Wishing everyone a peaceful Thanksgiving celebration!
Celebrated every fourth of November in the United States while it’s the second Monday of October in Canada, this is a festive national holiday celebrated with different turkey entrees, desserts, and wines. However, most people are looking forward to the day next to it, which is tomorrow, Black Friday, famous for its Black Friday Sale event where thousands gather in Target, Walmart, and other stores for the grand promotional items.
Thanksgiving represents the blessing of the harvest. Similar to Christmas in other countries, this is the opportunity for many Americans to meditate and look back to all the blessings that happened the entire year while looking optimistic about the next year ahead.
Turkey Of This National Holiday
There are many stories on why turkey had been the favorite roasted meat on Thanksgiving Day. Some said that it was because of Alexander Hamilton, while others believed that the turkey is large so it could feed many people. Regardless of its rich history and tradition, be thankful for all the blessings the entire year and appreciate all the people who have helped you endure the entire year.
For that, I want to get this opportunity to thanked you guys, my dear readers for all the support and continued love. My sincerest thanks from the bottom of my heart. Please support me in my future endeavors. Enjoy the holiday. God bless you all!
Italy is one of the most iconic and romantic spots in the world. Venice, a city that captivated the world with its rich watery beauty, canals, and Venetian Gothic architecture. It’s when art meets the water world clashing together into a beautiful, live, panoramic canvas. Dubbed as the “Floating City”, it has a lot of canals and bridges built under wooden platforms enabling it to stay afloat, thus, the name.
Those canals that made Venice an eye-catching, romantic getaway of lovers and adventure seekers created its little home at the heart of Taguig, in the Philippines. Venice Piazza is the living replica of Venice, it’s a feast of a Venetian Gothic style and Architecture. It’s so stunning that you would honestly think that you have been transported to Italy yourself, or it could have been the other way around?
Going to Venice Piazza is not as complicated as it may seem. If you came from Pasig City, you could ride in jeepneys. Tell the driver to drop you at Signal or Signal Village. From there, you ride in a red color-coded tricycle terminal with signage going to C5 Waterfront. Once you reach the destination, the last vehicle you will ride is another jeepney going to McKinley.
There is also a route if you are coming from Guadalupe, Makati City. This is much easier than coming from Pasig City. At Guadalupe, you only need to ride a jeepney going to Housing McKinley traveling in Bayani Road. Tell the driver to drop you off at McKinley.
The place has its way of making you want to explore all its nook and cranny. Who would have thought such inspiration of a city would have its little abode in a bustling and busy strip in the metro? Who would have thought that such romantic escapade is possible in a tropical country of sun and monsoons? Not to mention a food haven in every corner you look.
Haven Of Food And Wall Artistry
The corridors and pavements are embellished with a lot of Gothic inspiration. The walls were designed to corroborate the view of real Venice in Italy. Situated within large buildings, it’s synchrony of both food and art that doesn’t just feed your appetite with the restaurants and bars on the side but lets you feast your eyes on the elaborate and meticulous placement of each crafted wall murals and design of the entire building and its surroundings. It caters to different taste buds and is a perfect hangout to unwind and fall in love with the arts.
Adding to the festive decorations were the colorful Christmas decors, the giant Christmas tree situated at the middle of the lagoon, and assorted flowers such as poinsettias were placed all over to feel the warmth of this coming Yuletide season.
I was actually thinking of making this comparison back then but I often have forgotten. And I feel like, it’s not the right time yet. Fast forward, now that I think about it, I came to the conclusion that this has to be the right time. Not because I have an issue with Shopee as of this writing. Curious? I will tell you about my experience. But for now, this post needs to be done. (Haha).
In some countries particularly the United States, online shopping has been implemented and it actually worked quite well. With such big names like Amazon of US and Alibaba of China, these are legit testimonies of how a one-man force became the world’s richest billionaire in the persona of Jeff Bezos of Amazon. But of course, there will be online shopping horror stories and failures. I believed it’s actually happening but just a few isolated cases. Regardless of whether you are in the first world or third world countries, these incidents are evident.
Through social media alone, one can easily post his sentiment against a normal person, a celebrity, or a corporation. It might a hassle for the opposing end but on a regular basis, it helps a lot so people can be easily informed of any anomalies and fraudulent acts.
Okay, I know for a fact that there are advantages and disadvantages to the use of social media. But this article intends to give light about the posts, and reviews of this online shopping fiasco. Those are legit, guys. It’s not meant to degrade or tarnish anyone’s reputation. Online shopping fails are failures. Period. They’re not hoaxed. It’s not made up stories unless either of the party has had pending criminal records or convicted with a related crime.
