Something for Nothing

Something for Nothing
By: Neliza Marie E. Dakoykoy

There is a familiar quote we like to use that says “the best things in life are free”; but are they really? The cynics would say that “NO, nothing in this world of ours is free anymore!” I beg to disagree though…

I am such a sucker for freebies. Who wouldn’t want to get something for nothing, right? Especially today when everything has a peso equivalent, to get something for nothing is a wonderful thing!

So to get the best of the “freebie” world, I have here a list of friendly, tried and tested tips.

Listen to the radio. Probably less than 50% of the population know this and put this to good use, but the radio is one of the biggest sources of free stuff. Aside from hearing your favorite tunes, you can get tons of freebies; movie passes, concert tickets, GCs, and CDs are only some of these things. You just need to answer a few questions and you’re automatically in Freeville! I am a certified music/radio junkie so I should know– I’ve even won something as unusual as free pizza! And just today, I won something for a Camera Event this Saturday.

Take time to read posters/ads in newspapers or posted on walls. Posters and print ads exist to give information; many people ignore these things but some are actually ads for free stuff or discounts! Years ago, on Mother’s Day, I was able to bring my mom and 2 of my aunts to a posh hotel-based massage parlor for an entire spa session worth only a thousand bucks. They each got massages, a relaxing dip in the jacuzzi, sauna and great pampering. It might not have been free but with what they got out of it – it was a steal! How did I bump into this information? It wasn’t by accident, I got it from a little ad in the newspaper – one I was glad I made use of.

Accept leaflets/coupons given by promotional crews inside malls or in the streets. You think it’s just a waste of your time, but ponder on this – those people are handing those leaflets out because they want to share information, it might not be a freebie, it could be a leaflet for a fly now pay later job or a sale for reading glasses but you can’t deny that occasionally these are actually discount coupons. Be it for value meals or buy-one-take-one burgers. If some of these leaflets are no use to you, hand it over to someone who could use it; at least now you know. Word of advice, make sure to accept those from Jollibee or McDonald’s crews because those are discount coupons. And if you are ever in the Colon area, do not (and I repeat, do not) ever accept from those that say free medicines because it’s a scam – they will give you “free” medicines and then another guy will harass you into giving him money. (Take it from me, I KNOW, I was victimized once!)

When you avail of services like salons, spas or massages – bring a friend/s with you, don’t go alone. More than safety in numbers and aside from having chat partners; tagging friends along can actually let you avail of packages. Some companies offer “avail-of-3-fourth-one-for-free” or other kinds of packages wherein prices are relatively cheaper than when you’re alone. Another good thing about coming in groups is you can split the money amongst yourselves and still pay a smaller amount in the end – no wonder they call it “cheap in”!

Watch out for openings of malls, boutiques and department stores. Two words – FREE TASTE! Admit it, free tasting is one of the best free things ever invented! You don’t have to buy anything or even act like you’re interested in buying it; just line up and get your free food/drink. Ofcourse this doesn’t apply to boutiques obviously, but ever heard of those “first 100 customers” phrase? Most, if not all, apply this promotional tactic so I suggest you take advantage of it, you just might be able to get something exciting. This goes for closing/everything-must-go or inventory sales as well – there are a lot of good buys during these times too!

Be on the look-out for occasional promos. Christmas, graduation, Sinulog, Mother’s day – if there is an occasion, there is a big chance there is a promo somewhere. Be keen on these things so you don’t miss out on real sweet deals.

Those are my tips to get the best of Freeville and increase your freeability. (Freeville – the hypothetical perfect world where all things are free; and freeability – the ability to source out freebies or obtain things for free.)

So, are the best things in life really free? Probably; but not all, however, there really are things one can get for free – if one just knows where to look! So test drive my tips and I’ll see you in Freeville!

March 18, 2010 @ 2:26am
Nmed

Another Dream Sequence?

I dreamt of Jason Castro last night..

It was a Saturday and Jason Castro just finished his concert at The Terraces in Ayala, he was now signing CDs. I had missed the concert entirely but was out of breathe and trembling inside at the thought and sight of him.

