Saturday, April 26, 2014

Thousands Join Summer Siren Festival for Fun Beach Weekend

If you’re a young adult or simply just feeling young, chances are your images of summer are a montage of beach, sea, tanning lotion/sunblock, killer music, party nights on the sand, lazing around, and sharing sheer enjoyment with friends. 
Yoga demonstration at Summer Siren
An increasingly popular event, the three-day Summer Siren Festival at Crystal Beach in San Narciso, Zambales, delivered on its promise to turn all those images into reality recently, offering a long, carefree weekend of frolic for the thousands who were there.
Deuce Manila playing until sunset
Organized by Travel Factor and held on several hectares of pine tree-lined beach, Summer Siren featured a mix of activities including surfing for beginners, yoga, Crossfit,Flow Arts Philippines and Planet Zip programs, bamboo art installations, giant beach inflatables adding color to aheady beachfront environment, and a DJ tower with well-known DJs spinning music. More cool happenings were VIP and yacht parties, and particularly marathon concerts featuring top bands from late afternoon far into the evening, followed by party time each night with a refreshing breeze blowing from offshore.
Flow Arts Philippines with its members' moves
Top band Franco
Bea Valera pumps up the crowd.
Festival goers partying the night until dawn
The bands, singers and DJs who made Summer Siren rock made an impressive list:  Up Dharma Down, Franco, The Zombettes, Travis Monsod, Taken By Cars, Pedicab, Techyromantics, Marc Marasigan, DJ Euric, Curse & Bless, Deuce Manila, Nina Saputil, Brian Cua, Coffee Break Island, Joey Santos, Niki Rojas, Yolanda Moon, Skymarines, Pulso, Maude, ArraPascual, Kidwolf, BV, Silverfilter, Vince Teotico, Katsy Lee, Project Collab Manila, DCFER, DJDC, and DJTek. 
From left to right: Senior Marketing Executive Vanessa Lee Cartera,
Travis Monsod,  Ramon Bautista, DJ Euric, Jojo the Love Survivor of Magic 89.9,
and Brand Marketing Specialist Rhijean Sarenas

A highlight of the weekend was the popular booth of co-presenter which had visitors lined up way into the evening, to win prizes for joining fun games and having their photos taken for free. Comedy and film personality Ramon Bautista and Jojo the Love Survivor of Magic 89.9 joined booth guests for an afternoon, with the two later hosting a gut-splitting, audience participation segment during a concert break.
Jojo the Love Survivor and Ramon Bautista entertain the crowd with a gut-
splitting AyosDito game.

“We joined the event because many visitors to our online classifieds ads site are young people or simply young deep inside, just like us at We want to offer them activities they will enjoy, as our way of expressing our affinity with them. Summer Siren was just such an event,” said Senior Marketing Executive Vanessa Lee Cartera.

“Joining the community, for young adults, for people who feel young and want to try new things, is a fun thing to do, just like Summer Siren. Filipinos will surely love searching for great summer deals on our website. Transactions on AyosDito.phare pleasant and we take measures to make transactions safe for you. As a seller you earn from items you want to move on from. As a buyer you acquire things that you need at advantageous prices,” Vanessa added.

If you missed Summer Siren last time, try not to, the next time around. You’ll want to put it on your bucket list for summer and definitely, you won’t regret the experience.
Ayos Na Summer winners at the Summer Siren yacht cruise

Scene from the Summer Siren yacht party

Friday, April 25, 2014

Compleat Smile Opens in SMX Pasay

The board of directors of Compleat Smile
Your smile will become more "compleat" as Compleat Smile Dental Clinic officially opened at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City.

Compleat Smile directors Ebot Velasquez, Francis Winston Guico, Cathy Domingo-Guico, Melinda Acosta, Jonathan Acosta and Jun Arioder attended the event. Model Michelle Go and actor Arjo Atayde also graced the event.

