Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Enigma that is Mark Hil Macalua

photo of Marc Hil Macalua

MarkHil Macalua, a successful professional internet marketer, is currently the vice president for marketing of the Philippine based market developmental arm of USA Auto Parts. Mark takes pride in heading an army of more than 130 internet marketers for the leading publicly traded auto parts retailing company that sells cars and truck parts online. Among the laurels that Mark has tucked under his belt is the distinction of bringing the company to rank number 81 in the Internet Retailer Magazine’s annual list of the top 500 of online retailers in the world with the largest business generated for the year.

One of the most intriguing things about Mark is how he is able to attend to his full time job as VP for USA Auto Parts and still find time to attend to his passion of pursuing the development of the local SEO industry. Mark is the founder and head honcho of SEO Philippines and a fulltime tech blogger too with his own personally branded website. He has spearheaded the holding of various local competitions for SEO enthusiasts and has been a keynote speaker in many internet marketing and website development seminars.

Innovative, aggressive and daring, Mark is in constant search for the best ways to promote web site visibility and constantly pursue development of new methodology to optimize web sites for the various search engines. He calls himself a web prodigy or a web addict constantly pursuing various internet pursuits with unequalled passion. His aggressiveness however got him into trouble with no less than the giant search company Google early on in his career. His Ayala.com got banned from appearing on Google’s search result pages for a while. Mark got it back immediately on Google again. While it is not quite clear what got him into trouble, the experience must have given him valuable lessons and even earned him a chance to personally meet with Google’s top tech honcho Matt Cutts during one of Cutts’ trips to the country. (Cutts’ even mentioned his meeting with Mark in his personal blog.)  Mark and Matt discussed the SEO contests that Mark sponsors and surely Mark must have picked up quite a bit of insider tip from the man who reins in Google’s Panda and Penguin.

As you well know, the algorithm that Google search crawlers use to determine the value of a website and its contents and determine their rankings and appearance on the pages of search results is a well kept secret. Google keeps it close to its chest to prevent anyone from gaming Google just to improve their rankings which the company experienced in the past. You see, Google wants everyone to toe its line and develop content and back links naturally. Anyone who diverts from what it deems proper is penalized and banned from its search results. And what is proper is revealed by it to the public only in bits and pieces through tips and advisories it publishes through Google’s Web Master Blog and also on Cutt’s own personal blog. That is why Mark must have been jumping in joy after his personal meeting with Mutt. He must have gained an exclusive peek and perhaps gotten some serious SEO tips from the man himself.

Today, Mark Hil Macalua is considered an icon in the local SEO industry along with other equally much sought after local SEO heavyweights like Abe Olandres of YugaTech. Mark continues to strive (using his own words) “to help users achieve the ‘Don’t Make Me Think’ objective from interfaces to copy”.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Tribute to a Great Wife and a caring Mother

The Mother That Loves
The Mother That Cares
The Mother That Helps
The Mother That Worries
The Mother That's With You Through It All
The Mother That Raised You To Be Who ANd What You Are
The Mother That Encourages You
The Mother That Works Hard For You
The Mother That Sacrifices
The Mother That Is Here Only For You
The Mother That Has Lived All These Years For You
The Mother That Is Surviving Only For You
The Mother That Is Here
The Mother That Is There, For, This Mother Is Everywhere
The Mother That Is Kind
The Mother That Is Warm-Hearted
The Mother That Is Super-Women
The Mother Of All Mother's... 

The Mother by Nesmah Elsayed

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Personal Appeal -"Help Sue through her most trying time"

Sue is Maria Suzette Perez Alcantara of Zamboanga City and Pasig. A vibrant and highly protective mother to Winchell Alcantara (Sitel, Philippines), Patrick Paul Alcantara (Stream Global Services), Strawberry Anne Alcantara, and Ma. Carlota P. Alcantara (Transcome).  Sue is my wife!
After coming from a baptismal party with two of her daughters, she suffered a stroke while still in the taxi on her way home. She and her daughters didn't realize at all that it was already the onset of a stroke. She complained of a sudden and severe headache. She still managed to get off the taxi on arrival at her house in Pasig and immediately lay down on the couch writhing in pain. She asked for a cold compress and continued to shout in severe pain. A few minutes later, she out a long spine tingling cry....for the last time as she passed out never to open her eyes again. We rushed her to Medical City where she had short bouts of consciousness at the hospital’s emergency room. The attending doctors were baffled why in just a few seconds she was already unresponsive – all her vital functions showing signs of stress. A brain scan was immediately made which confirmed what the doctors suspected all along - an aneurysm burst in her brain blood vessel burst and rapidly flooded her brain with blood putting her immediately in a coma! In a comatose scale of 1 to 15 where 15 represents the most recoverable stage of a comatose state, Sue scored a mere 3 - which means it would be futile and can even be more tragic for the doctors to consider any other means of medical intervention. In effect, the doctors declared her "Brain Dead" just within minutes after her arrival at the Medical City emergency room.

