Monday, 29 June 2015

Social Issues: Is Gay Marriage Wrong?

Earlier this week, the world blew up because a milestone happened that will change the world forever. The US Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage all in it's 50 states. Same-sex couples can now get married and have the same rights as straight couples have. By the looks of it, what happened was a good thing because every human being regardless of sexual orientation now have the same marriage rights and privileges. However, for some people, this wasn't a win.

The Christian community was deeply affected by this event and it rubbed them the wrong way. Bible verses started pouring out in social media, blogs, news sites and forums. They started saying that God is about to come and will destroy those who disobey his word. They also keep pointing out that marriage is for a man and a woman and everything else is an abomination. They also started coming after the people who support the "abominations". That wasn't very cool.

Next I noticed was the LGBT community mocking Christianity in their parades. They portrayed a gay Jesus, a weird cross and many more horrific scenes on display. In the part of the LGBT community, this was outright disrespectful.

There were different opinions posted on social media, some of which came from friends and relatives. Some made absolute sense, some made no sense at all, some made a neutral argument, most just exploded with anger and pointlessness. 

Friday, 13 March 2015

Help Desk: Direct Carrier Billing

The network carriers in the Philippines has finally released Direct Carrier Billing for Google Play Store. The network who released this first was Globe followed by Smart. Other networks are currently not supported.

What is Direct Carrier Billing?
Direct Carrier Billing is a way to pay for Apps, Music, Movies, TV Series, Books and In-App Purchases from the Google Play Store using your prepaid or postpaid balance. This lets people opt out of paying for Apps using credit card, PayPal, or redeemable gift cards. 

How does Direct Carrier Billing work?
It works the same way as credit card, PayPal or gift cards work. It removes your credit from prepaid balance or you get billed on your postpaid plan. Take note that you will be immediately charged when using prepaid while it could take a while for your bill to come if you are on postpaid. 

How do I enable Direct Carrier Billing?
Below are the steps on how to enable Direct Carrier Billing (DCB).

Lazada Philippines

Friday, 13 February 2015

Life Adventures: My Person.

It's Valentine's Day and I'm here sitting around and watching some reruns of Grey's Anatomy on TV. I keep thinking to myself, what is the meaning behind the word "person" as used by Meredith and Cristina. It's not being a best friend, it's not being a sister, but it's always being a "person". And this led me to thinking "What is a person?" and "Do I have my person?"

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Life Adventures: Your Love's Got Me Looking So Crazy Right Now!

"We'll find each other. We always do." - David/Prince Charming, Once Upon A Time (2011)

The month of love is back and it's ready to bring another bout of happiness and devastation to fragile hearts. Cupid is firing his bow-gun to vulnerable people repeatedly, not missing a shot. Babies are being conceived once more in those dark and mysterious areas. Yes. Love month is back and it is ready to wreak havoc once again. 

Unfortunately, this blog is not about Valentine's Day itself, but it's about one of my friends, who so desperately needs love advice. (Or maybe not, I don't really care.) But before anything else, here is the trailer for the upcoming movie Fifty Shades of Grey, which is really really close to my friend's love story (at the moment).

Friday, 23 January 2015

Life Experience: My First Philippine License Renewal

Have you ever felt the excitement of the first time you were about to renew your license? Have you ever dreaded the unpreparedness in you when dealing with stuff like that? Well, I have. Yesterday, I was both excited and fearful of what I was about to do. I was excited because it is my first time, but I also feared the fact that I was about to reenter the Professional Regulation Commission of the Philippines or also called as PRC. I feared it because the last time I was at PRC, it felt like hell on earth, Everything was chaotic and everything was unorganized. I referred to it in the past tense because when my dad renewed his license, he said everything went smoothly and he even got his license the same day he had it renewed. Apparently, he just got lucky. When I got there, I haven't even been inside the premises and there was already a line. a very long and very slow moving line.

This happened last January 23, 2014.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Help Desk: Playstation 3 Multiplayer White Plug on Screen

Have you ever experienced a white plug appearing in front of your screen while playing online multiplayer with your PlayStation 3? It happened to me multiple times and I thought it was my HDMI cable bugging out. So I went and bought a new cable and yet it still appeared. I looked for answers on the internet and nothing came up until I came across one forum, I forgot where, and I found the answer to my problems.

What is the white plug onscreen symbol and what does it mean?
The white plug symbol is a message telling you that you are lagging. It is also known as the Lag Detector Message. It appears onscreen to tell you that your game is lagging and it disables you from playing so that you don't get an advantage against other players during the game.

Why does it appear?
There are multiple reasons why the lag detector appears on you.
  1. Your internet speed is sub par and it doesn't meet the other gamers' internet speed.
  2. You may have a very speedy connection but the ping* of your internet speed does not meet the requirements for online gaming
  3. You are in a country where you are far from gaming servers.
  4. Your DNS** server does not support online gaming.

How do I fix it?
There are many ways on how to fix the lag detector symbol but to fix it, you must know what the problem is. Here are the steps on how to avoid getting the lag detector.

  1. Know what your internet speed and ping are. if you have a smartphone or a tablet download the Ookla speedtest app and start testing your internet speed. It is recommended to have at least a download speed of 5mbps and an upload speed of 1mbps. Any lower and the risk of getting the detector increases. Also, the ping should not be higher than 100ms. The lower the ping is, the better your internet is for gaming.
  2. Use a wired connection for your console. this will ensure non fluctuating internet speeds. It is not recommended to play if you are using a 3G or 4G wifi modems. Network internet has a reliability of only 70%. 
  3. If you have slow internet, it is best to upgrade your plans. Changing times call for changing speeds.
  4. Manually set your DNS on your Playstation to a different server. I use Google DNS servers because it is more open and reliable
  5. Play at peak hours. usually, internet is very stable during peak hours and speed and ping are usually very high at these hours because few people are using the internet.
  6. Do not use VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) because it can interfere with gaming and it can interfere with looking for compatible players around you.

*Ping is a computer network administration utility used to test the reachability of a host on an Internet Protocol network and to measure the round-trip time for messages sent from the originating host to a destination computer  

**The Domain Name System (DNS) is a hierarchical distributed naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the Internet or a private network. It associates various information with domain names assigned to each of the participating entities. Most prominently, it translates easily memorized domain names to the numerical IP addresses needed for the purpose of locating computer services and devices worldwide.

That's it! Enjoy your white plug free multiplayer gaming.
Don't forget to leave comments and suggestions below if you know a better way. :)


Thursday, 23 October 2014

Redefining Television: How to Get Away with Murder Review

I'm not gonna go into details about what the show is about because lots of blogs and TV reviews have already done that. I'm here to give my opinion on how this TV series redefined prime time network television.

From the first to the current episode, this series has been breaking the norm for television dramas. I didn't feel comfortable with it at first but in the end, I accepted it because of our society now.

The first thing I noticed is that the events in the court room is really far off from what happens in the real world. Even then, this shows what lawyers are capable of doing. Remember, there are research teams that do this shows and no matter what other people feel, it can always happen in the real world (Grey's Anatomy have been doing it for quite some time and from a nurse's point of view, it may be exaggerated but most of it actually do happen.) 

The next thing that made me realize that this is really redefining TV is that it showed sex between men. It really was quite shocking at first but I realized, there was nothing shocking about it because it has been done over and over again with male and female couples. Some might say that it is very graphic but compared to the other TV shows, the scenes from How to Get Away with Murder is extremely mild. It is also done in a way that it runs with the plot and not just sex for the sake of showing sex on TV in which most of the other TV shows do. 

This show also went big especially with the final scenes of Episode 4 where Viola Davis started taking her wig off. This has not been done in other TV shows and it is a very powerful moment where it shows vulnerability and strength. This has been going on with Viola Davis' character ever since the show started. She deserves an Emmy for this.
Shonda Rhimes has really done it again. First with Grey's Anatomy then in Scandal and now, How to Get Away with Murder. People really do love suspense and drama. For those people who keep posting negative comments and keep wishing that this show is removed, well you have to just turn off your TV because with ratings like this, this show won't be going away anytime soon. Just ask Scandal.

My Final Scoreboard for this TV Show:
Plot:          5/5
Acting:     5/5
Storyline: 4/5

That's All. Remember to keep watching How to Get Away with Murder.
US - Thursdays 10 pm on ABC
Philippines - Wednesdays 8 pm on Sony Channel

It's also available on Netflix, Google Play, iTunes
It is also available for streaming on Blink (Ph) No One's Here to Sleep - Naughty Boy ft. Bastille

Monday, 9 June 2014

Help Desk: A New Breed of Smartphones

It is that time of the year again where a new breed of gadgets start popping out from everywhere. The recent Mobile World Congress revealed a lot of juicy information that makes us wanna grab that next-in-line smartphone of our favorite brand. But are we satisfied with what they are showing us?

