The Top Five Places to Visit in Manila for Kids

Travelling with children in tow can be an exercise in strategy, teamwork, planning and execution. It almost sounds more like Mission: Impossible than a vacation doesn’t it? If you don’t have any kids, you probably don’t have any idea what the heck I’m talking about (by the way, enjoy it while it lasts).

Travel with your kids

Don’t believe me? Observe the species called parents. They’re the ones with the infant strapped to their body and maybe a child or two tugging on each hand. They’re the ones travelling with diapers and baby bottles in backpacks, and though sometimes it looks like they’re doing juggling acts, they’re also the ones who are having a great time. Continue reading “The Top Five Places to Visit in Manila for Kids”

How to Not Offend a Filipino

We Filipinos are a relatively easygoing bunch. We laugh in the face of hardships, we have perfected the art of surviving the worst, and we take any blow that comes our way, knowing that we can defy the odds no matter what happens. We make do with what we have and we have a knack for improvisation when it’s called for. We have a healthy sense of humor and will be the first ones to laugh at ourselves and our inherent Filipino-ness.

Yet still, there are some things that you can say or do to us that will inevitably piss us off. Chalk it up to a mix of factors for us going all Incredible Hulk all of a sudden, but yeah, we will take offense at incredibly rude or clueless jibes about our food, our looks, our beliefs, and yes, digs about our mothers.

family gathering
Filipino family and friends gathering

Here are some things that you should never say or do to us, lest you really are trying to offend us. Consider yourself warned.

1. Don’t ask us how our English got sooo good.

“You’re Filipino? But your English is sooo good! How did you get so good?” said the native English speaker. Here’s the thing: we start learning English in school at a very early age, and some of us even learn it prior to learning our native tongue. Most of us have fairly neutral (or American) accents due to the fact that we have been westernized since the early 1900’s, and are on a steady diet Continue reading “How to Not Offend a Filipino”

Part Two: What Does Your Favorite Filipino Food Say About You?

As a race, we Filipinos are fiercely proud and protective of our native cuisine. Though some people may find our local eats weird, gross, or simply unappetizing looking, we stubbornly insist that this is not the case. But come to think of it, our food tends to lack some of the visual appeal of some other Asian cuisines (the Japanese style of presentation certainly comes to mind).  And we do have some off-the-wall food as far as a lot of non-natives are concerned(hello, balut and dinuguan, I’m talking about you). Only we can take genuine delight in slurping the hot juice out of an egg with a duck embryo, and not too many can relate to our deep fondness for blood stew. Hey, we like other weird food, like kefir, too.


Delectable Balut

Nor is our food as recognizable as, say, Italian food. I mean, you only need to read the words fettuccini, spaghetti, or tiramisu and you’ll get an idea of where the stuff must come from. Try saying sisigto a foreigner, and you will be met with a blank stare. At once, you are aghast that this fellow you’re talking to does not have even the slightest idea that the word you just uttered is enough to send hordes of people to your house once they get a whiff of what you’ll be serving. Continue reading “Part Two: What Does Your Favorite Filipino Food Say About You?”

What Does Your Favorite Filipino Food Say About You?

It’s been mere weeks since New Year’s Eve, and I bet you a lot of us folks have already broken our resolutions. Eat less unhealthy food, go for organic, shed the pesky 20 pounds that’s been hounding you since 1996, stop smoking, pay off your credit cards on time,  be a little less obnoxious… you know, things you resolve to do but never get around to actually doing.

filipino food
Hungry for more!

Of all the resolutions, the hardest to do, I think, is eating less food. Especially for Filipinos… man, do we love to eat! And who can blame us? Go to any Filipino potluck house party and you’ll find enough food to feed an army. And what glorious food too! Imagine succulent lechon, all steaming and golden, the crispy skin making a snapping sound as you try to delicately pry it off. Or, what about that mountain of soft, tasty pancit that only your Auntie knows how to make? Let’s not even talk about your Uncle’s kaldereta, mildly spiced, saucy, and goes so well with one (or 5) cups of rice. Just thinking about it is making me drool. Sorry. Gross visual. But you can relate, right? Continue reading “What Does Your Favorite Filipino Food Say About You?”

Making the Most of Your Prepaid Account

piggy-bankIn the type of economy we are having right now, it is important to be practical. If you won’t pay attention to the things you spend on, you could quickly end up having empty pockets. Owning a cell phone and regularly using it can be more expensive than you thought. As such, here are ways you can make the most of your prepaid account.

First, stick to your budget. The advantage of going prepaid in the first place is to have control of your account expenses. When you buy, say PHP500 worth of load, you set a limit to the calls to make and text messages to send. In reality, however, people don’t normally stick to how much load they have and therefore end up spending on calls and text messages more than they initially budgeted for.

A budget, no matter how well thought of and planned, becomes nothing if you keep budging it. Set a ceiling to your expenses and don’t go ripping it down every time. If you’re running a business and have good business-sense, predicting how many calls and text messages you should make in a week or month shouldn’t be a problem. And if you’re a student and the only people you call or text are friends and family anyway, inform them that you’re trying to cut on costs and that they shouldn’t expect a hoard of text messages from you.

Second, get the best deals. The country has three major networks – Globe, Smart and Sun. The beauty of this is that these networks always try to outdo each other. They are always in competition and so come up with offers, promos and freebies on a regular basis. This can only mean good things for the consumers.

All three networks offer a form of unlimited text. Using this scheme, you can get a prepaid load of PHP20, for instance, and with that send an unlimited number (as in as many as you want) of text messages in a day. Some schemes even include unlimited Internet connectivity, texting to other networks and texting long distance. That right there is how you make the most of your prepaid account.