Legit Online Shopping Failures
I tried to search a hashtag in Instagram #onlineshoppingfail and yep, the telltales of unhappy, dissatisfied, and morbid online shoppers. Their excitement that turned into a disaster. It’s actually happening and as a consumer, this is an issue we need to addressed and stopped. Exposing scammers, fake items, failed delivery and failed products are important. Yea, I get it! You got the money, so what? This is for ordinary people who worked their ass off just to save that amount. Just as the world has had their fair share of online shopping horrors, the Philippines is no exemption.
The rise of online shopping in the Philippines flourished in recent years. Two of the giant online shopping companies in the Philippines are battling it out for the online shopping supremacy. To start off, Lazada is one of the actual pioneers of the online shopping industry. Thanks to this company, the online shopping industry had shown potential and Filipinos are just as busy and hardworking as our international neighbors. Reigned for 3 years until the existence of Shopee came head to head against Lazada. For your information, both Lazada and Shopee are primarily a Singapore-based e-commerce platform.
Launched in 2012, Lazada is the number-one online shopping and selling destination in Southeast Asia – present in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. As the pioneer of the eCommerce ecosystem in Southeast Asia, Lazada has 155,000 sellers and 3,000 brands serving 560 million consumers in the region through its marketplace platform, supported by a wide range of tailored marketing, data and service solutions. With 300 million SKUs available, Lazada offers the widest range of products in categories from consumer electronics to household goods, toys, fashion, sports equipment, and groceries. Focused on delivering an excellent customer experience, it offers multiple payment methods including cash-on-delivery, comprehensive customer care, and hassle-free returns through its own first and last-mile delivery arm supported by approximately 100 logistics partners. Lazada Group is majority-owned by Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE: BABA). HERE
Type of business
27 March 2012; 7 years ago
Alexander Samwer, Marc Samwer, Oliver Samwer
Peng Lei (Executive Chairwoman) Pierre Poignant (CEO)
36,775 (September 2018)
Shopee is a Singaporean e-commerce platform headquartered under the Sea Group (previously known as Garena), which was founded in 2009 by Forrest Li. Shopee first launched in Singapore in 2015, and since expanded its reach to Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. It serves users in Southeast Asia and Taiwan to buy and sell products online. Due to the mobile and social element built within the concept, Shopee was described as one of the “5 disruptive e-commerce startups we saw in 2015” by Tech In Asia. HERE
Type of site
English Indonesian Japanese Korean Thai Chinese Vietnamese Tagalog
2015; 4 years ago
5 Science Park Drive, Shopee Building, Singapore 118265
Lazada has its own share of product lines. Being ahead of the online shopping industry in the Philippines compared to Shopee, they have a robust selection of both generic and branded items through LazMall or Lazada Mall. These branded items are also offering discounts where some are Lazada’s exclusive deals.
That being said, having some of the branded names in the industry is a one-point feat against its competitor. However, not everyone came to these online shops to look for branded names. Despite that those are legit brands, it also reflects the prices of their items. Believe it or not, most of the shoppers aren’t even interested in these branded items.
Some are sellers that venture into online business. These sellers bring their products under Lazada or Shopee. So technically, these two companies are just mediums benefitting from these sellers’ products. Now, what’s the edge of Shopee against Lazada? Despite that Lazada came out first and they have branded items under their belt, Shopee has managed to exceed the number of products that Lazada is selling. That was their greatest feat considering that they are younger than Lazada.
They don’t have specific categories for branded items but Shopee has legit sellers that also offer branded items. It just so happened that the categories of Shopee are more generic, unorganized and they don’t have dedicated stores for branded items, unlike Lazada. They have Celebrity Club, but I wouldn’t consider it as brands but it’s more of a celebrity endorsing or celebrity own product selling. It may be also because Shopee might have a loose business system and they just accept any sellers.
Unlike Lazada who probably has stricter guidelines limiting the same products. And just as I previously mentioned, the online shopper’s generally don’t care about the brand as long as they liked it and the product isn’t so bad.
Price: Lazada Vs Shopee
This is probably the major determining factor for some. But honestly, the prices of both Lazada and Shopee are almost the same or the marginal difference is too small to notice the difference. Unless if it’s a branded item. And the real reason is, it’s upon the sellers’ discretion of the amount they will incur. Lazada and Shopee don’t care about how these sellers are making their price list. However, there is a major factor why despite their prices are the same, yet, in terms of overall pricing one company doesn’t make the cut.
