Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Awakening the Force

I have a confession to make. I used to hate Star Wars. 

My parents sort of forced me to watch betamax tapes of it when I was younger. The furry Ewoks were cute, R2D2 was fun to mimic, and Queen Amidala was beautiful; but they never sparked enough interest.

The harsh lighting in the spaceships reminded me of boring classrooms. Princess Leia looked a bit drab. Luke is cute but I never forgave him for being Darth Vader's son. The effects looked unrealistic; our neighbors' New Year's fireworks display were more impressive compared to the destruction of stars and planets on screen. All the smoke appeared like someone just fans dry ice everytime. The dessert & forest scenes looked icky. Shaider's sword looked more impressive than the lightsaber.

I tried watching the marathon on Star Movies over the weekend to see if my impression of it has changed over the years. 

It hasn't. 

I enjoyed watching the young Harrison Ford play Han Solo & I was amused with the quirky Yoda but that was just about it. I fell asleep after watching 2 episodes (breastfeeding while watching didn't help)

But a miracle happened.

Well sort of.

I had the privilege of watching the Philippine premiere of Episode VII: The Force Awakens. And OMG. J.J. Abrams is just wickedly awesome!

I had so much fun watching all the amazing effects. The shots were craftily executed; there wasn't a dull moment. (I used to hate watching in IMAX theaters because my glasses just keep fogging up but tonight even that didn't seem to matter)

I would have to agree with Regina Layug-Rocero of 501st that the female lead Rey makes the movie uber cool. She has super expressive eyes similar to her father's (I wouldn't say who:p) but she's more fun to watch (so nimble and fair even when she has soot on her face)

Her affinity with the droid BB-8 is adorable (plus BB-8 talks like my 3month old daughter. I missed hugging her while watching the movie :/)

& despite my opinion on the previous episodes, it was refreshing to see familiar characters pegged 30 years after the rebellion. It was one happy reunion (despite the demise of one of the leads in the end. Again, I wouldn't say who :p) Heck, I even think Princess Leia looks better now that she has matured (I like her foundation better now. It used to look so cakey. Sorry.) Her love team with Han Solo still makes fans giddy with glee.

Oh well. Just to say I had so much fun. Can't wait for the next one :p

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Aldub U Parol

When you wish upon a star...anything your heart desires will come to you.

Coke Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications Atty Adel Tamano says they want to make millions of wishes come true this year. 

Coke upcycled hundreds of bottles and formed a neat giant parol in the middle of Araneta Center (yep, near the giant Christmas tree!) Tamano explains that people don't have to splurge much to have fun decor this Christmas. 

Tamano adds there's no limit when it comes to wishing!

"You can wish for whatever you want. We have a promo now called "wish upon a parol." To join, just buy one of our Coke Products, take a look at the cap. There's a promo code there. Text Coke_promocode to 2653. And then it's up to you. You have 5wks."

Coke already granted one of the wishes: the cool tandem Aldub already has a Christmas billboard (check it out while it's traffic along C-5:p)

Who says Coke drinkers still need Santa? The last draw will be on the second week of December.

Take me back to Neverland, Peter Pan

Ballet Philippines' well-loved Peter Pan is back! 

I had the privilege to sit in one of their rehearsals. Sans makeup, costumes & the flying machine, I still had so much fun! No kidding.

Director and choreographer Edna Vida Froilan has been staging this for decades. Her eyes glow with delight as she recalls how quickly she thought of the choreography when they staged the first Peter Pan in the Philippines based on the Walt Disney cartoon. 

Through the years, they've made changes here and there depending on the skill of the dancers who'll take on the lead roles. But this year, Froilan says she just wants to go back to the original choreography. The dancers religiously train to develop the strength and stamina required.

There are two to three alternating dancers for each of the principal parts. 

Multi-awarded Jean Marc Cordero is one of those who would play Peter Pan. He took on the same role five years ago; but he says this time around it's really refreshing. After having portrayed dark mature roles previously he says it feels great to be a kid again. 

To learn how to fly? Think of lovely thoughts...

Peter Pan will run from Dec 4-13 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Nanta cooks up fun in Manila

Korea's number 1 non-verbal broadway show is here in Manila. The first Asian musical to debut in New York, Cookin' Nanta is globally acclaimed for its uniqueness.

It's so hilarious; it reminds me of the TV show Takeshi's castle

Armed with knives and chopping boards, Nanta opens with three cooks about to start their day. As they go about their daily tasks, The Manager crams in an unplanned wedding party! 

Spectators can even become the bride and groom in a traditional Korean wedding on the spot! With six months training in handling kitchen props, cast members say it's a safe kind of fun.

Cookin' Nanta plays for a limited season at The Theatre at Solaire til November 15

Tips from the Heart

Don't forget your selfworth. Don't give yourself away too much just because you want something. You also have to remember to take care of yourself. Reach for the stars! Anything is possible as long as you pray and work hard for it.

