Best of Geek

I ended up with an Oppo A9 2020 Edition and have no regrets

A quick review. But more photos.

Phones. I used to review a lot of these back in the day. Then I took a hiatus after covering Mobile World Congress. That was back in 2011. Barcelona was the summit. I stopped. Fell in love with other things. Mobile phones took a backseat – not from the usage, but from the writing. It was tough to move on with life, putting all your hobbies and interests into compartments. The mistake people make is they leave nothing for themselves and in this age of Alexa, surveillance, social media, the sacred is what is not shared. It is the exception, not the norm.

Best of Digressions

Oh Japan, that happy place

It’s 2019, three years since my first trip to Japan. I never realized I had a happy place until I actually experienced separation anxiety when I flew back. I always thought that these “happy places” were abstract constructs. It didn’t matter where I was or what state I was in. The happy place was always a video game in some form. In my room. On my phone. But I never thought it to be a place.

And it’s weird, really. I enjoy the travel. The journey does excite me but the contrast of being in a place that is more foreign planet than country makes it so much interesting. In 2006 when I was writing for another tech publication, the editors would joke around to having “news” from “Planet Japan” because everything was just so over the top. I mean, the mere Japanese toilet that comes with background music to hide your farts were a pragmatic work of art.

Cheap bucket list thrills: see a snow man

So that was it. A foreign place with a language I cannot understand and yet I can easily make my way around town with these unlimited JR bus passes and order food without talking to anybody thanks to push button menus in almost every modern restaurant. I recommend Japan to anyone that wants something new. There’s wanderlust in the city where shops sleep at 7PM and the salarymen make their drunken shuffle to the karaoke. Where two-year-olds accompany each other to school without the help of grown ups because they know they can trust strangers. Where there are robots just because.

In 2016 I visited Tokyo for the first time. The streets of Ginza, Japanese whiskey, BIC Camera, Izakaya, Don Q. This opened my eyes to text book Japan.

Later than same year we went to Osaka and from there made our way to Kyoto (for the market), Narra (for the deer), and Kobe (for the beef). This trip expanded my perspective of how easy it is to get around a country. That you can cram 10 destinations in one day with efficient public transport.

snow is like dirt, but cleaner

Then early this month — first quarter of 2019 found me on an impromptu trip to Hokkaido for work. I was researching Hokkaido, as this tropical body has never felt snow when I got a call from a friend, “hey we’re sending you to Japan.” Speechless, my phone kept buzzing — it was a series of messages from another colleague, “Go to Japan.” Making sure that there were no hidden cameras around my office (as this may have been an elaborate prank by psychics), I said,

“OK but I should tell my boss.”

“Hi boss, I’m supposed to go to Ja —“

“We know. Enjoy! It’s minus 20 so suit up.”

And that was it.

I’ve written about my Hokkaido trip for the Manila Bulletin so you can read that. A huge thanks to Japan Airlines for sponsoring this trip. #FlyJAL #GetMoreJapan


Specialty Coffee in Ginza: Cafe De L’ambre

Wow it’s been ages since I wrote about my sojourns. Today it’s Tokyo. As a lover of all things specialty coffee, it comes as a surprise to me that in my latest trip abroad, coffee was last in my priorities. One week in Japan (spent for work) allowed me for relative freedom to explore Tokyo after attending various seminars, tours and workshops. Call it the initial shock therapy of a new country (it was my first trip to Japan) as the reason for not being able to focus on caffeine.

Mostly Everything

And now, ladies and gents, a break from tech products

Cure Natural Aqua Gel from Sophie Uy

“My fez is byooteeful”
— overheard

Huzzah! It’s beauty time again! This is becoming a scary, albeit addicting habit of showing off beauty products that I fancy. Today I will show you the secret to a flawless face. This is by recommendation of Fritz which right now can be bought from Sophie Uy of Beautynomics. It cost around P1,6xx.00 from the Moon Bazaar thing at Rockwell. You can order directly from her. It really works. I’m on day 4 😉

Speaking of “Flawless” (yes, beauty mode still on) I got an interesting piece of news from an industry friend for a contest that’s currently underway with Flawless (the pink derma place all over town that’s owned by the Belo group). Guys (and gals), get this: they’re having a contest that’s awarding P800,000.00 cash and a 1 million peso billboard ad deal for two individuals.

So lets get on to the details. For the remaining weekends of October, visit the Flawless booth at the following SM branches:

SM Megamall
SM North
SM Mall of Asia
SM Bacoor
SM Manila
SM Pampanga
SM Lipa
SM Cebu

Ever Bilena will do you hair and make up on the fly once you get there. So girls, don’t put on product first. Professional photographers will take your photo. Your picture will be open to the public for voting. And then, next year, contestants will be narrowed down to 18 finalists, one male and one female. It doesn’t matter if you are straight or gay. The two winners will get the 800,000 cash prize and a one million peso endorsement on a billboard located at a major thoroughfare.

For more details call 1-800-10-FLAWLESS or visit

Azrael, join na. You too, Juned. Si Coy din.

Or … maybe we can social media this whole thing and crowd source the voting for Bim. He gets a billboard ad, and the blog community splits the P800k. Mwehehe.

[ beauty mode off ]

Let’s go back to tech products… have you seen the new iMacs? I’d love to run Windows 7 on those 😉