Philippine credit cards with free lounge access and other benefits

Air travel is stressful, especially in the Philippines. On your trip to the airport, you have to factor in traffic. If you try to leave just in time, there’s always the risk of not making it to your flight. Leaving early is safer, but if you arrive too early you’ll end up spending a lot of time at the airport – and airports are boring.

Fortunately, there are credit cards that give you free lounge access . Yes, free lounge access – even if you fly economy on a low-cost carrier. I’ve flown at least 27 times last 2016, and in most of them I’ve waited in an airport lounge. Take note though that no Philippine credit card offers lounge access for domestic flights.

Continue reading Philippine credit cards with free lounge access and other benefits

Integrating Rollbar to Scrapy

For the past three (3) years, I’ve worked on multiple Scrapy projects with lots of spiders. Most of them are scheduled via scrapyd, a JSON API to schedule spiders. Sometimes, this spiders go kaput for various reasons such as change in layout, change in URL, being blacklist, among others. Checking the logs for them one-by-one can be time-consuming – so here’s where Rollbar comes in.

Rollbar is an error monitoring service that groups similar errors and gives you insights which one occurs the most. It can even help you track which commit/versin introduced the bugs. This way, you can discover bugs faster making it quicker for you to fix them.

Installing Rollbar for Python

Fortunately, there’s pyrollbar. You can install it via pip:

pip install pyrollbar

Integration pyrollbar to your Scrapy spider

Then, on your base spider (the spider that your rest of your spiders will extend, hook an instance of the RollbarHandler to the loggers of scrapy, twisted, and the spider itself.

import logging

from scrapy import Spider
from rollbar.logger import RollbarHandler


class BaseSpider(Spider):

    name = 'base_spider'  # I will be overwritten anyway

    def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
        handler = RollbarHandler(access_token=,
                                 environment=,
                                 level=logging.ERROR)
        logging.getLogger('scrapy').addHandler(handler)
        logging.getLogger('twisted').addHandler(handler)
        self.logger.logger.addHandler(handler)

Enjoy!

Review of my first ride, Mazda 3 2014 2.0R

2014 was a really good year for me. I guess it was a pay-off of my generosity for 2013, and damn it came back way more than ten folds. A sudden windfall happened and it changed my life! My priority back then was to find a better, bigger space to rent. After transferring to my new apartment, the idea of getting was the next thing boggling my mind. Continue reading Review of my first ride, Mazda 3 2014 2.0R

Side projects once more!

Ever since I started in my job at Scrapinghub, I realized that I stopped doing side projects – projects that I love to do on my free time. One of the main reasons I haven’t been doing them is poor time management. I get guilty doing side projects without completing my required number of hours at work.

Since the start of this week, my ex-Bright officemates who are now my colleagues at Scrapinghub started going to a co-working space near us. I noticed that I’ve been far more productive ever since thus eliminating the guilt to do side projects.

I’m still interested in doing the stuff I used to do before, such as maintaining UP student number databases for my personal consumption. My new interests include archiving or weather data via Project NOAH, archiving traffic data from MMDA and getting all sorts of potentially useful data. I’m interested in making analyses from those data and find interesting patterns from them.

Good luck to me and my new endeavor!

Poor service from HTC Philippines and their service center

I must admit that HTC smartphones are aesthetically-pleasing. The build quality is at par or better with the iPhone and obviously no match to the flagship phones of Samsung which looks pretty much the same and has the plastic feel. But before buying an HTC device, you might want to consider their poor aftersales support. Continue reading Poor service from HTC Philippines and their service center

Poor aftersales support from HTC Philippines and WSI PhoneCare

I have been an HTC fan ever since. I’ve had the first commercial Android phone released to the public, an HTC G1. I tried to get myself a Google Nexus One before but it was too much of a hassle so I got myself it’s twin, the HTC Desire, instead. My latest HTC phone was the HTC One.

I bought my HTC One last December when my phone that time died on me. As usual, I was very satisfied with the phone except for its disappointing camera. It did the job for me for my day-to-day tasks. It was the phone I brought with me to the US, good thing I bought an unlocked version. I used it to snap photos of my trip so most of my photos were there since I did not bring any camera with me. Continue reading Poor aftersales support from HTC Philippines and WSI PhoneCare

MRT3 website, hacked by AnonymousPH?

MRT3 has been all over the news lately, from the long queues, not enough trains to accommodate the riding public, the extortion scandal exposed by a diplomat – among others. Unfortunately, most, if not all of them are bad news.

That’s what made me think on what app to build to help the riding public. I tried to brainstorm. First thing to do was to do an inventory of data available to me. Unfortunately, it’s next to none. The only thing that I found was the CCTV live footage from the stations. Continue reading MRT3 website, hacked by AnonymousPH?

PR104 MNL to SFO Flight Review (Philippine Airlines)

Since Philippine Airlines is now retiring their Boeing 747s after the Philippines got upgraded back to Category 1 (FAA), I’m doing a flight review with my first and maybe only flight with their 747.

My super awesome bosses at my previous job flew me to our office in  San Francisco last February. The US Visa I had was the first thing that devirginized my passport, then the next one was the departure stamp at NAIA.

As usual, PAL’s San Francisco to Manila flight  was a night flight. I arrived at the airport a little bit earlier than usual since I didn’t want to run into any trouble since it was my first time to fly outside the country.

When I arrived at the airport, I immediately went to the direction of Mabuhay Class check-in counters. One of their friendly staff extended a hand and asked where I’m flying to and I told her San Francisco. She guided me to the check-in counter but I told her I’ll be checking in in the business counter. Continue reading PR104 MNL to SFO Flight Review (Philippine Airlines)