Monday, August 31, 2015

One Amazing Computer Now in Zero24 Installments: Beyond the Box’s MacBook Air Lifestyle Bundles

Now is the perfect time to turn your dream into reality. Starting today, September 1st, the MacBook Air 11” & 13” 128GB variants will be available in super easy Zero24 installments and will be offered with three unique lifestyle bundles at no extra cost.
The Most Beautiful Laptop You Can Own
It’s not an overstatement. The MacBook Air is the most beautiful laptop you can own.
From the outside, the aluminum unibody design looks modern and minimalist. The tapering edges also make the laptop genuinely attractive and impressive. Although it’s the same chassis design we’ve been seeing since 2010, there’s really nothing to complain about since it resonates with ’premiumness’ that you can only get from Apple.
Measuring 17mm in diameter and weighing at 1.4kg, the MacBook Air is gorgeously thin and surprisingly light. It’s light enough that it’s barely noticeable in your bag and robust enough that you don’t feel like it’s going to break when you use it.
Overall, this laptop sends an unequivocal message: the MacBook Air is an engineering feat – one that cannot be copied.
Lifestyle Bundles – TRVLR, EXCTV, SCHLR
To help you get the most out of your new MacBook Air lifestyle, Beyond the Box is including three unique lifestyle bundles that you could choose from without any extra cost. Choose between the TRVLR, EXCTV, and SCHLR bundle and take full advantage of the complimentary add-ons’ lifestyle boosts.

Free-spirited, always out and about. ‪#‎iAMTRVLR‬
Bundle inclusions: MacBook Air + Coloud Pop, ACME Made Skinny Sleeve, and Nude Audio Speakers.
There is no greater feeling than packing your bags and knowing you’re heading to another adventure. That is what the TRVLR Bundle is all about. This bundle is targeted at individuals who travel constantly whether it’s for leisure or work. If you’re a correspondent covering the latest stories, a carefree tourist, or just someone who is in a perpetual working holiday, this is the bundle to get.

Driven to succeed, a paragon of excellence ‪#‎iAMEXCTV‬
Bundle inclusions: MacBook Air + Soundfreaq Pocket Kick, ACME Made Sleeve
Nothing compares to the overwhelming sense of accomplishment executives get at the end of each day. The EXCTV Bundle is for high achievers who lead by example and don’t settle for second best – ideal for office professionals and entrepreneurs.

Inquisitive, thirsty for knowledge ‪#‎iAMSCHLR‬
Bundle inclusions: MacBook Air + Urbanears Plattan, Speck MacBook Air Case, JRC Keyboard Protector
The pursuit of knowledge never ends. The SCHLR Bundle seeks to cultivate inquiring minds, nurture curiosity, and aid academics in their quest to learn and educate. If you’re a student or an academic by profession, this bundle is the perfect option.
This is a now-or-never opportunity to own a MacBook Air and live your lifestyle to the fullest! Visit Beyond the Box to take advantage of this promo today.
Promo Mechanics:
1. This promo is open to existing credit cardholders with good credit standing. Participating banks are: BDO, BPI, Citibank, Maybank, Metrobank, PNB, and Security Bank, Union Bank
2. Promo period is from September 1 to September 30, 2015 only.
3. This promo is not valid in conjunction with any ongoing Beyond the Box promotions.
4. The approved installment transaction is automatically deducted from the cardholder's available credit limit.
5. To take advantage of the said promo, cardholder must personally present his or her Credit Card to the Beyond the Box branch with one valid Identification Card and sign the bank charge slip when the transaction is approved.
6. Applicable to MacBook Air 11" and 13" 128GB only.
Participating Beyond the Box Branches: Century City Mall | One Rockwell | Market! Market! | Forbestown | Resorts World Manila | Lucky Chinatown | Robinsons Ermita | Robinson Galleria | VMall | Wil Tower | Veranza

Friday, August 28, 2015



Losing your hair is perfectly normal - we shed up to 100 hairs a day - but for some people hair loss is much more serious and it's affecting a growing number of men and women under 40. The most common type of hair loss can be triggered by life changing events such as stress, a bereavement or pregnancy, leading to overall thinning of the hair. If you've noticed gradual thinning or found clumps of hair on the bathroom floor it can come as a shock. But don't panic because Minoxidil Regroe is the answer for all your hair concerns.