Korean dentist Dr. Um In-Woong also came to the opening as the guest of honor. Earlier in the day, he had a talk about tooth auto-banking, one of the latest innovations in dental technology.

Owned by Global Aesthetics Inc., Compleat Smile offers 100% commitment to everyone's dental health and well-being by giving the highest quality dental care while handling his concerns well.

Compleat Smile can be found at Unit G9 of the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. For inquiries, call (02)8311814 or visit its website at or its Facebook page.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

myKaffe Bakeshop: Simply Underrated

Sometimes, the best places to check out can be found in the least likely of locations. To kick off my weekend-long birthday bash, I and my pals went to myKaffe Bakeshop along 4th Avenue in Caloocan. When we heard about the location, we were like, "At Grace Park (the Caloocan district where it is situated)? It's not a good place to put up a coffee shop, right?" When we arrived there, the only probable place near the place where coffee shop goers can hang out is the 7-Eleven store across the street, but inside myKaffe is a hidden gem.

After being welcomed, we were first treated to cool smoothies to refresh ourselves up after braving the hot weather outside. I decided to take the cookies and cream smoothie since I love milk. The taste is like I'm eating cookies.
I coupled that with the Oreo Cookies and Cream Chocolate Cupcake, and they really make a good afternoon snack meal. There are other cupcakes to choose from, the chocnut, the salted caramel, the tiramisu, and the red velvet cupcakes. One thing I noticed after tasting all of them is that they're somewhat less in sugar, making them also suitable for diabetics.
Next up are the cookies. The chocolate chip cookie and the oatmeal-cranberry cookie are crunchy outside but soft inside, the "well done" in cookie making.
I also tried the orange cake and sesame roll, and I find the latter very delicious.
Overall, I say that myKaffe is underrated. Its location may have concealed much of its value, but if you really want to get over from the major coffee shops, try going to this place. It is located at the corner of 4th Avenue and P. Sevilla Street in Caloocan City. To get there:

-From Muñoz, ride the LRT and leave the train at the 5th Avenue Station. Walk to 4th Avenue and turn right.
-From Baclaran, ride the LRT and leave the train at the 5th Avenue Station. Walk to 4th Avenue and turn left.
-From Navotas, ride a bus and tell the driver to drop you off at P. Sevilla Street (for easier understanding, tell the driver to drop you off at the 5th Avenue LRT Station). From the 5th Avenue-P. Sevilla Street intersection, walk to 4th Avenue.
-From Gasak, ride a jeepney going to SM San Lazaro. The jeepney will take P. Sevilla and will direct you to myKaffe.

Visit myKaffe's official Facebook page for more of the bakeshop/coffee shop.

All photos courtesy of Ross Del Rosario.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sudden Flight Exhibit Set in Makati

Filipino abstract painter Chiqui Rodriguez announced that her major new series entitled Sudden Flight, her solo show that will be held in Zurich by late summer, will have its preview in a two-man show at the Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences, hosted by Altromondo Gallery, from May 22 to July 18.

Fifteen selected paintings from a total of over 100 works that comprise the Sudden Flight series will be put in the exhibit to dazzle visitors to the Picasso Boutique Serviced Residences. Chiqui is noted for her deep abstraction of complex realism. 

Says Chiqui of her Sudden Flight series, “I was inspired by my short trip to Brussels after a show held in Berlin in 2013. I arrived with the intent of finding an artist who would be willing to collaborate with me in my upcoming projects, so I started to look around. Instead of finding an artist, I found some Filipinos who work around the city. My interaction with them in a different environment led to varied conversations about how challenging life is to be away from their love ones but nevertheless find solace knowing that their families benefit from their sacrifice. I started on my e-sketchpad and started to express my thoughts after this encounter. The title 'Sudden Flight' refers to several layers of meaning: sudden burst of happiness, excitement as reaching out lives of far-flung Filipinos extending compassion, a moment of bliss.” 

The show plans to bring forward awareness on the inner thoughts of Overseas Filipino Workers.

