Thursday, December 15, 2016

Road to the Crown

It seems like we don't need much Christmas lights this year to brighten up the holidays as the entire country is giddy about the upcoming Ms Universe pageant. With some of the candidates already gracing local tv and visiting some of our awesome tourist spots we can't help but feel blessed somehow that one of the most prestigious beauty pageants on earth is happening right HERE :)

          As we delight in Pia's reign and remain hopeful that Maxine will shine as well, I can't help but look back and ponder on how other Bb Pilipinas Universe winners have been instrumental in shaping the quality of our winners today.

1. Ma. Venus Raj

They say her name alone declares she is a true queen and goddess. The one who started the Ms Universe streak for us this decade, Venus has an undeniable strong stage presence honed by years of victory in countless beauty pageants. With her warmth and sincerity, she also won Ms Friendship during her time in Bb. (which is quite unusual because she was a threat to many girls in her batch!) She says the late Melody Gershbach (and fellow Bicolana queen) is her angel.

2. Shamcey Supsup

"Wassup Supsup?" A lot of people laughed when Toni Gonzaga joked about her surname lightheartedly on national TV. But what some people regarded as an unqueenly surname turned out to be a blessing. Even the great Lea Salonga was impressed by her performance; she's so stunning you'd forget she's a topnotch architect & restauranteur.

3. Ara Arida

"If there's Venus, I'm Mars." Ara is the witty chemist next door who reigned over Pia during her first try yet managed to mentor and remain friends with her.  That alone is remarkable. She continues to host a variety show on tv.

4. Gionna Cabrera

She won Ms Photogenic when she competed in Thailand and up to the time of Venus, she along with Mafae Yunon- Belasco and Karen Agustin-Ostrea were hands on when it comes to pasarella and wardrobe selection of the winners. She started the campaign to use modern Filipino designs again in Bb; she used to design bags that were featured in various runways abroad.

5. Miriam Quiambao, Teresa Licaros & Lia Andrea Ramos

Who wouldn't know these three? Quite formidable if you would ask me. Miriam has been a household name for decades now; she has inspired everyone when she rose gracefully like a swan after she tripped on her dress. Who cares if it was a tad bit too long for her? It helped her show how regal she really is :)

Tere will always be known as the summa cum laude lawyer and Lia as the Philippine online makeup expert.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

The Boat Ride at Madame Tussauds

Leji wasn't allowed to ride with me in this boat attraction at Madame Tussauds so I took as many photos as I can.  It's a fancy wax and lights introduction to Singapore's famous tourist attractions. She didn't feel so bad anymore after showing her these.

The fancy boat

immediately greeted by colorful lights

first photo with a Merlion

F1 glam

Art and science hub


Pretty fascinating right? If a tourist can't decide which attractions to prioritize, at least he/she can get to have selfies with their replicas first.

Baby Explores Singapore

I quietly celebrated my birthday this year with my family chasing merlions in Singapore. It was Leji's first trip out of the country so we were all thrilled.

We booked our flight via Singapore Airlines because I heard they offer the best service for kids.  We had to pay for Leji too (for a few dollars less than an adult's discounted fare) despite her being less than two years old and even if they mentioned they didn't have baby food onboard. But the trip was delightful for her and she enjoyed my silver utensils, beef, ice cream and orange juice so I guess it was worth it.  

We were able to conveniently bring her stroller up to the plane's entrance; when we got off the plane it was also brought to the door ready for pickup. Talk about convenience! 

We left Manila as soon as the sun was setting and she was so amazed how the light illuminated my face from the window.  They provided a bassinet with a soft Dory toy for her but she could barely sleep because of her excitement in seeing the clouds in various colors. She only managed to nap on my chest 10minutes before landing!

We rolled away to our hotel (Mandarin Orchard) via train and Leji was amazed with all the elevators and lights. It's a cool city for kids on strollers.  

We got discount coupons from Mandarin Orchard (c/o the portable hotel phone with free calls to anyone in selected countries including the Philippines) so we took advantage of the roundtrip cable car and explored the sights from point to point in one day.

