Friday, December 17, 2010

Choosing the Right BPO Offshore Outsourcing Firm

Selecting the right BPO offshore outsourcing firm is most likely the most significant task of a business owner who hopes to keep his edge in today’s competitive market. In fact a lot of people see this task as even more important as fixing up a business process outsourcing destination. Why not, there are an overwhelming number of organizations offering business process outsourcing services. But this should not discourage anyone else because there are a few tips that can possibly help you get started with a right service provider.

Business process outsourcing providers across the globe bring about dedicated services in order to help buyers make a right choice and decision. But then again, it cannot be denied that cheat companies still exists in full flow. In this case, business owners need to be aware of certain precautions so they won’t fall
prey to malicious service providers.

So, what are the tips when choosing the right BPO offshore outsourcing firm?

Experts suggest that business owners consider several factors before eventually deciding which BPO vendor to take. Ideally, entrepreneurs should first analyze and scrutinize the strength and the expertise offered by any targeted service provider. These business owners have to weigh services offered by the provider as well as the provider’s roster of clients.

An excellent way of finding an ideal firm is conducting follow up with the existing clients of the firm and their related services. Your selected business process outsourcing vendor must offer appropriate quality certifications and should feature highly-skilled workforce or must be in the position to provide training facilities.

Aside from quality certification and standards, your targeted BPO service provider should also boast strong financial background. In addition, the company should also show willingness to share the risk in your outsourcing contract. It will be beneficial if you try to know about the type of services the vendors can possibly offer you. For this reason, walk the extra mile and do a comprehensive research and try to learn what are the services put on offer. It also helps to check out the relationship of the vendor with the other outsourcing suppliers.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Local shops to release iPad on Dec 17

Local retailers disclosed that Apple iPad and its original Apple accessories will be officially released in the Philippines starting December 17, 2010. Apple fanatics from across the country can start shopping for such products in all Power Mac Center Apple Premium Reseller Stores nationwide.

APR stores of Power Mac Center (PMC) are found in Greenbelt 3, SM Mall of Asia, SM Megamall, The Annex at SM City North EDSA, and TriNoma.

In connection to this, Power Mac Center will also provide free workshops on how users can maximize the Apple gadget on December 17, 18, and 19, 2010 at the Power Mac Center Classroom of Greenbelt 3 at 1:00 pm, 3:00 pm and 6:00pm, and TriNoma at 6:00 pm.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Do you have the right diet?

The word “diet” is probably one of the most popularly used terms these days not only among health buffs. But what really is diet? The National Institute Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) defines diet as the food or drink a person consumes each day. This comes in varied types such as Atkins Diet, the Zone Diet, the South Beach Diet, and many more.

Professionally speaking, diet is designed to limit the portions of food or drink intake to promote specific purposes such as weight loss. Apparently, this is usually hard to follow especially when people do not secure the services of a professional health practitioner. Ideal diet takes into account the foods that you like and dislike as well as a combination of foods with enough calories and nutrients for good health.

When planning a diet, see to it that you choose a diet that is appropriate to your calorie needs. Make sure that you opt for diets that are practical and easy to follow and maintained for the rest of your life so that you will achieve your personal goals. Make sure that your diet contains all the essential nutrients you need to keep you healthy. Read books on diet and proper nutrition to guide you or better yet, visit and dietitian who can provide you professional advice. Also, don’t forget to read Nutrition Facts Labels on each product you buy.

Healthy Weight Forum says that a healthful diet basically includes the following:

Sufficient amount of vitamins and minerals. Eating different varieties of foods from all the food groups on the Food Guide Pyramid will help you get the vitamins and minerals your body requires. If you eat less than 1,200 calories per day, make it a point to take a daily vitamin and mineral supplement.

Acceptable amount of protein. The average woman 25 years of age and older requires at least 50 grams of protein each day, while the average man 25 years of age and older needs 63 grams of protein each day. Sufficient protein prevents muscle tissue from breaking down and repairs all body tissues such as skin and teeth. In this case, make sure you eat a minimum of 2-3 servings from the protein-rich foods such as meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts.

Suitable amount of carbohydrates. Each person needs at least 100 grams of carbohydrates per day to prevent fatigue and dangerous fluid imbalances. Supply your body with enough carbohydrates by eating 6-11 servings from the Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta Group on the Food Guide Pyramid every day.