She continues today to survive through life support systems. In the absence of controlling commands from her brain, she continues to breathe through a ventilator.  Her heartbeat and blood pressure artificially induced and manage by a combination of medicines.
We nearly lost her yesterday March 4 when her heart beat and BP went wild. She was revived through 3 CPR attempts with the last one finally managing to get her heart breathing again. She remains stable up to now after the doctors decided to feed the medicines through her jugular vein.
We know that the doctors have done everything they could for her. In Sue’s condition, we know there is nothing more they can do. All they can do now is to maintain the life support system that is keeping her alive up to this time. They will keep her stable and breathing for as long as her family wants her to remain alive.
Right now, everything is in God’s hands! The family believes that even with the most technologically advanced instruments and the best medicines available, if God wants to finally take Sue into His fold, nothing can stop it. But if he has other plans for her then the Almighty may keep her alive and even altogether heal her. Until the Lord manifests His will on our beloved Sue, the family is resolved to keep her on life support systems – despite the odds.
We therefore need your help...your constant and regular prayers to seek Divine intervention for our beloved Sue. Please pray for her until she is fully recovered… or, until the Almighty takes her into His Kingdom. There is nothing more powerful than the prayers of so many believers seeking Divine intervention for Sue! Please pray for her.

In the meanwhile, any and all donations to help keep Sue on life support systems will be more than welcome. You can contact any of Sue’s children at their numbers below or you can deposit your pledges to Sue’s Banco de Oro account.
Winchell P. Alcantara – 0932-5322343
Patrick Paul Alcantara – 09228547440/ Landline 3427878
Strawberry Anne Alcantara – 09234116151
Ma. Carlota P. Alcantara – 09327104256
Banco de Oro Account Number: 001430109155
Account Name: Ma. Suzette P. Alcantara

For international pledges, you may send your donation via Paypal at this Paypal e-mail address - richard_alc05@yahoo.com

We thank you in advance for your prayers and any financial pledges you may wish to provide.
From the family of Ma. Suzette P. Alcantara

Monday, November 7, 2011

Untitled Jersey City Project: More Than Just A Buzz -More than Just An Action-Drama Series!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Untitled Jersey City Project. All opinions are 100% mine.

UNT_091311_Title_bmb_v01.ai (1 page)FX TV Networks is no doubt creating quite a buzz about the soon-to-hit air drama and action series which is yet to be titled. Yes, you read it right! It is still untitled and that’s where the entire buzz is coming from!


Called for now as "Untitled Jersey City Project”, Fox Entertainment’s FX Networks has put together eight short form episodes of the series, unfinished, untitled, and termed a ‘work in progress’ – an experimental television drama and action series. Premiered during the last Emmy Awards and directed by Daniel Minahan (who also directed the highly rated “True Blood” and “Game of Thrones”) the Untitled Jersey City Project promises to be another exciting television series everyone should look forward to watching. But, the most intriguing aspect of this experimental project is the fact that it will be the first ever series that aims to combine the real life experience and audience participation generated only by reality television shows with the excitement and mystery of a cloak and dagger drama series.

Consider for example the series location – the action revolves around the fast developing coastline of Jersey City which in real life has been attracting hordes of high end developers and foreign financiers lately. (Jersey City was a miserable place of urban decay in the 1970’s. It was shrouded with corruption and run by a local administration well known for backroom deals and cronyism.)  The Untitled Jersey City Project chronicles the development of waterfront stadium along the harbor facing Manhattan and in great similarity to actual developments in the Jersey City coastline. The story centers around two young Jersey upstart architects hired by a real estate tycoon to design Waterfront Field. To give it the twists and twits of the old game, the story presents a rich and mysterious Taiwanese couple who finance the Jersey City tycoon, an undercover FBI agent acting as the tycoon’s driver, a newspaper reporter bent on discovering and exposing the tycoon’s illegal activities, corrupt union men working in cahoots with the developer, and a budding but already corrupted local politician to complete the scene. In short, this is all about a new game to gain fame and fortune using the old rules reminiscent of the old Jersey City in real life!

