SM Home dishes out on the Art of Tasteful Condo Living

Almost a year ago, I finally embarked on the biggest decision my perpetually-broke heart can make – I invested in my own condo unit, a place that I would eventually call my own after three decades of living with my parents.

For someone who considers homeownership as the ultimate barometer of success, I consider this decision as the best I have made. Since I bought on pre-selling terms, my unit wouldn’t be ready in two years. But this early, I have already collected pictures and pictures of design pegs, and have already expertly curated the looks I want via my Pinterest page.

Before, if you wanted a tastefully decorated unit, you had to get the services of an interior designer. However, the changing times and the availability of resources online has led to a change in perspective among Pinoy homeowners in decorating their homes.

SM Home is changing the way Filipinos approach interior design, starting with the launch of their “Essentials in Condo Living” design series. The program puts the spotlight on very small living spaces optimized and styled up by up and coming professional designers, highlighting how is it possible to turn even a small living space into a perfect home.

“In recent years, we’ve seen condo sixes shrink. And as they do, homeowners have to learn how to maximize spaces, to live comfortably without feeling cooped up,” notes SM Home assistant Vice President for Marketing Tom Castaneda during the media presentation of new condo set ups at the ground concourse of SM Makati.

He adds, “Since small condos demand creativity when it comes to optimizing space, SM Home has turned to design experts to help highlight ways to do that through a series of condo-like setups, as well as expert talks. There’s no shortage of furniture, accessories and small appliances that are designed specifically for condo living. SM Home is filled with compact yet stylish and multifunctional pieces that are condo perfect!”

Here are the tastefully and brilliantly designed setups as unveiled during the launch:

Tapped to lend their design prowess to the project are for up and coming designers who showcased their personal taste using many of the pieces from SM Home.

SM HOME’s Tom Castaneda with designers Ivy Crisostomo, James Razo, Erika Uichanco and Maya Franco

The living room, which takes inspiration from travel buffs is courtesy of Ivy Crisostomo. As a travel buff, I immediately fell in love with the design aesthetic and the brilliant use of elements. I am not too sold on the wall color (“African Herbsman from Boysen) but I see myself copying the design and applying it on my home.

Complementing the living room is the bedroom, a masterpiece created by James Razo, the managing director of his design firm The Gold Team Design Hub.

Cozy and inviting, the bedroom uses clever play on mixed-use pieces, while also making sure that the personality of the home owner shines through the pieces displayed in the room.

In charge of the charming dining room set up is Erika Uichanco, who was named on Real Living magazine’s “Creatives to Watch 2015.”

What I loved most abot Erika’s work is that she was able to make a small space very charming and functional at the same time. Admittedly, there were too many accessories and pieces crammed in such a small space — yet surprisingly, it works. I actually see myself living and using the dining area she designed!

Lastly, the kitchen was the brainchild of Maya Franco. Like the dining room, the kitchen contained a lot of elements and pieces that somehow blended well together, making for a very charming space.

Staying far too long in Pinterest has cultivated my love for quaint kitchen islands that do double duty and I saw that with Maya’s designs.

All design setups were heavily influenced by the popular Scandi-chic style with touches of rustic-luxe.

Personally, I am in awe of the brilliant use of pieces, color and inspiration in spite the limited space. I can’t wait to try them soon!

Gear up for the cutest run on October 21 with Hello Kitty!

Are you looking for fun ways to get fit? Well, I know I am!

Five months after starting on my new job and in the process of trying to catch up and fit, I have managed to let go of any of my fitness and health habits.

That’s why I became so excited when I heard about the upcoming Hello Kitty Run Manila, happening on October 21, 2017!

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Set at the SM By the Bay, SM MOA Complex, this leg of the Hello Kitty Run is the first in the Philippines, following stints in Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia.

With a theme of  “Link Love Together! everybody’s favorite cat will inspire love and share happiness with everyone in the 5km fun run, which features an exclusive edition Hello Kitty Run Manila 2017 race kit consisting of themed race tee and race bib, with lots of special gifts from sponsors, all in a very cute exclusive Hello Kitty Run Manila 2017 drawstring bag! Everyone who will cross the finish line will also receive a very cute special edition Hello Kitty Run finisher’s medal for their effort!

