Greenwich unlocks Swarm Badge at 2nd Cebu 4sqDay


The 2nd Cebu Foursquare Day at Greenwich (Ayala Center Cebu) last April 17, 2013  (Wed) was quite a SUCCESS! Ideally, this should have been an April 16 (four squared) event. But since the Western world celebrated a bit later, it was delayed. BAD DECISION, since it took the fun out of unlocking the 4sqDay2013 badge, which unlocks only on the 16th!

Still, over 40 folks came to celebrate and claim official Foursquare swag. Jumpers also checked-in to help unlock a Swarm badge.

Cebu Foursquare Day 2013 Swarm badge

THANKS to generous host and sponsor Greenwich, attendees were treated to FREE pizza, pasta, and drinks. AND of course, blue water bottles from Foursquare!

2nd Cebu Foursquare Day Greenwich pizza

There was no program for the day, just a simple meetup with old and new friends and super-friends.

As it stands, there is no official Cebu Foursquare community (with officers, etc). However, there is a Foursquare Cebu FB Group that is intended for Cebu-based SuperUsers, wanna-be-SuperUsers, and active Foursquare users who want to clean up Cebu. There is also a Foursquare Cebu FB fan page with pictures and status updates of Cebu Foursquare Day events.

Cebu Foursquare Day

This event couldn’t have been successful without the help of co-organizers @jerminix and @karissayu. So PROPS to these awesome guys… and to Greenwich and staff!

BY THE WAY, anybody is welcome to organize the next Cebu Foursquare Day event, or even just a Swarm event. Cebu still yet has to unlock the Super Swarm (250 check-ins) badge! Think you’d be part of that history? CHECK-IN NOW!

How I Solved the ROOTCON 6 Easter Egg Hunt


ROOTCON, an annual hacker conference and Information Security gathering in the Philippines, launched an Easter Egg hunt last night. The first to submit the codes got a 50% discount at the ROOTCON 6 event in Cebu Parklane International Hotel this coming Sept 7 (Fri) – Sept 8 (Sat), 2012.

It was 11PM, and I had nothing better to do. So I challenged myself to the hunt, which involved 5 Easter Eggs. And before I tell you how I solved all 5, here’s a DISCLAIMER: I have no hacking background, and I’m a complete noob when it comes to hacking. I don’t even know anybody in the scene, except for @not_1337, @Chaoz, and @semprix. But we all know I’m just dropping names. #KissAss

Egg #1 was pretty easy. It had something to do with source code. To crack the egg, I did a View Page Source in Firefox. Code: You.

Egg #2 was braille, but I didn’t know that at first, even with the “3 blind mice” clue. So, I just googled for “six dots”, and found… nothing. Then, it hit me to look up for braille. I found a guide, and came up with the code: HACK.

Egg #3 was probably the toughest of them all. I mean… Where does a clueless guy even start with this?

Is that even a programming language? To solve this one, I had to ask for a hint in StackOverflow (BEST tech Q&A site ever!). Armed with the UUDecode clue, I found an online service that gave me the code: therootcon.

Egg #4 was second easiest, cookies! Just use Cookies Manager+ in Firefox, and you’re all set. Code: 3a5t3r.

Egg #5 was second most difficult. How do you undress a picture (I cropped it. Sorry!) that seems to have come out from a Playboy photoshoot? Do you use Photoshop, and do naughty things with it?

Thinking it had something to do with stenography, I downloaded ImageHide and SilentEye. Unfortunately, neither of them worked. As a last resort, after doing fruitless Google and DuckDuckGo searches, I opened up my trusty Notepad++ and opened the image. Blimey! Not exactly the best way to solve it, but there it was, the last code: EGG.

So, the complete code is: You HACK therootcon 3a5t3r EGG. Well, that was fun, especially for a n00b! For @_rootcon_‘s official solutionclick here.

:: By the way, I need more Dropbox space for putting up my files on the Cloud. If you would be so kind to register under my referral link, that would be just awesome. You get 2GB of FREE space, while I get an additional 500MB (You will too, when you refer other folks!)

