Group Buying Sites: The MetroDeal Scam.

I have nothing against group buying sites. Actually, I love the concept! Who wouldn't be happy with discounts and promo packages? But all of us should take extra caution in purchasing deals.

Take for example MetroDeal's most recent offer -- Discover Sumilon Island: 3-days/2-nights for 2 persons, Airfare, Kayaking, Island Trekking, etc. for P9,900 ($200) instead of P19,800 ($500). I took a screenshot of the deal when they just posted it. Only 4 vouchers have been purchased when I snapped this.

Thrilla in Manila 2: NBA Smart All Stars.

Who knew the NBA lock-out would be a blessing in disguise for all Filipinos?

Image credit:

This weekend, big names such as Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), Derek Fisher (Los Angeles Lakers), Chris Paul (New Orleans Hornets), Javale McGee (Washington Wizards), Tyreke Evans (Sacramento Kings), Derrick Williams (Minnesota Timberwolves), James Harden (Oklahoma Thunder), Kevin Durant (Oklahoma Thunder) and Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) arrived in Philippine shores to play in a 2-game extravaganza at the Araneta Coliseum. The event was so electrifying that it was dubbed 'Thrilla in Manila 2'!

Thrilla in Manila was the fight of the century, the third and final famous boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier for the Heavyweight Boxing Championship of the World at the Araneta Coliseum on 1 October 1975.

Tickets to this NBA All Star event ranged from P350 ($10) to P5,700 ($150). But for some reason, the good tickets disappeared and became available only at the hands of scalpers who sold the P5,700 ($150) seats for as high as P25,000 ($650)! Wow.

So blessed to have good seats.. Thank you for letting me tag along T!

On the day itself, it was really crazy outside. Everyone wanted to get in, everyone wanted to buy a ticket, everyone wanted to see the NBA idols. But because there weren't enough tickets for everyone (even for the topmost area) and people were cutting in line, the crowd outside turned into a mob!

The Araneta Coliseum was packed!

With something as epic as this, the best way to tell the story is through photos. So here are some of the photos I took during the game. T has good videos of the game, too, thanks to his Flip. I'll try to post them next time because it'll take a while to upload all of the videos.

Excuse the watermarks. I usually place them in some inconspicuous place in photos but I don't have the time to do it tonight. Tired from an action filled weekend! :)

McGee was the first one to warm up.

Everybody was chanting "MVP! MVP!" when Derrick Rose arrived.
Spot Kevin Durant still wearing his backpack while warming up.

After warming up, the NBA players went back to the lockers. The lights were dimmed and they were introduced one by one. The crowd cheered for each player.

Last to be introduced was Kobe Bryant.. The crowd went wild!

Kobe Bryant greeting the Filipinos again. He was just here a few weeks ago for another event.

Kris Lawrence singing the Star Spangled Banner.

The New Born Divas singing the Philippine National Anthem.

Chris Paul eyeing the beauty queens. Haha!

Manny Pangilinan and Jorge Araneta, thank you for bringing the NBA stars to the Philippines!

The game is about to start.

Manny Pangilinan about to throw the ball.

Sonny Thoss and Javale McGee jumping for the ball.

First dunk by Kobe Bryant.. The crowd loved it!

Javale McGee for 2!

Free throw.

The 1st quarter ended with the NBA team leading only by 4 points.

But by the end of the 2nd quarter, the NBA team was leading by 16 points!

Half time was spent with a 3 point shoot out between 2 players from the NBA vs 2 players from the Philippine team.

James Harden was the first to shoot for the NBA.

Chris Paul was up next.

3rd quarter action.

Setting up for a dunk.

And boom!

The day before the game, Javale McGee tweeted:

If I dunk on somebody today I'm gonna _________!!!! Fill in the blank!!-P

And he did! After dunking, he want planking! :))

James Harden setting himself up to dunk.

Here we go..


More dunking action.

NBA-Smart team won (obviously)!

This weekend was a surreal experience. Seeing all of the players on the court live and up close was indescribable. And to think, I'm not even a die-hard NBA fan. I can't begin to imagine what the boys must feel. Probably been heaven for them! :)

I have a feeling everyone's going to hate this coming Monday so much after an action-packed weekend. How about you? How did you spend your weekend?

Murray & D'Vine.

I know you're expecting the 2nd part of my Bellarocca post but I'm still organizing the photos (there are hundreds!). So here's a food entry first to keep you occupied :)

This afternoon, T and I were in the mood for burgers so we went to Serendra for Murray & D'vine. Their motto?

But not only are they known for burgers and sliders, they also have "damn good wine!".

Aside from their setup, I love their catsup and mustard bottles. I've never seen anything like it. So cute!

It was Happy Hour in Murray & D'Vine (2-7pm) when we arrived so pica-picas were 30% off. T ordered Fries with Onion Rings (P185/$4.50 less 30%). Good stuff!

I ordered the Mozzarella Cheese Balls (P215/$5.50 less 30%). Also yummy!

During T's first visit here, he got the Ostrich Burger. This time, he ordered the My Son-In-Law's Spicy Burger (P350/$8) with extra mushrooms, bacon and cheese (around P30/$0.75 per topping).

Although T loves Murray & D'vine, he didn't like this particular burger. He expected a special sauce to make the burger spicy but instead, he got a beef patty that tasted like chili con carne.. Something he's not really fond of.

I got the Beef Bleu Cheese Burger (P365/$9). Finished the whole thing. Yummy! I also love how their buns are heart-shaped.

Like I said, it was "Happy Hour" so drinks were 50% off. T got an ice cold beer.. Guinness!

On the other hand, I got a frozen margarita. And even if it wasn't in the menu, they accommodated my request for a strawberry-flavored one. One more good thing to say about Murray & D'vine is that they don't scrimp on their alcohol.  Whoa!

T and I love everything about Murray & D'vine.. The interior, the food, the drinks, the people. Oh, and they also have free wifi.  Expect us to be back soon!

Murray D'Vine
Dining Date: July 17, 2011

(formerly Brava) Space C114
G/F Retail Area Serendra
Bonifacio Global City, Taguig

(632) 856-3723

Official Website:

Bellarocca (part 3): The Island Tour.

Day 2
8 July 2011

I spent the early morning in our balcony finishing some blog entries. I could stay there and write endlessly, with the inspiring view of Mt. Malindig in the background.

Bellarocca (part 2): A Luxurious Getaway.

Because it's been raining non-stop, I need to spread a little bit of sunshine through my blog. Exactly a year ago, T and I stayed at Bellarocca Island Resort. I wasn't able to publish my blog entries on this though because my laptop, which had all of our vacation pictures, crashed. Luckily, I discovered that I uploaded some of our photos in cyberspace. So now I'll try to use whatever's there to share with you our Bellarocca experience :)

Day 1
7 July 2011

T and I went to Bellaroca Island Resort which is situated on an island off mainland Marinduque. It's known as the Santorini of the Philippines because of its Greek-inspired architecture.

Bellarocca (part 1): Through T's Eyes.

For the first time, T agreed to write for my blog so we're doing this particular vacation series together. Yey! The first part is an overview of our stay in Bellarocca (the island featured in my previous post) through T's eyes. Hence, his cat signature at the bottom instead of mine.  Even the photos were all taken by T.

...continued from the Prelude

Bellarocca is an experience best enjoyed first hand rather than just seen through the lens of a camera. Although the photos speak for themselves, the beauty of the place can not be justified by merely looking at them.


Image credit: Bellarocca's Facebook page