The Stray Russian Blue

Beijing’s Adroit Diplomacy Is Isolating the U.S. in Asia — TIME

As Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump battled it out in the final U.S. presidential debate, China was busy rolling out the red carpet for an unlikely guest: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who was on a four-day tour of the world’s second-largest economy. The Asian state visit may have been overshadowed by American campaign rhetoric but…

via Beijing’s Adroit Diplomacy Is Isolating the U.S. in Asia — TIME

Thoughts on Improvements (being MORE CREATIVE than usual)

If you think you’ve got everything in line to be that creative human being, I’m pretty sure you can relate to this “10 tips to be more creative” thing that I got from When In Manila. But why do we need to be MORE creative than usual? Aren’t we satisfied enough with what we have become? Or we just wanted to have some improvements with ourselves?

It says here that in order for you to be more creative you have to:


  • Read more. Why read more when you think you’ve known enough? Nope, if that is your perspective, I’ll tell you what, you still need to because even the most intelligent person on this earth reads to gain more. Reading boosts intellectual quality: vocabulary, way of thinking and imaginative skills. You can now put creativity in relevance to this as an addition.
  • Listen to people’s success stories. To inspire yourself as simple as that. Start to feign their strategies because there is nothing wrong to that. This is most applicable to people who were lost for a long time. It doesn’t just improve your creativity but your path as well.thumb-student-groups.jpg
  • Don’t stop practicing. And here goes again the phenomenal quote when it comes to this matter, the “Practice makes perfect” inspirational saying. True to fact, it takes a lot of practice and patience to achieve things and most of them end up perfect or if not, satisfying. So keep on practicing and don’t stop.
  • Write/Draw your idea. To be able to have a precise and efficient output, you need to come up first with a neat structure of your ideas in that way you will be able to conceptualize better.
  • Make mistakes. We should always remember that committing a mistake leads us to unveiling new knowledge. The less you make mistakes, the less knowledge that you’ll garner.
  • Be curious. Curiosity triggers you to discover new things that would lead you to improve not only your creativity but also your critical thinking skills.thecurios.jpg
  • Be open to criticism. Some people tend to get insulted when being corrected or being criticized. Maybe because they thought that they’ve mastered their line of work or what or probably they’re just not used to it. But let’s be real, criticism will develop your creativity especially when it comes to works that you do. You just have to be open to it.
  • Take breaks. Because you’re not a bot, everybody needs a break.
  • Break the rules. Spice up your mind. If you are seriously practicing to be more creative get out of that comfort zone and break the rules. More experiments, more outputs.
  • Love what you do. Because you should.wounded_heart_by_darkrone-d5nbpce.jpg


Now, let me tell you. In my opinion, I do not find any issues regarding one’s improvements but here’s one thing. If you are to seek an improvement with yourself, be prepared with the consequences that you are about to face. What am I talking about?

Improvements take a lot of sweat to work on to because there is no such thing as magic acts wherein you just have to wave a wand and then voila! You have improved. No. Improvement takes time to achieve. You just have to be prepared and aware that for you to be able to improve, you need to learn the hard way. If ever you chose to be more creative than usual, there is nothing wrong to that. That is good to know but again, it takes a lot of sweat, most especially needs a lot of perseverance.

” We cannot learn without pain. – Aristotle”





Before, we think about the existence of a phone that would probably dethrone Iphone being the most popular and marketable among all the known smartphones today but now, apple-iphone-7-release-dateafter establishing such a very outstanding SEO ,Google has stepped-up making its way to developed a smartphone that is meant to compete with the top brass of the smartphone world, also that would click to the public most especially to the Google users.

Google named their first smartphone to come with Google Assistant as Pixel phone. Probably, there are several reasons why the company wanted to name it something than to call it simply as Google phone. It would probably because if ever the phone is a flop, it would definitely tough to give it a second try with another conceptualized phone if the company name, Google has already played that title card. Or maybe according to an article on, because Google doesn’t want to scare its hardware partners, which we know is still deeply important when it comes to Android, by jumping into the deep end with a full-on,branded phone which I also think make sense.


Pixel Phones gives genuine features which garnered commendations from different reviewers. DXOMark is one, an image quality reviewer who gave an impressive review on the said phone’s image quality saying, Google smartphone, is the highest-rated smartphone camera they have tested, gaining 89 as its rate.

