Dirt Bike Weekend at NUVALI: A Place Like No Other!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This weekend, I had a BLAST! That's an understatement. This was actually my first time to go to a place called NUVALI in Sta. Rosa, Laguna: a prime property owned and operated by giant Ayala Land as their flagship project in the South. Incidentally, they were holding NUVALI's Dirt Bike Weekend 2011 (happened November 26-27, 2011). This is the biggest bicycle trail race in the metro as 2,500+ participants from all over the Philippines converge in NUVALI to put the pedal to the metal. There were various events for different classes. They went through the same routes though. It was astounding to see athletes, enthusiasts and their family watching on the sidelines. I can hear people cheering them on while fighting for those top places, it really gave me goosebumps remembering my biking days. I almost bought one right after that!

It wasn't just perfectly testosterone filled because there were several female bikers as well. These guys here were shouting to support their bets for the intermediate class of riders. It was exhilarating and exciting, I wanted to grab a bike and try the course myself!

The place as you can see is majestic! The weather was perfect as well. I haven't seen anything like this in Manila/Quezon City because NUVALI seems so special. This lifestyle was thriving there. A lifestyle set in all the 1,750 hectare property.

It was also nice knowing that there were several events happening as well. The 24 hour race where they need to check in with time chips measuring how far they can go in that span of time; a real test of strategy and endurance. Huge boulders and metal frames also served as obstacles for the contingent from Davao showing their expertise in Stunt Bikes ala BMX experts. It was a good show! I didn't know we had world class tricks done in our home land. Speaking of shows, that thing ended with a BANG as back to back performances by Paramita and Urbandub + a lot of other bands happened in the after party.


Looking Around NUVALI...

Well, a trip to NUVALI wouldn't be complete if you won't go to their main building. It houses some of the great activities inside the community.

This main building houses an office they actually have to receive guests and explain how NUVALI runs this place with Eco-sustainability. It has been their prime goal since they opened this place; and by the looks of it, they are succeeding. Outside of it is a lagoon which is very special because one of their main "attractions" live here.

That's thousands upon thousands of COI living in this great body of water right smack in the middle of NUVALI. You can actually feed these awesome luck inducing creatures too! There are several packs of fish food you can purchase in the facility if you want to.

Not just that! There are also several boats that you can rent so you can roam around the lagoon and take a breathtaking view of NUVALI from the water.

I had some of my fellow bloggers also with me to enjoy the ride!

Yes, this place is huge! They actually some parts closed but will be open soon. They are planning to get this even bigger!

Some of my friends opted to get a different boat. Nice panning shot eh?! Of course that's my shot! =) It was really fast!

Just see the multitude of people and the whole Ayala Land facility in NUVALI. You should definitely see this up close!

NUVALI has exceeded my expectations. The wide open spaces we see in New York Central Park or Yellowstone Park in CA might actually be appealing; but now that we have NUVALI in Laguna this would be one perfect place to visit or live in. I would definitely have to see this place again soon! You should bring friends and family and experience the awesome DIRT BIKE WEEKEND next year; and what people call a paradise in the south. NUVALI; is indeed a place like no other! It's where people like you, me and nature come together. It's HEAVEN on Earth!


For more information about NUVALI

Please visit their website


Or call

0917-5-ASKNUV (275688)


BUM Holiday Collection 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

When you wear your clothes, there's a fine line about going overboard and just being in a state of style that you want. We have different ways of dressing up in a normal day, nor do we actually see what's normal for you or me. Popular brand BUM finally unleashed their Anime-Dark Side inspired Holiday Collection for 2011; and I had first dibs on their Mall of Asia event!

They opened up the show with awesome CGI effects and anime scenes on the large screen. Whoever did this must have been slaving away throughout the night. Impressed as I am, the show continued with 2 characters coming out of the dark, smoke screen ensues; and these gorgeous winged heroes came out and fought on stage. The music was riveting and full of suspense. After that, gorgeous models came out!

The place was packed with people eager to see their clothes for this season. Their celebrity endorsers were there too! Imagine these creations being sported by Dino Imperial, Bea Binene & Empress Schuck. They had quite a number of screamers there as well!

Check out part II of the video!

I've seen their collection last year and what they were trying to do. The dark, emo, goth and grunge side of fashion is their forte and the ones that patronized them all these years were a generation very close to me since I went that path years ago.

I swear, I LOVE their black and white stripes! If I were a few inch smaller (or maybe a foot smaller LOL) I'd probably wear that everyday. The one on the right is classy and can pass for something to wear in the evening when you're out to rock!

It looks like they are adding a little pop of color on their clothes this season. I like Red. I like the plaid prints and I like how it blends so naturally on their line. It's like blood eh?

More stripes and plaid; and definitely more layers. I like the hoodies, the long sleeve shirts and the skirts for ladies. The thing about BUM is that you can mix and match it with anything that you have on your closet. It'll still look great. If you are into a more edgy, lifestyle changing clothing... make sure you give BUM a first look.

