Writer's Block Philippines recommends: MiLi Mobile Power Solutions!!

If there’s one thing that travelling has taught us, it’s that one charger / adapter does not fit all.  We had to find out the hard way that there are not only different power voltages, there are also different sockets — two prong, three prong, round two prong, flat two prong. Add to that confusion,  the fact that you need to bring at least two chargers for each trip — more if you’re travelling on assignment — and you could really get all tangled up.

That’s when we discovered MiLi, a really cool gadget company who sells small, pocket-sized universal chargers that are just perfect for travelling. We met up with them and found out that they’re all about “mobile power solutions”. MiLi carries a whole line of chargers and adapters to make sure you’re always wired up even on the road plus a bunch of Apple cases that are just perfect for a functional and fashionable lifestyle.

MiLi is an institutional partner of Writer’s Block Philippines and during the last Walk Write This Way 2.0 workshop, MiLi gave out a universal USB adapter to one lucky participant.

MiLi will be hosting an interactive display from November 26 – 29, 2010 (Friday to Monday) at The A.Shop on the 2nd floor of The Podium Mall. Drop by and check out their really cool  stuff!

(Oh, and just in time for Christmas, all MiLi products at the interactive display will be offered at a special discount!! Woot! Woot!)

mili-opt event poster

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Together with The A.Shop, style and function take centerstage this coming weekend as MiLi Mobile Power Solutions and OPT Lifestyle Cases get together to showcase their entire product line-up. From November 26 – 29, 2010 (Friday to Monday), customers will get to experience the convenience and practicality of owning a portable external charger for their mobile devices, as well as discover a brand of casings that are meant to protect their much-loved Apple devices in designs that are chic and trendy.

The MiLi and OPT booth will be an interactive display, located in front of The A.Shop on the 2nd floor of The Podium. This will showcase not only the functional relevance of the products, but also the high-quality workmanship that went into each item. Product trials will be conducted at the booth and interested buyers can purchase their own MiLi and OPT items inside The A.Shop. In conjunction with the pre-Christmas sale for The Podium, all items will be on a special discount just for these 4 days.

For more information on MiLi Mobile Power Solutions, please visithttp://miliphil.com.

To know about OPT Lifestyle Cases, check out www.facebook.com/OPT.Philippines.

Travel to Europe for FREE through KLM’s My European Dream contest!

Thanks to Walk Write This Way 2.0, our writing tour held in partnership with Carlos Celdran and Celdran Tours, we got wind of a fantastic contest by KLM. Called “My European Dream”, it grants one lucky winner a dream vacation for two to three European destinations. All you’ll have to do to enter is visit MyEuropeanDream.com and answer the questions there.

KLM’s My European Dream Contest | Click on the image to enter the contest website

Here are the promo mechanics, according to the contest website:

Promo Mechanics:

Get a chance to win two (2) roundtrip tickets from Manila to Europe.

All you have to do is go to www.myeuropeandream.com Log in and register to join the promotion.

Once logged in, create an entry by clicking on “Create Your Dream” button. Give your European Dream a unique name and identify up to three European destinations that you’d like to visit. Write a short description about each destination, and click on “Save Your Dream”.

By creating a dream, you are automatically enrolled in the promotion. Only one dream per registered user/e-mail is allowed.

Dream Europe promo runs from November 9, 2010- January 31, 2011.

Selection:

The selection of the winner will be on the first week of February at Unit 2004 Antel Corporate Centre, 121 Valero Street. Salcedo Village, Makati City.

Twenty (20) finalists will be selected by a jury composed of KLM personnel and its online agency with the following Criteria:

70% – Originality and Uniqueness

30% – Number of Facebook likes

The winner will be selected randomly from the 20 finalists whose dreams meet the stated criteria above.

Taxes and fuel surcharge indicated on the ticket shall be shouldered by the winner. Visa processing fees will also be at the account of winner.

Seat confirmation shall be subject to seat availability.

Notification: Winners will be notified via e-mail and/or mobile phone. The winner will need to present a valid ID with signature on it.

Redemption: Prizes can be claimed at the 39th floor, Yuchengco Tower, RCBC Plaza corner Sen. Gil Puyat and Ayala Avenues, Makati City.

Eligibility:

Employees of Netbooster Asia, Yellowasp and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines including their relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity are disqualified from joining the promotion.