Winner: Both Overall Pricing Winner: Lazada
Shipping and Delivery: Lazada Vs Shopee
This is the major factor why Lazada stood out as the overall pricing winner. Why? Because of the delivery charge. These two don’t offer the same delivery charge. It’s worth noting that the base price of the products of these two are almost the same, and it’s solely dependent on the seller’s pricing. However, Shopee charges more than Lazada. The minimum delivery charge of Lazada is 50php compared to Shopee’s 100php minimum. So, despite that, the base product prices are the same, as a consumer which will you prefer? Of course, I would choose the low delivery charge any time of the day.
The delivery schedule is almost the same. But somehow, Lazada could make it by 2 days depending on the product you ordered. I’m saying this out of the experience.
Edited: It has been a year since I wrote this article and there has been a great change when it comes to the shipping fees. Lazada removed their based-line shipping fee of P50. It will now depend on the weight of the product the same as what Shopee does.
Quality: Lazada Vs Shopee
This is something sort of a case to case basis if there are irregularities. Since most of their generic products are made from China, so you wouldn’t expect more or more disappointment. I am not against China products btw, as I do have products that I am using that are shipped from China. Just a clarification. There are incidents that even in countries like the United States and China have failed in the product quality of their items.
Service: Lazada Vs Shopee
This is now about the part I mentioned earlier. I experienced bad service thrice in Shopee that I never experienced in Lazada. It’s about missing items. I can definitely justify this based on my personal experiences that sellers in Shopee are twice as bad as in Lazada. And they suck in service as much as the sellers in Lazada. As of this writing, I have an on-going dispute case against one of Shopee’s seller in China. The bad part is, I am their regular customer. The Shopee is handling it professionally but still, bad service is a bad service. I don’t tolerate bad service.
I added something that I just encountered recently with Lazada when I opened an online store. This is not about the product but more of its service feature. This is only meh so don’t take this against Lazada. I’m not the type of getting calls randomly just to promote their seller hub. So, I hate it when Lazada will call me numerous times to announce something new or if they have promotions ahead of time. That is good for some seller, but I don’t personally like it. It’s just similar to going to a mall and this sales clerk keeps on bugging me. I will approach them if I need something.
If you are waiting for an important call, say job interviews, business-related calls ore meetings, you wouldn’t want a random number popping up in your screen and realizing it’s just the Lazada customer service. On the business side, that is marketing. but like I said for me it isn’t. Maybe Lazada should push for email marketing campaigns which they do while Shopee RARELY to never do, instead of calling the person. Or they should ask ahead of time if it’s okay to call for updates so the person should save the number.
Vouchers And Promotions: Lazada Vs Shopee
When it comes to promotion, the good about these two is that both of them are like actively interacting with one another. Both are implementing the same promotional stints whether it’s a 10/10, Christmas sale, New Year’s sale, end of the month sale, end of the year sale, Halloween Sale, Flash sales, and other sales you can think of. They are also offering Free Shipping for all the products worth 500php (this has changed) up ordered in the same seller and not generally as separate purchases from different sellers. They also have vouchers and discounts. But, again, what makes Lazada stand out is, it has promos and discounts in its branded items.
Live Selling: Lazada Vs Shopee
This is not a surprise as both platforms have their own way of engaging customers by allowing the sellers to sell via live streaming included inside the platform. They have their own ways of using this live selling feature to tease the customers who are often into online selling. With all the pandemics going on, these have been the avenues of some entrepreneurs that are affected by the pandemic.
Seller Hub: Lazada Vs Shopee
This is an addition as I just recently venture into online business. Creating an online shop in these platforms become common nowadays. With the pandemic that made everyone lose their jobs, WFH (Work from Home) or venture into online business. It’s inevitable that you wouldn’t encounter this in the Philippines. There are of course other platforms that you can use. There are Facebook Marketplace, Shopify, Etsy or even setting up an online store in your website (if you have one).
When it comes to setting an online store, there are two differiating factors between the two. Lazada created their stand-alone app dedicated for the Lazada Seller Hub, while Shopee’s Seller Hub is inside the Shopee app. If I want something simple an my smartphone isn’t cut with a high internal storage, Shopee has the advantage. The Lazada Seller app is battery and memory space consuming. When it comes to setting the app, Lazada requires your real DTI certificate and Business information whereas, you can easily set-up an online shop in Shopee.