Here are some of the most memorable spots:

1. Bells of happiness at Faber Peak

We bought two bells at Faber Peak: one gold bell for wishing and one silver bell for Leji's stroller.   She had so much fun with the bells. But I should have brought my own fine tipped marker; the one I got from the store dried up too quickly in my bag. 

 2. Madame Tussauds

Leji was annoyed that she wasn't allowed to ride the boat inside; she refused to have her hand cast in cold wax (it was supposed to be a freebie :/). Then, she got scared of the politicians and the theater exibit. But there were some wax figures she particularly liked:

Breakfast at Tiffany's

"Pfffshhh!!!" Spiderman!!!
We got so hungry after taking all these photos-- we ended up in KFC because we couldn't find the next elevator to get to the cable car. We had to carry Leji and her stroller over three non-working escalators.  We were surprised that Singapore has its share of non-working stuff in a famous tourist spot :/

3. Fountains

Oh my, Leji couldn't look away from the fountains. All of her shots with water looked like this:

4. Candylicious

I try to limit her sugar intake so we ended up just taking photos in front of this magnificent store.  It reminded me of Willy Wonka and Hansel and Gretel.

5. Universal Studios

Leji's still not allowed to ride most of the attractions in Universal so I guess we just have to come back some other time.  She still loved the globe; she likes all things round and colorful.

Leji and I had so much fun!

 Her smile at the end of the day made it all worthwhile :)

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Happy Life with our Queens

It's been a while since the last I've seen my KF sisters Mary Jean Lastimosa (Ms Universe Philippines 2014) and Bea Rose Santiago (Ms International 2013) in person. It was indeed a privilege for us to have graced benefit fashion shows and various outreach programs in the past. It's quite fun to reminisce :)

Pat, MJ & Toni in Runway for Hope 2013

Bea's promise of Yolanda aid upon coming home as Ms International 2013

BPCI Charity Day 2013

KF Advocacy Launch 2014

After MJ's recent hosting stint in ABS CBN's Game ng Bayan and Bea's efforts in rescuing homeless animals, they're launching a new travel show called "Happy Life" on GMA News TV.  Other beauty queens like Jamie Herrell (Ms Earth 2014) and Mutya Datul (Ms Supranational 2013), and models/actresses Sophie Rankin, Giulia Ahar, and Anthea Murfet will also appear in succeeding episodes.

MJ says "Happy Life" is like a dream come true because they get to travel, have fun, and help others all in one show. Directed by Eric Quizon, here he would also serve as a tour guide who would bring the girls to places that need attention both by adventure-seekers and those who would like to help the poor. Producer Chavit Singson stresses they want to inspire others to take action and engage in altruistic activities to have a truly happy life.

Producer Chavit Singson joins the lovely hosts in Happy Life's presscon

Remarkable guest donors, like actress Alice Dixon, are said to participate in later episodes as well.

Alice shares they will visit Bacolod for her episode

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Share Your Latest Lugay Selfie like KC!:p

Here is one of my latest ads I'm quite proud of. KC Concepcion is super sweet on and off cam, Loren Burgos is just the bomb, and it's such a privilege working with Madame Shayne Sarte's team. Sometimes, all it takes is the right shampoo to brighten up your day and feel everything will work out just right (with no split ends!).

Now you too can be part of this. Enjoy the ber months in your most fabulous self! Lugay confidently and share your photos with confidence ;) Don't forget to use the hashtag #LugayEffect :) Have a great hair day!

Monday, August 1, 2016

Baby's First Trip to Manila Oceanpark

My ten-month-old daughter has an uncanny fascination with fish. I first noticed this in Gloria Maris Gateway. She was drawn to their aquarium with live fish. So much so, she forgot about her desire to grab all the napkins and her favorite siomai.

We tried showing her other aquariums of Chinese restaurants. She laughed at eels, got scared of shrimps, and gasped at other unfamiliar creatures. It was cute how she would gaze at the creatures with innocent wonder.