Have a regular doze of fiber intake. Sufficient fiber helps with proper bowel function. If you were to eat 1 cup of bran cereal, 1/2 cup of carrots, 1/2 cup of kidney beans, a medium-sized pear, and a medium-sized apple together in 1 day, you would get about 30 grams of fiber.

Gulp down a minimal amount of fat each day and see to it that you limit the amount of cholesterol in your diet to reduce your risk for heart disease and may help you lose weight. Cholesterol is a fat-like substance derived from animal products such as meat and eggs. Ideally, you diet should include no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day.

Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses, 8 ounces each, of water or water-based beverages, per day. Increase your water intake if you exercise a lot.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Bolster your Defenses against Colds and Flu

Colds and flu are trending these days, affecting people regardless of age, gender and status in life, leaving those affected searching for fast solutions that could help them counter such much-dreaded illnesses. Do you know how to bolster your defenses against germs and viruses lurking within practically all areas in the home, office, schools, and malls that cause colds and flu?

A research conducted by Emily Sohn and Rachel Johnson suggests the following:

Take Vitamin D supplements on a daily basis. According to studies, children who regularly take Vitamin D supplements reduce their risk of being attacked by common flu virus. Laboratory studies reasons say that
the supplement helps immune cells identify and destroy bacteria and viruses that make people sick.

Soak up on green tea. Green tea contains polyphenols, a potent plant antioxidant known to boost the immune system. A specific type of polyphenol known as catechins kill influenza virus. Steep green tea for
no more than a minute or two and add a squeeze of lemon and honey to it to reduce its bitter taste. Never add milk to your green tea because proteins can only bind the polyphenols and make them ineffective.

Indulge in probiotics. Also referred to as ‘good’ bacteria, these probiotics found in yogurt, sauerkraut and other foods makes their way down to the lower intestines and suppresses the growth of ‘bad’ bacteria in
the body. Probiotics activate the immune systems. The next time you go shopping, look for products that are labeled “Live and Active Cultures” Seal from the National Yogurt Association. This label attests that
the product contains a set of minimum amount of two particular types of beneficial bacteria.

Gulp down soluble fiber. Soluble fibers which are abundant in citrus fruits, apples, carrots, beans, and oats helps fight inflammation. Make it a point to have at least 25 to 38 grams of total fiber each day.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Trouble with Business Process Outsourcing

Delegating your tasks to a BPO offshore outsourcing provider does not always mean smooth and more efficient business. Let’s face it, not all outsourced providers who claim to be professionals are really experts in the field. There are those who have such impressive websites but could not possibly provider you a list of their satisfied clients. There are also those who are only after the amount of money you can invest on their services.

In this case, take extra precautions when choosing business process outsourcing company; otherwise you fall prey to outsource providers who lack effective management of employees or those who do not have a well structured organization. Problems also tend to occur when communications and expectations from the provider is unclear, leaving the outsourced personnel feeling unsupported and unmotivated; hence they become unproductive.

At any rate, it is practically the responsibility of the BPO offshore outsourcing provider to set up an effective means of managing the projects they handle. These outsource service providers have to see to it that they are able to foster effective communication, both in language and technology, and accountability. These providers also need to make sure that they can possibly manage their own workforce and that they have the ability to set parameters and clear strategies for communication and

Business owners whose employees work within the same building can closely monitor their employees. These entrepreneurs can attest whether employees are working at their own workstations or at the lounge drinking coffee and probably trying to catch up with one another. Those who outsource though,
tend to have limited boundaries over their workforce. A business owner who hires an outsourced employee does not really know whether paid workers spent their work time researching on assigned project or whether they actually researched on their next vacation. Entrepreneurs who outsource also have no idea whether the employees spent their time chatting with customers or navigating their own Facebook profiles.

Certainly, a business owner has to effectively and efficiently manage his employees. Entrepreneurs also need to take advantage of a pool of resources available from today’s outsource-friendly market. Those
who wish to outsource need to find and utilize web-based solutions that would help them keep track of employees’ activities and progress. Outsourcing companies can use web based solutions to establish
accountability and trust between the outsourcing parties and outsource service provider. Such solution help companies and business owners know if the employee showed up for work on a particular day and also helps business owners monitor the employees’ activities.

