Creative battles

Nowadays, it really pays to be creative. And it doesn’t mean just drawing and doodling. Gone are the days that creativity is boxed within the confines of just a profession. Anyone can be creative in anything now! Just as, you can always learn something – whether you know how to wield a paintbrush or not (turns to self.)

I am always on the lookout for contests I like to call creative battles. I enjoy seeing entries, as much as I sometimes enjoy joining myself. And I believe it’s just a matter of doing one thing. In today’s battles, whether in the creative level, or life level, it’s essential to choose your weapon. If it’s a pen, a camera, or the bitten apple, somehow you can use it to come up with something creative.

Take using mobile to promote sustainability. It’ll take creativity, yeah?


Globe advocates use of mobile technology in sustainable development via photo competition

Leading telecommunications company Globe Telecom gave out special awards to three young men who best captured how mobile technology is used in initiatives for sustainable development. The winners were among the participants to the Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) Ten Photos to Shake the World contest

First place winner of the Globe Mobile Technology for Sustainable Development award is Noel Ubaldo who received an iPad4 for his work entitled “It’s never too late for technology”. The photo shows a group of elderly tribal members using a tablet computer. Ubaldo also bagged ASSIST’s People’s Choice Award.

Second place went to Bryan Taguduar for his black and white piece “Taking the challenge of trend” where two fishermen in an outrigger boat hold a cellphone and a solar panel. Taguduar also won 9th place in ASSIST for another entry. Klienne Eco’s “Light up my future”, a photo of a boy studying with the use of a tablet computer, won third. Incidentally, the same entry was adjudged second in the ASSIST photo competition. Taguduar and Eco received an HTC One SV and Samsung Galaxy Y mobile phones from Globe, respectively.


“We were only supposed to give one special award but we found the other two entries also very significant to our theme. As an ICT company which advocates sustainable development, Globe believes this competition is an excellent venue to advocate the use of mobile technology in sustainable initiatives,” said Yoly Crisanto, Head of Globe Corporate Communications.

ASSIST is an international non-government organization which seeks to promote sustainable practices to address social problems in the developing world with focus on Asia and Africa. Its goal is to empower its target groups to make them resilient to social, economic and environmental challenges.

For the competition, ASSIST has chosen ten compelling photos that chronicle the journey towards sustainable development –showing poverty, climate change, global recession and other challenges, as well as the innovation and cooperation that result from them.

The photos also captured sustainable inventions, human partnerships, cooperation for a sustainable economic development, inspirational and empowering activities/scenarios/innovations, under the overarching theme: “A showcase of Empowerment, Partnership, and Innovations for Sustainable and Inclusive Development.” The competition was open to all Filipino citizens who are at least 18 years old as of September 1, 2013. Know more about the photo contest in


As I am on the lookout for something to keep us creative, I stumbled upon Beyond the Box, a premier reseller of Apple products here in the Philippines, where I got my beloved Heavensbee, I can’t help but to share to everyone their amazing contest. Get to design their new shopping bag!

Beyond the Box launches Beyond the Bag!


1. Design Beyond the Box’s paper bag. Use the downloadable paper bag template found here.
2. The design should include the Beyond the Box logo and should be relevant to the theme, “We provide amazing gadgets, you create amazing things.”
3. Submit your design in JPEG format with at least 300 dpi resolution. Send it via email to [email protected] with your full name, and mobile number.
4. By joining the contest, the participant agrees to give Beyond the Box the right to use or publish all submitted materials to promote this contest.
5. Submission of entries is from January 26 until February 16, 2014 only.
6. Participants can submit up to three (3) entries. Multiple entries should be sent via email separately.
7. Designs should be original and not previously used or owned by any other individual/organization.
8. Ten (10) finalists chosen by the Beyond the Box team will be announced on February 21.
9. Winners will be picked from the top 10 entries that will be judged by a panel of judges through these criteria: 40% Relevance to the theme 40% Creativity and Execution 20% Originality
10. Top 3 winners and People’s Choice winner will be announced on February 28, 2014.
11. Winning designs will be printed and produced as Beyond the Box’s paper bags. Winners will be requested to send their designs in Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop format for production purpose.
12. Announcement of winners will be held at Umami Hambaagu House on February 28. Top 10 finalists will be invited to the special event.

