I WON! I am so proud and honored to share that Mindanaoan.com won the award for Digital Storytelling: Best Blog Post during the milestone year of the Globe Media Excellence Awards! On March 31, 2023 in Cebu City, the Globe Group named the winners of GMEA @10, which honors exceptional reporting across platforms in both Visayas and Mindanao.
In its milestone year, GMEA embraced the theme #OneDigitalNation, which celebrated stories that captured the impact of Globe-led innovations that uplift lives with compassion, care, and kindness.
For the Best Blog Post award, Maria Irene Aserios a.k.a. Mindanaoan won!
Days before the awarding ceremony, Globe announced the list of finalists. I was one of the 3 finalists for Best Blog Post (Mindanao). And then last March 31 in Cebu, I was decla...
I'm very excited and humbled to share that I have been elected as the NEW PRESIDENT of the Cagayan de Oro Bloggers Network or CDO Bloggers, a 14-year old organization (yep, OG!) that's home to many award-winning and internationally-recognized bloggers, vloggers, influencers, social media practitioners and content creators.
The election of officers/annual general membership meeting/Christmas party was held at The Cistern, Xavier Sports and Country Club, Masterson Avenue, Cagayan de Oro. I recommend the venue for small and intimate events, by the way!
Here's the list of the 2023 CDO Bloggers Officers:
President - Maria Irene Aserios of Mindanaoan.com - Mindanaoan Meets World
VP for Membership - Chen Siwagan of Laag & More w/ Awesome ChenS
VP for Events - Irene Dayo of...
I've been there. And I'm still actually here. The whole wide, tricky world of budgeting. It's a task that we don't necessarily want to do but HAVE to do.
However, you might be wondering - why do we really need to have a budget? Shouldn't we just take it day by day or enjoy life to the fullest without worrying about money? If only, right?
First off, we don't want to fall into the scary trap of overspending and massive debt. I personally know some folks who prefer to just get by. For me, however, I prefer to have savings, some sense of financial security for the future and be able to know what I earn and what I can only spend.
Let me tell you right now, however, that budgeting may sound simple but it's not necessarily easy. If you're not used to doing this, you might feel overwhe...
It was an invitation for a TV interview I simply couldn't resist. Just recently, I was interviewed for a segment of "At Home with GMA Regional TV," a morning TV show aired all over Mindanao, Philippines!
I shared a bit about my blogging journey, how and why I started, the places I've been to around the world (I've visited Japan, the two Koreas, Taiwan, Singapore, Hongkong, Malaysia, the United States of America and more), some tips on how to become a responsible social media user and tips for folks who want to start their own blogs/vlogs/podcast etc.
I also shared a bit of good news - I landed on the 4th spot on the Top 60 New York Lifestyle Blogs, Influencers and Websites 2021!
The interview was aired on:
GMA TV 5 Davao, GMA TV 35 Cagayan de Oro, GMA TV 8 General Santos Cit...
In a previous blog post, I mentioned that I am in the market for a new vehicle and currently weighing options. Aside from budget, comfort level and features, I thought I also needed a vehicle that could fit my busy and adventure-filled lifestyle but can also be formal and practical, preferably one that didn’t really require further modifications.
See, I may be a girl but more often than not, I’m not that girly-girl, if you know what I mean. I have my happy-in-a-dress days but I have more makeup-free, slippers-only, super comfortable clothes on days. So, to me, that’s a challenge.
Is there a vehicle out there for someone who loves to travel and conquer many adventures but who also loves to take the family, friends and loved ones for fun escapades, lead community projects, volu...
Ever since this whole pandemic started, I've led a couple of donation drives, joined information campaigns and contributed to many fundraising efforts. Anybody who really knows me can attest that I'm not exactly the type who likes to post about those but I want to make an exception this time.
Firstly, because I am hoping that more people will be inspired. Secondly, because our fight against this global health crisis is far from over and the world needs more volunteers. Thirdly, because this project is really simple, doable and very budget-friendly --- not to mention fun to do!
Let me tell you about earsavers. Earsavers protect the ears from chafing or developing skin irritation while you wear a face mask. You can also wear earsavers so the ear loops don't tug your ears and eventual...
I'm in my very early 40's and I haven't seen my "original" hair color in a very long time. By that, I mean I've been coloring my hair often for many years now --- turning it blonde, ash gray, pink, red and purple! Currently, my hair is platinum blonde mixed with gray. You can see some of my current photos on my Instagram.
Anyway, the reason why I mentioned my age is because, as a professional publicist, social media specialist and blogger, I always receive comments that my hair should also "look" professional. I often think that what they probably meant was that my hair should be the ubiquitous black or brown. Maybe the most extreme would be to have highlights and that's about it. Nothing crazy like pink hair!
Alas, I'm not one who conforms just so I can fit in. I have long conclud...
Hello again from New York City! Winter’s over and it’s technically spring but the weather’s still biting cold! Interestingly (or odd, depending on how you look at it) enough, I like this kind of weather. My hands are freezing, yes, but my makeup lasts longer! (It’s a girl thing.) Seriously, I think spring is a lovely season and I can’t wait to explore the Big Apple some more.
