Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Night at La Vie Parisienne

2:56 PM Posted by Mark Glenn Cabrera , , , , , , 1 comment
Paris is known to be the most romantic city in the world as per pop culture. Hollywood made sure we know of that through nearly every romantic film we stumble across. Have you seen Midnight in Paris? Before Sunrise? An American in Paris by Vicente Minnelli in 1951? Need I say more? And I don't  know why - I haven't been to Paris - but I wonder what's up with people romanticizing that the city is 'that' magical.

I guess I would only find out when I get there but not now. I mean, if I could stay in Paris for the rest of my life, trust me, I would. Unfortunately I couldn't just book a ticket and go all the way to Paris. Okay. That ain't happening just because I want to, even if I really want to.

That's not to say that I haven't tried to get a taste of Paris in any form or way here in our place. I mean, French cuisine, art exhibits, old bookstores, a walk on a cobblestone streets, even my playlist is practically screaming Paris with the Hugo Cabaret soundtrack. French fries, anyone?

But do you know the place I've been to that maybe rings a bell or comes close with Paris? Of course you don't unless you're reading this right now and you learn that in my stay at Cebu I've been to the acclaimed La Vie Parisienne. 

Well, I'm just saying I've been there. I didn't really order anything because you know I'm allergic to alcohol. Also, I was too full for a croissant which was only P25 btw and I - don't be judgy - I was saving for a trip to Bantayan Island for the next day.

Even if I was too tired to actually go anywhere that night I thought it won't hurt to experience a night life in Cebu. Like at least once in maybe a long while. I mean that's what visitors ought to do, right? And my buddies were talking about the place like it was a real deal or something. What choice do I have? A blogger never rests. And man! La Vie Parisienne lived up to the hype!

From the artificial cherry trees with leaves glowing like it's spring or Christmas or whatever and to the clinking of glasses of wine. Ceci est la bombe! They have friggin cherry trees, man! Even if it's fake who in the right mind would not feel welcome in there with those cherry friggin trees giving you a cheery vibe. Okay, bad pun!

The Lhuillers probably had a good time in Paris that their French Bakery, Deli and Wine Library were designed to make you feel like you're in Paris even if you haven't been there yet. Forgive me for not taking any French language class but I just found out La Vie Parisienne literally translates to Parisian Life. Oh, well! Now we know. Hahaha. So, there's the smell of freshly-baked croissants to fill your lungs and they also have this wine library where a pose seems mandatory.

Yeah, I kind of belonged, right!?
In case you're wondering, I haven't really gotten a chance to take photos of their baked goodies because of the long queue inside the bakery so the only thing that comes close to a bread which you can find here are my cheeks. There's also gorgeous people - ehem - like us who are living La Vie Parisienne that night over some good chat and, oh well, over wine. But like I said, I didn't drink! Not even a sip. There should be at least one adult in our group in case they all get really drunk, right?

So the night went on until I noticed some people going Linda Blair on the foreign waiter dude who adjusted what seems to be a retractable roof! Come on, a retractable roof! That's something. Okay, their eyes were mostly on the guy though. Then to another. And well, it clearly depends on their preferences but the thing is, I noticed most people in there are breaking necks by turning their heads on every direction probably in search for a hook up or maybe romance or something. While I, after my butt's intimate relationship with the chair, I wandered around a bit to take these pictures.

Anyway, while wandering off I thought maybe that's how it works! This is how Paris works. Maybe Paris was hailed as one of the most romantic cities because of the set up itself. The music, the lights, the sweet aroma of bread and wine and people looking or taking their chances at romance. Paris. It's a place ideal for lovers and people who are still searching for love, for romance. I get that people always romanticize things as something else. Can't change that. But maybe, like them, that's just the way things are. And you don't get to ask why?

I know my La Vie Parisienne experience (or actually the lack thereof) may not come close to the real Parisian experience but maybe going to these French places is one of those moments where you should just loosen your grip to reality, enjoy whatever life throws at you and just let the magic or Linda Blair take you wherever, whenever or to whomever it wants. And if that's really the case then, I might have just been 'spirited away' to Paris, which is a good thing for La Vie Parisienne.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Living in the Third World

2:06 AM Posted by Mark Glenn Cabrera 6 comments
I open my blog when I get emotional. My blog and my ability to smith words into subsequent strings and paragraphs is my only weapon to this vicious world. Perhaps, I was given this skill to share to my friends, readers or maybe to the world a different perspective - a different light - of how life is, here in the Philippines.

