Valentines Day Giveaway: Apptivate iTunes App Credits!

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On Valentine’s Day, tech savvy people come up with innovative ways to communicate with their significant others. Singles too, explore new ways to meet someone online. And what better way to assist them but through the use of mobile apps, right? Since last year, I noticed that a lot of app developers have focused on apps targeted towards tech savvy couples as well as dating apps for those looking for a potential flame online.

So tell me, what’s the best couples app that you and your beau are currently using and why? If you are single, I am curious if any of you have tried a dating app and how was it. In return, I will be giving away free iTunes app credits courtesy of Apptivate!

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I have 5 pins to giveaway, each pin worth 60 Apptivate coins. I am giving them away so you can try them out on Apptivate. Also a great gift to someone who wants to buy an app but doesn’t have a credit card to purchase on iTunes!

Visit my new and improved blog: katantonio.com to join! 🙂

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Purchase iOS apps in a breeze through Apptivate!

ApptivateApptivate, formerly named SulitApps, is a web service for non-credit card holders in the Philippines that allows them to purchase iOS apps via prepaid cards. It provides opportunities for iOS users to purchase apps for their iPhones, iPods and iPads without a use of a credit card. I first heard about this through Yugatech and I thought of it as a very promising startup. The idea particularly appealed to me as I don’t own a credit card.

While most of us techies/geeks can jailbreak our Apple devices so we can install paid apps for free, a lot of Apple users prefer their devices untampered and thus make do with apps that are free to download — unless they have a credit card to purchase paid apps. Apptivate bridges this gap for those who have an iTunes account but does not have a credit card to purchase apps. Anyway, I saw a prepaid card for sale in the UP Diliman Shopping Center few weeks ago and I thought I’d try it out. I’ve been wanting to have the paid app Posts (it’s supposed to be the best blogging app thereis) for my iPad, but since Installous is now gone I haven’t had the time to search for an alternative. Anyway, redeeming the Apptivate coins is such a breeze and I was able to install the app in minutes!

Apptivate is very easy to use:

1. Sign up.
Go to www.apptivate.co and create an account via Facebook. Click “Sign In with Facebook.”

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2. Redeem coins (credits).
Go to Redeem Coins.
Enter the Pin Code provided upon purchase and Click “Redeem.”

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3. Purchase apps.
Click “Buy Apps,” choose your device.

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The default list all categories will be shown, select category.

howto_purchase_s2Select the app you want to purchase. Enter your Apple ID. Click “Next.”

howto_purchase_s3You will then receive an email confirmation from iTunes. Open your email using your device, click “Redeem.”

4. Install & play.
It will now prompt you to install your newly purchased app. Enjoy!

Currently, Apptivate coins are available for purchase via Globe Gcash, Smart Money and LBC. There are also prepaid cards available in these locations. Payment option via SMS load will also be offered very soon.

Anyway, try it out guys and enjoy the full capabilities of your premium iOS apps!

Disclosure:
I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample for giveaway purposes. The opinions expressed in this post are completely my own based on my experience.
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Why I Think Android Is Better Than iOS

Let me put it out there that I am not a techie when it comes to smartphones. And while I have owned a Windows, Blackberry, iOS and an Android smartphone at some point in my life, I am pretty much an average gal who happened to be addicted to gadgets.

Android and Apple users have always been on a debate on which is better. And while I am far from being an Apple hater (I still own a couple of Apple devices), Android has without a doubt won my heart in the smartphone arena for a couple of reasons:

Android-Lineup

1. Variety of models
The sheer variety of Android smartphones from different manufacturers (Samsung, Sony, HTC, Motorola, LG, Huawei, ZTE, Cherry Mobile, MyPhone, Starmobile, etc.) is amazing. There’s a budget phone, high-end HD screen, quad-core, with physical keyboard, with TV, dual sim, the list is endless.. With Android, there sure is something for everyone.

Android 2012 Prices

3. Price range
There is a wide variety of Android devices with different designs and specs for any budget. Almost anyone can afford an Android phone. The exclusive nature of iPhone and other Apple products is in direct contrast to the inclusive nature of Android.

Android Customized

3. Customization
What I hate about Apple is the fact that it keeps control of it’s user interface. Sure there is jailbreak, but it still can’t beat the level of customization that Android allows. From live wallpapers, to widgets, to custom launchers, to custom ROMs, Android without a doubt offers the best customization options in a mobile device.