The growth of each hair follicle normally occurs in a cycle. The three main phases of the hair growth cycle are anagen, catagen, and telogen.

Anagen is the active growth phase when hairfiber is produced.  Catagen is the transitional stage when hair growth stops. The hair remains attached to the root of the follicle. While Telogen is the resting stage when the shedding occurs.


 When used regularly, Regroe works in three ways. It prevents hair fall because Regroe prevents the production of Dihydrotestosterone which is the hormone responsible for hair thinning and falling. It also stimulates hair matrix cells. Regroe directly stimulates the small hair matrix cells to continuously divide and multiply in order to produce longer and thicker hair. And lastly, Regroe improves circulation and nutrition. It dilates and increases the size of smaller blood vessels around the follicles, improving blood flow and oxygenation for better nutrition of the follicles.

The main ingredient of Regroe is Minoxidil, Minoxidil is a potent solution derived from extensive medical research and medical testing. It is the only clinically proven solution to prevent hair loss approved by both US-FDA and the Philippine BFAD. Minoxidil works by stopping excessive hair falling and stimulates hair re-growth. Hair growth requires constant stimulation and optimal delivery of oxygen and nutrients from the circulatory system to the hair follicle. Without these processes, your hair may lack the maximum fullness, strength and the vibrancy you want.

Minoxidil Regroe is available in 3 variants. 3%, 5% and the 6%. 3% is for mild hair loss, 5% is for moderate hair loss and recommended for first time users and 6% is for severe hair loss.  Minoxidil Regroe is available in all leading drugstores nationwide. For more information, check Regroe’s facebook page or call 818-11-31.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Event Post: PLDT Digital Campus Suite Launch at Shangri-La Makati brought by PLDT SME Nation, Microsoft Philippines, Samsung Philippines, and Smart

Last August 26, 2015, I was invited by Millet Liberato of DDB to the launch of an innovative tech program of PLDT called Digital Campus Suite. The venue was at Shangri-La Makati at 10 am. The initial gathering was a press conference aimed at promoting this brand new venture while the second part was a grand celebration complete with a speech from Br. Jun Erguiza of COCOPEA and the stunning performances of the UP and NU Pep Squads. The bigger ceremony was kicked off by drum medleys by the Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion and the La Salle Animo Squad. Apart from these offerings, the event also hosted a short skit performed by Improv Manila as regards the practical application of this new project. 

We got to know about the idea, aims, and capabilities of the Digital Campus Suite. It is a package partnership deal offered by PLDT SME, in cooperation with Microsoft Philippines and SMART Communications Inc. to primary, secondary, and tertiary educational institutions all over the country. The target of this program is the digitization of the learning experience in schools to simply the process and make it more stimulating and interactive for a generation that relies so heavily on technology. In this sense, the program takes advantage of the fast growing trend of technological utilization to create a generation that is more adept to the changing whims of today's world. 

Before we move on, let's check the statistics. The year 2015 has seen a sharp spike of over 50% in jobs that require basic to advanced technology skills. The number will shoot up to 77% in the next decade. Worldwide, over 14 million jobs will be created on the IT industry. Thus, there is an imperative need for tech savvy college graduates to fill this burgeoning demand in the job market and thus end the 50% unemployment rate of the country's employable youth. The Digital Campus Suite aims to just do that. With its emphasis on the use of Microsoft Office and other business software, it stands to create a well-rounded college graduate that doesn't lack the rudiments of a technologically literate employable graduate.

The Digital Campus Suite equips the schools with high-speed internet to cater to population of hundreds, if not thousands, of student in a particular, institution. In turn, the students can use the powerful tools supplied by the Microsoft IT Academy program to learn basic and advanced technological skills and courses that prepare students to become competent professionals. The Microsoft IT Academy program is a highly advanced software programs that makes the most out of cloud technology to connect the students to their teachers without the limitations of distance. Through this platform, the students will be able to use Microsoft Office 365 to draft, edit, and collaborate their reports, homework,  and other school requirements through the ease of the electronic and virtual world. Gone are the days when students would use the good old fashioned manila paper, snowflake correction fluid, the type writer, or the once ubiquitous Dewey Decimal System to create their output. Furthermore, students and teachers can meet using the Skype for Business Application without the limits of distance. Thus, teachers who are not physically present in school can still give their lessons and transmit their ideas through the electronic media. Lastly, the distractions of Facebook will not be able to bother students who need the advantage of group forums or pages to disseminate information. Yammer meets this need. The app is a social networking platform where the members can connect in group discussions and manage information pertaining to their classes. It is a highly secure and controlled online environment where the discussions can be highly moderated and tempered.

