Posted in Gadgets

Tried and tested: MyKronoz ZeFit 2 Pulse proves to be the perfect fitness companion when traveling 

Lately I’ve been obsessed with walking. I tried walking everywhere – I try to cover as much as 3 kilometers as much as I can when I walk early in the morning; when malling and even when I run errands. 

So when I finally managed to finalize my plans on the recently-concluded trip to Japan, I resolved to walk as much as I can going to places. One, it will save me my much valued yen, plus I get to see a lot of attractions that are often times not visible when you are always on the bus or the subway. 

That’s why it was a very nice surprise when Mark Embino, the affable and friendly marketing head of X-Mini and MyKronoz under Bridgecom Distribution offered me the MyKronoz ZeFit 2 Pulse to try out while in Japan. 

My perfect travel companions: journal, travel guide and my ZeFit Pulse 2

Of course, I was beyond excited. Recently fitness watches has become my thing – maybe it’s because of my constant walking that I needed to know continuously how much I’ve walked, my heart rate and the calories I managed to burn. Somehow, my only kick in life is to know that walking ALL THAT MUCH actually accounted for something. 

 Sleek yet packs a punch 


The ZeFit 2 Pulse came in a very compact packaging containing the smart watch in cobalt blue, instruction booklet and the charger which is composed of the charging cable and a magnetized head that easily latches on the back of the fitness watch. 


This is a great feature since the smart watch charges immediately as soon as a connected charger is latched on its back. A word of caution though for those, the magnetized charging head is small so make sure not to lose it or you risk spending a lot of time looking for a minuscule charger head (cos I did!) 

Let’s talk about the look and feel of the watch first. It’s very sleek and thin design doesn’t look too intrusive or too techie. The easily-adjustable snap-type band closes and open easily. The watch face has enoug space to display the time and heartbeats, while swiping left or right will display the number of steps, calories burned and hours of sleep. 

6:40PM – Manila Time | Needed to adjust it an hour ahead upon reaching Japan

ZeFit 2 Pulse pairs easily to my iPhone simply by downloading the ZeFit app and syncing it to the device. A word of caution tho, you need to update continuously whenever you fail to wear it. The app is available on iOS and on Google Play.

Oasis 21, Sakae, Nagoya

I love how the design fits the clothes I packed for the trip. Since it’s just a simple watch band, it doesn’t look too obtrusive but can easily catch the eye with its bright blue color. 

Works like magic 

In the seven days that I’ve been on vacation (3 days in Nagoya, 4 in Osaka) – the ZeFit 2 Pulse became a trusted travel companion. As predicted, the hubby and I ended up walking A LOT especially in Nagoya where the side streets are not filled with people. In the course of the day, I managed to discover two shrines and even cool hole-in-the-walls just by walking. I also managed to reach more than 18,000 steps or almost twice the average recommended daily steps. Somehow, I managed to burn all the indulging I did with all that sumptuous food! 

Another cool thing with the ZeFit 2 Pulse is that it has staying power. I managed to charge it at least only twice on the course of the trip. Unlike my phone who acts up when it gets too cold, the freezing temperature did not do anything with the watch. Even when the weather reached up to 3 degrees, the ZeFit still managed to blaze through the cold. 

So if you’re on the look out for a great Starter smart watch, you might wanna consider this beauty. It’s has all the basics you need in one cool package.

Posted in Travel Diaries

Travel hack: How to go from Nagoya to Osaka by Bus for less than 1,400 pesos 

I am writing this post here at the departure gates of Kansai Airport. I am waiting for my flight back to Manila and decided to share this post while passing time. 

Here’s the basics first. Nagoya is lovely – in a chill and laid back way. My hubby was smitten and vowed to move to Nagoya if they the hobby and gaming community in check. We spent three amazing days in Nagoya in the Aichi region before moving to Osaka in the Kansai region. (Will post a detailed itinerary separately). 

Oasis 21 area, Sakai, Nagoya

While there are many ways to go from one prefecture to another – you can take the plane, train or bus – it differs significantly between Osaka and Nagoya. Because the two areas are too close, there are only two options when you want to go from one to the other. One is the train and another one is the bus. This post will be about the JR Bus Service

Dotonbori, Namba, Osaka

What you need to do first is to go to the Nagoya Station in downtown Nagoya in order to buy tickets to the JR Bus. 