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hello kitty run

Hello Kitty herself will meet-and-greet friends and fans at a special stage program during the event! There will also be lots of activities and booths where you can get exclusive and limited edition souvenirs and merchandise.

Early bird tickets has been selling from July 1 until August 15; Standard tickets from August 16 to September 15; and Last minute tickets from September 16 to October 15. Register now at www.hellokittyrunph.com !

Hello Kitty Run Manila 2017 is organized by Tokyo Gets Ltd and Ten:22 Business Solutions in partnership with CHERIFER Syrup, along with its official venue partner, SM By the Bay, official media partners; ETC and 2nd Avenue, Manila Bulletin, Philippine Star, Business Mirror and Otaku Asia, major partners Pocari Sweat and Crystal Clear, Toy Kingdom, Skin White, Rizal Park Hotel, Golden Phoenix Hotel, Pascual Creamy Delight, Skechers, Devant, and marketing partners Salonpas, Acer, Banana Peel, Fujifilm Instax, Softex and Healthy Innovations. This event is supported by JLOP (Japan’s Ministry of Economy and Industry, Contents Division).

Let’s LINK LOVE TOGETHER at HELLO KITTY RUN MANILA 2017!

The taste and flair of Spain made possible by Origen Flamenco and Doña Elena 

Flamenco, Spain’s national dance, enthralls the viewers – the soulful music, the plucking of the guitar, the rythmic beat of the square drum, the melodious music by the tapping of the feet. It is composed a dizzying and alluring mix of singing (cante) and dancing (baile), paired with guitar playing (toque), handclapping (palmas) and finger-snapping (pitos). 

I knew I was in for a great night when Dona Elena treated its media guests for a private show of Origen Flamenco held recently at the Power Mac Center in Circuit, Makati. 

Comprised of three parts, the hour long showcase featured the phases of a good flamenco show starting with a soulful rendition of music, as inspired by the music of the legendary Paco de Lucia, a famed Flamenco artist, guitarist and composer, presented in a riveting and passionate show as directed by Alberto Marin – before fully seizing the audience’s attention with the 


Featuring riveting performances from dancers Cristina Carrasco and Javier Serrano  who had the audience attention from the very first minute of their performance down to the very last minute following the two hour show. 

The backing musicians led by Alberto Marin himself on the guitars does not disappoint either. The music was passionate – alternating between soulful and festive, so true to the very core of the art of flamenco. 

Props goes to Doña Elena, the premiere Mediterranean cooking brand in the Philippines, for bringing Origen Flamenco over. Distributed locally by Fly Ace Marketing, Doña Elena remains the number one olive oil brand in the Philippines. Aside from its line of olive oil which comes in Extra Virgin, Pure and Pomace; the Doña Elena brand also includes capers, anchovies, pastas, whole or pitted olives, and sauces. 


The recent Flamenco show was truly one of the best I attended and worth the Monday commute. Thanks to the generosity of Doña Elena and the talent and passion of Origen Flamenco, the flair and taste of Spain was truly alive and well that night. 

Here are more photos from the show: 



MySlim knows beauty inside and out; throws support for Ms. Earth Philippines 

mySlim knows the science of beauty.

As one of the country’s safest and most trusted slimming products, mySlim believes in aiding a woman’s journey to beauty both inside and out. Infused with the powerful combination of Yerba Mate, Carnipure and Palatinose, which aids in developing a slim physique, while also keeping skin young looking and supple. 

True to its brand, mySlim is proud to be part of this year’s search for the new Ms. Earth Philippines. The winning candidate will, of course, represent the Philippines as the country vies once again for the crown of Ms. Earth. A pageant unlike others, Ms. Earth has long stood out for using the platform of beauty pageant in advancing and putting emphasis on environmental issues. 




We were lucky to be one of the media people invited by mySlim to meet 10 of the gorgeous women vying for the local title during a recent press presentation – and to get to hear the women talk about their advocacies, their thoughts on beauty and health, as well as their passion to advance their respective causes.

First – and it’s a given – the candidates were all gorgeous: long-limbed, svelte and sexy and rocking 5-inch heels while sashaying the run-way. 