For credibility’s sake, that is a good feature from Lazada. It allows legit sellers with the intent to sell and not some kind of a bogus seller or scam. This issue is rather a case to case basis, so it will not necessarily reflect the integrity of the shops. However, if you are to create your virtual shop now, you can’t with Lazada. You need your business to be registered with the DTI’s business number. That’s the advantage of Shopee; it will allow you to create your shop with ease. The downside is, you wouldn’t know whether the shops inside Shopee are legit.
Lazada: ⭐⭐⭐ Shopee: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ I don’t discourage you to use Lazada or Shopee. At the end of the day, it’s up to you whose service you are satisfied with, whose products cater to your preference, whose delivery is you comfortable and the list goes on. I for one, use these two online shopping companies. I go for Lazada for the same product I am using. And I also order in Shopee for the products I am using that aren’t found in Lazada. I use both of their seller platforms but I mostly update my shop in Shopee.
* 1 – 5 stars – 5 as the highest and 1 as the lowest
What are your online shopping horror stories? Let’s talk it out in the comment section.
Disclaimer: Neither Lazada nor Shopee paid me for doing this review.
It’s a dark theme with vampires, ghosts, Annabelle, Freddie, Sadako, and other bloody costumes inspired by famous horror movies. And everyone is prepping up for their make-ups and other horror effects for the coming Halloween. Thinking of attending such an event? Why not try out these Halloween costumes exclusive at Amazon to stand out in the crowd? Thinking of what creative ideas you will decorate for your house this Halloween? Well, we got you covered. However, be aware that these aren’t the Halloween costumes you would likely see every Halloween. Amazon Prime has recently released its Trending Halloween Bestsellers of 2019, so be sure to check out your Amazon Store.
1- Skeleton Jumpsuit
If you want to emanate the Coco vibe, you can definitely try out this skeleton jumpsuit. Amazon offers different color variants. Want the rainbow vibe? Go get it! Here
2- Peanut Butter And Jelly Set
Outrageous Halloween costumes for you and your hun. This is not your typical Halloween costume but the fun of wearing it with your partner is priceless. Here
“Haunt your course with these Halloween deals!” Here
3- Inflatable Unicorn Costume
Hello unicorn! The common mascot these days. Loving the rainbow color? I’m sure you will love this too. Here
4- Ayliss Zentai Unisex Costume
The vibe of this costume is simple but will definitely get anyone’s attention. Loving the black? So, go blacken yourself and feel the power of the shadow army. Here
Maybe Halloween is not for everyone. That’s how I see it.
It’s October again, but I can’t feel any excitement about the Halloween event. Well, we don’t have that tradition of trick or treating or the event itself. Somehow some of my readers could relate to this. I was born with a religious upbringing so that being said, I never had my fair share of ghost encounters or any paranormal events. However, despite the strong religious background even in my immediate family members and other relatives, some of them did have an encounter with these dead spirits. Unfortunately for me, well, Nah. I only had recollections of trying to mimic the spirit of the glass, improvised ouija board made out of paper, the spirit of the coin, ghost stories, and imitating other herbal doctors’ practices of calling spirit in a ritual.
Spirit Of The Glass, Coins And Ouija Boards
One of the typical ghost hunting adventures during Halloween season or during ghost-related conversations. My cousins and I tried this ghost-encountering activity just like how we watched it from Hollywood movies. Of course, we were young, we were imaginative and full of curiosity back then. Since we can’t provide ourselves with the board or plywood for that matter, we would improvise. I forgot who raised the use of paper so we go along with it. I don’t know the trick of how the glass is moving back then. My cousin who initiated to do some kind of copying the calling of the dead told us to lightly put our index finger on the edge of the glass and as we proceed to the passage the glass was actually moving. It’s a weird combination of fear, and the thrill of doing it despite that almost all of us don’t believe in such things.
“Haunt your course with these Halloween deals!” Here
Reminiscing your childhood is fun especially if you lived in the suburbs, had funny experiences, and had done weird stuff even silly things. Even until today, whenever we had a get-together gathering of my cousins and close relatives, we tend to bring up these silly topics. Back in the day, we always watch television and movies, and since many films were shown were mostly action, drama, cartoons, and horror, so you will end up watching it all. It’s funny how some of us had a habit of watching horror movies and then afterward, someone will be pranked or someone is afraid even going down the kitchen and toilet. On typical ghost story conversations, one of my cousins will tell that she/he saw a ghost, or he/she felt like someone moved past him/her, his/her spirit encounter and then all of us would have this goosebump feeling.