The following are the so-far undisputed specs and features:

  • Available in two sizes: Pixel (5-inches) Pixel XL (5.5-inches)


  • -Both Pixel and Pixel XL have same specs: including Snapdragon 821 processors and 12.3 Megapixel cameras with large 1.55-micron pixels and an f/2.0 aperture (No shutter lag and improved to take great photos with special HDR+ mode) (self-proclaimed as the shortest capture time on any mobile camera ever)


  • Both devices have 4GB of RAM, USB-C, a choice of 32GB or 128GB of storage, Bluetooth 4.2, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.


  • In relation to the images, Google photos are stoned into the phone so all the photos are stored directly in the cloud, no need to remove images to prevent memory space shortage.


  • 1080p display on the Pixel and 5.5-inch Quad HD panel on the XL — these two devices are built by HTC, but Google takes full credit for their design and makes this explicit with its “phone by Google” branding.


  • It runs a specialized version of Google’s android software, which includes the support for the Daydream virtual reality platform. It is actually the First Daydream-compatible phone.


  • Fast charging that gets you up to 7 hours power in 15 minutes of charging (I need this~) with built in 24-hour live phone support right into Pixel’s software, so it could see exactly what’s in front of you to help you better


  • The new Google Duo is also included.


  • In line with the hardware front, Pixel phones are made out of aluminum with a big glass window at the back, surrounding the camera, flash, and the fingerprint sensor (presently dubbed as Pixel imprint)


  • Batteries: 3,450mAh for the Pixel XL and for the Pixel 2,770mAh


So far, Pixel phones will be available at $650 for a 32GB 5-inch device. Amount will scale up to $749 with 128GB of onboard storage. For the larger Pixel XL with 32GB, the amount will be $769 and will also scale up to $869 for the XL with 128GB. Google offers limited colors such as black or silver, and the exclusive “extra blue” option but this one is limited only to just 32GB of storage (Pre-orders are open today, phones will ship later this month)


Hands up! To those folks who are eager to have this new Pixel made by Google.

In Art of Practicality, The Purpose Of Life Is Not Happiness: It’s Usefulness

I have to agree with this. We often conclude that the purpose of life is to be happy in fact, it was Aristotle who depicted that values to us. Despite of this particular quote, we have forgotten to scrutinize it in a way that people will not have misinterpretations on the idea of happiness. We forgot to think that in able for someone to be happy is first to be appreciated in such ways that he/she will be satisfied. So, satisfied with what?

Check this out. credits to Darius Foroux, Author of Massive Life Success, and founder of@ProcrastZero.

ABYSSRIUM: The enlightenment of the Lonely Corallite



Have you ever wondered if there’s a game that resembles your personality? How about a game that depicts what you have felt?

Believe it or not, I am fond of seeing the depths of the ocean though I wasn’t able to explore it for a single time, fishes and aquariums. I love how the sea creatures swim to their liberty and show how lovely it is to be surrounded by “friends”.


Abyssrium is a simple clicker or a tapping game that gained a genuine clicker-style due to its relaxing atmosphere. The music is light and comforting. The whole thing is just bliss to experience. Yes, the graphics were kind of mediocre but the game play really caught my attention.


When I first played the game, the introduction narrates a short story of a corallite:


“In the ocean’s dark

lives one small lonely corallite

creating life, one at a time”


Thereafter, I heard the relaxing sound of the game and saw the said corallite. By how it looks, you can easily tell and feel the loneliness that it felt throughout its entire life. The ocean were first to be seen as clearly empty. No plants, no fishes or any corals that can be seen. The objective of the game is for you to be able to give life to the lonely corallite(it is also referred as rock) by putting all the sea creatures, corals and plants. abyssrium interface.pngIn order for you to accomplish that, you have to focus on how you can unlock the remaining corals and fishes. There are actually a lot to unlock. You just have to be more persistent in tapping the corallite to earn more vitality (the floating bubble of hearts). Moreover, the game also features the new astounding computer technology which is the Virtual Reality mode that made Abyssrium even more exciting.

Now, on the onset of this blog I was asking about your certain resemblance to a game, if you ever found one.


Why did I ask that?


Simply because I finally found a game that has relevance to not only what I have felt but probably with you as well. Funny, isn’t it? But yes, Abyssrium had it. The introduction said it all. “…lives one small lonely corallite creating life, one at a time” and the look on the corallites’ face. I feel like I was staring to someone suffering to what I’ve had before. To be honest, I stared for the entire game interface for like a couple of minutes before I officially started the game.


Have you ever felt what it’s like to be in that part?


The feeling of being the lone stone that is no one to count on is very distressing. You probably have your circle of friends. Can you count on them in times of storm? Apparently, some will say yes. But let’s be real. These people appear like mushrooms and disappears all of sudden like a bubble. Isn’t it amazing? The problem here is we’re very kind enough to take them back as if nothing happened.

