The URGe: Urban Rugged Gear

Tuesday, February 28, 2017



Walked to Makati this afternoon to check out URGE, a monicker for Urban Rugged Gear which is a new lifestyle store at Greenbelt 1's 2nd floor. Honestly, this is my first time to hear about the brand but I'm glad they're going this direction as they are bringing international brands to Philippine shores. These are premium ones and their two stores (there's one in Greenhills too!) would br great starting points to bring style and convenience to modern men and women who are active, or have diverse lifestyles.



Yurbuds, a brand made and designed by Triathletes have several earphones both wired and wireless that securely fit in your ears, comfortable, sweatproof and allow ambient sound so you can still hear people in the road so you don't get into accidents. Making aware of your sorroundings can keep you safe, that's good.


FRÉ iPhone cases are also there. If you just bought one (yes your iPhone 7 needs protection) then you should consider something that would completely cover it from everyday elements, like dust, water splash, and not too heavy on your gadget. They've got it taken cared of.


This is Go Pro Hero 5, they've got that too. For adventure seekers who want to keep their memories on full HD video and photos, this is a necessity. It's surprisingly clear, I'm using one right now and it's capacity to catch my humiliating swims and beachcapades remain to be my favorite past time. Including editing them out on Youtube of course haha!


Otterbox needs no introduction. It's the best in protective cases and mobile power solutions and URGE is one of their original distributors. It's more convenient to see them in one place, and this is in the heart of Makati so how can you not drop by the shop.




Tons of things like Bang & Olfusen Play (which you can bring outdoors for small parties), Goal Zero, Lifeproof, Watershot, Mission Workshop (makes awesome bags) and Ethnotek (makes bags wuth fabric from different tribes of different countries) are all there. They are all in one place and if you were probably thinking of what to get for travel or leisure, this lifestyle store must be it.

Visit them today at 2nd Floor of Greenhills Shopping Center's Theater Mall or at the 2nd Floor of Greenbelt 1. Take your shopping chores here sometimes, it's healthy.



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Kian Dionisio Releases First Album Under GMA Records

Sunday, February 26, 2017



It's my first time to meet him and my first time to talk to him. I was excited though when I read his credentials, because my face lit up when I learned this humble guy is from the same school as I am. He's a late bloomer, he started to write songs a couple of years ago but he didn't get to play music during college days because he was barred from doing so by his girlfriend (which he followed strictly). He started playing in small clubs, restaurants as an acoustic singer (he applied for it when he saw an ad on a newspaper) and got it right there. A friend has been listening to his soundcloud recordings and asked him if he could give it to a couple of people. It landed on GMA Records table and suddenly, Kian Dionisio already talked about recording for the label. But they took their time instead of just doing his existing ones. I must say when I heard him sing, I already knew why GMA Records signed him up. He's freaking good!






He also started to tell us about how he started, and a couple of things about the album. Listen in.





He's optimistic, hungry for a challenge to step up the plate and be much like his idols Johnoy Danao, Ebe Dancel, Noel Cabangon and the other great musicians, artists and composers. I have very high hopes for this guy who also hails from University of the East Caloocan, and although he's not fully doing his Communication Arts degree, he's a great singer, a diamond in the rough that is worthy to get discovered. 

He's currently opening for current GMA Records artists like James Wright and will also be doing the rounds in mall shows plus the Sunday afternoon show on the same network. He also has the album released digitally as an EP available in all Digital Stores including iTunes worldwide! Make sure you check out his music. Pretty good I tell you! Pretty good!



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The UREKA E-Commerce Forum in Mega Manila

Saturday, February 25, 2017


Micro/Small/Medium Enterprises got a little cultural treat and a HUGE help as they opened the UREKA E-Commerce Forum in Mega Manila. At the SM Megamall's Megatrade Hall, they got MSME's to put up their own businesses online so they could grow their businesses together with Air21, AMTI their software partner, Dragonpay to support payments, Shopinas, Esquire Financing, Geiser, PLDT, and more champions like Facebook Asia Pacific, Microsoft Philippines, Taxumo, which all or in part would help their quest to sustained and inclusive growth in UREKA. It's a great equalizer and Ubion Bank knows how important this is so their customers achieve their dreams and their communities. It's an untapped market, (E Commerce) and it's a great equalizer. This means you'll get a 24/7 shop open, makes you earn while you sleep.