After alighting from the subway, proceed to the Taiko-Dori side (West exit) of the Nagoya Station. The Taiko-Dori side also holds the Shinkansen area plus ticketing booth for JR Rails along with JR Bus. 

Once you see the landmark, which is the large clock where people often meet up (pictured above),  you are already in the area. Proceed to the doors to your left leading outside. 


Upon exit, you should see a stairs leading down and to it’s immediate left is the JR Bus Ticketing Office. 

Go inside and approach the officer on duty. Ask for the bus schedules for Osaka-bound highway buses. You are free to choose the time which you want to arrive. Though do note that a trip from Nagoya to Osaka usually takes three and half hours. 

Once you’ve chosen your departure time, you will be asked to pay for your ticket. A one-way bus ticket usually costs Y3,000 (PHP 1313). You can buy your tickets ahead of time – so you the option of buying your ticket a day or two before your trip. 


Since highway and limousine buses have reserved seating, buying your tickets early assures you of good seats. 

On the day of your departure, proceed to the ticketing station which also doubles as the waiting area for upcoming trips. The ticketing station has vendo machines for drinks or snacks so you will be assured that you won’t get hungry waiting for your bus. 

There are display screens showing bus schedules and destinations, while the loading area is numbered – the screen will show which loading area is assigned to your bus. 

Once the bus arrives, show your ticket to the driver, load your luggage on the storage area and find your seats based on the number indicated on the bus. 

The buses are usually equipped with a charging dock for your devices, its own toilet and if you’re lucky, its own wifi service. 

At the stop over leading to Kyoto

Other bus services to Nagoya include Willer (much cheaper but needs online purchase for tickets), Meitetsu and Kintetsu service. 

Posted in Events

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.

Posted in Finance

CDC Citadines Millenium Ortigas: When finding a Condo unit is both for home and investment 


When I was younger, I thought finding a home would be as easy as 1-2-3: you look at the ads, you do ocular and if you have the money, you go right in and discuss payment terms. 

It’s not when I started to seriously consider investing on a place of my own that I have come to realize that home ownership is not as easy it it sounds. More than getting the money and the finances to sustain your investment, what’s important is for the future home owner to have a clear view on what you want it for? Is it a starter home? An investment piece intended to augment the cash flow? Will it be a family home, where you will be staying for a long time? 

Once you have that out of the way, you need to think about the amenities that the condo offers and how it complements your lifestyle. If you’re the type who loves physical activities like sweating at the gym or swimming – you wouldn’t want to live in a place with no swimming pool or a basic gym right? 


The latest project for of CDC Holdings Inc, together with The Ascott Limited, aims to provide an intelligent and practical choice for future homeowners and business minded individuals intending to expand their real estate portfolio. This latest property rising in the heart of Ortigas offers two varying aspects of city living: as a world-class serviced residence called Citadines Millennium Ortigas Manila under Ascott’s Citadines’ portfolio and as the latest addition to CDC’s affordable but classy condos under the CDC Millennium Ortigas name. 

The secret is by delegating floors 4-24 as serviced residence floors while levels 25 to 30 are for private residence units. Both functions will have a separate entrance and amenities ensuring privacy and security for residences and guests alike. 

As Citadines Millennium Ortigas Manila, the property hopes to attract long-term guests and tenants working for the expatriate community as well as families who love staycations. 


Another thing that sets this property apart is it’s environment friendly design and aesthetics. We had a front row seat as CDC and Ascott unveiled this latest property during the formal turn over of the Citadines Millennium Ortigas Manila. Comfy, chic chairs and lounge sets decorated the lobby which carried the green and gray interiors as manifested by the carpet which extended up to the hallways. 





I, for one, loved the brilliant mix of minimalism and chic styles plus the touch of Filipino influences scattered all throughout the property. 

If you are thinking of extending your real estate portfolio, the Citadines is definitely a good choice. 

Posted in Eat!

Bakers Maison does Bread Right 

I have a serious problem when it comes to bread. I just can’t stop eating it. For someone who is supposed to stay away from Carbohydrates, this presents a big problem. 

So when Bakers Maison invited us for a sneak peak of their latest bread offerings and to offer tips on how to jazz it up through yummy sandwich ideas, I said yes of course. 


In my opinion, breeds is the most flexible of all Carb types: with so many varieties and so many ways to eat it – a good loaf of wheat bread, a hunk of cheese and a nice hot tea makes more an ideal afternoon snack. 