More info here!


More creative battles! If you know creativity-related contests, feel free to share below 🙂

Christmas Gift Ideas: Punchdrunk Panda Headphones


Audiophiles need good sound, and it wouldn’t hurt if their paraphernalia of awesome tunes is adorned by good design. Local design, that is! Introducing the newest member of PdP‘s line of tech gear – PdP Headphones! Still in the spirit of local design, this is in collaboration with three talented local artists – Rob Cham (Earthly Pursuits – red and yellow), Dan Fajardo (Colorful City – red, green, and yellow), and JP Cuison (aptly named Musika – black and white).

Don’t miss a lot of discounted prices for laptop sleeves, iPhone and iPad cases, and the all-time bestseller camera straps! Perfect gift for that quirky hipster (sic) friend of yours! I’d get myself one. It’s easy as well as there are choices in payment like bank deposit, Paypal, and our trusty Gcash (which you can easily use as a virtual prepaid credit card as well!)

Get your quirky local design fix at Punchdrunk Panda!

Punchdrunk Panda
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Apple CEO accepts Lifetime Achievement Award from alma mater, discusses discrimination and basic human rights

I’ve been a longtime fan of Apple. I’ve been a longtime supporter of equality as well (like duh, who wouldn’t?) and this – no matter how many other significant people in the world came out is one of the nicest things I heard.

This video of Tim Cook’s speech advocating equality – from race, gender, to migrants – is as refreshing as it can get. Being the head of one of the world’s leading tech companies, he has been a figure himself. What with following the steps of technological evangelic Steve Jobs, who may be playing board games with God right now. To make a bold move is not easy if you are representing a bigger entity than yourself, what more if it’s a company which the world tracks every second, every nanosecond of existence.

It’s actually even more refreshing to know that even before the age of gay marriage laws, Apple has been providing support to their employees and has been embracing diversity. I think this solidifies their visage as a premier brand – because they transcend differences and are not afraid to express it for the world to see.

I think embracing diversity influences their approach in everything. Design, branding, engineering, everything! It is because they know that not one size fits all that they do their best to come up with a realm of technology that captures the heart of the market. It all makes sense that they are coming out. It is high time to do so, and they are not one to fall behind this opportunity.

Of course, we are in the dark of what really happens inside Apple, unless you, my beloved reader, are working for/with them. But as far as what I heard from Tim Cook and What my feelings tell me – that there is a high degree of sincerity from his words – then I am a happy supporter of Apple.

I think I just escalated from being an Apple fanboy to an Apple groupie.

Grab a Taxi and enjoy the Holiday Rush!

UPDATE: Their zero booking fee for Globe subscribers is extended until January 1, 2014! Fuuuun!


I have been ranting on Twitter that aside from the ever present Manila traffic we have, exacerbated by the massive and ubiquitous Christmas overreaction, is that finding a decent cab can be a hassle… most of the time.


So when Grab Taxi arrived in the Philippines, I was really skeptical at first. Like, really. Who can temper the horrible cab situation in this country? And why this remains unsolved is beyond me, but Grab Taxi performs well apparently. I tried it first when I was en route to the airport during the rush hour. It was a horror waiting in queue for a cab, much worse I was competing against time as my boarding time arrived by the minute.


And Grab Taxi was just to my rescue. It gives a bunch of information that would help your worries, and your loved ones’. Integrated with a share function, you can easily share via SMS, Twitter, and Facebook your route, driver’s name, and cab plate number.


It also computes your estimated wallet damage, and time when your driver will arrive (though honestly, they have to improve on computing time, considering Manila traffic.)


So basically, this is how it works — you pinpoint your location (powered by Foursquare) and your destination. After which, the app scans the area for nearby drivers. Drivers bid, you smoke a cig or two, and your driver arrives. They’re easy to locate, just look for the Grab Taxi sticky and the phone near the dash.


A driver with a bad attitude is the least of your concern as you have the option to give a feedback about your ride. And so far, using this for the couple of weeks, I have never met nicer drivers than Grab Taxi drivers. If you’re a Globe subscriber, you enjoy perks such as a booking fee discount of PhP 20 (from PhP70)!

You may be taking the cab everyday, and find it a hassle even as compared to taking the train. So let Grab Taxi help you.