Unionbank CEO Justo Ortiz suggests there are tons of opportunities on the internet and people can earn more in e-commerce so you get more customers, some of which can get you big profit while in the comfort of your homes and offices. He adds "There are a lot out there, some of them don't know you, and are waiting to see what you have to sell. This is UREKA forum, and they want you to have the tools how to make this platform work for you. We have gone to Iloilo, Davao, Baguio, and now with the Mega Manila leg, they want business here to improve and start making bold steps and calculated risks. You are an integral part of the economy and this is just a start."

If you are around SM Megamall, make sure you drop by the SM Megatrade Hall to get your businesses started or improved with the services they have during the forum and even beyond the event. It's going to connect you to the best institutions to also lend you money, the government and these businesses are already there and all you have to do is work hard and show up!


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TNT Tropa Challenge Qualifiers Today!



So last year TNT invited various groups they call "Tropas" and registration ended on November 15, 2016. Today at the Quezon City Memorial Circle, we're going to see tons of them vie for the Tropa Challenge Champions today after registering through http://tntph.com/tropachallenge last year. This isn't a joke because the prizes are crazy good, as TNT will be giving away almost 2 Million worth of prizes. In the quarterfinals alone, they will be given a couple thousand of pesos if they get to place today so it is as equally important to do good later in the games.



Aside from the cash prizes, they'll also get the chance to join stars such as VMiguel, Jhonh Hilario, Loisa Andalio and the newest TNT Teen Tropa!



If you are not doing anything today, make sure you head on to Quezon City Circle for the Qualifiers set to be held on this day at 10am onwards. It'll be a whole fay of fun and amazing prizes plus your favorite stars in one place! They also get to help the school where they come from so it's just a start!

I'll be there too later so see you! This will be good!


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Tim Hortons Now In The Philippines!

Friday, February 24, 2017



It looks like the Canadian's are here! Tim Hortons Canada's well loved and biggest coffee and baked goods chain just opened shop at the Ground Floor of Uptown Mall in BGC. The brand has existed for 50 years and they promise to bring the same good Double Double Coffee and signature doughnuts to the Philippines as this is their first franchise in the Southeast Asian Region.


The opening was graced by the DOT Secretary, Miss Universe Canada Siera Bearchell, and Canadian Embassy officials this morning.


The interiors are modern, farmed wood, could probably sit around 60 people. It's a busy district with nearby offices so expect it to be packed the whole day. They have ample wifi, so be nice and ask the barista for codes.




They are popular for Coffee, and as they say in Northern America they don't say I need Coffee anymore. They usually say "Let's go to Tim's! Let's go to Timmies!", understandably so.



Oh yeah, and the donuts are divine. You'll love the glazed ones, and the frosted ones too!


Other baked products like the cookies and muffins are also best sellers, so do get some before it runs out!


And never, ever, ever, ever go home without the TIMBITS which are delightful small donuts made fresh everyday.


A great cozy environment for coffee lovers and doughnut people alike. I guess they'll also be opening a few more branches here and around Asia soon so if you're too far right now, expect them in your neighborhood pretty soon!

Oh and if you want more, order the eclair because that's my fave! Trust me on that!


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THE VOICE Season 12 on Star World!

Thursday, February 23, 2017



We spent a couple of hours trying to figure out if we're cut for the job at The Voice Season 12 launch in Manila. Yes, 12 seasons of discovering raw talent powerful voices without judging them on looks during the first round and battling it out with equally capable individuals to become the best of the best in the United States. 

The party will start this February 28 at 2PM and will get repeats at 7PM and 10PM on the same day. This will also mark the return of my love Gwen Stefani. She'll be joining country star boyfriend Blake Shelton, good looking and sexy Adam Levine plus the great Alicia Keys. Coaches will also get paired with mentors Celine Dion (for Gwen), Luke Bryan (for Blake), John Legend (for Adam) and DJ Khaled (for Alicia Keys). 

So make sure you tune in to Starworld on these dates, to make sure you'll get a singer made like a champion with their guidance. This is going to be crazy!