But more importantly, they are really smart: wielding day jobs as diverse as flight attendant, former Senate staff, teacher and even a medical physicist, among others. They are also very passionate about the environmental causes that they support, well-versed on their platform and knows the issues that they push inside and out. 


The girls credit exercise, healthy diet and of course a boost of mySlim for their enviable figures. They are quick to admit that it’s not easy to maintain their curves, but thanks to mySlim, they are given that extra boost to stay healthy and beautiful at the same time. 

That’s because mySlim is a beauty product that works in tandem with healthy lifestyle choices. It is made of all-natural ingredients – Yerba mate, known for reducing fat absorption and allows body to burn fat without shedding muscle mass; carnipure and palatinose serves  as a metabolic booster that helps boost energy and physical performance. 

As mentioned by one of the girls, mySlim is for those who knew that beauty and a healthy body does not come easily; there are no quick fixes – you have to watch what you eat, you have to exercise, you have to sleep late and you have to maintain a positive disposition in life to be truly beautiful – inside and out. 


The new Ms. Earth Philippines will be crowned on Saturday, July 15. Exuding confidence, intelligence and true beauty (both inside and out), I could very well said that any one of these Earth Warriors is truly deserving to take the crown. 

Xia Vigor welcomes you to her Sweet-Sarap life with Jollibee Spaghetti 

One of my fondest memory as a child is going to church then eating at Jollibee after. My food choices were always the same: chicken (thigh part, please) and spaghetti combo with pineapple juice. 

For times when I wanted to think that I am eating healthy, I’d swap my Spaghetti with the Palabok. And then, I’ll proceed to stealing the huge chunky hotdog from my sister’s spaghetti. 

 

Now that I am a lot older, my choice still remained the same. My definition of a good spaghetti still remained that of Jollibee: noodles done just right, sweet-tasty-savory sauce, sweet ham slices and grated cheese. It’s not surprising that I have shared this love of Jollibee Spaghetti with my niece, Penny – who counts the words “‘Bee!” as one of her first words. 

 


That’s why it was a nice surprise (and a very fun afternoon for me) to be invited to the recent launch of Jollibee’s latest TV commercial for the best-selling Jolly Spaghetti, which began airing in late March. The new TVC featured the British-Filipino child star Xia Vigor who was shown  enjoying the product and how its timelessly appealing tamis-linamnam flavor will always bring out the jolly kid in everyone.

Xia is the latest celebrity endorser to join the ever-growing Jollibee family. She was given the official welcome in a media event held at Jollibee Biopolis Macapagal recently. 

 “Since its launch nearly four decades ago, the Jolly Spaghetti has remained a favorite among Filipino children from different generations and walks of life,” said Luis Berba, Jollibee Brand Manager. “Our newest TVC illustrates that unforgettable sweet-sarap feeling that Pinoys get whenever they eat Jolly Spaghetti. It’s like being a jolly kid again, when every moment is filled with fun, good food, and the company of our loved ones.”

Jollibee Brand Manager Luis Berba

“Xia’s genuine love for Jolly Spaghetti and her cheerful and articulate personality are why we believe she’s the best choice as kid endorser of our product.”

 

Sweet-sarap moments with Xia

Despite the recent national and global attention the young child actress has been getting through a slew of successful TV shows and viral videos, Xia remains to be like any other Pinoy child. She loves spending time with her family and, of course, eating at Jollibee.

With her doll-like features and wide-eyed innocence, it’s sad to say that everyone fell in love with Xia during the launch. Xia professed that she has always loved Jollibee Spaghetti. 


The child actress said. “Even when I wasn’t in showbiz yet, Jollibee has always been my favorite place to eat Jolly Spaghetti with my Mommy, kuya, and cousins. I love it because sweet-sarap, tamis-linamnam siya talaga and it has a lot of hotdogs and cheese. Sana more kids like me will keep eating and enjoy Jolly Spaghetti!”

 
The Pinoy spaghetti 

Xia with Team Jollibee


Jollibee pioneered the introduction of the sweet-style spaghetti in the Philippines. The brand took all the basic elements of a spaghetti dish and elevated it into a treat that Pinoys will definitely love. The rich tomato sauce is carefully seasoned to achieve peak tamis-linamnam goodness. Generous amounts of beefy and juicy hotdog slices are added in for a filling meal. Finally, creamy shreds of cheese are sprinkled on top to complete the one-of-a-kind Jolly Spaghetti taste.

