Topic: Philippines

Things we learned after watching Starting Over Again

Starting Over Again
  1. Architecture is a hot career for rom-coms
    The similarly titled One More Chance from 2007 also featured a bad breakup, a second chance, and a female lead as an architect. How exciting are your lives really, female architects? Maybe we should switch careers!

  2. Ancestral homes are lovely
    Starting Over AgainAn old family home and whether it should be sold, renovated, or restored is at the center of the film. Reminded us of these hidden gems in our crowded city.

  3. Piolo Pascual, meanwhile, can switch careers all he wants
    As Marco Villanueva in this movie, Piolo starts off as a history teacher, but switches careers several times. But the smolder is consistent!

Are you ready for fitness boot camp?

Photo from Medicard facebook page (

While we’re always careful to avoid infections, the most common causes of death in the Philippines are actually life-style related: heart-disease, diabetes, etc. Why not make lifestyle change a priority resolution in 2014?

Westgate Center in Alabang, Muntinlupa City is offering health hopefuls take the first step to fitness through fast, short, and fun exercises in Medicard Philippines “Metafit Fitness Boot Camp,” set at the Westgate Cul-de-Sac from Feb. 3-28, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, at 6:30 pm.

The 12-session boot camp of high-intensity workouts is a program to encourage Filipinos to live a healthier, more active lifestyle. Fitness experts such as Jim Saret, fitness coach of the ABS-CBN show “The Biggest Loser” and developer of the Metafit program and his wife Toni Saret, co-founder of the Metafit program, will guide participants and supervise them on their fitness journey.

Medicard Boot Camp Photo from

“The boot camp is a perfect venue for health and wellness advocates as we help provide them a comprehensive health and fitness package,” Saret said.

Blind Dates and Three Years of Reading Fun at Fully Booked

Three Years of Reading Fun at Fully Booked

Last July 27, Fully Booked at Bonifacio High Street celebrated their third anniversary the best way they know how — with lots of books! The event was a treat for book lovers who celebrated the momentous event with the bookstore chain.

Fully Booked

And here was the main attraction of the party: some very easy games where the each winner gets to take home a mystery book of their choice.

Fully Booked - games and prizes

No to XL discrimination!

No to XL discrimination! -- Cotton On

Is it just me or does there seem to be a ban on XL-sized clothing among high-street retailers?

I fit a size L dress in Forever 21, but if I want to go up a couple of inches in the bust, I’m directed to the plus size section — where clothes seem to start at XXL (major fabric swimming!)

I went to the Cotton On at Bonifacio High Street and asked for a dress in XL. “We only carry up to size L,” says the sales associate, despite the fact that the tag clearly stated that sizes go up to XL. You could also say the same thing for the Uniqlo at SM Mall of Asia.

And last weekend — horror of horrors! — I wanted to pick up a sweet pair of khaki shorts from former favorite TerraNova, but suddenly no XL ones were to be found. I looked around the store: indeed, there seemed to be an XL sweep, because that size was suddenly gone.

What’s going on? Do the companies that bring in these retailers to the country believe that no Pinay is over US size 10, or that those who are don’t shop? Is it more cost-effective to stock XS-L items and neglect the next size? Do they think it’s a great marketing strategy to separate larger shoppers from the “normal” and give them a smaller selection?

Review: The Sky Over Dimas

The Sky Over Dimas

I had a hard time keeping up with the details of the story in the Harlequin Theater Guild’s production of “The Sky Over Dimas”, particularly during the first half. Especially since I hadn’t read the book (by Vicente Garcia Groyon) the play was adapted from. All I had to go on was a series of flashbacks from the characters’ points of view.

In the heart of Bacolod’s high society dwells the Torrecarions, a notorious hacienda family with dark secrets involving greed, deceit, and betrayal from which no one in the family can escape. Amidst all the secrets, there is but one person who will do anything and everything to end the cycle that continuously haunts his family: George Torrecarion, who is fed up with the lies. As his great grandfather Faustino’s memoirs reveal more lies regarding the origin of the Torrecarions, George exiles himself to Hacienda Dimas where it all began and exposes the darkest skeletons of his family’s past.

There were a number of times that the characters from the present got to talk to the characters from the past, as a means present the thoughts of George Torrecarion, who was on the verge of lunacy. What could have been a confusing mess was a expertly presented dramatic presentation of the story. The play required the audience’s full attention, as they had to switch their attention from one part of the stage to another. But it made for a more engaging performance, and made the resolutions all the more satisfying.