The thing is, I live this seemingly 'okay' life but actually isn't. You can always alter your life online but when you failed to pay your internet bill - you will most likely reflect all the things you've seen and posted - even evaluate your true feelings.

Problems arise from here and there and when shit hits the ceiling. We are no different than those people who we think struggles more than us. The truth is the majority refers to themselves as survivors. Our parents taught us how to survive. And for us, that's just the end of it. The world just means survival.

And that's what I think that's wrong! Man this is not The Walking Dead! No, not yet.

Sunset . Bankerohan Public Market. (c) Cinegang Productions
We take different ways and we gamble even if we get ourselves lost. That's how we live. A life of uncertainty and a life that easily crumbles when you become vulnerable. We weren't taught how to get rich and people always look for others to blame. We blame ourselves and then the government. While the latter is up to debate. Why would you waste your time expressing yourself to our corrupt politicians? Their ears are dead to the poor unless they plan on running again.
 Years have passed and still, we learn nothing. We just keep on fighting even if there's no fight to fight. We sometimes think we are being oppressed when we are not. I know this won't make sense to you. And I know I sound a little emotional than I should and that's why I can't tell you exactly where this is going. I also can't tell you what happened prior this but I can tell you one thing. Today, I witnessed how money actually makes the world go round. That's the truth.

We would probably mock scripted shows depicting an exaggerated poor vs rich scenario but when you think about it - it's the truth. And we can't always blame the rich because they stand - and they will - for what would make their lives more convenient. Convenience. An image of a happy family in a big house full of elaborate details, expensive furniture, maids scrubbing the floor, drivers flirting with the maids and guards sleeping by the gate waiting for you to honk a million times.

 On the other side of the coin, is an image of a family struggling and wanting just enough to make ends meet. Surviving. Or maybe even more so that the financial burdens they bear may be dissolved and live a simple life. A small house in a subdivision with a front yard full of flowers and happy people. Happiness.

Happiness isn't a prerequisite to wealth. Get real! It's the other way around.

The only reason why the majority looked happier is because they savor the slightest amount of happiness they can find. And that's not necessarily a good thing. But do you think they're really happy? No. When they get back to their homes after a gossip session with their backstabbing neighbor reality creeps in and they just have to do something. They live in the now. Apparently, survival ain't enough.

Surviving ain't living. And I choose to live.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Muggle Juggle

11:04 AM Posted by Mark Glenn Cabrera , , 1 comment
There have been plenty of developments to my life lately but nothing romantic of the sort. That's not a bummer though because I seriously don't have time for that except that I get to think about it in times like this where my thoughts wander about just everywhere. Gee! I want pizza! I want chicken! I want beer. No. Milktea. Guess, I haven't changed.

Going back, thank God! Finally, I'm a senior student now. Let that sink in for a minute. Whoo! I'm in sheer joy whenever I see myself wearing the senior's uniform. It's like - I don't know - wearing some kind of medal or something. And I get to wear it twice in a week. How about that? You know, forgive me but simple things like that means a lot to me now. Simple things.

Here's an artwork I made recently. It's a personal project I call 'Font Series'.

Simple things because my life just got complicated. Sometimes it's a mess and sometimes I make it appear like it's not. I don't know. Coz, aside from our Capstone project, the On the Job Training which I seriously need to give attention to by rendering more hours and some minor but needy subjects I have taken some risk to get extra income. I know what you're thinking but hold that thought for a while.

I'm not sure about this but all of a sudden it's like the world finally turned around and told me in a very familiar voice "I have piled up some straws for you. Now turn them into gold!". Then you realized the voice was of Morgan Freeman and like any other movies narrated by that cool guy my journey was just about to begin.

