Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Visiting the Aguinaldo Shrine

I have been to Kawit for a number of times since a family friend lives in Bgy. Sta. Isabel, but while we have to pass the Aguinaldo Shrine before getting to Bgy. Sta. Isabel, I have actually never set foot at the said shrine. Not until I got a post-Christmas trip invite there.
Originally a shorter place, the Shrine, the home of Former President Emilio Aguinaldo, was extended to give room to his growing family.

We were escorted inside by Sir Bennett, one of the tour guides there. What we liked about him was that he knew everything about Aguinaldo and the revolution. He also has a knack for geography and can name the places you can see from the fifth floor, or the Manila-Makati Tower.
The view below the Manila-Makati Tower.
He also led us to some interesting features of the house, like Aguinaldo's medicine cabinet with all the bottles preserved...
...the Philippine map placed at the ceiling...
...and one of the first press rooms ever built for the Philippine media. For a sportswriter who had a lot of experiences inside the press rooms of three indoor sports arenas and the press room of the Palarong Pambansa, I was appalled by what an old school press room looks like.
This was what a press room looked like before aircons were even invented.
Also, Sir Bennett revealed to us that the Aguinaldos put up a mini-sports center underneath their home. It included a swimming pool and, guess what, a bowling alley. He told us that there are plans of renovating the bowling alley.
Believe it or not, this was once Kawit's first-ever bowling alley.
We wonder why Sir Bennett is very knowledgeable of everything Aguinaldo. A descendant of the former chief executive, incumbent Kawit Vice Mayor Paul Abaya, gave us an answer later in the night. He told us that Sir Bennett's family has been close with the Aguinaldos. He even witnessed the burial of the former president at the backyard of his residence in 1964.

Abaya then invited us to the year-end concert featuring the band of one of my churchmates, Mayonnaise.

The special night, which curiously took place on Rizal Day, ended by a fireworks display that lighted up Kawit.

Unfortunately, my friend did not respond to my tweet, so I presumed that he and his family went to Pangasinan, which has been their usual post-Christmas activity. Anyway, I still had fun in my return to Kawit.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Wedding fair to start New Year at SM Megamall

Meet the best suppliers for your upcoming wedding or debut at the 16th Ultimate Wedding and Debut Fair to be held at SM Megatrade Hall 3, 5/F SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City on January 3-4, 2015.

Be entertained with various acoustic performances and learn a thing or two on wedding planning by our event planner exhibitors.

Also, get a chance to win an awesome 3-day, 2-night accommodation at Tugawe Cove, Caramoan Islands.

Simply register at and visit us during any of the two-day fair. No purchase required to be part of this raffle.

16th Ultimate Wedding and Debut Fair is presented by Island Exhibit & Events Management Link, Inc., together with, Jack & Jenn Catering, Rotary Club of Las Pinas East, and Myther Events and Expo Inc.

This event is sponsored by Island Cove, VOffice, Center for Pop Music Philippines, Prestige Cruises, Easy Taxi with media sponsors GMA,,, View Magazine, and When in Manila.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

FlipGeeks organizes geeky Christmas party

FlipGeeks, the number one portal for everything geek culture, The Appraisery and Rumpus Room is holding a "Geek Xmas Party" at Cubao Expo on Sunday, December 21, 2014 from 3pm to 12am. There will be various activities including raffles, board games and video games for the geek community, bloggers, and media people to enjoy. Registration to join the activities will start at 3pm and those registered will be entitled to one ticket for the raffle.

Together with FlipGeeks, owners Victor Prieto (The Appraisery), and Kiko Aquino(Rumpus Room) joined forces to bring us the "Geek Xmas Party" to help develop the local geek community by instilling a deeper sense of community between geeks – helping bridge the gap and enhancing the geek experience. This is made possible by the various members of the geek community, bloggers and media people bringing together various audiences of geek culture from comic book fans, moviegoers, video game fans, etc.

FlipGeeks' partners, The Appraisery and Rumpus Room, are also hosting activities for everyone. Get ready to be introduced to board games through The Appraisery and enjoy it with your friends. If the virtual world is more to your liking, let Rumpus Room show you how it's done.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Parties beyond ordinary only at Victoria Court

Victoria Court offers world-class suites, each one distinct from the other.

The most sought after suites are the Asgard inspired from the movie Thor, the romantic Marrakesh Suite, Batcave from The Dark Knight, and other fun exciting themes for you to choose from.

Our guests have a wide choice of rooms depending on size, design and preferred themes: standard, deluxe, and suites with variants of mini-suites, regular suites and super thematic suites, all different themes. At Victoria Court, no two rooms are the same.

Now known for its thematic parties and events, Victoria Court offers a wide array of suites and amenities that promises a party beyond ordinary.

Bachelorette and stag parties are one of our biggest clientele but we have our share of celebrity shoots, MTV's, and press conferences too.

In fact, Victoria Court hosted the pressers of Asia's Next Top Model and Juana Change the Movie.

