Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Manila Touch Launches Filipino App Spa Finder PH


MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The leading spa directory of the Philippines, Manila Touch, has launched SPA FINDER PH, an app devoted to bring convenience to its users who are a massage enthusiast on June 29, 2015.

SPA FINDER PH is designed to locate spas and home service massage near you preferred city or nearby your location via GPS. You can then check their facilities, amenities, services offered, pricing, and more. Soon as you've found that perfect place to relax, you can contact them directly for reservations via a call or even SMS.

- Call or SMS your selected spa immediately for reservations.
- Find nearest spa from your location (initially available only to iOS users)
- Choose from the complete list of spas on your preferred city
- Submit information about a spa that is not included on this App
- Review an establishment by posting a comment or rating them
- Read the latest spas featured in ManilaTouch.com

Spa Finder PH is more than just a top Spa Directory for Day Spas, Medical Spas, Resort Spas, Hotel Spas and Destination Resort Spas, it also showcase the best spas in and around the Philippines. This App is initially available on Google Play Store (Download Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.app.app0e4f5066ea64), and will be launched on iOS on July 2015. For more info, visit www.manilatouch.com. 

ManilaTouch.com is a spa directory founded on 2010, featuring spas and on-call massage services around NCR, Boracay, Cebu, Iloilo, Pampanga, Cavite, Tagaytay, and other selected Luzon and Visayas cities.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Marlon Stockinger at Nissan GT Academy Philippines Press Event

Last June 24, 2015, I had the opportunity of attending the Nissan GT Academy Event held in Craft Bar, Bonifacio Global City. The event was on the press launch of the finals leg of the Nissan GT Academy competition. Members of the press and the blogposphere were invited to cover the event.

The contest aims to find players who can finish the fastest in a time attack mode in a driving simulator. Gran Turismo 6 is the game engine while the car is none other than the Nissan GT-R. Players can only have their run at a virtual replica of the Silverstone circuit.

The players with the top 6 completion times will represent the Philippines in the Nissan GT Academy event to be held in England. They will be sent there to be trained as race car drivers. But out of the six contestants, only one will be chosen to become a member of Nissan's official racing team.

Guess what, their mentor and guest judge will be none other than Marlon Stockinger. He is a half-Filipino renowned race car driver who has garnered several titles in the industry, He won the Formula BMW Pacific 2008 Championships, the Senior Rotax Max World Finals 2007, the Asian Karting Championship 2006, and the Philippine Super Karting Series 2002. He is also a reserve driver of the Lotus F1 team. Such marks his biggest accomplishment to date.

Accroding to Nissan Philippines Inc., President Antonio Zara, having Marlon Stockinger in their team will be very invaluable to finalists in the training to be held in August. They will compete with other representatives of different countries from Asia. This time, though the opportunity is given to a Filipino to become part of Nissan's racing team.

Mr. Stockinger, during the press conference, has mentioned that he is excited to coach these aspiring racing drivers. He also aims to impart his knowledge to them.  He does note, however, that the applicant must work hard in order to become the champion.

For those who haven't joined the earlier qualifying rounds held in locations in Manila, there's still hope. The Nissan GT Academy Live Final Event will be held on June 26, 27, and 28 at the Glorietta 2 Activity Center.

Also, Mr. Stockinger will exhibit his racing skills in the Globe Slipstream event on June 27 in the Bonifacio Global City.

The event is sponsored by Nissan Philippines Inc,, the national sales company of Nissan Japan. It started its operations in 2014. NPI is responsible for brand promotion and sales strategy in the Philippines. Visit their website at www.nissan.ph

(Special thanks to easternmotors.info for the pictures)

Up Dharma Down in Collaboration with Singapore Tourism Board bring you: "All the Good Things" song and music video