Grab Taxi
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iPhone 5c and 5s now available at Globe, skips grand launch

Photo from

In the tech world, we celebrate the arrival of the latest Apple iPhone innovation. I’d be a hypocrite (but just prioritising my money aka just poor) if I don’t say that I want it. It’s 5x faster than Jyler, my new iPhone 5. It has clearer camera – and oh that beautiful beautiful gold casing. I’m in love with it. It also comes in a regular Super Plan or iPhone Forever Plan! Click and get to know more about these amazing plans from the best in postpaid! More iPhone 5s info here.

But on the other hand, at the Southern part of the Philippines, Yolanda devastated and ruined lives, families, and jobs. In a regular relief work here in the Philippines, it would only take a number of days or a couple of weeks only. But this one, being the largest typhoon to hit landfall in the WORLD, the Philippines is up for something we are not prepared for.

So I am so proud when I heard that Globe redirected their funds to help our fellow Filipinos who were unfortunate to experience Yolanda’s wrath. It’s comforting to know that these guys are so compassionate and did not think twice to help others instead of to help themselves.

Mabuhay ka, Globe! Also a shoutout to the international community for helping us! Truly, we are global citizens, brothers and sisters in one Earth. Read more

Extra Early Christmas Gift Ideas: Power Angel 2

I think everyone of us will attest to it that whatever, and I mean whatever, device we own needs a supplementary battery. Our devices, specifically, our phones and tablets, are useless without battery anyway. And we use it all day – take me for example whose work revolves around Jyler, the iPhone (yes, I it’s a marriage of my and Tyler‘s name <3) 114416573 So a power bank is in order. And you don’t know how much I owe it to this power bank (and probably why you need one, too!) When I need to cover events, it is a nightmare when I need to say bye bye to Twitter when the phone runs out of battery. Plus, where’s the fun in eating without Instagram? Just kidding. But you see, the point here is, we can never afford to lose battery. Whether you’re out in the field hauling your ass for something and needs to email something for work, or working away from the office or home and God knows cafes have been stingy on electricity just recently, you can fear no more. I’m all for unplugging every now and then, but not when I need it.114416574 Not to mention the Power Angel 2 from Mili really looks sleek, it doesn’t need so much space to lug it around. With 2,200 mAh, I easily have spare energy for my phone whenever, wherever. (An Apple iPhone 5 consumes 1,800 mAh.) It also doubles as a stand, so it’s amazing when you’re watching films through your iPhone (guilty of and


It’s the perfect Christmas gift as well! I mean, as I said, everyone of us can attest we need it, so maybe your friend or sister or brother needs it badly as you do! There’s a lot of choices over at Mili’s online store! There’s something for everyone – Android or iOS devices, or even your laptop (OMG. I know.) Plus, their delivery is just prompt. Won’t even need to follow up!

Battery: Li-Polymer
Capacity: 2200mAh
Input: 5V / 1A (max)
Output: 5V / 1A (max)
Charging time: 5 hours (0.50A by Laptop), 3 hours (1A by AC adaptor) LED Indicator Lights: 4 LED lights, each one stands for 25% of power
Dimension: 73.5 x 57 x 15.2 mm

P.S. Thanks, Gen Tiu for my Power Angel 2. I really love it!
P.S.S. Watch out for more Christmas Gift Ideas from my blog!

Mili Philippines

When working means marrying your gadget (or iDevice for that matter)

Whew, that was a long title.

So you guys know that I had to give up my iPhone for warranty and how it was a nightmare. I got it a month after anyway, and as I type, I am waiting for it to update my apps. Oh new game gone free!!! *exhibits attention deficit*

I cried hard

Ever since I started blogging, my phone will always be the most important part of my daily life. I started blogging when I was in fourth year college. While I primarily used it to back stab my lousy professors (some of them, my classmates would attest) through Twitter and then-BBM, aside from blogging on the side; when I started work in social media, it proved its worth doubly when I got to work with the freedom of choice as to when and where. I wouldn’t try my hand in freelancing, if it hadn’t been the case. I can still remember that time when I went to the beach in a work day and it was just the best explanation why you need your gadget working for you.