Imitating Herbalist Calling Rituals To Call The Dead
Remember the movies like Casper, Ghostbusters, Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, and The Blair Witch Project that started the “paranormal” trend? Those were the thing in the 90s. And every Halloween, expect to watch a movie marathon of either of these movies. Until Japanese-inspired horror movies came out and the likes of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings became a yearly movie release.
Watching these movies, you will adopt some of its witches or spell-binding practices so you will definitely do it during playtime with your young homies. Unless you never had that “adventurous kid” in you during your youth. We will also imitate some herbal doctor practices which are, by the way, famous practices in suburbs and countrysides. Although it’s a pagan practice and has no medical support, many devotees and followers will get help from them before going to the hospital. They believed that a spell was cast on them, mysticism or some sort of pricking voodoo doll and stuff. I watched how it was done when I went there a few times. I was a sickly lad during my youth so my grandma used to bring me to a herbal doctor or at the hospital. Would you believe that my nickname was even changed because the herbal doctor said that it is wrong in my nickname and some sort of negative vibes in it that is making me sickly? Well, later when my nickname was changed and sold for one piece of coin, there wasn’t any change and I was still the sickly old me. That was a pagan belief whatsoever.
Probably, the best-known herbal doctor practice in remote areas is the divination ritual, where after some sort of prayer and spirit casting, the herbalist will drop some melted candle waxes on the water, believed to have formed a shape. Afterward, the herbal doctor will diagnose his patient through the outcome of the melted wax, that a certain individual or an evil spirit has inflicted the patient with something. Creepy ei?
Halloween Is Not My Cup Of Tea
Just because I never had some ghost encounters or some evil spirit manifestations from supernatural entities doesn’t justify my belief that there is no such thing as this ghost existence and alike. I grew up knowing the Christian doctrines and the Bible, so I can definitely say that my faith and belief in God might have something to do with. Although I know for a fact that there are Christians that do encounter ghosts from an early age up until now. So, Halloween is not one of the seasons that I looked forward to. But I appreciate those little kids wearing Halloween costumes and trick or treating and even those costume parties during Halloween where people get to wear anyone they want to imitate, sort of similar to cosplaying.
How do you feel now that Halloween is weeks from now? Do you have your ghost encounters and other childhood Halloween beliefs? Tell us in the comment.
With much anticipation before the recently concluded Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) 2019, I had a great time when I went there last September 12, 2019. It actually ran from September 11 to 15, 2019. Every year, it is celebrated as a 5-day event. It’s a gathering of big and small-time publishers, big and amateur writers, published authors, and traditional and indie publications. And of course, the hoarding of the books of both local and international acclaimed authors by bookworms.
What’s so special about the recent MIBF 2019? Well, unfortunately, there is nothing new to the book fair based on previous articles and videos about it. The book sale, the publishers, the events such as book signings of various local authors, programs, and the same activities held every year are the same as last year, except that there are changes in exhibitors. And of course, it is my first time attending such an event.
If you are a student, you will definitely benefit from the various textbooks on sale. I have seen a few exhibitors who are selling school textbooks and college references. There are also other exhibitors who just don’t sell Science and Technology books, robotics, and Encyclopedias, but there are actual crafts and simple robots that were displayed to add an additional mood in the air. If you are into these kinds of things, you will appreciate those stalls and learn something from them.
Most of the books on sale are faith-based books. The likes of Philippine Christian Book Store (PCBS), CSM Publishing, OMF Bookshop, Philippine Bible Society (PBS), and other new Christian book stores that I am not familiar with. The presence of big names such as National Bookstore, Anvil Publishing, REX Bookstore, ABS-CBN Publishing, Fully Booked, Psicom, Our Daily Bread, and other familiar names in the industry.
As an indie author, I saw indie and small publishing houses like Booklat, Bookware, Lampara, 8Letters, Phoenix Publishing, and a lot more. There are also author booths that conducted book signing events such as the one I came across (it’s a separate article). However, I didn’t expect the presence of university publications like UP, UST, and FEU publication. The organizers also held programs with famous book personalities and media icons present and conducted a little workshop for writer aspirants. The schedule was posted on the wall so you will know what day are they coming. Unfortunately, I haven’t encountered any famous personality nor author that day. So sorry for me. 😅 If you are hungry, you don’t need to go out of the premises as there are food stalls on either corner and a roving food girl carries a trolley with local goodies, snacks, and beverages.