Heart Evangelista recently launched her own book on makeup and skincare entitled "This is me, Love Marie."

Heart believes there is power in beauty and perseverance.

In her recent booksigning in Makati, she shared her top beauty tip. 
Prolong your youth. When it comes to beauty, it's all about preserving what you already have. As much as possible you wanna look young. When you're young, don't rush looking old. You'll never look young ever again.

She mentioned it's better to invest in more skincare products than makeup. She hardly uses foundation now that she's 30! She belives that when you have good skin, you won't need much makeup. 

Try to stay away from the smoky eyes and maybe do the cat eye!

Heart personalized the book with handwritten notes and doodles plus snippets of her journey in showbiz for almost 2 decades. It's out in local bookstores and magazine stands nationwide.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Fans get high with Hi-5

Hi-5 is back in the Philippines this holiday season! I love how they can get all the kids high and groovin' on positivity (without having to give them sugar). Happily, I got to chat with them again (same day as last year!:))

Ainsley, Dayen, Mary, Stevie and Tanika sing about a world of dreams with fairy gardens, outer space, and underwater adventures. Stevie who's on his last tour with the group also released a new book:) Anything is possible indeed! 

You may catch Hi-5 House of Dreams from December 18-22 at Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resorts World Manila.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

How to invade 75 Filipino artists' studios in one sitting

Manila Bulletin recently lauched a coffeetable book featuring 75 Filipino artists in their workspaces.

Multimedia artist Rosscapili is one of the many talented icons featured in the book. (I was lucky enough to be photographed by this master back in 2006.:) I must say he hasn't aged a bit!)

He feels honored to be part of it. He says by "invading" his studio, the book explores his growth as an artist as well as his various techniques.

Along with the other generous artists, Rosscapili donated one of his works for a private sale in Manila Hotel for the benefit of the Philippine Red Cross. His painting is nice & bright with butterflies amidst moving trees that seem to come alive when you squint!

I heard the paintings were sold like hotcakes!:)

"Filipino Artists in Their Studios" is available at leading bookstores for 3,990php. 

Crackin' Holiday Blues with PBT's "Nutcracker"

As the second resident ballet company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the Philippine Ballet Theater (PBT) has 20 resident dancers plus adopted scholars through various foundations. 

Master Anatoli with his children; Edward sits in front (wearing purple) while Emerson stands near his brother

14-yr-old Edward Evangelio and his older brother Emerson are some of PBT's young scholars. Edward says that ballet helps them support their big family (I heard they have 9siblings) while they study at Sta Ana Public School. They also get to express themselves when they dance.

A real artist supports others in any way s/he can

Russian ballet master Anatoli Panasyukov has been training the PBT dancers and scholars for 20 years. Master Anatoli says his students are his children; they call him  "Papa." He regrets that some of his most talented apprentices resort to looking for other jobs after finishing their studies for lack of proper funding. It's admirable how he perseveres in mentoring promising talents in the country for the love of classical ballet.

To kick off the holiday season, the Philippine Ballet Theater restages the Nutcracker. Master Anatoli is excited to have American guest dancer Joseph Phillips.

story about Clara, a girl who experiences a one of a kind adventure because of a nutcracker from her grandfather, PBT President Sylvia Lichauco-de Leon says: "The story of the nutcracker and the mouse king originated in Germany. It's a folktale about a little girl who dreams. The prince comes all because of a nutcracker her grandfather gave her on Christmas. They're supposed to bring good luck to your house and ward off evil spirits. Many people collect nutcrackers; it's a special gift." Lauchengco adds it's a great spectacle that could help alleviate stress. She herself has watched it several times in various countries. 

 To demonstrate further how it can make you smile, she allowed the feelingera ballerina to try one of PBT's colorful costumes!:p

The Nutcracker by the Philippine Ballet Theater will run from Nov 13 to 15 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

Friday, September 4, 2015

PAT's Top 5 Moisturizers

As we're experiencing the worst El NiƱo ever this ber season, dams and agricultural lands are in danger of running dry.  Experts are coming up with ways on how to alleviate the situation.

Likewise, unavoidable exposure to the heat and pollution could make the skin dull, dry, irritated and unattractive.  Thank God we have some friends that can aid us in our plight. Here's my fab squad in battling skin scaliness and premature ageing in these times of distress:

1. Virgin Coconut Oil

      VCO is known to provide natural UV protection and prevent wrinkles. With its antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral properties, some take this as a nutritional supplement to increase metabolism and reduce the risk of heart disease.    I use this to moisturize my gums and reduce the occurence of bleeding now that I'm pregnant (See oil pulling). It doubles as my waterproof eyeliner remover too.
VCO: versatility in a bottle 
2. Burt's Bees Handcream

      Who could say no to dessert? Sniffing the light scent of almond milk is just uplifting.

dessert for the skin
3. Creamy Moisturizing Oil

      Contrary to what most people think, oil slathering doesn't have to be greasy.  Aveeno's lightweight, easily absorbable formula works wonders even when it's hot and humid.
Creamy oil
4. Argan Oil

