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“Introspection of Viral Marketing Using Lechon Kawali Pizza as Test Subject”

This morning, I shot the new lechon pizza of Greenwich, a new offering for the holidays among many other things that I was tasked to shoot. Client has already launched the product to the public so I am allowed to talk about it. But that’s not what I came to express in this blog post.

The pizza is deliciously and sinfully good. The base of the dough is drowned in lechon sauce and topped with cheese. On top of the cheese are several pieces of lechon kawali – pig meat and skin combined to give you that chewy and crunchy texture. The crust itself is baked with garlic. Red bell pepper strips to garnish.

I gobbled up three slices of this wonderful dish during the event. Twenty minutes later I wind up at a friend’s office across the street from Greenwich Ayala Avenue for a meeting. I tell him about the ever so sinful “lechon kawali” pizza and they order two boxes for the staff. The verdict? Winner. (yeah yeah I finished three more slices. I’m such a lechon.)

That night I drop by an event for Samsung at the Manila Peninsula. Over dinner with other members of media, I start a nonchalant conversation of “guess what I had for lunch a while ago?” The already famous lechon pizza conversation made its way through the 5 Star Buffet meal at the presidential suite. It was absurdly funny and incited curiosity.

Viral marketing works for products when the item in scrutiny has a tinge of peculiarity to it. Sometimes, peculiarity is bred by what is known as the invisible obvious, if I were to borrow the term from Andrian Lee. The lechon pizza is really nothing more than the FIlipino version of an all meat pizza. Pecuiar. But obvious.

Curious to try the lechon pizza? Dial 55555 for deliveries anywhere around the country.

For foreign readers, here is the definition of lechon:

Lechón (Tagalog: Litson and Cebuano: Inasal) is the Spanish word for suckling pig. In the Philippines, it connotes a whole roasted pig, lechón baboy. Chicken and beef, are also popular. The process of lechón involves the whole pig/piglet, chicken, or cattle/calf being slowly roasted over charcoal. [Wikipedia]

Neil Gaiman Weekend

Neil Gaiman at Fully Booked

I have always argued that Neil Gaiman is more than just a writer. He’s a story teller. There are some writers, who, when you listen to them speak, sound as if they are speaking in prose. The sentences they construct are uttered with a cadence that makes you stop to listen to every word as he effortlessly highlights his point with stops, intonation and the perfect choice of words.

Mr. Gaiman tells how Philippine literature is rich in realism, yet not so in unrealism as, according to him, we have the richest culture in the world. He didn’t say one of the richest. He said we are the richest. Don’t you wonder?

P.S. Perhaps you’ve already heard about it, but during the 2007 Ad Congress, Neil Gaiman served as pastor to two bronze award winners. The tale is recounted here for the guy and here for the girl. Neil writes about it here. Sadly, I was not able to make it to the ad congress, but I did catch him at Fully Booked, where he recounted the tale.

My Facebook Behavior Findings

Here are some personal observations of my FaceBook habits. Are yours similar or completely different?

  • Deleting and ignoring apps can be a tedious process. Do you add every application that’s sent to you? The process is so tiring, it can be similar to writing off an entire cheque book or signing papers.
  • Some apps get old quickly. Some don’t. I’ve deleted WarBook, but kept my Big Photos. Yeah, it’s a matter of preference. As to what I’m more fascinated about is what makes an application stay in someone’s page. What are the benefits involved?
  • More of amusing really – that I’ve been using Facebook’s Inbox messaging system to conduct meetings with two or more people in threads. I’ve been finding it easier to use for managing conversations between three or more people as compared to using a group email system. What you can’t do however (at least from what I’ve tried) is add another person midway into the thread.

Philippine Blogosphere Pitch: Why not aim for the Anvil Awards?

Every year, the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP) gives out a set of Anvil Awards for remarkable public relations campaigns done in the Philippines.

The ANVIL is a symbol of excellence in public relations in the Philippines awarded by a distinguished multi-sectoral jury for outstanding public relations programs and tools designed and implemented in the past year. The Anvil Awards competition is conducted annually by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines.

The Anvil symbolizes excellence and quality. The standards for winning are high. No award is given unless the standards are met.

There are four award categories:

The Anvil Award of Merit
The Anvil Award of Excellence
The Bronze Anvil Award
THE GRAND ANVIL AWARD

What exactly am I pitching? Why can’t we pitch the ongoing Filipinas Campaign as an entry in the 44th Anvil Awards happening in February 2009. This February 2008 is the awarding for the Anvil for campaigns done between October 31 2006 to October 31 2007. Though it would be too late to include the Filipinas Campaign as an entry to the 43rd Anvil Awards, it can still very well make it into the 44th.
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Oh the madness begins once more!