The Sky Over Dimas The Sky Over Dimas

“Sa Wakas”, A New Pinoy Rock Musical

Sa Wakas the Musical - staged reading

Love is tough. It’s tough because you cannot be sure of it. You can never tell if you’re going to end up with your special someone now. It is possible that one minute, they are deeply in love with you, and then the next minute, the feelings are gone. Not everyone is as lucky as Cinderella or Snow White who lived happily ever after with their princes charming. Some are like Topper and Lexi, whose relationship aged with time, but ended eventually.

Sa Wakas, a new Pinoy rock musical, is produced by Culture Shock Productions in cooperation with Fringe MNL. The musical raises the question of why relationships fall apart, and explores how the choices we make in life define who we are as people. It is co-written by Mariane A.R.T. Abuan and Andrei Nikolai Pamintuan (musical director). Working with them is Ejay Yatco, who beautifully arranged the music that features songs of one of the country’s most beloved rock bands, Sugarfree. The music perfectly resonates the bittersweet love story of Lexi (Caisa Borromeo and Laura Cabochan) and Topper (played alternatively by Fred Lo and Vic Robinson), who later falls in love with Gabbi (played alternatively by Kayla Rivera and Justine Peña).

Sa Wakas the Musical - staged reading

Sa Wakas (Telepono) from Culture Shock Productions on Vimeo.

Excerpt from the staged reading of SA WAKAS The Musical at the Ateneo Fine Arts Festival.

Song: Telepono
Artists: Laura Cabochan & Jussy Pena
Back-up Vocals: Abi Sulit, Mikou David, Cassie Manalastas, Hans Dimayuga

[Ticket information, and more photos and videos.]

A Beautiful Affair: La Promesse

A Beautiful Affair - La Promesse - Karat World

As Leon and Genevieve of ABS-CBN’s “A Beautiful Affiair” fulfill their romantic destinies, fans of the show can also pursue their own vows of commitment with the La Promesse lock-heart bracelet which will be offered at all Karat World outlets.

A Beautiful Affair - La Promesse

Karat World celebrates the romance between on-screen couple John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo with “La Promesse”, a new bracelet designed for the primetime hit “A Beautiful Affair”. The elegant piece of jewelry plays an integral role in the new drama, both as a part of the plot and as a symbol of true love.

In “A Beautiful Affair”, Cruz and Alonzo are reunited as Leon and Genevieve, two lovers torn apart by circumstance and tradition. A year after their separation, Leon tries to reignite their romance by traveling from Europe to the Philippines in search of his lost love. Before departing, he purchases La Promesse as part of his vow to win Genevieve’s heart anew.

Learn more about La Promesse.

Children’s Books for the Holidays

The Christmas season is here and if you are having trouble thinking what to give as presents, remember that there’s nothing better than sharing the joys of reading with friends. Below are some titles for everyone to cherish this merry season.

Ang mga Lambing ni Lolo DingAng Mga Lambing ni Lolo Ding is a story of a grandfather in his twilight years lovingly sharing his wisdom and values with his grandson. Written by Michael Coroza with art by Maurice Risulmi and published by Adarna House, this book celebrates traditional Filipino values and the tender relationship between children and their elders.

More book recommendations in the post.

Iloco Abel Weaver and Abra Gourd Maker Receive Nation’s Highest Honor in Folk and Traditional Arts

Tabungaw gourd headpiece artist Teofilo Garcia of Abra is named 2012 Manlilikha ng Bayan

Iloco abel weaver Magdalena Gamayo from Ilocos Sur and tabungaw gourd headpiece artist Teofilo Garcia of Abra have been named 2012 Manlilikha ng Bayan. The award honors folk and traditional artists for their artistic excellence and efforts to conserve Filipino culture.

President Benigno S. Aquino III conferred the award on Gamayo and Garcia last 8 November 2012 at Malacanang.

Iloco abel weaver Magdalena Gamayo is named 2012 Manlilikha ng Bayan

Filinvest Tent promises exciting possibilities for events south of the Metro

Ever get tired of having to party in venues surrounded by Metro Manila traffic? Wish you could enjoy a show or an exhibit without your peace of mind bothered by the smog and automobile exhaust permeating the business and entertainment districts of the Metro? Are you imagining a truly romantic wedding reception for yourself in a venue surrounded by nature with a beautiful skyline in the distance? Why not head down south?

With the opening of the new Filinvest Tent, a multi-purpose events place nestled amidst the lush greenery of Filinvest City in Muntinlupa, entertainment in the Metro has taken an exciting turn.

“We are raising the bar for developments in the Metro. With its size and world-class features and amenities, the Filinvest Tent is the event locale this side of the metropolis. With progress moving southward, Filinvest City makes sure it leads where the action is,” says Danilo Antonio, Managing Director of Filinvest’s Commercial Centers Group.

Filinvest Tent

Read more about the newest party destination in the Metro.