Bottle School Project

Two weeks ago, our Corporate Communications Officer sent out a mailer about the Bottle School Project. Tomorrow, June 13th, the Bottle School Run will commence. Runners and everyone else are encouraged to join. Just bring two 1.5/2 liter PET bottles and pay the small registration fee to join the fun run – 3k, 5k and 10k. The bottles, and the money, will be used to build bottle schools in areas affected by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.

The people behind the project will be pioneering a build at Maharlika Village in Taguig City. I’m hoping there will be more details at the event so I can learn more about getting involved. Sadly, their website (http://bottleschoolproject.org/) doesn’t have much information.

Here’s a video I found though:

And look at photos from MyShelter’s Illac Diaz’ Multiply page.

I first read about a school made from plastic bottles through this blog post in Be The Change back in February. I am so happy that the technology has been recognized here, and is now being explored.

It makes me feel good that our company is trying to be involved in such worthy projects. I hope a lot of people throw their support behind this too.

Make a Choice

Lately, I have been making bad decisions. Decisions that aren’t in line with my two main goals: to lose weight and to save money.

I have not been making very good food choices lately, and I’ve even gone back to drinking soda (ugh). We were at the grand sale at the Mall of Asia on Sunday and I spent quite a sum. Yes sure, the shopping lifted my spirits up, haha. 🙂 I guess those that I got can be considered an investment on myself. 😉

This one probably wasn’t a bad decision: I’m not taking the plan that our family’s insurance consultant sent over. She sent me a packet of insurance quotes. Now that I’ve paid up for the first one I got from her, she suggests taking out another plan. It’s forced savings really. I’m not going for it though. The money will be tied up, for one, and I’m not so sure the returns are worth it. Specially since I’ll have to wait fifteen or so years before I even get any dividends or something from it. I’d rather put the money into business.

I’ve visited Starbucks more times than I care to admit in the last two weeks. The latest was Sunday morning. I had a Danish with a cup of Iced Hazelnut Mocha. I loved it. But it cost me money I could have set aside. I also picked up another tumbler.

Okay, that last one wasn’t such a bad decision. After all, using tumblers is good for Mother Earth, and you get five pesos off your coffee every time you take your tumbler. It’s better to use your own tumbler when you buy coffee, or drink it with their mugs (but you’d have to stay in the coffee til you drink it all up), than using the paper cups that add to the waste.

I can also use my new tumbler with any coffee. I can again buy the 3-in-1 mixes in the grocery, those are way cheaper, and I can have more than 1 cup per shift without thinking about costs.

Truth is, it was the half price off that convinced me to buy this tumbler. Yes. Starbucks Philippines slashed the price off this tumbler (it also comes in green) as a special Earth Day promo. It’s only going to last until end of the month, so if you don’t have a tumbler yet, check out your nearest Starbucks and grab one at 195 pesos (originally priced at 395, if I remember correctly).

Getting the tumbler also started me on another idea. An Earth Day giveaway. Yes, dear readers, I have decided to host another giveaway. I’ll be running back to Starbucks one of these days to pick up a tumbler, and you could be the lucky recipient. I haven’t finalized the details of the giveaway yet, but April 22 being Earth Day and the tumbler being on sale because of it, should already give you an idea that the theme of the giveaway is about making choices that will help take care of Mother Earth. I’ll set up the mechanics soon.

So what do you think? Will you join?

Recycling Facilities for Malls

Having been to Greenhills three times in the past seven days (to have the PlayStation 2 serviced, or to return defective game discs, etc.) an idea came to me while we were on the cab home. We had just passed by a truck collecting dry garbage and I was going to comment on how neat and orderly it actually looked. Seriously. It didn’t look dirty and I doubt if it was all too smelly either. On the side of the truck, there was a huge sign about the garbage collector being a member of an organization of contractors in the Litex-Payatas dumpsite.

Immediately as my brain was processing that thought, another idea fired through – malls should have their own waste programs and recycling facilities. They can help save the planet, and still generate additional income for themselves. How much waste do you think is accumulated in Greenhills each and every day, specially during the holiday season? How about in the chain of SM and Robinson’s Malls?

I think that if they were really committed to doing their part in the fight to counter pollution and global warming, then they should put their money where their mouths are and invest on their own recycling facilities.

I mean, people troop to malls every weekend. We go during weekdays and there are still a lot of people there. So business is always on the up and up, from my point of view. They keep on renovating, to accommodate more shops. Then in recent years, we’ve seen more malls go the Ayala mall way of having Pay Lounges where you need to cough up ten pesos to use their well maintained American Standard toilets.  I actually like the concept. The restrooms are clean, and they smell wonderful. There’s always tissue, and soap, and even powder and hand lotion. But hey, I’ve gone so out of topic here…

So really, don’t you agree that the big malls should invest on their own recycling facilities? Or better yet, there should be legislation around this area. So that anyone in the business of malls, depending on some criteria (income, number of shops, etc.) should also submit an environmental plan then government and NGOs should monitor its implementation.