Adobe Flash

4. Flash support
Many Android phones support Adobe Flash, while iPhone only has HTML5 and Javascript support. Apple insistently say that flash is about to get phased out but I’m sure most of you will agree with me that it’s not happening in the near future. Browsing websites using my iPad sometimes frustrates me when the website requires Flash. I’ve never had that problem with my Android phone.

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5. Torrent
Say what you want about piracy or illegal filesharing but for a TV series addict like me, this is a HUGE deal. Downloading and watching straight from my phone has never been this easy.

So, do you agree? Or you think iOS is better than Android? Share your thoughts by hitting the comments below.

PS. No flaming please.

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People Of My Year 2012

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Every year I post a year-end assessment here on my blog, highlighting the important life moments in the year that was. This year, it’s going to be different. I decided to list down friends, family and even acquaintances who made the biggest impact in my life in 2012. Different publications may have their own list of people who “made the year what it was;” but at the end of the day, in life, whether they may be celebrities, heroes, or ordinary folks, its the different people who influenced and moved us that really matter in our lives.

This post is dedicated to those people who made a difference in my life this year. My little way of saying thank you for all they’ve done, whether they know it or not. 🙂

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1. My bestfriend France Castillo-Kanapi

She probably doesn’t know this, but she said something to me not too long ago that I will remember for the rest of my life. We were out drinking with our friend Tin and we were discussing her inability to feel things and be sweet to other people. She doesn’t know how to make lambing and kept on saying that she can survive being alone. She said she doesn’t need anyone (and she means anyone) to be by her side because she is strong enough to handle things on her own. Tin then acted like a shrink and asked her what made her that way. I pretty much know the story of her life and I know that she doesn’t have a bad childhood. And then she said something that totally surprised me: “Isa lang yung hindi ko makakalimutan na pinakamalungkot na part ng childhood ko, yun yung nag-away kami ni Katz and we cried on the phone for hours.” It made me smile because I didn’t know that I made such an impact on her. I mean, I know we were friends for over 15 years but I always thought I didn’t matter that much to anybody back in grade school. The fight that we had may be “away-bata,” but it was so memorable because as young as 4th grade, friendship is really a huge deal to me. And I was touched because the declaration came from a person who just admitted that she doesn’t know how be emotional and touch people’s hearts. Little did she know that she did mine that day, big time.

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2. My boss Mark Bantigue

I met Mark when I was desperately looking for a part-time job online last August. What made him part of this list is because he served as my inspiration to act on my career goals. His career optimism and passion for giving back to the community is something I totally admire. The first time I met him, I felt like I was seeing the epitome of whom I could become if I pursued my dreams. His views are center-progressive and slightly liberal just like mine; add to the fact that he’s into social media / dotcom business — something that I’ve long been dreaming to be a part of! How I wish I still work for him, I feel like I could learn a lot from what he does.

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3. My friend Jed Mojica

My good friend Jed flew to Canada for good early this year and he’s on my top 10 people because he made me see sense about making decisions. Last year, I asked him why he agreed to move to Canada. I asked because one, he doesn’t really need to (his family is pretty well-off naman). Two, at his age, most guys prefer to stay here in Manila because of friends or special someone. He answered matter-of-factly, “Ayoko sana umalis, but I want to give Canada a chance. Kasi dito ano ba career ko? Call center, yun na yun. If it doesn’t work I can always go back naman.” Jed is a goofy person na walang alam gawin kundi ang mang-asar at makipagkulitan, but his stand about giving something a chance even though he’s gonna be apart from his gf who he loves so much is something I totally admire. He’s willing to shake the status quo just to see what else is out there for him. I wish I’m as bold as him.

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4. My friend Allan Chua

I’ve known Allan since forever and while he’s considered a childhood friend, we only get to hang-out few times a year because of your conflicting work schedule. I won’t detail what happened that made him part of this list (because he might kill me, lol), but this year I saw how matured he is in handling conflicts. He used to be the guy who has this bahalana-I-don’t-care system — but now, for the first time he showed his vulnerability and fear. It surprised me because Allan is NEVER sad, at least whenever we hang out. So when I saw it for the first time, it kinda restored my faith in men, haha. No seriously, it made me smile because my guy friends may be crazy, but they are a perfect gentleman and they know how to protect the people they care about.