Or maybe when I need to go out of the country, whether for leisure or work, it’s always handy to have your ever-so-reliable smartphone to be working for you. It’s easy to access your files, reach your contacts, find your way through a city, scour what’s hot or not, or simply see who’s around (ehem, Grindr, ehem.) It’d be simple as from posting a selfie, or sending super important documents — everything’s easy. Everything happens in a click nowadays, and having this beloved (and well-taken-care-of, I suppose) gadget lost, damaged, whether by acts of God or your careless self, is just a massive liability.

Enjoy your trips more when you have your gagdets work wonders for you!

Honestly, waiting for one month for warranty is strenuous. Managing my finances is one trick in life I have yet to learn, so I didn’t have enough money to buy ANOTHER expensive smartphone (that does everything for me btw, plus I didn’t buy it lol) It’ll be senseless too, if it can be replaced by warranty anyway. As the doctors say, prevention is better than cure.


Hollywood diva Jennifer Lopez and Victoria’s Secret Angel turned Project Runway host Heidi Klum thought it wise to protect their physical assets. Heidi Klum’s legs are insured for $2.2 million, while J.Lo’s famous derrière is worth a staggering $27 million. Not to mention, A LOT of insurance programs for a lot of other aspects in our lives – like retirement, health, property, automobile, among others. You just have to be sure.

For a lot of people, acquiring an insurance program to protect things that matter most to them can help ease worries away. And with the degree of attachment people are now giving their mobile phones, it makes great sense for mobile phone users to start considering insuring their handsets as well.

Gadget Care V4

And believe me, I have thought of this while my phone is in warranty! I mean, that’s policy already. Now if only I have a chance to override that policy with another. There’s nothing more than insurance to take your worry off. Phones nowadays (especially for those who buys the best for work) are an investment already — take an iDevice which does everything for you and your work for example.


According to statistics, from over 500 serviced claims covered by telco giant Globe Telecom to date, 81% were due to theft; 48% of which happened in public vehicles or while commuting, 35% in public places such as malls, restaurants, and bars, and 17% in private places like at home, office, in a hotel room, and in private cars. And as Christmastime nears, expect these troubling numbers to increase.

So how can mobile phone users mitigate the high-cost of losing or breaking a prized mobile phone? Sign up for a comprehensive mobile phone insurance. Read more

Southeast Asia things

One more month and I’ll be in a plane to my first stab at mainland Southeast Asia. I’ve been postponing it for years (check here, here, and here) for so many excuses, and finally it’s becoming real. To tell you honestly, I can tell I’m really excited. Like, I find it hard to sleep every night I spend on reading guides, and there’s this one time I was on a looping dream about being left by my flight! What the fuck! I know.

I’ve been revising my itinerary (twice for the couple of weeks, after months of researching) and listing down everything I need. I have the compulsion to pack already, too, but still have enough self-restraint. I’ve recomputed my budget over and over again, and kept on listing down work things so that it doesn’t get in the way. I’m overly preparing, I know, but really, I just can’t help it. It’s how I am when I travel.

Sri Mariamman Temple, Chinatown, Singapore

I still can’t help thinking about my first trip outside the country and in SEA, too! I obsessed over Singapore over and over, pre- and post-trip. I just couldn’t have enough SG ever! I think what would be the difference now is that it’s my first time in a developing country, pretty much the same like the Philippines. While I am so used to living in the PH and third world realness ain’t really a problem for me – it’s different when I travel. It is so easy to travel around Singapore – with the efficient transport system, tourist-friendly environment, near-zero-crime rate, and all those first world perks. Not to mention, data access IS so easy. I must stress this enough because bulk of my job relies on this – and I am never truly away for a holiday, truth be told.

Now, I may not have all these amenities – I mean let’s face it – when you read about the mainland, you get scared about scams, partly because they mention it in every section in guides – and some have a dedicated section for this! It may have gotten me scared enough to back out once or twice, but nah, flights are booked already, I’m doing this bitch.

But what I will not live without is reliable data access. This is the part where I say I’m glad to be with Globe – because they’re partnered with major cities around the world. Traveling can be easy for data-heavy professionals like me. Back in Singapore, all I need to worry about is my battery, since I spend most of the time out and roaming around. And they’re starting to strengthen around Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand – where bulk of my trip will be at.