Anyway, I’m celebrating my birthday this week (woo hoo!) and as much as I want to consider myself a millenial, I no longer am. Which is totally fine, by the way. Youth is all but a state of mind! Hence, armed with a little more confidence because I’m, ahem ahem, a teensy weensy bit older, I thought of sharing a few quick thoughts on what millenials should learn to do right about now. With the millenials’ passion to...
Hello! I finally have the time to just sit down and blog! It's true - this surely is the city that never sleeps. I'm talking about New York City, USA! Yup, I'M BACKKK!!! Can you tell how excited I am? No? Maybe that's because I'm freaking freezing my a** off LOL :D
I arrived here in New York about two days before a big blizzard. Just when I thought winter season was about to close and spring was about to come! I guess winter just wanted to leave with a bang, eh? Although it wasn't my first time to encounter snow, it was my first time to be in the middle of a raging blizzard.
But deadma sa blizzard --- pose kung pose! :D
Before I inundate you with my America-related blog posts, allow me to share with you my vlog about my flight from Cebu to Incheon (South Korea) and finally to ...
I’m pretty sure you’ve heard all the horror stories. Despite bringing land titles, “show money,” proof of vehicle ownership, credit cards, bank statements, letters of financial support from relatives overseas and even wearing tons of jewelry, numerous U.S. visa applicants still got denied. Even well-traveled folks still didn’t get that seemingly elusive U.S. visa. You may have even read or heard testimonies that some American consuls are too strict, don’t listen to your explanations or don’t even bother to check your other credentials and proofs that you can sustain your trip to the USA.
I’m sure that those horror stories are the very reasons why you’re either scared or hesitant to apply for a B1/B2 tourist visa. Okay, let me tell you from the get-go: the entire process is VERY SIMPLE, ...
I'll make this short and sweet :) I'm pretty inspired to vlog (video blog) these days because I'm off to a big trip real soon and I plan to take lots of videos while I'm there. If things go as planned, I will be away for quite a while. Besides, I feel that vlogging can help hone my skills, if any LOL.
Anyway, it would really be awesome if you could join me during my big trip by following my Mindanaoan YouTube Channel. I would be so thrilled to see your comments and hear from all of you so please, please subscribe to my YouTube channel :)
To really get you inspired to subscribe right now (YAY), I'd like to hold a quick and easy giveaway! I have 8 prizes in store for you. Lookie:
Happy with what you saw? I have totes bought in Singapore, coin purses bought in...
We all know that the key to a real, budget-friendly trip is cheap airfare. Once you snag a good deal on airfare, you will then have a fairly good idea of how much the rest of your budget will be. After all, it’s pretty easy to scour for budget accommodation, reasonably priced food and public transportation. Airfare is the pretty tricky aspect to consider when planning a trip.
Let me share with you some of my personal tips on how to find cheap airfare. I practise these very effective methods (and this is why I have lots of domestic and international trips). Do read and please let me know if you find these tips useful as well.
Purchase tickets as early as possible. Promo fares are usually offered more than 6 months (even a year prior) before the allowed travel period. You can book ...
I'm too excited not to share this! Four years ago, I met Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, a Malaysian and the first ever ASEAN astronaut. I met him through the former Malaysian Ambassador to the Philippines, Dato Seri Dr. Ibrahim Saad, and his lovely wife, Dato Zainab Kader.
Apart from being the first ever ASEAN cosmonaut (he was selected from a whopping 11,435 candidates!), Dato Sheikh is also an orthopaedic surgeon, motivational speaker, model, endorser (yes, he is THAT amazing) and proud family man. (Yes, yes, I can hear the millions of hearts breaking right now haha) When I first met him, though, he was still single.
Do I really need to tell you why tens of thousands of ladies find him charming?
Anyway, I just want to share that today, after 4 long years, we finally got reconn...
These days, traveling can be such a pain. Not only do you have to deal with flight delays, monster traffic to and fro the airport and even bungled up hotel bookings, you also need to figure out how you can keep yourself entertained during those long, tiresome waiting periods. Are there ways to make travels in the Philippines a little more relaxed, efficient and productive, you wonder?
As a frequent traveler, I've had my fair share of traveling woes. Allow me to share 3 tips, which I personally abide by, on how to make your trips in the Philippines bearable and even fun!
Be mindful of what and how you pack
I'm not just talking about rolling your clothes instead of folding them to save space (I highly recommend this, by the way) but also learning how to pack as light and as complete...
It's probably not just mere coincidence that my first ever fun run in my entire life was dubbed "Freedom Run 2015." In a way, me joining Freedom Run CDO 2015 does depict freedom --- freedom or breaking free from taking my health for granted, from thinking that crash and fancy diets work and even from a silly plan to just save up and undergo lipo procedures in the future.
This may even sound curious but after years of promoting running events on a few of my blogs, it was only this time that I've finally, FINALLY resolved to join one. Of course, my recent interest in doing weights, going to the gym and doing CrossFit has something to do with this, too.