 “The Jolly Spaghetti is the Pinoy spaghetti,” added Berba. “Our recipe is tailored to fit the Pinoy palate, which leans toward the sweeter side. It also has that well-rounded flavor that delights the taste buds. Jolly Spaghetti has become a comfort food for many Pinoys and it evokes all those wonderful memories of childhood.”

 

Enjoy the best-tasting, sweet-sarap Jolly Spaghetti for only P50.00 Solo and P55.00 for the value meal with drink.. This sweet-sarap treat is available in all Jollibee stores nationwide and through #87000 Jollibee Delivery.

Century Tuna makes summer more sizzlin’ hot with Paulo, Gerald and Mateo 

The path to a truly sexy body doesn’t end with a vow to get washboard abs and a Pinterest board on the art of being hot.

To be truly and wholly hot, one must consider getting healthy first. After all, when you consider the big picture, isn’t “hot” just a trendy term to being healthy?


Putting more fire into an already scorching summer is the launch of the Century Tina’s latest line of endorsers: certified hunks Gerald Anderson, Mateo Guidicelli and my own guilty pleasure, Paulo Avelino.


The three has been tasked to rep the country’s premium and most-trusted Tuna brand, now with its Century Tuna hot variant made spicier. 



Like the three Kapamilya hunks who forever captured the fancy of many Pinoys even worldwide, Century Tuna has been a constant and trusted fare to every Pinoy since it was first launched many years ago. Through the years, Century Tuna served as the go-to meal for those who want something quick, delicious and healthy on their plate. Gracing meal times – from office Bain and even as a cocktail entree during events – Century Tuna has cemented its reputation as a versatile Tuna brand. 

Further underscoring this is the latest ad which showcases the three hunks favorite version of Century Tuna: as pansit canton for Paulo; a tunasilog breakfast fare for Gerald and as healthy Century tuna salad sandwich spread for Mateo. 

The three even got to showcase how to prepare these sumptuous fares during the media launch held recently – while, please take note – half naked. 

Swoon.

Deftly removing their shirts, much to the numbing shrieks of the attending media, Paulo, Gerald and Mateo displayed a wicked sense of humor as they prepared their favorite Century Tuna dishes sans t-shirt and in just apron and a pair of pants. Needless to say, I can vouch that while the girls in the audience did try to bask in the easy task of prepping a Century Tuna meal; the fact that Paulo Avelino was standing shirtless (in a make shift kitchen) isn’t doing any wonders to our attention span. 


I asked the guys how they keep motivated to work out especially during “tamad” days – and Mateo said it best when he said that he doesn’t even entertain “Tamad” days. Mateo, who is an avid race car driver and marathon man, has taken into being healthy as part of his lifestyle. Aside from watching what he eats, Mateo also makes sure to regularly exercise and live a healthy lifestyle just to remain in good shape. 


For Paulo, trying to maintain a fit body is a conscious choice. While he doesn’t maintain a rigorous schedule and as much discipline into working out like Gerald and Mateo, what he usually does is to everything “just right” – while he doesn’t hold back on what he eats, he makes sure to eat in moderation and he always goes for the healthier choice. 

With the demand to have beach-ready bodies, it is only natural to ask the three how to achieve that perfect “summer washboard abs.” Here’s what Gerald thinks: the best way to have a fit body in to think beyond summer. Make getting fit and being healthy a daily commitment. Eat what’s right, exercise regularly and always maintain a positive attitude. 

Pinoys get SPAMmed! 

What do you remember when you hear the word, SPAM (R)? 

More often than not, you’d remember chunky, juicy meats cut into thick slabs and fried into crispy perfection. It will be either sandwiched between a piping hot pan de sal or monay; or served with sunny side-up eggs and garlicky siningag. For Pinoys, SPAM (R), in its fancy packaging, evokes memories  of balikabayan boxes, fancy supermarkets and PX goodies in Subic where people hoard SPAM (R) in boxes. Truly, it has become a staple in every kitchen and every pantry of Pinoy families. 