The prize is non-transferable and non-convertible to cash.

WHAT ELSE ARE YOU WAITING FOR? LET YOUR EUROPEAN DREAM TAKE FLIGHT NOW!

(Thanks to Ms. Min Quimson of KLM, one of our suki participants, for sharing this contest with us!)

Travel to Europe for FREE through KLM’s My European Dream contest!

Thanks to Walk Write This Way 2.0, our writing tour held in partnership with Carlos Celdran and Celdran Tours, we got wind of a fantastic contest by KLM. Called “My European Dream”, it grants one lucky winner a dream vacation for two to three European destinations. All you’ll have to do to enter is visit MyEuropeanDream.com and answer the questions there.

KLM’s My European Dream Contest | Click on the image to enter the contest website

Here are the promo mechanics, according to the contest website:

Promo Mechanics:

Get a chance to win two (2) roundtrip tickets from Manila to Europe.

All you have to do is go to www.myeuropeandream.com Log in and register to join the promotion.

Once logged in, create an entry by clicking on “Create Your Dream” button. Give your European Dream a unique name and identify up to three European destinations that you’d like to visit. Write a short description about each destination, and click on “Save Your Dream”.

By creating a dream, you are automatically enrolled in the promotion. Only one dream per registered user/e-mail is allowed.

Dream Europe promo runs from November 9, 2010- January 31, 2011.

Selection:

The selection of the winner will be on the first week of February at Unit 2004 Antel Corporate Centre, 121 Valero Street. Salcedo Village, Makati City.

Twenty (20) finalists will be selected by a jury composed of KLM personnel and its online agency with the following Criteria:

70% – Originality and Uniqueness

30% – Number of Facebook likes

The winner will be selected randomly from the 20 finalists whose dreams meet the stated criteria above.

Taxes and fuel surcharge indicated on the ticket shall be shouldered by the winner. Visa processing fees will also be at the account of winner.

Seat confirmation shall be subject to seat availability.

Notification: Winners will be notified via e-mail and/or mobile phone. The winner will need to present a valid ID with signature on it.

Redemption: Prizes can be claimed at the 39th floor, Yuchengco Tower, RCBC Plaza corner Sen. Gil Puyat and Ayala Avenues, Makati City.

Eligibility:

Employees of Netbooster Asia, Yellowasp and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines including their relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity are disqualified from joining the promotion.

The prize is non-transferable and non-convertible to cash.

WHAT ELSE ARE YOU WAITING FOR? LET YOUR EUROPEAN DREAM TAKE FLIGHT NOW!

(Thanks to Ms. Min Quimson of KLM, one of our suki participants, for sharing this contest with us!)

A Peanut Butter Story

Comfort food evokes a lot of good memories, and peanut butter is one of the most common kinds of comfort food.  Peanut Butter Company (PBCo.) aims to bring comfort and create wonderful memories to everyone, especially those who are fond of this particular spread.  Feel warm and welcome in their stores’ simple interiors and taste the fun and creativeness of their food.

PBCo. is a fully-owned local company and the brainchild of a group of peanut butter-loving individuals who wanted to explore further what their favorite spread can do. They spent months and months of research and development in order to cook up something unique and great that everyone, even the non-peanut butter lovers, would appreciate and enjoy.

Aside from the traditional creamy and crunchy variants, PBCo. offers other exciting flavors like dark chocolate, white chocolate, chili, sun-dried tomato, sesame, and curry, among others.  Almost all of their dishes feature a particular variant.  Who would have thought that peanut butter could go well with spaghetti?  How about hamburger and chicken wings with some peanut butter?

Try one of the specialty dishes of PBCo. and see how adventurous your taste buds can be!

White Chocolate Orange Sandwich

Cinnamon Apple Sandwich

Elvis, The King Sandwich

PB Burger

Chili Fried Chicken Sandwich

Butter Fish Steak Sandwich

Fish Diablo Pasta

Cold Asian Noodles

PBCo. has branches in SM North Edsa (near IMAX theater), SM Mall of Asia (North Arcade) – main branch, SM Clark, and is soon to open in SM Megamall.

Writer’s Block Philippines is happy to partner with PBCo. for our upcoming workshop “Walk Write This Way 2.0”. Get a chance to sample their food on November 20, Saturday.