I looked around to see where I could buy his CD so I could line up and get his autograph but I was informed it’s already sold out. I was a girl in yellow who was totting his CD and a poster and I asked her if she’d gotten his autograph and she said no… So as a desperate move I asked if I could tag along when she gets his autograph (actually I think I begged!) and she was kind enough to let me do that. We ran towards the line and the feeling was amazing! I was really ecstatic! She called her sister to get in line with us and I was thanking both of them profusely and then it was our turn to meet him.

I think I was totally starstruck by then because I barely remember how he looked or what I said.. I either said “Can I shake your hand or can I hold/touch your hand” and probably was trembling all over when I said it but he let me!!! OMG!!!!

I held his hand and didn’t wanna let go of it! I held his hand on both my hands!!! I think all I could say was Oh my God and I was shouting after that. I even put my hand on my face and smelled it. His hands really smelled very nice. Sigh….

I was still squealing and couldn’t believe that I really held his hand. That for a brief moment in time his hand was sandwiched in mine. He was still on stage and had pictures taken with a group of people. Then he went into a tent beside the stage to rest. There were some girls who were peering into the tent hoping to still see a glimpse of him.

We watched them while we recalled our “little moments” but later followed them. We waited outside the tent sharing stories and got to know each other better. After a long wait, Jason Castro got out of his tent with security guards around all him and we tagged along until he entered TGIF and again we waited outside to drool over him from the outside looking in. No one was allowed to enter (grr…) and my pleadings to service crews unfortunately didn’t get me an autographed tissue. I think we waited until almost 12 midnight and then he left towards the exit and into the dreamland where he resided. His beautiful face only now inculcated in our heads and his memory etched forever in our minds. Sigh….

Contrary to my first blog and my title, this was no dream sequence anymore… This all happened for real. This happened on March 20, 2010 at Ayala Center Cebu and it was a dream come true for me!

03/21/2010 @ 1:29PM at home
nmed

My thoughts: the night before Sinulog 2009

It is the 17th of January 2009, a day before the Sinulog celebration… But why am I in Cyberspace instead of hopping about in the busy streets of Cebu? I ask myself that question…..

I came home from work and from someplace else at almost 2 in the afternoon today, took a little nap and planned to wake up to join the procession. Unfortunately, the devil got to me first and I could not get up to join the procession…. woke up in the evening because (tsktsk tsk, I totally forgot!), it was my parent’s 28th wedding anniversary and there was a lof of food on the table. There was singing (and there still is) but I see that only the “oldies” (pardon the term for lack of any other word to use) are present in the little gathering. Apparently all the teens have gone out to watch concerts and attend street parties… that was when I asked myself why am I in Cyberspace?

Have I grown old? Have I lost the appetite to party and have fun? Have I lost my energy for life? Hmmm…. in a way, probably, ever since I started working US-time, I guess I have lost track of the happenings in the world. I either just sleep, watch tv, eat or go to the grocery to buy household stuff – and by household stuff, I mean laundry soaps and things like that… I don’t even remember when I last attended a concert… wow!!

I kinda miss those days…. the Bisrock and the Rasta times. Yep!!! I have a feeling I am sounding like a nostalgic love song playing endlessly on the radio…. Those days when it didn’t matter that I had no money to pay for the concert because it was free! Those days when everything and everyone else gets tired but me… Those days when I barely slept and I can still make it to all-nighter or even the morning after – I really could last 2 days without sleep!!! Those good ol’ jolly days huh?

Now, I’ve shifted from planning “get-aways” to planning how to finish a “financially-challenging-scary-exciting-I-have-a-dream” kinda project for the future. I guess it has pushed me to mental and physical exhaustion.. All the thinking, planning and execution. Its not the easiest thing to do, especially if you like to plan “big” and “at the spur of the moment” like I do but lack the financial capability to be AS big!

The first few steps are on the way, there is more to be done…. way more to be done!!! As Caren Carpenter would sing, “we’ve only just begun..” – I guess that is my theme song for this phase of my life.