MY PERSONAL MIBF EXPERIENCE
It was dark and cloudy when I arrived. The rain is expected to fall at that time but luckily, it didn’t until I entered the SMX Convention. Although there are free entrance pass tickets available on the internet (you have to print them and show them at the entrance), I didn’t have time to do so. I just bought one at the actual event. It cost me 35 PHP, for the adult entrance while there is a variant of 20 PHP for the children.
You will be definitely fascinated by the plethora of books in front of you. The two floors of the SMX Convention were dedicated to the said event. There are children’s books for your kiddos and a few BTS merchandise for K-Pop fans present at the book fair. However, that fascination dwindled as I was disappointed with the outcome of the book fair. Since it was my first time, I was expecting that the household author books (I am mostly referring to self-help, business, and financial freedom book authors aside from fictional authors) will be on sale at a discounted or reasonable prices but to my dismay, it didn’t. That was my sole purpose on why I came there in the first place. Most of them are selling at regular prices or 20% discounts.
But to give light to this failed expectation, there are textbooks that can be bought at 10 PHP – 50 PHP depending on the textbook. Psicom books are also available from 69 PHP to 99 PHP and most of the faith-based books are sold at 100 PHP of 1 regular book of any topic or two small size books like devotionals. And ABS-CBN publications and other indie pubs are selling their books around the price of 150ish.
In general, it was a successful event despite that I only bought a few pieces. Not all of the books I intended to buy were there. It only means that despite that it is indeed a big book fair, you shouldn’t expect it to be grander and complete. Some people I knew in the industry met at the said event, aside from the fact that they met their favorite local authors. I will see if I will be as enthusiastic to attend next year’s MIBF as I was this year.
What are your thoughts about the recent event? Share us in the comments below.
Engaging. Generous. Fresh. These are the three words how I can described this published author I came across while I am at the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF) 2019 last Sept 12, 2019. Who wouldn’t go to his booth if you saw a “free book” signage on the top of the table? Funny, I became inquisitive and asked the woman next to me if it were actually free. And yes, it was.
I was quite amazed on how Mark was able to give away his first published books for free. I know I might be over reacting, but hey, this is 2019, there is no freebie nowadays! Especially in this destitute generation of illiterate millennials who have nothing to do but to play mobile games, instead of reading a book. With his genuine generosity of not just giving his book away but, he signed it for us who were there. So sweet of him to do that, really. Not every new authors would do that, if ever, it would end up in a raffle, in pieces of first 3 or five giveaways. That was utterly heroic, especially in the indie sectors where everyone is striving just to be published or give his or her contribution for the Philippine literature.
I was moved from that simple gesture, that is why, I am doing him an article for everyone to know. This is not just my simple way of acknowledging his deed, but in respect for all my fellow writers especially those authors who keep on pursuing their dreams despite many odds. He was pretty candid and smiling while talking to the ladies who were all-cheers and candidly waiting in the line. I got the chance to know this guy and did a little interview.
Since when did you know that you want to write? Mark: Actually, I started writing when my parents are still alive, both my father and mom. Actually, I dedicated it for them. As you can see in my book, you can see it from here, it’s to Mama and Papa. And what my mother said, “you started writing it, you have to finish it.” …Tinapos ko siya (I finished it) 7 years in the making. 3 years na writing, 3 years ‘yung processing ng editing (the processing of editing). Naghanap pa kami ng English native speakers. Sila ‘yung nag-edit. (We hired English native speakers. They did the editing)
So, based in 3 years, was it a hobby or a passion? Mark: I can say that it is both a hobby and a passion.
What is the book all about? Mark: It’s about love, mainly.
Why? Mark: Usually, I still have to work from another company. When I am going home, I started writing again, I could say weekly. It’s not everyday naman talaga na makakapagsulat ka (that you are able to write) … But ang contribution mainly ng mga kasama mo na gumawa ng book, sila, kumbaga, sila rin ang nakakatulong sa’yo. Kasi siguro masasabi ko na nasa more than 20 katao ang tumulong sa akin. (But the contribution mainly of my colleagues that helped me with the book, it’s like, they were there to help you out. I could say that more that 20 persons had helped me)
What particular love or what kind of love? Mark: I could say it as.. kasi meron kasing carnal love (because there is called a carnal love). Which is meron din siyang (it has) carnal love but more on filial love, parental love.
Why make it free, especially it is your first book signing? Mark: Book launching talaga siya (it is actually). So, para mai-promote namin o mai-market namin na ito may isang author natapos niya yung book after 7 years. Worth it naman ‘di ba? (So, for us to be able to promote or market that there is an author who was able to finished the book after 7 years. Worth it, right?)
