posts (including status updates), along with your popular photos, all done with a nice background music, in a minute long video that you can of course share.

In my case it’s been 6 years, and I remember signing up just because I wanted to get in touch with friends who are based in the US, and well, I was getting tired then of Friendster. Thank goodness for Facebook I indeed got reconnected and has been “socializing” since, with most of my friends, relatives, schoolmates, even colleagues, regardless of location.

If you haven’t “look back” go to https://www.facebook.com/lookback and I bet it’ll somehow make you smile (or cry?) with the memories of your years with Facebook.

Keep the good vibes rolling! #KTGVR

Go Crumpler shopping this January

The holidays are over and you must have bought or been gifted with a brand new phone, a shiny tablet or a sleek notebook computer, and now you’re looking for a matching bag that will let you carry all these gadgetry with you, in style. You of course don’t want these precious gizmos easily gadgetnapped or get dropped or broken when you’re out and about. Good thing January is the aftermath of the holiday shopping season, and it’s the best time to grab that Crumpler bag you’ve been eyeing, now at a special price!

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Crumpler Philippines got you covered and you have until January 31, 2014 to go shopping and enjoy discounts from 30% to 80% OFF on bags at its end of season sale at these Crumpler stores: EDSA Shangri-La Plaza Mall, TriNoma, Robinsons Magnolia, and Bonifacio High Street.

Keep the good vibes rolling! #KTGVR

It’s a feast at Fez!

Our waistlines seem to be the benchmark for setting New Year’s resolutions, having failed to resist gluttony, what with the many colorfully-delicious and mouth-watering dishes you only get to see and taste during the holidays, leaving you a happy tummy but feeling guilty plate after plate. But while most will swear to hit the gym or go on a crash diet to lose the extra inches earned like unwanted Christmas gifts, the rest of us are on the lookout for new dining spots for our next gastronomic misadventure. And as if on perfect timing that IGersManila got invited by Fez Gastro Pub BGC to try out their latest menu offering. With fellow IGersManila #TheMods Ed Calaycay (@edcalaycay) and Petim Maminta (@ipetim), we tagged along our #TheColl members Ivan Borlongan (@ivanborlongan), Iana Peralta (@ianaperalta), Oscar Garcia (@oscardelahopia) and Christoffer King Perfiñan (@christofferking).

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Fez, a word that either refers to the Turkish/Arabic hat or the second largest city in Morroco, what this restaurant and bar is rightfully named after, as it offers an intimate dining spot for enjoying modern fusion Morrocan cuisine. It’s not exactly a new joint in the Serendra block, but with its Arabic-spiced menu, Fez surely is an added attraction for Instagram’er-cum-foodie like me. My snapshots below (posted via Twitter and Instagram) aren’t enough to do these Fez delicacies justice, it’s my first time (except for the Kebab) and each dish served seem to explode with flavors, new and spicy, but all delicious.

The unlimited Indian crisper called Papadum tasted like pesto flakes, the neophyte’s appetizer that preps up the tongue for the Morrocan fare on offer. The Persian Kebab is an all-in meal – fresh beef and chicken grilled with olives, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber – complemented with Basmati rice. And there’s a reason why the Fez Merguez Pizza is a bestseller, the spicy Merguez sausages and ground beef blend flavorfully well with prunes, apricots, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and what we all Instagram’er agreed to be a generous topping of mozzarella cheese, on a super thin crust that we were told to be an original recipe. And the star of the feast, is the Morrocan Tagines, that’s beef savored with saffron over a layer of couscous. It’s like feasting on Kaldereta, but the couscous is a totally different experience – like eating miniaturized beans – with the sweet and spicy toppings giving you tasteful options.

As expected, we were all busy snapping photos before each meal but we definitely had fun and enjoyed all the food. And while we didn’t want to play the food critic, we all agreed that this new gastronomic experience inspired us to “feast” not only with photos or videos for our visual satisfaction, but for our seemingly always-hungry tummy as well. So the next time you’re at BGC, be sure to drop by Fez Gastro Pub at Unit C07-A, Piazza Serendra, Bonifacio Global City, 1634 Taguig.

