Janette Toral sharing her tourist experience in Australia.

Saturday 31 October 2009

November 2 meetup: BarCamp Adelaide 2010 preparations

Organizers and interested parties in organizing BarCamp Adelaide 2010 will be having a coffee and chat meet on November 2nd.

Agenda for the upcoming meetup will be about potential sponsors to approach and and setting a date in 2010.

Details of the meetup as follows:

Time: 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Location: The Exeter Hotel, 246 Rundle Street, Adelaide, Australia

You can RSVP at the Facebook event page. To get a feel of the community, you can also join the BarCamp Adelaide group page.

Saturday 5 September 2009

High school bullying

Last May, I was in Manila when Jas relayed to me the news that Jan got beaten up by a schoolmate's (AF) gang while she were in a nearby grocery with a friend. They teased her of being a lesbian and Jan snapped back by calling AF a fat ass.

AF started threatening that prompted Jan to report to school authorities. They were talked to by the assistant principal and its seems all is ok after. Then Jan with her friend went to a nearby grocery and as they got outside, AF was with her friends (around 10 to 11 persons and some are adults already). They beat her up (and her friend). Jan passed out and the last she recalled was being kicked repeatedly on the head.

As a parent, I was freaked out upon hearing the news and all I could think of was have her sent home to Manila. My husband then told me that the student was already expelled and a case will be filed by the police. They are expecting a call soon. At least, that is what he was told.

I insisted for Jan to be properly diagnosed as her eyes got really hurt. Glad that there were no permanent damage physically to her although emotionally, it is a different story. Although I'm fortunate to have a daughter who handles herself pretty well.

Around July, Jan told me the news that Afr will be returning back to school and it seems the case that was promised to be filed did not happen after all. We decided to transfer her from Findon High School to another school.

As I just got back for a short visit, this is one concern that I wanted to be clarified on and will be meeting the school authorities soon. I will also want to meet the student and her parents or guardian as this is one matter that I don't think can just be forgotten without anyone being responsible or neither ask for an apology for what they have done.

We'll see...

Sunday 23 August 2009

Bottle wine openers

One thing that Australia is well known for is its wide-array of wines. I got to try a wide variety during the Adelaide bloggers Christmas get-together last year. In the Philippines, wine is one token I get to receive all year round as well.

My dilemma though when it comes to drinking wine is the opening the bottle part which I have not developed my expertise to date.
I hope that one day, when we really get settled at home, we will have our own wine rack and a special estate wine opener since having a glass or two a day is something I would love to have.

Lunch at The Startup Club Adelaide

If there is one group in Adelaide that any aspiring startup should join, that would be The Startup Club Adelaide. The group has get-together activities almost every month fostering networking, camaraderie, and collaboration. How you could use it for your own benefit will depend on how creative and engaging you'll be in building connections.

The last meeting I attended was March 20 at the Richmond Hotel Adelaide. I think to grow in the community, one must also try to attend as much as you can as that will allow you to get to the members better.

I hope that I'll get the chance to join one of the meetings again while I'm here in Adelaide for less than a month. If networking with entrepreneurs and startups is your cup of tea, join its Facebook group and start building relationships.
Congratulations to Geoffrey Kwitko, Chris Hooper, and James Govan for making this group a success!

Saturday 22 August 2009

Adelaide Airport

Last April 4, 2009 my trip to Manila had a simple efficient itinerary from Adelaide-Sydney-Manila via Qantas. It was convenient as I was able to reach my destination on the same day.
I recall being nervous then due to several airplane problems experienced by the airline at that time.

The Adelaide airport is a simple one and quite near where we live. International flights often require you to start your travel in the morning and most travelers have breakfast at Burger King or any food joint in the area.

You can also do some shopping before entering the international flight lounge.

Friday 21 August 2009

Specialty plaques consideration

Organizing your own contest makes you want to be creative on the recognition token to be given out. This can include trophies, plaques, certificates, website badges, and the likes.
One suggestion that I kept getting is a specialty plaque that can be hanged or screwed on the wall. This is similar to wall address plaques that can be ordered online.
I know that is a bit weird but I guess uniqueness requires some element of fun, creativity, or novelty if you want to.
But seriously, if you have a posh home located in a prominent village, it is cool to look into a variety of home address plaques.

Working on an E-Commerce Book Series

One of the reasons why I'm very active in teaching lately (and even using webinars now for that matter) is to help me think about my next book project. Conducting trainings allows you to see the reaction of people to your teaching material. Their concerns and questions asked also helps in thinking about the content that must be tackled at the same time.

The book project is version 3 of my E-Commerce book that was last published by McGraw-Hill Education Asia in 2004. Already got my publishing rights back lately and this is just in time as the book just got sold out.

