Pinoy Coke Fanatics Eyeball and Field Trip in Santa Rosa , Laguna

Santa Rosa, Laguna province-Philippines

It was a sunday mid-morning 10:30 am when i rode a bus  from EDSA Makati going to San Pedro – Laguna province ( Pacita complex) Php 55.00  then i took another jeepney ride Php 11.00 passing  Biñan then Balibago .The eyeball is our Christmas party too.

group photo

The jeepney driver only passed the main highway and i  have to walked for a few meters . I bought some local pizza along the way before i took a tricycle ride to  Villa Esmeralda Subdivision  ( Php 70.00 Special Fare ) which is located near Enchanted Kingdom.

L-R Ms. Roselily Z. Buduan , Mr. Nico Bazarte and Mr. Fernando “Nanding” Enriquez of Tagcauayan , Quezon province

I arrived shortly after 1:00PM , where almost all of the participants have eaten their lunch.  Some of the early birds arrived in the morning , while one member had to travel all the way from Quezon province just to attend this important eyeball and Christmas party.

Everybody brought different kinds kinds of foods, from pancit bihon, pancit bato ( flat noodles with quail eggs and pork liver ) , barbecues, sugpo , fresh mangoes, watermelon , cassava cake, pata tim,  sliced pineapples, dinguan , yema, pastillas , coke candies , ice cream and a whole array of different home cooked meals. The event would not be complete without a bottle of Coke products like Coca-Cola , Royal and Sprite 1.5 liter . The group like to spread the happiness to everybody .

 raffle committee and members

Then , all the attendees name were gathered.  The committee have a short raffle of coke collectible items, mostly donated by fellow coke collectors from different parts of the world. . There are all sorts of items being traded, swap, sold during the meeting. Since i was a little bit LATE for the swap meet, i just got a sneak view on what items the members took home.  There are also regional coke managers who brought some FREEBIES !!!!

coke items for  SALE

Mr. Dranreb Recio – collector of coke

Mr. Danreb Recio is an avid coke collectible collector since 2009 . He had been collecting coke items for about 4 years . He specializes on coke glasses  and mugs.

After the first round of raffle, there are still a lot of items to be given away. Hence there was another set of raffle to all that were present .

I got 1 coke glass,1 plastic tumbler, coke posters, 1 cherry flavored-coke in can from  the United States and I was very lucky to won a coke speaker during the second round of the raffle. The gracious host also gave away 1 pair of Coke postcards from BelgiumMr. Nico Bazarte gave me 3 coke trading card packs   ( I decided not to open them and keep them as MINT condition ) .  Maraming salamat sa lahat na nakadaupang palad ko . Thanks.

Coke Polar Bear collection of Mr. Fred Dimal

 The tour did not end in one house, the group decided to visit another coke collector from nearby Laguna Bel Air Subdivision, a few kilometers away from Villa Esmeralda .

Mr. Fred Dimal is an artist and photographer  before he went into collecting coke items . He started his passion for coke collecting in 2009 .  He proudly showed us the limited commemorative Coke Book ( 100 years ) in special box. We decided to visit the house of another coke collector a few blocks away.

Mr. Joey Bulatao’s house

Mr. Joey Bulatao

 Mr. Joey Bulatao – a former coke employee . Our group was amaze with the size of his house which stands on a 900- square meter lot.

276 pieces of coke bottles transformed into chandelier

Due of his architectural and interior design skills . His house looked like it had several floors . He had 2 unique chandelier made from several hundreds of pieces of coke bottles .

coke bar lounge

The coke bottles were salvage from ship wreck in Bantayan island , Cebu province in 1990’s .  Most of the coke bottles were made at the San Francisco bottling plant from 1942 and 1944 .

It was intended to be  given to the American forces which liberated the island .  The Japanese  bombarded the ship until all the supplies eventually got lost .

coke glasses , mugs, bottles, tumblers, toy truck

He started his passion for collecting coke items  in 1993 and even had built a separate room ( basement ) for his coke collections. His 20-year coke collecting passion led him to join the Pinoy Coke Fanatics . Kuya Joey gave us some coke items .

wooden coke cases with empty bottles

We then went to another coke collector a few kilometers away , the husband and wife collector started collecting coke items in 2006.  Due to time constraints and  some renovations , I opted not to feature them here.  Their large coke collections are an eye to behold. I would like to ” Thank” them for their warm hospitality and for the coke bottle opener that they gave to the visitors.