Up Dharma Down's photo montage of their Singapore trip

The bar at Level33

Armi Millare at Haji Lane

Armi at vocals

Carlos Tanada with the Ferrari test drive 

Carlos Tanada with the Guitar

Ean Mayor at Level33

A stunning backdrop with the Marina Bay Sands and Ean Mayor in Drums

The Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay

Modparade at Haji Lane

The Black Angus Tenderloin at Level33

Paul Yap at Pidgin Kitchen and Bar

Paul Yap dining at Level33

Paul Yap with the Bass

Shades of Green from 2am:dessert bar

UDD with another band (The Next Movement)

UDD at Gardens by the Bay

The band at Haji Lane

The band enjoying their lunch

a snapshot from the music video

During my college days, I have avidly listened to Up Dharma Down as they launched album after album. I personally enjoy the beat and rhythm of their songs, particularly "Oo" and "Tadhana". Naturally, I was elated when I found out that I was invited to one of their events in 12 Monkeys, Century City Mall, along Makati Ave on May 19, 2015. At around 7 pm, the band went on stage to perform a number of their greatest hits. The crowd couldn't help it but sing along with the band as the songs which were all too familiar to a generation filled the air. 

After the performance, the show went on with an exhibition of the band's newest song, "All the Good Things" along with a music video. It was during the event that I found out that the Sinagpore Tourism Board sponsored the event and the creation of a song especially for its tourism promotion activity in Philippines. Up Dharma Down was specifically chosen to become the official music partner of the Board.

In this new music video, the band captures their entire Singapore experience, particularly its cuisine, sites, and attractions, in the span of four minutes. The video shows some of their fun and thrilling side of the country they had not experienced before. It takes us through Up Dharma Down’s journey to various iconic and off-the-beaten-track locations in Singapore, sharing the experiences and personal moments that inspired them to create their new song.

The trip took the band on visits to quirky places like Haji Lane to explore concept stores that featured unique creations by local designers and artisans, and stops at various Mod-Sin cuisine establishments like Pidgin Kitchen & Bar and 2am:dessertbar that reimagined local hawker favorites into gastronomic innovations.

Attractions like Gardens by the Bay and the Henderson Waves captivated the band with its marvelous sights, and Carlos Tañada, the band’s guitarist, even got to experience being driven in a Ferrari through parts of the famous Marina Bay street circuit used for the Grand Prix night races. They capped off their visit to Singapore by immersing themselves in the city’s bustling nightlife, drinking signature brews at LeVeL33 and hanging out with local musicians, The Next Movement, at The Mad Men Attic Bar.

As for the song, the upbeat tune expresses the band's delightful experience of the country. According to the band, this tune "captures the soul and spirit of the Singapore" they have come to love. They were also proud to note their accomplishment. They also recognized travel as "one of the most inspiring experiences for any artist", and that "their trip to Singapore was a journey that opened their eyes to another side of it."

All this is in line with Singapore's celebration of its golden jubilee as a nation. Singapore Tourism Board’s Area Director for Philippines & Brunei, Mr Adrian Kong, added, “Through this collaboration with Up Dharma Down, we hope that Filipino travelers will view Singapore as a destination where they can partake in unique experiences across retail, dining, entertainment and attractions .”

The music video of "All the Good Things"

In celebration of Singapore’s 50th year, having these inspiring experiences to shop, eat and play is made even easier with the Golden Jubilee deals. The Golden Jubilee promotion is an exciting selection of exclusive deals on flights, hotels and more. Take advantage of special airfare deals, stay at any one of the participating hotels in the city for 2 nights to get the 3rd night free, shop till you drop during the Great Singapore Sale for a chance to win S$500 daily, and embark on a gastronomic adventure with exclusive dining discounts from various establishments.

With all these and more, there is no better time to plan your own inspiring visit to Singapore to discover all the good things. 

To see what inspired Up Dharma Down in Singapore, visit www.yoursingapore.ph. To know more about the exciting Golden Jubilee deals, visit www.yoursingapore.com/goldenjubilee.

Revealed: the plan to revitalize MLQU to its glorious state! (May 22, 2015)



Have you ever seen one of these ads? I do remember seeing them in Manila and the NLEX. I have wondered what the cryptic message meant. One day, I got an invite from a PR company which told me to go to EDSA Shang on the stated date. Upon joining the event on the stated date, the true meaning of the message was revealed. And it isn't a marriage proposal!