It cannot get easier than this. Read up on Globe’s partners after the jump and find out why you need GLOBE when traveling around the world… Read more

Day 2 – An Apple Fanboy’s Nightmare


If you’re following me on Twitter you’ll know that I switched phones because of a grave incident. Finn, my iPhone, has decided, or not ’cause I’ll be heartbroken if he actually decided on dying on me, to die on me. Refer to the image above. Look at it and find in yourself some compassion to be heart broken like me.


I googled for a lot of websites to find some concrete explanation to this phenomena but to no avail. I rushed to the nearest Globe Business Center to claim warranty.

And I need to get a spare phone. If you know me well enough, you’ll know that I don’t have many phones. I can’t even have two phones at the same time. It’s an issue of attention span. I’m putting my money on something potentially life changing (haha, I’m exaggerating, but I really think it is) so I got this Huawei Ascend G510 at Plan Load Tipid (LTP) 300 from Globe. It was easy to acquire an extension line and it needed only a few hours to get my new phone. But…

Courtesy of

Aside from missing the iOS7 launch bigtime, I’m not OS-ambidextrous. I’ve been using this phone for two days already, and I’m stumped at it. It took me less than a half-day to learn iOS but this is taking forever (in techie years). A nightmare indeed, if you ask me. I think I’m slashed by half in terms of productivity and quality of life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a non-Apple snub and definitely not exaggerating, BUT if you count the amount of time I save when using iOS and how I’ve integrated its functionality to my work and personal life, you’ll understand. I’m on the brink of crying, and it’s 28 days more before I get my hands on my iPhone.

If you see me wandering the streets of Manila, scratching my head, I’m not lost. I just can’t use Android properly.

Crowdfunding into crowdcaring


One I really love about blogging is that in little ways we can support our advocacies and also lead into working with them. In my case, it has led to working with Social Project PH, a local crowdfunding platform that aims to help projects with social impact see its fruition. Crowdfunding is not a new concept, but is only starting to flourish in the Philippines. With only a couple of platforms available, Social Project PH is one of the sustainable pioneers. Its founders, Justin Garrido and Julia Sevilla, wants to give back to the community by opening a platform where its citizens can give back as well.

I’d say a lot but Homegrown has put up a really nice article (read below). I’m proud to be a part of Social Project PH, indeed!


SocialProject.PH Turns Crowdfunding Into Crowdcaring

A crowdfunding platform dedicated to social and environmental causes is making it easier for Filipinos to care and contribute.

by Selena Salang Posted on Sep 17, 2013

With crowdfunding slowly gaining popularity in the Philippines, the life of a project is no longer dependent on the availability of traditional sources of capital and now relies on the combined generosity of its humble supporters.

Knowing that Filipinos living in different countries still think about their homeland got Justin Garrido and Julia Sevilla, classmates at Melbourne University, to wonder if they could somehow channel support from the Filipino diaspora into social and environmental projects in the Philippines.

Garrido and Sevilla worked on a business plan, which he entered in the Melbourne Universty Entrepreneur’s Challenge in 2012. “SocialProject.PH – Crowdfunding a Better Philippines” won the top prize at the competition, which convinced Garrido and Sevilla to pursue the project further.

Eventually, Garrido and Sevilla launched SocialProject.PH as a crowdfunding website dedicated to social and environment projects and social entrepreneurship. The project came to be with the help of an angel investor, and the collaboration of Plus63 Design Co. and Nadarei Design and Development on creative and technical aspects.

Presenting the projects for social good

“Based on our insights from researching development challenges and meeting with non-profit and social enterprise partners in the Philippines, we believe that addressing poverty and other social and environmental challenges in the Philippines requires a holistic approach,” says Sevilla.

Projects on SocialProject.PH are classified under five categories that the founders believe to be “key interventions” for positive change:

  • Cool for School – projects on education and schooling
  • Guardian Angel – projects focusing on youth development
  • Eco-Warrior – projects focusing on the environment
  • Heart for Health – projects promoting health and fitness
  • Profit + Passion – social entrepreneurship projects

EMPOWERING NANAYS. The Hapinoy Program is teaching sari-sari stores business sustainability through business education, access to goods, and access to capital or loans. Photo courtesy of SocialProject.PH.