My main challenge in writing it is the explosive growth of e-commerce that makes it quite hard to narrow down all concerns in one book. I already made up my mind of putting all e-commerce related policies in one book. However, all other concerns require further thinking.

Thursday 20 August 2009

Doing Webinars in Adelaide Australia

I'm now back in Adelaide, Australia visiting the family for a month. To ensure that my club members are taken cared of, I'm scheduled to do a three-weeks webinar series on a wide variety of topics such as: (time slot mentioned here is in Adelaide time)
    August 24, 2009 Monday 1130AM to 130PM
    August 25, 2009 Tuesday 1130AM to 130PM
    August 26, 2009 Wednesday 1130AM to 130PM
    August 27, 2009 Thursday 1130AM to 130PM
    August 31, 2009 Monday 1130AM to 130PM
    To reserve your seat: I AM ATTENDING THE E-COMMERCE MODULE
    Sept 1, 2009 Tuesday 1130AM to 130PM
    Sept 2, 2009 Wednesday 1130AM to 130PM
  8. BLOGGING 101
    Sept 3, 2009 Thursday 1130AM to 130PM
    To reserve your seat: I AM ATTENDING THE BLOGGING 101 MODULE
    Sept 7, 2009 Monday 1130AM to 130PM
    Sept 8, 2009 Tuesday 1130AM to 130PM
    Sept 9, 2009 Wednesday 1130AM to 130PM
    Sept 10, 2009 Thursday 1130AM to 130PM

The fee per topic is 500 Philippine pesos which I assume will be around 13 to 15 Australian dollars. Just in case this will interest you, you are encouraged to sign up.

Searching for information online, I noticed that interest for webinars by Australians can be seen mostly from folks based in Sydney. But we'll see.

Thursday 4 June 2009

Managing the heat with ceiling fans

The summer season in the Philipines and Australia are quite comparable. It can make you sweat a lot and you can feel the heat all over the house. Turning on your aircon can be an option but it can also get expensive. In our case, each room in the house of our Findon home has a ceiling fan.

In the living and dining room area where guests are commonly entertained, the casablanca fans makes these areas quite nice, elegant, and pleasant to the eyes.

For the three bedrooms in our home, I am hoping that we can get a craftmade fans to replace the stand fan for durability.

Sunday 5 April 2009

Reporting a lost bag at Sydney International Airport

Yesterday morning, I left Adelaide to return to Manila. At check-in for the QF750 flight, had a baggage excess and was given a small bag where I could put my books, beads, kits, and hand-carry it.

Upon arrival to Sydney, passengers were more than usual and we are suddenly packed at the International airport transit or waiting lounge where you wait for the bus. It was like 1:25 to 1:30 pm and boarding time for my Manila flight (QF19) was at 1:35.

After passing the long cue at the Immigration, realized that my extra hand-carry bag is no longer with me during the final security check.

Immediately ran to gate 35 to catch my flight and had the initial assumption that I left it at the overhead compartment. I was told then to file a lost bag report upon arrival to Manila.

During the flight, I now began wondering if I got the extra hand-carry bag off the airport and left it at the international airport transit or waiting lounge (where you wait for the bus to take you to the international airport) or at the immigration.

The long cue and the tension got me really worried yesterday. Can't recall exactly where I left it (but I think it was at the lounge while waiting for the transfer bus). Arrgghh!

The big challenge that I had now is that this extra bag did not had any name tag on it. I filled up a lost bag report form at Qantas and the contact us form of the Sydney Airport.

Lessons learned:
  • Take a picture of all bags and contents snapshot before leaving. Do the same for extra bags got at the airport.
  • Each bag must have a name tag.
  • If tense or anxious while waiting for the transfer bus, like worried about missing your flight during transit, don't let go of your hand-carry bags at all.
Keeping my fingers crossed and hope my bag will be found. Will update this post on how this will turn out.

Monday 23 March 2009

Jhermie's Newborn Baby - Ethan Matthew

Last March 10, my sister Jhermie had her newborn baby boy - Ethan Matthew. My warmest congratulations to proud parents Dave & Jhermie.

As Jhermie also welcomes any info about luck, this might be of interest (from New Age Perspective):
  • Pisces is his sign.
  • Color - violet (environment - empathy), maroon (wardrobe power color)
  • Star - Al Risha
  • Angel - Barchiel
  • Guardian Angel - Malachi
  • Gem - Turquoise
  • Spiritual stone - Chrysolite
  • Lucky charm - new penny in your shoe
  • Lucky numbers - 10, 20, 28
  • Traits of March 10 celebrants are:
    - Strong convictions, mind, and will.
    - Know exactly what he wants.
    - Learn to be tactful.
    - Capable of doing just about anything.
    - You move mountains for that someone you like.
    - You courage may threaten others and will often be tested.
    - Learn to be patient.
    - You'll likely have two careers at once.
    - Enterprising and original in what you do.
    - Power and self-confidence will not be evident in early years but you'll get that sense later on. Then the world will be yours.
Not known to many, Jhermie also has a twin and who just gave birth as well last February 5. So the year 2009 is great with two newborn babies in the family. Cheers!

