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I got my deleted files back!

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I can’t believe it! The unthinkable just happened (for the likes of me, it is unthinkable, LOL!!!)…


Two days ago, I wrote about the two mischances I experienced in Mt. Maquiling. One of them is accidentally deleting all the photos (including the video below) that I took using my newly bought Sony Cyber-Shot® Digital Camera W220. I thought I lost them all. But when two of my officemates —both computer geeks— heard of my ordeal, they thought that it was no problem at all.

They told me something that I’ve never heard of before: there are actually free softwares hanging around the netosphere which can retrieve deleted files from a computer or from digital cameras! They told me to google for it. And so I did. And voila! I found SnapFiles ®! The said software helps recover deleted files from one’s hard drive, from memory cards, and even from formatted or damaged drives!

SnapFiles is a godsend for the click-happy! And speaking of godsend, I’d like to thank my Hubwoo homies Eduardo “Dong” Gamallo and Marvin Duñgao for their assistance. =)

Meanwhile, before posting the photos, let me first show you this video (retrieved by SnapFiles ®!) which we took of ourselves (moi, Arnaldo, Louren, and Clinton of Hubwoo Manila) in the fabled boiling mudsprings of Mt. Maquiling (very near UP Los Baños)!

One problem down. One more to go…

…to finally conquer that mountain!

Me vs Mt. Maquíling: 0-2

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Yesterday, Arnaldo, I, and two of our officemates had a fun climb in Mt. Maquíling (using the famous and safer University of the Philippines Los Baños trail). It was my second try to scale its heights. My first one two years ago was a failure. And so was yesterday’s hike; we miscalculated the trip it would take us to Peak Two, the mountain’s highest point.

Adding insult to injury, all the photos I took of our climb were accidentally deleted! It still puzzles me up to now how it happened (I haven’t recovered yet from the shock). Fortunately, Arnaldo took his camera along. But those photos I took (including two short videos in the spectacular boiling Mud Springs) were numerous and more defined. I’m so frustrated I could’t even write further. =(

Photographs are memories, dammit…

An important lesson I’d like to share: NEVER DELETE UNWANTED PHOTOS FROM YOUR DIGITAL CAMERA. Start deleting only when they are all uploaded into your PCs.

Hit it baby, one more time: DAMMIT!

Photo taken last 2008 in Mt. Maquíling's Sto. Tomás trail (Batangas).

I’ll blog about this second Maquíling hike once I get the photos from Arnaldo. And once I have recovered from sheer disappointment. =(

A digital camera this Christmas — my latest toy!

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At long last, I can now fulfill my travels and blogging with much photography ease… and splendor!

My wife recently purchased a digital camera –our first digital camera, wouldja believe that?!– as a Christmas gift for the whole family. It’s a silver-colored Sony Cyber-Shot® Digital Camera W220 with a 12.1 megapixel resolution coupled to a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar branded 4x optical zoom lens! At last, I won’t have to rely on my wife’s ageing Motorola RAZR V3i clamshell mobile camera phone which she bought more than three years ago. Since 2007, I’ve been using her Motorola cellphone in taking pictures and recording videos for ALAS FILIPINAS, SKIRMISHER, and for my social networking accounts: YouTube, Friendster, and more recently, the phenomenon known as Facebook. The quality of the photos aren’t that good. Understandable, since RAZR V3i is just a cellphone (with just 1.23 megapixels). Through the years, however, the quality deteriorated mainly because of overuse (and perhaps mishandling every now and then). Nowadays, the phone always has a motion blur (this can be observed in many of my photos in Facebook). And for a photographer, you really can’t rely on such a device.

We do have another camera, but it’s a classic one which requires film — definitely a no-no for a traveling blogger/historian. I can’t always have the films developed and the pictures scanned. That’s too cumbersome.

Our Sony Cyber-Shot® may not be as expensive nor as “techie” as what other people have. But it doesn’t really matter. As long as it has all the features that I need, then that is enough. Now, ALAS FILIPINAS and this website will have more focus, more vibrant colors, and more quality. And less of me, hehe!

Tomorrow, if conditions will permit me, I’ll resume my traveling to expose our true Filipino Identity which is extant in old Philippine towns. I’ll start where I currently live — San Pedro Tunasán, La Laguna.

FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES gets a facelift: preparing for 2010!

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I just need a change, hehehe!

Below is how this website used to look like (click on the small box to enlarge):

WordPress is simply amazing!

Off with the old (Ambiru), on with the new (K2-lite) this coming 2010! =)


Happy 15th birthday to my dear sister Jessica! May you have more happy birthdays to come! And stay as youthful and as beautiful as your Kuya Pepe, hehehe!

Jessica S. Alas

A video guide to our country’s first ever automated elections (that’s next year already)

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What about the computer illiterate? The blind? The senior citizens? Those who do not speak nor understand English (I believe more than half of registered voters do not for the simple fact that the Philippines is not the world’s third largest English-speaking nation)? Would they appreciate nor comprehend this technology? Would this be of any help at all for the electorate?

Quick Guide to the Automated Elections @ Yahoo! Video

The Internet celebrates its 40th anniversary today!

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Happy 40th birthday to man’s greatest –and weirdest– invention: the Internet!!!

Birth of the Internet

Commemorative plaque of the birth of the Internet at the Leland Stanford Junior University.

It would already be superfluous if I write about the Internet’s history or its accomplishments. All I could write about is a supposition: what would’ve happened to modern Pinoy pop culture without the Internet?

There would have been no social networking like Friendster or Facebook or Multiply; there would have been no YouTube and the like (YouPorn?).

There would’ve been no MP3s and CD burning and music piracy (which is actually a good scenario).

The inmates of the Cebú Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (see the famous viral video below) would have remained dancing among themselves within the confines of their prison grounds and not for the world stage.

Charice Pempengco and Arnel Pineda would’ve been total unknowns wherever they go (putting famous rock band Journey on a neverending –you got that right– journey for a fitting vocalist).

Could we even survive without sex scandals?! Character actress and medical doctor Maricar Reyes would’ve remained a b!tc# behind the scenes, and fellow doctor Hayden Kho would’ve remained scotfree using hidden videos to record his sexual trysts with some of the hottest babes in town (it would’ve thus been a bane to the local porn industry, LOL!!!). Nothing more can be said or written about Katrina Halili.

Articles and photos for the hugely popular Flesh Asia Daily 3.0 would’ve been distributed in pamphlets, as if they’re leftist literature, LOL!!!

Of course, who can ever forget Mark Lápid’s obnoxious “saging lang ang may puso” movie clip?

Willie Revillamé would’ve remained verbally unstoppable and more arrogant without the online petition to oust him from multimedia giant ABS-CBN.

And then we also have some acts of journalism/heroism, such as the recent controversy between Blog ni Ella and Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Esperanza Cabral.

And I just wonder what Manolo Quezon III (a prolific blogger and political analyst) would do with the extra hours that will be left behind when going online remained but just a fevered dream.

And the worse thing that could ever happen without the Internet: there would been no FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES and no ALAS FILIPINAS.

Indeed, without the internet, life could have been a total bore to computer geeks.

But this doesn’t mean that the Internet’s nonexistence would’ve made life miserable. Of course not. Just as the best things in life are free, the best literature ever written –be it dissertations or novels or historical literature– are still those that required painstaking research. Something that doesn’t require a click of the mouse, something that will require you to literally turn pages from thick tomes.

Information back then may not be as fast and readily available compared to what the internet can do. But the conditions and the environment of long time ago paved the way for the conceptualization and eventual creation of the Internet.

See you in the next 40 years, Mr. Internet!

Just don’t take over our minds.

What if my brain's connected to the Internet through wires? Man! I'd be swishing inside your servers! That would be awesome!

Good Procurement, Good Governance — Our Last Resort Against Corruption

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Use eProcurement to curb corruption once and for all!

Use eProcurement to curb corruption once and for all!

This is already old news, but it’s still worthy reading:

DepEd suspends order of noodles

MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Education has suspended its purchase of P427 million worth of instant noodles from a supplier amid allegations raised in a Senate hearing that the food items were overpriced and lacked nutritive value.

Education Secretary Jesli Lapus also informed Senator Mar Roxas, chair of the education committee, in a May 11 letter that he has also ordered a review of the department’s school feeding program.