Starbucks Planner

Although the line was long at the Starbucks Madrigal cashier I was kept entertained by a dialogue between the barista and a woman with slightly heated undertones. The discussion revolved around whether the woman could get a stamp onto a new Starbucks planner card given the sad reality that she forgot both her cards.

Apparently, you can’t combine three cards to avail of the planner – you can only combine two. The argument went on for a couple of minutes as I sighed and drooled over the mineral water bottle behind the misty glass. Mineral water never looked so thirst quenching.

It’s that time of the year once again.

Here we go. The obsession over the Starbucks planner is nigh. Correct me, but what makes the planner such a prized possession isn’t the fact that you can actually plan your life with it, but because it’s only exclusively available in Starbucks during the Christmas season. I know you can buy it right off the shelf, but spending on coffee for the planner is probably the best 0% interest deal for the holidays.

I’ve never owned a Starbucks planner. However, I do look forward to the gingerbread cookies (christmas tree, snow man, etc) which they only sell during Christmas. So if anyone wants my stamped cards for the planner, just tell me.

Book Recommendations: The Perfect Thing by Steven Levy

perfect_thing_book.jpg

That night, Microsoft hosted a small dinner in New York for a group of journalists, a prelude to its launch of Windows XP the next day. I have lots of experience talking to Bill Gates and do not break into tears when he yells, “That’s the stupidest thing I ever heard!” so the Microsoft PR team seated me next to the chairman.

I brought along my new iPod. At the end of the meal, just as the other guests at the table were pushing away their chairs, I pulled out the iPod and put it in front of Gates.

“Have you seen this yet?” I asked.

Gates went into a zone that recalls those science fiction films where a space alien, confronted with a novel object, creates some sort of force tunnel between him and the object, allowing him to suck directly into his brain all possible information about it. Gates’ fingers, racing at Nascar speed, played over the scroll wheel and pushed every button combination, while his eyes stared fixedly at the screen. I could almost hear the giant sucking sound. Finally, after he had absorbed every nuance of the device, he handed it back to me.

“It looks like a great product,” he said. [excerpt from WIRED]

I was looking for another great book to read. Adel Gabot swooped by the desk I was working on a few days ago and flashed Steven Levy’s The Perfect Thing across the room.

“Great book!” he said. “Makes for a good podcast.” Thanks for the recommendation, Adel.

The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture and Coolness talks about the iPod phenomenon – what does it take to turn a piece of hardware into an icon? As a consumer who is very discerning .. well, let’s just say it as it is – vain about his taste in technology, I’m particularly fascinated with how tech zealots and tech curmudgeons are born into this world. It is icons of tech pop culture such as the iPod that fuels these kinds of people. The book is available at Fully Booked BHS for around P550.00. I tried looking for this title in PowerBooks Greenbelt beforehand but was sadly out.
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Verzio debuts in the Philippines: Makers of the dual SIM phone and other neat gadgets

Dual SIM menu

I was at Fiamma the other night for the unveiling of a new technology company here in the Philippines. The invite was rather vague, announcing a new range of digital lifestyle products. I’ve never heard of Verzio before – and who would have – they’re rather new. They make laptops, cellphones, digital cameras, and pretty soon Pocket PCs which are due out next year.

Dual SIM in the Philippines
Their killer product is the new dual SIM phone. Yep, you’ve probably seen phone hacks on the Internet where guys cut up SIM cards into two in order to fit two SIMs in one slot. This however is different. Take a look at the photo below. You’ll notice that there are TWO operator logos running at the same time with TWO signal transmitters. Holy cow! The dual SIM phone is now legit. These phones are perfect for those people with two SIM cards which is rather common nowadays in the Filipino workspace. There are two models, the Duplii and the Twinn.
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The Orange Box: The best PC Game deal for 2007!

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*Warning* I realized, after writing this post, that I’ve reverted back to my antisocial geeky state. The following post contains raves about a series of game titles I’ve held close to my heart since college. Thus, there is sentimental value for the nostalgia the Orange Box brings as this is basically Part II of where I spent most of my college life – at the Internet gaming cafe. I still managed to graduate with a GWA of 1.99 though. Heh. College. Anyway …

Yeah, so Hellgate London has been a mix of disappointment and glee. I can probably best describe it as a drinking spree with a bad hangover afterwards. Though Hellgate has its charm, a lot of the basic stuff — like stable server connectivity — isn’t being delivered over to the Asian servers. Not Bill Roper’s fault. It’s the parters from Singapore.