For the winners of Cosplay Competition, the "DARK SIDE" Competition who garnered thousands of votes congratulations! I envy you for your new blackberry and camera! =) Here's to more of BUM and your great themes and designs in the future! Keep doing what you are doing best! Cheers!

P.S. Thanks to Rai Lacoste and the fabulous people behind BUM as always!


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Loving my dark side,


Chic and Effective: The Fashion Academy Manila

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

International education and training organizations are too much of a dream for Filipinos. As talented as we are we tend to only have access to mediocre schools that specializes in nada. In an era where you can't gain progress on things that you just simply read off a book we need to understand that learning through skill transfers and well; that's about to end soon since there's this place they call The Fashion Academy Manila. It's at the A-Venue Mall right in the heart of Makati. I know some of them, the names alone would probably tell you that this is no joke. Industry experts and experienced people from the major fields converge in one Fashion School bringing you a full spectrum way of learning, connecting and jump starting your career in this field. I got to see it for myself this last weekend, it was sheer joy that I got to see my Sensei world renowned New York based Fashion Photographer Xander Angeles too. But let's talk about the school first and what makes it so special.

The Premise

You always think about your passion and how you would actually make it to the next level. Problem is, you don't really have the technical know how or real world experience on how to work in the Philippine Fashion industry.

Ms. Cindy Marie Lichauco Director of Sales for Elite Manila showed us around their facility which answered why they are the premier institution to learn everything there is about this industry.

You don't even know that much people to begin with to even fathom how are you going to get that break you dare wish for. Purists probably would love to just stay put and work on their craft, hone it and let their work speak for themselves. Let's face it, let's talk sense... you need a break? then you need to know the right people. That's part of what The Fashion Academy Manila can get you. They give you the tools and skills to work with; and point you the way on how to make that special connection you need to start with. Since it's a holistic approach, they teach the other parts of the spectrum including presence, posture and personality enhancement among others. It's actually 7 different academies under one roof. Isn't that enough reason to be here?!

Harness the Advantage of learning from 7 Academies

The thought of just knowing that there were 7 academies in that place was a little intimidating. I was actually wondering about the premium rates they have but clearly, it IS WORTH what you pay for. With these big names and personalities behind The Fashion Academy Manila, you are going to learn much more than just what the little JUAN can do... by every way, shape or form this is absolutely WORLD CLASS!

Photography Academy

Shown above is J. Dennis Arceo showing us Photography Studio A and telling us about custom tailored lessons according to the skill level assessment of the individual enrolled in the program. They teach both professional and non professional photographers. Topics range from the basics, fashion, wedding, events to master classes in advanced lighting and concepts (or any facet of photography). One on one lessons can be arranged as well. They also never discriminate between camera brands, hell it's not even required to have a camera to enroll in the class!

Modeling Academy


You probably have seen one of my shots before right? This gorgeous lady is Ms. Luane Pasinatto. She's from the Elite Modeling Agency - Manila.

Well guess what?! The same Brazilian model who graced that shoot, various commercial ads, stints and catwalks of Philippine Fashion Week will also be at The Fashion Academy Manila to make sure that you learn how to do ABC's of modeling. Carla Humphries is there too showing us some pointers for ramp. Students will also have a chance to show through a culminating activity at the end of their lessons their ware + portfolio to various casting directors and scouts that would simply spell your career in the modeling world. Together with other successful models in the stable of Elite Management, you'll surely be in the ranks of the best names in the industry... happening sooner than your think... because YOU KNOW you're gonna be aptly equipped. Confidence will exude, modeling will be like second nature. This academy is headed by the one and only Joey Mead of Channel V fame.

In house ramp modelling experts is a plus for my books! +1

Makeup Academy

This fine lady is Ms. Lee Roberto-Figueroa. She heads the Makeup Academy in this school. Formally trained and eventually worked as the Manager and Chief Makeup Artist at the Shiseido Academy of Beauty, Fashion and Arts in Tokyo, Japan she can break down techniques and colors into understandable, logical form for ordinary people like you and me. Her aura was contagious and I saw how passionate she was about how much she wanted to share what she have learned in years of doing this bit. Backed up by and impressive resume and a technical know how of the craft, students will be taught how to embrace and appreciate colors, not use just a your favorite "silver eyeliner" and master the basics so you can eventually experiment with proper techniques. Makeup is an Art and beauty is objective. Though she sternly believes that "Beauty should always TRUMP Art." Very true in cases like these. For what it's worth I'd like to learn how to do airbrush + makeup.


*Looking around*

The whole place looks VERY classy by the way. I didn't see anything cheap on the couch, on the floor or even the walls. There are huge murals, mostly containing inspiring words. Several rooms actually function as meeting places for prospective clients. As I said, if you enroll in The Fashion Academy Manila you ARE getting what you paid for.

Won't you get inspired just by looking at these?!

See what I mean?!


Hair Creatives Academy

As a fashion photographer, I see the real need for an expert in hair too. Shooting models with mediocre makeup and hair is quite inexcusable when brands depict they want something good for their shoot. The whole look you wish for and the impact a model makes seem to always have something to do with their face and their crowning glory. It won't work if you present someone in the public when your inspiration doesn't come out the same because they can't do the right hair to coincide with the theme you prefer. They don't just have "experts" in The Fashion Academy - Manila, they've got something even better; because they are CELEBRITY Hair Experts!