MiLi Universal Power Banks: The Perfect Travel Partner!

For traveling freelancers, being on the road can pose a problem when power runs out on your much-needed mobile phone or device. Seeing how most, if not all, individuals today are largely dependent on technology, we simply cannot afford to be disconnected. MiLi aims to provide a solution to this issue—by keep your devices powered up anytime, anywhere, so that you can stay connected and in-tune with what is happening with the rest of the world.

While MiLi’s flagship products are made specifically for the iPhone range, it recognizes the need for a portable charger for non-users. Thus, the brand introduces its line of Mobile Universal Power Banks that are designed to power up other varieties of mobile devices, including the most popular cellphone brands today. These power banks are equipped with enough juice to take your cellphones through an additional full cycle, yet are sleekly designed to be light, compact, and easily transportable.

Power Miracle and Power Crystal

MiLis Power Crystal product line
MiLi's Power Crystal product line

The two most popular of the MiLi universal range, the Power Miracle and Power Crystal are portable, external battery packs that can charge just about any device! They come with a range of adapter tips that fit the Nokia, Samsung, Blackberry, HTC, LG, iPhone, iPod, and most other devices that work on either a mini or micro USB. With 2,000mAh of power capacity, they can add roughly another full cycle to your mobile devices, depending on use. And recharging the power banks is simple as plugging them into your computer, laptop, or a USB adapter via the included cable wire. The best part: Both are as compact as a small bar of soap and come with a traveling pouch!

Universal Charger


Whether you’re a flyer or are constantly on a road trip, this is a staple in any traveler’s survival kit. Most of the time, universal wall adapters and car chargers are two separate things. The MiLi Universal Charger comes with both—a range of the 4 essential worldwide wall adapters, plus a car adapter for those unexpected road trips. It also features 2 USB ports so that you can charge 2 devices at the same time.

Pocket Pal


This is the more affordable alternative to the Apple USB adapter that you find in most Apple accessory stores. The Pocket Pal plugs into an outlet and charges your devices via a USB port. It is also the most adorable little travel charger you will ever come across!

MiLi continues to develop innovative, external battery products that are attuned with the needs of the advancing electronic gadget industry. Each product is quality-tested and are accredited with Apple (bearing the much sought-after “Made For Apple” labels) to ensure gadget safety standards. So no matter what your mobile device may be, MiLi’s got you covered.

Visit the official Philippine website to view the complete product range: http://miliphil.com. For inquiries, MiLi (Philippines) can be contacted via email (mili.philippines@gmail.com) or mobile (0915-4843268). You can also follow them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MiLiPhilippines) and Twitter (@MiLiPhil) for instant product updates and announcements.

Have fingers, will travel: How to use your passions to fuel your own adventure

*This entry was taken and revised from The Art of Changemaking In the June 6 edition of the radio segment “Edumacate Me”, DJ Vince Golangco and I talked about freelance writing and also touched on travel writing. While I don’t claim to be a travel writing expert, I have to admit: I’ve been bitten by the travel bug, and I don’t want to be cured.

But let me be the first to admit: I have always taken traveling for granted. I grew up in a family of airliners, and I had always seen travel as one of those requisite perks of life that were more usually inconvenient and unwanted than coveted and exciting. Although I came to enjoy the trips that my mom brought us to when my siblings and I were growing up, I never particularly looked forward to taking a road trip or boarding a plane. Until now I find myself averse to the thought of having to make year-long plans for one-week holidays.

All that changed when I discovered the world of travel writing, and when I realized how enriching, fulfilling, and THRILLING it could be to travel the world–sometimes for FREE–and then have the enviable job of immortalizing those experiences on print.

It all started with music

Paul Zialcita in the Rainforest World Music Festival 2008 | Photo by Suchens SKPaul Zialcita in the Rainforest World Music Festival 2008 | Photo by Suchens SK

My first assignment as a foreign journalist came when I  covered the 2008 Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak, Malaysia. My then-boyfriend, Paul, (who is now my husband!) was performing at the festival with his band, and it turned out that applications were also open for foreign media to cover the event. By then, I already had been covering the arts & culture beat for an upscale lifestyle magazine, so I pitched the story to my editor–who liked the Filipino angle taken in an international context. I sent in an application to the Festival’s organizers, passed the screening process, and later on found myself on an all-expenses-paid trip as one of 400 foreign journalists in that event. That marked my entry into covering international stories and began my relationship with my Malaysia media family.