The real occasion behind the billboard is the revitatization of the historic MLQU, a University which has, for the longest time, been a paragon of excellence in training some of the best individuals in the country. In the post war era starting from the 1950's, this University has been known as part of the top three institutions which has fielded a consistent stream of timeless achievers in the legal field, private sector, and government service.


According to Dr. Isagani Germar New San Jose Builders, Inc. (NSJBI) co-chairman and MLQU president, the event was organized by the renowned real estate developer New San Jose Builders' Inc. This corporation took an interest in restoring the University back to its glorious days, complete with the heritage of excellence which has become a trait of the school for decades past. The campaign heralds the university’s many plans to continue its legacy into the future.

At this time, NSJBI has acquired a significant controlling interest in MLQU. With capital infusion coming from a company committed to a strong revitalization program, the only question now is how the University will be able to reclaim its glorious place in terms of outstanding alumni and prestige.

Evidently,  the university’s plans for upgrading are beginning to take shape. There has been a change in leadership and management of the institution. Also, this new leadership strongly makes it a point to produce graduates who will eventually become some of the finest in their respective fields. In order to achieve that goal, the university administration hopes to streamline the curriculum and standards to help create 100% passing rates in board and bar exams.


MLQU has produced notable Quezonians who have made an impact in their respective industries. Among these are Rustica Carpio (academician and multi-awarded actress on stage, film, and television) who first appeared in Ishmael Bernal’s Nunal sa Tubig in 1976. She made over 50 other films in her more than 30 years in the industry. Eleven of these movies were directed by film genius Ishmael Bernal, earning her the reputation in the movie industry as a Bernal favorite.

For her accomplishments, Dr. Carpio is a recipient of over 50 national and international honors and awards which includes being one of the Ten Outstanding Women of the Philippines in 1968 from Federacion Internacional de Abogadas (FIDA Phil.) for her invaluable achievements in the field of performing arts. She was also cited in The World Who’s of Women, Vol. 6, 1982 published in England by the International Biographical Centre.

Another alumnus who made a name for himself is Neil Perez, an officer of the Philippine National Police Aviation and Security Group, he won the title of Mister International Philippines in a pageant held in Seoul, South Korea on February 14, 2015.

The list of MLQU outstanding alumni is endless, and some of them held the position of Secretary of Justice in the person of Justice Ricardo C. Puno Sr.(1979-1984), Justice Sedfrey Ordoñez (1987-1990) and Justice Artemio Tuquero (2000-2001) while Justice Ricardo Villarama Jr., Justice Venicio Escolin, Justice Jose Melo, Justice Jose Vitug, Justice Ruben Reyes and Justice Isagani A. Cruz went on to become associate justice of the Supreme Court.

Others who have gained fame in the practice of law are: Juctice Carmelita Manhan, Atty. Benjamin Tabios, Justice Alicia Sempio-Dy, Justice Nicolas Lapena, Atty. Norberto Quisumbing, Justice Manuel Pamaran, Justice Hilarion Aquino, Justice Roberto Abad, Justice Perlita Tirona, Justice Jose Vitug, Judge Jesus F. Guerrero, Justice Renato Dacudao, Atty. Ma. Luisa Dizon-Villarama, Justice Serafin Camillon, Justice Nicolas Lapena Jr,. Justice Luis Victor, Justice Enrico Lanzanas, Justice Ricardo Ilarde, Justice Ricardo Lagman, Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, Justice Jose Hernandez, Justice Samuel Martires,  Atty, Conrado Vasquez, Atty. Medwin Dizon and Atty Danilo Lopez.
Meanwhile, MLQU graduates who made notable achievements in government service include Former Foreign Affairs secretary Alberto Romulo; Former Commission on Elections chair Benjamin S. Abalos ; Former Labor Secretary and Senate President Blas F. Ople; Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin; Department of Trade and Industry undersecretary Lilia de Lima; Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz; Tarlac Governor Jose V. Yap; Former Chairman, PCGG Magtanggol Gunigundo; Former Agrarian Reform Secretary and former Bulacan Governor Obet Pagdanganan; Former Senator Wigberto Tañada Former Senator Wenceslao Lagumbay; and Congressmen Rodolfo Albano Jr., Pangalian Balindog, Fredrick Abueg, Silvestre Bello III, Antonio del Rosario, Samuel Pagdilao and Reynaldo Umali.

