Monday, November 28, 2016

Back at the Las Vegas of Asia



















This was Day 1 of my first out of the country trip with my family. I laid out a number of destinations. We start with Venetian Macau Hotel, visit the historical side of Macau and tour the other popular hotels. We failed to manage time so we ended doing some hotel hopping in Macau.

When in Macau, don't ever miss the grandest Venetian Hotel. This was my third time to be here. I have no regrets except that over time, I noticed that tourists are already flocking the hotel. We visited on a weekday and was expecting a lesser crowd. The volume of people was still manageable. This was way better than my previous trip when Venetian Hotel felt like Divisoria or a mall wide sale in SM Megamall. Haha 

Despite projecting a high end image, Venetian still offers some affordable items. Starting with the food court that has extensive choices. It's one of my favorite places in Venetian, setting aside the difficulty of looking for a vacant table and seat. Shops are not too high end as well. They have Uniqlo, H&M, Giordano, some local brands and a Duty Free shop. Added to this Venetian's own souvenir shop that provides some interesting but a little expensive items. 

It is easy to get lost at the Venetian Hotel. The circular floor layout is a little confusing. As proof to this, we were surprised that we already entered another hotel after hours of exploring The Venetian. This is one of the biggest surprises for me. I can't figure out how The Venetian was connected with the other hotels of The Cotai Strip.  It felt like magic for me!!! We were able to reach other hotels without exiting The Venetian. Hahaha I began to realize this when I started seeing shops of high end brands like Louis Vuitton, Prada, Chanel, and my dream brand, Valentino. For the longest time, I was able to personally feel the Valentino Garavani Rockstud Ballerina. What's more surprising, it wasn't as expensive as I was expecting. It made me discover that some local resellers /shoppers are overpricing this luxury brand. But then again, I still can't afford it. Hahaha

After hours of walking, we landed on Parisian Macau. This is one of the newest ventures in Macau. Everyone was routing for their perfect shot in the replica of the Eiffel Tower. I didn't get my perfect shot. But seeing it in person was already mesmerizing. What more if I see the actual tower in France? (a girl can always dream hahaha) All these hotels in Macau have their unique and amazing architecture. The Parisian Macau exceeded my expectations. It has its own definition of captivating. The garden, facade, and the reception area compensated our efforts and money from the ferry trip in Hong Kong. 

It was a great pleasure to tour my family here. Even though I've seen the place thrice already, it always feel different when traveling with the family. Though admittedly, I'm still not done with Macau. I still have places to see. But I have no regrets at all. Crossing my fingers, I knew there will be opportunities. For now, I have to work hard, save more and face reality. 

Plagiarism : Why some people still do it?

When I was still teaching research writing and related subjects, plagiarism has been my major enemy. Initially, I was getting exhausted addressing grammar related problems. My job was supposedly to develop and substantiate the content of each paper. I failed to foresee that handling grammar related concerns would become a workload. There came a time when I started to encounter well written papers. I thought I was encountering excellent students. I later discovered that this posted more problems. A well written and grammatically perfect paper signifies a high potential for plagiarism. My next strategy and next source of problem was how to detect plagiarized papers.

I initially used Google's search engine power to detect the presence of plagiarism. I simply copy the paper's text and enter it at Google's search bar. This strategy works to some extent.  Google can no longer detect duplication when the text gets too long, words were replaced by synonyms and sentences were rephrased. Google can detect only the evident cases of plagiarism. When some alterations are implemented, a more powerful tool will be needed. I started to search for freeware that offers detection of plagiarism. Unfortunately, some freeware just work like Google's search engine. The paid software and applications have proven to be very effective in detecting incidents of plagiarism.

Even with the presence of powerful technological tools, there are still people who commit plagiarism. Worst is that students are not the only offenders. We are all aware of government officials, businessmen and other notable personalities who were found to have plagiarized speeches and compositions. The more important question then is why people still commit plagiarism?

1. The thought of not being caught - Unfortunately, some people believe that they can still get away with simple cases of plagiarism. Students submitting plagiarized reaction papers thinking that they are just shallow requirements anyway. Speech writers who believe that listeners will not take the speech seriously. Hence, doing some forms plagiarism is fine.

2. No one owns words, no one owns thoughts, knowledge is meant to be shared - Some implement some alterations before plagiarizing. A few synonyms, rephrasing then it's all done. Some would claim that thoughts and ideas are not patented anyway. This mind setting provides some writers the strength and right to plagiarize.

3. No penalty for plagiarizing - Some schools penalize students for plagiarizing. Some implement suspension to expulsion. But the thing is, not all schools have concrete policies for plagiarism. In the "adult" world, there are laws that penalizes plagiarizers. Unfortunately, it will take a lot of time before penalties will be implemented. Also, it would take a lot of effort to establish deliberate plagiarism. In some cases, parties involved resort to out of court settlement. The conflict was resolved but the plagiarism act was not really addressed.