Software is not the only benefit of this package. Hardware is another integral benefit. Under the program, these schools will receive a generous supply of tablets and computers installed with the aforementioned software packages complete with legitimate licenses. Furthermore, the schools will be given wi-fi-equipment that will be able to give high-speed hotspots for a thorough and complete e-learning experience.

Availing the program will provide even more benefits aside from hardware and software. Students under this program will be able to avail of certification programs to formalize their learning experience for Microsoft software. This will enable them to avail of even more career opportunities in the tech industry. Also, preset curriculum modules will help assist students in learning skills that will enable them to succeed in life. Apart from these two, the schools will also be provided marketing resources for business programs. Lastly, the specialized Dreamspark software will be given for students to learn web development and design.

Through this program, PLDT SME Nation hopes to empower a new generation that can master an ICT System - a system that has solidly become the mainstay for rapid economic growth in today's world.

The story in pictures:

Br. Jun Erguiza delivering his keynote speech


The true application of collaboration: the Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion and the DLSU Animo Squad

The UP Pep Squad strutting their stuff

The Digital Campus presscon

A shot of the Ateneo Blue Babble Battalion

The NU Pep Squad

The Lunch Menu - a la carte

The NU Pep Squad

The Juicy Lapu-Lapu Fillet

The Bloggers

Ms. Millet

Special Thanks to:

Mars Callo of for the pictures
Millet Liberato of DDB for the Invite

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Event Post: Chigo Philippines launches new window type air conditioners

Last August 15, 2015, I was invited by Mr. Jerht Santos to the launch event of Chigo Philippines. The occasion was concerning the introduction of its new window type air conditioners in Fuze Bar and Resto in Antipolo. The event promptly started at 1 pm. The attendees were treated to a generous helping of food and drinks from the hospitable staff in the restaurant. Furthermore, Mr. Santos took time to answer our queries about the quality and performance of this emerging international brand.

According to Mr. Santos, Chigo airconditioning units are excellent tools in improving the life of its customers. Why? It's because these are environmentally friendly and efficient. The units, ranging from 0.8 HP to 2.0 HP, now come with a 3 in 1 filter system to transform the polluted air into to clean air. The first is a Cold Catalyst Filter. The latter has a certain effect on the decomposition of formaldehyde, a substance that has been known to cause adverse health effects. On the other hand, the Silver Ion Filter Screen possesses strong anti-bacterial effects that effectively suppress the breeding of germs at the air outlet. Lastly, the Vitamin C filter has the most beneficial effects to the human body. It helps contribute to the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body. It also helps ease the effect of mental stress and improve immunity. 

Another added feature to the units is an  Anti-Corrosive Gold Fin Condensers that help improve the product’s lifespan. This gold coating at the condensers make the unit more equipped to withstand the corrosive effects of air-borne pollutants, thus improving performance and durability. Apart from that, it help to keep the unit rust-free.

Chigo also recognizes the need to produce energy-efficient appliances and sustainable development programs. It keeps up with this trend by creating air-conditioning units that minimize carbon footprints for every use. By doing so, the company hopes to contribute substantially into reducing activities that aggravate global warming. Chigo realizes the need to create sustainable development to balance the interests of environmental protection and profitability. Hence, their units are geared toward becoming

Chigo recognizes this trend and is geared towards the same route. As stewards of the environment, people are called to take care of our surroundings in the choices that they make. Everyone is invited to reduce their carbon footprint in their daily activities to reduce the effects of global warming and thereby helping the environment. As a developing country, production and consumption will continue to increase to fuel the economy. Together with this, of course, is the fact that everyone is encouraged to be an active participant in sustainable development programs for the benefit of every person, including the succeeding generations.


Guandong Chigo Air Conditioning Co.,Ltd is a Chinese brand that has been listed in the Hang Seng Index. Established in 1994, it has grown to become an industrial giant with a presence in over 200 countries in the world. It is involved in manufacturing and designing residential and commercial air conditioners.It produces 10 million units annually of a wide range of air conditioning units.