And third, be a responsible prepaid cell phone user. Irresponsibility over anything, including cell phone use, always results to unnecessary and unplanned spending. Being a responsible cell phone owner means texting only when necessary, tracking your spending, checking available balance and making sure you won’t lose your phone or SIM card.

Be mindful about what you text, whom you text and why. Make sure there is remaining load in your cell phone just in case you need to send a really, really important text message later.

It pays to be mindful of what you spend on. If you don’t watch it, modern technology can suck you dry. Nowadays, there are so many attractive offers on smartphones, post-paid accounts, Internet services and so on. But how much and which ones do you need really?

The idea is to be smart and to use technology to your advantage. Technology should benefit you and not the other way around. This is also why online prepaid loading makes sense. allows you to share a load with family and friends, and likewise allows them to give you load when you’re low on cash.

Share a Load

Full length of young men and women holding cellphoneAs someone who loves texting and receiving text messages, there’s nothing I hate more than when my friends or text-mates run out of load. In this hi-tech world where load credits are sent and shared easily, there is no excuse not to send a text message or two to a friend who needs to get cheered up or be greeted from time to time.

Let me tell you why I love texting so much and how I share load with a friend to make sure my text messages won’t stop coming.

First, I love texting because I feel it is more intimate than talking with someone on the phone. In some cases, I even prefer it over face-to-face conversation. A text message to me is intimate because no one else around me can know about it. It’s secret, sacrosanct and special. It’s not even about what was said or what’s in the text message. For me it’s the exclusivity; it’s the idea that that text message was for me and for me alone.

Second, I appreciate getting a text message because it was sent with effort, with intention. It took that person who sent me the message time to sit down, compose a message in his head and key in the words – letter by letter – and spend a peso just to text me. Sometimes my friends don’t bother sitting down at all but continue walking or crossing the street while texting just so they could me send me their message on time. That’s dangerous and ill-advised, I know, but I appreciate the effort.

Continue reading “Share a Load”

Helping Out Yolanda’s (Haiyan) Victims

typhoon yolanda haiyan donation
Yolanda’s Aftermath is Hard to Put Into Words

Let us do everything we can, big or small, to help those who are in need.

As you may have already heard, the world’s strongest storm so far this year has hit the Philippines and has left a trail of unspeakable destruction, leaving countless dead, many more injured and lives forever changed.

Everyone at Morbie sends out love to the Filipino people in this time of need. Our hearts and prayers go out to all those who have suffered from the ravages of the typhoon. More than this, we have also chosen to contribute to the Philippine Red Cross and Victory Christian Fellowship, the Philippine subsidiary of Every Nation Church and Ministries, which we fully support in their efforts to bring aid to those in need.

There are countless other organisations, private, government, non-profit, big or small, all working together to bring much needed supplies to those hardest hit by the storm.

If you want to join the efforts to help those who have lost their homes and even their families, please visit either to find further information:

Continue reading “Helping Out Yolanda’s (Haiyan) Victims”

Cell Phone Ethics Everyone Needs to Follow

drive-textDon’t text and drive. Driving and texting at the same time is a grave error for anyone to make, no matter the emergency behind the texting. This is not just an offense against cell phone ethics but to human life since you could kill someone, including yourself, when texting and driving.

Ethics is commonly defined as a system of moral principles. It pertains to the rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of human actions or particular group/culture. And, yes, there is such a thing as cell phone ethics since cell phones have pretty much taken over the lives of millions of people in the Philippines and practically begun a new wave of norms and social habits.

Texting or talking on the cell phone while driving is one of the most recognized violations of cell phone ethics primarily for its obvious danger. In the Philippines, it is surprising to know that a law has not been passed to prohibit people from texting or talking on the phone while driving. More surprisingly, texting or talking on the phone while driving has not been a major cause of road accidents in the busy streets of Manila when compared to other countries.

However, because it has not killed you or anyone you know yet is hardly permission for you to think that you can text and drive. Don’t be surprised if texting/calling on your cell phone while driving will soon be prohibited by law in the Philippines.

Continue reading “Cell Phone Ethics Everyone Needs to Follow”

Filipinos, Morbie and 400 Million Text Messages a Day

The Filipinos are known for many things and one of them is their love to be with each other. They simply have to talk, eat together and have fun. If you live in the United States and happen to be neighbors with a Filipino family, don’t be surprised to see a bunch of people coming to visit every weekend for a family gathering. It is not unusual for cousins, nieces, uncles, aunties, godparents, and other Filipino relatives to come for a party; sometimes even including cousins of cousins, uncles of uncles, or relatives of friends and neighbors. They are a happy close-knit bunch.

Love + Family = Filipino

If you are traveling to the Philippines, don’t be surprised to see pretty much the same. Families regularly gather for parties and reunions. They love to hang out and talk about other relatives, religion, politics, showbiz news, and practically anything and everything under the sun. This is true in the Philippines, in the US and anywhere else in the world where there are Filipinos.

Continue reading “Filipinos, Morbie and 400 Million Text Messages a Day”

Why You Should Know Mobile Network Prefixes in the Philippines

Mobile Network Prefixes in the Philippines

Numbers can be confusing and difficult to remember. Do you know your driver’s license number? How about your bank account number? Some numbers are better written down than committed to memory.

Confused woman
Which Prefix Should I Use?

But there are some numbers that stick quite easily: the number of your house or your best friend’s house, for instance, as well as the telephone number of someone important.

Friends’ telephone numbers were easy to remember when people still used to memorize them. That was before everybody owned a cell phone. Today, all cell phones have quick dial functions so that all you need to do is push one button. Some press the “redial” or search contact names not numbers from their phone’s directory.

Continue reading “Why You Should Know Mobile Network Prefixes in the Philippines”