Cebu City Foursquare Day 2012 Meetup Swag


Hey, Cebu City! Are you excited to unlock the Foursquare Day 2012 badge on April 16 (Mon)?

No? Well, I guess I’ll have to keep all these Foursquare freebies for myself. Yep, you read that right! FREEBIES. Man, I just love that word. I’ve got cute button pins, and foursquare stickers just for you people of Cebu! These are exactly the same stuff you see in the Foursquare Store, all sent by Foursquare themselves!

So, come join us at the Foursquare Day Meetup in Bo’s Coffee in Ayala Center Cebu from 7:45PM – 10:00PM. RSVP here. If at least 50 of us check-in at Bo’s Coffee, we just might unlock the first-ever Swarm badge in Cebu City (after 2 failed attempts last momth).

Please note that I am not related nor connected to Foursquare in any way.

Cebu City Nearly Wins in Foursquare Badge Contest


Foursquare, a social networking site for location check-ins, announced a global city badge contest last March 7 (Wed). Three days before the deadline on March 23 (Fri), I came up with an initial list for Cebu City, Philippines.

The Best of Cebu City 2012 ended up with 49 venues, most of them from existing lists, and from recommendations. It contained a combination of iconic Cebu City venues, malls, restaurants, and several others.

The biggest challenge was in getting folks to follow the list. For the most of the time, I resorted to spamming local check-ins in Foursquare. I also posted tips in the recommended venues, and made use of other social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Yammer. I also posted to forums like and CebuTechForum. To date, this effort has earned The Best of Cebu City 2012 54 followers.

Today, March 29 (Thu), Foursquare announced the list of winners. Unfortunately, Cebu did not win. But, we did get a special mention:

With that, I’d like to thank all the people who were involved in the creation of the list, to those who followed and shared the list, and to those who retweeted my posts! THANK YOU, ALL! This activity, especially the spamming, was not something I was comfortable with, but it was a challenging and interesting experience nevertheless.

BUT, this does not stop here. We are going to improve on this list, and make sure Cebu City wins in future contests. This coming April 16 (Mon), join me and fellow Foursquare users as we celebrate Foursquare Day! in  Bo’s Coffee at Ayala Center CebuRSVP here, and be one of the few to get official Foursquare freebies (while it lasts) from Foursquare themselves!

GCHANG in the Year 2011


The year I was jobless for 3 months, and regretted not having jobsearched earlier.

The year I nearly got into IBM, and eventually signed for Accenture.

The year I learned Siebel, and now have to forget about it.

The year I joined Yammer, and supported the use of corporate social media.

The year I got hospitalized, and grateful it wasn’t dengue.

The year I started running, and still yet have to make my first 10K.

The year I drank wheatgrass, and wondering if it’s all snake oil.

The year I built a portfolio of private trackers, and getting high on downloads.

The year I joined online raffles, and winning a good number of them.

The year I fried my laptop motherboard, and glad it was under warranty.

The year I plugged in two 110-volt gadgets into 220-volt mains, and still hating it.

The year I reached an all-time high in eBay, and still keeping the faith in online sellers.

The year I joined Citisec Online, and started investing in Philippine stocks.

The year I acquired a brand new phone, and loving my first Android.

The year I got my hands on Kindle DX, and saving trees one book at a time.

The year I bought from Manning and O’Reilly, and still yet have to try Packt and SitePoint.

The year I started blogging in WordPress, and still thinking about my niche.

The year I saw Transylvania move to private domain, and still wishing for new blood.

The year I attempted to make new friends, and still sucking at it.

The year I planted trees, and still look forward to more environmental activities.

The year I started collecting celebrity autographs again, and supporting local entertainment.

The year I had extreme disgust for the Aquino administration, and will continue to do so.

The year I lived through the deaths of Osama bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi, and Kim Jong Il.

The year I lived through the loss of tech wonders Steve Jobs, Dennis Ritchie, and John McCarthy.

The year I lived through countless disasters all throughout the world, including Philippines’ Pedring and Sendong.

And so there goes another boring year in the life of #GCHANG.

Why, hello there, 2012! Happy New Year, folks!

