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The Lost Symbol

before 2014 ended i was busy reading The Lost Symbol, caught yet again by Dan Brown's gripping storytelling. I've decided to put him on top of my favorite authors list now, because every time i read his book my mind reels in suspense and as far as his stories go, there will always be horrible deaths and unexpected traitors!

The Lost Symbol (i always confuse the title with The Secret Code for some reason argh) gave me some sort of enlightenment about masonic rituals, and how biblical they actually are.

nonetheless, i had second thoughts about finishing the book cos it could shake my faith (classic brown).

[SPOILER ALERT]

The masonic pyramid, according to the story, leads to the exact physical location of the secret 'word' believed to contain the Ancient Mysteries, which is essentially a manual on harnessing man's veiled God-like qualities.

as it turns out, this 'word' was actually a copy of the Bible, buried underneath a washington monument. i was relieved! i took it as a sign that the Word of God really contains answers, and that i should very well start the year by the reading the Bible. i was thankful of the humble reminder. :)

Reading

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

re-reading the book for the second time was definitely better. i had a better image of things and was more attentive to the details that were missed out on the movie. i'm having fun reading it! sadly, halfway through and my reading schedule was interrupted by something that demanded more urgent attention...

and that is...

Watched

Game of Thrones

i tried watching GoT i guess last year, but the first minutes of the pilot episode scared me enough to decide i will never watch it again in spite of the hype around it telling me otherwise. argh. having white walkers on the first scene scarred my memory i had to brand the acclaimed series as a horror flick not for the faint of hearts.

but you see, jeckie re-introduced the series to me by having me watch its other episodes. since then, i was crazy hooked! and learned better than to get attached to awesome character in hopes they'll somehow survive GRRM's fancy for killing them right when they've just won my heart.

just a few days ago i closed my late night marathons w/ season 4's finale, and just in time because i would have to spend the coming nights for another series...

a series of drawings.

Coming Soon

New children's book project!

this week, i got reco-ed for an illustrating job! thank you kuya rey! yeheyy! it's the first time i'm charging for my illustration services so i realized it's okay to drop an intro price, also because i was pretty much asked to give one hehe. Just like with Super Labandera, i don't have a lot of time left before the deadline so my entire Feb is full to the core. i figured i would have to make the same sacrifices as with my last book; no weekends, all nighters, and maybe even a day off from work. oh well. rush is rush! >XD

i couldn't complain though! for all its demands, i'm loving this opportunity! i'm excited to sit down and imagine the characters, the scenery. i'm excited to sketch and research, and finally go down to coloring. everything about this project excites me! haha!

i'm also excited to get an office chair for my room. haha

Keynote speaker!

someone from my college invited me to speak for a leadership summit for graduating students and org leaders. i accepted the invitation and am kindof excited. i'm just not sure my excitement will translate to the right words or even uhm, gestures when i'm finally on the stage. haha it makes me super duper nervous thinking about it. but oh well. i got to experience this at least once!

while public speaking is a killer, i've always wanted to try it out. see if talking to myself works. haha

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that's pretty much it! excited for the weekend! <3

ever wondered what casinos do to keep their customers playing?

Source
if you're familiar with Quora, i want you to know it's one of my favorite sites right now. it's information haven! ever since i joined the site, i've been getting daily digests of super interesting questions and answers that almost always pique my interest.

and once i open a link, i could read on for hours hopping from question to question and learning more and more about really random stuff; from science, to social events, to personality development, etc.

earlier this day i stumbled upon a question about tricks casinos use to encourage gamblers to play more. it leaned on mind play so i became keenly interested! i didn't compile all of them but i'm listing the most amusing ones for me! hehe

if you're curious, here they are:

5 tricks Casinos use to keep gamblers playing

1. softer floor finish near the machines

architect Mark Bellingan explained that the flooring near the machines are generally softer than those away from them. the idea is that as you walk in the casino (hard floor) and closer to one of the machines (carpet finish), you will feel more comfortable as the flooring gets softer. and walking away may give you a slight discomfort as you step back into the marbled tiles.

you don't generally attribute the discomfort to the floorings. it's its psychological effect making it seem that it's more comfortable near the machines. so you go back. haha

cool beans!

2. the "Near Miss" effect

it's when you missed the jackpot at a three-reeled slot machine because the 3rd reel slipped a symbol past the winning pattern (and you watch in slow agony).

it's when you're one apple short of winning the ultimate jackpot on a scratch-off ticket.

it's the feeling of almost winning... but not quite. and for pathological gamblers, it makes them want to play more because the feeling of a near miss and an real win is actually the same for them (says their brain activity)! so because they feel like they're winning, they'll stick to that lever (or coin) until they hit the jackpot.

some casinos take advantage of that subconscious effect by increasing near misses in their games to keep the customers playing.

sooo clever.