The local branch, Chingo Philippines, was established in 2005.While quite a new contender in the local playing field, Chigo Philippines has also expanded to retail residential and commercial air conditioners such as Window Type Air Conditioners , Split Type Air Conditioners , Inverter Split Type Air Conditioners , Floor Standing Air Conditioners , Air Curtains, Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners (PTAC) , Portable Air Conditioners , Ceiling Suspended , Ceiling Cassette , Ceiling Concealed, Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) Air Conditioners and Air Cooled Modular Chillers.

Chigo products are accredited by the Philippine Department of Energy (DOE) and have ICC certifications. The company believes in giving its customers the best kind of service that they can provide. At the end of the day, providing for more than comfort to the customers is what matters.

Chigo products are available at the following outlets – MC Home Depot (Ortigas and BGC); Anson’s (Cash and Carry & Cainta) and Lazada.

The Story in Pictures:

The innovative 3-in-1 Filter composed of the Cold Catalyst Filter, Silver Ion Filter, and the Vitamin C Filter

The Gold Fin Condenser

A tarp posted for the event.

Chigo's new lineup consisting of 2 window type airconditioners and a portable airconditioner

The portable airconditioner - note: it's not run by dry ice

The 0.8 hp airconditioner

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Food Review: My adventure in Burger Avenue, a new place bun and meat lovers in Taft, Manila

The well-connected Aldous Calubad once again invited me to try out a new burger joint in Taft Avenue. The place is called Burger Avenue. It opened just this month in the area in order to cater to the students of La Salle and neighboring universities and condominiums. This isn't the pilot branch however. They have one in The Fort Strip which has been actively operating in the past 7 years.

According to the owner, Sir Martin, the idea of a burger joint was conceived out of his love for burgers from his childhood up to his adolescence. He described himself as having a preference for buns over rice meals. His idea has proven to be successful as evinced by the fort branch. In order to improve the clientele base, he then established a branch in La Salle. He also takes pride in the fact that the prices are uniform in both branches to demonstrate his belief in consistency. I'm sure this was another key to his success. 

After the short interview, I got down to what I do best - eating! As for the food, I'd give it 5 stars out of 5. The meals presented the right mix of taste, value, and serving size without being pretentious or too bourgeoisie. This means that the meals are a value for money for the typical private college kid or working adult. I'd say that these burgers capture the typical urbanite taste for meat and bread, coupled with the standard fries. Take for instance the cream cheese burger. The fat filled dish was still worth consuming due to the creamy texture of the cheese filling, coupled with the moist beef patty and the fluffy bun. Add to that the excellent size, and you have something that's fit for a king. The side dishes are excellent too. The onion rings gave a vibrant taste of crispy breading and caramelized onions without being too greasy or oily. The serving size is reasonable too.

Another remarkable side is the crazy fries which is comprised of chili con carne and cheese toppings coupled with a generous serving of thick potato wedges. This meal, as you have been warned, is known for its very spicy taste. Chili aficionados should gobble it down in no time at all, though. 

For rice lovers, the burger joint has them covered. Martin showed me the chodobo, which is essentially a greasy mix of adobo, egg, and chorizo coupled with yellow rice. It did remind me of arroz a la cubana, a Mexican dish transported to the Philippines via the Galleon Trade. Burger Avenue's version, though, presented an excellent mix of the ingredients which are well cooked and peppered with top notch spices. 

I couldn't end with my litany of praises for the food. The same goes for the drinks. I did try the strawberry shake artfully served in a mason jar. While a bit lacking in the creaminess department, the flavor was vibrant and reminiscent of fresh strawberries with milk. The drink did a lot to make my day. To say the least, it was still excellent in terms of quality.

The food price ranges from the 100 to the 200 peso range. Very reasonable for students with a bit more to spend, right?

In sum, my experience in Burger Avenue was memorable. I would recommend it as one of my favorite burger joints in Metro Manila.

