PS Bank Doesn’t Know its Own Paypal Bank Code

So I was trying to withdraw money from my Paypal account to my PS Bank account.  In order to this, I need to input the “bank code” of PS Bank on the online request form of Paypal.  One of our staff members at The American Institute called PS Bank, and we were given the usual bank customer service run-around.  Basically, they did not know it.  It’s really surprising that even the bank itself would not know their own bank codes.  Perhaps the CSR was not trained properly.  So we called again, and another CSR did not have an answer.

Fortunately, we are tech savvy, and in a few minutes on Google, we found the answer.  It seems that Metro Bank and PS Bank share the same bank code.  Here it is: 010269996.

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Tan-ok ni Ilocano Festival of Festivals

GRAND CHAMPION – Laoag City’s Pamulinawen Festival

I am really not a fan of fiestas and festivals here in the Philippines.  For some reason, I seem to think of it as a nothing more than a gathering of people who don’t really know the value of what they are gathering for. Sometimes, I think they are just there because that’s what happens every year. I’ve been to the Panagbenga festival in Baguio several times as well as the Pahiyas festival in Lucban, Quezon. Several disappointments.

It would be nice if they had booths about the festival or fiesta so that we can learn something about the culture. However, all I see are endless rows of vendors selling fish balls, hot dogs, barbecues, and trinkets. I suppose I am expecting educational booths as well as tents for people to gather and do something together, like dancing, singing, and the like. I see most people just walking around and passing by.

Then one day, I saw this video of the Tan-Ok Ni Ilocano (Greatness of Ilocano) on Youtube. And of all places, it’s from my province, Ilocos Norte. I watched video after video, and I was truly amazed. I thought this was different. Then last week, I was in Ilocos Norte. On Friday, I found out that the festival would happen on Saturday. I took the opportunity to go and see this great event live. And it did not disappoint. It truly was amazing. Sorry Panagbenga. Sorry Pahiyas. I much prefer this one: Tan-Ok ni Ilocano Festival of Festivals.

This festival was spearheaded by the artistic Governor of Ilocos Norte, Imee Marcos. It showcases the unique culture of 21 municipalities and and two cities of Ilocos Norte through dance interpretation. This year’s winner was Laoag City’s showcase of Pamulinawen Festival. To be honest, I thought there were two others who did better based on the judging criteria. New Era’s Tadek Festival showcase or my town’s showcase, Vintar Siwawer Festival, was much better based on cultural interpretation. Laoag City’s and Batac’s showcases were too modern for my taste, since they used jazz and ballet in their performances.

But hey, judge for yourself. To all who would like to see a different kind of festival here in the Philippines, this is a must.

First Runner-up – Nueva Era’s Tadek Festival

Second Runner-up – Batac’s Empanada Festival

Third Runner-up – Vintar’s Siwawer Festival – Coming Soon

The Power of Words

Words are indeed very powerful. That is the reason why we must carefully choose the words we use so that we communicate the right message. There are those who are negative thinkers, and they always give off negative vibes. Be around people who are positive and upbeat.

Tan-Ok Festival in Ilocos Norte – Vintar Town Contestants

Every year, Ilocos Norte celebrates Christmas with a bang! I am not into fiestas, but when I saw these videos on Youtube, I really wanted to see it live. This is Ilocos Norte’s annual Tan-Ok Festival, which will be held on December 6 in Laoag City. The video here is my hometown’s entry. They were 4th place last year, though they were the viewer’s choice.

The champion was Laoag City.  See video below.

What do you think?  Looks good, right?  This is worth the trip from Manila!  I am watching it tonight!  Whee…

Christmas Parties in the Philippines

ChristmasBallsChristmas is upon us, and the malls are full of sales, the streets are bright with lights, and the relatives are returning home.

Christmas is a time of giving, receiving, sharing, and of course, celebrating.  As many companies will be celebrating their corporate Christmas parties, we at The American Institute will celebrate ours with a special twist: A Masquerade Christmas.  Every year, we have a different theme: from Red Carpet Movie Premier to this year’s Masquerade Ball.  We are a very open community, and if you would like to meet new friends, you may join us. The information can be found here: http://aiepro.com/events/masquerade-christmas-party

Rosdom, Vin, Leah, and Chris
Rosdom, Vin, Leah, and Chris

How are you celebrating your Christmas?  For many who have loved ones abroad, Christmas is the time of reunion.  Coming home and seeing your parents, brothers, and sisters can be the best gift of all.  This year, my family from Las Vegas is visiting, and we are spending our Christmas season together in Ilocos Norte.  This is the first time that we are reunited as one in over eight years.  It is one of the happiest moments of my life.  The best gift of them all is the gift of family.  Advanced Merry Christmas to your and your family.

Can Anne Curtis Buy You and Your Friends?

Ann Curtis“I can buy you, your friends, and this club,” shouts a drunk Ann Curtis to model/host Phoemela Baranda at a recent incident at Prive, an upscale club at The Fort in Taguig.  This incident has been reported by many online news medias.  I found this situation very interesting because Anne Curtis is a bona-fide celebrity here in the Philippines, and she has many fans who look up to her.  Secondly, I found it interesting because she endorses a cheap alcohol called GSM, and her tirade came out as a result of her drunkenness, according to reports.  Here are some lessons we should learn from this incident:

  1. Drink in moderation.
  2. Do not attempt to buy people.
  3. Do not attempt to buy people’s friends.
  4. It is okay to buy a club.  Heck, buy the Trump Tower, if you can.

On Facebook, Mysan Mia says, “Alcohol acts as a sedative on the central nervous system, resulting to impaired speech, vision, coordination, and concentration. Part of the brain it affects the most is the part responsible for behavior and emotion. The sense of judgment is weakened, and speaking the mind doesn’t seem so bad. Feeling braver since the socially trained safety-stops or filters are sidestepped. This explained why drunken people think they’re OK to drive.”

The American Institute – Dance Edition – Every Sunday

Most Filipinos love to sing and dance. It seems that it is part of our nature to perform and entertain, if not for others, for our own self-enjoyment. It doesn’t matter on the age, young or old, we will shake it. Heck, even my mom and my grandmother will dance at every family gathering.

At The American Institute, we have innovated learning English by including dance as part of our activities. What does this have to do with English? Well, learning English should not just be in the four walls of the classroom. Speaking English should be taken beyond so that it becomes more natural. Our students become more confident when speaking English in a natural setting.

Hey, it’s also a good way to get in shape!!! If you want to join us every Sunday, text me at 0917-850-3456. It’s Php 300 for three hours of movin’ and groovin’.