Not to be forgotten are Police Senior Inspectors John Gary Erana, Max Jim Tria, and Rennei Tayrus, who served the country and sacrificed their lives as part of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force’s “Fallen 44”.

With its many graduates who have achieved distinction in their field, MLQU is indeed a school for achievers and future heroes. This is because through quality education and training, MLQU strives to produce nationalistic, competent, educated, and upright Quezonians imbued with a spirit of selflessness and commitment to being of service to society. This is why many Quezonians have become popular in their fields.

(courtesy of the MLQU website)


MLQU offers courses such as Law and Paralegal Studies, Education, Arts and Sciences, Accountancy and Business Arts, Engineering, Graduate Studies, Criminology, Architecture, and Information Technology. Under the new management’s supervision, there is a plan to add a course on real estate management. All of these courses would not be possible without the credible and reliable faculty and deans who are industry experts and who graduated from top universities here and abroad in order for the school to offer world-class education.

MLQU is also aims to establish its presence in Balanga, Bataan, as well as strengthening its Professional School, the School for Professional Advancement & Con btinuing Education (SPACE), which would further upgrade the level of education that they provide. With the involvement of its alumni, the public can expect more changes and improvements in MLQU.

MLQU recently held a grand alumni homecoming at the Edsa Shangri-La, Manila, with the theme: “MLQU Regaining its Glory! Sikat ‘pag Quezonian” hosted by Luanne Dy and GMA Kapuso host Drew Arellano. The event was attended by famous MLQU Alumni and notable government officials.

Pictures courtesy of Angela Abad (https://loveteacherange.wordpress.com)

Pictures of the event:

The heads of MLQU: Dr Isagani Germar, 

A song and dance number to liven up the night

Facilities and degree programs presentation

The registration booth

One of the trustees giving a speech

Hosts Luanne Dy and Drew Arellano

Event post: Successlounge.biz website launch by John Calub Training Incorporated

I was invited to attend the launch of successlounge.biz last June 16, 2015. I was initially clueless as what to expect from the event, but when I found out that John Calub was the one hosting it, I immediately confirmed. The venue was at Success Lounge International, a concept restaurant owned by John Calub somewhere along Tomas Morato, Quezon City. It is designed to encouarge its patrons to dream big and achieve success. I attened the event with various media representatives from print, visual, and online realms (with me coming from the online media). 

I do love the fact that Mr. Calub's staff really took care of our food and amenities in the course of the event. Also, I admire the dedication and time that the company took in order to give the media excellent service. We had a delectable lunch in Alex III restaurant while the talk was given in Success Lounge.

To those who don't know him, John Calub is one of the most sought after motivational speakers and in the Philippines. He is known for organizing seminars focused on entrepreneurial education and personal self-improvement. This day though, the agenda was different. Instead of inviting his guests to attend a seminar, he proudly announced his newest pet venture. This is a website called successlounge.biz.

The homepage of successlounge.biz

The website is a compilation and directory of various resources which the common Filipino can access to achieve their dream of financial security and economic maturity. It is a venue which any member can use to develop their skills, talents, and hobbies in order to achieve more in life. According to John Calub, he aims to make the website one of the largest and most-productive e-learning tools in the country for aspiring entrepreneurs. He also aims to develop the website as one of the leading motivators of Filipinos so they can become leading contributors to the country's economic success. However, a person can only access the website by becoming an exclusive member under the categories of vip and vvip. The vip program is offered at 3,888 pesos while the vvip program is offered at 12,000 pesos. The vvip program is more recommended due to its emphasis on advanced tips and tricks in entrepreneurship and other fields of life.