Preview Episode 2 of this yet to be titled television series and see for yourself what the buzz is all about. Watch it here!


Here is the most exciting part about this project! You can help name the show and possibly get acknowledged for providing the appropriate name for the series. This is your chance to have a short lived shot  at fame and stardom yourself. Just hush over the Untitled Jersey City Project page and submit as many entries as you like.

Wait, there's more to this project than what everybody else know ! If you wish to try your hand at script writing and want to put your skills to a test, why don't you join in this work-in-progress drama and submit your own ideas or screenplay about where the story should go! They have developed three scenes where you can contribute your own input. Who knows this could be your own long hoped for instant road to fame and fortune!

Please watch the episode teasers and share with me your thoughts. Tell me what you honestly feel about this upcoming series.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Net 10 is Going Social This October!

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Net10. All opinions are 100% mine.

Net 10, one of the leading mobile virtual network operators in the country, is going social! Nope, I don't mean going social as in joining the social networking sites (Net 10 is already in Face Book, Twitter and You Tube – don’t forget to like them!) I mean Net 10 has put together the most perfect combination of phone models and virtual network services for all those helpless romantics who simply can’t live without buzzing their social networking buddies every single minute of the day! This October Net 10 is adding a new line up of affordable Net 10 phones containing features perfect for social networking bugs and heavy phone users as well.
Introducing the next Generation of Social Communication – the affordable LG Optimus Net!
Net 10 has included LG Optims Net to its line up of phone models starting this October. Described by PC Mag as one of the Best Android Phones and included in its Top 10 Best Touch Screen Phones, the LG Optimus Net incorporates the LG Social + a proprietary widget which combines all the popular networking site portals in a single application right on the phone’s home screen. With a single tap, users can simultaneously update their status on Face Book and Twitter while reading the feeds of their social networking buddies on the same screen.
Priced at only $ 149.99, LG Optimus Net is the perfect gadget for the 48% of Americans aged 18 to 34 year olds who check Face Book on waking up! And here’s the best part – you can avail of Net 10’s flat rate of $50 a month for unlimited voice, text, mobile web and 411 calls for 30 days with a nation wide network. For the more budget conscious, Net 10 has several Easy Minutes Plans where you can buy additional minutes in bundles of 50, 100, and 150 minutes (at only $0.06 to $0.75 per minute) anytime and anywhere using your Net 10 phones or through the Net 10 web site. Here’s another beautiful thing about Net 10’s Easy Minutes plan – remaining minutes are automatically carried over to the next month for as long as the phone remains active. Long distance calls are also available at only $0.75 cents per minute to 75 other countries. here's more good news! If you happen to have friends and families in neighboring Canada and Mexico that you constantly communicate with, Net 10 can provide you with a special number through which they can call you for free! Put them all together and you have a perfect means to remain connected with everyone that matters in your life - at the cheapest price possible!
Net 10 has a wide array of pre-paid phone models you can choose from. They have models with the most basic features starting at $39.99 to models with the most sophisticated features like the LG Optimus Net. At Net 10 you can choose the phone and the minutes you want to fit into your specific needs or go with your budget. And the best part of all is the fact that there are no contracts, no bills, no evils that go with any pre-paid phone or plan that you choose.
Here  are more reasons why Net 10 is the best option for you. Listen to Net 10's Rob outline the superb benefits of Net 10 prepaid plans:

Don't just take our word for it. Listen to what a real Net 10 customer has to say about it:

You need not wait till things get more financially burdensome before looking for cheaper alternatives of remaining connected to your friends and family. Switch to Net 10 now and experience the difference. Simply buy a Net 10 prepaid phone and choose the minute plan suitable to your needs. There are no contracts, no pesky bills, and no evil at all that goes with any Net 10 plan. 

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

K-12 Education in Russia and the United States - A Comparative View

K-12 education (primary to secondary education) in Russia is different from that of the United States in structure as well in many other aspects. In fact, the whole educational systems of both are distinctly dissimilar. But before we delve into a detailed discussion of their structural differences, it would be interesting to show some recent statistics related to education in both countries.
Russia is known for having a long tradition of providing high quality education to all its citizens. Its educational system has consistently produced an almost 100% literacy rate in most recent years.  Based on UNESCO statistics for 2009 for example, Russia ranked #13 in the world together with two other countries namely Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan with a literacy rate of 99.5%. This is higher than those of most European countries even that of the United States.  In this same survey, the United States scored a flat literacy rate of 99 % and is ranked #20 together with 25 other countries.
Another revealing statistic came from an international study of Math and Science achievement levels among 8th graders (the International Math and Science Study done by the Trends in Mathematics and Science Study or TIMSS in 2007) worldwide. (TIMMS was developed by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement or IEA).

