Monthly Archives: January 2014

Broke in Bangkok: Surviving four days on $100

Broke in Bangkok: Surviving four days on $100

Budget airlines always offer promo fares to various Asian destinations, but affordable flights to Bangkok have begun to dwindle. Filipinos are slowly starting to see why Westerners and Asians alike now flock to the City of Angels, where their money stretches for miles.

Tagged , , , ,

How you let 7107 let you down

The producers of 7107 Music Festival recently released “Phase 2” of their performers and a lot of people are disappointed.

After inducing a much-welcomed freakout by bitchslapping us with Red Hot Chili Peppers and others for their Phase 1 reveal, more than 71 thousand people flocked to the producer’s Facebook page to play what seemed to be a never-ending guessing game as to who will banner Phase 2.

The chase

7107 teased potential patrons with Instagramed photos of lyrics, and with each post, some super fan, real or not, died and/or peed a little bit inside.

By December, 7107 kept on dishing out “specials” for bulk sales and holiday deals. Naturally, fans got impatient.

“Yeah and you guys still didn’t release the Phase 2 lineup,” one fan said on December 29.

Phase 2

And so with fans whining in social media about how the producers are holding out too long for their “next reveal”, 7107 quietly released Phase 2 this week. Who’s bannering Phase 2? Kanye? Jay? Tool?

Sorry, honey. No.

Kaskade.

Yes, Kaskade. Oh, and for some consolation, there’s Kendrick Lamar.

ImageAre you ok?

It’s everyone’s fault (or nobody’s), really

It feels natural to join the legions of music aficionados who are condemning the organizers for “taking them for a ride”.

But that would be unfair.

Those disappointed got on the joyride. Perhaps some more discerning people waited for “Phase 2” before purchasing tickets. Some bought immediately, blinded by Red Hot, thinking that if 7107 can haul such a huge act over, it wouldn’t be difficult to assume that more are coming.

They fed their minds with the Phase 2 guesses splashed all over the comments section on the event’s Facebook page.

Foo Fighters, Radiohead, Lorde, Blink, Greenday, Pearl Jam, Franz Ferdinand, Coldplay, Ellie Goulding, Frank Ocean and Drake were some of the names dropped…

… by fans.

How it would have worked

In my most humble opinion, 7107 would have worked if:

1. They invested the way they wanted the concertgoers to invest

7107 wanted the producers to have tens of thousands of people fork out 20 and eight thousand pesos to witness their spectacle. It didn’t matter that part of their target market had the starting salary of 16-18 thousand pesos fresh out of college. Perhaps they thought that’s what parents are for. I mean, their parents must know RHCP. Surely, they’d understand.

7107 had an amazing idea. They also targeted the perfect market. The variety in their lineup meant that it appealed to a wide range of people, from college kids to twenty-something fresh yuppies to 40 and even 50-something aware people who have money to blow. That’s what? The A and B crowd.

The problem was that the producers failed to remember that the A and B crowds are also demanding crowds. They’ve watched concerts here and abroad. Their Facebook feeds have been flooded with Coachella posts from their cousins and friends in the States. They probably watched F1 races in Macau and Singapore.

In short, they know what their money’s worth.

Photos with song lyrics wouldn’t cut it, especially to a more discerning audience.

2. The organizers saw sponsors and food commissaries as partners, not cash cows

This writer has been informed that 7107 asked eight digits for sponsorship deals for two days of exposure. How many TV and print ads can you buy with that? How many social media campaigns can you run with that? How many UAAP athletes can you get to endorse your product for a year or two with that? The Teng brothers are making an issue about Big Macs vs Double Cheeseburgers and they’re getting paid for that for a fraction of what 7107 wants its sponsors to cough up.

If, like the organizers, you want to make money out of the concertgoers, you can opt to drop 70 thousand pesos to sell food. You can rent a whole kiosk in a high foot traffic place in Manila for a whole month with that.

3. They managed expectations of everybody (including theirs)

Contrary to what the organizers thought, money won’t just keep flowing in, especially after the delay in the release of Phase 2. The delay in divulging Phase 2 artists only meant one thing: they didn’t have a lineup worth salivating over.

Also, if I borrow the meaning of “international” from, say, international schools, there should be more “international” people than local, whether or not you follow the 51% rule or 50%+1 rule. Someone from Twitter asked the organizers:

“More local artists than foreign? Isn’t that supposed to be a good thing?”

The organizer’s reply?

“We’ve always wanted to support local talent.”

Yaserious, bro?

Check out the “Sponsors” tab of their website and you will see so many…

… media partners.

They posted one photo of Smart’s sponsorship contract only a little over a month prior to the event. Maybe they reminded Smart of the campaign they did for the telco giant years ago, when they brought Lupe Fiasco and Jermaine Dupri over to perform at the Iphone 4S launch. Before that? Nada. If I were the organizers, I’d be so disappointed.

For how many friends and business partners that flock their establishments and grace their events, nobody trusted them with that eight figure price?

Comb twitter for posts about the event and you will see a buttload of celebrities asking you to buy tickets. Did those people even buy tickets or gratis lahat yon?