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5. My friend Karla Rafols

I am not really very close to Karla but we do hang out every once in a while and I always enjoy being with her. She stole the 5th spot because this year I got to know a little more about her personal life and I found it to be one of the most humbling stories told to me by anyone I know. Karla used to intimidate me, though I don’t know why. But then she approaches you and cracks a joke and then suddenly, tension’s gone. She may not know this, but she is one of my inspirations on how to deal with all the stress life has to offer. Despite having all the family dramas (who doesn’t have one?), she is hands-down one of the most responsible (and funniest) people I know. And she’s only 21!

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6. My cyberfriend Shey Garcia

I’ve never really had a cyberfriend. I never had a textmate, a chatbuddy or someone I just regularly talk to that I’ve never met in person. I met Shey this year when I joined a short-term online gig and we were batchmates. She’s so bubbly and friendly and we immediately hit it off. After our training, Shey got assigned to a task that she hates doing and I got assigned to something I like. Few weeks later, I quit because of work conflict while she stayed. Her complains about her job took weeks until one day, she surprised me when she told me that she is now training other people to do the same job! I was like “How can you excel at something you HATED doing in the first place?” She goes, “I need this job so eventually I accepted it and found a way to make it enjoyable.” Her remark reminded me of several people I know who continue to complain about their work but won’t do anything about it. Shey is right, if you hate your job, you either quit or suck it up and find a way to make it fun for you. Sino ba mahihirapan, ikaw rin naman.

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7. My former colleague Von Rosales

I got close to Von back when he was dating one of my friends at work and even though they didn’t work out, our friendship remained. Von made an impact on me this year because he reminded me of myself 3 years ago. He left his job that he is so comfortable doing because he just isn’t happy anymore with the environment. 3 years ago I did the same thing, but back then I thought of it as escaping and even accepted that I am a quitter. What happened to Von made me realize that quitting doesn’t always mean that you don’t have the courage to stick it out when things get tough. It’s just that, sometimes — you realize that there’s nothing in it for you anymore. Does your boss help you grow? Are the rest of your colleagues happy and satisfied? I learned that just as they evaluate you in an annual review, it is also good to analyze the company you work for and its management. And if they don’t measure up? Leave. (Thankfully, I am very happy where I am!)

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8. My sister Kim Antonio

She’s the baby in the family for the longest time, and this year she’s taking a huge leap in her life. There are actually a lot of things I admire about my sister. She’s sweet, super masipag in school, freakin organized (her room is always spot on!) and generous. Now that she’s going through a new journey in her life, she reunited our family like I have never seen before. I am not very vocal about how I feel especially when it comes to family, so I hope through this blog she realizes how much I love her. My siblings are the best blessings in life God has ever given me, and I will stand by them through anything.

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9. My soulmate Patrick Cabas

I don’t normally put boyfriends here on my blog because I don’t like to backtrack years from now and see ex-boyfriends in here. Also, I feel that it’s “understood” that a significant other is a major force in one’s life. But I have to include Pat because I want to share to everyone how much in awe I am of his good-heartedness. Pat is probably the most selfless person I know. He spoils me like no other, he cares about his family in a  huge way, and he gives to people without expecting anything in return. 2012 is undoubtedly one of my best in a long time and a huge chunk of the reason is him. I am so thankful to God to have found a lover, a brother, and a bestfriend in him. He is my all-in-one who continues to amaze me. I honestly wish more people would be like him, as kind and sweet and caring.

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10. My mom Milagros Antonio

And finally, my mom of course. 2012 is the year I realized that when mothers say “hay naku, pagtanda mo, you will remember ‘my mom said this, I should’ve listened'” it is really true. I was home alone for a few weeks because they stayed in my sister’s house and I seriously couldn’t function well without my mom around the house! I had this OMG-I-don’t-think-I’m-ready-to-be-away-with-my-mom moment. I used to boast about myself being independent, then she’s gone for two weeks and BAM! I am lost in wilderness. Hindi ko pala kaya. Sometimes, it’s the little things like that that makes us realize how much a person means to us. I don’t think there will EVER come a time that I won’t need my mom. She’s a superwoman and I look up to her, big time. My parents may not be perfect but I will never get tired of saying that who I am as a person now, I owe it to them, for raising me up the way they did. It has always been my mission in life to make them proud, not of what I have accomplished, but of who I’ve become as person. Sana kahit paano, proud sila sakin..

WHAT ABOUT YOU, WHO ARE YOUR TOP 10 PEOPLE THIS YEAR?