If you guys have watched FASH in the Lifestyle Network or MEGA Fashion Crew you probably know who he is. Borge Aloba, L'oreal Professionnel and celebrity hair expert showed what the hair creatives academy has to offer. It's doing hair but thinking out of the box. Experts teach beginners or professionals techniques that are non conventional, edgy and fashion forward. How you do this for any type of shoot, be it runway, events or weddings; it can spell the success and failure of it. It completes the outfit, it makes the model look even better... make sure you learn only from the best in the industry because you should never settle for second best.

"Hair Stylists are not only for parlors in your neighborhood" says Borge Aloba. Being at par with the world's best is the only way to go. If experience from The L’Oreal Academy, Toni & Guy Singapore, Elle Academy Malaysia and Philosophy UK doesn't make you want to enroll in his class, I don't know what will.

Fashion Styling Academy

Fashion stylists, fashion bloggers, enthusiasts and full blooded fashionistas you should definitely take a look at what The Fashion Academy Manila has to offer. Alcs Porras has worked with some of the nation's best professionals and models alike. Keeping key items intact with your wardrobe and building off of that for your personal style is a mantra I believe in. Sticking on what is essential and identifying those which you can add takes a lot more than just style. Your sensibility to what is current and what looks good on you eventually would be more beneficial. Getting that and making it part of your lifestyle is essential in learning the craft of styling. It makes you aware of how to see body types, patterns, textures that would fit a certain person for a certain occasion. You simply would not be able to dress someone else aptly without learning the basics. He says there is no such thing as "BADUY" in styling, it's just different tastes.

Personality Enhancement Academy

Certain qualities that you would like to see in a person/model/photographer is professionalism. You would also see the value of having that right personality and how he/she deals with people. Teamwork is essential in making a project work but if attitude and other things get in the way that will jeopardize everything else you want to achieve. That is why it is important to have that right amount of spunk and respect towards individuals to get what you need done. The pleasant experience you have with your crew makes you a viable person to work with on the next ones. This will in turn double your business opportunities and make everyone else recommend you for other projects. The question is, how do you learn these things? Manners? Etiquette? Posture and presence? You might think these are all instilled with us while growing up but there is a certain science behind teaching it even on normal days. That's actually part of the holistic approach The Fashion Academy Manila is working towards to make you a better person and individual. Wouldn't it be a great thing to see everyone positively reacting to you and your work?

Ms. Karina Agustin, academy heads and facilitators like the fab Levenson Rodriguez taught us a little something about etiquette, poise and posture. How you carry yourself in events and important meetings can make success a little easier to reach. They also talked about power dressing; how men should dress and walk.

Table manners and setting the mood for the right conversation is important. That is Social and Business Etiquette.

Enthusiastic about the topic and relating it to real world situations was effective. They took time to explain to us how important personality development is for making an impression. You have to get the deal in the first three minutes of the conversation, otherwise its a lost cause. More tips and trainings available only at The Fashion Academy Manila. This is perfect for corporations would need to train people; eventually bringing that into the table the next time they transact business. Perfect for me too!

Shopping advice for Power Dressing? Maybe Luigi Moises of Forever21 can help you! Communication Skills Training? They've got that all covered too! Make sure you make that appointment with The Fashion Academy Manila, come to the A. Venue Mall for more of this!

Celebrity Artist Lab

You might have the looks, height and dress to kill but without you getting in the part of your character, you would look lifeless like a dead carcass in still photos. You would never make anyone believe you if you didn't have that extra umph in your personality while transacting business nor would you have any path to the road for greatness in this field if you don't know acting, dancing, hosting or modulate your voice and have that presence people look for.

Ian Dave Basa heads this particular academy, we had some short exercises to get a feel on how to act. Simple words like Yes or No can be said in a thousand ways, truly it was!

He explains the advantages of learning how to act and do other things than just being plain jane. It sets you apart from ordinary people. You get to see how it would be effectively applied to modeling and personality development. You need confidence? Then this academy will surely let you learn the ropes.


The event at The Fashion Academy Manila made me realize a couple of things. I might be considered a professional already but it doesn't really have to end there. I've got a ton of things to learn and so little time. I've got to get me one or more of these courses to make my life a little more challenging and my career a tad better than what it is now. Meeting people, better techniques and loving my craft more is priceless. I get to met the people in the same field; and appreciate what they do for the LOVE of FASHION and more. Make sure you check out The Fashion Academy Manila located at the 3rd Floor A. Venue Mall Makati Avenue, Makati City. If you want to inquire about the courses they offer please visit their website http://www.thefashionacademymanila.com or email inquire@thefashionacademymanila.com. You can also call 09178727875 or 091750ELITE for more details. Yes, they customize classes too.


It was nice seeing my Sensei Xander Angeles again after a long time!

Check out http://www.xanderangeles.com/ and get inspired how it is to be DIFFERENT.
And now, I'm itching to shoot! =)


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