Thus, it was more than welcome when Bakers Maison, a new bread boutique, unveiled some recipes where dinners can pairtheir Bakers Maison signature load pieces with some good proteins and vegetable selections. 





Invited to do a demo on some of the yummy sandwich ideas are Master Bakers led by Chef Edwin Tan. The Bakers gave bloggers ideas on how to prepare delicious and healthy sandwich types using Bakers Maison breads. What I particularly loved about the demo is the brilliant use of vegetables and proteins to make interesting sandwich combos. 

A clear favorite is Chicken Baked Pumpkin Sandwich, brilliantly done by Chef Edwin, which used a Ciabatta Classic bread and paired it with baked pumpkin and chicken ham. I hated pumpkins with the same level of intensity as my hate for bossa nova but this one I devoured like mad. 



What I love about the breads from Bakers Maison is that there’s a certain texture and chewiness to it. It’s not dry or flaky, or grating to the stomach. The inside of the bread is soft but can ably hold when piled with meats, cheese and greens. 

As much I would have loved to eat bread every single day of my life, I still needed to watch what I eat. But the breads from Bakers Maison is worth sinning for. 

Posted in Events

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. 

Posted in Eat!

Grilla: Pinoy Comfort Food Meant for Sharing 

The plates came out one at a time, usually steaming hot – the smell of familiar, comfort cooking wafting through the air. 

We were at Grilla Restaurant and Bar, a sprawling restaurant and bar serving delectable Pinoy dishes along the SM by the Bay strip within the MOA Complex. At Grilla, your pot of sinigang or sizzling plate of Sisig comes with the magnificent view of the famous Filipino sunset. 

We were first served Tokwa’t Manok (P155), which was their version of tokwa’t baboy. The chicken was supposed to offset the richness of the Pork and give a healthier version of this classic Pinoy pulutan and it was, indeed, good. The chicken was flavorful and tender and the tofu cubes were fried just right However, my coronary arteries were missing the sinfulness of the pork, so this one didn’t fly as much for me. 


Next, we were served the Crispy Chicharon Bacon (P185) which was a run-away hit to the people at the table. Imagine a wide cut of bacon, dressed and breaded then deep fried and served with vinegar as dipping sauce. Yum. 


The following came in quick succession: Beef Kansi (P325), which was a cross between sinigang and bulalo. Served steaming hot, with a soup pour-over, the soup was a nice combination of sour and spicy; the massive serving of Crispy Fish Trio (P450), deep-fried tilapia, bangus and hito served in a large plate; the Sisig Sampler (P320) which became my quick favorite and composed of Grilla’s famous pork Sisig, chicken Sisig and tofu-sigarilyas Sisig. 





If we thought that was the end of the feast we were mistaken. We were just about to attack the fish trio when the efficient servers brought out the Lechon Liempo Ala Cebu (P225) served with sinamak; and the Grilla original dish Grill-A-Palayok (P750), which is the restaurant’s version of a boullabaise – mussels, clams, maya-maya fillet, thinly sliced Beef and pork belly served steaming hot on very hot stones in a palayok. The broth was was made of ginger and lemon grass and reminds you of the kind of soup that warms not only the stomach but also the heart. It was so hearty and delicious. 


Not to be outdone is the final piece-de-resistance: “Pista Sa Nayon” – a collection of Crispy Pata, Sinampalukang Inihaw na Manok, Seafood Gising-Gising, Fried Okoy served with Steamed Rice. This one large serving is perfect for the family lunch and only costs P995. 

Capping off the delicious lunch was Halo-Halo Spring Roll (P165), Grilla’s take on the classic Filipino dessert served on deep fried spring rolls; and the Grilla Dessert Sampler


At the helm of Grilla is a group of friends with a passion for good food and an ambience that brings family and friends together. The interior inside the restaurant is distinctly Filipino, while service is quick and light. At the forefront during the launch is former PBA cater Ritchie Ticzon whose good looks continued to turn heads in spite the passing of time. 

Former cager turned restaurateur Ritchie Tucson with the rest of the Grilla team

Grilla is the kind of place where you often end up meeting with family and friends for a “salo-salo” – a gathering of good company while enjoying good food. The food servings are huge; served piping hot and evokes good ol’ Pinoy cooking. 

If you’re looking for a place to dine in within the usually chaotic MOA complex, give Grilla a try – it’s at the thick of the action but minus the chaos.