Go and make your list, let them know how much they made an impact on your life. 🙂

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE! KEEP SPREADIN LOVE. 🙂

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Posted in Family & Friends | Tagged | 2 Comments

Know Your Top Stalkers on Facebook *The Legitimate Way*

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Rumors of ways of finding out who is looking at your Facebook profile have been passed around for years, and they are usually thoroughly debunked by independent research and denied by Facebook. Facebook apps supposedly meant to do such task are 100% spam so don’t ever get fooled by those. At Facebook’s official help pages, they straightly tell us that no application or software has the capability to  track who is visiting your profile. I myself have long given up on the idea. But Mon, a friend from work, shared this to me and I was fascinated with the results because they seem to make sense. It doesn’t involve any sort of apps or complicated software so it doesn’t hurt to try, right?

So here’s how to check out the top viewers of your Facebook profile:

1. Log-in to your Facebook page. On any unclickable part of your page, right click and select View page source.

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2. On the page source, hit CTRL+F and type OrderedFriends.

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3. Right below the OrderedFriendsList, you will see several numbers in quotation marks. These are your list of friends supposedly in order of who views you the most. So technically, the first on the list is your Top Stalker.

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4. Highlight the first on the list, copy and paste at the end of Facebook.com/(paste here).

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5. Press Enter and voila! Your Top Stalker should now be revealed to you. In my case, my boyfriend, haha:

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Me and my colleagues tried it and most of us got similar results (our significant other being the top stalker). Some of us have ex’es on their top 5 list, while another have his tattoo artist as his top stalker, lol.

Do me a favor and try this with your own account and let me know if your top stalker makes sense to you. If this isn’t real, I am interested to know what the OrderedFriendsList is about as the list seems to change every once in a while (at least for the lower half of the list). Anyway, speculation or not, I thought it would be nice to share it with you guys so you can let me know what you think!

Have fun! 🙂

Note: Excuse my ugly screenshots, I am so in a hurry to post this and share it with you guys! Haha.

Postnote: There have been a lot of speculations for the OrderedFriendsList algorithm and many say that it could be based on interactions, chatbox list, last viewed, or just completely random. Up to you to make your own speculation on what this Facebook algorithm is about. If you’ve got an interesting input on this, please hit the comments below and share it w/ us. But in the mean time, the title for this post retains just that. Happy stalking! 🙂

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Vanity Sizing.

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I was at the mall the other day window-shopping for my outfit in our company Christmas party and I noticed how a lot of the clothing sizes are getting increasingly smaller.

I know I’m not exactly petite (hello officemates who call me that, lol), but I was trying on a Large-sized dress and I was so surprised that it doesn’t fit me. I mean, seriously Zara, what is your idea of a large woman? What is this, a  center for ants or something? OA naman.

I actually prefer numbered sizing, like what they have in the US. You know, sizes 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, etc., because at least they accommodate more people instead of forcing them to fit into either XS, S, M, or L. Sometimes they don’t even carry XL. (Some of us happen to be between sizes!) They’re marginally less judgmental. But sadly here in the Philippines, 90% of the time we are stuck with XS, S, M, or L. So if your size is in-between, then you just gotta have to deal with wearing clothes that are a little bit too tight or a little bit too big.

Ever since I gained weight, I always go Medium for blouses, sometimes Large when the store has smaller sizes. And that’s it. But recently, I found several shops wherein Large doesn’t even fit me anymore. I mean, I am only 125lbs. Sure a little overweight for a 5’3″ but I am such in disbelief and find it discriminating that I couldn’t fit a Large. And I know a ton of people who are much much bigger than me. Do they have any idea how humiliating it is to ask for a bigger size when the largest one they have on the rack doesn’t fit? I mean, come on..

I know that my proportions are considerably more challenging to dress than most girls out there, but to tell you honestly, I don’t feel large. And when I look at all the nice, supposedly large clothes that don’t fit me, I’m like, there are so many people out there who are bigger than I am. What, don’t they deserve to wear nice things, too? I know that most people here are petite and probably skinny (lucky you), but what about the rest of us? It’s unfair.

Am I really that fat? Seriously? Do I have to starve myself to fit into nicer clothes? Do I really have to conform to today’s ridiculous standards of physical beauty?

Ugh. This is why I hate shopping.

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Exactly my sentiments..

Welcome to my life!

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