Aside from web-based solutions, business owners can also turn to client-server based software solutions that provide reporting tools that help evaluate employee progress, productivity, and time management more effectively. Client-server based software includes a website that provides employers a secure area featuring useful information such as screen shots of the employees’ working stations. Such programs automatically send real-time screen shots of each computer, allowing each worker to be more
accountable for their productivity and allowing employers to effectively oversee projects.

To recap, managing outsource employee can be a bit challenging, but companies can actually utilize specially designed software programs such as web-based solutions and client-server based software to help them overcome potential and common problems in outsourcing.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Social Media Marketing Statistics for 2010

Social media marketing is one of the latest widely used online marketing strategy these days. Why not? Millions of people are now glued to various social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Orkut and popular sites. Who would not be enticed to these sites? These social networking sites are free to use, easy to navigate, and is a fantastic avenue for marketing products and services. Sites such as those
mentioned are frequented by thousands of users from across the world every minute of the day making these a potential avenue to drive more traffic to a business website.

The blog Web Strategist posted an interesting and updated statistics on social networking. The stats revealed that Facebook which overtook MySpace in 2009 is yet to be outnumbered by any other site these days. Facebook is said to have more or less 40o million unique and active users in Feb2010. While MySpace continue to be a leading network with more than 57 million unique users from the US alone, other popular sites such as Tagged, Hi5, MyYearbook and Bebo generate at least 3-6 million unique visits each month.

A survey conducted by Nielsen appears to substantiate mentioned statistics when it disclosed that the three most popular social media sites are Facebook, YouTube and Wikipedia. Social media sites these days get as much as 22 percent of all time online.

LinkedIn, a site founded by Reid Hoffman, increased its users from 55 million in December 2009 to 60 million in less than two months. LinkedIn now have at least 67 million users, including Fortune500 companies. Tagged is reported to have a total of 100 million registered users, 6 million of which are monthly unique visitors from the US. Its “Meet Me” application reportedly draws 40 million daily page

Twitter claims to have at least 105 million unique users and to generate at least 55 million tweets a day, or an average of 600 tweets per second. The site generates at least 3 billion requests a day via its API and at least 600 million search queries per day. 37% of Twitter users use their mobile phones to tweet.

Imagine the massive market you can reach out to when you use social media networking as part of your marketing strategy. Take advantage of these sites now and on your way to a more productive marketing stint. Take note that these sites mentioned are only some of the most popular ones you can get involved

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Protect your Child from Cyberbullying

The Internet is not always useful. When used without care, this technology can also cause massive trauma in a person. Take for example the case of highly publicized deaths of Tyler Clemente and Phoebe Prince and many other kids who committed suicide after being bullied in school and on various online sites.

Cyberbullying is an issue that should not be overlooked. This problem involves sending out hurtful messages that are likely to cause suicide among children who believe that suicide is the only alternative to escape from the pain inflicted in them via electronic media.

Statistics from the National Crime Prevention Council survey revealed that:

• 43% said they'd been cyberbullied last year;

• 96% have an email account;

• 43% said "their parents usually know what they're doing online" but have no online use rules.

• 27% said their parents don't know what they're doing online; and

• Only 23% have and follow their parents' rules.

The survey conducted on 1500 teens further disclosed that 81% of cyberbullies think their actions are rather funny and those perpetrators…

• Don't consider cyberbullying a big deal;

• Fail to consider the consequences;

• Are encouraged by their friends;

• Figure they won't get caught.

And so many kids are involved. Another survey carried out by revealed that:

• 42% of kids have been bullied online; 25% said it's happened more than once.

• 35% have been threatened online; for almost 20%, that's happened more than once.

• 21% have received mean or threatening emails or other messages.

• 58% admit someone said mean or hurtful things to them online; more than 40% said it had happened more than once.

• 53% admitted saying something mean or hurtful to someone online, with 33% doing so more than once.

• 58% of bullied kids admit they'd never confided in a parent or other adult.

Online cruelty occurs in many social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace which are heavily frequented by children and teens. Another site called Burnbook which calls itself "a social utility that allows you to gossip about the people in your life while staying completely anonymous" is a potential area for cyberbullying.

Fortunately, the issue on cyberbullying is not at all overlooked by several cause-oriented groups and even the US President Barack Obama who said "You are not alone. You didn't do anything wrong. You didn't do anything to deserve being bullied. And there is a whole world waiting for you, filled with possibilities. There are people out there who love you and care about you just the way you are. And so, if you ever feel like because of bullying, because of what people are saying, that you're getting down on yourself, you've got to make sure to reach out to people you trust. Whether it's your parents, teachers, folks that you know care about you just the way you are. You've got to reach out to them; don't feel like you're in this by yourself."