One day, we decided to treat her to Manila Ocean Park and availed of the 580php promo. We thought she might like the Sea Lion Show and the fountain display.

But to our dismay, she got bored with the Sea Lions. She thought the baby nearby who drank formula was more interesting; she still thinks that the baby bottle is a joke. She also slept through the fireworks while drinking breastmilk at the Symphony Evening Show. Luckily, I recorded the nice parts on video and she happily watched those at home. Touching the manta rays also frightened her; but she watched other kids do it with interest and peered at the shark that refused to be disturbed.

What she liked were the jellyfish and the sharks! We spent an hour at the Jellies Exhibit and two hours in the Oceanarium (although she didn't enjoy the Back of the House experience; pipes don't interest her). She adored the chandeliers that looked like jellyfish. She gestured jellyfish with her hands and pointed at the lights. Really cute.

Manila Oceanpark is a cooler experience when you have a baby to tag along with you. Catching her smile is just priceless.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Piece of Serenity

If you could buy peace of mind, you would right? If nature calms you, why not have it break the mundane tone of your room or office? 

If you can't manage to plant or travel as often as you would want to, you may want to have a picture to comfort you at the very least... Or a picture that would remind you that you are but a mere speck in the greater scheme of things.

Martial Jeudy's "Humility" at Kulayara in San Juan reminds us of this. Our ocean of emotions, no matter how vast or complicated it may seem to us, is but a mere part of a greater whole. 

Showcasing the resilience of the bamboo and the gentle grace of the alps, it attempts to quiet our soul and aid us not to overthink in this great hullabaloo called life.

It suddenly reminded us of our recent art class in Glorietta. Leji and I couldn't help but be amused.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

ToFarm Film Fest!

The first ever filmfest showcasing the lives and stories of Filipino farmers opened last night at SM Megamall Cinema 7. Everything was fresh and green at the entrance and even the cocktails matched the theme.

Premier director Maryo J. Delos Reyes serves as ToFarm Festival's director. He says this is a unique project and he's happy to be part of it.

To stir about nostalgia, an exclusive screening of a LVN's 1959 classic "Biyaya ng Lupa" marked the opening of the festival. Produced by LVN Pictures and directed by Manuel Silos, it was the most nominated film in the 1960 FAMAS Awards where it won Best Picture and Best Original Story. It was nominated for Best Film in Berlin that same year, and bagged Best Supporting Actor (c/o Leroy Salvador) in the Asian Film Fest.

It was so cool Rosa Rosal, Marita Zobel, and their other co-stars were present for the mini-reunion. 

I hope the entries in this new festival could be as successful as "Biyaya ng Lupa" 

You may catch your favorite entries at SM North Edsa and SM Megamall at 11AM, 1:30 PM, 4:00 PM, 6:30 PM & 9:00 PM. You only have to pay 750 pesos if you want to see all the entries (via e-pass); you'll get to save around 500php.  

So take your pick! Vote for your favorite film for the Audience Choice Award on July 20th. Simply drop your movie tickets at drop boxes at SM Cinemas (bonus: 11am tickets are worth 2points! So it's better to watch the brunch show if you intend to vote. haha)

Acupuncture Day

My little princess is now clingier and droolier (if there is such a word) than ever. I'll always cherish this stage. Two of her baby teeth popped up recently so she's testing how to soothe her itchy gums best. She chews on my clothes, my hair (yup, even when I tie it up in a ponytail), and even the floor puzzle. Strangely, she thinks the pacifier is a big joke; she just laughs and pokes at it while looking at my chest :/ Similarly, all silicone teethers land on the floor in less than 2 minutes. So much for the vain effort in keeping her toys sterilized and germ free :/ --I think antibacterial wipes and the Cradle spray are psychologically comforting. 

Recently, she expressed her dislike for bottled pumped milk. She would rather have it with cereals. She merely plays with the silicone nipple & spills gargled milk on her pillow. Then she turns to me with a face that says: "you insult me with that. I want it fresh!" She verbally adds: "Ma, miii (milk) De-de!"