3. no clocks, windows, and temperature variances

so patrons lose track of time. you'll never know what time is it (unless you ask i guess? hehe). temperature inside is regulated to avoid flunctuations. and you'll never know if the sun has already set for there's hardly a window to peek out from. they make it seem like time stands still. and if you did realize it's getting too late, they'll make it hard for you to leave because of...

4. a maze of a floor plan

you can't find the exit, so what's the use of leaving? as you fumble around for the exit way, you would have passed by at least 10 reasons to stay haha. tables and machines are strategically placed to catch your attention and lure you into playing as you head out.

5. loyalty cards, complementary stuff, and VIP treatment

excellent service, friendly greeters, courteous dealers, accommodating staff. the casino is filled with people who are set to meet your every need.

free food (so you don't get hungry and decide to eat outsdie), free drinks (so you get drunk and play more haha), valet service, complementary hotel rooms. why leave?

the thing is, with the amount of comp service the casino offers, gamblers often think they're being rewarded just by playing, so losing heaps may not seem like losing at all. to them it may even translate to the actual value of the many services they were offered inside. sort of like a win-win even if they really lost. >XD

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and that's it! there're tons more like oxygen being pumped in the room, stimulating lights, and garish carpets... all to keep you wide awake and and thus spend more but, yeah, i focused on those i learned with an "ooooooooh". haha

it's fascinating how casinos are carefully designed to stimulate all the right nerves that poise you to play until you run dry. i think it's sinisterly genius.
Have you ever window-shopped online? Bought coupons at a group buying site? Paid for flights, services, or gadgets over the web? Have you tried selling items over at your Facebook or Instagram accounts? Do you have an online store at eBay or OLX?

You may not know it, but you (oh yes, you) are a player in this online trade industry that is predicted to generate 20% of our country's GDP in the next 10 years. that means, 20% of our country's income will come from online transactions in the near future.

That's some serious figure over there. That's how powerful E-Commerce is.

If you're looking into building a career online, whether as a freelancer, a virtual shop owner, or an online marketer, you need to know the basics and eventually the technicalities of the trade; those will definitely propel your career to a huge headstart!


Janette Toral, in collaboration with Asian Institute of E-Commerce and AIE College offers an E-Commerce Training Program that will get you certified in the following tracks:

  • Track 1: E-Commerce Specialist (12 units)
    • Module 1: E-Commerce Business Overview
    • Module 2: Supply Chain Management
    • Module 3: Payment Systems & Fraud Handling
    • Module 4: E-Commerce Marketing & Project Plan
  • Track 2: E-Commerce Entrepreneur (15 units)
    • Module 5: E-Commerce Security
    • Module 6: E-Commerce Site Development
    • Module 7: E-Commerce Policies
    • Module 8: Industry Exposure / Practicum
  • Track 3: E-Commerce Professional (9 units)
    • Module 9: E-Learning Management
    • Module 10: E-Commerce Improvement & Promotions
    • Module 11: E-Commerce Consulting, Outsourcing, & Project Management
Each of the tracks has specialized topics (modules) that may be taken purely online, or via face-to-face sessions. Fees and Schedules are posted below. :)

Why should you enroll?

Click for source

There aren't a lot of schools offering courses on E-Commerce and this program is perfect for you if you are considering (or already have) a career in marketing or online marketing, entrepreneurship, business consulting, or anything related to conducting business online.

What will you earn?

Units

Units may be earned by complying with the following on a per module basis (complete an equivalent of 54 hours per module):
  • Attend the 8 hour face to face lecture. Meals not included
  • Participate in 4 live webinar sessions
  • Take the prelims, midterm, and final exam.
  • Do the research / report / actual project work.

Certificate in E-Commerce

You may take the program completely online if you are after the certificate course. Certificate is issued to those who were able to complete the research/report/project work. Student progress will be tracked using the Matrix Learning Management System.

Diploma in E-Commerce

If you are a participant who has:
  • Earned the required minimum units and complied with the requirements stated above on earning units
  • Finished at least 2nd year college
You may submit your transcript of records for credentialing, and it will be reviewed to see if you may qualify for a diploma.

Bachelor of Science in E-Commerce

If you are a participant who has:
  • Earned the required minimum units and complied with the requirements stated above on earning units
  • Finished at least 3rd year college
you may submit your transcript of records for credentialing, and it will be reviewed to see if you may qualify for a degree in BS E-Commerce.

Who are the trainers?

Janette Toral, dubbed as the mother of e-commerce in the Philippines, is the subject matter expert. She will be the one conducting the training programs and will be joined by the at least 40 guest resource persons who will be present during face-to-face and live webinar sessions.