Mixed emotions

I can’t help but have mixed emotions for the organizers. It takes a lot of balls to organize something this big. It was a gamble on their part, and in a way, it’s admirable to see a group of people imagine something of this magnitude “for us”. But concurrently, I am disappointed that they wasted this opportunity. They could have secured quality talent by getting commitments from sponsors if they didn’t charge so much.

They minimum complianced their way into this project, hoping that all their ultra marketing plan would pull them through. But this week, they had a slice of humble pie, admitting that there isn’t anybody better besides Kaskade and Kendrick Lamar.

That weekend

Perhaps Red Hot will pull them through. Perhaps not. Perhaps the the concert venue will be so full, we’d be rubbing elbows with the same people we see at Republiq or Saguijo. Perhaps it will be half empty and people will have a place to play frisbee.

Perhaps the organizers don’t care because they have enough friends to fill up the VIP tables. Perhaps the NBI will be there since it has been suggested that the event is bankrolled by Napoles money. Perhaps 7107 will make enough money to actually donate proceeds, as they originally marketed.

Did anyone even ask how much of the proceeds are actually going to typhoon victims? Or do we not care?

Basta meron.

That’s how we justify going to this concert. “Part of the proceeds will go to charity,” they said.

What part? One percent? Two percent? Gross or net?

That’s the problem here. We never bothered to ask the relevant questions.

In the end, I hope we all see this as a learning experience. We should be aware about what we are going to buy, and not be swayed by photoshopped and filtered promises. Concert producers should also learn that you absolutely get what you give. If they give the minimum, that’s the same reaction they’ll get from the people. “Underwhelmed” is the word going around Twitter for now. Potential concertgoers will shy away because of the lackluster lineup. The organizers would have to offer the early bird prices till kingdom come.

Truth be told, a little honestly would have gone a long way. I would have spent 1k for a double dose of UDD and Ron Poe anyway. – RAF

Tagged ,

The (mas) kuripot 52-week money challenge: Earning 27k to 137k on barya

A blog post from Kuripot Pinay on how someone can save almost Php 69,000 a year went viral on my Facebook wall today. The premise is simple: start the first week saving Php 50, and add the same amount every week for 52 weeks. At the end, a person will have Php 68,900.

Fifty pesos seems easy enough to keep weekly, but having to add fifty for 51 more weeks it means that every week from October onwards, you’d have to save at least Php 2,000 a week. Bigat!

So on one lazy January day last year, charts varsity Emerald Ridao came up with modified table, showing how much you’d save with a base amount of Php 20 to a maximum of Php 100. You know, for those who have scuttled under the poverty line after spending more than three thousand pesos on that Starbucks planner.

Pick a base amount and multiply by the number of weeks.

Pick a base amount and multiply by the number of weeks.

Saving Php 20, adding the same amount weekly, will yield a decent Php 27,560 at the end of the year. A thirty peso-base will yield Php 41,340, while a Php 40 base will give you Php 55,120. For the more blessed, Php 50 weekly will net you Php 137,800 at the end of the year.

Not bad.

Emerald suggested that if the contributions get too heavy for the bigger amounts, it wouldn’t hurt to slide down a notch or two. For example, one can start with the 50-peso base. But when it gets heavy, say at Week 20, where you have to contribute Php 1,000, it’s perfectly fine to slide down to the 40-peso base, where Week 20 is still just as 800. In week 40, the contribution for the 50-peso base is already at Php 2,000. Sliding down to its equivalent from the 20-peso base demands just Php 800 as well.

[UPDATE]

We have put together a 2015 Pinaka-Kuripot version that starts with Php 10! Good luck!

Emerald Ridao 52 Week Challenge

Tagged , , ,

JaVale McGee’s Filipino citizenship #tbt

Just in time for some Throwback Thursday for our friends in the US.

Almost two years ago in the 15th Congress, a Philippine legislator filed a bill seeking to grant JaVale McGee Filipino citizenship. Pretty sure Congressman Puno didn’t comb Youtube for JaVale highlights.

The bill stated that his “remarkable track record” makes him an asset to the Philippines’ aspirations to “regain lost glory in international basketball competitions”.

House Bill 6169 never made it past the committee level, though. It can still be re-filed, but perhaps local congressmen may not be so enthusiastic this time around.

McGee has not been able to help the Denver Nuggets this season as he continues to rehabilitate his fractured left tibia. He is out indefinitely.

Read the rest of this bill here.

Tagged , , , , ,

Raiding the post-holiday fridge

I will not apologize for having that second saucer of fruit salad. 

A considerable number of people are going to flood gyms to write the wrongs committed during the holidays.

Some want to atone their gluttony. Other people (like me) don’t really care.

So as people got back to work, I spent my time raiding the fridge for edibles to combine. I saw my mom’s nine-day old potato salad. Up in the chiller were slices of Majestic ham. I scanned for some maple syrup and found that we had two. Awesome. Now to make something work. Ingredients:

  • Old potato salad
  • A slice of Christmas ham
  • Maple syrup

Instructions:

  • Squeeze a generous amount of maple syrup on the ham
  • Pop in the ham into the microwave for 15 seconds
  • Place ham on top of potato salad

The sweet glaze was a great contrast to the potato salad. The carrots also justified the sliver of fat on the ham. The meat offered some challenge, and to have it in the same bite as the crunchy pineapple bits was an absolute treat. Prep time was a breeze, too.

Tagged , ,