The Roxas committee is leading the Senate inquiry into the allegedly overpriced instant noodles fortified with “malunggay” (Moringa sp.) and eggs that Jeverps Manufacturing Corp. has been supplying the DepEd.

Lapus said the review of the school feeding program would be conducted with the help of independent experts “with the objective of resolving questions such as nutritional content, cost-effectiveness and efficiency of field implementation.” The review is supposed to finish by next month.

Saying he was glad that Lapus had suspended the signing of the contract with Jeverps, Roxas on Tuesday announced that his committee would defer the inquiry into the controversy but would monitor the review of the school feeding program.

Roxas said the two hearings showed that the Jeverps instant noodles priced at P22 for each 100-gram packet was overpriced when compared to other noodles in the market.

He said Nestlé and Universal Robina Corp. had testified that their instant noodles cost P3.50 per pack, not including the costs for flavoring, enhancements and packaging.

At the hearing, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile asked how Jeverps would be able to get its supply of malunggay to produce 19 million instant noodle packs for the DepEd.

“I am not aware of any large-scale production of malunggay,” Enrile said.

Enrile later told reporters he doubted whether Jeverps had a supplier of malunggay.

“It casts doubt on the quality of the products being marketed with malunggay content,” Enrile said.

Roxas said he found it puzzling that the big noodle makers like Nestlé and Universal Robina Corp. were not aware of the DepEd’s bidding of contracts.

URC officials said they were invited by the DepEd to bid for its school feeding program only once in 2007. Nestlé officials said they did not get any invitation at all.

DepEd officials said the bidding for the noodle-supply contract was published in the newspapers.

It was learned at the hearing that Jeverps has been paid more than P750 million as a supplier of the DepEd’s Food for School Program for 800,000 first-grade and pre-school students in the past few years. (from

Since joining the eProcurement industry last January, I realized that eProcurement is the best solution to solve bad procurement practices in the Philippines.

Transprocure‘s Charlie Villaseñor, Asia’s eProcurement guru, is correct: with good procurement comes good governance. And since that is not the case with the Philippine government (as can be gleaned from the above report), it forced an angry military officer to rebel against it. That military officer is Antonio Trillanes IV who is now a detained Senator. Trillanes was a former procurement officer of the Naval Training and Education Command of the Philippine Navy. In that position, he successfully reformed his institution’s procurement system resulting to a savings of more than four million pesos. In that same position, he was able to witness first hand the massive corruption in the Philippine Navy’s procurement system — and that was just the tip of the presidential iceberg. Trillanes was against forces more powerful than him, but that didn’t stop him to rise up in arms. The rest is Oakwood history.

eProcurement enhances and promotes transparency in government contracts and biddings. According to David Magno, a Project Manager for Hubwoo, there has been prevailing news that the government had already implemented an eProcurement system throughout its bureaucracy. But suppliers got discontented over the system’s ineffective process, thus ending eProcurement’s spur of the moment in our government around four years ago. Hopefully, our current crop of presidential hopefuls (from Gilbert Teodoro to Noynoy Aquino III) will include in their program of government ways to properly and strictly deploy and implement eProcurement technology not only in all government departments but in all major businesses as well. This will help not only in curbing corruption, it will also help institutions in garnering massive financial savings — a potential boon for our economy. San Miguel Corporation is one best example.

Hubwoo‘s suite of solutions should be brought and implemented here in the Philippines. Although Hubwoo started only a decade ago, it is meticulously handled by management experts who are well-versed, experienced, and thoroughly exposed in the world of eProcurement. Furthermore, Hubwoo provides a fully integrated suite of tools and services, delivered as-a-service to companies. Impressively, it also boasts of the first SAP® global BPO partnership dedicated solely to procurement Right now, the French-based company is holding various roadshow events in the US and Europe to help explain more what its business is all about. Hopefully, it would be able to do the same here in Asia, ESPECIALLY the Philippines.

If Hubwoo won’t be able to solve the problem of corruption in our government’s and businesses’ procurement processes, THEN NOTHING WILL.

Related links:

eProcurement in the Philippines
Law review to improve e-procurement efficiency in Philippines


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