What is the schedule and where will it be located?

The E-Commerce Training Programs will be available to take online or face to face at Makati, Pasig, Cebu, and Dagupan.


The program will be restarted this June 2015 so make sure to take a look at the different modules that may interest you! :)
How much will it cost?

Per module costs Php 3,000.00 (three thousand pesos) except for Module 8 which is Php 6,000.00 (six thousand pesos). However, if you decide to pay in cash for the entire 11 modules, you will be entitled to a big discount and will have to pay only Php 30,000.00 (thirty thousand pesos).

But wait, there's more!

If you are interested in enrolling, we will be extending a 10% discount when you sign up through this blog. Just fill out the form below and a discounted billing will be sent to you.




















Janette Toral will send an email confirmation link to ensure no one is adding you without consent. Kindly check your bulk or spam folder in case it doesn't arrive in your inbox. Once confirmed, you will receive an email with the discounted billing.

[Disclosure: I am an accredited online lead generator for DigitalFilipino Training Programs]
i'm writing this in advance chunks (cos i never finish an entry in a single sitting, either i can't find what to say, or i'm babbling too much i don't know how to end) with the intention of publishing it on the first days month of 2015!

sooooo... here are my 2014 highlights! for this list i scanned my blog archives plus my mobile photos to see how the year went for me, and picked the awesome stuff from there haha.

here, i also made a doodle out of it! enhanced using photoshop and vscocam lol. it's originally just black and white >XD i wanted to cap off the year doing something i really really love, so i doodled! >XD


oryt i'll start rambling now [warning: super long post]

homaygas i'm officially an illustrator now *kilig*
The Storytelling Project Book Launch
December 14, 2014
Fully Booked BGC


because i was too lazy, i never got to create a separate post for it. the launch was unlike any other book launch i pass by on the mall haha. it was a children's party and a storytelling afternoon. and i felt proud and super hopeful that more people will come to support TSP. <3

seeing people read the book and look at the illustrations make me so happy. i know i still have a heck lot to improve on but i'm looking forward to this year to turn me into a better artist!

right now, Super Labandera is only available by ordering through Kuya Rey (or me! so i can forward it to him hehe), but this year it'll be out on Fully Booked bookstores! i'll let you know when it's really really out there! weeeeee! haha

my dream phone. bow
thanks to the ipad air i won over from NuffangPh x Globe Telecom's contest about #GlobeProjectWonderful2014, i was able to buy a Sony Xperia Z1 Compact. you knowww, that phone i've been lusting over ever since (read here!).

it's the first high-end phone i bought, and also the first phone i didn't want to replace for the longest time *achievement unlocked!*. maybe because my past units were all mid-range and bars that there's always the urge to upgrade. hehe

won some blogging contests yeyy!
this year i took home an ipad air, a (pending) sponsorship from Globe for TSP, a month subscription from Sky Cable (all channels activated! ambassador privilege -- i recall that's how they termed it >8D), and a couple of free movies: Transformers: Age of Extinction (in 4DX), maleficent, mokingjay, x-men: days of future past, etc.

also, just recently i won a free TRX class at ShapeStream fitness center! haha yeyy 

off Smart and onto Pointwest

i resigned from my first company and got a new job at Pointwest, which is only a good 30 minutes from home. the best thing about this change was that i saved a lot of time for myself. haha

inspiration overload from Graphika Manila 2014

the day i felt most inspired as an artist.

took running seriously...

by enrolling in Milo R2 Apex Running School! i still consider myself a frustrated runner. my lungs are all sorts uncooperative (i think i have paint deposits in them), and so are my knees (esp the right one. read: previously injured). what a combo! but then i looked past them and thought, maybe i'm the problem and not my so-called handicaps lol.

because of MARS i was able to learn a lot about metabolic fitness, i grew some muscles (nakss), i climbed my first mountain, i ran my first non-stop 5k, i became more health conscious, and best of all i gained friends! honestly, i didn't lose weight, but at least i didn't gain any either! hehe >XD

first time at Boracay!
i wasn't able to blog about this adventure with my college barkada but it was one of the best vacations i've ever had! 

bought my own domain!

i've always wanted to buy my own domain because i wanted to push my blogging to the next level. true enough, having my own .com opened a lot of opportunities for me! yeyy!

jeckie and i turned 3 years

we've also been so active in discussing the future, and we both caaaan't wait! oh sweldo, lumaki ka na please! looking forward to acquiring a house/condo unit/whatever. by God's grace! <3

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hm, that's probably it! this entry took so long to finish majorly because i always get distracted haha.

anyway. err, back to work. >XD