We also housed the international battle rappers for their Araneta Dreams Battle Royale and Japan's RWB Legend Nakai-San. Hitting number 1 on the MYX charts is Kyla who shot her MTV in our James Bond inspired room - Casino Royale.

We also have an award-winning F&B team working round the clock to create extraordinary dishes available 24 hours a day.

Our team has recently won top cooking competitions such as the Chefs on Parade, the Philippine Culinary Cup Challenge and the MAFBEX Cooking Competition. Try our extensive menu. Taste our distinction.

So many events, so many suites, all with different themes… Choose the theme that suits your needs.

For inquiries and reservations, please call us at 0917-9810084.

Follow @victoriacourtvc on Twitter and Instagram, like our Facebook Fan page:, or check our website at for new promos and events. 

Sykes turns SMX Pasay to E-Heads concert area in Christmas celebration with Buendia

Ely Buendia captivates the crowd with the timeless hits of his band
Over 6,000 Sykes employees gathered at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City to celebrate one "Popstatic" year-end party.

Hosted by TV personality Karen Pamintuan and Magic 89.9 DJ's Tony Bueno, Sam Gogna, and Eric Virata also known as the Boys' Night trio, the Sykes Christmas party became entertaining from the start.

The BPO company first handed out service awards to their longtime and most trusted employees.

Then a K-Pop dance contest took place where some of the best dance groups from different Sykes Metro Manila zones battle it out.

Manila South took home the win.

As the main highlight of the pop-culture themed year-ender, Eraserheads frontman Ely Buendia rocked SMX Pasay with the timeless hits of his 90's band.

Wendel Garcia, his bandmate at Pupil, one of his two other rock groups, also made an appearance and helped Buendia in bringing the music on drums.

Even Sykes' big bosses, Dean Van Ormer, Marc Guison, and Kenneth Juarez, pulled off an entertaining stunt as they danced to Robin Thicke's hit single "Blurred Lines".

Also, PHP2 million worth of prizes were given away to lucky Sykes employees in the raffle draw.

Sykes' branding and communications director Cecile Venancio lauded everyone who was involved in organizing the Christmas party.

"We only get to do this once a year, so we make sure that they all feel valued," she said.

Even the Cebu-based Sykes employees got a taste of the happenings in Pasay as a simultaneous Popstatic year-end party took place at the Queen City of the South.

About 3,000 Sykes employees from Cebu attended the said event.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Some more places to visit at the Riverbanks Center

Aside from the new Science Centrum, the Riverbanks Center also boasts of three more museums. Here is the list of the other three:

The Spirit of Bethlehem
This hanging Christmas tree is part of the Spirit of Bethlehem collection.
The Spirit of Bethlehem is a private collection of over 500 belens/nativity sets/posters/paintings and sculptures from all over the world.

It boasts of numerous pieces from here and abroad, collected through decades of devotion to the Infant Jesus, by its owner Gigi Abaya-Carlos.

Belens/Nativity sets from different countries like the United States, Mexico, Spain, Israel, Africa, Guatemala, China, and from the different regions of the Philippines will certainly catch your attention because they reflect the culture from where they originated. Some are made from different materials like papier mache, stones, glass, clay, resin and more. About 80% of these Belens are proudly Philippine-made.

Museum of Miniatures
After seeing all the Belens, one is awed by the collection of tiny but real-looking replicas of things you would find in all the different rooms of a European mansion. It is a collection of shadows boxes filled with Lilliputian pieces of 1:1 scale.

The miniatures are part of the collection of the late Aleli Vengua, a passionate artist who handcrafted most of the pieces herself. A lot of the materials used were scrap from items in our day to day living, be it plastic, wood, aluminum, fabric, and glass.

Each room is designed with so much detail and attention that one will never want to look away.

The Joey Velasco Gallery
Right next to The Spirit of Bethlehem is the Joey Velacso Gallery, now home to the spiritually moving art pieces and legacy of the late Joey Velasco. The artist was only 43 years old when he passed away because of a life-threatening kidney disease. Best known for his works “Hapag ng Pag-asa”, or “Table of Hope”, which depicts the Last Supper with Jesus and street children instead of the disciples, Velasco has stirred the hearts of many with his paintings.

Those who have seen his paintings will certainly attest that it is not just a gallery. Though there is an appreciation of art, it is more of a place of reflection. It is a “living museum” where art reflects the spiritual dimension of day to day living and sparks social awareness. According to Ms. Queeny Velasco, wife of the late painter/writer, it is a museum of “faith and patriotism”.

The gallery is being supported by the Joey Velasco Foundation (JVF) whose current priority is to give support to the Hapag Kids and their families of Hapag Village in Amparo, Caloocan City. The JVF created livelihood projects for them, gives training to enhance their skills and other activities for the value formation of the community.