We hitch ride with  Mr. NorManila until we reached Cubao area .  Mommy Roselily , Mr.  Dwayne Miranda and I  rode a public bus going to NORTH Avenue terminal station where  we rode an Asian Utility Vehicle  on our way home.  It was such a wonderful experience  to spread Happiness to ALL !


Neon Invasion Fun Run : Not so NEON after ALL !

Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City-Philippines

poster of the event

A few months ago, the organizers posted an online invitation.  The  fun run which had 5 different stages with different music and a whole lot of stuffs .

I quickly took the opportunity in signing-up to cover the actual event as a social media writer and a part -time contributor in a local community paper.

According to their publicity material, the  event is supporting the Quezon City museum, QC Protection Center for Women, Children and LGBT, Alay Kay Inay Ng Lungsod Quezon Foundation Inc. and Cottolenggo Filipino.

It sounds amazing to know that they are supporting a lot of community projects and NGO groups!!!!!

some of the participants waiting at the Quezon Memorial Circle fountain area

We arrived at around past 6:00pm . As part of a bloggers’ group who helped in and sign-up to cover the event.  We were expected to” walk” , I mean run, for FREE , since we help in the promotion of the running event  . But race event proper came , there is still NO SINGLET and there was No Media Kit prepared for our group ! We were just left to roam around and i tried to get some personal interviews from some participants who were quite disappointed even before the event started.  The security seems lapse and there were  long lines of people at the registration area .

starting line

I have covered several running and marathon events before ,  It seemed that the volunteers  or staffs were not prepared.  Participants  who pre-registered before the actual event must have their race kits prepared in a pack with all the necessary materials Name tags , Running gears ,  Loot bag etc… Some even complained of waiting for more than 1 hour just to get their SINGLET !  Walk -ins must have their separate registration.   Another participant also complain of not getting proper shirt size  and color that she wanted ( she signed -up for medium size but she got small  , Another participant got pink  instead of yellow .) What is not funny , is that some pre-registered participants never got their racing kits at all….

stage area

Some 4,000 participants  ( police estimate)  took part in the Neon Invasion within Quezon Memorial Circle landmark. Curiously, based on what happened last night, the big running population turned out to be something the organizers did not expect.

The event started even much LATER , We expect that there would be a racing line but its seem like there was just a BIG Concert with people in running attire.  Ambulant vendors selling glow sticks , flashlights and battery operated toys inside the cordoned area which is intended for the participants of the event.

The PR person seems clueless if we came there as Runners, Winners of their PROMO contest , BLOGGERS or even City hall officials . The marathon route was shorter than what was posted at their websites . Talk about shorthand and not properly coordinating with the  Quezon City government .

We had to LEAVE the place at around 8:00PM . We do not want to be branded as GATE Crasher , MIRON , ETC….. Our attire is SMART Casual which is definitely inappropriate or too drab  for a neon running event. When some of us left the place ( bloggers) , The marathon had not yet started. This was more than 1- hour delayed from what the organizers had announced !!!!!!

Facebook event page  ( screen caption ) – NEON Invasion Run participant Ms. Abby Enriquez posted some of the 18 problems she experienced

In a Facebook event page , Almost all of the participants felt that they were robbed of their money and time.


NEON FUN RUN Facebook Page:

racing t-shirt  with sponsors, media partners and donors collateral

Hope that  this will be a lesson to the organizers .  With all the fun runs, evening runs, neon runs,  marathons , obstacle runs, zombie runs  etc… happening all over the country and using legitimate NGO groups as beneficiaries of their event. Milking money and sponsorship from corporations , individual persons , government  makes them no different with Pyramiding Schemes and FAKE NGO groups.

According to one of the organizers of the event, Their suppliers have some problems with the deliveries and LATE registrants . They must anticipated this scenario weeks or even months ahead.  It is their FIRST time to organize a fun run or a running event.  Some sponsors are telling otherwise.

On the other hand , The organizers were able to gather at least 4,000 to 5,000 plus people at the Quezon Memorial Circle- and to the advantage of some sectors like the ongoing weekend  flea market nearby, ambulant vendors , restaurants and parking spaces within the Circle. – All of which have reported increase sales and immediate profit.

But what happened to the NGO groups which were supposed to be the beneficiaries of the neon event?  ONLY the organizers are bound to tell the stories.

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