Tip #1: Use your passions to fuel your adventure!

Advocacy helps, too

Homeless World Cup 2009, Milan, Italy | Photo by NTZ
Homeless World Cup 2009, Milan, Italy | Photo by NTZ

My next big break came through the 2009 Milan Homeless World Cup, an international sporting event that brought together dignitaries, sporting celebrities, and teams of homeless footballers from around the world. Paul was once again invited to perform at that event (yes, it helps to be married to a one-of-a-kind performance artist!), and I made the most of the event by volunteering for the media corps and adding my social networking skills to the event’s media operations. We had to find a sponsor to fund our trip to Milan, but the rewarding part of it was meeting other journalists and volunteers from around the world… and witnessing the best of humanity shine through at a changemaking (and life-changing!) sporting event.

Another unforgettable moment: The Homeless World Cup coincided with the date that Paul and I had planned to get married (9/9/9) so we also decided to “marry our advocacy” by getting married in civil ceremonies while in the midst of our volunteer work in Milan.

Tip #2:Never underestimate the power of changemaking. It could end up changing YOU and YOUR life.

The power of a great essay

Here’s another (open) secret: I’m a nerd, and I love the idea of applying and competing for scholarships. I spend weekend mornings scouring the Web for competitive applications to which I can apply my passion for advocacy work, politics, cultural discourse, journalism and anything else that might be relevant to international decision-makers. I then go through application after application, filling out forms and composing gut-wrenching essays on the state of freedom of speech in the developing world, the challenges of journalism amid war, the role of culture and the arts in an increasingly complex world, and other non-weekend, non-lifestyle topics.

With fellow journalists at the European Journalism Institute. Yes, I was the smallest one in class! | Photo by Labinot Hajdari (Kosovo)
With fellow journalists at the European Journalism Institute. Yes, I was the smallest one in class! | Photo by Labinot Hajdari (Kosovo)

It sure paid off because, in July of this year, I attended the European Journalism Institute in Prague, Czech Republic, where I had a sensory-overloaded week of  adventure, discovery, friendship, and genuine learning. While there, I met fellow journalists from all over Europe, the Americas, and parts of Africa and Asia; we went around the city streets looking for unique places to photograph, interesting people, unique story angles, police incidents; we met working journalists from the United States and Europe; and we learned a bit more about how media operates in that part of the world. It was my first time to travel to Europe all by myself, my first time to attend classes in that part of the world, and I will forever remember and cherish all the experiences and lessons I have had and learned while in Prague.

A bonus: After that one-week program, I took a side trip to France, where I discovered Paris in less than 24 hours (and lived to write about it) and then visited a dear friend in the seaside town of La Rochelle–where I rowed a small punting boat for over two hours in what is known as the Green Venice in Marais Poitevin, among many other simple exploits and discoveries in the quiet but charming French country/seaside. My Parisian experience is now immortalized in the current issue of asianTraveler Magazine, while my features on Prague and La Rochelle will come out next year. 🙂

Outside the Louvre; Paris, France (July 2010) | Photo by NTZ
Outside the Louvre; Paris, France (July 2010) | Photo by NTZ

The good news for YOU is that there are dozens–if not hundreds–of these competitions going on each year. As long as you’re open to the idea of competing for a rewarding intellectual adventure, then you could be one step closer toward discovering the world almost for free.

Tip #3: Don’t be afraid to put your brains to the test. Compete for fellowships and short-term (if not full-blown) scholarship programs, and make the most of your international experience by soaking up the knowledge and networking that will be available to you. Use writing as a way to document your adventures, release your tension from too much studying, and earn some extra cash on the side.

Go back to basics

Of course, traveling doesn’t just mean going outside one’s own country. The Philippines is blessed with an abundance of natural and human resources that make it a paradise for local and foreign travelers alike. You don’t even have to hop on a plane or take a long road trip just to discover gems from our very own history and culture.

With this in mind, we at Writer’s Block Philippines decided to develop a writing tour that will give Filipinos and foreigners alike a taste of the travel writing lifestyle–right in our own backyard. The first run of this workshop was so successful that, on Saturday, November 20, we once again will be joining the irreverent and irrepressible Carlos Celdran for a walking tour of Intramuros, and then we’ll frame that “mini-travel” experience with writing and photography lectures that will encourage participants to explore, shoot, discover, and then WRITE.