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Beat the Summer with Daikin Aircons



On a day like this, I would like to pour a bucket of cold ice on myself for obvious reasons. Summer is just around the corner and I'm sure it'll only get hotter. Not because of my sculptured german physique but because seasons change. Thank the heavens above for there's always aircon. 


Lee Wai Kok of Daikin Philippines says "Daikin will have powerful cooling capable air conditioners with less power consumption in the country. We will take action with the demand of customers, harnessing synergy in the technology, our best products will come with best services too. We will put up more service centers soon. We will get our products affordable while we provide our Cool King line and see to it that every Filipino home would get environmentally safe products that follow the Montreal protocol as we phase out R22 products and have inverters in cooling systems and it's motor. This is the most energy efficient line. We believe in challenging the status quo, this is more user friendly."

Daikin currently has the Standard Cool King Unit and the Premium Cool King Unit in their Cool King series. These are split type air conditioners that uses R-104A refrigerants that have 23dBA so it won't be as noisy as that. The other is the Home Central Air Conditioning which you can use for multiple rooms in your home or office, individually controlled for your convenience. This will be arriving soon.



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The 1st Philippine Rare Disease Symposium

Wednesday, February 22, 2017




Have you had your share of experience with rare diseases? I'm sure you've had several of it heard from the news, and most of it had no cure, no extensive study and a very bleak mortality rate at that. It actually affects a percentage of the population, although low, it still would be a matter of concern because it's lives we're talking about here. Moreover, most of the kids affected die before the age of 5 which is really scary. 

Dr. Carmencita Padilla says "With the infrastructure we have the numbers are more, but it's complicated and difficult with rare cases and we cannot afford to let a patient die but we have the numbers. The IRR is just being made but we're actually prioritizing the improvment of detection, improvement of laboratories, equipping pediatricians and initially we're looking at supporting medicines and supplies the mega hospitals across the countries so we have multiple specialties across the country. A portion of the president's 100 Billion fund for health, but if you factor that in we need about 200 Billion for indigent patients so this is just a drop in the bucket. We are connected with other countries and yesterday we have formalized the Asian Metabolic industry, the Philippines is one of the leaders and learning from the newborn screening method that we do, they are trying to have this in their respective countries and we are connected with them now. This infrastructure is existent and we just need to connect, we lack specialists and that needs focus training so we could address these patients. We just need to enhance it on the field, like the nutritionists and dieticians, when you look at a hospital's team the DOH nominates them. Disabilities from environmental factors are different, these are recessive diseases happen 1 in 4 times, if a person has it, it can happen to babies and the genetics clinic in PGH and connecting it to the network can get more genetic counsellors in the country. The goal is to have big hospitals to have one so they can refer people to the right doctors as a first step, one per million as the WHO suggests.

DOH Secretary Paulyn Ubial adds "Let's get genetic counsellors for our provincial and regional hospitals. The biggest challenge is really the human resource, and since 1992 we don't have capital outlay, only in 2007 did we get one and we need 7,500 more beds to at least have that infrastructure in place and shows a lack of specialization per population. We need to have force multipliers to have counselling to screen and detect with general practitioners to address these lack of people. There are gaps, we need to identify them with genetic counsellors and see if this could at least address when they happen. We have to adjust."


It was so sweet to see some of the kids afflicted with rare diseases to actually perform for us that afternoon, I had to hold back taking photos as I want them to have their privacy. This should be something that the governments around the world should look into, provide the needed infrastructure and manpower so these kids won't have to suffer. Please make sure you support the RARE DISEASE ACT and call your congressmen to pass this. 

They should listen.



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Colon Cancer Scare: Filipinos More Vulnerable



I had an officemate a few years ago who always had charred barbecue and pigs innards for dinner quite often and he suddenly got diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. He had family, a young daughter and a really good future ahead of him but he passed away at a very young age of 35. It was heartbreaking to say the least and the diagnosis really came a shock to those who knew him because everybody thought he was fine and dandy one day and suddenly meted with a few months to live the next week, nobody was really ready for that. We didn't even know if that was really the cause but we knew it was going to be a hard fight. His life was remembered, a lot of friends helped, we didn't know it was going to be that fast and this event I'm covering now felt really close to home because of that experience. 