During the live demo session, Mr. Calub showed us the ins and outs of the website. The website was  heavy on content with topics in personal development, motivation, sales and persuasion, business skills, communications training, entrepreneurship, etc. Also, the speakers in these videos and the writers in the articles were some of the best in their field and expertise. Apart from these, the members can join live events across the world during podcasts. Aside from its affiliate marketing system where one can potentially earn from, the site has advanced learning technologies and principles in all of its courses/programs such as: brainwave entertainment, mind exercises, interactive videos, experiential exercises, creative visualization, metaphoric exercises, etc.

Mr. Calub wanted to open this opportunity to Filipinos as a way of giving back to the community. He also said he wants to used this medium as an opportunity to reach his goal of making 10 million Filipino millionaires in the future. 

I am inviting you guys to log on to the website at: www.successlounge.biz/growyourwealth I do hope this can help you achieve your dreams of financial freedom.

John Calub Training, Incorporated (JCTI), the Philippines’ biggest personal development and success coaching company in the Philippines’, owns and operates the website.

Pictures of the event:

John Calub with Coach Lambert Flores and Justin "The Mental Assassin" Pinon

John Calub being interviewed by the press

Superduck Modern Tea Shop at SM Cyberwest: a refreshing take on the milk tea Filipinos have come to love and enjoy!

Milk tea has been a staple for a lot of Filipinos these days. It is no wonder that a lot of brands have come and gone in the market. However, I'd like to tell you guys about my experience with Superduck Modern Tea House and its innovative milk tea flavors.

It's been quite a while since I last posted about the events I attended. But here goes. Last June 6, I had the opportunity to visit Superduck Modern Tea Shop, a relatively new player in the milk tea industry. It has about 4 branches; and the one in SM Cyberwest is newest. It has only been established this year. 

According to its owners, Superduck is named after the Taiwanese idiom for big brother or (da ge) which strangely translates to the word duck. The store is actually a franchise of a popular tea shop of the same name which originated in Lukang Taiwan.

Image result for chinese of big brother

da ge ge  (pronounced ta kuh kuh) - inspiration for the name of super duck

Superduck began from its humble roots when the employee of a famous milk tea shop decided to succeed in the operations of the aforementioned establishment. However, after a few years of operations, the original owner compelled the employee to return the use of the trade name to the former. Undaunted, the employee put up Superduck to continue his budding milk tea business. The business, in time, became a hit in Lukang, Taiwan. The franchise, then, was acquired by two Filipino-Chinese businessmen who were impressed with the menu selection on a visit to Taiwan. The rest is history. 4 branches later, we then see the first international franchise of Superduck making waves in Manila. 

Upon my visit, I was impressed with their menu. Their selection had more than 40 items of drinks and over ten dishes. Apart from that, the drinks had very peculiar mixes, particularly unheard of in the more mainstream tea shops. We were able to taste some of these innovative tea blends during our visit. Some of these included the Unique Blends Milk Tea. These flavors consisted of alcoholic drinks mixed together with a milk or fruit tea base. These consisted of the Heineken green tea, an intoxicating mix of bitter Heineken canned beer and sweet apple green tea. The mix was amazing, to say the least. I never expected that beer and tea would have an addictive flavor. The next I tried were the Bailey's and Almond Kahlua liquor milk teas. These mixes were very creamy and tasted of chocolate with a dash of alcohol. Well, the alcohol had the amount equivalent to a party shot, but that's another story. I did enjoy the taste though. The bittter accent of bailey's and almond kahlua was complemented by the sweet, creamy milk. 

Another notable series of drinks on the menu is the fruit tea selection. According to the owners, the fruits used in these are mostly fresh fruits which are dried or frozen and not mere powder substitutes. This is evident in the passionfruit drink (pictures below) which contains edible seeds and has a moderately sweet taste with a dash of sourness. The mango fruit teas, on the other hand, are made from locally sourced mangoes. This variant has a taste that retains the freshness of the fruit. 