Of Leon Villoria, The Mayor, and The City


I’ve offended Mr Leon Villoria from the Mayor Mike Rama Facebook group, offensively suggesting that he needs to simplify the way he uses words, so that more people can understand his point. So here’s my sincere apologies, and my thoughts as well.

I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings, Mr Leon Villoria. But if you could just express your thoughts in simpler terms, I think that would be so much better for everybody. See, not everyone is as well versed as you are. So following the principles of KISSKeep It Short and Simple – really helps in reaching out to A LOT MORE people. But if it’s hard keep it short, at least keep it simple. Heck, KISS could just as well stand for KEEP IT SIMPLE, STUPID. But hey, nobody’s calling anybody stupid. NO. Don’t even for one second think that.

Like you, I believe in the Mayor’s brand of leadership. In many ways, the Mayor is MORE capable and better-natured than his predecessor, the bossy guy who STILL can’t keep his hands out of city affairs. Yeah, that same guy who makes enemies out of his vice mayors. And exactly the same guy who will gladly scold other people in public. What a SHAME, really. He doesn’t do the guy in the hundred-peso-bill any justice.

PERHAPS like you I think it’s about time we have a Mayor who will reach to the other areas in the City. I’ll be damned if all I read about in the papers is SRP this, and SRP that. SRP is NOT a City! It’s also about time we SUPPORT the Mayor, and put the City back on the right track. It’s bad enough we have a rubber stamp City Council that acts in the interest of he-who-must-not-be-named. The City Council forgets that the City does not belong to one man. The City belongs to the PEOPLE, the same people that pays their salaries. I repeat, the PEOPLE pay your salaries, dear CITY COUNCILORS. What a SHAME, really. With those taxes I could have spent elsewhere, I expected to see real ACTION from the government, not stupid political DRAMA.

SO then, if we want to reach out to the PEOPLE, and gather support for the MAYOR, we must speak in a way that the PEOPLE understand. So let’s try and keep it simple. Let’s make it easy for everybody to understand what is going on. With that, we can show and see transparency in government.

And oh, by bald, I think you must have been referring to the guy who calls us his BOSS. And by Koumintang, you probably mean his appointee to Beijing. And please, let’s not even talk about China; let the diplomat handle that. But enough about depressing National affairs! Cebu City is one of the top cities in the country! Surely we can put Cebu City – and Cebu – in higher places with the right people in government, even without National government support.

But of course, the PEOPLE play the biggest part in that. If you can’t have a PEOPLE that will respect the Mayor, you can’t have a PEOPLE that will respect the City, much less the Country.

Pocherohan sa Mabolo


Filipinos love pork. Just ask Rex Navarrete. But Filipinos also love beef! That is why we have Pochero. That’s delicioso Filipino beef stew to you, turistas! So this morning I was jogging for 30 minutes when I decided to just quit take break, because it was already getting hot at 7AM. As I was cooling down, I thought about ZeroThreeTwo’s post about Pocherohan sa Mabolo.

It’s funny, because this place is only a 5 minute walk from my house, but I have never been here before. Can you believe that? Ridiculous. Anyway, their pochero stock pot was nowhere to be found. Gasp. But thankfully, it was cookin’… inside. So, I had one order of Pochero for take out at 50 pesos only! Then they also had Octopus and Squid Stew for 40 pesos. I ordered one, too.

Their cholesterol-laden Pochero is delicioso, and rich in flavor. A daily dose of this is a quick trip to the hospital. It’s that GOOD! Meanwhile, their Octopus dish is surprisingly better than the one served in the karenderia in front of IPI. I was expecting bubblegum texture, but NO. This dish had tender meat. Really good. I’ve not had the chance to taste the squid though, because I usually do not like the flavor of these tiny little things.

So if you don’t have the budget for Pochero in Filipino restaurants like Golden Cowrie or Abuhan, check this place out. It’s only 50 pesos, people! 50 pesos. Ekit’s Foodhaus, better known as Pocherohan sa Mabolo, is in Tandang Sora St. in Brgy Kasambagan, Cebu City. They also have an area for dining in.

BIGGER photos are in my Facebook album.