The Sad and Sorry State of the Catarman Airport

The view of the Catarman Airport from the airplane's window upon arrival from Manila is a sorry and sad one. A portion of the roof and ceiling is about to fell off. The roof and its paint is a battered one. Getting your luggage takes a long time and is a total chaos, a free for all manual exercise that even shames a bus terminal. The airport is very cramped and passengers are often left with the choice to sit on the dirty benches that are not actually benches but a fence for the plants adorning the airport entrance. When I arrived, I sat on one of the seats in the Departure area, none in the Arrivals area, while waiting for my ride to come. The airport cleaning staff and personnel had to rudely do some other things to shoo me away but not directly just say to me that the airport will close, after just 15 minutes that the plane had landed so I will have to wait in the cement fence cum bench.

When I left for Manila, I noticed that the Pre-departure area section, always haS been cramp, is now also very hot. It used to have air-conditioning. Security is very lax, which is a bit disconcerting given that Northern Samar is still rebel infested. Before the 2010 elections, there was a billboard proclaiming that the Catarman airport will be renovated complete with a rendering of the proposed project but nothing came out of it. This is also the airport where it has been featured nationally on television as the only airport with an active to traffic road cutting through it. I could go on and on, but let the pictures do the talking.

Cafe Eusebio in Catarman

Cafe Eusebio opens in Catarman. Cafe Eusebio is a chic new cafe that has all the bells and whistles of a modern coffee house ala Starbucks but is located in the rustic setting of Catarman. The interiors are modern and the varied food offerings are complemented by a wide array of coffee concoctions. The only deal breaker is the intermittent and slow wifi and internet connection. The establishment should look into this, after all, it should be the backbone of its business model.

Photos from skyscrapercity.com.


Northern Samar Memories

Northern Samar is such a lovely place with its amazing sandy white beaches, emerald green rivers, balmy islands, quaint villages, and that Ayer Rock of the Philippines, the Biri Rock Formations. Trust me, there are so much more that Northern Samar can offer. An American friend recently visited and she said she loved it so much in here but too bad she had to leave to work all year round but she promised to be back after earning enough for a trip back to the Philippines next year. I was able to capture all the places we visited in Northern Samar in photographs.

Since I wanted to give her a copy of the photographs for her to remember her wonderful holiday in the Philippines, I thought it would be best that I not have the images printed in photographic paper but just have the photographs collated and presented in an elegant and stylish presentation in a computer software. After laboring for such a mighty long hour, I was able to do a fairly good job at it and the finished product is going to be burned into a CD so she can have it printed in the US where I guess they have a better printing facility and an array of innovations in such a field of new technology. I choose to burn it on a Verbatim CD-R. I choose this particular brand because before I did the burning part, I had to do some little research and stumbled upon a CD-R review blog, and they had a glowing review of how sturdy and reliable the brand is. Knowing that it will contain precious memories of us together, I did not take any chances and went for the quality brand. The CD that I made can be played not only in her PC but on her standalone DVD Player as well. So there. I hope to see her again next year and I hope she gets to enjoy her stay again here.


Cheap Calls to Northern Samar Philippines

If you have family, relatives, a fiancee or close friends in the United States of America or the United Kingdom and those folks regularly call you in Northern Samar or any Philippine phone codes. You may tell them about this useful service called Rebtel. Rebtel is easy to use and does not require great technical skills to use. If you are already familiar with Skype, Rebtel is similar to Skype, but it is so much better.

Unlike Skype, it doesn’t require customers to download special software or use a separate device for making phone calls. You can use your existing mobile phone as it was intended for use, call and sms. You provide them an international number, they provide you a local number. Use your regular phone to call the local Rebtel number that they gave you. They will then connect the call over the Internet and pass the savings on to you. Allowing for cheap international, mobile-to-mobile communications. No more PINs. No more phone cards. You just tell Rebtel what you want by entering your friend's name and international number and Rebtel gives you a unique local number for each friend. Create it once, and it will be saved to your phone and kept as long as you want to.

As you can see, Rebtel is more than just a calling service. It is also about availing of cheap and honest international calls really. You can save up to 95% by calling their local numbers from your mobile phone. Free mobile calls between 50 countries or pay Rebtel’s low rates. And you can do so thru iPhone, Android and BlackBerry apps too. Rebtel is not all about calling Philippines. You can also do international SMS. They have a cheap pricing scheme for international SMS from the web or mobile. Their customer service staff are of topnotch quality too, that is, if you ever encounter any problem given the excellent service that they put out there.


Alodia Gosiengfiao is from Catarman

Alodia Gosiengfiao is the host of ABS-CBN's LOL (Laugh out Loud) with Luis Manzano and she also stars in the Globe Tattoo SuperStick "No Limits" TV Commercial. Alodia Gosiengfiao traces her roots from Catarman, Northern Samar although she now lives in Quezon City. Alodia Gosiengfiao is from the wealthy Arraiza family in Catarman. Her full name is Alodia Almira Arraiza Gosiengfiao. She was born on March 9, 1988 and she became famous primarily from being a Cosplayer. In fact, she is dubbed as the Cosplay Goddess of the Philippines. Alodia Gosiengfiao was first noticed in 2003 when she won in an event called the C3 Convention in 2003 as Gun Mage Rikku of FFX-2. This led to her and her sister Ashley being featured on the cover of Culture Crash Magazine, a Manga Magazine in the Philippines.

Alodia Gosiengfiao was Animax Channel's first ever Levi's Kawaii girl winner in 2007. FHM Philippines ranked her number 87 in its 2009 poll for the 100 Sexiest Women in the World. Alodia Gosiengfiao has also been named by UNO Magazine as one of the most influential women in the Philippines by inspiring more women to also do Cosplay. She studied in Miriam College and the Ateneo de Manila University.