To check out these places, go to the Riverbanks Center along A. Bonifacio Avenue in Marikina City. For more inquiries, visit Riverbanks' website.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

BuzzFeed partners with WeChat

BuzzFeed, the it-place for “share-worthy” content, has just announced its partnership with WeChat to bring news and entertainment to WeChatters around the world. The partnership is the media company’s first major collaboration with an international messaging app – a big step in broadening the perception of messaging apps as content platforms.

"As we start to see an increase of readers share content via private messaging, coupled with the rapid growth of mobile, we're looking for new ways to distribute news and entertainment to our thriving international audience,” said Scott Lamb, VP of International at BuzzFeed. “WeChat’s innovative technology and strong international user base is a natural fit for our first major partnership with an international messaging platform.”

BuzzFeed currently has a readership of 175M globally with 50M readers each month outside the US and 50% of traffic from mobile. WeChat, the fastest growing mobile social communications app, has also seen significant growth this past year with a user base of over 468M monthly active users and young demographic who already enjoy BuzzFeed content.

By following the BuzzFeed official account on WeChat, readers will experience a more personal way of engaging with their favorite content on mobile:

Followers will receive a daily piece of viral content circling the web directly on their smartphones.
They can chat with BuzzFeed for customized content with special keywords such as cats/dogs/lol/omg/fail/win/wtf, which will be updated on an ongoing basis.
And easily share their favorite BuzzFeed stories on WeChat to friends through chats or Moments.

 "We are excited to offer BuzzFeed content on WeChat for our users to enjoy reading and share with friends," said Poshu Yeung, VP of the International Business Group at Tencent, the company behind the WeChat app. "This is a great example of how WeChat’s innovative social, messaging and gaming feature set serves as a platform to create new interactive experiences.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

A return trip to the Science Centrum

I was in my third grade when I had my one and only visit to the Philippine Science Centrum, which was still situated in Manila City then. Now, after almost 18 years, I was back at the Science Centrum, now based inside the Riverbanks Complex in Marikina City. Obviously, a lot has changed in the Science Centrum in the past 18 years.

While it's now not that accessible as it was then (it was once located at the Manila U-Belt area), it's more spacious, giving more room for new exhibits to be placed.

One of the Science Centrum's additions was this stationary bike in which once you tried it, the CFL's will light up, teaching us more about kinetic energy.
Another item I saw in today's Science Centrum that I did not see in my past visit was this finger tingler. We were lined up in a circle while holding our hands. I had my hand in the tingler, and once the exhibitor activated the machine, we felt the electricity. The machine teaches how electrocution can be passed.
Another cool thing I saw was this weighing machine that compares my earthly weight to that of the other planets. Thanks to the difference in the gravity level of each planet, we can be lighter or heavier at another planet. In fact, I found out that I can be about one-third of my size if I go to Mars!
Some more cool machines I found inside the new Science Centrum building were this apparatus, which can give you the experience to fly...
...and this one, which one turned on will emit an electric current as seen by the naked eyes.
I also tried out its shadow photo booth, but unfortunately, my photo of its was too dark enough. I also failed to take a photo of some optical illusion areas, but they were cool.

If you want to see them, just go to the new Philippine Science Centrum located at the E-Com Center of the Riverbanks Complex, A. Bonifacio Ave., Marikina City. From Cubao, New Manila, or Sta. Mesa, just ride a jeep bound for SSS Village or Calumpang. For more of the Science Centrum and the other museums inside the Riverbanks, visit Riverbanks' website.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

FYI to satisfy your cravings for Christmas with new foodie shows

This December, FYI unveils new programs that will surely inspire your next gastronomic getaway:

Taste of Vietnam (Tuesdays at 8pm)
Immerse yourself in the hearty, local flavors of Vietnam with Taste of Vietnam. Host Robert Danhi takes us on not just a food odyssey in Taste of Vietnam, but a voyage into across the country trying local food as he meets fascinating people along the way, unveiling the hidden charms of Vietnam as he curates this dynamic culture to find the deepest flavors in each community.

Atul’s Spice Kitchen: Malaysia (Tuesdays at 9pm)
Explore Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, a melting pot of Asian flavors with Atul’s Spice Kitchen: Malaysia. Double Michelin-starred chef, Atul Kochhar travels to Malaysia  in Atul's Spice Kitchen: Malaysia, exploring the country’s traditional cuisine and its spice trade influenced by Chinese, Indian, Portuguese, Thai and Arab flavours. In the first episode Atul lands in the diverse capital of Kuala Lumpur, discovering hidden gems, sampling authentic Nyonya dishes and preparing a Rogan Josh for a wedding. 

The Feed (Premieres 4 December, Thursdays at 10pm)
Travel to the West and discover what’s been tickling the tastebuds of America with The Feed.Join culinary expert Gail Simmons; superstar chef Marcus Samuelsson; and comedian and food writer Max Silvestri anchor a rollicking adventure into the world of culinary and food culture in America as they share their take on today’s most innovative food trends. Each episode of The Feed pits the unlikely combination of these three personalities against each other in unconventional food challenges that allow each competitor to show off their unique perspectives on the food world. 

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