What is your message to this generation, where reading has been almost forgotten? Mark: Hindi na nahihilig sa pagbabasa? Kasi ang generation kasi natin ngayon more on electronics. Although hindi naman natin dini-discourage na hindi magbasa sa electronics. Kasi para sa akin, marami akong nakita sa videos yung mga taong nahilig na sa technology meron sa kanila na brain dead….so kung physical book, walang masyadong risk. (Who were not into reading? Although we don’t discouraged that they shouldn’t read electronics. Our generation today is more on electronics. For me, I have seen many videos of those people addicted to the technology where some of them were brain dead.. so if it is a physical book, it is less risky)
What is your message for your fellow writers that haven’t published their book but they want to? Mark: Just keep up the good work. Ano talagang ituloy-tuloy mo lang. Kahit tumagal ka man as long as meron ka naman goal na tapusin siya. Kasi kung mag-stop ka, yung ideas na sinimulan mo magfe-fade away na yun. Tapos malay mo maganda pala ng ideya mo na ‘yun at hindi nalalaman ng mga tao? So para lang siyang naging oblivion, yung idea na ganon. Walang naka-discover na ganung idea. (Just continue what you are doing. Even though it could take years as long as you have set a goal to finish it. Because if you stop now, all your initial ideas will fade away. What if your idea is great and people didn’t recognize it? So it only became oblivion, that kind of idea. No one was able to discovered that idea)
Where can they buy your book after Mibf? Mark: After this ang mangyayari kasi, di ko pa masasabi kasi nagaapply-apply kami sa iba’t-ibang mga bookstores. May publisher na siya, Reyes Publishing. (After this what will happen is, I cannot discuss it yet because we are trying to apply in other bookstores. There is a publisher, Reyes Publishing)
After the interview, I took a photo with him (which I almost forgot.😅). It was kind of him to accept my short interview and of course my copy of signed free book of him. You can contact him only at his Facebook id: Mark Phillip Castillo.
It’s the time of the year again, and nope, I am not saying it’s Christmas even though we welcomed the month of September yesterday. September is the month where all the book worms, storytellers, authors and fans will gather for the much anticipated book fair of the year – The Manila International Book Fair 2019.
Held yearly, every 2nd week of September. It is a week long celebration of books, books and more books. It is also the gathering of amateur writers, published and famous authors all around the nation. Of course, house hold international names are present as many book enthusiasts will definitely hoard these books. Mibf is also the time where books across all genres will be on sale or under discounts, so you can now avail your most coveted series or trilogies that you weren’t able to buy when it was released last year or early this year.
Indie and big publishers will be present so you can have the opportunity to talk to them regarding how to publish your work or details on publishing and self-publishing if you are a writer and thinking on the either processes. And you can expect author celebs or high-profile book worms during the book fair. Also, see their latest additions of different activities, and booths that will run for the entire five days.
Whatever the reason why you are going, this is a celebration of the thousand years of acquiring knowledge gathered from facts, biographies, tombs and ancient documents of our ancestors – reading. So, let’s celebrate and go to the Manila International Book Fair at SMX Convention Center, Manila running from September 11 – 15, 2019 at 10 am onwards. Who knows, you wouldn’t just meet old acquaintances, or popular personalities, but your match made because of loving books. See you there!
If you started from the scratch, you will value everything, even the one with the least value. You will appreciate and understand how people got their way up the ladder of success. Starting from the scratch is better than not trying at all. And not trying at all because of the lack of support from the person you thought will help and understand you is toxic and negative in the relationship. Get rid of the negativities around you. If it is a person, cut your relationship with him/her especially if he/she isn’t helping you nor giving you even an ounce of support.
Success isn’t just about learning from the hard lessons in life and applying it, or the contentment of doing your passions in life. Success isn’t just about your networth or the level of achievements you have succeeded. Success is removing the negativities around you. Be it a person, a thing or a relationship. Remove the people in your life that hinders you. People that are making you feel inferior and a loser your entire life. People that are toxic and the source of your burdens.
Success is a formula of hardship, failure, sacrifice, mindset, action and loss. At one point, you have to sacrifice and lose something or someone in exchange. You have to remove the negativities and motivate yourself. That is why, not everyone are able to succeed because not everyone are willing to sacrifice. Unless you are born with a silver platter.