Which is why, after thinking about it for a while, I decided to grab a copy of The Orange Box at Datablitz Greenbelt I. I got my copy for P2,200.00 but found out later on that you can acquire this for a much cheaper price in Datablitz SM Bicutan (roughly P1,500.00). Argh! Oh well.
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Dad joins the blogosphere!

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It is with great pride I announce my father’s joining INQUIRER.net’s stable of blogs. He wrote an old column several years back titled “Beyond Bottom Lines” for the a national broadsheet as well as an alternating column for FINEX. “Beyond” the bottom line of course refers to the things that businesses tend to overlook which include corporate social responsibility, sustainable development, education and training, stakeholder mapping and development management. These, and many other endeavors of NGOs working with corporations and *shudder* government are proof that business is really, Not Just for Profit.

This is the breaking news announcement for Not Just for Profit. My father “Digoy” will be writing regularly together with a few guest bloggers from the INQUIRER family.

Kolektib Shared Spaces at the Cubao Expo

kolektib_cubao_expo.jpg

Over the weekend, Kolektib officially opened at the Cubao X (formerly Marikina Shoe Expo) together with three other shops: Mogwai, Sputnik and White Box Gallery.

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Hellgate London: The adventure thus far

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It’s been two days since I got a copy of Hellgate London. Amidst mixed reviews from seasoned fans of MMORPGS, professional reviewers, and old time fans of Diablo II, Hellgate shines in many aspects and its defects, though frustrating, can only hope to be corrected with future patches.
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Do you also write for print?

In the Philippines, a number of bloggers I know have begun contribution stints for magazines because of their blogs. In the same light, a number of contributing writers for print have also begun writing blogs.

Here are some of the publications I have written for in the past. I currently write for some of these till today:

Mobile Philippines
PC Magazine Philippines
GAME! Magazine
CHALK Magazine (umm long story!)
Rogue Magazine
MANUAL Magazine
EPSON Vision Corporate Magazine
CANON Images Corporate Magazine

Do you also write for print publications? If so, which ones are they? Do they allow you to place your author bi-line with your blog address?

[EXCLUSIVE] ShopPay: Taking the online store to the social network

I was out for a few beers with Andrian Lee a few weeks ago. I remember that night clearly because it was then that we dreamt of how easy online transactions would become if PayPal had full support in the Philippines. “How we wish PayPal came soon.” When I got to the car to drive home, Mike Abundo texts me saying PayPal had arrived. Wow. Beers with Andrian equates to accelerating the seemingly impossible in eCommerce.

Anyway I digress. Between beers, we talked about his new widgetized online shop. Why not bring the shop to the online consumers in social networks rather than have them go to different sites? Andrian told me that this move will not only make merchants’ goods easier to access, but it will also give incentives for social network members to earn cash on the side through commissions.

You can see some samples of the online shop widgets in his Multiply page:

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Hellgate London Collectors Edition

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So dating hasn’t been stellar lately. I’ve decided to take up Lia’s advice and coop myself back into my geeky cave and engage in something unproductive yet fun. What timing too, because Bill Roper had also just released Hellgate London, the one and only game that is making me use my PC more often now. I’ve been waiting for this release for almost 2 years. Ack! I’m back to using Windows.

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Press Freedom in the Philippines is a huge joke

press_freedom.jpg

You’ve probably heard about this from a few days back. But still.

A mural depicting the history of press freedom made by the Neo-Angono artists in the Philippines was censored by the National Press Club before it was presented to President GMA. How ironic that the NPC’s “press freedom” commission was censored by none other than themselves. Truth be told, the word is not “censorship.” It leans a little bit more closely to “defacement.”

The final mural, which was submitted to NPC on October 24, shows a man reading the latest news on journalists’ killings while press freedom icons from the past and present converge around him. In one scene, Marcelo H. del Pilar is seen with fellow editor Mariano Ponce while rooting for cigarette butts in a garbage can under the streetsign La Solidaridad. Near the two, Filipino revolutionary Emilio Jacinto sells copies of the newspaper “Ningning o Liwanag” whose headlines proclaim the declaration of martial law while an incensed Eggie Apostol walks past. Perhaps the most arresting image is that of the late Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. talking to National Hero Jose Rizal while the latter reads a newspaper article on the disappearance of Jonas Burgos, son of press freedom icon Joe Burgos.

“Isn’t it ironic that an institution such as the NPC would cause the censorship of a work that they themselves commissioned purportedly to promote press freedom? Isn’t the freedom of expression of the artist bound up with the very press freedom that they supposedly uphold? Aren’t these alterations a clear violation of the rights of authors/artists protected by the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines?” the group said in a statement.

[source]

I can’t believe it. More photos of the alterations here. Neal Cruz’s piece talks about it more here.

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