EMPOWERING NANAYS. The Hapinoy Program is teaching sari-sari stores business sustainability through business education, access to goods, and access to capital or loans. Photo courtesy of SocialProject.PH.

Project partners can either be non-profit or a for-profit social enterprise, and must be a registered organization with a valid PayPal Business account. They can apply to be on the site by e-mailing to get an application form that must outline the project scope, budget, timeline and estimated social impact.

When a project is approved, a project partner can create an account on the site, create a profile, and upload pictures and video to tell their story to potential donors, which they can link to social media.


PORMA WITH PURPOSE. Bambowties are made by residents of a Gawad Kalinga village, supporting sustainable livelihoods and a scholarship fund for their children. Photo courtesy of SocialProject.PH.

Setting project milestones to project success

One way in which SocialProject.PH encourages transparency in their crowdfunding platform is requiring project partners to set “milestones” for their project. These are smaller, specific goals that build up to the success of the entire project.

There are certain benefits to milestone-setting:

It encourages the push to work toward the overall success of the project. Once a certain (set) amount of pledges is received by the project partner, the project partner is  required to complete that milestone and update pledgers on the progress.

It ensures the protection of both project partners and donors in the crowdfunding process.Only when a milestone is reached does SocialProject.PH get 5% of the commission.

And, the platform  has shown relative success.

“Ayala Foundation has been able to raise funds to send four underprivileged youth to their CENTEX public elementary school of excellence for a year,” Sevilla shares.

GIFTED CHILDREN. Ayala Foundation has been able to raise funds to send four underprivileged youth to their CENTEX public elementary school of excellence for a year. Photo courtesy of Social Project.PH.

GIFTED CHILDREN. Ayala Foundation has been able to raise funds to send four underprivileged youth to their CENTEX public elementary school of excellence for a year. Photo courtesy of Social Project.PH.

She adds, “Solar Energy Foundation was able to raise funds to provide solar lights to over 100 community beneficiaries in Apia, Antipolo through their solar program that also includes financing for more solar lights in the future.”

Protecting the pledger and pledges

SocialProject.PH also underwent the stringent process of applying for PayPal Adaptive Payments, which included a review of the website’s legal registration, terms of use, functionality, etc.

Sevilla explains, “Paypal Adaptive Payments is a pledge model, whereby the money is coursed from individual donor directly to the project partners’ PayPal account only after the 60-day campaign and only if the partner reaches their funding goal or milestone. This benefits donors, as the project only gets funded if the project partner has enough funds to implement the social good project or at least a milestone to accomplish one aspect of it.”

LET THERE BE LIGHT. Solar Energy Foundation was able to raise funds to provide solar lights to over 100 community beneficaries in Apia, Antipolo through their solar program. Photo courtesy of SocialProject.PH.

LET THERE BE LIGHT. Solar Energy Foundation was able to raise funds to provide solar lights to over 100 community beneficaries in Apia, Antipolo through their solar program. Photo courtesy of SocialProject.PH.

Jumpstart crowdfunding for your social cause

Through its beta phase, SocialProject.PH has seen enough projects to know what factors contribute to a successful crowdfunding campaign for any kind of social cause.

1. Appeal to emotion with great storytelling. “To be successful, there should be a strong story that makes an emotional connection for donors through a compelling video and a solid social media marketing campaign,” says Sevilla. “Some project partners were more successful than others in this area, which resulted in their projects getting funding for milestones.”

2. Take every opportunity to educate others about crowdfunding. Even if you’ve decided to do crowdfunding for your project, others may not understand what you’re trying to accomplish. “We learned that to many donors and project partners, the crowdfunding concept is so new that more education on crowdfunding is needed so they can understand the benefits of greater transparency and engagement via our platform,” says Sevilla.

3. Enlist people who staunchly believe in your project to be ready to donate upon launch of the campaign. “Prior to launching, project partners should have friends and family already committed to donating to your project so it gets initial traction at launch, which will help convince others to support your project.”

4. Be diligent about promoting your crowdfunding campaign. The campaign period on SocialProject.PH is 60 days, and Sevilla says that being diligent about promotion every day of that period is key to a campaign’s success. “Get supporters to donate and share the campaign with others by e-mailing subscribers, updating your social media accounts, and reaching out to media,” she says.


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