Victoria Court, Rath Team Up for Peter Project

Victoria Court teams up with the Rath Foundation to help the victims of Su-
pertyphoon Yolanda in Palo.
“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” That's the tagline of Victoria Court's Peter Project.

The hotel, together with the Rath Foundation, recently donated 10 fiberglass-motorized boats to the fishermen from Palo, Leyte, who lost their livelihood because of the Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) that destroyed provinces in the Philippines last November 2013.

Named after St. Peter the Apostle, a fisherman before he was called to be a "fisher of men", the Peter Project helps give fishing boats to families that are in dire need of a livelihood to survive.

Victoria and Rath carefully handpicked the beneficiaries, and they properly guided them about handling their boats, running their business, and maintaining their livelihood even after the boats are turned over. Victoria and Rath also send the donors monthly reports of the performance of the beneficiaries. The project not only builds boats but also teaches the fishermen to survive and live.

Aside from the livelihood the program brings, the Peter Project of the NVC Foundation, Victoria Court's public service arm, also gives environment conservation training for fishermen, daily Mingo meals to the beneficiaries for six months (visit for more information about Mingo), and more bonding activities to continually build the relationship with the fishermen beneficiaries to ensure that the boat is truly serving its purpose of sustaining his livelihood.

For more information about the Peter Project and how you can help visit their website at

Monday, April 14, 2014

JPop Anime Singing Contest On

In celebration of the Philippines-Japan Friendship Month this July, the Embassy of Japan brings back its annual JPop Anime Singing Contest on July 19.

This year, amateur dancers can also join the contest as a dance showdown will be added to the competition aside from the usual anime singing contest. Interested participants can choose if they want to join either the singing or the dance contest.

For the singing contest, a participant can join on his own or bring up to three of his friends to form a group. The singers can bring in their own instruments, a minus-one CD of the song they will sing, or go a cappella.

For the dance category, a group of five can join. The group needs to bring an original CD of the song it will perform.

Aside from the original CD's or instruments, the participants should also bring their completed application forms, which will be available at the Japan Information and Culture Center Library and at the Japanese Embassy website (, their solo or group photos, a write-up describing them, a detailed description of the chosen song, and the demo CD of their recorded performances.

All participants should submit the requirements at the JICC inside the Japanese Embassy along Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City on or before May 23.

For inquiries, visit the Japanese Embassy website, email, or call (02)551-5710 local 2311 or 2312.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

'Innocence in Time' Launched

Innocence in Time. Richard Mamuyac
Chai Galapon launched her first book entitled "Innocence in Time" at the Health Hub of the SM Center Pasig.

The book tells the story of a young girl who was given a mission to save the 12 princes of different fairy tail worlds.

Galapon said that she started writing the book in the middle part of 2011 and did some editing the following year. After winning a book publishing package in a Facebook contest last year, she began publishing the book. Galapon successfully launched "Innocence in Time" without the help of a publishing company.

She also read some excerpts of the book during the launch and helped a friend in need.

Innocence in Time is now available at Sweet Life Coffee along Greenwoods Executive Village.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

AirAsia Partners with Elabram

Air Asia Philippines Commercial Head Gerard Penaflor and Elabram Systems
Group Associate Director Engr. Joel Nuesca signed the agreement which for-
malizes their partnership. Grace Nicolas
Commercial airplane company AirAsia signed a partnership agreement with Elabram Systems Group at the AirAsia office in Makati City.

AirAsia's Commercial Head Gerard Penaflor and Corporate Sales Executive Michelle Ann Lopez and Elabram Systems' Associate Director Engr. Joel Nuesca, Business Administration Manager Anna Liza Valdez, and Marketing and Branding Manager Engr. Grace Nicolas attended the partnership signing which makes Elabram the first corporate partner of AirAsia.

"Elabram Systems Group is already 15 years in the telecommunications industry globally and 5 years in the Philippines and still expanding. We are also focusing to partners with stable and growing companies such as AirAsia, and with this partnership, it will be beneficial for both companies. The two companies are both with headquarters in Malaysia," said Nicolas.