You were at your best when trying to lift them up but in terms of your own troubles you couldn’t do a thing. You’re lost on what to do. You know to yourself that it is contradicting but you just let it be because you feel like you need them. But no, they’re the ones who need you.

abyssrium complete.png

In Abyssrium, it was the corallite who give shelter for those sea creatures. That corallite needed circle of friends to ease the loneliness but do you think those sea creatures admired the lonely corallite in the first place? Think out of the game. Do you think those sea creatures wanted to be with someone who longs for happiness? Maybe, but if one of them will think about the way this corallite will overreact on some things, probably they wouldn’t want to be with that kind of person. (I am interpreting the corallite as a human being)


Furthermore, as you go along the game, you will see that the corallite says something like ” I have a mouth doesn’t mean I eat fish” it’s like how people treat others in their life. You have to tame them first for you to be able to be friends with them. Sad but it’s true. It saddens me whenever I see things depicting the inner part of myself. I know it wasn’t only I who have gone through this kind of sh*t (as I may call it) but seriously if one day you found yourself stuck in that lonely corallite’s situation, you will surely do whatever it takes just to garner friends whether they’re real or not. Desperately, you’ll need them.


We just have to be strong enough to let go and start to take a step in giving the chance for new people to come in.

By the way, as of now, my lonely corallite is on level 576. It was a bit lively compared to its first appearance.  I’m encouraging you guys to give it a shot because this one is really such a nice clicker-game, relaxing and indeed a good way to relief yourself away from stress.


Facebook Messenger: Secret Conversations


We have been wrapped up in the society where the easiest way of messaging is the norm:
WhatsApp, Viber, Hangouts and Messenger just to name a few. Messenger being the most popular and most downloaded messaging app these days, is slowly making its evolution through various of updates that users may find beneficial.

You can now say “bye” to your default SMS messaging because it is now integrated to your Facebook Messenger. According to Facebook’s website, instead of using a separate messaging app for SMS conversations you now have the option of including these texts in the Messenger app. SMS messages will appear in purple while Facebook messages will appear in the traditional blue. This feature isn’t available as default in order for you to apply and activate this you must go to SETTINGS menu in the Facebook Messenger app, tap SMS and then enable Default SMS app.
Facebook Messenger now allows you to sign in different accounts using your own Messenger app through its feature “Switch Account” which means you can allow your friend to sign in his/her account to your phone to check for messages

switch accounts.jpg
Sample account 

and people who use the social networking platform for work purposes may find this a great help for they will be able to switch between their professional and personal accounts with much greater ease. (if they have two different accounts)

And now, Facebook Messenger has started rolling out its new feature, the “Secret Conversations”. This sound very controversial by just reading its name.

So what’s with this Secret Conversations?

Based on a certain blog spot, Facebook said that users want an additional safeguards when it comes to their conversations perhaps relating to discussions about private information like an illness, health issues or sending financial information. To enable you to do this, Facebook Messenger has begun the test for the ability of the app to create a one-to-one secret conversation that will be end-to-end encrypted and which can only be read on one device of the person you’re communicating with.sec con 2.jpg So meaning to say, the messages are intended just for you and the person you’re talking to, not anyone else including the Facebook team. In secret conversations, Messenger will allow users to set an expiration date for a message so that it won’t be visible in the conversation forever e.g your account information. Let say you choose your message to appear only for 30 minutes after the set time, the message will vanish from the devices of all users in the chat. So far, there are only few things to note regarding this Secret Conversation:

a. It is optional. Users wanted Messenger to work when you switch between devices, such as a tablet, desktop computer or phone

b. Secret Conversation do not support rich content such as GIFs and videos, making payments, or other popular Messenger features.

Secret Conversation is indeed an unusual yet incredible update for every messaging app. However, there were some users who were still clueless about the advantages of this new
feature. Some find it a snag in regards to one’s relationship but whatever it is, I believe that these will all be given a solution since Secret conversation are still on a test and gathering more feedback from the users.

ROCK N ROLL: Pepe Smith the Legendary Filipino Rock Icon


We all know that the legendary Filipino rock icon Joseph William Feliciano Smith was born December 25, 1947, raised by his mother, Conchita Feliciano but not entirely when it comes to his father, Edgar William Smith, a US serviceman. Obviously, he needed to go back to his country to fulfill his job. A singer-songwriter, drummer and guitarist who formed his first rock band at age 11, in 1959 which was first called The Blue Jazzers, later The Villains, and then The Surfers.