OK, after this ranting, I think I’ve just figured out the answer to my question a while ago. I am not running about in the streets right now because I think that apart from all the “happy-nings”, Sinulog is first and foremost a spiritual experience; that you have to first fulfill your spiritual longings and then move on to different things. I have yet to fulfill my spriritual needs so until I do that, I hold off on all “other” things. Being in cyberspace keeps me away from all the “distractions” and reminds me to be calm and silent.

I have also realized what I need to be doing right now as well…. sleep early to attend the morning mass tomorrow and then later finally “HAVE FUN!” Without guilt, without hesitations and with nothing in mind except – fun fun fun!

Hmmm… I guess, its not that I’ve grown old… I’ve probably just “grown-up” and I am happy with that. Ahhh…. 2009…

11:49pm 01/17/2009 nmed

Silence ….. my tita said that we should devote some time in silence, prayer, and meditation so I am dedicating this blank page to her… Calm, silent, meditating, serene….

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In Memory of Tita Ester

Goodbyecruelworld_2

You’ve left us so suddenly…

I was caught off-guard, I wanted to hold on to you

I didn’t want to accept that you’ve moved on

I was paralyzed, I was puzzled

And I was deeply saddened

But since you were ready

And holding on to you

Will only keep you in unrest

I will let you go now

I will strive to move on

But you will be missed

Sorry that I wasn’t able to spend so much time with you

But all the times I did, will always be remembered

And cherished

Thanks for taking me to the movies with you, City of Angels and everything else

Thanks for the little gifts you gave me

The yellow shirt, the little small stuff – for letting me share your incense sticks with you

For letting me borow your shoes

And for being there, for your words of wisdom

And for sharing your thoughts with me…

I will hold them dear always..

I know you want me not to shed a tear anymore, but I just can’t stop myself

I will miss you, but I am no longer as sad and as depressed so worry no more

And rest….

I know that even when we no longer see you

You will live on..

And we will see you soon…

04/02/08 @ 2:12PM   _nmed_

In Memory of Tita Ester

Goodbyecruelworld_2

You’ve left us so suddenly…

I was caught off-guard, I wanted to hold on to you

I didn’t want to accept that you’ve moved on

I was paralyzed, I was puzzled

And I was deeply saddened

But since you were ready

And holding on to you

Will only keep you in unrest

I will let you go now

I will strive to move on

But you will be missed

Sorry that I wasn’t able to spend so much time with you

But all the times I did, will always be remembered

And cherished

Thanks for taking me to the movies with you, City of Angels and everything else

Thanks for the little gifts you gave me

The yellow shirt, the little small stuff – for letting me share your incense sticks with you

For letting me borow your shoes

And for being there, for your words of wisdom

And for sharing your thoughts with me…

I will hold them dear always..

I know you want me not to shed a tear anymore, but I just can’t stop myself

I will miss you, but I am no longer as sad and as depressed so worry no more

And rest….

I know that even when we no longer see you

You will live on..

And we will see you soon…

04/02/08 @ 2:12PM   _nmed_

Tourist attraction to die for right under our very noses!

Busay

Hey.. those of you who live in Cebu City and dream of vacationing outside the Philippines…. I urge you to hold-off on those for now and smell the flowers growing in your own backyard…. (I of course was being figurative about that last part of the sentence but I have no opposition whatsoever if you decide to take its message literally..)

Yesterday, February 11, Monday…. my love and I went joyriding to Busay.. this would be the first for this year.. I was hugging him all the way, the secondary reason being it was brrr.. really cold, (there was even fog) on a midday when the city would be saturated with heat evaporating from the asphalt and the hot air signaling the coming of the Lenten Season… 