Thursday 19 March 2009

More than 4.8 Million Aussies logon to Facebook daily

As a regular Facebook user, I am often curious on how many Aussies are actually active in the site. Checking out AllFacebook on Aussie-based users yields around 4.8 million users logging in daily to the site. Wow that is a lot!

Women dominate the Australia Facebook population with around 2.7 million logging in daily. 1 million of that are in the 18 to 25 age group.

The same age group also dominates in the male segment. One can conclude that those in the 18 to 34 age group are the most active users of the social network.

Facebook growth in Australia is gradually increasing. The site recorded 4.4 million users as of February 4 from 4.2 million last November 27, 2008.

Saturday 7 March 2009

ST5K Street Art Exhibit at Not Coffee

I stopped by Not Coffee today to check out the ST5K Street Art Exhibit. Simon Loffler actively promoted this event via Facebook and certainly enjoyed checking out the art work on display by Store, Cloak & Dagga, Commander Ankle, Snookie, Joshua Smith, Artstar, Benzo, Joel VDK, Nickas, Mr Tomek , Konsumeterra, Matt Stuckey, Dwippy, Dan Withey, Lisa King, Sam Evans, Cloudsparrow, among others.

I was able to have a nice chat as well with Not Coffee co-owner Will Harbison, talked about the place, and his support for the art exhibit.

Congratulations Simon & ST5K!

P.S. I had a blooper at the end of the video. (supposed to mentioned notcoffee.com but said something else.. argghh!)

Not Coffee is located at 187 Rundle St. Adelaide and open daily (08-822-333-59). Check out the rainbow ice cream. I liked it!

Friday 6 March 2009

3 Sides of the Coin - The Gambling Problem in Australia

I was at the Findon Library yesterday and discovered this ongoing exhibit dubbed as "3 Sides of the Coin" which talks about the history of gambling in Australia. It includes information also on the gambling problems of its migrants citizenry.

Sample gambling artifacts were also on display and they were an interesting collection piece indeed.

Commercial gambling in Australia has changed the industry a lot and there are many ways that locals can gamble. During 2003-2004, Australians spent, or lost, AU$16 billion on gambling. In South Australia, folks spent AU$1.062 billion which over 68% was lost in poker machines.

South Australians who have gambling problems can seek help by contacting the Gambling Help Line at 1800-060-757 that provides free counseling or join gamblers / pokers anonymous self-help groups.

You can also refer to Break Even Counselling Services such as:
  • Southern
    UnitingCare Wesley Adelaide (08-8202-5180)
    Christies Beach Office (08-8329-1700)

  • Western
    UnitingCare Wesley Bowden (08-8245-7100)
    The Salvation Army (08-8445-2111)

  • Central & Eastern
    Relationships Australia (08-8223-4566)

  • Northern
    Anglicare (08-8256-2170)

  • Regional
    UnitingCare Wesley Port Pirie (08-8633-8600)
    Relationships Australia (SA) Riverland & Murraylands (08-8582-4122 or 1800 182 325)
    Centacare Whyalla (08-8645-8233)
    Lifeline South East, Mt. Gambier (08-8723-2299)

  • Statewide
    Flinders Therapy Services for Problem Gamblers (08-8204-4779)
    Relationships Australia (SA) - (PEACE) Culturally & Linguistically Diverse Communities Services (08-8245-8100)
    Nunkuwarrin Yunti, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Persons (08-8223-5217)
    Vietnamese Community in Australia (08-8447-8821)
    Overseas Chinese Association (08-8445-1677)

Tuesday 3 March 2009

Brisbane, Sydney, & Adelaide International Airport

Last night, I started traveling from Manila to Adelaide via Qantas Airways. This trip required me to stop over at Brisbane and Sydney International Airport before reaching my final destination.

I've decided to be a bit adventurous in my post and include photo & short video snippets as well.

I actually didn't know that my flight had a Brisbane stop over. But since it was less than 30 minutes, time flew quite fast. The Manila to Brisbane trip allowed me to watch two films on board, Doubt and The Day the Earth Stood Still (hope I got that right).

There was also this anchorage structure that caught my attention and got me inspired to do this blog post.

I was preparing myself for the stress that I might incur while in Sydney. The last trip I had with Qantas via Sydney required to me clear with immigration & customs, then re-check in again for the domestic flight. I got delayed then as a result and had to go via Canberra just to get home.

To my delight, upon arrival, my name was called & got asked to proceed at gate 30 where an Adelaide-Singapore flight is scheduled. Optus also has computer stations in the airport where one can use it for free.

I'm also used to Qantas planes to have central television units but the QF81 flight has individualized video viewing sets.

I always like clearing immigration & customs via Adelaide International airport as the number of travelers is less than chaotic. The staff, as a result, are less than harassed and more cordial.

It is also my first time to see the ePassport system where Australian and New Zealand passport holders have the option to process their immigration entry.

Saturday 28 February 2009

Thinking of Satellite TV

One thing I missed whenever in Australia is cable television. In the Philippines, we pay for such service for the less than 20 Australian dollars a month. This already includes favorite channels like CNN, Star, HBO, Cartoon Network, among others.

Although I admit that the local TV programs are more than enjoyable as some of them even get shown immediately after it was aired in the USA. This allowed me to watch the latest episodes of CSI, House, among others. I also love the HD experience and I know that it will take time before loved ones in Manila will get to feel it.

Sometimes though, I contemplate on exploring satellite TV. I have not really heard of any direct provider that has packages to choose from. Most of the sites I've seen were more experimental and encouraging folks to try it like a hobby.

Friday 27 February 2009

Big sister comes home

I'll be arriving in Adelaide next week to visit the family and take care of my sister who is expected to give birth anytime soon. I am anxious and excited to meet the newest member of our clan. Earlier this month, my other sister, Jherlie, also gave birth and it brings great joy to see a new baby in the family.

Sunday 15 February 2009

Christmas in Australia

A lot of Filipino relatives and friends have been asking me how did our Christmas in Australia went. We went to church last December 24 to attend an early evening mass (this is usually midnight mass in the Philippines) mostly attended by Filipinos. There was also a re-enactment part portraying Joseph & Mary's search for a place to stay to give birth to baby Jesus.

On December 25, we just stayed at home and had a nice meal with Dave & Jhermie.

I could say that we celebrated Christmas in a very solemn way. As I was very much occupied with the Busby SEO Test competition at that time, my mood then was more competitive rather than festive.

It seems that 2009 will be the last time I'll be spending Christmas in Australia as my two kids will finish their year 12 and continue their studies in the Philippines next year.

However, due to business interest, I'll still be spending a lot of time here and develop markets.

Saturday 31 January 2009

Looking for modern furniture

With us moving house again, there is an opportunity to replace what we currently have with new ones. I noticed that while some are attracted to antique or conservative style of furniture, am more drawn to modern furniture. Perhaps the touch of modernism makes me feel that I live in the present and not trapped in some time warp.

When scouting for designs, the site NYC Concept Furniture caught my attention. The entity positions itself in selling high quality designer modern furniture from Italy, Germany, Spain and Belgium. It also claims "100% authenticity guarantee".

What makes modern furniture interesting as well is that they are geared towards greater simplicity and functionality. Although modern furniture produced in European countries have a touch of history as well such as employing techniques and designs practiced in medieval times that has been passed down through generations of furniture makers.

We're moving out

Well, it seems the house we are living in today finally has a buyer and we were given 60 days to find a new unit where we could transfer. Good thing there are sites online that makes this process easy. Our main goal is to ensure that the place is near Findon High School so that it will be near to my kids school.

I'm in the Philippines at the moment where the temperature is relatively cooler compared to Australia right now. Kids have been complaining about the temperature although this gives a good excuse to go to the beach every weekend.

I look forward being back soon as my sister will be having her baby this March!

Tuesday 20 January 2009

New Year Fireworks Beach House Glenelg

Find more videos like this on DigitalFilipino.com Social Network

Last December 31, we went to Glenelg to witness the fireworks and celebrate the entry of 2009. I recall that we almost did not go but I'm glad that we did it. While waiting, we stayed at the Beach House and let the kids play games and walk around the area. It was an enjoyable moment.

Monday 19 January 2009

A house with an attic

I was just told that we now got an indefinite lease term in our present home. Apparently, the owners are still looking for potential buyers so we are not certain on how long will remain to be here.

When scouting for home prospects and looking at the Internet, I noticed that most of the houses here don't have an attic. They are usually one or two floors with high ceiling. We were partly adjusting as we have attic space in our Manila home. I'm not sure if there are entities that does something similar to loft conversions London and create more space to typical rental homes. I think most families could use all the space that they can get.

I have a friend who has a studio-type condominium that have availed of services similar to entities like loft conversions London to create more space. She now has a private bedroom and working area despite the limited size of her studio condo.

There are four ways to go about it. Our attic is a dormer, as illustrated in loft conversions London, that takes advantage of ceiling and roof space, and made a 2 bedroom out of it. You can alo do mansard, hip-to-gable, or a velux. I think it is must nowadays that home builders should consider that this is an option that owners would want to do later on.