A few years later, Smith became a rock sensation in Manila as the drummer and lead vocal of Eddie Reyes and the Downbeats band, imitating Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones. This earned him the title “Mick Jagger of the Philippines”. It was 1970 when he joined the seminal Pinoy rock group Juan dela Cruz together with Mike Hanopol in bass and Wally Gonzales in guitar. The band became quartet a few years later with the addition of Edmond Fortuno (a.k.a “Bosyo”) in drums.juan-de-la-cruz-himig-natin

He’s a former member of Anakbayan. Due to his addition to the band, Smith decided to play the guitar instead. He’s also good in guitars so it isn’t a problem. Aside from being “Jack of all trades” (as I may say it) when it comes to musical instruments, Pepe Smith also took a huge part in Juan dela Cruz where it was him who composed Juan De la Cruz’s arguably most classic song “Himig Natin”.

 “Ang himig natin ang inyong awitin

Upang tayo’y magsama-sama

  Sa langit ng pag-asa”


You might wonder why we have the so-called “Pinoy Rock” today. It is due to their track which became the anthem of Manila’s post-hippie culture and underground radio network, particularly the DZRJ-AM radio show, Pinoy Rock ‘n’ Rhythm which was later on shortened to “Pinoy rock”. So if ever you wondered what brought this “Pinoy Rock” to Filipino music industry, Juan Dela Cruz did it most especially, Pepe Smith.


Reverting back when Pepe Smith was still with The Downbeats, those who witnessed the concert of The Beatles at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila in 1966 definitely knew that The Downbeats were one of the performers who opened the concert for them along with Eddie Reyes performing “Get Off of My Cloud”. Try asking your older relatives if they knew about this. Pretty sure they know.


Although today isn’t a good day to do a throwback, allow me to bring you back in the previous music era, listening to the timeless songs and performance of the also known as Father of Filipino Rock, Pepe Smith.


Like a Rolling Stone cover by The Downbeats– Originally song by Bob Dylan. This song was recorded a few years before they formed the Juan dela Cruz band. It is said that the Downbeats original member’s in this record was Tony Jalandoni in guitar, Charlie Meelieb also in guitar and Tonet Fabie in bass while Pepe Smith were in vocals and drums.


Ihip ng Hangin by Pepe Smith from the album, “Idiosyncracies”. I highly admired the lyrics of this song. By simply listening to it you could already feel the dedication that he expressed in this earnest piece. This was originally composed by Pepe Smith himself.


(Acoustic version by Pepe Smith live from his house in Baguio City-source: YouTube)

“Ibibigay ko sayo ohhh

Kaligayahan ng buong mundo oh oh oh oh

Masdan mo ang bahaghari

Tulay na papuntang langit”


Beep beep beep by Juan Dela Cruz band– The song that would surely create hype at an instant due to its startling instrumental. This song was included in the band’s masterpiece album where it unleashed the full power on their listeners. This also became the symbol for Philippine mode of public transportation– the Jeepney.

“Beep beep beep beep

Sabi ng tsuper ng jeep

Beep beep beep beep

Tabi kayo’t baka kayo’y maipit”

Pepe Smith and his former bands had given a huge impact to the Philippine music industry. Among all the OPM bands today, it was them who were first to marked in their industry. Am I the only one who can’t help to sing when their song “Titser’s Enemy No.1” plays? I guess not.


To this end, there was a writer from Inquirer who wondered about the consideration of including  the category “National Artist for Pinoy Rock” in the National Artist Awards. It also came to my mind. At first, I was thinking twice if there is already but then it turned out that there’s none. I was wondering when it will happen. Let us not repeat the event of the posthumous award of Fernando Poe Jr. as The National Artist because in my opinion, it isn’t worth-it. What for? When the supposedly awardee has died already. He can no longer appreciate that but only his family. At least this time, let us prove that it is not only Ramon Santos (National Artist awardee for music) and his co-living awardees will be the only living National Artist awardees as the years passed. I immensely hope that “National Artist for Pinoy Rock” will soon be included in the category because if that time comes, I’ll definitely nominate for Pepe Smith, the Filipino rock icon!

At least before it’s too late.



THEY ARE ALL OUT TO GET YOU. OR TRYING, ANYHOW. Google is spying on you. So is the government. And Amazon, and almost every single website you visit … even if you don’t actually visit it but just pass briefly through a photo that’s linked to the site. Every bit of raw data is collected […]


A GLIMPSE ON THE “EMO-ERA”: Top 10 Remarkable Songs of CHICOSCI



Emo“, a term that usually describes a person wearing all black outfits paired with whether thick or thin eyeliner, sometimes accompanied by a sharp and thin blades and a shady bed hairdo perfect with a bit long slant bangs to complete the look. This is the trending get-up way back 2000’s where our favorite dark and edgy bands, international or local invaded our sane minds.