The nai-kai series (Chinese for cover) has a cream cheese topping with a drink underneath. The usual way to drink it is to finish it until the half is left then the cheese topping must be mixed with the remaining drink to create a creamy and tangy blend. I was really impressed with the taste. While the nai-kai is reminiscent of the cream cheese drinks of other establishments, it stood out for its right blend of sweetness. Add to that the fact that the cheese used is of imported high quality and not some ordinary local brand.

Their basic milk teas are a cute above the competition due to the fact that authentic and imported tea leaves are used in the process of making it. The owners stated that the variants of tea aren't simply the run of the mill green tea or oolong. They have high quality variants such as mint osmanthus and English black tea leaves. We were even shown samples of these fragrant tea leaves in crushed form. We got a sampling of the wintermelon variant. I was pleased to note that it wasn't too sweet and not too filling to the stomach. The owners then revealed that the milk used was a non-fat variant. They also noted that the sugar used in the teas are not made of chemically processed corn syrup, but rather naturally processed local cane sugar. Talk about being tasty and healthy at the same time. Not only are these teas low on sugar, they are also low-fat.

The proprietors proudly announced that as much as possible, their ingredients are sourced from local farmers, particularly, the mango, sugar, and passionfruit. They also avoid using powder substitutes for these products to bring out the full flavor and avoid preservatives as much as possible.

Drinks are served with a served with a generous helping of sinkers such as coco, pudding, tapioca, among others. Some drinks such as the nai-kai don't come with sinkers, though. It wasn't a problem, as some of the drinks are better on their own.

The prices of these tea blends are very affordable. Basic teas start at 55 pesos while the most expensive item on the drinks menu, the alcoholic teas, are about 200 pesos per tall glass. Basic milk teas are about half the price.

As for the food, I was surprised when the dishes were made out of veggie meat. Every item on the menu is free of pork, beef, or chicken. As for the taste, these dishes still taste as if they were made from meat. I do like the fact that the dishes are full of spices and are not high on the MSG content. 

That concludes my review of one of the newest milk tea shops in Manila. Superduck Modern Tea Shop is located at 2nd floor, SM Cyberwest, North Edsa, Quezon City, beside Eurotel and in front of SM North. I do hope you guys will take the opportunity to visit it sometime. It is also open for franchising and event catering activities.

My pictures of the event:

The new Superduck facade at the second floor of SM Cyberwest (across SM North Edsa Skygarden and on the left side of Eurotel)

The co-owners giving the selected bloggers some samples of their products and explaining the brand,  its origins, and its unique take on milk tea

Me watching the orientation given about the brand and the establishment's products

Tofu bites with all the assorted goodness of different Chinese bites such as kikiam, squid balls, and fried tofu

Superduck tumbler with our free milk tea (mine's the nai-kai milk tea on the right while my friend got the choco milk tea)

The quintessential Superduck winter melon tea - not too sweet with an emphasis on the taste of the wintermelon

Some of its food offerings such as the Calamares, cheesedog with fries, and v-nuggets (All of the ingredients for these offerings are imported)

Potato wedges - tangy and peppery - just the way I like them

Beer tea? The Heineken infused apple flavored green tea offering - with the matching intoxication to boot

Choco milk tea and the nai-kai milk tea

Legit passionfruit tea (complete with the edible seeds)

Nai-kai (Chinese for cover) tea (Cream cheese top separated from the tea)

V-fish and fries (note the generous serving)

A heap of cheese on the newly offered linguine carbonara

Fried mushrooms (note the thick breading and helping of pepper)

Imported asian dumplings (a fried version of kuchai) 

The pasta menu - we got to try all three, though I do recommend the linguine for the generous serving of cheese and basil

The ultimate choco overdose - I wonder why I didn't try that? haha

The Superduck flyer

The Superduck food menu posted on the wall

The obligatory Superduck branded paper cup


The V-calamares with ketchup, mayonnaise, and chili sauce

The milk tea selection menu for in-house orders (I do love the fact that the look of the tea leaves are noted to the last detail)

The menu/flyer handed out to guests

Super Duck Modern Tea Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato