Thursday, May 28, 2015

Visit the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in Morong, Bataan

Believe it or not, the Philippines spent US$2.3 billion from 1976 to 1984 to construct the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant in Morong, Bataan. It could have produced 621 megawatts of power. This was the power plant that could have averted the power crisis in the early 1990s. It was never used.

But despite it never being used, the BNPP is intact and well-maintained by the Napocor personnel stationed there. And yes, because it was never commissioned, people can visit it.

Thanks to The Plaza Hotel Balanga and Roadtrippers, a trip to the BNPP was arranged for us. It's best to visit on weekdays during office hours. Weekend visits will require overtime pay and fees for the BNPP personnel. And note that visits are by appointment. You can't just show up at their doorstep and asked to be let in. But despite all that, a visit is definitely worth the long drive to Morong.

It was an interesting walking through the massive halls and rooms of the BNPP, with its unused but well maintained equipment. I'm sure this would make a fantastic backdrop for an industrial themed prenup or fashion shoot.

We visited the nuclear reactor. Not that this will require walking up several flights of stairs in warm and humid conditions. There are no elevators. But you get to see how well-designed the BNPP was.

The other highlight of the visit was the control room, which looks like a set from an Austin Powers movie! At the center of the room is a telephone which was a direct line to MalacaƱang. Protocol was that every time the nuclear reaction was turned on or off, a go-signal from the president had to be secured.

It took more than 30 years for the Philippine government to completely pay off its obligations in April 2007. Too bad we didn't get to use the power it could have generated.

To arrange a tour of the BNPP, contact Lee Llamas of Roadtrippers at (0917) 7828882 or via The Plaza Hotel, the best hotel in Balanga. Book your stay there (047) 2371037 / (0917) 3105083 / (0998) 5411741.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

OPPO launches the New Trio

There’s a new phone that will make documenting your trips even more exciting! With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 Octa-core processor, the OPPO R1x is the big boss! It has a powerful 13MP camera (5MP for the front camera), 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage. Yes, 16GB can be quite small especially if you have lots of videos. But the optional slot for up to 128GB additional storage will solve that.

OPPO launched the New Trio in the Philippines last Tuesday. Aside from the R1x, OPPO also introduced the Joy Plus and Neo 5.

I got to try the R1x over the weekend. And the results were fantastic!

It’s what the camera can do that changes the way you document your trips: Ultra-HD, Slow Shutter Mode, RAW, Beautify Mode, Expert Mode, Flash Shot, After Focus, and Double Exposure. I really love it how these new phone are changing the competition by offering affordable alternatives with specs that are as good as known brands.

It’s available in white and black. I got the black one, a real stunner! You can get this fantastic phone at an SRP of Php15,990.00, not bad for what it can do.

Visit the OPPO Facebook page for more information.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Updates from the Agusan Marsh Indigenous Cultural Tourism Program in Agusan del Sur

Since 2010, we have been working on the Agusan Marsh Indigenous Cultural Tourism Program in Sitio Panlabuhan, Loreto, Agusan del Sur. We are helping them establish homestay facilities, purchase materials used to provide board and lodging, organize tourism and hospitality training programs and transfer cultural knowledge to the younger generation.

Cultural tourism is a potent tool for poverty alleviation. There is a potential for indigenous communities in the Philippines to benefit immensely from cultural tourism if given the information, proper training, infrastructure and guidance. This project will empower the Agusan Manobo indigenous group of Sitio Panlabuhan to create sustainable tourism programs for their community.

Here are photos from our trip over the weekend.

A photo posted by Ivan Henares (@ivanhenares) on

A photo posted by Ivan Henares (@ivanhenares) on

Here is a video of what we are doing at the Agusan Marsh.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

You can fly to El Nido for free with Globe Cloud's Summer Selfie promo!

Believe it or not, you can win a trip to El Nido Resorts by sharing a selfie! Yes, just by sharing a selfie! Globe is giving away an all-expense paid trip to Miniloc Island for three people (including chartered flight from Manila to El Nido, transfers, accommodation and meals) to one lucky Globe user who will download the Globe Cloud App between April 25 – May 20, 2015 and share a #SummerSelfie using the app.

Globe Cloud is a cloud storage and sharing service. You can store your contacts and text messages by syncing them from your phone to your Globe Cloud account. You can also store and access your photos, documents and other digital content such as your playlists, videos in the Globe Cloud app using your phone, tablet or computer.

What’s more, the Globe Cloud also provides a simple and useful way of content sharing by allowing private shareable links.

And it’s free! The Globe Cloud App is free for Android, iPhone or computer devices.

To join the contest, upload your #SummerSelfie using Globe Cloud to your Facebook or Twitter account with the hashtags #GlobeCloud and #SummerSelfie. Aside from the El Nido Resorts trip, the winning #SummerSelfie also gets the chance to be featured in the advertising materials of Globe Cloud.

Globe Cloud is exclusive to Globe and TM subscribers only.
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