From international dark and edgy bands, we have My Chemical Romance who clearly left breathtakingly remarkable songs in our lone days and at the same time, left us in vain when they got disbanded. If “My Chemical Romance” gave a momentous memory in your dark days I’m pretty sure you admired or at least heard about “Chicosci”, the Philippine rap-metal band known to their trademark dark theme, offbeat musicality and are headed by the not-only intense but also charismatic vocalist of the band, Miguel “Miggy” Chavez. Who wouldn’t know this band?

Now, reverting back to 2000’s, I have here 10 remarkable songs of Chicosci which totally marked in not only to my “emo-era” but to my co-Chicosci fans as well.


From the album Method of Breathing: Glass is Broken

  • “Bring me to the light…Get me through the night”
    Through that strong melodic figure that made it the song’s focal point, Chicosci created a combined melody and harshness. It may sound weird but right, that’s what it is.

Chicosci’s self-titled album “Chicosci“: A Promise

  •  “Cause you are my beloved ghost…”Honestly, this album of Chicosci is different from their previous albums. If you are expecting heavy sound then do not expect that to this one because Chicosci album is just like those common emo bands that used a line of melodic guitar riff combined with the emotional vocals of Miggy. But overall, the song “A Promise” is very serene to ears though Miggy’s soft and mellow vocal style dominated the song. I still enjoyed it.

Also from the album “Chicosci”: 7 Black Roses

  • I certainly love the lyrics of this song. I’m thinking if this song made them the title “emo” because the overall melody of the song is somewhat the emo-type of music. I’m not saying it isn’t nice it is actually. I love how Miggy’s vocal style jived to the song. It isn’t questionable why the album became a hit.

(Love this live performance! Enjoy!)

Chicosci: Paris

  • For 52 weeks, this song holds the record for most number of weeks a song has stayed in the countdown. The said countdown was the NU107 Midnight Countdown where Chicosci got the award title Song of the Yearaward back in 2002. Paris has been described as highly infectious. Check out this video and be infected again.

Chicosci: Last look

  • “Can I be a little selfish? And I swear I’ll come back home to you” Sure, this lyrics hit “the feels” out of you. From its obviously emo-themed music video, it really marked on the “Emo-era “. Miggy’s voice was more emphasized those minimal screams and soft tone of voice. The song really ends up a hit.

(For better audio quality)

From the album, Fly Black Hearts: Diamond Shotgun

  • Following the album Best in 2007, Chicosci released this album with their hit single Diamond Shotgun (Lock and Load). I actually find the beat of this song like as if I’m on a battle (which was depicted on its music video) I felt like I’m about to kill the antagonist of my life or what while the line “Fly black hearts into the sky we’re never meant to fall~” plays in the background. Silly but the song is indeed timeless. I’m still rocking to this song,

From the album Revenge of the Giant Robot: Sink or Swim

  • That feeling when you want someone back, and then suddenly you remember how much that person pains you, you instantly take it back. Sink or Swim nailed it.

Chicosci: Chicosci Vampire Social Club

  • When we’re all fed up with all the bullsh*t of life, haters, criminals, failures, heartaches and the likes, let’s toast and leave the rest to the people who cares singing “I’ll raise my glass to you!”

(Reminiscing memories on this song? Here’s the official MV !)

Also from the album Fly Black Hearts: Breathe Again

  • The lyrics used a lot of symbolism that may represent (based on my own interpretation) a guy wanting to be loved, asking for a second chance that may not be given. Thus, the song gave a remarkable impact to their fans or to heartbroken people as well.



From Chicosci’s album “Icarus”: Theme from Conversations with Fire

  • Seriously, Miggy’s voice is totally high-pitched in this song and I love the lyrics. I could feel how Miggy illustrates someone’s thirst for love that turned in despair. Overall, this song gives a feeling of foreboding but at the same time meditating.

Truly, that “emo-era” has played a huge part in our teenage days. As a matter of fact, it also taught us the essence of solitary by learning to enjoy your own company. Chicosci contributed one of the amazing songs to remember from 2000s and became a part of our…should I called it adolescence? is a memorable event in our life. Same thing, when the first time you feel hurt, memorable right? But it was indeed worth the time to remember.



Are you also a fan? What Chicosci song marked your “Emo-era”?
























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