If you didn't know, the Philippines ranks among the fastest increase in mortality rate in this type of cancer in the world. Gastroenterology experts during a Colon Cancer awareness talk in Diamond Hotel announced this, and fear for people who have not been able to get screened yet for the disease. Dr. Frederick Dy laments "Colorectal Cancer rates has become really worrysome in the Philippines. It's the third most common type of cancer after lung and breast for men and women worldwide. A survey in 2012 indicates 4,901 deaths out of 8,553 incidences which means more than half diagnosed from it have perished, a very sad phenomenon." Westmont Pharmaceuticals which is a division of UNILAB partnered with the Philippine Society of Gastroenterology in building awareness for Colon Cancer, to tell about symptoms, diagnosis and treatments about this dreaded disease. They have one thing in particular that contributes to it, which delves more on the individual's lifestyle and diet.



Filipinos are still reluctant to get this screening, or even getting a checkup in general so we are prone to this type of cancer even more as we have been adapting to a more western diet. The need for information, a healthy lifestyle and early screening is the key and if Filipinos get to understand this soon, then those numbers probably would go down in the next few years. Heaven forbid something happens to you and your family, we don't want that to happen. Colorectal Cancer is preventable, treatable, remember that!


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Happy Break Up Movie Now On Youtube!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017



Donnalyn Bartolome is getting serious with her career, she's starting the year doing HAPPY BREAK UP the Movie. Although I don't think there is one, could you say that there is a happy breakup? Donnalyn says she experienced one and that stemmed the inspiration writing her song with the same title. Her album is doing good and when the opportunity came to make this, they all fixed their schedules and did this film. She also shares the digital space with Angelica Feliciano, Kelly Welt, Bianca Yao, Ann Mateo, Sachzna Laparan.


In the movie, her name is ValenTINE, and Tine is her nickname. Her problem started when Dale played by Paul Salas suddenly chose to be a celebrity instead of being with her. She became depressed, her heart torn into pieces, but good thing Marissa Sanchez and Niño Mulach (her parents in the film) knew how to take care of her in this difficult ordeal. Trying to move on, she meets him again and makes it difficult once more in the duration in the film.


Donnalyn says "Paul is such a good person and I like how he was able to work with us when there were problems on the shoot, he understood and adjusted his schedules even if we new how busy he was. Some of the production people told me that Paul liked me, when we started following each other on Twitter, people went crazy!"

This is just fiction but I'm sure you will find this cute. If you have time, watch it in Youtube today and find out what will happen to her love life. Will she get her happy ending?

I hope so!

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PSY, SHINee, CNBLUE + MORE for ONE K Global Peace Concert In Manila




This news is just CRAZY.

I just got hold of this news today. And when I found out who's going to come to the Philippines I already freaked out. I honestly thought it was just going to be a small one but seeing PSY, SHINee, CNBLUE, B1A4, BAP, BTOB and my favorite ladies from AOA... this is huge!

But what actually is more impressive is the cause o this campaign. World Peace? Is it acheivable? Is it possible? Yes it is. This campaign is asking for international support together with 800 non governmental organizations calling for the reunification of Korea. Seo In-teck Co-chair of Action for Korea United (AKU) and President of the Global Peace Foundation Korea Chapter says they want to push for this civic-led campaign for Korean reunification, a development that could help promote regional stability and build a new economic powerhouse in Asia. This is monumental if you think about it and having these artists in one place already means a lot, because they believe in the cause and they are putting together Korea's biggest artists at the Mall of Asia on March 2-3, 2017. Party starts at 7PM and you're not just having a great show, you'll also be helping achieve dreams of our neighbors as they become ONE KOREA! 



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Canon Marketing Philippines Launches SIKAP

Monday, February 20, 2017


I spent the afternoon at the Department of Education NCR office to witness the forging of partnerships between DepEd, Marylindbert International and Canon Philippines. The goal is to provide students, teachers and parents some perspective on how to take care of important and pertinent documents relevant to their lives, including physical and digital archiving and let then have access to high quality printing and scanning devices which only Canon has.



