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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

My Great Food 15-Second Cooking Challenge 2

My Great Food 15-Second Cooking Challenge 1

Sunday, June 8, 2014

#LifeHack: How To Get Paid Apps For Free

All data and information provided on this post is for informational purposes only. viviennelsen.blogspot.com makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

I am also in no way affiliated to and/or sponsored by the companies mentioned in the blog post below.

Furthermore, I'm only seventeen and stupid. Don't sue me for this.

As you may or may not know (depends if you follow my daily nobody-really-gives-a-bleep tweets on Twitter, I have recently obtained the usually paid-for photo editing app Afterlight ($0.99) for free. (That's right  completely free!!!) I recently stumbled upon this post on my Instagram feed (although I don't remember which account) instructing people how to get paid apps for free, and it definitely caught my attention. I decided to try it, and lo and behold!  it actually worked.

Don't get me wrong I was completely aware that this wasn't the best of means. I'm not very proud of this choice, and I probably won't do it again since Afterlight was the only paid app I was clambering for, but I have no qualms about sharing this to my dear readers. 


1. Go on your mobile browser and type http://iphone.kuaiyong.com/.  (Yes, it's all in Chinese)

2. As you scroll down, a banner with the Iphone/Ipad icon will appear at the top. Click the green button.

3. A confirmation will be needed. Click the "OK" to proceed.

4. Kuaiyong will instantly be installed on your device. After it finishes installing, open the app and you will see this:

5. As expected, everything is in Chinese. In the little search box right beside the logo, type the name of the app you are looking for.

NOTE: Not ALL apps will be available in the Kuaiyong store and not everything will load properly. It is free from viruses, though, and offers a jailbreak-free way to get certain apps for free.

6. Click the app, verify that it is the app you are looking for, and click the little download button beside it (indicated by an arrow pointing down).

7. Your download will immediately start. You can track its progress in the "Downloads" tab as shown below (kinda like torrent!):

I used a different app (Afterlight knock-off) as an example here since I already have Afterlight.
8. The download may take from a few minutes to an hour, although I don't know why this is so. (I downloaded Afterlight in two minutes, but once I experimented by downloading Heads Up! and it took me almost an hour.) Once it has completed downloading, it will be transferred to another tab. Click it and it will ask for your permission to install it on your device. Click "OK" and it will install just like you got it from the app store!

9. Open your new app and enjoy!

A Few Facts/Reminders:

- This app is legal in China.
- Jailbreaking is legal in the United States.
- Since your app did not come from the official app store, there will be no updates for your app. However, I read online that you can just download the entire app from Kuaiyong again whenever a new update comes along.

What apps have you downloaded? Tell me by writing a comment below!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Inside The First Happy Thursday (AY 2014-2015)

I'm finally back! After almost an entire summer of being MIA (missing in action), I've decided to revamp the blog a little bit to fit my ever-evolving ideas. I haven't started on the layout yet, but I'll get to that later on. I have so much in store for Iridescence so you better watch out for future columns and features!

Going back to my ever-evolving ideas, I've recently come up with a few personal "projects," although I'm unsure on how to execute them as of the moment. Fortunately, the inspiration to begin this one came upon me as a few of my friends encouraged me to cover the first "Happy Thursday" of the academic year just for fun. What was supposed to be an entertaining project of the day turned out into something I actually enjoyed doing. As I made my way through the (very, very... very thick) crowd, it surprised me that people actually called me over to take their pictures. I didn't have a definite objective at the beginning of the night (actually, I still don't), but at the end of the night I felt satisfied and pleased that through this opportunity, I made friends and felt their willingness to help with endeavor. 

While the last two weeks of May are usually considered as the "last hurrah" of many students (high school and college alike), it is often considered the first by college students of De La Salle University-Manila and DLS-College of Saint Benilde. As all roads leading to the La Salle area of Taft Avenue noticeably get more congested and pedestrians look better-dressed than usual (or "fashown," as our generation calls it), there is also a part of Taft that is preparing its respective premises for the revelry that is fondly called "Happy Thursday" by its patrons.

What is a "Happy Thursday?" anyway and what's the big deal about it?

According to The Lasallian's article in August 2012 by Stephanie Tan and Shi Ailyn entitled "Catch The Phrase?:" 

Happy Thursdays are usually spent by heading on over to the various drinking places in the Taft area, with an entire table filled with your friends and pitchers of alcoholic punch or buckets of beer shared amongst everyone while loud music makes it way out of the strategically placed speakers. There are also designated areas for beer pong (dubbed the ultimate "Taft sport" by many) and billiards. Although this is not the only way to celebrate a Happy Thursday (I once finished an entire season of How I Met Your Mother in one sitting pretty impressive if you ask me), it is the most common. Due to its immense popularity among LaSallians, even students from other schools make the journey to Taft Avenue just for a taste of the "Taft Night Life."

With all that said, what exactly does a Happy Thursday look like? I'm glad you asked, because I was there to document the entire thing.

Although there are numerous drinking places in Taft Avenue, the following three are the most popular among HT patrons. Let me introduce to you the ultimate trifecta of the Happy Thursday: Beach, Barn and Sherwood.

1. The Barn Manila

Among the three, this one is the newcomer. It opened during second term (September - December) and is known for its barn-like architecture. A large space with cement floors and red walls with a separate room for beer pong occupies the first floor, a nail salon occupies the second (for that quick mani-pedi in between beers), and a large covered open area sits on the third and final floor. It is here that you have views of the street below and the sky on the horizon. Various tables and chairs are distributed among the area with a few beer pong tables on the far side of the wall. The bar is open with a "pay as you order" scheme. I personally love The Barn's iced tea (only P25!!!). I'm not sure what they put in it, but I make a point to order one every time I'm there. They also have "pulutan" such as cheesy fries and nachos that are sold at an affordable price. Overall, The Barn has such a good vibe that its patrons love and adore (which is probably why it's always crowded).

Pitcher: P150 (try the green or black one, sooo good!)
Beer Pong: P200 - P300
Food: P100 - P200

The Barn Manila is located at Fidel A Reyes Street, Malate, Metro Manila (near DLSU's Andrew and Razon buildings).

2. Beach House Taft

Yes, a beach in Manila exists. Known for its sandy-gravelly pathway and parking space, Beach House was the ultimate go-to place of LaSallians as soon as their afternoon classes in Andrew or Razon building ended. It is not uncommon to see students seated at tables as early as 3pm just to reserve a table for their friends. Legend has it that the famous "Five seconds, walang malisya!" chant and "We want MOMOL!"* began here before being carried over to The Barn. They also have candy-colored pitchers of alcoholic mixes and "pulutan" here. With two floors and additional tables outside, you're bound to run into someone you know during Happy Thursday here.

Pitcher: P100
Beer Pong: Not Available
Food: More or less around P100

Beach House Taft is located at Fidel A Reyes Street, Malate, Metro Manila (near DLSU's Andrew and Razon buildings).

* "Five seconds, walang malisya!" and "We want MOMOL" chants refer to persuading two (often intoxicated) people to kiss.

3. Sherwood Place


Beer pong lovers, unite! If beer pong was the ultimate Taft sport, then Sherwood is the breeding ground of aspiring champions. With a beer pong table and a bar serving alcohol almost everywhere you look, it's no surprise that Sherwood is popular even among non-Taft students. Perhaps the best-known bar here is Plato, which serves as an escape from the crowd on Fidel A Reyes Street. With the delicious smoothies stand Starrs opening just recently here, expect a bigger crowd to come in during Thursdays, though!

Beer Pong: Around P300

Sherwood Place is located at Taft Avenue, Malate, Manila (near Jollibee Taft and DLSU's Andrew building).

All photos shot by Vivien Nelsen unless otherwise stated.
Shot at: The Barn Manila, Beach House Taft and Sherwood Place from 5-9 PM last May 22 2014.

Last piece of advice for all you first time (and long time) Happy Thursday-ers over there: It's okay to have fun as long as you don't go overboard! Tuition is expensive so work hard before you play hard. Drink responsibly and see you next Thursday! x - V

Can't find yourself here? Full photos uploaded HERE (tag your friends!)
Don't forget to like Taft Thursdays on Facebook for future albums and updates! I'm also working on an Instagram page soon so watch out for that. In the meantime, follow me on Instagram at @viviennelsen and Joe at @imjoemoll! 

What do you think of the trend that is called Happy Thursday? Let me know down in the comment box below!