So how plagiarism can be addressed? Similar to treating any disease, the concept of prevention is better than cure can be implemented to address plagiarism. While there are laws to penalize, preventing people to commit it seem to be right strategy. Students on their younger years should be conditioned about the moral implications of plagiarism. On the side of the teachers, outputs required from the students should be as much as possible, crafted not to make students plagiarize. What I always advocate, doing case studies and analyses are better. Students don't have to look for references. Students are forced to analyze situations which also develops their critical thinking skills. I knew of an international school that does not require students to undertake research and thesis writing. Students are instead required to read and produce a total of 500 case analyses. If the younger generation become highly trained, adept and comfortable with writing then incidents of "adult" plagiarism can be eliminated. As for adult plagiarism, government officials, and the like who plagiarize, this remains as a challenge. Laws and penalties can be made to be strict especially for government officials. 


This is a sponsored post.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Beautiful Sunday # 241 - Sweet November

Last Sunday of November!!!! A few more days, it will be the last month and my favorite time of the year. Ironically, the happiest is also the most expensive month of the year. #AlamNyoYanFriends More so, my fellow Tita of Manila friends know how December works. Wallet wrecking, weight and fats accumulating Hahaha 

I was trying to recall the events that made my November. At this point, I can say that I had a great November. First out of the country trip with my family, progress in some of my freelance works, discovering new friends, meeting good old friends again, I'm thankful for all the blessings that came this November. Speaking of being thankful, I hope my friends from the USA had a great thanksgiving. For some of us here, thanksgiving meant scoring great deals during the Black Friday Sale. :) I had my own share of Black Friday sinfulness. I used a new cargo forwarding company and I feel quite worried. I hope everything goes well until the delivery. If this company performs well, I will surely share my experience.  

Meanwhile, here are the few beautiful things that made my last week of November.  




I've been looking at some thanksgiving tablescapes in Instagram. I saw a lot of inspiring themes and arrangements. These days, looks like Instagram is competing against Pinterest. Truth to be told, I hope I'll be given the chance to work out on some arrangement in a department store or magazine spread. But my knowledge and skills are way behind. Like probably everyone who ambitions, I stalk and find inspiration from the works of seasoned creators.

Postcard from a new found friend - Hi Lorraine! Thanks a lot for the postcard from Japan. I love the message too. One of the highlights of my 2016 is my declared love for postcards. It still surprises me when some people equate me to postcards. I received a few emails mentioning how some people remember me whenever they see postcards. 

Anna and Elsa - Souvenir from my trip in Hong Kong Disneyland. I got a set of toys featuring the main characters of Frozen. It sounds useless hahaha and I will not deny it. But the toys are so cute and my excuse, they are 50% of its original price. The six piece toy set only costed Php 300. When my happiness and excitement subsides, the set will land to one of my nieces or godchild.

Received my first Christmas gift a few weeks ago - The old soul in me always love personalized items. This stationery set is a gift from a client. 

My weekends are becoming occupied again, which meant both good and bad. Bad for my expenditures and shopaholic hormones. Good because I'm becoming less introvert again. My monotonous life is changed and along the way, I get to meet new people. 

Wishing everyone a great week ahead and a happier December!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Miniso ;) : A New Wasteland

A few weeks ago, my friend told me about this new shop that caters a myriad of products that would surely interest me. I asked if the products sold are Instagram worthy. Haha These days, it's one of the best ways to convince me to visit a shop or any place other than great food. I was suppose to visit the shop that is quite far from home and work. Weeks after, we discovered that Miniso opened a branch near the workplace. 


I love that the shop is well lighted, has uniform wooden shelves and muted colors of white and classic wood.  It has the atmosphere of Uniqlo and Muji. 

I'm not sure if some of you have encountered a similar Korean shop called Mumuso. They have the same shop layout and interiors. What confuses me, Miniso is declared as a Japanese company in their corporate site. Are they sister companies? I have yet to find out.

I visited their branch in SM Manila and here are the few items that caught my attention.


I was initially deceived by this. ;) I thought all products were priced at Php 99. Turns out, there are some nice product deals that come in Php 99. Either way, items are way cheaper than prices in Muji. The most expensive item I encountered was around Php 600. Depending on your needs,wants and shopaholic adrenaline hahaha, a budget of Php 500 can be enough to score some nice and functional items. It's a little expensive than Daiso / Japan Home but promise, you'll find some good deals here. 


Neck pillows made of different materials. Some are made from microbeads, memory foam and ordinary foam.


I need a lot of this!!! They even have versions that can function as a stool.

Neck massager at Php 199


For a friend who loves to hoard cotton buds :p

Brooches, earrings, and necklaces 


The cutest handtowels


Bath towels made of different materials. I just can't remember if they have pieces in microfiber.

Kate Spade inspired paper plates :) 


Gifts both for small and big boys :)







I want the dog stuffed toy!!!!



Stationery items are also available 



Want, this super thin digital weight meter!!


Items for your home





These versatile pillows



and my favorite product ... please don't laugh :D 


I've been searching for cheaper and quality seamless panties. I love Uniqlo's version, but comes a little expensive. Miniso's version is only Php 149!!! Best thing, it is comparable with Uniqlo's quality. I also love that the critical fabric of the crotch is wide, unlike those that are sold by other cheaper brands. 

There are more items I haven't included in this post. The shop also offers cosmetics other bath products. 

Miniso ;) has global branches in USA, Japan, Korea, China and Hong Kong.  Check out Miniso Philippines via Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

This is not a sponsored post. :) It was a random Friday when me and my friend accidentally discover their SM Manila branch. 
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