Keep the good vibes rolling! #KTGVR

Thank you!

If there’s one thing I’ll never ever forget from last year’s #IGnitePH (IGersManila’s 13th Philippine Instameet and Yearender Special) it’s having been presented with this surprise tribute video and watching it for the very first time (with each moderator getting a special plaque) – it’s like the culmination of everything we’ve accomplished so far as an open community, leaving us teary-eyed, with fellow Instagram’ers cheering us on, telling us how we have redefined “friendship” using Instagram as a venue not only for sharing visual stories but also for transforming virtual relationships into true-to-life friendships.

Cheers to 2014, keep the good vibes rolliing! #KTGVR

Today we take the #FreedomPledge

We’re supporting MTV Exit’s #FreedomPledge campaign and today we’ll be at Kalayaan, a free public screening of MTV Exit’s various feature films and documentaries such as “Jason Mraz Live in Myanmar” and “Butterfly” an original Korean drama. We’re also running a special #9pmhabit at IGersManila Philippines to encourage our community of Filipino Instagram’ers and Phoneographers to use Instagram in sharing visual stories that help raise awareness about the global crime of modern day slavery.

If knowledge is freedom then we all have the power to end modern slavery.

#KTGVR

And VSCO Cam goes Android

Its website proclaims VSCO Cam as “the standard” and Instagram’ers and Phoneographers who take their mobile photography seriously can only agree. The app pretty much got you covered: from the straightforward camera and image tweaking tools, to the creative filters or presets, and its own network of VSCO goodness via the Grid. It recently broke its iOS-only iteration with its release of VSCO Cam for Android, that will run on most Android devices with version 4.0 up, available now as a free download from Google Play.

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I borrowed my son’s Samsung Galaxy Duos (Android 4.0.4) to download and explore the app, and my initial impression is that there’s almost no difference to its iOS counterpart. VSCO Cam for Android comes preloaded with 10 presets and you can add more via purchase from the in-app store.

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VSCO Cam is a personal favorite as it is one of my essential apps for Instagram’ing and phoneography. The familiar interface is clean and straightforward as usual and it almost felt like using VSCO Cam on an iOS device.

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If you’re on Android and have been waiting for a phoneography app that is equally powerful as its iOS flavor, then check out VSCO Cam, it’s perfect for the snap-filter-share workflow, and should get you going with your creative visual storytelling.

#KTGVR

IGersManila’s new website

Was happy with Tumblr, but realized because it’s a microblogging platform, it simply lacked the flexibility we need for bringing our online presence to the next level. And so I purchased a hosting account, experimented first with this website, installed WordPress which is by the way too easy, played around with several themes, figured into a few errors, imported content from previous blogs via plugins, got the hang of it, then decided to go the self-hosted WordPress path for IGersManila, even convinced fellow moderator EdCalaycay.com to do the same.

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Through this website, we aim to provide content essential to Instagram’ing and phoneography in general. It’s a work in progress and we’re hoping to go full-blast before the year ends. And we’ll soon open it for writing collaboration, what we at IGersManila are really excited about.

#KTGVR

Offline from Instagram’ing

Yesterday, we went offline with IGersManila, for the very first time. While we’re overwhelmed with the support we’re getting from around the world, we all know more help is needed to make sure relief efforts are directed to those affected by super typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan. We have been doing the #9pmhabit daily visual storytelling habit, one of the longest photo challenges in Instagram, since 2011 and the only day we missed is ironically the 2012 social media day celebration, when Instagram went down in mass power outage.

And so here’s hoping after this offline day, our community of Instagram’ers and Phoneographers, will find time to put down our mobile devices, and do offline activities, such as the much needed support for relief efforts, in any which way we can.