Suffice to say, it is safer to assume that everyone loves SPAM. But did you know that you can prepare your favorite SPAM anyway you like it – chop it, slice it, fry it, or bake it. Or if you’re feeling extra adventurous why not make SPAM sisig? 

Photo from SPAM PH Facebook page


Personally, I love my SPAM (Classic!) as SPAM (R) MUSUBI, lying on a bed of hot vinegared rice and wrapped in nori strip. Yum. 

To further introduce this yummy wonder to the public, SPAM recently embarked on a massive campaign, starting with a grand launch held at Glorietta Activity Center in Makati, which highlights helping its loyal Pinoy following find ways to enjoy their SPAM (R) through a cooking demo by Chef Sherwin Tee. Showcased during the event are some easy Filipino recipes like SPAM (R) Tokwa’t Baboy and Sisig, and even international fares like SPAM (R) Fried Rice and SPAM (R) Tacos. 

A touching part of the program is when SPAM (R) presented Children’s Hour with a check worth PHP100,000, which came from the proceeds of sales of the Make a Hero SPAMWICH. 

But the highlight, undoubtedly, is the launch of SPAM’s very own boy band, ALL4SPAM (TM).  The four member group sung and danced their way to the heart of the many event attendees for their playful personalities. 



Members are SUPREEZY, the bad boy who loves his SPAM (R) Hot & Spicy; MAD MIC, the good ball who can’t get enough of SPAM (R) Bacon; PEPPER, the pretty boy with a taste for SPAM (R) Classic and lastly, ACE, the cheesy romantic in love with SPAM (R) Cheese. 

ALL4SPAM With Ms. Jaynee Sherman


“The SPAM (R) team highly recognizes the love that the Philippines has for SPAM (R) products, and we are truly thankful for the support that we’ve received over the years. We have specifically chosen to launch the SPAM (R) Can! Campaign in Manila because we see the potential to grow the market of SPAM lovers by showing consumers how versatile SPAM (R) products are. And because Filipinos are known to be some of the most talented singers in the world, launching a boyband, ALL4SPAM (TM) made complete sense to reinforce what the brand can really do,” says Jaynee Sherman who is the Seniot Brand Manager of the SPAM (R) Brand, Hormel Foods International Division of the Hormel Foods Corporation. 

Shopee aims to reach more Pinoy online shoppers; now the second leading online shop for App Store and Google Play 

The advent of the internet has given rise to a lot of shopping sites. While each one has their own merits, we can’t deny that the idea behind each one is the same: to make online buying and selling a lot easier, convenient and safer to Filipinos. 

One of the emerging online marketplace is Shopee, which connects buyers and sellers and features a unique in-app facility allowing buyer and seller to communicate even before the purchase of a product commences. By doing this, any type of misunderstanding or miscommunication is lessened or even eliminated all together. 

The shopping site recently celebrated a milestone after it has reached the number 2 spot in the Shopping category for both the App Store and Google Play in the Philippines only one year after launch. Shopee’s ratings have also been consistently high, reaching 5 stars in the App Store and 4.3 stars in Google Play, which shows that Filipino users have been continuously satisfied with the services and features offered by Shopee. Since its launch last December 2015, Shopee has shown significant business growth. In the Philippines, Shopee now has over 1 million products listed and over 3 million downloads.

Shopee marked the milestone with a get-together with bloggers and partner sellers where the site promised to be more bullish in reaching more customers. 

“We experienced overwhelming growth in the past year and we are constantly improving all aspect of our business to cater to the increasing demands of our users. Our main commitment has always been to provide the best experience to our buyers and sellers,” shared Macy Castillo, Shopee’s Head of Commercial Business.

Another helpful feature is Shopee Guarantee, where payments are held in escrow until buyers receive their products. This makes buying online safer, gaining highly positive reviews from loyal and satisfied Filipino customers.

Recently Shopee announced that it will be the first mobile shopping platform in the Philippines to offer both buyers and sellers Free Shipping and Cash on Delivery (COD) nationwide.