      I would have to agree when people refer to this as liquid gold.  Some brands are too sweet smelling for me; I like Skinstation (in bottle form),  Zen Nutrients (in balm form which I also use as my heavy makeup remover), and Color Collection (in lipgloss form).  Now that I'm discouraged from using synthetic perfumes, this somehow doubles as my scent at the moment.    
Argan Oil

5. Total Moisture Nourishing Lotion

      I've been using this for quite some time now; I like it because it minimizes the appearance of uneven skin, spots, and bumps.  I guess I really love oatmeal.
Oatmeal lotion

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Happy Preggy: My Top 5 Favorite Cleansers

Now that I'm pregnant, some ask what I use to help keep myself happy and blemish-free.  The first trimester wrecked havoc on my skin & hair (among other things) because of flaring hormones. Skinstation advised me to skip my Collawhite and Silver Masque facials when I was able to confirm (nearing the third month) that I was indeed expecting.  I was also advised to avoid my favorite infladerm cream (which tamed down skin inflammation & redness) and other products with tretinoin and retinol.

In spite of these restrictions, I still insisted on having my facials done when zits & blackheads invade my sanity. I happily endured the slight pain. We limit the steam to my T-zone (there are some studies that point out that pregnant women should avoid the sauna), skip the medicated astringent & laser, and finish off the facial with some Vitamin C Serum.

But now on my third trimester, I'm relieved that I don't experience as much skin problems as before. Here are some cleansers that help at home:

1. Dermax Skin Prep Gel Cleanser

      If they can use it to prep the skin professionally, why not use it at home? It's sulfate, paraben & fragrance free so it's safe for everyday use.  It's even good for other parts of the body that experience occasional breakouts (like my back, arms & chest). I like it because it rinses off easily & leaves the skin smooth.

Dermax Skin Prep Gel Cleanser

 2. Mild Shampoo

      My mom wants me to cut my hair short now that I'm expecting but I'm not willing to let go of my long tresses just yet.  Some formulas in the market are just too harsh & trigger more hairfall and bacne breakouts.  So to compromise, I opt for mild shampoos like Hana and Zen Nutrients' Gugo with Tea Tree Oil.  Singing in the shower is a prelude to a great day.

mild shampoo

 3. Burt's Bees Orange Facial Scrub

      I used to make a masque out of nutmeg and cold non-fat milk to tame down the redness of my face (my skin is really sensitive even before).  With this product, I don't have to do that anymore :) Just mix it with a little bit of water and voila! I use this at least once a week. I finish it off with Burt's Bees organic toner on my T-zone and some tea tree oil on pesky trouble spots.

tomato toner, orange scrub & tea tree oil
 4. Oatmeal Body Wash

      Hmmm...I just love the scent!

5. Ultra-calming foaming cleanser

      This one doubles as a light makeup remover.  There are days when you want to skip the cold cream/wipes/makeup dissolving oil.  You just want some fresh lather on your face that you could rinse with cool water.  On those days, this product is such a reliable pal.

ultra-calming foam

Friday, May 1, 2015

Music at Play

I had so much fun this week as I was able to watch two musicales. Musicales just make me giddy with glee.

First was the culmination of the great BenCab's birthday month at Solaire. Last night (April 30) was the world premier of Sabel: Love & Passion.

I just adore the angel dance. The singers were all splendid, exploring different musical genres in one night.  Ms Yza Calzado was almost mystical in her modern terno while Antoinette Taus was such a revelation. & yeah..ballet dancers never fail to make me jealous with their gracefulness. 

They'll have another run in Greenhills this June.

This morning (May1), the excitement continued as I watched Peppa Pig live from West End at the Meralco Theater. Like Avenue Q, the musical actors sang alongside the charming foam puppets.

Familiarizing kids about animals & modes of transport the fun way, I think even grownups enjoyed singing along. Fans cheered on when they finally found the treasure:)

I satisfied the kid within as I had a fan moment with my cousins. Becky Adams who has been playing Peppa for almost two years now is delightfully charming. 

You have until May 3 to catch them in Manila:) They're heading to Singapore next. Oink!


Some claim OPM is dead, yet some artists like Glaiza de Castro struggle to prove them wrong. She makes an unexpected return to her music roots with the release of her latest album "Synthesis"

Glaiza says her closest friends including Angelica Panganiban, China Ortaleza, and Alessandra de Rossi helped her with this album. As production of film "Madaling Araw, Mahabang Gabi" wrapped up, she found herself creating songs from snippets of their conversation.

She has been singing eversince she could remember, but it was in showbiz that she became exposed to other genres like r&b, rock, alternative, new wave, no wave and pop rock.

It took her 2yrs to finalize the material. Her friend, R&B Prince Jay-R with his independent recording label, Homeworkz, helped her with distribution.

With that, we'll be seeing more of Glaiza in the Philippine concert scene.