Just a though. 🙂

Earning Opportunities

Over lunch this afternoon, Alfred and I were discussing earning opportunities that did not involve the Internet or any of my blogs.

For the past two to three weeks, one of my colleagues at work has been trying to tell me about an opportunity to make money on the side. Being the skeptic that I am, and having an even more skeptic boyfriend, I didn’t make time to learn more about what we thought was going to be another networking scam. Last week though, I got excited when he mentioned that involved Internet marketing. Those were the key words to get me jumping. So I trooped to their office in Makati and listened intently.

First off, I was impressed at their offices. It’s at the heart of the business district, at a reputable building, had nice furnishings and a wonderful view of distant Manila Bay. When I saw the company logo on the glass doors – it was familiar! I had seen this before, in fact, I had tried to get into this opportunity when I saw it online sometime before. That got me even more interested!

When my office mate’s brother started describing the company and the opportunities it had to offer, I really got interested. This time, I was more interested in the products than the earning potential.

I’m already convinced that I would like to sign up. I can see the benefits of being an associate, whether I treat it as a business or I just continue as a consumer or retail to friends and relatives. I’m not ready to reveal what this is exactly, but it has everything to do with health and wellness. Health is wealth! 🙂

The boyfriend, on the other hand, had a different idea today. We both agreed in the end that it isn’t suitable for us even if his friend at work is already raking in a lot of money from the venture. It’s a micro-lending business but I do not like it one bit because it abuses the vulnerability of other people. Sure, lend them money, but charge 10 percent interest monthly? That’s abusive!

I can’t make myself do anything like this – because I know how it feels to be stifled with paying interest for money you owe. I have credit card debt (not too much though!) and I feel bad about the finance charges on it. I have a cousin and an agent who owe money-lenders like Alfred’s friend. Their ATMs are held hostage until they are fully paid. I don’t want to ever be the cause of that.

On the other hand, I have a cousin who is in the lending business too. And she’s not an evil person. I guess it’s just to each his/her own.

Whatever happens though, wish us luck in our upcoming ventures. Cheers to success! 🙂


Over lunch in the office a few days ago, we got to talk about Brad Pitt’s Make it Right Project at New Orleans’ Ninth Ward. This came into the picture because we were discussing about presidentiables and how the recent crises with disasters and the lack of services all boil down to a lack in political will. Surely, it’s not just money that allows Brad Pitt to accomplish so much with his projects, there’s the genuine will to help and make a difference too. That’s what’s missing here. There is funding for maintenance of the floodways from the various dams and reservoirs, but were they used properly?

Anyhoo, we said that it would be wonderful if the technology their using to rebuild homes in New Orleans would be brought to the Philippines. That would be amazing if we rebuild homes in Baguio, Pangasinan, Marikina and everywhere else with those green homes. Daryl mentioned that we have similar technology here already, manufactured homes that have green roofs and walls or something like it. I have yet to see one. But that would really be awesome.

Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Nature Center – Part 2

(Read the first part of this series on our Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife experience here)

Apart from being a park where families can go to relax, unwind, have a picnic and enjoy nature in the middle of a bustling city, the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife is also a Nature Center.  What this means is that rescued animals are nursed here until they can be set free again.  For those who can no longer be brought back to their natural habitat, they stay in the center and those are the animals that people like us can visit.

I have memories of entering an aviary as a young girl.  A big one where you can see the birds flying around you.  I still can’t be quite sure if this is a memory from a trip to the Wildlife or to Nayong Pilipino ( is there an aviary there?).  I don’t know how many species of birds can be found at the Wildlife, I can’t even name the birds that we were able to see.  The cages are not properly labeled you see.  

I was quite frustrated though that the cages completely ruin your chances of a good shot.  The animals are in cages, then there are railings that keep you more than an arm’s length away from the cage itself.  For a frustrated photographer like me, there’s just too many challenges to think of. Haha 🙂 Nevertheless, blogging about our day at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife will not be complete without showing photos of the animals we were there to see.


Sheesh please do not ask me what these birds are called. I’d just tell you that they look like African lovebirds to me. You don’t agree? Well here they are kissing!


There you go, kissing scandal at Cage 27.  See, no labels at all to tell you what you’re looking at!  So even if I wanted to educate Esban on what birds these are, I couldn’t!

According to the boyfriend (who wanted to become a veterinarian, if not for his fear of blood), the birds on this next set are sea hawks.  The last one I’m sure is a hornbill. Or something. 🙂

[svgallery name=”sea hawk”]


Now this majestic peacock was kind enough to hold his pose for me.  But what caught our attention more than his magnificent stance and the beauty of his feathers, was the fact that he shares his cage with turtles.  Ya don’t believe me? Well see for yourself! We even photographed one turtle struggling to get out of his water bath 🙂


[svgallery name=”turtles”]

Didja see it? 😉

Stay tuned for Part 3 🙂

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