Wednesday, March 23, 2011

I am a Taste Test Pilot!

I might have been a goat in my previous life.

It’s not like I smell bad or I am a lecher, I just love the feeling of having a chewing gum in my mouth most of the time.

“Kambing ka ba?”

I am immune to hearing that question since the day I discovered Mentos in high school. Funny but the first time I got a hold of this gum is when a classmate asked me to bite it and place it unto a newly-opened bottle of soda. The result: my two amazed eyes wide open.

From then on, I have been a sucker, figuratively and literally, to this crunchy and soft gum. I have tasted and chewed almost every flavor and sizes of Mentos from the minty to the fruity-flavored ones, to those cube-shaped in boxes to the original flat egg-like singles in a pack.

My all time favorite is the classic variant which I have grown chewing. I could either play my tongue on its crunchy shell ‘till it softens or immediately break it with my teeth the moment I pop it inside my mouth. The outcome would just be the same--- an undefined chewing experience that only Mentos can bring.

Just recently, I was privileged to be chosen as one of the first few to take a crack (again, figuratively and literally) on the newest variant of my favorite gum: Sugarfree Mentos Pure Fresh with Green Tea.

As a Mentos Taste Test Pilot, I have undergone one of the most exciting tests I have ever encountered--- chew all the Mentos I can. It’s almost a week since I received my taste test kit and here are my findings after a rigid process conducted in my mouth and taste buds:

“Sugarfree na, may green tea pa! Definitely, you’ll feel an intense sensation of freshness in your mouth with every bite. A blister pack contains seven gums but don’t expect it to last in seven days because I can finish one pack in only seven minutes.”

I think it’s also worth mentioning in this post that Mentos has been my ally to avoid smoking. I have worked in different companies in the past and noticed that when stress and pressure comes, many of my officemates would go to the designated “yosi” areas for a dose of stick or two. Not me. I say, “Isang Mentos lang yan.”

The next time my boss ask me, “Kambing ka ba?”

I’ll just give him my usual pogi and smart-looking smile and offer him a pack of the new of Mentos Pure Fresh with Green Tea and say, “Sugarfree po yan!”

This new product is now available and can be found in most grocery stores and C-stores nationwide.

Monday, March 21, 2011

No money for a grad gift? Be Smart, Bro!

I am Mr. Thoughtful. A title I have carried since I learned how to wrap a gift, which if I estimate would be sometime in between the moment I discovered how to tie my shoe laces and the time I felt I was falling for Brooke Shields. I can’t remember the exact date but more or less you’ll have an idea of how old I am.

I am Mr. Thoughtful but I think my streak of being that guy who always remembers special occasions and give gifts to the celebrators might come to an end. Our budget at home this month is in a little mess because of some unavoidable spending money spree (birthday party for my son who just turned 2, a brand new LCD TV, a cellphone unit for yaya, etc.)

Rromaine, one of my nieces is graduating from kindergarten this week and I only have enough money for me to survive until the next payday. Then I remember what my bestfriendalways tells me during times like these, “Be smart, bro!”

Well, I have come up with a list of possible graduation gifts that I can give to a 6-year old girl after hours of squeezing my creative juices. I hope I still have a few drops left for work.

Recycle gifts. Last Christmas, I received almost a dozen of pens with logos of the companies where they came from. I just hope my niece don’t mind using a pen with the word Loperamide boldly marked on the body. It’s red naman e.

Clippings of Taylor Swift. I have a stack of old magazines and newspapers just waiting for the right offer from a passing magbobote-dyaryo at home. I remember reading a lot of articles about Taylor Swift since her invasion in Manila recently. I did hear my niece sang a few lines from “You Belong With Me” before so I suspect she is also a fan.

Homemade toy. When I was in kindergarten myself, I used to have a pet pebble just like any ordinary kid (hey, owning one then was normal as per Super Grover). I have a few shiny stones I collected from my first trip in Boracay kept in the attic (now, I’m not sure if that is normal). She can play with it as an anting-anting during superhero games, use as pamato in piko or put in her pencil case as a lucky charm for high grades. You just have to include an instruction sheet and I think that will work.

Cartoon collection on CD. Youtube and Nero have save me for a number of times when I am blank with gift ideas. Two years ago, I surprised my father-in-law with a CD full of Bulagaan episodes on Father’s Day. He’s a sucker of classic TVJ jokes and he officially heart me na after that day. For my niece, it’s a combo of Dora and Barney song numbers.

Shoe cover. My niece will be a Grade 1 stude next school year and she will definitely need a pair of shoe covers. I should know because she’ll be going to the same elementary school where her mom and all his titos and titas graduated. I got a grade of 90% in Home Economics when I submitted a hand-sewed apron so I think I can manage to make a pair of shoe covers out of my old office uniforms.

I think I can also get some advice from my friends for graduation gift ideas. Well, they’re just one click away and would not mind a few minutes of chatting and exchange of emails. I just hope my internet service connection would not fail during this time that I need immediate responses from my online buddies.

Hmmm, I think I should really get a personal broadband connection soon. Have you heard about the SMART BRO Unlimited Home Broadband Plan 999 or 1995? Aside from the dependable quality service it offers, subscribers will also get some amazing freebies:

a. FREE All-In-One HP Printer
b. FREE Call & Texts with SMART Gold Lite Plan 300 for 6 months subscription
c. FREE 1 month broadband subscription.

I have read and heard a lot of good reviews about SMART BRO Unlimited Home broadband because of its consistent surf speed and stable signal. This offer is only good until June 4, 2011 and it may not happen again so join me and be one of the lucky subscribers who will grab this great opportunity. This promo is per DTI-NCR Permit No. 1871, Series of 2011.

For further inquiries about the promo, you may visit the nearest SMART Wireless Center or any SMART BRO accredited agents or visit You can also follow the SMART Communications Corporation Facebook fan page.

While writing this post, I got a text message from Rromaine's mom thanking me for the mono block chair she borrowed which her daughter used during their practice for the graduation. She also informed me that my niece will graduate as one of the top students of her class. She was also grateful for the help every time Rromaine asked assistance for her home works.

Now, I realize that all the while I've been thinking of material things to give and not what's the most important thing in life--- Love. I may have only realized it now but definitely there is love every time I read stories, connect the dots and color pages with my niece when we work on her assignments.

On her graduation day, I want to witness her marching up to the stage and I'll whisper my sincerest prayer for her to have a good health and better opportunity to show her skills, talent and intelligence, along with a promise that I will forever be a willing and proud uncle who would watch over her.