Burger Avenue is located at Agno Compound, DLSU Taft, Manila. Call them at the Fort branch at 9708277 and at the Taft branch at 5222523. Visit their FB Page at

The Story in Photos:

The Facade of Burger Avenue

The Spacious Dining Area

A wall mural reminiscent of Frida Kahlo's art

The ultra spicy crazy fries - chili con carne with cheese on fries

The milky strawberry shake

The unique chodobo - Chorizo and Adobo in rice - perfect for carnivores

A poster of the signature chodobo dish

The menu

wall posters promoting the food

a larger display of the sumptuous menu

Another pic of the dining area

My meal: the cream cheese burger with onion rings - note the oat toppings on the bun

the cream cheese burger bitten by a quarter - I simply couldn't resist

The chodobo before consumption

Special thanks to:
Aldous Calubad of for the invite
Janine Daquio of for the pictures
Sir Martin of Burger Avenue for accomodating our group
Burger Avenue Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, August 16, 2015

LiverMarin Dietary Supplement to protect liver health! The "Ber" months are coming


There’s a reason why plane tickets to the Philippines become more expensive in the “ber” months. There is simply no happier place during this period. And in this extended period of bliss and friendship, alcohol is an inseparable companion. There will be a lot of social gatherings and drinking sessions during this period. And do expect alcohol sales to go up!

Make sure that the good times remain worry-free with LiverMarin.

LiverMarin is a dietary supplement that contains Silymarin and Sodium Ascorbate. It protects your liver by acting as an antioxidant, promoting the growth of new liver cells while preventing liver damage. Don’t forget to take LiverMarin every day to keep your liver healthy. 

For those interested, LiverMarin is available at Mercury Drug and all leading drugstores nationwide for P9.00 per capsule.

ATC Ginkgo Biloba for Increased Brain Power! Enhance your brain!

A person's mental wellness is primary to his development as a human being. A student's exams need the application of diligence and brain power. At work, an employee needs his brain in order to sort out and perform tasks. Truly the use of the brain is a far important thing compared to the beauty products being sold everywhere.What could be more appealing than the opportunity to improve oneself? 

With mental wellness, comes true and sustainable self-improvement. Train smarter, not longer. Acquire the will and knowledge to eat better and stay lean.  Take care of your brain. In order to achieve this, ATC, a leading manufacturer of herbal medicine in the Philippines, offers Ginkgo Biloba. It is a dietary supplement called the “Brain Enhancer”. The supplement contains an herb, Ginkgo Biloba, which protects the brain from nerve damage that might lead to Alzheimer’s disease. It can also help in managing symptoms of dementia. In sum, ATC's Ginkgo Biloba is at the forefront of providing consumers with a viable supplement to help them stay in top mental shape and fitness.

For those interested, ATC Ginkgo Biloba is available at Mercury Drug and all leading drugstores nationwide for P6.00 per capsule. Improve yourself with ATC Ginkgo Biloba.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Win Big with LG G4 at LG’s 3-Day Big Sale!

From August 14 until August 16, 2015 get the LG G4 with Php 4,000 discount PLUS Php 4,700 worth of FREEBIES.

Win Big at LG's G4 3-Day Sale!.jpg

MANILA, August 11, 2015 – LG Mobile has a treat for those wanting to have the chance to get their hands on their own LG G4 this weekend. For three days, consumers can enjoy a big Php 4,000 slash off LG G4’s original price!

This three-day-only promo lets consumers get the genuine vegetable-tanned leather-backed powerhouse smartphone in tan, black, and red from Php 32,990 down to Php 28,990 only. Or if they’re after the sleeker version of the most ambitious smartphone to date, they can get the metallic back with diamond-cut detailing in titan gray, shiny gold, or ceramic white from Php 31,990 down to Php 27,990 at this weekend’s sale.

The LG G4 is equipped with impressive camera features: 16-megapixel laser autofocus rear camera with f/1.8 aperture level perfect for low light photography, 8-megapixel front camera, RAW file format capability, and the Manual Mode which enables the user to adjust ISO levels, brightness, aperture level, shutter speed, and white balance similar to a professional DSLR camera. The mobile technology leader is letting users enjoy this by including a FREE 32 GB microSD Card valued at Php 1,000. If that’s not enough, LG is also including an additional 100 GB worth of Google Drive storage with a two-year period extension valued at Php, 2,200.

The LG G4 is one of the remaining smartphones to retain its removable back plate that exposes its removable battery and expandable memory with microSD Card slot. And for those who are anxious to know the feel of genuine leather on their hands, LG’s including one leather-back case for free valued at Php 1,500 in different limited edition colors—light blue, yellow, pink, and orange—when they purchase the leather back variant.

For those who will be purchasing the metallic LG G4, they can also get a Quick Circle Case free in gray, gold, and white, also valued at Php 1,500.
Get a free LG G4 Quick Circle Case valued at Php 1,500 when your purchase the metallic or ceramic variant of LG G4..jpg

We are happy that the LG G4 has been welcomed in the Philippines with positivity since we launched it here. Through this sale, we want to express our gratitude to our customers who have been loyal to our brand and our products,” Vice President for Mobile Communications, Jay Won said.