“Because of the program’s success with selected sellers last year, we decided to expand our Free Shipping and COD service, enabling a larger number of our sellers to attract even more customers from over 900 cities and municipalities in the country, especially outside Metro Manila,” adds Castillo.

PSID marks start of 50th Year with “Saturday Soirée”

Flowers has always been the easiest and cheapest way to liven up any room. Its pop of color can brighten up and bring joy any space. While you can always order flowers from the shop, there’s a certain joy and pride when you did the design yourself. 

My creation


I had a very pleasant weekend courtesy of a flower workshop offered by the Philippine School for Interior Design (PSID). As the premium design school in the Philippines, PSID has been producing some of the best interior designers of the country. Since 1968, the school has been the noteworthy name when it comes to interior design education. 

To mark the school’s 50th year, bloggers were given the opportunity to take a peek on the the usual day at PSID is like through “Saturday Soiree,” a delightful afternoon tea mixed with lessons in flower arrangement. Helming the class is well-respected and sought-after interior designer, Prof. Leo Almeria. Prof. Almeria is also an alumnus and a faculty at the PSID, who is also affiliated with Philippine Institute of Interior Designers, Asia Pacific Space Designer Association (APSDA) and the International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers (IFI). He is also a principal of his own design firm (Leo Almeria Design Studio) and also a contributing writer and a published author. Prof. Almeria is sought after for his advises related to furniture/product design, visual merchandising, special settings and styling. 


In spite these notable achievements, Prof. Almeria remained humble and approachable, as manifested by the fun class we had with him. He encouraged everyone to approach flower design and arrangement with courage, highlighting that everyone has the talent and the skills to come out with a note-worthy design. True enough, soon – we were all snipping away branches and leaves and shaping through our own arrangements. 

A very classic, very Game-of-Thronish arrangement and my personal favorite out of all the demo projects shown by Prof. Almeria



The best classmate ever 🙂


Being able to experience first hand how it was like to be a student at PSID rekindled my dreams of studying at the school when I was younger. After my years as part of the press corps, I dreamed of studying interior design at PSID, but since I knew I couldn’t afford to study at that time, I decided to move to corporate and the rest is history. While I am happy with my career in PR, seeing how dynamic and how informative classes are at PSID made me remember one of my childhood dreams. 

As it celebrates its golden years, PSID had indeed come a long way as a small design school located in Makati. It is now the home and the proud source of some of the best interior designers in the Philippines. 

711 Run for 2017 All Set

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As someone who is constantly stressed and famished due to work and my other side hustles, 711 has always been my happy place. Every day, after work, my hubs and I will hie to the nearest 711 and get our comfort food. Mine usually involves green tea and their famous hotdog-in-a-bun while my husband takes comfort in his favorite snack. While our nightly runs to 711 might need evolve into choosing the healthier options they offer (like the salad, boiled egg and yogurt prominently displayed on the fridge), I am happy to note that come February 05, 2017  (Sunday), my “run with 711” will be more than the usual.

That’s because the highly-successful and highly-anticipated 711 Run will happen on that day, with runners joining the 10KM, 16KM, 21KM, 42KM categories and 10KM Buddy Run will enjoy the course and the scenic view along along the Skyway. For those joining the 500M, 3KM and 5KM categories (like I do!), the race course is along Filinvest City.

The race is open for individuals aged 18 and above, while the Kids Run will accept runners as young as 3 years old, provided they are accompanied by a guardian on the day of the race. (For more information, go to the 711 Race Guidelines here)

Top 3 winners per category will receive cash prizes and medals, while the top 3 Filipino males and females in the 21KM and 42KM categories will be given a chance to represent the Philippines to join an international marathon in Asia, through a  sponsorship by 711.

Through 711’s unique system of SELF-SELECTED WAVE STARTS, participants can choose their wave start and run with people with the same skill or speed, or with their friends!

711wave-start

To join, register online at http://www.run711.com/ and pay the fees at any 7-Eleven store within 48 hours. Race Kits can be claimed on the date indicated on the receipt, and from the same store where payment has been made.

711 has prepared a really cool finisher shirt and medal to those who will be able to complete the race:

run711-finisher-medalsrun711-finishers-shirt

Online registration for 711 Run 2017 is until January 18, so hurry!

Hope to see you on race day!