Walk Write This Way 2.0, November 20, 2011
Walk Write This Way 2.0, November 20, 2011

If you’re free on Saturday, do join us for the tour and see what else you will discover about your country (and, perhaps, yourself) as you walk the cobblestone streets and admire the stone walls that have held centuries worth of secrets. Use the experience as your stepping stone to more travel adventures and feed your passion for discovery because, indeed, INSPIRATION IS EVERYWHERE.  You just need to open your eyes, free the questions in your mind, take your feet out for a walk, and use your fingers as your passport to a world of exciting discoveries… and truly unforgettable travel stories.

*Can you guess what Tip#4 is?

Walk Write This Way with Writer’s Block Philippines and Carlos Celdran

Writer’s Block Philippines is once again holding a one of a kind travel writing workshop with Carlos Celdran.

A group founded by freelance writers Ana Santos, Nikka Sarthou, and Nina Terol-Zialcita, Writer’s Block Philippines believes in conducting writing workshops that are both experiential and inspiring.

“Combining something we are passionate about–like food and traveling–with writing has been our formula from the start. It’s proven to be something that participants look for and look forward to,” says Ana Santos, who writes about sexual health rights and women in armed conflict.

Take a walk around the famed city of Intramuros and listen to Manila tourist guide extraordinaire Carlos Celdran regale us with his own kind of history lesson / tour that is also a one-man theatrical performance.

Workshop participants will start the morning with the Carlos Celdran If these walls could talk” walking tour of Intramuros and then be given free time to write about their experience.

Later, these writing pieces will be discussed with Writer’s Block Founders and a guest speaker from Travelife Magazine who will share what really makes a good travel piece and provide an editorial perspective on what editors look for.

“I see travel as a learning experience–whether it is a local or foreign destination. Traveling is a nice opportunity to learn about the things beyond the four walls of the classroom. For me, the best way to document each travel experience is to write about it. Walk Write This Way 2.0 will help aspiring travel writers become more effective in their craft, as the founders of Writer’s Block Philippines will share tips that every writer will find useful,” says Nikka Sarthou, a lifestyle and travel journalist.

Writer’s Block Philippines also dispels the myth that traveling entails a lot of time and money. “Sometimes, the most surprising discoveries await us just in our own backyards,” says Niña Terol-Zialcita, who writes about themes on “changemaking” and culture and the arts. “Those of us who live in Manila tend to take it for granted because all we see is the traffic, the pollution, and the stressors that accompany our daily grind. But if we peel all those layers and look closely, we will discover that we live in a vibrant and culturally diverse locale where there are so many stories to be uncovered and shared.”

As Writer’s Block Philippines is a firm believer in freelance writing as a career, various writing opportunities in travel writing will also be discussed.  We hope that at the end of the workshop, the participants will have learned the basics of what they will need to combine their passion for writing and traveling and earn from it!

Holcim Student Essay Contest on Sustainable Construction Extended

Cement manufacturer Holcim Philippines has extended the deadline of the essay contest of its journalism competition on sustainable construction.

The Holcim Journalism Award for Sustainable Construction’s student category, which is open to all college students enrolled this school year, is now set to end on November 12 instead of the original deadline of October 20.

Students may discuss sustainable construction concepts and projects in an essay at least 1,000 words long but no longer than 1,500 words. Articles in the Student Category should be original and not have been printed in any school or media publications.

Sustainable construction refers to the practice of building structures in ways that are economically viable, friendly to the environment, and beneficial to society.

A multisectoral panel will select 10 finalists. The writer of the best essay will be awarded P50,000 in cash plus a three-day stay in Singapore in November 2011 to attend the regional awarding ceremony of the Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction.

Participants may email their entries to holcimjournalismawards@gmail.com or mail it to the Holcim Philippines office. For inquiries, you may visit http://holcimjournalismawards.ph or call the Holcim Journalism Awards secretariat at 4593497.

Holcim Philippines launched the journalism contest in August to provide an added venue for further promoting the Holcim Group’s advocacy in the country. Through the Holcim Journalism Awards, the Company aims to encourage more in-depth discussion of sustainable construction by rewarding excellent print reportage about the subject. The Media Category is set to end on March 23, 2011.