In this study Russia’s 8th graders ranked #9 globally. Comparatively, American 8th graders ranked lower at #11. The 1995 statistics were even worst for the American 8th graders. In that year (1995), the Russian students ranked 14 while the American students were way below at # 40. Although there was a marked improvement by American students from 1995 to 2007, their poor performance never-the-less left them out of the top 10 and continued to raise concern among American educators especially so since the United States spends 5.7% of its GDP on education compared to only 3.8% by Russia.

American students fared even worst than their Russian counterparts in reading achievement. In the International Student Achievement in Reading study conducted in 2006 by the IEA Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) among students with 4 years of formal education (Grade 4), Russian students topped the study while their American counterparts ranked way below at #18.  This is dismally lower than the results achieved by grade 4 students from Hong Kong (#2) and Singapore (#3) who shared the top three positions with Russia (#1).

Amazingly, the structure of the educational system of both Russia and the United States are essentially the same. Both were patterned after the educational system in Germany although each one has made some modifications through the years.

Compulsory education in Russia is for 11 years and starts at the age of 6 up to 17 years old and consists of Primary, Basic Secondary, and Upper Secondary. Primary school is for 4 years from Grade 1 to Grade 4. This is followed by 5-year Basic Secondary School (Grades 5 – 9). From Basic Secondary, the student takes the 2 year Upper Secondary school Grades 10 – 11).

Compulsory education in the United States spans 12 years (longer than Russia by 1 year) starting at the age of 5 to 18 years old. Elementary School is for 6 years and starts at Kindergarten to Grade 5. This is followed by 3 years of Middle School from Grade 6 to Grade 8. After which, the students spend 4 years in High School from Grade 9 to Grade 12. Elementary and Middle School comprise the primary education and High School represents the Secondary level.

With very little difference in the educational system of both countries, one can only wonder why
Russians students are faring better than American students in Math, Science, and Reading standardized global achievement tests.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Get Rid of Monthly Phone Bill Nightmares? Switch to Net10 Now!

This post brought to you by Net10. All opinions are 100% mine.

I know how it is every time your monthly phone bill gets into your mailbox! 

Your heart starts pumping hard. Your blood pressure starts to rise! You ask yourself - should you or shouldn’t you open the bill now? Your mind starts racing fast! Are you going to be in for another surprise? Will you get into another big fight with the phone company’s customer service guys over this new bill?
Believe me I know the feeling because I’ve been there myself. I even had to pay horrible fees when I finally lost  patience with them and decided to pre-terminate my contract! And when I contested the additional fees, my credit score got hit! Whew, what a nightmare indeed! But I found myself a solution. I discovered Net10 and switched to it fast. Today the monthly surprises and phone bill nightmares are gone! 
In my line of work, I use my phone a lot talking to my clients from various parts of the country. So, I availed of the Net10 Unlimited Plan. With this plan, I got free nationwide coverage with crystal-clear reception and easy connectivity. The plan serves my needs perfectly since it comes with unlimited talk time, unlimited text, and unlimited data transfers all for only a fixed monthly rate of  $50. Can you beat that? I can even make long distance calls to over 75 countries - not for free of course but for only 15 cents a minute! What really thrilled me with this plan is the fact that there is no contract, no worrisome monthly bills, and no credit checks at all! 

They also have other plans to suit your needs and your budget. They have the 'Pay As You Go' plans. Their 'Easy Minutes Plan'  where you can buy 200 minutes for only $15 is perfect for less active users; or, buy 300 minutes for only $30. You can add minutes as you need them in bundles of 50, 100, and 150 minutes online or through their authorized dealers nationwide. Watch the Net10 commercial below to get a better picture.

Cute NET10 commercial
There is a catch though. You need to buy a Net10 phone first. But this was not a problem for me. I sold mine easily at eBay and used the proceeds for my new phone. And, yes, you need not worry  because they have a whole line up of phones from simple phones for simple needs at under $15 to the top of the line models ... all from trusted phone manufacturers only like  LG, Kyocera, Motorola, Samsung, and Nokia.
But don't just take my word for it. Examine all the 10 reasons why you should  switch to Net10 immediately. Watch the video below before making that big switch.

Still unconvinced? Watch and listen to what a real Net10 customer has to say. 

Real NET10 customer
Oh yes, before I forget.  You can check Net10 out on Facebook and/or follow them on Twitter.
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