So, yes, Freedom Run 2015 CDO really did, in many ways than one, mean freedom for me and my "new lease in life."
Through the gen...
When I was asked if I wanted to experience Labor Day 2015 in Boracay Island (no less), of course my answer was a resounding YES! Although it wasn’t my first time in an island recognized as one of the world’s finest, it was my first LaBoracay trip and the mere idea of partying with a sea of people piqued my curiosity. And so, armed with my travel essentials, I took two plane rides, a bus ride and a boat outrigger ride to reach the famed Boracay.
The agenda was very simple: take over summer! Enjoy the island and what it brings! I was given 3 days to basically immerse myself in the excitement of it all - to a hilt!
However, I faced quite a predicament: where and how to begin? Let me tell you, it wasn’t difficult to find things to do. What was difficult was how to do as many things a...
I finally did it! I jumped off the 8-storey Dahilayan Skyjump Base Jump Tower, the Philippines' tallest parajump platform. I did this just a few days before my birthday this month of April and it was one of the most exhilarating things I ever did!
I previously wrote about the Dahilayan Skytower Base Jump and that post has been shared over 10,000 times on Facebook alone. You might want to read that :)
The Dahilayan Skyjump is the latest attraction at Dahilayan Adventure Park, located at Barangay Dahilayan, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon. The park is about an hour away from Cagayan de Oro city proper.
When you arrive at the park, look for the ticket station on your right. If you only want to do the Skyjump, price is Php 400. If you'll buy passes to other rides, the Skyjump fee will only t...
I was invited to the first birthday party of Pele Iñigo Magdangal Escueta, the firstborn of celebrity couple Jolina Magdangal and Mark Escueta. I felt truly honored and happy to be there to witness Pele's very special day.
It was a Saturday and I left Makati about half an hour before the scheduled start of the party, which was held in Quezon City. Boy, was I really no longer used to Manila traffic! My GrabTaxi ride took me about 50 minutes to reach QC and then when I reached the gate, the guards took about 20 minutes to verify if I was indeed invited :P Good thing I brought the invitation but that still didn't convince the guards haha! I even had to call Rivermaya's manager Raymond to tell him about the situation. It was all cool, though. The cab driver was nice and he was so excited to...
Note: This was published on Mindanao Gold Star Daily newspaper last March 6, 2015
I have just been re-elected as the Vice President for External Affairs of the CDO Bloggers, Inc., a non-profit, SEC-registered group composed of bloggers, online workers and social media practitioners that does not only promote the city and other parts of Northern Mindanao but also the responsible use of the Internet. I’m pretty excited with our group’s upcoming projects including a school tour where we aim to teach kids Internet etiquette, social media activism and online volunteerism as well as blog workshops where attendees can learn how to create their own blogs, draw maximum traffic for their websites and even earn online. And with the elections coming up, we also plan to use our own online mechanisms...
It is with utmost humility that I announce that Mindanaoan.com has just been declared as a "Top CDO Blog" in the recently concluded 2014 ICT Awards held at the Activity Center, Centrio Mall, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines.
The ICT Awards, organized by the CDO ICT Business Council, Cagayan de Oro's main information and communications technology organization, recognizes websites, individuals and organizations involved in the city's IT industry.
The citation reads: "The 2014 ICT Awards, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, National Telecommunications and Communications, Department of Science and Technology - ICTO and the City Government of Cagayan de Oro, presents this Top CDO Blog Award to www.Mindanaoan.com for the creation and maintenance of an exceptional b...
After visiting Deoksugung Palace and witnessing the changing of the royal guards ceremony, my brother and I then proceeded to Cheonggyecheong Stream, an 8.4 kilometer long stream that flows west to east through downtown Seoul. What used to be a neglected overpass in the 70's was restored as a massive urban renewal project worth $900 Million in 2005 and is now one of the popular tourist destinations in Seoul, South Korea. Actually, even locals love hanging out here as well.
From Deoksugung Palace, we walked for about 250 meters to Cheonggyecheong Stream. If you're at Deoksugung Palace facing the Seoul City Hall, Cheonggyecheong Stream is on your left. Just go straight and look for Chongye Plaza or this cone/shell sculpture. This signifies that you're at the mouth of the stream :)
Since we arrived late in the evening in Seoul, Korea, my brother and I decided to start the first day of our Korea escapade a little late as well. First order of the day was go to the nearest subway station and buy a T-Money card. As I mentioned in my earlier Seoul, Korea travel tips post, T-Money is a "reloadable" card that you can use to buy subway tickets, bus fares or even to buy stuff at convenience stores. After buying our T-Money card, we took the train to go to Deoksugung Palace, one of the "5 Grand Palaces" built by the kings of Joseon Dynasty.
How to get to Deoksugung Palace:
Take Seoul Subway Line 1, 2 to reach City Hall Station. Take Exit 2. You will see scenes like these:
Walk for about 100 meters to your left. A good landmark is a Dunkin' Donuts store (th...
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