Friday, August 19, 2016

#WeMakeitRain in Hydro Manila Music Festival 2016 (August 27, 2016 at the MOA Concert Grounds)

Last August 2, 2016, Ms. Jade Dee of Hydro Core Events and Production Corp. invited me to witness the press conference of an upcoming music festival in the Metro called Hydro Manila. This spectacular event will be this year's biggest gathering of the top musical talents of the country. Furthermore, these artists from different genres will be showcasing their top notch talents to a crowd of about 20 thousand vibrant attendees, mostly from the millennial generation. This year's Hydro Manila seeks to usher in repeat of last year's success, but with a bigger, better, and bolder act.

The press conference was held in Urbn QC, a well-known and posh bar and party venue in Timog Avenue, Quezon City. During the course of the entire night, the members of the media were told what to expect in this exhilarating event. I, for one, was excited to see some of the best talents in the country offer their skill and creativity to bring a one-of-a-kind musical feast. 

According to the Executive Director, Mr. Nick Hernandez, the show will be divided into 15 1-hour acts with groups of DJ's, musicians, singers and MC's performing their unique and exhilarating sets. The party will surely be non-stop as 15 hours of fun will await all the lucky attendees. Also, the venue will promote a wet and wild experience as the main hall will be called a wet-zone. There will be lots of water guns, water balloons, and fire hoses for that unique Hydro experience.

I invite you to Hydro Manila 2016 on August 27, 2016. It will start at 1pm onwards and end at about 5am at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds. 
The entire lineup includes 20+ artists, ranging from OPM, to EDM, to indie. These are:


DJ Moophs
DJ kidWolf
DJ Ron Poe

Joyce Pring
MC Boo

With special performances by:
Ampalaya Monologues (SPOKEN WORD)
Luminescence FLOW ARTS GROUP

Buy your tickets now! We repeat, buy your tickets now before they run out! Dance your way now to all SM Tickets Outlets nationwide.
GOLD - PHP 500
VIP - PHP 1500

The VIP Tables cost:
Cocktail P7500 (4 PAX)
Table P15000 (8 PAX)
Couch P25000 (10 PAX)

For booking contact 09278989511 or email us at
*18+ to enter, NO ID NO ENTRY*
Tickets are available through SM Tickets outlets nationwide and via online at Call 470.2222 for inquiries.

The Story in Pictures:

The producers of Hydro Manila orienting the press about the event

The invite

The map of the venue

Deuce Manila with other assorted acts

The legendary Ely Buendia with some of the country's best DJ's

The entire lineup

Photos courtesy of

Special thanks to Ms. Jade Dee 

Monday, August 1, 2016

A cooking tour of Manila Culinary and Hospitality Academy (San Juan, Metro Manila)

Last month, I was invited by the magnanimous Aldous Calubad to an exciting event: a cooking tour in Manila Culinary and Hospitality Academy, a newly-established learning institution in the heart of San Juan, Metro Manila. While it has been operating for less than 5 years, the school has earned its reputation as one of the premier culinary academies in Metro Manila. The school is part owned by renowned chef Boy Logro, a mainstay in GMA7 as a renowned cooking show host. 

To date, every batch in the school has up to 25 students. Most of their graduates are employed immediately in different sectors of the culinary industry from cruise ships to hotels and restaurants.

Our demo tour was headed by the warm and cheerful Chef Fats Palma, a veteran in the cooking industry. She gave us a 1 hour lecture where she explained the different styles of cooking and the different kinds of food according to their classification. I had a particularly interesting experience after I learned about these facts. I had no prior experience with cooking, and I was particularly interested in learning more about the craft as a life skill that I could use later on in life. 

After the lecture, our group was escorted to the demo kitchen within the school. The kitchen was full of different condiments, cutlery, ingredients, and industrial cooking equipment fit for a top-notch learning institution. I'd say that the facilities were adequate for bringing out the best in culinary instruction and practical exercises. The kitchen itself was air-conditioned and superbly clean. 

We then had an exciting experience in preparing a popular restaurant dish: cordon bleu with boiled potatoes and steamed vegetables. According to the chef, cordon bleu is pretty easy. But for a newbie like me, it seemed pretty laborious. The bloggers were divided into 4 groups. One was to make the cordon bleu, the other one made the sauce, my group made the potatoes, and the last one made the steamed vegetables. 

The Cordon bleu was actually a chicken breast with a ham and cheese filling rolled, breaded, then fried to golden brown perfection. It was dipped in egg yolks before being fried to ensure the crispiness of the dish. The team that made the dish was actually pretty good when it came to handling the ingredients. As to making the rolls, Chef Palma explained that the cheese and ham filling were to be place on the chicken. The chiken was also pressed before rolling to ensure that the dish would easily fit the ham and cheese fillings. Of course, they were assisted by the astute students of Chef Palma. 