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

November 16 is a special non-working holiday

President Benigno "Pnoy" Aquino have declared November 16, 2010 a special non-working holiday. If I should say it, you might have no idea why he declared such day as a holiday. PNoy deemed it proper that Filipinos be one with the Muslims on celebrating an important Islamic celebration which falls on that day - The Festival of the Sacrifice or otherwise called Eid al-Adha.

Here a glimpse of the Proclamation No.60 declaring Tuesday next week as a special non-working holiday.

Wikipedia defines Eid al-Adha or "Greater Eid" as the celebration of the Muslims to commemorate the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son Ishmael (Isma'il) as an act of obedience to God, but instead was able to sacrifice a ram (by God's command). It marks the end of the Pilgrimage to sundown, and ask God for forgiveness.

Muslims all over the world offer prayers and would sacrifice a cow, goat, sheep, or a camel on this day. They would also give gifts to poor people.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ensuring Internet Safety at Home

The advent of technological breakthroughs like computers and internet connection offer a myriad of advantages. These cutting edge solutions have made life so much easier. These equipments allowed many to accomplish their jobs and provide better services. These, too, have helped many business owners improve their businesses easily. Technological advancements have also helped many families and friends connect with each other - regardless of their geographical locations and differences in time zones. The presence of internet also allowed many to work in the comforts of their homes and continue to earn money while at the same time be able to look after their children. Truly, the internet has opened many possibilities. Now, any one can keep track of their business at nay time of the day. People can now get a grasp of various events from different parts of the world with just a single click at the web.

Despite these advantages, the fact that the internet poses several threats still remain.

A study conducted by the NOP research group reveals that four million children aged seven to seventeen are using the internet. Out from this number, 29 percent would freely divulge some private matters and even provide their home address. Some 14% of these surveyed would also give out their email address, if asked, to complete strangers.

The study further revealed that nine out of ten children aging between 8 and 16 have witnessed pornographic materials through the web. Most of these sites are accessed unintentionally by young internet users while doing research for their homework. Investigations also reveal that at least 26 known popular kid’s characters, like Pok√©mon, My Little Pony and Action Man that shows thousands of links to porn sites. This means that children can easily access sex on the internet and can make these children vulnerable victims of this immorality.

It becomes important then that parents employ safety measures to abridge the threat it bears. The impact of the internet to the lives and morality of each home are at stake. Considering that it is every parent’s role to avoid the treats to happen, here are some helpful tips to do it:

* Teach your children to keep theirs and your homes privacy from total and complete strangers. They should learn not to trust so easily. Most hucksters, stalkers, and bad people employ bobby traps for wary souls.

* Do not allow your kids aged 12 and below to use social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitters, et cetera…

* Set the parental mode of your child’s computer. Computer manufacturers ensured a program for parents in every unit. It will keep the children from accessing sites that are not for general audience. Only you can open it using a password. In this process, they need parent’s permission to access those sites.

* Monitor your child’s internet activities through the computer register.

* Read information and be aware of the sites that your family member is visiting and determine whether it’s risky or not.

* Implement ground rules in internet use. Teach them to manage their online time. Agree on the set schedules for research, entertainment and socializing.

* Teach you kids proper and polite internet use and how to be safe citizens in the internet. Make them learn the good ways of saying thank you and please in conversing with other people in the net.

The tips mentioned are practically easier said than done. Try your best to make your home safer.

Monday, September 13, 2010

What a Virtual Assistant Do

Virtual Assistants can help you in many ways. The Upwardly Mobile shares some of these.