And here I am with projects from here and there. I have two out of school affiliations which requires my design and video editing skills, respectively. I'm still with the Davao Bloggers. I have two personal projects on queue and oh my gahd I have some responsibilities in the student government. I have also managed to develop some penchant for Tacos (I normally I don't eat Mexican food), acquired two new gadgets and I may have gotten that 'weird' vibe around me like when I dreamed I ate a live goldfish. Also I've been contemplating of trying 'skateboarding' for a hobby.

I'm not complaining though. In fact, keep them coming YOLO. lol. This is why I haven't been able to blog lately and I don't know, with all the stress, this would either make or break me.

So please if you have nothing important to say don't add up to my stress. Please? Just give me that for my birthday present. And yeah it's coming. I'll be a year older in days time! Hahaha. No plans yet but my empty non-existing wallet tells me that I'm penniless. So I'll probably have no birthday plans at all. I wish to do more good decisions in the years to come though so I can "Live long and prosper." That sounds like a good plan! For now. I'll be Spock until I have some concrete plans for my future. :)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Smart Introduces LTE-Advanced 5G Technology to PH

6:50 AM Posted by Mark Glenn Cabrera , , , , No comments
Netizens and Social Media aficionados, rejoice! I've never been so excited to share some good news. Let me cut to the chase, here it goes!

 PH goes ‘5G’Smart fires up LTE-Advanced

Co-founder and Chief Wireless Advisor of Smart Orlando B. Vea (first from left) during the tests of 5G LTE-A in Smart last year, where speeds reaching 209.66 mbps were recorded.

Two years after it pioneered the deployment of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) or 4G technology in the country, wireless services leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) announced that 5G wireless technology LTE-Advanced (LTE-A), is now running in the Philippines’ largest and strongest network.

Smart switched on LTE-A at the Smart Jump Center in Mandaluyong City recently, setting the next phase of mobile communication technology beyond 4G LTE standards.

LTE-A, referred to as ‘5G’ by reports on leading global mobile operators AT&T and T-Mobile, delivers data from between 100 megabits per second (mbps) to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps), or ten times faster than 3G services and more than twice as fast as 4G services.

By firing up LTE-A technology on its network, Smart joins only a handful of carriers around the world with an LTE-A network, along with leading mobile operators in South Korea, United States, Singapore, Australia, and Hong Kong.

“Even as our 3G and 4G networks continue to be unrivaled, Smart becomes the first operator to leap into the future and put the Philippines at par with the world’s most advanced countries in terms of mobile communications technology,” said Orlando B. Vea, founder and Chief Wireless Advisor of Smart.

With LTE-A, a 10MB file takes less than a second to download, YouTube videos no longer have to buffer, and video calls are almost lag-free. But beyond speed, LTE-A’s main feature is also its capability to allocate more network resources to users when the need arises. Smart started testing LTE-A across the country in August last year, delivering results of more than 100Mbps in Makati City, in Boracay, and in Davao City during the Kadayawan festival.

Internet for all

Ramon Isberto, Public Affairs head for Smart and its parent company the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), said that the recent development is part of the company’s multi-pronged approach in addressing the various needs for internet and data services in the market.

“The PLDT Group’s strategy has always been to create solutions that address the varying needs of all segments of our customers, to bring fixed, wireless and mobile broadband services where they really matter. They may be delivered at different speeds and volumes, using a variety of technologies, and meant to respond to a wide range of needs of the market – but all of it is aimed at bringing the benefits of the internet to every Filipino,” explained Isberto.

This strategy meant deploying a combination of Fiber-to-the-Home, Next Generation Network, Time-Division Duplex LTE, Frequency-Division Duplex LTE and vDSL to bring internet to every Filipino home, and 3G, 4G, and 5G or LTE-A for mobile subscribers, according to Isberto.

“We are able to deliver all these high-bandwidth services and applications on the strength of our transmission backbone network, which is the most extensive and most resilient in the country. Aside from allowing us to commit to speed, our unmatched network resources give us the edge in terms of efficiency and reliability,” added Isberto.

Smart’s nationwide coverage is backed by PLDT’s fiber optic cable connection which has now reached nearly 90,000 kilometers, or more than four times than competition. To further strengthen this domestic fiber optic network (DFON), PLDT also set up third legs in its fiber loops in key areas nationwide, the latest of which is the Bohol DFON project that provided redundant links between the Visayas and Mindanao.