The new age today determines cellphones based on its elegance, availability and, let's face it, peer pressure. "I wanna have that smartphone because everybody wants it." or a simple "I wanna have that smartphone because it looks good." People determine their smartphone based on what everyone wants rather than basing it on what it really does.

Sony Xperia Z2. Realeased April 2014

The first thing I ask when I see a person buy a new phone is "Why did you pick that?" The common answer would be "It looks good, it's new and people like it." I usually give a follow up question stating "Do you know the CPU speed of that?" and the most common, well actually almost all of the people I ask says "No, what do you mean?" 

Generally, people buy what the companies' advertisements say. Forgetting all other minor details that would affect the lifespan of their smartphones. Some people don't look into it because they change every year to go with fast paced world. But others wouldn't be so happy about the rapidly changing technology. But does it really rapidly changes? My answer is no.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Life Experience: An Eye-Opener to Fast-food Consumers in the Philippines

A few weeks ago, I read an open letter containing a statement that questioned a policy of KFC regarding replacement of chicken parts. An employee stated "Kasi po policy namin yun na isang malaki na part at isang maliit na part ang iseserve namin." ("We have a policy that we serve a big chicken part with a small chicken part"). It says that the fast food company KFC stated that it's their policy every time a two piece chicken or a bucket meal is ordered, they place big chicken parts and very small chicken parts together i.e. a breast part and a small chicken wing in a two piece order or 3 big pieces with 3 tiny pieces in a bucket. An image that shows a very opposite advertisement. 

I didn't want to believe this because of all my years eating at any KFC branch, whenever I ask a replacement, they do it immediately, they replace it according to wishes, and they don't make a big freaking fuss about it. I even laughed at the open letter after reading it.

But, before ending a very peaceful Black Saturday, it happened to me, or rather, me with my family. 

This is how that evening happened:

We went in a KFC (the Malolos Branch) and sat at a long table. There were eight of us and we were all exhausted from a very enjoyable trip and wanted to end our day with all smiles. My mom and my aunt ordered a bucket meal and as a force of habit, they requested a bucket with no chicken wing parts.

A KFC Bucket Advertisement

The order arrived, we picked pieces and as the large pieces vanished, the tiny pieces started appearing and they were at the bottom of the bucket. The crew member didn't add wing part but she added two very tiny leg parts. 

I went back and requested a switch. The crew member said "Wala na pong spicy part" (there's no longer an available spicy part). I said it didn't matter if she replaced them with regular flavored chicken. She did replace them but she replaced it with a slightly bigger breast part and an extremely tiny part that I couldn't even distinguish which chicken part that was. I said "Grabe naman po sobrang liit naman nito, kaya ko nga pinapalitan kasi maliit na yung kanina" ("I asked for a replacement because the part you gave was already small, and now you gave me something even smaller") She replied in a very rude manner "E kasi po bucket meal inorder niyo" ("That's because you ordered a bucket meal") That statement got my blood boiling. I said "so hindi totoo young advertisement niyo at nasa picture?" (So it isn't true what your advertisements and those pictures show?")

Without saying a word she replaced it and did it in a very rude body language. The bitch was testing my patience but I didn't retaliate, instead I walked back to our group and ate. 

After our meal I walked back and talked to the store manager. 

The manager addressed the issue in a nice way. During our conversation she stated "Kasi po may email saaming bago na ganito  po dapat ang serving namin" (we received an email regarding our serving size) i asked her "so sinasabi mo na policy ninyo yan?" ("So are you saying that that is a policy?") she replied "Parang ganun na nga po."("Something like that") I countered her statement by saying "Bakit? Alam ba namin yan? Nakapaskil ba sa labas ng advertisements niyo yan? Alam ba ng consumers niyo na ganyan lang talaga? Ipinapakita ba sa mga picture ng menu ninyo? (Why? Do we know that? Is it included in your advertisements? Do your consumers know that? Do you show it on your menu pictures?) She couldn't speak and couldn't react. I calmly said "So meaning na internal policy* yan, na kayo lang ang nakakaalam." (So it means that that is an internal policy* and only the employees know about it) She nodded. 