As for our group, I made sure that the potatoes were cut and boiled well. We then fried them to perfection after adding a butter and pepper seasoning. I was a bit challenged with coring potatoes to achieve that round small potato aesthetics that will be used to decorate the dish

The white sauce that accompanied the crisp cordon bleu was boiled and topped with butter and onions for that tangy taste. I commend the group who made it due to the balanced and creamy flavor.

Chef Palma then taught us how to chop vegetables the 5 star hotel way. According to her, the presentation of the food determines the price it will fetch in a fancy restaurant or hotel, even if the ingredients are common. That being said, I learned something about food presentation. 

After cooking, we got to sample our creations. I can say that our concerted efforts brought out the best in our cooking skills. I truly appreciate the fact that cooking is a very rewarding enterprise after this experience.

Truly, MCHA has taught me a bit about cooking. I truly appreciate their efforts to inculcate something about the craft. Later on in my life, I'd really consider enrolling in their school to improve and important life skill.

Manila Culinary and Hospitality Academy is located in 663 J. Wright Street, Brgy. Batis, San Juan, Metro Manila. (MCHA) Their FB page is

The story in pictures:

Chef Fats Palma introducing herself

The enrollment package

Chef explaining the recipes

Some of the most common cooking methods

Chef Palma lecturing us on cooking methods

The eager crowd listening attentively

The utensils section

The industrial stoves

The vegetables and utensils on display

The kitchen itself 

The utensils on display

A huge stove 

The refrigerated chicken breasts

Chef Palma with her students

The bloggers eagerly awaiting instructions

An explanation on chopping vegetables

How to chop carrots

The potatoes

The bloggers eagerly reading the recipes

A demo on vegetable chopping

The chicken breasts being prepared

The ham and cheese filling

Chef Palma explaining how to press the chicken breasts

Pressing the chicken breasts

A pinch of salt to taste

The egg yolks and bread crumbs

The pressed chicken breasts

Boiling potatoes in salt water

The finished product: chicken cordon bleu

The white sauce

Chicken Cordon bleu being fried

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

GINuman na! Enjoy the summer with Ginebra San Miguel's events and new flavors!

‘Gindependence Day’ invites all to join the revolution
to a new Philippine gin culture

Ms. Millet Liberato of DDB, once again, invited me to the launch of Ginebra San Miguel's GINdependence day at URBN Bar Quezon City. GSM has always been known as a leader in the gin industry. For more than 100 years, GSM has provided some of the best tasting gin mixes to the mass market. This success has prompted GSM to continue striving for innovation and cater to more premium markets. In essence, GSM aims to connect with a wider audience and improve the gin experience as a whole. It also calls for a new revolution in the gin market. As they say, the time for gin is now!

This grand celebration of sorts showcased the variety of events hosted by GSM all throughout the summer to signify its break with tradition and thus welcome something new. This time around, GSM has 5 events especially made for its consumers and fans. 


While Ginebra Gin has always been loved and cherished by older working-class Filipinos, GSM rises up to the challenge in taking on a younger market with its "Ganado" campaign. This will be done through a well-made TVC that shows a young Filipino OFW who has to leave his family in order to provide for them while abroad. The drama that unfolds shows how GSM soothes even the most painful situations in a persons life, especially when it involves "Sepanx" or separation anxiety. This story shows how GSM plays an important role when it comes to handling realities in life.


Apart from the TVC, GSM aims to express the Ganado spirit through the  Gin Nation Roving Caravan. This campaign will introduce GSM to more and more Filipinos regardless of age and demographic. A truck will be roving around the metro’s hottest events and destinations like Mercato Centrale, Maginhawa Food Street, school events and concerts.  Together with the truck, Ginebra San Miguel also formulated five mixes that everyone can enjoy: Manila Sunrise, Blue Fizz, Mojito Slush, Sweet Lemony Martini and All Nighter. Each mix is tailor-fit for everyone’s taste. 

Apart from the truck and unique mixes, GSM will complete the drinking experience by adding acoustic performers that will give entertainment to the “Ganado” market. Like the “Ginebra San Miguel” Facebook page ( for details and schedules.


Through the Ginumanfest Concert Series, GSM aims to bring top bands and performers this summer season to various events and places from Luzon to Mindanao. GSM also plans to show people the new varieties of its drinks to people attending these events. This campaign will be the biggest festival road show in the category covering destinations from Luzon to Mindanao. This is another festive year for the country and GSM is excited to share the fun with Filipinos everywhere.


Basketball has been an integral part of the Ginebra brand. Hence, GSM will be going around different barangays to host a three-on-three competition where anyone above the age of 18 can participate. All they need to do is collect GSM Blue caps or Ginebra San Miguel seals to join with three of their friends.

These Barangay teams will battle it off to be their area’s representative for the national championships. The top 16 teams from the identified areas will face-off against one another in a championship tournament that will determine this year’s three-on-three national champion.

The inaugural qualifier will happen on March 12 at Santolan, Pasig City. Teams from Pampanga, Tarlac, Pangasinan Laguna, Quezon Province, Cavite, Bulacan, Quezon City, Mandaluyong, Paranaque, Rizal, Pasay City, Cebu, Davao and Bacolod will have their respective qualifiers until May 7. The winning team from each area will get P3,000 plus GSMI products and a once in a lifetime chance to play for the national championships. Like the “Ginebra San Miguel” Facebook page, for more exciting news on this event.