So on top of the Php 4,000 price slash off, consumers can enjoy up to a total of Php 4,700 worth of freebies when they get their LG G4 this weekend at a steal.
Get an extra leather-back cover valued at Php 1,500 for FREE when you purchase a leather variant LG G4..jpg

The big LG G4 sale will be running from August 14 to August 16, 2015 only. For more details about the “LG 3-Day Big Sale,” visit

To learn more about LG G4, visit; like LG Philippines’ Facebook page; or follow @LGPhilippines on Twitter and Instagram.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Event Post: Aussie Fresh Fest: Australian citrus fruits at Rustan's and Shopwise this August

Last August 7, 2015, I was invited by Ms. Tina Sendin of the Australian embassy to witness the launch and promotion of imported Australian citrus fruits. The venue was in Shopwise Alabang at 3 pm. This event is part of an ongoing campaign called the Aussie Fresh Fest, in which a number of Australia's prime agricultural commodities are marketed in select supermarkets in the Philippines, particularly Rustan's and Shopwise.

During the press conference, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell was delighted to share with the media that Australia's citrus fruits are of a very high caliber in terms of quality, safety, and taste. He noted the similarities between Filipino and Australian culture when it comes to a highly discriminating preference for fresh and natural fruit produce. He also guaranteed that Australian standards in growing agricultural produce, coupled with its high grade food safety standards deliver nothing but the best oranges. He even mentioned that their government can trace the origins of these Australian fruit growers in order to achieve the aforementioned standards. Lastly, he stated that the Australian crop growing environment has been very favorable in cultivating these fruits.

Shopwise and Rustan's supermarkets have been well known with providing customers with produce that are of excellent quality. In line with this commitment, they have imported these citrus fruits to provide more variety to consumers and encourage people to make healthier choices when it comes to food consumption. Rustan’s Supercenters, Inc. Chief Executive Officer Pierre Deplanck recognizes that Australian oranges are some of the best in the world. He noted that the oranges serve to bolster the products offered by the supermarket giant and are perfect for families who want to spend a premium on their health and well-being.

What can one do with oranges? There are a variety of choices. It may be eaten as a healthy snack or used in salads or shakes. One can never go wrong with oranges. It is a good source of Vitamin C to protect one's immune system.

After the press conference, our contingent got to enjoy cooked and fresh agricultural Aussie products. The buffet had the signature baked Lamb Shank with Potato Cutlets smothered with Mint Sauce, grass-fed Aussie Roast beef sandwich bites, cheesecake made with New Zealand milk, and tomato salsa on French bread. Our drinks included fresh orange juice and lemon mojito. We even had Aussie wine to boot. The food was really tasty. It carried a very high level of distinction and taste from normal Filipino fare. For starters, the beef and the lamb shanks were cooked thoroughly. The meat was very tender even if the dish was well-done. The taste was top-notch. Apart from the normal meaty taste you get from beef, you can also notice that it wasn't too salty or sweet. The cheesecake was great too. It didn't taste like it had a lot of preservatives. As for their flagship drinks, I'd say that the citrus fruits were extracted thoroughly to provide us with a non-sugary and pulpy sweetness. Overall, I had no qualms about the food. I do hope to try something like that next time.

One can see that this event showcases another important landmark in the economic relations between the Philippines and Australia. Originally Australian and New Zealand beef has been the prime import commodity to the Philippines. The advent of citrus fruit importation from Australia is also a prime testament to growing economic activity between the two countries.

The month-long Aussie Fresh Fest also includes other Australian beef and lamb products and will run in all Rustan’s Supermarket, Marketplace by Rustan’s, and Shopwise branches until August 31.

Rustan’s Supermarket, Marketplace by Rustan’s, and Shopwise are all managed by Rustan Supercenters, Inc., a member of the Dairy Farm International Group.