There is a lot more to that conversation but I would rather leave those minor details behind. Let me just clarify some things.

1. This is not a minor issue. The company is falsely advertising to consumers like us. They want to entice us with what looks nice in advertisements but very disappointing when we see it after we have paid for it. Let me remind you that we are CONSUMERS. We paid for it and we have the RIGHT to proper treatment as consumers. 

2. Rudeness will not help the cause be it the consumer or the employee. This is what made me very angry in the situation.

3. INTERNAL POLICY - The employees are the only ones who know about this. Consumers are not allowed to know this. If consumers are to request something that breaks an internal policy, they should conform to the consumer. An internal policy is a loophole to make sure the company remains thrift and cheap. But the absolute policy is that the CONSUMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT unless the situation proves wrong. The policy that KFC claims is not just theirs. Almost all fast-food chains have that kind of policy, but the other chains just know the difference between an internal policy and the absolute policy.

How do I know this? I have been a product distributor of a big Pharmaceutical Company, my parents were previously real estate agents and were also sales reps, my cousin is also a pharmaceutical drug distributor, my uncle has a business franchise and my other cousin graduated management engineering. We are a family of business people that know stuff about stuff. That is why those employees that have done inappropriate things were crew members who were not trained well enough. 

This is not an open letter. This is just an explanation to people and employees who still don't get why there are consumer outbursts like this. 

And to the consumers, our country may not have strict policy about our rights but in times like this, the way companies are cheating and manipulating us, all you have to do is to speak up and be heard so that this inhumane way of treating consumers can be and will be stopped.

I know that this post will make some of you laugh, make some of you angry, make some of you annoyed. I just leave my warning, because maybe sometime, this might happen to you before you even know it and you might not know what to make of it.

Stay positive.
thejanraphaelbc, 2014

images courtesy of Google.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Values and Morals: What Is and What Should Be.

God has always taught us to love one another as we love ourselves. It is how he taught His people to live in this world. He also said that no one should discriminate. God also taught us that whomever you may be, you are welcome to enter my house.

All my life I've been taught of what is right and what is wrong and what values we are supposed to have. They also said that the Bible is our source of how to perfect or morals and virtues. This would be our guide to salvation.

Apparently, the Bible, per se, is also teaching people to discriminate,  to hate and to attack people. When I see people talking in forums,  comments to posts, and status updates, I often see a form of discrimination and hate, usually pertaining to the LGBT community, and most of these comments use God and the Bible to attack these HUMAN BEINGS. Sometimes,  it also happens right in front of me, in the house of God, the priests or so called speakers of God themselves are belittling these people.

These leaves me conflicted and confused on what to believe. Don't get me wrong. I, for one, believe in God, the Supreme being,  who created the universe that up until now, science has failed to prove. He is the only reason I see for the existence of the universe. Although, after that science seems to have prove everything. I also believe in New Testament of the Bible for this is written by people for the people leading me to believe in Jesus Christ. All other parts of the Bible, except scriptures that seem right, I personally have been conflicted to believe. 

How could I say that? A lot people have always been quoting the Bible that man is made for woman. They keep saying that homosexuals have been condemned by the Lord. They keep quoting Leviticus or Timothy or anyone who "stated something" about homosexuality.

In my opinion, these people are a bunch of hypocrites and idiots who didn't read and understand the scriptures completely. God and Jesus never condemened anyone. As from understanding, the sin is basically multiple sexual acts or promiscuity, otherwise known as prostitution. Why did I call them a bunch of hypocrites? Because,  Jesus told us that only God can judge the people. Nobody else in this world can judge.

Growing up, I've learned that there is a huge difference with Lust and Love. I no longer need to define that,  just that from what I've learned, it will always be unacceptable if you are consumed by lust instead of love. 

Values and morals are what we think is right and what we perceive as good. You don't have to base it solely on matter that has been written during ancient times. All we need to know that the basics are kindness, acceptance, love, and honesty. And from there,  we build our own values.

In the end: judging people for the sake of proving one's point of view is unacceptable. Always remember that we are taught to love and accept one another. This will always be our basis for determining what is right and what is moral.

With that,  I leave you with the words of Regina George "I gave him everything. I was half a virgin when I met him"

Take care everyone!
Spread the love!
thejanraphaelbc 2014