"The event is an awesome breakthrough for both companies. Since some of the solutions offered by Elabram are talent acquisition and deployment, the services under AirAsia can be utilize & beneficial for Elabram," added Elabram Systems Managing Director Mikel Yaw, who was in Malaysia during the contract signing.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Gourmet Filipino Burger at Wham

The Bronco Burger, one of the products of Wham
When it comes to burger, most people would think about it as a comforting meal and perhaps the safest choice when craving for something fast yet satisfying. However, many will agree that not all burgers are created the same, purveyors can be partial over a tried and tested recipe with American appeal coupled with an awesome classic taste that stands out.

Back in 2000, there were not really too many options for something one may call an affordable legendary burger—one is left with a choice of either having a basic burger in a fast food or very expensive hotels for something fancy. This was then the beginning for good friends Tony Yap and Dondi Lazaro to profusely experiment for their own concoction. After several trials, all signs point to build their own burger brand especially when both of their friends and families gave their seal of approval with their unique recipe discovery.

Although the evolution of gourmet burger did not happen overnight, there was surely a good market for foodies who have grown weary of the typical offerings and go beyond the usual flavors but still affordable. Now, food lovers in the Philippines have long known that good quality burger is a must-have item in a casual-style restaurant.

Wham was near an instant hit in its first Quezon City branch for capturing the elements of what an outstanding burger should be: huge, hearty, and tucked with impeccably good beef. Celebrated for its never frozen patty perfection, the secret is also in its grilling equipment—a hybrid of electric and gas with pure charcoal on top. Cooking under the coals not only creates a savory, smoky flavor with an invitingly charred exterior, it rounds out an incomparable juicy texture in it’s strictly one third pound, certified no extender robust beef with 80-20 lean and fat. With its no short cuts, homemade-style formula that’s far from a typical fast food style or too expensive hotel burger, Wham is a bold version that sums up to affordable gourmet quality burger.

Prides itself for introducing a 100% Filipino burger brand with outstanding product and service, most people perceive that Wham is an international franchise. “The initial simplicity of the food and items inspired from my international travels very much worked. Along the way, we had to adapt to Filipino taste, like adding Spaghetti in the menu because kids loved it and wouldn’t eat anything else. And the major draw about our burger is how we cook our patty. We use the old-fashioned real charcoals”, Tony shares. While its standard speaks for the quality of the ingredients, Wham defied all expectations by introducing something far from a mundane category.

The colorful, comic-inspired interiors of the outlet is a welcoming surprise to the customers from the very beginning since it lends a fun, awe-inspiring vibe which eventually became the signature feel and look of the stores. Interestingly, one of its flagship item “Kapow” was adopted from a comic scene to denote a sound effect.

After Dondi and his family relocated to Cabanatuan, Wham officially became a family-owned business of Tony Yap with wife Camille, brother-in-laws Joby and Kiko, and sister-in-law Liza. It was then the beginning of its expansion. Wham is now with four branches in Katipunan, SM North Edsa The Block, Molito Alabang, and SM Mall of Asia.

With no bells and whistles or complicated ingredients such as MSG, Wham Burgers remain on top of mind when questing for an affordable delicious burger with real beef that one can taste. Another factor that gives this classic favorite a breed apart? Side choices such as potato wedges or bite-sized chicken are satisfying and as flavorful as the mains which amps up the burger eating experience.

For more information, visit Also, follow its social media accounts: Wham! Burger on Facebook, WhamBurgersPH on Twitter, and whamburgersph on Instagram.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Bloggers Unite Anew for 10th IBlog Summit

Ivan Saldajeno discussed the rise of sports blogging in the Philippines du-
ring the 10th IBlog Summit. Nestor Domingo
Bloggers from across the country gathered once again at the 10th Philippine Blogging Summit or IBlog at the Malcolm Hall of the University of the Philippines College of Law in Quezon City.