She clings on to me as if her survival depended on my visibility. She would even watch me shower & poop. I used to carry her in a sling while doing chores, but now my back and arms suffer. People ask me how I lost all the baby weight--the answer is simple: we don't have a yaya.

To aid me in my plight, Doc Philip Tan-Gatue came to the rescue. As Leji watched close by, I had eleven needles today in Maginhawa. He avoided using too many needles on the sore parts; so I had some in my leg & hand. I need further treatment, but the procedure lessened the pain almost instantaneously.

Thank you, Lord.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Little Lady in Little Tokyo

Leji had so much fun in her yukata the other day playing with her toy seal shinkanzen from Tokyo (thanks to her doting Tita Ninang Abby & Tita Lindsey)

So much so, we decided to take her to Little Tokyo.

She was amazed with all the colorful lanterns hanging outside highlighting the clear blue sky. When we went in one of the restaurants that opens early at 4:30 (most of the restaurants open at 6 or 6:30), she carefully observed how tempuras were battered and fried.

She's not yet allowed to eat shrimps so I ate the shrimps while she chomped on some breading. I'm happy she's not scared of chopsticks! hihi

After trying their sushi and yakitori, we capped off our meal with some ice cream in exotic flavors.

We tried Dojo Miso Sake (yes, it has a bit of a kick so I didn't allow Leji to try this one), Seaweed (it's like salted cream cheese; I wish it had more seaweed bits in it), and Black Sesame (our favorite!)

It was really one fine day; wish we can fly to Tokyo with her next time.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Pack Light

Otherwise you'll end up having sore muscles (from carrying all your stuff) or you'll have to pay for pricey add-on luggage when you board the plane. What you bring can make or break your perfect holiday.

But others (especially women like me :p) complain: "It's not my fault. My bag alone is heavy already...even when it's empty!" So they end up using boxes that they can only use once (because they have to seal it all over with masking tape). Or they just pay for additional luggage/ pay other people to carry their bags for them. 

Quite inconvenient if you would ask me.

The solution? Invest in lightweight luggage that's functional and fashionable at the same time. Japanese Luggage Brand Ace offers fresh new designs inspired by nature.

Rock Paint-Z comes in various bright colors that would be easy to spot in a sea of black bags and brown boxes in an airport terminal. It also adds a cheerful youthful vibe to any outfit.

The Palisades-F inspired by the resilience of the bamboo is lightweight and durable.  This would match any power suit and it comes in various sizes which you could use for 3nights, 5nights, or for month-long holidays. You could also bring them all for longer vacations so your stuff would look uniform. Or you could go twinning with your kids! The possibilities are endless. 

The Ripple, inspired by water in Zen gardens, is also sleek and lightweight. It has an added feature of "Stop&Go!"... it has built-in breaks! It's cute; and you don't have to trouble with a zipper. Modern technology allows you to seal your stuff in (it's waterproof!) with a TSA-lock without the bag getting deformed. Plus, all the bags have a 5-year warranty.

Pretty cool right?:) Hop of to your next destination in style!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Heaven in Eggs

After our affair with art at Glorietta, Leji declared she was already hungry. We ran to the most colorful restaurant near where we parked-- Heaven N' Eggs!

Famous for its unli steak and eggs, here are other reasons why Baby Leji loved it:

1. Fascinating carvings on chairs

My daughter loves fine woodwork. Our bed's headboard is actually adorned with carvings and anything that reminds her of home is comforting.

2. Mashed potatoes!

She appreciates the sides more than the main entree haha. If only they have unli mashed potatoes :p

3 Discounted coffee

For those on graveyard shift or students reviewing for exams, you could actually take advantage of this! We just enjoyed the scent of it with banana loaf.

4. Grilled Scampi

I ate the prawns, Leji had the bed of mangoes! It was delectable.

5. Pancakes!

For your all-day breakfast fix. We had fun with their Oreo Pancakes with unli syrup. Leji played with the whipped cream after munching on her share--too bad we weren't able to get that on video.