We were going to the visit the spot where we saw a paradise of a rice field, would you believe, in the mountains of Busay? Didn’t go all the way there because we had to be back before afternoon cuz we had a life in the city we had to leave to get a few minutes of fresh air and a nice get-away… Anyway, on our way back, while he was driving and I was admiring the view, I saw a little bird perched on a hanging broken branch of a tree and he was on it like it was a see-saw… It was like the bird was making the branch move and was having fun doing it… I of course, because I get all warm and fuzzy with these things, asked.. ok begged that we stop over for a short while so I could get a picture or a video of the bird.. (you never know when National Geographic would come knocking on your door, right, I should at least be ready..) So we headed a few distances back, so not to get the little bird startled, Itoy had to turn off the engine because his customized "tambutcho" (what do you call this in English again? grrrr.. I should go back to school.. am getting really slow on these things..) was making too much noise… I slowly made my way, being very careful not to disturb the little bird perched on the tree but also the cow resting nicely on the grassy ground near me… This of course, didn’t work, for the reason that the bird might be smarter than me or was probably just a little too shy and didn’t want to be part of my National Geographic fantasies.. (I should ask if it knew what the English word for tambucho was…)

So, we were off again.. we stopped over the stores selling sweet sweet sweet corn (try one of those and you’ll agree there should be another word in the dictionary to describe how yummy it truly is….), I ate 1, Itoy ate 2.. I could’ve beat him to it, I just had a nice lunch and had breakfast too… I also bought a nice, very affordable squash, my mom makes this really delicious Korean-inspired porridge.

We then we’re off to a place called Gov. Leyson’s Peak (must be one of those politician’s dreams of naming places after them… why is that?).. Anyway, its a nice cool place (and by cool I mean the literal meaning…) it even felt like there was a typhoon over there, it was very cold, even my jacket was no match! We took a few pictures,  some videos, (Itoy and I are both really good photographers and models…) and when we had enough of it, left the place…. not without me saying thank you to the little lady who was manning the place, who I could swear was all-frowns before I said thanks…. (not sure if the smile was caused by us leaving or by me saying thank you though..)… I’ll try putting those pictures in my friendster account as soon as I have the time to deal with the hardware issues one has to tackle when downloading pictures or videos from a cellphone…

Then, we went back to civilization.. a little sad that our date with mother nature had to end because we had lives to live in the city…. But someday hoping to be able to acquire enough money to get our very own parcel of land in this paradise…. We were joking about putting up a little bahay kubo or a little store somewhere in Busay and then making our way into getting a house built… Well, it has to start somewhere, right? We even had our little plan of attack, this paycheck, he’s gonna get some nails and I some hollow blocks…. hehehhehe…. Yeah, I know we’re both really silly.. I guess that’s why we get along so well..

Well, my bed is calling out to me now.. but not without me explaining why the title of this blog and the first paragraph has nothing to do with its contents…. The message I really wanted to share was that I am encouraging people to see and experience the wonders that we have right here in Cebu before jumping off to other places… You will really be amazed at how lovely Busay is and how inexpensive it would be to appreciate it.. We didn’t even have to spend so much, just some gasoline and we were in paradise…. breathing fresh air, seeing the lush greenery that is Cebu and loving the simplicity of life. Yeah, I know, I am again being over-dramatic about these things but it is a wonder to behold and it is within your reach so why not go for it!

Also, if you’re not like me who just loves to look at trees swaying to the wind but prefer some sort of urbanized comfort, there are a lot of "tambayans" sprouting in the area; there is one just near the stalls where they sell the fresh veggies and the sweet corn, it is being constructed now, and I think the entrance fee is less than 50 pesos.. it should be a cool place to hang out it, they have a small duck pond, some little huts to lounge in and a store for your muchies… There is also one being constructed just below the road to Tops, a nice native-looking gazebo with a view to kill… (hopefully the phrase not to be construed literally because it honestly can be when you see the place…. it’ll be a long way down if you accidentally fall…).. and there are still a lot of other nice places to hang out it.. I got a feeling there are a lot more of those coming….

So, if you ever get a free Saturday, why don’t you bring your loved ones or a few friends and experience this simple yet breathtaking beauty that is Busay!!! You never know, you just might see something more than just a little bird swaying on a little branch.. and you might even get some pictures to prove it too!!!

nmed @ 2:45PM, Tuesday, Februrary 12, 2008 @ home

picture from http://www.pbase.com/gsbana/image/21501206 by Dean Swope