Special thanks to:
Ms. Tina Sendin of the Australian Embassy

Event post: Cigarettes are Eating You Alive Campaign at Manila Diamond Hotel (August 6, 2015) #SmokeFreePh

I was again invited by Ms. Millet Liberato of DDB to the event launch of an anti-smoking campaign held at the Manila Diamond Hotel in Ermita, Manila, last August 6, 2015. Entitled "Cigarettes are Eating You Alive", this initiative aims to curb tobacco use and manufacture through widely-disseminated Public Service Announcements (PSA's) in national television. Apart from this objective, the campaign also encourages public support for anti-smoking legislation and graphic health warnings in cigarette packs. It also aims to encourage smokers to quit and protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke.

The generous hosts for the afternoon were the Department of Health (DOH), together with the World Lung Foundation and the New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP). These are three prominent organizations that have dedicated time, effort, and money to curbs the deleterious effects of tobacco use in the country.

To orient the media about this campaign, prominent officials of the three aforementioned organizations, as well as those of the World Health Organization, were present. The DOH was represented by Dr. Paulyn Jean Rosell Ubial, Assistant Secretary of Health, and Dr. Lyndon Lee Suy, the Director III of the National Center for Disease Prevention and Control. On the other end, Engineer Emerito Rojas, founder of the New Vois Foundation of the Philippines, represented his foundation. The World Health Organization was adequately represented by Dr. Benjamin Lane, the Acting Country Representative of the Philippine Branch. The World Lung Foundation sent two emissaries, namely Sandra Mullin, Senior President of Policy and Communications, and Mego Lien, the Associate Director of Southeast Asia Programs -Policy, Advocacy, and Communications. Lastly, another government agency, the MMDA or Metro Manila Development Authority, was represented by Usec. Corazon T. Jimenez.

During the two hour talk, these prominent officials discussed the dangers of cigarette smoke and the progress on the anti-smoking campaign. To start off, Dr. Benjamin Lane read out the letter given by her colleague, Dr. Susan Pineda-Mercado. Dr. Mercado expressed the WHO support for the campaign and called on intensified efforts to promote it. She congratulated our very own DOH for accelerating the pace of the initiative.

Dr. Ubial, on the other hand, gave a progress report on the campaign. She noted that since the anti-smoking campaign was launched a few years back, there has been a significant decrease on the use of cigarettes. She noted that laws such as the Sin Tax legislation launched in 2012 has contributed centrally to this decline. She also conceded, however, that this measure is not enough. There has to be more punitive legislation on this matter. The world average for cigarette costs, according to her, is at $2 per pack. In the Philippines, a stick is only at about $1. Truly, there has to be an advocacy to increase taxes to diminish cigarette sales.

Dr. Suy presented the deleterious effects of smoking on a person's health. He educated us on the effects of second-hand and third-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke is the excretion of smoke from a cigarette that is inhaled by persons within proximity of the fumes. This kind of smoke is known to be even more dangerous than the smoke directly inhaled by the smoker. Third-hand smoke is the absorption of cigarette smoke into fabrics or other materials within the environment near the fumes. This is still pretty dangerous to one's health despite the fact that the smoker or the cigarette is already gone.

Engr. Rojas informed us of updates on the inclusion of graphic health warnings on cigarette packs. He noted that manufacturers of tobacco have used legal loopholes to sell cigarette packs with no graphic health warning. There was a gap in the law that provided for a grace period for compliance with the graphic warning requirement. However, he was still optimistic that the law will be strengthened to compel manufacturers to comply.

Usec Jimenez noted that the campaign to stop cigarette smoking in the Metro Manila area has been successfully implemented by the MMDA in coordination with local government units. She revealed that the local government units themselves were eager to increase and implement the no-smoking public spaces for the benefit of its constituents. Also, she notes that the MMDA has already caught about 265,000 violators of anti-smoking ordinances in public spaces.

The ad campaign, on the other hand, was launched by the representatives of the WLF, Sandra Mullin and Mego Lien. According to them, the money for creating this PSA was funded by prominent individuals and groups such as former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. They also noted that almost $300,000 has been spent to create the campaign. They also disclosed that a similar campaign has been successful before in other parts of the world. The previous success of these similar campaigns shows the strength of this advocacy.

Tobacco use in the Philippines has been highly recorded in statistical data. According to the Tobacco Atlas, more than 15 million Filipino adults use cigarettes every day. Also, more Filipino men and women smoke more than the average than other people in middle-income countries across the world. As to second-hand smoke, statistics from the 2009 Philippines Global Adult Tobacco Survey have shown that 32.9 million Filipinos are exposed to it every day. The overall ratings show that more than 50% of adults and teenagers are exposed to it in public places. With respect to tobacco use worldwide, the Tobacco Atlas has shown that it is the world's number one preventable cause of mortality. 71,000 people die in the Philippines every year from tobacco-related diseases. As for second-hand smoke, about 600,00 people die from it every year.