Marylindbert International's CEO Madame Linda Legaspi says "This marks another milestone in our partnership with DepED as we forge ahead and move forward with our advocacies. We have a lot of challenges, but we do have happy endings. This 35 year relationship has made it even solid, as Canon Marketing Philippines and we converge to preserve our true Pinoy identity. Our students need to know their past, their heritage, and preserving documents do we know who we are. SIKAP (School Immersion and Key Advancement Program) is an advocacy of Canon Philippines for the importance of effective archiving and history. For continuing to believe and inspiring us to continue, thank you!"

Canon Marketing Philippines' Christine Dacanay says "Canon Marketing Philippines is very glad to meet with school representatives so we could introduce to you SIKAP. We want to introduce archiving, ID's, Birth Certificates, in keeping memories alive and safe, we come better prepared in future generations. We need to teach children the value of keeping memories, in our 20th year, our dream to reach schools nationwide starting with 20 right now. Hopefully we could do this soon!"



Dr. Ponciano Mengito, the Regional Director of the Department of Education-NCR says "I personally have had the experience of seeing images from 50 years ago, pictures of yesteryears. This will be implemented with in pilot schools, and eventually nationwide. We are saving these documents in digital form and even bringing in innovation and let them know the importance of archiving and history. It's more than being emotional, we can't go back to the past but preserving these documents are part of our identity. It's how we can explain later on who we are. We at NCR want to promote accessibility and quality for afforded education. Thank you to CANON Marketing for your CSR work. This will benefit a lot of people now, and in the future."


Congratulations Canon Marketing Philippines! This is so good in so many ways!



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OPPO x Philippines Next Top Model




I was welcomed by laser clad men and women at the entrance of CHAOS in City of Dreams Manila. I wasn't there for the half naked models, I was there for more. This evening was for OPPO and their partnership with the local franchise of Philippines Next Top Model. I've been a fan of the original one in the US and have always regarded it as an authority in discovering ordinary people that have that edge, that x factor, that look that says they are on TOP.



OPPO isn't going to be just sponsoring this show, they're going to be part of it. This is the first time that hopefuls will be allowed to use OPPO phones inside their house. This will be just like the US franchise where they got involved with some of the show's activities.


Tech bloggers, fashion bloggers (yes JAM! Haha!) were all there too!

Some GILAS PILIPINAS members were all there too. I think that guy (far left interviewed) is the lethal FEU player if I'm not mistaken.




We also saw Binibining Pilipinas Supranational Joanna Eden. She obliged to have her photo taken but I was a little shy to actually talk to her. I have interviewed already her when she won a couple months back and I didn't know if she did recognize me. Haha!

Oh and of course there's Mark Neumann!

He's one of the hottest guys in show business, tops TV5's actors. Quite a nice chap, I must say he's still the same guy I interviewed during Artista Academy days, but way more bulked up, and more good looking.




Then there's bombshell Malak So whom I also met during the Artista Academy days and when they made several shows for TV5. She's more confident now, carries it well, and oh she's part of the cast of one of the episodes of Brillante Mendoza Presents which shows every Saturday on the Kapatid network. You shouldn't miss that as they're making these movies for television, and perhaps have that join competitions abroad too. 




Then the show started with G-Force doing a dance number. As usual, they're the best in the country so no qualms with that. Oh and I love their shoes LOL!



The host of Philippines Next Top Model, and one of the judges, is Ms. Maggie Wilson. She will be joined by Vince Uy, Rain Dagala and Raf Kiefer.


Coach Chot Reyes was also there as the CEO of TV5 and also as the chief of Gilas Pilipinas. We will be hosting SEABA did you know? Aside from that, he mentioned that the reason why PNTM is actually on TV5 is because they want to have different programs than the other networks. It's a great way to set themselves apart from the competition. Now that's exciting!


OPPO Marketing Manager Stephen Cheng, Coach Chot Reyes of TV5 and PNTM's Director.

Then they presented the 24 contestants using the OPPO F1S for selfies.


IVY





ANGELA


ANNA


ADELA



BLAISE



PAULINE




PETCHE


CIACIA


EMMA


INA




JAN



JANELLE



JANILYN


KIM


KOLEEN


SARAH

SHEKIE






I took notes and found about 3 of these ladies apt for the title. They too have minor improvements to do to get there, but hey, they're all good. Now we've got tons of things to watch out for in this year's Philippines Next Top Model: High Street. Thank you OPPO Philippines for having us!


COW