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
At some point in time, we lose track of where we are heading. We become indecisive. We feel lost. Uncertain. Disappointed. Defeated. We start to look for validation in this judgmental society. We start to worry and doubt. The beautiful picture of our future are now just a dream. Until such a time, we are unable to see our worth. We no longer able to distinguish ourselves as Christ ambassadors. We lose our identity in Christ.
This is the problem when we only focus with ourselves – self image; self interest; self glorification; self entitlement etc. When we only focus on what the world can serve us at our table. When we don’t know who we are in Christ. When our judgment misguides our faith. When our pride is hindering us from repentance. When our ego is being trampled upon because of humility or any God-given mission.
This is also the problem when other Christians corects us. We find it so offensive that we label them as ‘JUDGMENT’, instead of rebuking. Why? Because of our pride. Brethren, no one can correct you unless you humble yourself. To be able to do that, we must know how we clearly see Jesus in our life. We must accept that we are sinners; that we need Christ or His ambassador to lead us to Him. God uses His word, sometimes circumstances, if not people to correct us. He uses our fellow brethren to rebuke us, because we aren’t perfect. We fall and commit mistakes, just like the imperfect world. Many believers had whitewashed, if not interchanged the definition between when is it considered rebuke from when is it considered as judging.
Rebuke is synonymous to correction. Generally this is the meaning of rebuke in the dictionary: REBUKE – to express sharp, stern disapproval of; reprove; reprimand; harsh criticism
Many biblical passages has emphasized how a believer rebukes his fellow believers.
Verses to Ponder:
Psalm 141: 5.Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness; let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it, for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers.
Proverbs 9: 8.Do not rebuke mockers or they will hate you; rebuke the wise and they will love you.
Proverbs 27: 5.Better is open rebuke than hidden love.
Rebukes are forms of criticisms to biblically CORRECT someone or something by means of reprimand in a good biblical manner without malice and prejudice. It doesn’t have any hidden intentions nor tolerates a wrong doing, but rebuke aims to discipline a brother. Now, the guidelines of rebuking a brother should be based in the biblical doctrines that Jesus himself, and all the disciples taught in the bible.
2 Timothy 3:16. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
Whereas, judging is more of a legal biblical matter that comes with consequences. First, let us know the general definition of judging:
JUDGE– pass legal judgment on; pass sentence (on a person); to form a judgment or opinion of; decide upon critically; conclude about or assess; estimate
In the bible, judging is somewhat a task done ONLY by a higher ranking officials, if not the source, our Creator which is God. A penalty comes after a judgment. Unfortunately, believers and non-believers are twisting it based on what they deemed favorable to them. Nowadays, judging is a conclusion without trial. Judging is imposing someone’s opinion without biblical facts. That is the greatest differentiation between the two.
Verses to Ponder:
Leviticus 19: 15."'Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.
Deuteronomy 19: 18.The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against a fellow Israelite
Psalm 98: 9.let them sing before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.
Matthew 7: 1-2."Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
The verses in Matthew are becoming the standard logical verses of both believers and non-believers just to prove that it is right to judge. When in fact, it was misinterpreted and twisted just to justify themselves to those who opposes their ideals. Having said that, it biblically emphasizes that you cannot judge a believer based in a non-believer standard, and so is judging a non-believer based in a believer standard. It means, when you want to judge a believer, it should be according in the bible, thus, you shouldn’t judge a non-believer because you don’t share the same faith and standard.
In reality, even believer fails to understand it. Many preachers of different religions are using the word of God to judge a person, a government or an entire nation. Israelites were judged according to the Laws of Moses which includes the Ten Commandments. Israelites are God’s chosen people. But because of Jesus through the teachings of Paul that is why even Gentiles like us can now come to God.
Before you open your mouth, please examine yourself, especially your motives.
Before you open your mouth, please examine yourself, especially your motives. There are far too many wars and personal battles that every people are encountering each day. And your words once you uttered it, could make it worst. If it doesn’t encourage or edify a person or the church, do not say it. If you really cared, then go to the room and tell that only to the person involved. Or tell it directly to the head pastor and the ministers. Before you say a word, pray so that the person will be wise to accept the rebuke, and that it would not turn into judgment.
Remember, we are created after God’s own image. So, to be able to clearly see ourselves, our intentions, what to speak. To be able to know who we are, our purpose, our future — first thing is we need to know our relationship with God. And then, if you accepted Him as your Lord and Saviour over your life; repented from all of your sins; worked in His ministry; do His will and share the gospel, you will clearly not just correctly see yourself that shares the same identity with Christ. But God will give you wisdom to be wise in all things and actions. You are already a citizen of heaven — our eternal destination. God bless you!