1. Industry Research - If the facts are there, your virtual assistant can find them much cheaper than anybody else can. Do the math.
2. Product Research - Like number 1, but for products. Have your virtual assistant find and rate products based on whatever criteria are most important to you: price, features, quality, design, popularity, or anything else.
3. Search Engine Optimization - Great for a Website or a Blog.
4. Your Taxes - April 15th is on its way, and many virtual assistants specialize in the tax field.
5. Calendar Management - “Have your people call my people.”
6. Idea Creation for Your Blog or Newsletter - My virtual assistant came up with 7 of the items of this list.
7. Reminders - Don’t forget something important.
8. Bill Pay - If you hate doing it, why not outsource it?
9. Bill Audit - Have your VA review your statements before paying them to make sure you don’t overpay!
10. Grocery Shopping - Combine a virtual assistant with Peapod and you’ve saved yourself an hour a week or more.
11. Other Shopping - Ask Your VA to find you the top 3 books on a given subject and then choose between the three.
12. Event Planning - Want to meet a big group of friends for dinner? Have your virtual assistant find a location, send out invites, answer people’s questions, and generally take care of logistics.
13. Trip Planning - Same as above; your VA can book your flight or train, make your reservation, and plan your itinerary.
14. Internet Marketing - Have an AdSense or other internet marketing campaign? Let your virtual assistant run it for you.
15. News Digests - Feed readers are a good way to keep on top of the news, but sometimes there’s just too much information for you to handle. Have your virtual assistant prepare a daily or weekly digest of the top news that matters to you.
16. Backlink Building - Have your VA help drive traffic to your site.
17. Web Design - Many virtual assistants specialize in web design; revamp your blog or website.
18. Contractor/Vendor Research - Thinking about purchasing a service for yourself or your startup? Have your VA check out potential companies first.
19. Hire Screening - If you’re hiring, have your virtual assistant screen potential candidates first and only forward the top candidates’ resumes on to you.
20. Call Answering and Forwarding - Skype and a VA with good speaking skills can go a long way to making a small business seem more professional to current and potential clients. You usually don’t have to pay virtual assistants to man the phones except for the time they actually spend talking because they can work on tasks for other clients while they wait.
21. Comment Management - Avoid dealing with the spam and have your virtual assistant manage comments on your blog or forum.
22. Comment Response - Take a cue from Tim Ferriss and have your virtual assistant actually respond to your comments, too.
23. Email Response - Same as number 22; if an email asks a common question, have your virtual assistant answer it for you.
24. Email Sorting - Building on 23; have your VA read your email for you and seperate out those emails that require your personal response; if it works for CEOs and heads of state, it can work for you, too.
25. Networking Research - Networking is important, but there are a lot of networking events that waste time and don’t add value. Have your virtual assistant sort through the invites you get and find the ones that will best serve your agenda.
26. Keeping You in Touch - Create a list of important people in your life who you don’t see regularly, and have your VA schedule a call with one or two of them every week.
27. Making You Hard to Reach - The opposite of number 26; have your virtual assistant screen your calls and filter out the people who waste your time. Works great with a Google Voice Account.
28. Tracking Things Down - If you need to find anything–an expert in a given field, Barack Obama’s BlackBerry number, or the best Pizza in New York City–have your virtual assistant search for it.
29. Managing Voicemail - The same principle as managing email.
30. Following Up - Have your virtual assistant follow up on outstanding items for you. If you do a weekly review, have your VA follow up on all the outstanding items in your Waiting For context.
31. Meal Planning - After your virtual assistant organizes your party, have her plan the meal, too. You can even have her order your groceries for you, per number 10.
32. Diet Planning - Need to lose a few pounds? Set a goal and have your virtual assistant organize a diet and exercise plan for you that fits your lifestyle.
33. Wedding Planning - A glorified version of number 12. I now know someone who’s having their virtual assistant help plan their wedding. Let your virtual assistant find the top 5 vendors (for flowers, the cake, the reception venue, the band, etc.) that meet your criteria, and then choose from those 5. This will save hours.
34. Cost Management - If you’re running a project, use your VA to help you manage costs. Many virtual assistants are trained accountants and can manage the budget and provide audit services.
35. Data Entry - If it’s time-consuming and repetitive, you can get excellent rates.
36. Data Review - Same as above; if you don’t control the data input but need to validate it anyway, a good VA will lower costs considerably.
37. Fact Checking - Great for journalists and business people alike; let your virtual assistant help you do your due diligence by checking your notes, some one else’s facts, or anything else the might be subject to mistakes, typos, or bias.
38. Fact Finding - Need a specific statistic on global warming or everything there is to know about Abe Lincoln’s childhood? Put your virtual assistant to work on finding the facts.
39. Interface Testing - Need someone to click buttons until your software breaks? Virtual assistants are perfect for the task, especially when you’ve written good test scripts.
40. Interface Design - Need a trained designer on a budget? A good virtual assistant will work wonders.
41. Record Management - Have a large data set that needs to be updated manually? Have your virtual assistant scour the internet and work the phones for those hard-to-find phone numbers, addresses, and any other data you might gather yourself.
42. Grant Writing - Some virtual assistants specialize in grant writing. If your startup is of the social or non-profit variety, a good virtual assistant could be invaluable.
43. Subject Matter Briefs - If you’ve ever been scheduled for a meeting on a topic about which you know very little, a virtual assistant can be a great help. Have them find or write a short, five-page summary of the topic, major concerns and implications for you, and recent news.
44. Finding What Works - We’ve already talked about doing what works several times on The Upwardly Mobile. Have your virtual assistant find the people, companies, or organizations that already know and practice what works in your field.
45. Avoiding What Doesn’t Work - The inverse of number 43. Sometimes knowing where people made mistakes is just as valuable as knowing how the succeeded; have your virtual assistant find out both.
46. Finding New Clients - Having a fresh perspective has never been cheaper; have your virtual assistant look for clients for a given product or service without specifying an industry or giving too much detail. You may be surprised to find that you can adapt what you’re already doing to someone else that needs it.
47. Teaching You Something New - VAs have many different skill sets. Whether you want to learn chess, value analytics, or tai chi, chances are there’s a virtual assistant who can teach you.
48. Network Administration - Many virtual assistants are trained network administrators, and the vast majority of network administration tasks can be done remotely.
49. Situation Monitoring - Have a situation and can’t afford Wolf Blitzer? Have your virtual assistant keep an eye on things.
50. Motivation - Need somebody to keep you accountable for that goal that everyone says can’t be done? Have your virtual assistant take you to task.
51. Discovering New Opportunities - Want to save time and money in more ways than you can count? Challenge your virtual assistant to come up with new ways to save you or your organization time or money.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Drakensberg Boy’s Choir