The PSA's, on another note, will be broadcast in 15 or 30 second durations on national TV. It will also be aired on LED billboards in Metro Manila. The PSA is projected to reach 40 million Filipinos. Together with the help of subsequent punitive tobacco legislation and graphic health warnings, the initiative is poised to become a powerful tool in disseminating knowledge about the health risks of tobacco.

Special thanks to:
Ms. Millet Liberato of DDB for the video

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Event Post: Uncle Cheffy Unlimited Chicken and Pork Cracklings Food Review at Venice Piazza (August 8, 2015)

Aldous Calubad, an esteemed food blogger and well-connected PR person, invited me to try out one of the restaurant offerings at the semi-clandestine Venice Piazza, Bonifacio Global City. The area is a quaint mall owned by Megaworld Properties Inc. The logistical difficulty of getting to the place was remedied by the sumptuous serving of food given to us by Uncle Cheffy, a restaurant that mainly serves Italian fare such as pizza and pasta.  

For those who don't know, the establishment was popular in the past years for offering a Php 199 promo for its unlimited pizza and pasta. Now, however, their seasonal gimmick is an unlimited fried chicken and pork cracklings promo to be offered from July 29 until October 31, 2015. This is a refreshing variety to their normal Italian fare. 

When some bloggers asked the owner on what he had to say about the food, he had three words: Mura. Mabango. Masarap. According to him, this new promo is a testament to his claims about the freshness and taste of the food.

Upon testing, we found that the food accurately demonstrated the 3 M's the owner had been claiming. The high-fat fare was well-cooked and tasty. It wasn't too salty; and the meat wasn't tough and dry. Even with a single serving of rice, one can savor the copious amounts of chicken and pork being served because there were tender and juicy. The female diners, for some strange reason, enjoyed the unlimited meat which was the stereotypically typical Pinoy male pulutan (usually complete with beer). Its surprising to know that the dish caters to diners of different genders and age groups.
The meal wasn't complete with the meat. While not part of the promo, we also had a generous helping of their Anchovy and Mushroom Panizza. One can enjoy it by rolling it together with tomato salsa, alfalfa, and lettuce. The pizza was cooked well and wasn't too salty too. The mushroom and the veggies provided us with a wonderful alternative to all that meat served earlier.

Lastly, the buffet wasn't complete without the much needed dessert. We were given not one, but two servings. First was the leche flan; and the second was the brownie cheesecake. I gladly approve of these two dishes due to their focus on a variety of flavors and not merely an overload of sweetness. These were not merely sugary treats; they also had an emphasis on the presentation and balancing of flavors. Both desserts were not bland, either.

According to Uncle Cheffy, the buffet rules are:
1. The buffet is for 90 minutes per person only
2. Any excess in eating for 90 minutes be charged another Php 199 for another 90 minutes
3. There is no sharing, no leftovers and no take out
4. Left overs will be charged 300 per head
5. Refills will only be granted to those who have cleaned their plates.

Only certain branches of Uncle Cheffy offer this promo. These are:

Bluewave Stripmall, Marikina
Robinsons Metro East, Pasig
Venice Piazza McKinley Hills, Taguig City
Solenad Nuvali, Sta Rosa Laguna

Do check their FB page at

And that is all. Stay tuned for my next post!

The meal in pictures:

The flagship dish of the promo: the 199 eat-all-you-can crispy fried chicken and pork cracklings of Uncle Cheffy. This is truly a high fat delight for people who enjoy such fare

Although not part of the promo, we were given their complementary Mushroom and Anchovy Panizza which can be rolled into bite-sized chunks with alfalfa, lettuce, and tomato salsa. It was a refreshing dish after all that fat

We even had two servings of dessert: the leche flan which had a tempered sweetness - the syrup was not too overwhelming for the taste

and the brownie cheesecake which was fully loaded with all that cheesy and creamy goodness together with a sweet helping of brownie chunks, syrup, and a cherry

Special thanks to:

Mr. Aldous Calubad of for the invitation
Ms. Gladsy Gozon of for the invitation.
Ms. Lina Peralejo of for the pictures.

Uncle Cheffy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato