Monthly Archives: July 2012

On Nursing and the VisaScreen

I finished my nursing studies in 1995 and passed the Nurse Licensure Examinations in the same year.  Immediately after I got my Philippine license, I reviewed for the NCLEX and luckily, made it in one try.

One would think that life is all milk and honey after a nursing graduate passes her licensure examinations.  On the contrary, the preparation for a lucrative career in nursing doesn’t end there.  There are other exams to take, yearly license renewals to take care of and pay for, trainings, and a bunch of documents to gather.

One of the documents I obtained a few years ago was the VisaScreen certificate. The VisaScreen certificate is a document that a non- U.S. citizen health care professional seeking to work in the United States must have.  The certificate has a 5-year validity period and mine will expire next year.

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Life is Here: The Davao Bloggers Tour

July 14 was a fun day for me.  I participated in the Life is Here:  The Davao Bloggers Tour, an event organized by the City Tourism Operations Office in partnership with the Davao Bloggers.

Forty-four participants, divided into four teams, hied off to different tourist spots in Davao City.  Armed with our cameras and smartphones, we all had one objective in mind: Promote Davao’s many tourist destinations through social media.

I was assigned to the Toril Trailblazers group and we went to three different resorts — Villa Carmelita Inland Resort and Hotel, Eden Nature Park and Resort, and Loleng’s Mountain Spring Resort.  I’ve never been to Villa Carmelita Inland Resort and Loleng’s Mountain Spring Resort before the tour so I guess I was really really excited.

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Window Shopping for Bedroom Furniture

I’ve been spending some time  window  shopping for bedroom furniture because I need a new bed frame  and  a 4-drawer chest.   I think I have visited more than six stores looking for durable and affordable pieces but so far, I haven’t been very lucky.

Looking for the right piece of furniture is very challenging and often frustrating.  If there’s an item I really like, the price tag is way beyond what I could afford.  I remember seeing this lovely and  sturdy-looking bed frame that would have been perfect for my room but it’s so ridiculously priced that even if I save for a year, I still wouldn’t be able to afford it.  And if I find a bed frame that’s within my budget, it’s either I don’t like the style, the workmanship, or the kind of  materials used.

Anyway, a friend suggested to just have everything custom- made.  It seemed a perfect idea at first but when I did a little research on the cost, I realized that custom-built furniture is actually more expensive than stock furniture.  So for the time being, custom bedroom furniture is not an option.

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MyPhone B88 Duo

One of the mobile phones I’m currently using is the MyPhone B88 Duo.  I bought it last April because I needed a new dual-sim phone.  Why?  I accidentally dropped my Nokia handset in the sink while I was washing my face.  Really klutzy but so typical of me.

A drenched, non-working dual-sim phone is the perfect excuse for me  to buy a new one.  Honestly, I remember I was really low on funds that time but a dual-sim phone is an absolute  must-have for me.  Yeah, I’m unabashedly one of those who think  that  humans can’t survive on one network alone. 😀

So I went to Abreeza Mall and bought the cheapest MyPhone dual-sim handset I can find.   Why MyPhone? Well, the brand’s been getting a lot of good reviews for its dual-sim phones so I just decided to purchase the most affordable of them all.  And that’s the MyPhone B88 Duo.

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Easy Ways to Protect Your Files

I was browsing through the files in my external hard drive earlier and I realized that I already have 113 titles in my collection of Korean movies.  I used to have more in my old laptop’s archives but sadly, a good number of them were wiped out last year.

I’m not even sure how it happened.  I just woke up one day and found out that folders containing my movie files were missing. And no, I did not accidentally drag 80GB worth of videos into the trash bin.  I’m no expert when it comes to computers but I wouldn’t do something that stupid.

In an attempt to recover the missing files, I enlisted the help of somebody who knew his way around computers.  The first thing he asked me was if I was able to back up my files. I said no.  And then he asked if I updated my anti-virus regularly.  Emabarassed, I  sheepishly shook my head no.  He said having an anti-virus software that’s not updated regularly provides very little protection from malware.

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BlackBerry Curve 9360

Late last month, I was given the opportunity to review the BlackBerry Curve 9360.  Honestly, I was hesitant  because I already have 3 phones and I haven’t even reviewed any of them yet. Yeah, not a single one of them.  But when I saw the BlackBerry Curve 9360, the lover of physical keyboards that I am had to say yes.

And so last June 26, I went home with a BlackBerry Curve 9360 review unit.  I did  stuff I’d normally do on a smartphone — send text messages and emails, listen to music, take pics, watch videos, surf, and access my Facebook and Twitter accounts.  And after more than two weeks, here’s what I can say about the BlackBerry Curve 9360:

Overall Design

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 is a slim and stylish smartphone with excellent build quality.  Although the phone is mostly made of plastic, you won’t find unsightly seams or flimsy parts.  Believe me, I held the phone  countless times over the two-week review period and I can say  that it feels solid, luxurious and compact in my hands. Another plus is the phone’s precise edges.  I am cursed with butter fingers so it helps that the BlackBerry Curve 9360’s shape makes it easier to hold on to.

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Tips to Shopping Safely Online


Shopping online has not completely taken over the world, but it has come very close. There are millions of computer and internet users in the United States and all of these people use the internet as resource or a veritable market place to purchase myriad items. With bigger chain stores moving their operations online, the internet has become a much more powerful entity for consumers to source both products and services with ease. There is a lot of money being exchanged in the online shopping industry and as a result there have also been numerous incidences of malpractice on the part of some vendors.

Even when you don’t shop with chain stores, there are peer to peer shopping networks that link individual sellers and resellers with consumers. These transactions can be very favorable but sometimes when not monitored or handled with a healthy caution, people can be swindled. What you need to do to protect yourself online while shopping is to follow some simple common sense rules. Shopping online doesn’t have to be scary but if you value your money and want value for money, you’ll pay attention. Continue reading

Random Thoughts on Travel

I may not travel as often as I want to but when I do, I am committed to making the trip worthwhile.  It’s not just about hopping on a plane, or shopping or whatever it is that catches one’s fancy.  It is about  making the most out of the journey and the destination.  So wherever I go, I not only visit the place but I try to experience the culture as well.

The last time I had a vacation was in June 2011.  I went to Boracay with Lyle and even if the trip was only for a few days, it was awesome.  We planned the trip for a month so that it can be as glitch-free as possible.  We went there to relax and that was what we did —  explored the place, ate a lot, and swam a little.  Come to think of it, we didn’t even do much but we had a great time nonetheless.

People travel for varying reasons. But whether you are doing so for business or for pleasure, traveling entails planning.  You have to take care of many things like finances, insurance and travel arrangements. For instance, if you’re planning a vacation to Crete, you might want to look for travel deals offering cheap holidays to crete because in doing so, you’ll have control of many aspects of your travel.  You don’t need to arrange for your flights, hotels, tours, and land transportation separately.

I don’t see myself traveling within the year.  I don’t want to rush things because I don’t want to be caught unprepared.  Next year? Maybe.  It would be lovely to visit Boracay again. Or perhaps one of the many cities in Southeast Asia. Let’s see.