GSM BLUE: Embrace the new

GSM recognizes the need to adapt to the changing times by embracing the tastes of the youth. These days, the latter wants more and more adventure and YOLO. Ginebra San Miguel aims to be part of this market, hence, it changed the look and formula of GSM Blue. The contemporary look has been updated to capture the curiosity of the young. Its fresh citrus aroma invigorates the sense of smell and a sip of the enhanced GSM Blue will leave you speechless because of its distinct smoothness and light taste. Straight up or mixed, the new GSM Blue is the ideal drink to bring life to all your explorations wherever you are and whoever you are with.

GSM Blue will be invading the favorite destinations of our millennial target market. From La Union, Baler, Zambales, Laguna and all the way to Boracay, expect to find GSM Blue’s unique concoctions. From sampling booths, special lounges where you can hang with your friends under the sun, to being creative with our Ink for Drinks activity where you get free drinks for every henna tattoo, GSM Blue will give you an experience worth sharing on your social media feed. #YOLO #GSMBlue and #Adventure are the few themes you will see this summer from our brand. It's time to go on an adventure with GSM Blue, the spirit that is easy to drink and easy to mix.

To further hype up #YOLO and #Adventure, GSM Blue will fly 5 friends for free to the hottest summer destination, Boracay. Participants should post a photo of your tropa adventures with the new GSM Blue on Facebook and Instagram. Use the hashtag #GSMBlueSummerAdventure. The post with the most number of likes wins a 3D&2N Boracay Trip for 5. Winners will get to experience exhilarating activities such as zorb, ATV, cliff diving, parasailing, helmet diving and party all night on the labor day weekend.

GSMI will also be holding its annual Blueniversity Bar Mixing event where Hotel and Restaurant Management students from different universities can participate to show off their mixing and bartending skills. Students from different schools will face off on March 7, 2016 and the winner will be given a chance to represent the country in an international competition. This is another activity that proves the brand’s close ties with the younger market. GSM Blue can truly take you places.


Ginebra San Miguel Premium Gin is GSMI’s champion product for reaching out to a more upscale market. While much of our company’s success has been founded on the large-scale popularity of Ginebra San Miguel gin among the mass market, 2016 marks our brand’s expansion into a whole new territory.

Our strategy for Ginebra San Miguel Premium Gin is to position it in a space that is inherently premium and upscale in itself—the Arts and Culture space.  By taking from the rich history and culture of the Ginebra San Miguel brand and mixing it with modern, contemporary design, we are able to bring relevance and uniqueness to Ginebra San Miguel Premium Gin, which we strongly believe would have a natural appeal to our new target market.

We envisioned the Black Fleet as being the exclusive vehicle of Ginebra San Miguel Premium Gin drinkers. Going from one partner bar establishment to another, our Black Fleet passengers will be given the opportunity to sample different ways to enjoy Premium Gin in different settings. In designing the Black Fleet, we made sure that all aspects of it would mirror what we see Ginebra San Miguel Premium Gin to be—a sleek, premium experience. Headed straight for all the best bars in the metro, we guarantee that a ride in the Black Fleet is a ride to a great night. 

The Gin Cart is Ginebra San Miguel Premium Gin’s take on Ginebra San Miguel’s Gin Nation Roving Caravan. We believe that the premium drinks vehicle showcases our brand’s elevated design aesthetic and readiness for a new, upscale market.

Much thought and consideration were put into designing the Premium Gin cart. For materials, we chose wood and black metal in order to give the cart a rustic, local feel. In terms of the actual wood design, it was crucial for us to showcase the iconic Ginebra San Miguel logo, which is actually one of Fernando Amorsolo’s earliest recognized works.

The Premium Gin cart offers a mix of both artisanal and experimental cocktails. To keep things fresh and innovative, unexpected ingredients will be part and parcel of the cocktail recipes, including items like bacon and tomato juice.

The Premium Gin Cart will make its public debut in the 2016 edition of Art Fair Philippines on February 19 and 20 at The Link, Makati City.


As the culminating event of the entire summer season, Ginebra San Miguel will be joining worldwide celebrations of World Gin Day on June 11. For this special day, the brand will be treating audiences to the country’s hottest acts and performers. This will be an event to look forward to with performers like Quest, Calalilly, Banda ni Kleggy, Arci Munoz and many more. Gin11 will be partying simultaneously with the world as we celebrate World Gin Day here in the Philippines.

IN CONCLUSION: The new flavor of GSMI

GSMI has started to open up new horizons with its newest variants and its freshest activities. In the near future, GSMI will surely become a well-loved drink along the youth and the upper classes of society.

The story in pictures:

Calalily performed that night!

Some of Ginebra's top executives.

The party getting started.

The bar mixing challenge

The Ginebra Premium display.

The stage!

A sip from a good concoction of GSM.

The party!