Frequent travelers and musically-inclined individuals are all most likely to have heard of The Drakensberg Boy’s Choir - a world class choir group from Cape Town, South Africa - that has made numerous performances in a large number of countries.

The Drakensberg Boys’ Choir features musically-gifted boys from the multi-faceted cultures of South Africa and is primarily known for its ability to render music in a unique style. This group of singers is usually clad in classic choir costumes and is internationally acclaimed for its unique African repertoire. Its most popular renditions include ‘Shosholoza’ and “Night Sounds’ which feature perfect imitations of the sounds of the African Bush. The Drakensberg Boys’ Choir also renders the ‘Gumboot Dance’ which originated on the South African Mines.

Choral performances of The Drakensberg Boy’s Choir feature singers in various choir apparel and authentic African instruments as well as body percussions that are used as musical accompaniments. The group provides excellent rendition of Handel’s “Messiah”, Mozart’s “Requiem”. Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms” and Bach’s “Magnificat” among others.

The Drakensberg Boys’ Choir is actually a product of the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir School, the only Choir School in Africa and one of the very few institutes across the world that offers musical/ educational combination system.

Students from this school go through rigid examinations prior to their acceptance to the world-class musical school. Once admitted, the boys are encouraged to engage not only in rigid musical practices but also on various sports such as rugby, cricket, tennis, swimming, athletics, cross-country and volleyball. The boys also get to enjoy activities such as rapids tubing, abseiling and berg hiking.

The most popular and most exciting part of being The Drakensberg Boys’ Choir member is perhaps the given opportunity to travel to other countries and represent South Africa. To date, the choir group has practically toured every continent and has in fact garnered citations for its excellent performances.

Among the countries it has toured include the United States, Canada and a large part of Europe including Hungary, Switzerland, Italy, France, Portugal, Germany, England, Poland and Greece. The group was also invited to perform at the Vatican City before a crown of 25,000 people. It has also been to Asian countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. The Drakensberg Boys’ Choir also appeared and performed in complete choir costumes in Turkey, Finland, Australia, and Scandinavia.

Typical concerts of The Drakensberg Boys’ Choir usually kick off with Catholic music renditions. Around this time, choir members are usually dressed in their choir apparel which includes grey pants, white shirt and blue vest. The concert eventually progresses with pop songs and African songs that usually feature choir members in either traditional African attires or African style clothing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Hong Thai Travels

The Philippines had yet another worldwide publicity stint when a dismissed policeman hijacked a tourist bus carrying Hong Kong and Chinese nationals sometime before 11am of Monday, August 23. The hostage crisis lasted for more than 12 hours and ended up in a gruesome death of at least ten people including the hostage taker, Rolando Mendoza who was then about to retire on January 2011.