Past IBlog speakers Carlo Ople, Noemi Dado, Grace Nicolas, Jonel Uy, Fitz Villafuerte, Jeoff Salas, Mannix Pabalan, Brad Geiser, Tonyo Cruz, and Francis Acero highlighted the first day of the two-day event as they returned to deliver talks about what bloggers have become recently.

Azrael Coladilla, Jinoe Gavan, and Vince Golangco also made a panel discussion on the same day about how blogging communities became in.

First-time speakers ruled Day 2 as Ivan Saldajeno, Jayson Bagio, Bien Nillos, Genesis Reodico, Sonnie Santos, Vanj Padilla, Lace Llanora, and Christian Blanquera made their IBlog debut.

Saldajeno told the rise of the Philippine sports blogging scene, while Bagio talked about link building. Nillos, a physician by day, gave some reasons on why professionals should enter blogging.

The troika of Reodico, Santos, and Padilla discussed entrepreneurship through blogging, while Blanquera taught bloggers on how they can lead the way for other entrepreneurs. Llanora talked about crowdsourcing and its impact in business.

GMA newscaster Howie Severino, a past IBlog speaker, headlined the second day of the summit as he discussed online journalism and blogging.

Atty. J.J. Disini and Janette Toral, the head organizer of IBlog, capped the event by sharing their insights on the Cyber Crime Law and the future of the internet in the Philippines respectively.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Akira Finds New Home at New Alphaland Makati Place

There's a new spot in Makati where we can go to after a grueling work at the office, the new Alphaland Makati Place along the corner of Ayala Avenue and Malugay Street just across the Makati City Fire Station. One place inside the new building where we can hang out is the new Akira Restaurant branch there.
The said Akira branch is the third of the restaurant franchise owned by renowned industrial designer Kenneth Cobonpue and Golden Potbelly Pig Corporation head Gilbert Go, who welcomed me and my homies as we graced the restaurant's weekend treat, the Yamazaki and Hakushu Nights.
Cobonpue himself designed the seats in the resto.
Go and Marketing Director Miguel De La Rosa gave us a warm welcome and gave us the description of the restaurant and its menu.

We were treated to their sumptuous meals ranging from the sushi rolls and the sashimis... the teppanyaki sets...
Japanese Beef Wagyu
Oyster Teppanyaki the desserts, particularly the ice cream parfait...
... and the Kani Salad!
And now, the main event of the evening. The highlight of Akira Makati's Yamazaki and Hakushu Nights is a teppanyaki cooking demonstration (with cool sounds) by Lucky Salcedo, the teppanyaki chef of the resto. I don't usually spoil some stuff (unless it's a movie review), but here's a cooking exhibition of him.
Update as of April 24: I celebrated my birthday at Akira AMP, and I tried two more of its products, the tonkatsu and the pineapple shake. The shake is made of fresh pineapple, so I really felt its goodness. The tonkatsu is crispy outside but very delicious inside.

Again, Akira Makati is located at the new Alphaland Makati Place, Ayala Avenue corner Malugay Street, Makati City (not that Alphaland at the corner of E. Delos Santos and Chino Roces Avenues). To get there by commuting, ride an "Ayala-LRT-Leveriza-Baclaran" bus (if you're coming from the south, tell the conductor to drop you off at Ayala Avenue so that you can ride the said bus). The bus will directly lead you to AMP as the no-left-turn rule along the Ayala-Gil Puyat intersection forces the buses to take Malugay Street to get to Gil Puyat Avenue. If you have your own car but still confused where to find AMP, the closest landmarks are the RCBC Plaza, The Columns, which is right in front of AMP, and the central fire and police stations of Makati, which are across AMP via Ayala Avenue.

For inquiries and reservations you may call 09177067328 or email Marketing Director Miguel De La Rosa at

All photos courtesy of Kamila Cinco. Video courtesy of Florencio Jusay.

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