The Philippines had all the attention not just from media personalities but from people of all walks of life. A large number of people waited for the aftermath of the hostage drama, only to found out that a sniper had already hit the hostage and that some of the tourists have already been killed.

Now, what does this have to say about our country? That we have such stupid police officers like Rolando Mendoza, be-medalled and once cited as one of the top cops in the country? The situation only worsened our image as a country.

Hong Kong, in effect, has blacklisted the Philippines as a tourist destination and has even encouraged its people who are still in the Philippines to immediately leave and be extra cautious. China is demanding answers and explanations from the Philippine government now. Some Hong Kong newspapers have also released statements encouraging people to avoid Philippines . China also issued the same warning to its people.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

How to Design Your Baby Girl's Room

Pick up a theme. Some of the most popular girl room's theme include angels and princesses. There are also those that mimic Barbie houses. Still others choose celestial designs and floral arts for a more contemporary appeal. Rooms that feature celestial designs strikes resemblance to the universe and are usually studded with radium stars, moons and other celestial bodies. Garden-themed rooms feature beautiful flowers.

Choose an interior color. A baby girl's room is usually painted pink. Others however, find this color very common and would choose hues of lavender, muted green, peach, plum,or sky colors. If you want to create princess-inspired rooms for your baby girl, paint the room with orange, crimson, magenta, turquoise, red, yellow, green and purple. Put up some murals of castles, princess, angels, carriages and fairies on the walls for a more ethereal effect. Then incorporate jeweled picture frames and other accessories for more effect.

Choose the right upholstery. Purchase a soft cozy bed and puffy mattress for your little bundle of joy. Make sure that your baby sleeps comfortably in her room otherwise its useless giving her her own theme-inspired room.

Add room decors. Buy kids furniture and some knick knacks to make the room more attractive. Load the room with soft toys your little girl can hug. Don't forget to put up dolls.

Friday, July 9, 2010

"Life in a Day"

YouTube, a popular video-sharing site, is set to present a feature-length documentary film about the ordinary lives of many random individuals from across the world over the course of one day. The program which aims to generate millions of perspectives from across the world is taking place on July 24, 2010.

"Life in a Day" will feature snippets of life, from the ordinary to the extraordinary taken anytime on July 24th and should be uploaded on YouTube "Life in a Day" channel before July 31. You Tube and its partners Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) and Ridley Scott (Gladiator) will then identify the most compelling footage that would later be edited and incorporated into a film.

"Life in a Day" winners will be credited as co-directors, instead of being awarded with cash, and will be invited to attend its premier at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in January.

Interested participants should be at least 13 years old, should have a YouTube account, and should adhere to the YouTube Community Guidelines. Video footage can be 15 seconds or 2 hours.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Impact of Technology

I never realized that the absence of technology could leave such a huge difference, at least on a personal account. I haven't had a mobile phone since last night. No internet access at home either. And i feel damn lost and disconnected to the world. I wanted so much to send a message to my family. I wanted to call each one of them. But how do I do it? My mobile phone does not work at the moment. Simply because I could not refuse to lend my ever-dependable mobile phone battery to my fiance whose battery pack does not seem to work on his mobile.

Alright, I admit I must be overacting. Been without the communication tools for barely a day and will be back to my old self again tomorrow. I will get a new phone.

Now, why am I still ranting about?

This experience suggested a topic for this blog which I haven't updated in a long time: the impact of technology to students.

Technology has undoubtedly changed bot teaching and learning. It has offered students so much. It provided students with new and different types of information. It allowed students to go through significantly richer experiences. These days, for example, students can now collect and graph real-time weather, environmental, and populations data from their community. These students can now use data gathered in creating color maps and graphs and compare these maps to others created by students in other communities. Technology has opened opportunities to see actual body activities such as blood flow. It allowed students to witness the process of oxygen entering the bloodstream. It also helped students understand better the effects of increased pulse or cholesterol-filled arteries on blood flow.

In effect, technology generates impressive results for students. It has dramatically improved achievement, and test scores; it has improved student's attitude, enthusiasm, and engagement; it has enriched classroom content; and has improved student retention and job placement rates.